Barefoot in High Heels

Archive for the ‘My thoughts’ Category

Our first organized team-sport season ended.

Three- and four-year-old soccer.   Otherwise known as a pack of preschoolers chasing a ball, without regard to which direction they’re headed.

For 6 practices and games, there was at least one poor child (usually mine) crying at some point or another.   The first few weeks for Miss M, it was almost torturous (for her AND us).  She would barely move out on that field, and she’d stand there in her pigtails and soccer uniform and cry.  It was always a different reason.  “My tongue hurts” or “my cousin tackled me” or “My nose is running” or “I’m cold” or “I don’t know how to kick the ball” or “I can’t run as fast as the other kids.”

Now some parents might coddle their little ones, take them home early, or at least let them sit on the sidelines for a while.   There were certainly many of those kind who didn’t show up after the first couple of games, not wanting to bother with 3-year-old drama. 

And then there were the other parents, forcing the preschoolers out for more torture.

Yep.  That was me.   But really, it wasn’t demanding and mean like it sounds.    Really!

Little Miss M had so much fun the last two or three games.  You know why?  Because we made her go every week and get out there and play.  She is shy, hesitant, cautious, and slow to warm up to new situations.  And with 10 other screaming kids, and multiple parents and grandparents as spectators yelling “Kick the ball!  Run!  No — the OTHER way!” it was too much commotion for her.   She got over that hesitancy by the end and even looked as if she were actually enjoying herself.  She even kicked the ball a few times during the game!

I’m not sure that she’ll play again — we’ll see if she wants to in the fall.  But by forcing (or shall I say gently guiding) her — yes, even at 3 1/2 years old — to try new situations, she’ll build her self-confidence and learn how to better adapt to unfamiliar activities.    All we kept telling her was that as long as she tried her best we’d be very proud — she didn’t need to be the fastest runner or score any goals.   And you know what?  She wasn’t, and she didn’t.   But by the end, she tried, she had fun, and she’s so proud of her certificate and her team picture.

And so are we.

We took a field trip recently.  A class of 3-year-olds at a local nature center, with different rooms that correspond to caves, lakes/rivers, and grasslands.  Lots of insects, snakes, amphibians, slithery-slimy creatures that’s just right for the preschool set!

But not for some of the moms.

You see, I have this major irrational tiny little fear of spiders. 

I’ve gotten much better about the small ones.  I even kill some myself (without screaming!), if found trespassing in my humble abode.  It’s the large ones I can’t handle.   Yes, underneath my calm, rational (ha!) exterior, I DO have a crazy phobia.  Arachnophobia.

I blame it on my mother (Thanks, Mom — I know you’ll read this!) who scared me with the Little Miss Muffet horror story.   And remember the Brady Bunch episode in Hawaii?  You know what I mean . . . terrifying!  And this fear is why I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the Harry Potter movies, either!  I LOVED the books, but even reading a few small parts with the spiders, I had to read those areas really quickly to speed right through.

But I digress.    Back to the field trip.

I was so proud of my little Miss M, who had no problems holding the slithery snake, picking up bugs, and getting her hands into all the good hands-on learning activities. 

But then . . . there was the spider part.

I actually had to look away, and not make a scene.  I quietly told the teacher of my fear, so she didn’t think I was crazy to have to stand up and walk to the back of the room.  And I stole a quick glance at Miss M . . . she was TOUCHING, or dare I say PETTING a hairy leg of this creature!   YIKES!

I’m getting a little bit anxious just thinking about it right now, and hoping I won’t have nightmares.  I’m also thinking how I could have made this anecdote much more descriptive, but I’m too afraid!

One of the other moms took pictures, and I have yet to receive them.  I won’t bother reminding her, either!

The good thing — and I’m really trying hard — is that I don’t think Miss M is aware of my arachnophobia.  I really don’t want her to be, either.  And as much as it physically pained me to watch this display of insect-love, I was proud of her.  And slightly proud of myself for not passing along this irrational fear to her and making a big deal of it.  

Yet. 

I mean, I can only fake it so much.  But perhaps my willingness for my girls to be exposed to many things and not have their OWN irrational fears will slowly diminish my own.  I mean, really — I used to cry in college if someone even mentioned what one friend calls “the S word.”  I can even say it now.   SPIDERS.     See?!  Look at me!!  I’m almost cured, for God’s sake!  🙂

In the meantime, though, I’ll leave the spider-love where it belongs . . . anywhere but near me.

I wrote this “post” before I even started my blog!  I was debating on writing (which I do now SO infrequently anyway), and I started a list of topics that I titled “Musings for a Blog.”    So this one was written about 9 months ago, and is quite true.  I suppose when people asked me “What do you DO all day?” when I was home on maternity leave, or when some think “How is it that stay-at-home moms don’t seem to have time to do certain things?”, here is a small snapshot of an answer:

Why it takes 45 minutes to eat 8 oz of yogurt

  • 9:30 remove yogurt lid
  • Realize 2 ½ year old probably needs to use potty
  • Run to potty
  • Wait till she goes pee and poo poo
  • Clean up potty chair
  • Help wash hands
  • Realize 6-mo-old has pooped
  • Take her out of walker, see poop all up her back
  • Take baby upstairs to change and put down for nap
  • Begin changing, poop all over!
  • Not comfortable with “cleaning” her with wipes
  • Run bath water
  • Find new outfit
  • Run to other room where the clean folded laundry is (and hasn’t yet been put away) to find the matching pants to the onesie.
  • Give baby bath
  • Dress baby
  • Put down for nap
  • Take previously worn onesie and clean it out in laundry tub
  • Separately bag the offending diaper and multiple wipes and throw in laundry room
  • 10:15 sit back down to lukewarm yogurt.
  • Enjoy

Do you keep your New Year’s Resolutions?

Do you even make them?

Of course, we all want to save more money, eat healthier, and DE-CLUTTER!    We want more “me” time and “girlfriend time” and to read more.  But will it really happen??  I hate putting qualifiers on these things that we really WANT to do, and then if we haven’t had a girls’ night out in the last few months, feel like it’s a chore just to schedule in order to fit it in under our pre-defined resolution timeframe.   It defeats the whole purpose.  Who are we to fool ourselves year after year.  I mean, why should THIS year be any different??

So I’ve decided to come up with some resolutions I can stick with.  Here goes:

  • I resolve to continue checking Facebook and collecting friends.
  • I resolve to devise a budget and save money continue wandering aimlessly through Target, buying the essentials, like matching holiday shirts for my girls, or the super-cute hat or fabulous beach bag.
  • I resolve to keep my house clean maybe hire a cleaning service.
  • I resolve to turn off the computer!   Wait . . . what?   Maybe not.
  • I resolve to be more active and work out  run, but only to my car when it’s raining, or if someone is chasing me.
  • I resolve to eat healthy, as long as daily indulgences are OK, like ice cream after dinner, or chocolate chip cookie snacks.

So it looks like another banner year is ahead!  And this way, I’ll be able to easily keep my resolutions and avoid the nagging guilt. 

Hooray for 2009!!

What are you doing differently this year?

Inspired by this post from Domestic Accident, I give you my Thankful List (in no particular order, except for the top 2):

I am thankful for:

  1. My husband
  2. Our daughters
  3. Having family and friends over for Thanksgiving dinner
  4. Our jobs (yes, can you believe it?  In this economy, we’re both still employed!!  yay!)
  5. Our health
  6. Our home (it may not be perfect, and we would love a new kitchen, but it’s OURS!)
  7. Panera Bread chai tea.  MMmmmmm! 
  8. Online shopping
  9. 24  (yep, that’s right!  Season 7 starts in January.  Woo-hoo!)
  10. Really good books
  11. I’m thankful that Miss M likes to read, too! 
  12. The library
  13. Miss M receiving her first preschool progress report (and a glowing one at that — “She is so sweet and kind to everyone!”)
  14. Miss A sleeping through the night (it took 11 months, but we finally got there!)
  15. The extended family — ALL of them!
  16. My 97-year-old grandpa (and you’d never guess it.  You’d probably think 75-80.  Tops.)
  17. The Internet
  18. Facebook 🙂
  19. My girlfriends.  Love. You. All.
  20. Online banking.  I detest physically writing checks.
  21. Good customer service
  22. My new jeans!
  23. Tall boots
  24. A great impractical pair of heels
  25. Theater.  Quality, live, musical theater.  Not your local multiplex.
  26. Education
  27. The good old US of A
  28. Christmas
  29. Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, corn, the works!  And pumpkin pie with whipped cream
  30. A full-bodied California cabernet in a big red-wine glass
  31. Champagne.  I don’t care if it’s a $4 bottle from the drugstore, or Dom Perignon — I’ve had it all and I love it!  Something about the bubbles and the festive-ness.
  32. Fall colors
  33. The four seasons.  The actual four different seasons, not the hotel.  Although I’m sure I’d love that, too.
  34. Hugs from my girls
  35. Laying/sitting in the beanbag chair in Miss M’s room before bedtime, with her saying “Let’s talk!”   Usually it’s “Let’s talk about school.”
  36. Date night!
  37. Trying new restaurants, and being pleasantly surprised
  38. On Demand.  Is it wrong that my daughter knows the little PBS Sprout On Demand song??
  39. DVR
  40. Health insurance
  41. Renters in our previous 2 residences (yep, you heard right.  We own a few houses.  Can’t sell anything here!) who pay their rent!
  42. Traveling.   Doesn’t happen much anymore, but we still love it and appreciate it and can’t wait to do some more when the kids are older.
  43. The first snowfall.   But only the first one.  After that, I’m usually about ready for spring.  I know, #33 said I love the four seasons.  But it would be nice if winter were actually the shortest one.
  44. Opportunity.  The world is our oyster, my friends!
  45. Working on a job share, so I can be home with my girls 2-3 days each week.
  46. My mom watching my girls while I work!!!!!!!
  47. I have great in-laws.  I know not everyone can say that!
  48. Music.   Playing (piano), singing, and listening.
  49. Warm, fuzzy slippers
  50. Photo books from Shutterfly.  It’s the only way for me to organize my pics (although I’m dreadfully behind on this whole task)
  51. Chocolate chip cookies
  52. Ice cream
  53. The Thanksgiving Day parade
  54. Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies
  55. Christmas carols
  56. Sleep
  57. Food.  You know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and all.
  58. Pure, unconditional love
  59. Democracy in action
  60. A good bra fitting
  61. Staying in pj’s all day
  62. Blogging as a way to stay in touch
  63. No long distance charges on my home or cell phone
  64. Every birthday, anniversary and milestone
  65. Miss A walking/running/climbing
  66. A handwritten note
  67. Receiving cards in the mail
  68. Babies
  69. A new coat of paint can change the look and feel of a room.  Thankfully.
  70. Deep-tissue massages
  71. Successfully nursing my girls for one year each
  72. Preschool crafts (but WHERE do I put them all?)
  73. Hot dutch apple pie a la mode
  74. Good movies that you can watch over and over and know all the lines (When Harry Met Sally, for one!)
  75. Strappy sandals
  76. Five years of marriage
  77. Long weekends
  78. Crossing off things on to-do lists
  79. Contacts
  80. Rare treats like pedicures
  81. Proper grammar
  82. Time (albeit at 5:30 in the morning!) to blog posts like this one.
  83. God’s grace and His work
  84. My nephew and my new nephew arriving next month
  85. $5 pizzas
  86. My kids liking vegetables
  87. Good neighbors
  88. Down pillows
  89. My husband letting me hog the bed
  90. My husband doing most of the laundry
  91. Those Fresh-Mex chains where they build your burrito in front of you.  Yum.
  92. Suave Kids’ detangler!  How else would I be able to brush my daughter’s hair without her crying?
  93. Bobux baby shoes.  Love them.
  94. Saving money
  95. Good sales on things I need
  96. My local international marketplace for fresh food
  97. Target
  98. A company car
  99. A tall glass of pink lemonade on a hot day
  100. Having so many things to be thankful for (or, for which to be thankful)! 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

twilight-coverI finally took everyone’s advice and read Twilight.  It was one of those things where I was dragging my feet, but then didn’t want to be left behind . . . peer pressure, you know??  I felt the same about the Harry Potter series.  But then, once I started, I could NOT put those down!!! 

So when Michelle at Life with Three called me after her vacation positively gushing about the books and subsequently wrote this post, I decided to give them a try.  I just HAD to see what all the fuss was about.

Let me say first that once I finished Twilight ( a bit late.  Oops — sorry to the next person who had it on hold at the library!), I immediately placed a hold on New Moon.  I found myself intrigued by the story, and I’m definitely interested in seeing how the series plays out.  It was a good easy read, and I obviously enjoyed it well enough to get the sequel.

That being said, I was a bit puzzled, and at times even disturbed by some of the story.  I’m not sure why people link the Harry Potter novels to Twilight, except for the otherworldly “magical” aspect.  I think it’s a dangerous comparison, as Harry Potter is certainly more appropriate for a younger audience, while I don’t think Twilight falls in the same category.  Young adult novel, sure.  But not the elementary school/tween crowd.

I think I may have an unpopular opinion of book, as bloggers everywhere are so enthralled with this Twilight craze.  I was glad to read this post today from Jennifer at Read. Imagine. Talk.    Finally a review of Twilight that is only somewhat positive, albeit with some concerns, too.  I feel the same way.

I found myself having to suspend my disbelief sometimes a little too much in this story.   I found it a bit disconcerting that Bella — a normal, average, high-schooler in an average small town — is aware that there are vampires living in her midst and that she’s OK with it!    I got the attraction part, the sort of animal magnetism between Bella and Edward.  She’s entranced by him, she’s consumed by him.  But um, Bella?  He’s still a vampire.  And truth be told, I thought he was sometimes creepy.  And dangerous.  And angry.    I get it — it’s a love story.  But personally, I don’t want to worry when kissing someone if I think my feminine wiles might just be too much for him to handle and he ends up killing me instead of simply smooching.  But that’s just me.   I’m sort of weird like that.

**Spoiler alert — I’ll write the next few sentences in white ink, so if you want to read them, just highlight the following.  If you haven’t yet read the book, don’t you dare peek! **  I was SO glad that she escaped at the end in order to try and save her mother.  I know she was caught up in a flurry of crazy activity and she needed to be kept safe, but come ON, Bella!  Was that really even an option to stay while you think your mom is being tortured?

And then there’s the whole thing about becoming an actual vampire.  When they’re dressing Bella up for the prom, she is actually disappointed when she finds out where they’re going!   Wait a minute.  I’m sorry — is she actually HOPING to have the vampire venom inside of her so she can stop being human and turn into a real vampire??!?!  Come on, people!!  I don’t want to be so cynical here, but sheesh! 

I know it’s supposed to be romantic.  Who wouldn’t want to live forever (quite literally) with their love?  But I just thought it was far-fetched.

On second thought, perhaps I could get used to being a vampire.  Imagine how much more you could accomplish if you never had to sleep!   Perhaps my house might finally be clean.  

Probably not.  Although if I didn’t have to sleep, I’ll tell you one thing . . . I would have turned in Twilight to the library on time!

 

To read what’s on everyone else’s nightstand this month, click on over to 5 Minutes for Books!

We watch a lot of PBS Kids over here at my house.  We’re big fans of Word World, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, and yes, even Barney.  And there’s a new show now, Martha Speaks.   Have you seen this?  It’s been on in the background, so I don’t have a lot to say about the content of the episodes.  Seems cute.  Something about a talking dog.  

Here’s the problem.  See, we’re talking about a kids’ program, right?  There’s usually quite a bit of suspension of disbelief for these shows.  A purple talking dinosaur?  No problem.  Teletubbies?  Kids don’t even blink an eye.  But it’s the theme song to Martha Speaks that really gets me.  They for some reason feel the need to explain why the dog speaks.  I’m not sure why this is necessary, as there are plenty of other talking animals on TV shows for kids and they don’t ask how it’s possible.

So here’s their explanation:  Martha “ate some alphabet soup and what happened was bizarre . . . on the way to Martha’s stomach, the letters lost their way.  They traveled to her brain and now she’s got a lot to say!”  Complete with a scientist showing a diagram of letters going into the dog’s mouth and heading toward the brain. 

Is anyone else disturbed by this theory?  I suppose I was happy to suspend my disbelief, as are most kids, I think.  Did we really need to have the scientific details???

I just can’t shake that image of the food going into my brain . .