Friday, February 29, 2008

Oh, the quirkiness of me?

A month ago Veronica Mitchell tagged me for a meme where I am required to list 6 quirky traits about myself. At the time I declared myself dreadfully dull and claimed the need for time to think. I admit now that this may have been a ploy to save this meme for a rainy writing day. However, it turned out to be the honest-to-boring truth. In this past month, as I have attempted to start this post several times, I have come up blank. Faults? Oh, I have those in droves. But quirks?

Nada. Zip.

And I was distraught! How will my family ever miss me when I am gone if I am devoid of charming oddities? For, as anyone who has ever who has ever seen a sappy movie knows, it is not one's faithful love or devotion that their family misses but their idiosyncrasies. I have never heard a character bemoaning the loss of the mother who cooked them dinner every night for the last 30 years. No. It's always some random thing like, "She would always tap dance while she was dusting" or "She could never pass an animal on the side of the road without stopping" or "She always read the last page of a book first."

So, in absolute desperation to leave a legacy of annoying habits for my own children to miss after I have gone on, I have compiled the following list of almost-quirky traits.

1. I am a compulsive eavesdropper. I find myself compelled, in public places, to listen to conversations taking place around me. I simply cannot help myself. This can occasionally cause a problem. For example, I would not suggest interrupting a heartfelt conversation with your girlfriend to exclaim, "That woman sitting behind me just had a nose job! Can you see her? Can you tell?"

2. I really, really love this song.

And I sing it all the time. Almost every day in fact. Sometimes sweetly to my children. Sometimes loudly and obnoxiously when they display their irritation with my parenting a bit too overtly. There is nothing like an off key chorus of "Love you forever and forever. Love you with all my heart" to encourage someone to not find you annoying anymore. You should try it. It helps.

3. I have a fetish for cereal. I will eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack, you name it. And I like all kinds. From Lucky Charms to Fiber One, I don't discriminate. Jerry Seinfeld has nothing on me.

4. I detest background noise. I think this may be related to quirk #1, as I am just incapable of tuning it out. I can't stand to have the television or radio on unless I am specifically watching something. I have never been someone that can read while my husband watches television or fall asleep while the radio is on. It's not that I detest noise specifically, just noise unrelated to what I am doing. It's a losing battle for someone who chose to have four children. I am constantly walking around turning things off. I seem to be on perpetually hopeless quest for silence.

5. I tap dance while I'm dusting. Oy. I am really having to dig deep here. I read in the bathtub, which tends to make my books somewhat, um...wilted. I had to stop doing this with my Bible as it was becoming embaressing to pull out this warped crispy mess at my bible studies. This habit, among with some other issues we won't mention, resulted in a nasty parting of ways with my local public library. I am still mourning the breakup.

6. We have an area rug in the center of our living room. There used to be a coffee table on it but one of the older kids broke it and we were so broke the Weekids enjoyed the open space so much that we decided not to replace it until they were older. So now we just have a big empty rug, which is great. Whenever a snappy tune comes on the television, (and snappy tunes come around more often than one would think) I drag the kids onto the rug to join me in what Ben calls "the jumping dance." It's the Chaotic family mosh pit. The Weekids love it. The older two used to love it.

And someday they will again. When I am dead and gone the mosh pit thing is the only annoying endearing quirk I have left them with to regale their own children.

And now for the tagging...

I tag Slouching Mom! Oh I kid. Just wanted to see if your head would explode, Slouchy. (Poor dear has been tagged for 48 different facts so far and she's such a sweetie she just keeps spitting them out. And they are all interesting too. Amazing.)

Seriously though...
I tag Chrissy because she was adorably funny and quirky in high school and I would love to know she still is. Becky because she just started blogging and anyone with a masters degree in Puppetry simply must be quirky. And Catherine, because I love her writings and Asher stories and I would like to know more about her.

And as Veronica said, if one of your quirks happens to be that you detest Memes, well I'm okay with that too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Today my heart is heavy. Tears hover just beneath the surface, waiting for the smallest invitation. I have a couple friends that are going through really hard times right now. Facing troubles of proportions I cannot comprehend. Where their options are only between 'bad' and 'worse' and the heartache in front of them is measured in years and not days. In fact, it feels that everywhere I look, people I love are struggling, being beaten down by the circumstances of their life, some a result of their own unfortunate choices and others from no fault of their own.

And today the beauty in life feels overshadowed by how often things are just hard and dark and scary. How sad it is that our lives are almost guaranteed to come with heartache. And I find myself willing my children to stay small. To stay with me where I can guard their hearts and keep them safe. Where they never have to experience the pain of watching their child suffer or their dreams crumble before their eyes. Where they will never experience a morning where just getting out of bed seems more than they can bear. What I would give for them to always see the world through the rose colored gossamer that their blessed childhood affords them.

And more than ever before, I am thankful for my absolute belief that this isn't all their is. That this world is just a stepping stone in our journey, and better things are yet to come. And in that there is hope, even when this world seems void of it.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev. 21:4
To my friends that are hurting, I am praying for you, and would give anything to ease your pain. I love you, and share your burdens in every step of my day.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Back in November I wrote this:

Computer is dying. Something about blogging made it sick months ago. And it has been in a state of gradual decline ever since. Getting out of Google-Reader to comment on blogs is like trudging through a pool of sludge. It requires much patience and prayer. And if there are graphics, or ads or layers on your page, it's almost hopeless. I click that link and walk away, to get a cup of coffee or fold some laundry, then come back to see if it was able to accomplish the task, or if it locked up passed out from the effort. And sometimes now, mid keystroke, it just turns itself off. Jumping ship. Grumpy and overloaded, it stubbornly refuses to do one thing more. I know how it feels.

The Man has been voicing loudly the need to reformat. That the best thing for computer is a fresh start. While I know this may be true, I have been resisting. Because The Man, while very nice to look at, and quite accomplished at many things, tends to leave things in a slightly altered state when he fixes them.

He's actually quite a whiz at computers. He has written code for program after program to do tasks as simple as manage our contacts or as complicated as run his business. But the last time he reformatted he wiped the information out of said contact manager completely, leaving me floundering on how to reach the voice teacher. Or my mother.

And it's not just computers. The toilets he has repaired do work, but with little irritating quirks that weren't there before. "Someone go jiggle the toilet thing" is now a daily request around here. And so, I have been understandably resistant, worrying what I would lose.

But I have surrendered. Computer is in pain and we need to do what's best for him. You know, so I can get back to surfing and commenting at will. Because I have a lot to say. And because it's Christmas time. And I need to s-h-o-p people.

So I ask you all to say a prayer for computer and his trip to The Man's hospital this weekend. That we would come through the other side new and refreshed and without any significant memory loss. That afterwards he would be able to do his work easily with the passion he once had. Opening up window after window with ease. That he would be well again, completely well.

With no jiggling required.


And now, three months later, I will give you an update.

The Man did not reformat computer in November or December or January. I switched to Firefox which helped some and trusty ol' computer continued to hobble and limp along long after it should, while grumbling loudly and still occasionally turning itself off completely in disgust when it just simply could not take another step.

But then, this weekend, I ran away from home went out of town with some girlfriends. And when I returned home, computer had gone under the knife. He had some things upgraded, some things tweaked and was given the fresh start he so badly needed. The Man had worked his technical magic. Computer is now lightning fast and no longer makes regular groans of pain. And so far I haven't had to jiggle a thing.

Computer geeks are so hot.

And if you know me in real life, let's just say that for reasons I am forbidden to mention, your contact information may have, well, once again mysteriously disappeared. So call me and tell me where you live and stuff....Please.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lollipop, Lollipop

Also known as Why My House is Always Sticky...

For Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday, Tuesday

I managed to pull myself up by my bootstraps and out of my glum yesterday, by bundling the kids up and bringing them outside. I pulled the Weekids up and down the road in the wagon and then played soccer with Ben while Clara systematically coated her body with mud created from the rains the night before. It was worth it. The fresh air and exercise did us all a wealth of good. Then, after giving the mudpie a scrub down, I loaded up all 5 kids (my own plus one more) and brought them to Burger King for more exercise and a healthy dose of grease.

This too was a worthy trade off. Tired, and with their bodies full of food lead, Ben and Clara slept most of the afternoon. Allowing me to do some work on my Bible Study and have some down time. I didn't get much of anything checked off the Monday list: Clothes to tag for consignment, 64 loads of laundry (I completed one) but it turns out those things are still there, patiently - or not so patiently, in the case of the laundry - waiting for me today.

Today, however, after I drop Ben at the church where he attends preschool, I have to go to my own church and put in an application to work in their preschool next year. I enrolled Clara in preschool for next year with Ben and when I suddenly realized what their combined monthly tuition would be, it left me reeling a bit. It was, in fact, a fairly low number and shouldn't have been a surprise, but with money still tight in the Chaotic household it would be difficult for us. So I decided to apply to work in my own church's very large preschool program where my paltry salary and, more importantly, discounted tuition, will offset this expense.

I am a bit disappointed that I would have to change Ben's school to realize this savings, but the sad truth is, I am not confident of my ability to get a job where he goes to school now. It is a much smaller program, and well, I am not sure the last two years have left them with an exemplary impression of me as a together mom. It is not uncommon for me to drop Ben off late with Clara screaming at his departure, and I, at least partially, still in my pajamas.

And so I will apply at my own church, where I have served many years as a volunteer in the children's program and have many people on staff that, I hope, would vouch for my reliability and heart for children. And, most of all, no images of me bedraggled in a baseball hat and bunny slippers fresh in their mind.

In short, after 10 years, I think I still have most of them fooled that I've got my act together.

Oh and if you go to my church and are reading this...You're on to me now. Shhhh.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, Monday.

On Sunday night I go to bed, full of plans and resolutions for the week ahead of me: Things to accomplish, abstain from, correct in my heart. So why is it that every Monday morning I want nothing more than to stay in my bed, under my covers and try to forget what I have resolved?

Coffee anyone? I am on my third cup and so far it's done nothing to make me enthusiastic about the week ahead of me. It's indistinguishability from the weeks before is defeating me.

That and a certain toddler's rage that her brother wants to play monster-bowling in his room...alone.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day.

So yesterday was Valentine's Day. This day does not fall heavily on the Chaotic Household's calendar. Lately, I had rolled around the idea that I should be more like Beck and Ginger. Making each holiday special for my children. Depositing a coin into their treasure chest of memories, so to speak. I should make heart shaped pancakes for breakfast and home-made Valentine's for Ben's class.

And then I woke up. This is me we are talking about here.

We celebrated Valentine's day by finally getting the boxes of Christmas decorations back up in the attic. Nothing like a holiday in mid-February to remind us that the red and green bins still sitting in the hallway have been there too long. That's classiness for ya right there. I also mopped my floors. Which is to say I mopped the whole upstairs level of our home. Something else I had been planning on doing for at least a month. It became apparent it might be past time when I asked Brandon why he had gone outside without shoes on as now the bottom of his feet were black. He proclaimed indignantly that he had not left the kitchen. It was, in fact, only 9:00AM. Ahem. Praise God for badly in need of refinishing rustic hardwoods and their ability to conceal dirt.

And then, after that, because I wasn't feeling well (darn polyp) I took a nap. And, lest you think I boycotted the holiday completely I did give each of my children a small Valentine's treat and I sent Ben to school with his requisite bag of store bought Valentines. Power Rangers for those of you who care. Ben has never seen Power Rangers but, like Spiderman, is certain they are cool beyond measure. He also pretends to be a Power Ranger which just seems to involve standing with either a leg or an arm jutting out in a weird angle.

I also decided that in the spirit of my abandoned diet the holiday to make a special treat after dinner. I made brownies (from a box-sorry Beck) and attempted to cut them into heart shapes to make Valentine brownie sundaes. It didn't work and we ended up eating little piles of brownie goop with a scoop of ice cream on top during our family devotional.

While we were sitting there, eating my masterpiece, I declared, "I mopped the floors today."

"Wow, impressive." The Man declared enthusiastically.

"These brownies were supposed to be shaped like hearts" I confessed.

"Still taste good like this", Brandon mumbled with his mouth full.

"Mom gave me gummie worms for Valentine's Day!" Allison bragged happily.

And therein lies the key to a Happy Holiday in the Chaotic Household:

Low Expectations.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

So much for wordless...

Clara is heartbroken. She sits on my lap wailing with toddler abandon into my chest. She repeats the same words over and over. "Is Boo Boo? Is Boo Boo?"

Boo Boo - the nickname we have for her brother. With urgent insistence she makes her demands, as clear to me as if she had said, "Where's Ben? I need him. Please go get him." I try to console her, repeating words that are now like a mantra. "Boo boo's not here. He's at school" and then she cries harder, her sadness momentarily replaced with anger at being denied what she wants most. In finally learning how to speak her wishes she believes she has earned the right to have them answered, immediately and without question.

And then her anger gives away again to grief and she asks again, plaintive and frustrated, certain I must not have understood. "Is Boo Boo?" And the cycle begins again. Anger and sadness tumbling over each other like kittens. We've been doing this for ages now, minutes that feel like hours. And it was the same yesterday. And will be again tomorrow.

Clara misses Ben.

I remember when I made plans for this school year. Ben would go to preschool 3 days a week and I would have those mornings alone with Clara for some special time together. To get some things accomplished. And I think it actually was like that at some point. I remember it vaguely, like a pleasant dream. Laundry and housekeeping interspersed between play dates and books, stacking rings and snuggles. Was it really only a few months ago?

At some point, however, my spot at the center of Clara's universe was displaced by the silly, sandy haired three-year-old in my home. Her love for Ben is now an obsessive, all-consuming first-love kind of love. (Albeit a trashy version that includes public screaming matches and occasional violence.) "Is Boo Boo?" are the first words she utters when she wakes up each morning. "Is Boo Boo?" is what she says each time she cannot locate him. "Is Boo Boo..." off and on for hours each morning he attends school unless I spend every moment distracting her in play. I now count the minutes until he gets home, so I can have a reprieve, and accomplish something without a distraught toddler hanging on my leg.

I should be thankful she adores him so. And I am. Mostly I am. In fact, in a bizarre way, it is an answer to a prayer given when she was born. Lord, let my children grow to love each other. And they have. For Ben loves Clara as well, in a less intense, doting kind of way. He says often "I am glad we had a baby sister" and my heart melts right then and turns into a puddle on the floor. Thank you, Lord.

But this. This new need to be with him constantly, it does not bode well for our Clara. Even now, I am seeing Ben start to crack under her unrelenting attention. Pushing her away as she throws herself on top of him to smother him with affection when he awakes from his nap. Locking himself in his room to play with trains, while she sits outside the door screaming. Saying, earnestly to me "Clara needs to take a nap." Translation: "Please, mom, I love her but I need a break." And who can blame him, it is a tiresome, endless job even for one who is thankful she is here.

And I am reminded yet again of a love affair. One that is hopelessly, jealously lopsided. And as she sits on my lap wailing for him, off at school and thankful for his hours of freedom, I know she has a long road ahead of her. A road that will hold much disappointment and waiting between her hours of joy. It's the road of one who loves unequally.

And to her, for now, he is worth it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


For Wordless Wednesday

In defense of tedium.

Today, when I was supposed to be hibernating, I stumbled on a post by Slouching Mom. The post began, was titled in fact, with a disclaimer that it would cover a topic that has been ongoing in her life for quite a while now. Her tone seemed to indicate (and I could be projecting here) that if she mentioned it too many times - or too often - she might owe us, her readers, an apology for failing to always provide us with spicy new reading topics. I sat and chewed on this for a while. To me it seemed obvious that a blog about ones life would have to be somewhat redundant if it is to be real. I know that I, for whatever reason, tend to find myself in the the same mental quagmires time after time.

She also went on to say
"we each have our pet themes on our blogs, the issues that just won't quit, the issues that keep floating up to the surface"
Ding. That's the light bulb turning on over my head.

I am thankful for Slouching Mom's post because it revealed to me how much I have been struggling with this issue here, at Joy in Chaos. My writing, actual post writing and not just photos or random family news bulletins, has slowed to nearly non-existent. While this is partly a result of a conscious decision to spend less time blogging, it is also because I fear that I find myself saying the same tedious things: *I love my kids. *I don't know how to raise a teenager. *Ben doesn't eat. *Clara doesn't walk. *Being a stay at home mom without much time off is really hard. *I have no time to blog. *I'm overweight. *My husband is a saint. *Aren't my kids cute. *I want to kill my kids. *I read books. *Jesus loves me this I know. *Meme, meme, meme, meme.

That's it. Seriously. My blog in it's entirety. And sometimes it's hard, when I see my life reduced to these topics again and again, not to feel insufferably dull. And so I stopped writing. Which is just craziness when I think about it. I was writing because I enjoyed it. And then people started reading it and I enjoyed it even more. And then I thought I might be boring people so I stopped writing. What's wrong with this picture?

This week, for example, I started another post about Clara, and the wretched conversation I had with her pediatrician on Friday. It's was an ugly post full of my own hurt feelings and some positively unchristian comments about the doctor. And I didn't complete it because I was certain that no one wanted to suffer through another round of my mental ping-pong on the issue. In hind site it's probably good that I didn't post it. Let's just say God would not have been glorified by the awful things I had to say about that woman. However, I see now that I was paralyzing myself by thinking too much about what people wanted to read. Which is just more craziness, because it's not like I have a slew of people coming here every day to get my opinions on the state of the universe.

So what will all this navel gazing actually amount to? Probably nothing. I am still not sure that I will ever find the time to write as much as I would like. But if I do, eventually, find a writing rhythm, don't be surprised if I end up writing four posts a week about Clara not walking or Allison's dramatic entrance into puberty. Because I tend to dwell on things. It's just who I am. And because I am going to learn to revel in my mundanity.

I know you can't wait.

Oh and as for the Clara thing...

Basically, the doctor stood by her initial recommendation that she needed to see a neurologist, (which I respect) and she was mean and condescending (which I don't.) And I cried. A lot. Because I felt angry and insulted and frustrated that I didn't stand up for myself more. But I am over it now. In an "I will never see that doctor again if my life depended on it" kind of way. And Clara will probably go to a neurologist. Despite the fact that we don't have the money and it is causing me to break out in a rash each time I think about following that doctor's recommendation.

But I'm over it. Really I am.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I confess

Clara didn't have her neurology appointment today. I canceled it (cringing)

I know. I know. I am as fickle as the weather. I just can't help myself. All that build up, all the commental support. For nothing.

We have a large insurance deductible and I found out yesterday that her neuro evaluation was going to cost us small fortune. And I just couldn't make myself pay it, for something my heart tells me she doesn't need.

So I have a call in to her pediatrician to confess explain. She's going to call me back tomorrow and I am prepared with a slew of questions that all boil down to one big one: "Can we wait a few months on this?" I am praying that by then she will be walking and I will be obnoxiously touting the merits of mother's intuition. So pray for that with me, will ya?

And here's a video of the girl today and Ben trying to get her to walk. After which she runs away on her knees. And he tackles her. You know, to help her.

Brotherly love at it's finest.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

To the Rescue

For the past six months or so, Ben has had a fixation with firemen. He talks frequently of being a fireman "when he grows up" and "fighting fires with a hose." In fact, during our last cold spell he decided to get a head start with the help of his Halloween costume.

But then, this morning we had this conversation.

Ben: Mom, when I grow up I am going to be a good fireman.

Me: That's great Ben." I replied with sleepy enthusiasm.

Ben: And fight all the bad firemans with water

Me: Oh. Hmmm, well all firemen are good Ben, they help people.

Ben: Oh. They just fight with fire.

Me: Uhhh, yes, they fight fire. They spray it with water and put it out. And they help people when they are stuck or hurt.

Ben sits quietly for a moment, contemplating.

: Okay, but they could still fight with Spiderman, right?


So... who wants to tell Ben that firemen, while indeed heroes, are not of the Super variety?

For another funny, but not nearly as appropriate, outburst from Ben, visit me at Worst Mama today.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Takin care of Business

I have been neglectful. Some very kind people have passed on some very sweet awards and I have not shown my appreciation or passed on the honors. So now I am playing catch-up.

First of all, my real life friend Amy, from Signs, Miracles, and Wonders, gave me the Daily Dose Award weeks ago.

This award is for a Blog that encourages you. Which explains why I got it weeks ago as my posts of late have been of the melancholy variety, and hardly encouraging. Her posts, however, are always encouraging. I was almost tempted just to pass this right on back to her. So thanks Amy!

I am going to pass this award on to Lisa at Lisa Writes because she encourages me almost daily in my Christian walk and in striving to be a Godly mother to my four children. That girl is chock full of wisdom and is a wonderful writer to boot. It's a good thing I don't know her in real life because I would be tempted to start stalking her.

Secondly, Slouching Mom and Painted Maypole passed on the "Mwah!" award.
Slouching Mom says this is "A chaste kiss given to say Thank you for friendships and comments in the blogosphere." I have made it no secret that I am a huge fan of Slouching Mom's writing. One might even call me a Slouching Mom groupie. How nice to know that she actually enjoys my adoration and comments. She's another one I would stalk.

(I bet you are all starting to be glad I don't know where you live!)

Maypole says she passed it on to me because she knew I was needing some "Cyber Lovin." She's a sweetheart that Maypole, even if she is going to Mardi Gras parades and DisneyLand all in one week. I don't hate her too much for that, though. Really I don't.

I am passing this award on to Chrissy over at Tales from the Carpool Lane because she's such a funny and faithful commenter. And to The Dragonfly over at On Dragonfly Wings because of her regular encouragement. It means so much to me.

I was also tagged for a Meme by the incomparable and deep-thinking Veronica Mitchell, but I am going to save that for another rainy day. It's something about being quirky but as I am, in fact, dreadfully dull I am going to need some time to make something up to think on this one.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A This and That Update

Thank you so much for all your encouraging words on my "This and That" post. It really is amazing to me how sweet a bunch of people I have never met can be. This promises to be another long and newsy post, but at least my mental state has greatly improved in the last week. It doesn't hurt that The Man is back at home. Where he belongs. He declined an offer to hang out with a friend of his this afternoon, saying "I watch the kids on Sunday afternoons so Joy can take a nap."

Really, what more can one ask for in a man?

Clara's neuro evaluation is this Thursday. I am more convinced than ever that this a superfluous precaution. Clara seems to take steps perfectly fine when she feels like it. However, I can't seem to bring myself to cancel the appointment, so I will go and pay to listen to them tell me what I already know: She's stubborn. It also appears to be the only way to get a referral for an orthopedist which is something I think she may need. I think that some days. Other days she seems perfectly fine and I think this entire process is a big waste of time and money.

Oh, and here are a couple pictures from her 18 month portraits. Look how sweet she looks.

And then there is this next picture, which is a personal favorite of mine. You really should click on it so you can get an close-up view of the look of superior annoyance Clara shoots at us daily.

Moving on...

I spoke to my doctor about my silly little polyp and it was determined I need to have a DNC Hysteroscopy to remove it. This is excellent news and exactly what I was praying for. It is a simple outpatient procedure that should, hopefully, correct all the problems I have been having. I am waiting for the surgical coordinator to call me to schedule it, but I would have it done tomorrow if I could.

About one hour after I posted the news that Ben was finally potty trained he had an accident. Seriously, ONE HOUR! And he's had two since then, after being dry for weeks. So I am vowing to never utter, or write, those words again. Well maybe when he's ten. Maybe.

Brandon is still grounded. This weekend he read the entire book Odd Thomas, which he loved, despite the fact that it was recommended by his mother. I did let him go to a superbowl party tonight at his uncle's house. Because he has been stuck in this house for a month now and I worry about him. And because it meant I would have time alone.

To do this.

Oh! I must tell you. Surprisingly, I am still an active member of the 6:oo AM club, and I am loving it. Me! With the nonexistent willpower muscles. Okay, I don't actually love it at 6AM but somewhere around 7AM the benefits start kicking in. My mornings are going so much more smoothly now that I get up an hour before my children. Also starting the day with prayer and in The Word has been pivotal in the improved mental state I mentioned earlier.

The only major downfall I have experienced is that I now really need to be asleep by 11:00. Which, when my husband doesn't get off work until 9:00 and my older kids don't go to bed until 10:00, is extremely difficult. It also means less time with The Man, which neither one of us likes. And it means almost no time for blogging. I don't do the 6AM thing on weekends for that reason. So I can stay up later and hang out with my sweetheart. So far, I think the trade off is worth it.

And lastly - speaking of weak willpower muscles - we'll touch on the dreaded diet. I am sure you were all beside yourself wondering how I was doing with that! In the last couple weeks I have fallen head first, crashing, off of the diet wagon. I am finally ready to regroup though and start again, a measly 5 lbs lighter and the exact same size as I was at this point last month.

Dieting sucks. That's just all there is to it.

But I am not giving up yet, so look forward to more "Diet Myth" posts coming up soon. I know you can't wait.

And now that I have bored you all to tears with my life details, I am off to bed. I hope to find a way to get back to posting regularly soon. I would love to know how all of you, especially those with young children, find time to fit it in your schedule. So send me some tips.

Do you have a schedule?
Do you just squeeze it in when you have time?
Do you not sleep?
Do you lock your children in a closet?

I'm open for anything.