Monday, December 31, 2012

It's the END!!!! What'll we dooooooo?????

OMG it's the end!  How we get through it?!? The EEEENNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDD is here!!!!!


Sorry.  Had to be done.

So 2012 is closing and it's a time of reflection and evaluation and self-examination and optimism for the new year and...

Yeah.  Right.  I barely rolled out of bed this morning.  Just like yesterday.  Just like tomorrow.

I don't get terribly excited about new years.  For the first few weeks, new years tend to be a headache for me.  I know I'm not the only one who stands there with a blank stare on my face while someone is waiting for me to figure out what year it is.  By the time I finally get that down without having to grab my phone and pull up the calendar app, it's time to grab my phone and pull up the calculator app so I can figure how old I am this birthday.  By the time I finally get around to accepting that particular hard truth, it's time to grab calendars for the NEXT year because it took me 10 months to drag my sorry butt into the current year.

Now I know that everyone's all about going to the New Year's Eve parties and celebrating in their own fashion, but I just cannot bring myself to do that anymore.

There's just something disturbing about bragging about going out with a bunch of friends to get roaring drunk and stand around waiting to see someone's ball drop.

I mean... didn't we go through this at puberty?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

And here we go...

As promised... or threatened...

The day is nearly ended and it's coming up on time to get on the Tread Climber again.  It's actually pretty fun and it doesn't really feel like I'm working until about halfway through.  Then my body seems to realize it's exercising and suddenly goes into melodrama mode.  You know... the point where your legs somehow manage to turn into jello and ocean liner anchors at the same time.  Since you really only need to commit to 20 minutes a day, it's not exactly a huge challenge and I make it even easier by popping a movie into the Bluray to distract me from the clock.

Oh... and that picture I promised.  *twitch*

It took a few attempts at photos.  First I couldn't remember how to look at the camera lens instead of the screen.  Then I was horribly distracted by an orange furball who was so intensely curious about what I was doing that he smudged up the camera.  After that I noticed that my mirror was in desperate need of cleaning, followed by a couple more failed efforts to get a picture I liked.  Eventually it occured to me that the whole reason I am doing this is because I don't like what I look like anymore and it's awfully hard to get a satisfactory picture when the raw material is subpar.

Soooooo.  You're stuck with that.  Today is the starting point, so hopefully I'll be much improved, and much smaller than my current 167 pounds, by February 9th which is the end of the 6 week window they want us to give ourselves.

Course, I didn't give myself any headstarts by going to see The Hobbit with Sarah today and snarfing down half a small bag of popcorn. 


Friday, December 28, 2012

A Day of Mourning....

Yes, I'm afraid everyone in the family is in some kind of mourning this evening.

The littles are mourning the Christmas tree and decorations which were put away today.
The cats are mourning the loss of their sparkly tether balls.
Steve is mourning the coming end of his holiday work schedule.
Sarah is mourning the complete lack of snow anywhere in the forecast which might postpone school starting again on time.
And I am mourning being able to junk out on whatever I want with the excuse that it's Christmas and calories don't count during the holidays.

Of course, with Christmas having passed we are left with a few more days left in the year.  Which means New Year's.  Which means resolutions that are made with all the intentions of breaking them within a week.

Normally I don't bother with New Year's resolutions because I have the willpower of a feather and the attention span of a ... oh look... shiny!


Yeah.  Those of us who frequently get distracted by our own shadows tend to suffer from a terminal case of Start-itis.  Making resolutions is kind of like giving a cat half a bag of catnip and then dropping it in a room full of crystal figurines while the sun is beaming through a window.  Sure it starts out entertaining as all get out, but sooner or later there will be much crashing and mass destruction. This is usually followed by the subject of said experiment looking around and trying to remember what the original goal was, then spotting another sparkly distraction dart across a random wall.  (Which, arguably, could be just as entertaining.)

Where was I going with this again?

Oh right...

Well this year I'm actually going to be making a resolution. Not because I'm a focused individual with delusions of self-improvement or because the world will be a better place if I would just buckle down and do my part.  Nope.  I'm doing it because my clothes don't fit anymore and there is NO ONE who wants to see this hanging out in places it wasn't meant to hang out.

..... what?  Just sayin'.

See, I got put on Lyrica this summer and it appears that I'm going to be on Lyrica the rest of my life.  Yay?  No.  Not really.  One of the myriad of side effects that Lyrica boasts is nearly guaranteed weight gain for the poor soul forced to take it.

That in and of itself is bad enough, but I have no discretion whatsoever when it comes to food.  I eat what I want when I want.  This generally means that when I get the munchies, instead of making a sandwich or a bowl of soup, I'm likely to make a mug of hot chocolate and call that lunch.  When it comes to dinner, if I'm not in the mood to put forth any effort to heat up vegetables or cook meat, I'll just grab a bowl of cereal.  Sitting at the computer just seems to attract small chocolates and working on cross stitch projects absolutely requires tiny and neat fingerfoods such as M&Ms.  If I had a dietician, they'd have a heart attack for me.

So Lyrica and my diet met, apparently fell in love, married, and are now bearing fruit and multiplying my pounds.  Alot.

This doesn't work for me.

About that New Year's resolution.  Since Lyrica entered my life and became an in-law I have gained 40 pounds (give or take).  I was already 15 pounds heavier than I wanted to be.

I just found out that I have been hired on with a great company and my training is scheduled to begin at the end of January.  Company policy requires dress slacks or dress/skirt and classy blouse. 

I also just found out that I can no longer fit into any article of clothing that would meet company policy.  I found this out by trying a couple of outfits on and noticing a distinct similarity between my reflection and my 15 pound cat trying to sleep in a Kleenex box.  There was alot of ... overflow.


I refuse to admit defeat and buy more clothing, but I know darned well that if I'm left to my own devices Start-itis will flare up and I won't last two weeks before a new shiny distracts me. 

This is where y'all come in.  Starting tomorrow I'm going to bore you with weekly updates on my weight.  If I miss a week, you guys have the task of shaming me into posting my weight again to see if it's going down like it's supposed to.  I may even get courageous and post pics every couple of weeks to see if there's any visible progress.

I've bought all sorts of salad makings and those Atkins shakes to keep my body from mutinying too badly when I start wearing out the TreadClimber.  Between those and my dark chocolate I should be good to go!

Wait.  What?

What do you mean I can't have my dark chocolate??

Not at all?!?

*twitch* *twitch*

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas was fun!

As a general rule, dull moments are pretty well forbidden around here.  Toss in loads of wrapping paper, way too many presents to be healthy, squealing kids, sleepy parents, and a herd of thoroughly confused cats and you're sure to get your fill of entertainment.

For example, it's Christmas Eve and we've finally managed to convince the littles that if they don't go to sleep, Santa will receive a text saying it's not necessary for him to stop by our house at all.

"I want Santa to come!"
"We'll be quiet!"
"When he comes, can I look out the window and see what he drives?"
"He drives a sleigh, remember? And reindeer steer!"
"What if the reindeer slide off the roof?"
"What if Grandma gets run over by a reindeer?!?"

Well, that didn't have the intended result.

Eventually they lost the battle with midnight..or was it 1:00am?  Could have been 2:00am.  I had a couple of last minute gifts that needed to be wrapped and I figured it wouldn't be any big deal to just take care of that upstairs before heading downstairs to set things up.

Now picture this:

A shredded piece of shiny wrapping paper gets balled up and tossed into an already overflowing trash can under the computer desk.
A curious kitten can't resist sticking his nose into said trash can to see what the shiny is.
A curious kitten is just a tad too heavy to be putting all of his weight on one side of an already overflowing trash can and pulling to get leverage.
An already overflowing trash can suddenly tips over with much clanging and tinkling and effectively ambushes a curious kitten.
A not-so-curious-anymore kitten tries to back away but finds it is too late and he is now tangled up in a trashbag that is making entirely too much noise for his taste.
A definitely-not-curious-anymore kitten panics and bolts down the hallway toward the stairs with the trashbag chasing him every step of the way ... and gaining on him.
Two slightly concerned adults join in the chase in an attempt to rescue a definitely-not-curious-anymore kitten, and minimize collateral damage along the way.
A sorry-for-ever-being-curious-in-his-life kitten makes a most impressive leap from the top of a 14 step staircase in a last ditch effort to shake off his now extremely noisy tormentor that still has a deathgrip on his butt end.
A smug kitten lands gracefully at the bottom of the stairs and strikes a pose for the other three furballs who have gathered downstairs to see what kind of trouble he's gotten himself into this time.
A still overflowing trashbag lands on the floor right behind a smug kitten with a deafening crash.
Four cats teleport into another time zone, leaving their fur behind.
Two adults cling to the staircase railing for support while desperately trying to stop laughing long enough to suck in air.

A small voice wafts down the hallway in a sleepy slur. "Told you the reindeer would fall off the roof."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Well that was anti-climactic

7:24am - Wake up to the sound of a set of small feet thudding across the floor upstairs.  Ugh.  It's too early. Better go see what he's up to.

7:25am - Get to the bottom of the stairs and find Hunter starting down the stairs.

"Mom! You're awake!"
"Don't make assumptions you can't prove."
"Nevermind.  Where's Heather?"
"She's still sleeping, but I saw brown stuff in her bed!"

Wonderful.  One of the cats must have left a gift. Strange though, they've never done that in a bed before.

7:27am - Investigate the Invasion of the Body Fluids on Heather's bed.  Whoa.  That's alot of vomit.

Awesome.  Better roust Heather and get this cleaned up.

"Heather, honey.  You need to get up so I can clean your sheets."
"I didn't get them dirty."
"You threw up last night. I need to strip your bed to wash this stuff."
"No I didn't.  Oh.  I guess I did.  Yuck.  Over here too, Mom."


7:30am - Set one child in front of the upstairs television with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playing.  Set one child in front of the downstairs television with Phineas and Ferb playing. Yank disgusting sheets off the bed and discover the two foot in diameter Circle of Stink on the mattress.  Hooray.  Gotta get the spray.

7:33ish - Head downstairs to get the enzyme cleaner and more absorbant towels. *AHH CHHOOOO!!* Bleah... Wait. Something's dripping.  Alot.

Nose bleed.  You have to be kidding.  My nose bleeds could keep a forensics team and a case of luminol busy for hours.

*mutter* About that promise of the end of the world...

Now would work, thanks.

7:45ish - Finish stemming the blood flow from some extraordinarily generous capillaries and mop up evidence of a small murder.

7:50ish - Trip over pack of moving booby traps.

"Why are you under my feet again?"
"Oh right.  Food."
*race for the food dishes and glare*

8:00ish - Finish scrubbing Circle of Stink, douse it with enzyme cleaner, let sit to dry and air out.  Gather up pile of sheets. Feel something cold and slimy soaking through shirt.  Make note to change clothes. *sniff sniff* Hold breath.

8:09am - Start supersized load of laundry with extra detergent and set for extra rinse cycle.  Insert bed linens and aromatic shirt.  Scrub skin til it threatens to bleed.  Get used to the idea of smelling like something akin to sewage for the day.

8:21am - Walk past cat litter box and gag violently.

Perfect.  Now it's the other end of the anatomy that needs to be looked after.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

It All Ends Tomorrow!!! *twitch*

Yep, that's right.  The Earth has finally reached its expiration date. We're all gonna wake up tomorrow just long enough to have everything implode around us.

On a good note, I won't have to do any laundry. Or dishes. Or take out the trash.

Am I the only one who hears about these "it's all over now!" dates and then when we're right on the cusp of what should be elaborate and frightening and awe-inspiring events, it's all just kinda... "That's it?  Really?  Sheesh, and after I changed into clean underwear and everything."

I keep seeing all these shows about the legends of the end of the world,  and the origins of the Mayans, and science behind their calendars, and how they worked out their cycles.  And every single show they always end with the question of "Why did the calendar stop on that date?"

I figure the guy doing the carving just got distracted.  I'm betting it was by kids.  Or cats.  Or maybe his wife finally said "You've been doing that long enough.  Quit stalling and get your butt down here and take out the trash already!"

....just a guess.

I don't have a whole lot to babble about so far today (in case it wasn't already obvious).  The girls are currently playing a computer game trying to convince a virtual dog that he really doesn't look like a complete freak in the getup they're creating for him.  Given that the dog is being dressed up in clothes best described as a cross between a peacock and one of those 1960s psychadelic velvet posters, I'm gonna side with the computerized mutt.

Hunter has been watching Avenger movies all morning and is now down for a nap.  I'm hoping for sleep soon, but I can still hear him acting out each of the heroes in what I can only guess he thinks is quiet whispering.  Can I just point out that Hulk doesn't smash anything quietly?

The cats have been remarkably well-behaved so far.  At least the indoor cats have been. I had to go break up a catfight in the backyard earlier though.  There's a big gray tomcat that likes to try to move into our yard in hopes of claiming Pandora (my muted tortoiseshell) for himself.  The resident tomcat we have, solid black Shadow, invariably fends him off in the same manner each and every time. 
...He races to the tip top branches of a skinny little dogwood tree that looks like a squirrel could snap its limbs and screams his fool head off until one of us stomps outside and chases off the gray who is way too big and stocky to risk chasing Shadow up there.

Once big bad gray has panicked and nearly brained himself on each of the chain link fences between that tree and the other end of the neighborhood, Shadow wraps himself around each branch like he's hugging a teddy bear as he literally shimmies down the tree.  Once he manages to make it to the ground he shakes himself and stalks away as if he single-handedly faced down Cujo.

Meanwhile, Pandora sits on the top of the BBQ grill watching the two of them with an expression that just screams out, "You two are idiots."  Which makes sense, honestly, since she's not remotely interested in either of them.  After Pandora brought us her first litter of kittens (born April 9th), we let her inside enough to get used to us. Eventually I was able to cage her and get her spayed and vaccinated before turning her loose again.  It took her just over a week to forgive me enough to let me feed her again. Trying to catch her next summer for her annual rabies shot should be a trip...


Hrmm..... I may actually get some stitching done today.  The girls seem content.  The Hulk in the other room has begun slurring with sleep. The two big cats are curled up and snoring. And the two kittens are ...

... wait. Why is Jack dragging my tree skirt down the hallway?

Where is Zippy?

Did my Christmas tree just fall over????

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Once more... with FEELING!!

Okay, let's try this blogging thing again.  I'm told that taking a year off is frowned upon by blog followers.

Really, people.  Have we no patience?


I know, I know.  Back to my corner.  I'm going...

Actually, right now I'm supposed to be working on a cross stitch project that had been intended to be a Christmas gift. 

Last year's Christmas gift.

Yup!  Right on schedule!  And I'd be down there stitching right now if it weren't for certain distractions.  A whole collection of distractions, to be precise.

I still stitch on my bed with all my stuff scattered across the blanket, every pillow we own behind my back, the television ready to go with forensic and history channel shows that have been recording for weeks on end, and a mug of hot chocolate beside me.  This kind of prep work generally takes 30 minutes or so.  The problem with this is that 30 minutes is more than enough time to draw the attention of every other living creature in the house.

This is the point where Hunter suddenly realizes that he needs to go potty RIGHT NOW and he can't get his belt off fast enough.
This is the point where Lea suddenly realizes that there is a chart infringing on her sleeping space and must be totally eradicated immediately.
This is the point where Cali suddenly realizes that there is a spot on my project that is sorely lacking in cat hair.
This is the point where Zippy suddenly realizes that I will be sitting in one spot and she has been neglecting her contortionism routines which are only effective when practiced in my lap.
This is the point where Jack suddenly realizes that I will be sitting in one spot with his sister flopped in my lap indefinitely...and the Christmas decorations are now undefended.


Okay, so no stitching for the moment.  Oh well, I did promise I'd post on my blog anyway.  Upstairs to my computer I go then.

Hunter is now wearing a blanket knotted around his shoulders as a cape and running laps around the furniture while swinging an empty wrapping paper roll at vicious..and apparently agile.. imaginary monsters.  The back of my head is simply collateral damage.
What he's actually accomplishing is far more deadly.  The dust bunnies are being disturbed and have begun to emerge from their cavernous lairs of doom.  Three or four more laps and I suspect they're going to attack en masse like a rabid herd of tribbles.

Lea is now standing guard on the foot of my bed looking thoroughly pleased with herself after having obviously intimidated the invading cross stitch chart so badly it retreated back into it's protective plastic shell.  But she's watching it.  It has to come out to breathe sometime.  And she'll be waiting...

Cali is now sprawled across my lap, desk, arm, and keyboard. Yes, she's one of those cats that has the uncanny ability to lay down and spread out to fill whatever space she's in, especially if such spreading out inconveniences her person and ensures she remains at the forefront of her person's thoughts.  Even if said thoughts involve calico fur lined mittens and matching slippers.

Zippy is now draped across my chest and over my shoulder with her back legs dangling across Cali's back end. She is perfecting her "boneless" look while somehow managing to defy gravity.

Jack is now sitting at attention next to my computer chair with eyes the size of golf balls, waiting for the perfect moment to make his presence known to everyone... leaping up into the middle of my lap to attack one or the other of the twitching tails that keep smacking me in the face.

Sooner or later, life insurance companies are going to add "Cat Owner" to their list of pre-existing conditions and high risk clients.