Friday, January 22, 2010

Random Facts About Me

In honor of my birthday today, I thought I'd re-post something I did on facebook awhile back. It was a fun little game where you think of 25 random facts about yourself, & list them for friends to see. I've taken that, and added some more, just for fun. I'll put a link to this page on my sidebar and add more as I think of things. If you can think of a fact about me that should be added, feel free to post it in the comments. I can always delete it if I don't want anyone knowing. ;)

1.I have a great memory for anything that leaves an emotional impression --especially music. But I have a terrible memory for numbers --unless the numbers have some sort of emotional value attached to them.

2. i've gotten so good at tuning out all the noises form the children talking & playing, that I often don't hear them when they're talking to me. "mom.. mom!... MOOOM!!!:

3. I hate almost every activity that needs to be repeated on a daily basis, including cooking, cleaning, and bathing... "i just did this yesterday!!"

4. i'm an increadibly loyal person and *hate* losing touch with anyone, even if i only met them once...which is why I love facebook. :)

5. It's impossible for me to talk without using a lot of expression. If i'm not feeling well enough to adequately express myself, i'd rather just not talk.

6. when I type, I put happy faces at the end of almost every sentence. I just can't help myself. I *need* to use facial expression! :) :) :) :)

7. i've been told that i look like Claire Danes, Gwenyth Powltrow, Cameron Diaz, and Kirstin Dunst.

8. I can't stand Kirstin Dunst...she reminds me too much of me!

9. My favorite flowers are star lilies. I just love how the smell fills the room.

10. I've always regretted not getting my bachelor's degree.

11. When my kids grow up, i'd like to be professional photographer.

12. I *really* regret not taking cosemtology classes in high school

13. i'm *terrible* at returning phone calls and emails.

14. I'm kind of lazy, and would often rather not do something fun, if it involves work to do it -- which is why i seldom take my kids to the beach . I wasn't like this until I had kids.

15. I *love* people. I love being with people. I'm energized by being with people. But i'm dreadfully shy. So shy, that if i see someone i know in the store, i try to hide. Or if i'm at a meeting of some sort, I'll pretend to be reading something so I don't have to talk to anyone.

16. one of my highest values is kindness.

17. I can't stand to see anyone or anything hurt. even an annoying bug. i feel terrible anytime i have to kill one. If there's any way I can avoid it, I will. If it must be killed, I try to get someone else to do it, & then hide, so I don't have to watch.

18. I hate conflict of any kind, & will go to great lengths to avoid it.

19. I seldom apreciate new technology.
~ I thought CD's were dumb --"they'll get scratched just like records!"
~I wondered who on earth would want a digital camera... "it's not a good picture unless you can hold it in your hand...and the lag time after pushing the shutter: don't get me started!"
~ I thought cell phones were annoying "if you want to call me, call me when I'm at home!"
~ I thought MP3 players were rediculous "what if you don't want to listen through the earphones??"

20. I know about half of the employees at our local grocery store by name, and I have to plan extra time for my shopping, because i know i'll be stopping to talk to a lot of them while i'm there.

21. I've always wished I could be cool &; artsy &; quirky.

22. I'm somewhat concerned that i'm never going to grow up.

23. i smile when I'm nervous or uncomfortable. If i'm *really* nervous, i smile a LOT... which is really inconvenient, if i'm in a serious situation... like if i'm telling chris i just totalled the car, or something (remember fact # 18?) The upside is that i usually make a great impression at job interviews because of my "great smile" :)

24. I *love* getting things in the mail! ( real things like cards & packages. not junk mail)

25. i love to help people. you know, with little kids, how you ask if someone wants to help & they *all* raise their hand & say "pick me! pick me!" ? I never grew out of that. (see random fact #22)

26. my feet are always cold, but i seldom wear socks. when i must wear socks, i use thos thick fuzzy ones that never match what i'm wearing

27. the three hardest times in my life were: when i placed my baby for adoption; my first year of marriage; my first year of motherhood.

28. i love being a mother.

29. i hate being a housewife. mainly because of fact #3 and probably also #14. It takes away a lot of the joy i have in mothering.

30. my first kiss w/chris was on the night we got engaged... not that we waited *that* long, since we met &  married in five months. :)

31. My mom is my greatest hero.

32. I think the whole question of whether the glass is half-full or half-empty can be easily decided by asking if the glass was just filled, or if someone just drank out of it?
33.  I don't use capital letters very often when i type.  This bad habit started when Chloe was a little baby and I could never put her down.  So I would chat in chat rooms on the internet to pass the time.  but I could only type with one hand because i was holding the baby with the other.  That made pressing the shift key more difficult, so I didn't.  I'm working hard on breaking that bad habit.
34.  I don't drink coffee.  I tried to like it once, because that's what grown-ups drink.  But then I noticed that everbody I know who drinks coffee is adicted, & would like to break the habit, and I decided that it's silly to try to force myself to like something that will only become a bad habit, so I quit trying.
35.  I feel the same way about alcohol as I do about coffee.
36. I've never been on a diet.
37.  My life's dream is to have an orphanage in Africa.  This started when I read an article about Compassion International.  In the article they talked about children who were living alone, scavenging for food in a trash dump.  The tragedy was that there was no one to help them or take them in because there were so many orphans. I couldn't understand why there weren't enough people to help, & thought, "someone should do something about this!"  As quickly as that thought went through my mind, a new one came, "I will."
38.  I'm 6 ft. tall, and wear size 11 shoes.   I'm constantly discouraged by how difficult it is to find inexpensive clothing that fits well.
39.  I love to laugh and enjoy people with a good sense of humor.

40.  I love starting new projects, but I'm terrible at finishing them.

41.  My drink of choice is milk.

42.  My favorite TV show of all time is Pushing Daisies.  I'm sad it only lasted 2 seasons.

43.  Because of my height, I'm often asked if I ever played volleyball, basketball, or any other sport.  The answer to that question is no.  I've never played sports, except for the occaisional tennis "game" with my dad when I was in grade school.

44.  I love to dance.  Five  minutes of loud music, dancing, and singing at the top of my lungs is the perfect emotional pick-me-up for me.

 45.  I was a nerd in high school. (not like the smart kind.  the dorky kind)

46.  My childhood pets included (but were not limited to) a parakeet who was beheaded by my pet ferrett;  a gerbil who died after being thrown against my bedroom wall by a certain person who will go unnamed; and a baby duck who was smothered to death in a certain other person's bed, when they were trying to keep it warm at night,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Enjoying Life

Tomorrow is my birthday. I love birthdays. I love having a special day. And if it were up to me, I'd celebrate my whole birthMONTH. To celebrate my birthday, I spent today doing laundry, and endless paperwork for school. That way there would be nothing that I *have* to do tomorrow! Sadly for birthday me, I got tired of doing yucky stuff today & decided that I should go ahead and start celebrating a little bit early, by not finishing the laundry. That means that tomorrow I have to fold the mountain that I washed today. But that's okay, because at least I'm not doing *all* of it on my birthday! :)

Tomorrow, Chris is planning to come home early (I love rainy days when he can't work!), and take me out to lunch. Then we've planned to play games, roast marshmallows, and generally lay around being cozy in the living room while it rains outside. For dinner, the family will be going out to eat at my favorite restaurant, which is right on the beach. Maybe we'll get to see the giant waves crashing over the pier while we're there!  Then we'll bring the kids home to stay with my very kind father-in-law who has agreed to babysit, and Chris and I will go out to a movie (I'm planning to see Leap Year, which doesn't look amazing, but this is the only day of the year that Chris will willingly watch a girly movie with me, and this is the only one that's out, so we'll be watching it whether it's good or not, doggone it!).

Saturday, we'll be extending the festivities (because that's the kind of girl I am) by going to visit the Getty Museum while the kids stay with Grandpa.    I've wanted to visit ever since I moved here twelve years ago, and it's finally working out.  Yay! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Science vs. Fairy Tale

Today's science lesson began with an introduction to the animals of Australia & its surrounding islands.   I read to the children, "Unlike other mammals, monotremes do not have any teats.  Instead, baby monotremes lick up milk that seeps out of glands in the mother's skin."  This very interesting fact was followed up with a question from Evelyn, "What's a teat?"  I answered matter-of-factly, using simple words that she would understand easily, "It's like a mamma's boobie, where the baby gets it's milk from."  The light turned on in her mind, and she exclaimed knowingly, "Oh!  Like Boobie and the Beast!" 

Shortly after, we learned about the birds of New Guinea.  Our book described the way male birds of paradise fluff up their feathers & show off their good looks in order to attract a female.  It went on to tell about bowerbirds, who atract their females by building elaborate "bowers", decorated with flowers and berries.  The female selects the male whose bower impresses her the most.  (as a sidenote a bower is defined as, "A large nest made of grass and bright objects, used by the bower bird during courtship displays; A shady, leafy shelter or recess in a garden or woods; A woman's bedroom or private apartments, especially in a medieval castle; A picturesque country cottage, especially one that is used as a retreat" --isn't that romantic!?)   Check out this picture of the beautiful bower that was built for one lucky chick. (found on Nick Triantafillou' flickr site--a great photograph don't you think?)

This lesson on how birds pick their mates seemed like a great opportunity for me to teach my children the importance of picking a good mate for themselves.  I explained how, just like birds, different people are attracted to different things in a husband or wife.  Some people are attracted to a good looking person.  Some are attracted to someone with lots of money, or a nice home.  Some people want someone with similar aspirations, etc.  Then I said (especially to the boys), "Do you think that if you choose a wife just because she's pretty, that you will be happy for the rest of your life with her?  People's appearances change as they get older, and they won't look the same as they did when they were young.  So if that's the only thing you look at when you pick someone, you might be disappointed when you get older."  Zachary thought about this for a minute, while I went on to talk about other things you can look for in a spouse.  And then he said, "Then you should pick someone because you like their hair, because your hair stays the same when you get old."    Guess that's what the handsome prince was thinking  when he rescued Rapunzel. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

27 Random Things I Learned From Driving Across the Country With Four Children

Well, after all that to-do about how I wouldn't be posting anytime soon...we decided not to go to Big Bear this week, and I've got a quiet evening to myself, while Chris plays basketball. So.... i will give you a little bit more detail about the last several weeks of my life.

As is our usual Christmas tradition, we drove to Dallas, TX for the holidays to spend the time with my family and friends. While we've always flown, having four kids over the age of two made that a financial impossibility this year, so we decided to truck it. We had a wonderful time driving through California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and it was fun to see the land. The three days of driving each way was a very educational experience for me, and I thought you might enjoy hearing what I learned.

1. There are five prisons between Santa Barbara, CA and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
1b. There is one windmill.
2. It is possible for the one and a half hour drive between Phoenix and Tucson to turn into a six hour drive.
3. Truck drivers know everything that's happening on the roads ahead of them.
4. Truck drivers are very friendly to women who stick their heads out the window and ask them to share their infinite knowledge.
5. A little dust storm can cause a lot of damage!
6. If you ever need to steer around Hwy. 10 in Arizona because you've been sitting still on the road for hours due to your second encounter with a 20 car pile-up, driving over dirt roads that run through cotton fields is an excellent option.
6b. This Should not be attempted if your car doesn't have a GPS system.
7. If you happen to be driving on dirt roads through cotton fields in Arizona, this is a wonderful educational opportunity. Pull the car over and pick some cotton to show your children.
8. It's possible for a dust storm to get so bad that you can't see anything outside of your car.
8b. This is a bad time to be exploring Arizona by way of a dirt road.
8c. It's also a bad time to decide that you want to educate your children by running out into a field to pick cotton for them.
9. My children are amazingly well behaved in the car.
10. Bribing the kids with various gifts every couple hours goes a long way toward keeping them well behaved.
11. Gideon can amuse himself for hours, playing "war" with two pencils and a piece of paper.
12. My children aren't so well behaved when we let them out of the car after driving for several hours.
13. I can no longer take pride in the fact that I don't get carsick
14. Chocolate milkshakes go a long way toward curing my carsickness. Starbucks hot chocolate: not so much.
15. My children's cheeks turn red when they ride in the car for an extended length of time
16. The majority of trucks on the road between Santa Barbara, CA and Dallas, TX are from Indiana, Maine, and Tennessee (in that order). (Why maine?? What on earth does the whole country need from Maine??)
17. There are two major choices for driving from California to Texas: Hwy 10 and Hwy 40
18. Hwy 40 has a lot more snow and windmills. Hwy 10 has a lot more dust and prisons.
19. There is a mass exodus occuring from Minnesota to the southwestern part of the country.
20. While there may be hundreds of Mennesotans driving on Hwy 40, we couldn't find a single one driving on Hwy 10.
21. The Grand Canyon is beautiful when it's covered in snow.
22. When the Grand Canyon is covered in snow, it's a bad idea to walk out to the very edge, because it may not be the edge at all.  It may just be a big chunk of snow that's sticking off of the edge, and it may not be strong enough to hold your weight.
23. It's a bad idea to go walking around in snow, when you have holes in your shoes.
24. A three day car trip is the perfect time to knit a scarf.
25. If you want to knit a scarf in three days, you must knit for the entire three days.
26. It's possible for Dallas to have a white christmas!
27. As fun as it is to go on a road trip, and spend time with family and friends, it's a wonderful feeling to be home again.

One small step...

I know I've beem MIA since December. Our family took a road trip to Texas so we could celebrate the holidays with friends and family there. We had a wonderful time, and I have a whole post written in my head about it. But today is not that day. I'm still trying to get my life back in order after all the holiday chaos. (We still have a pile of Chistmas presents waiting for a certain someone -- you know who you are. And the funny thing is that they probably won't be getting them until my birthday, which is this Friday.) So... once I recover, I hope to continue with all of my regular fun posts that I was doing here. But that probably won't be for awhile still, because today, I'm packing up the family, so we can go to Big Bear to play in the snow for a few days.

But the point of this post is not to give you a million excuses for why I haven't written, or why I don't intend to write for a while longer. The point of this post is to share some exciting news.

Today, I mailed off the last of the forms we needed for our adoption and homestudy agencies, which brings us one small step closer to bringing our new baby home! Next, we need to meet with our "buddy family", and take one more class through our homestudy agency. After that, we will be assigned a social worker, who will interview us several times. I hope to be finished with all that by the end of February. Then it will take the social worker some time to write up her report, so I'm hoping that by the end of March, we'll be on the waiting list for our baby! Woo hoo!!!