Sunday, February 27, 2011

On to the next....

All day my brain has just been totally buzzing! I finished two amazing books last night and while it is bitter sweet to put them back on the shelf for safe keeping I was not disappointed.

First, I know I have been raving since Christmas about The Historian, but I promise to you, for very good reason. If you get the chance - pick it up. It was awesome in a way that I haven't ever experienced before. The closest thing to feeling this way about a book would have to be the Harry Potter series - you dont want to put it down until you finish. Of course this is much more adult but there really is something timeless about the good vs evil theme. This had an interesting element though of time running out vs endless time. Truly, just wonderful.

The image onthe cover is of the real life Vlad Tepes:

He doesn't look as scary as he is portrayed in the novel but he really was one awful dude - yeah the actual person Bram Stroker's Dracula was based on -- not a very nice guy. Anyway, I am really excited for this to hit movie theaters because Kostova said (and I quote) "Something I feel certain about is that Dracula should not be played by a familiar face because it's just not that scary; there's not the true strangeness you'll need in a figure like that with a famous actor." Now Sony just needs to get their butts in gear and get this thing produced!

One major image from the book I just have to share (by image I mean there are no pictures, I found this only after searching it in curiosity). This is St. George battling "The Dragon"

The other book that I finished World War Z didn't even compare to The Historian  but it was still really good because it got me thinking about modern warfare and possible future crises that we are sure to face, as a nation, and eventually as man kind.

Some of the most interesting "interviews" that stood out to me, were those of secrecy and corruption - all the people who were committing horrendous acts of violence and horror against other (non infected) human beings and blaming it on the fear of death by didn't seem that far fetched to me. In fact I have a mind to believe that such things are already happening all over the world and the only thing that would change in the face of a crisis is that the rich dont have to pretend they are doing nothing wrong, they just get to do it, because who is going to stop them?

Other things I really liked (which also didn't seem far fetched) were about the will to live. There was a military department called DeStRes - The Department of Strategical Resources which among other things found itself occupied with the need to improve morale among surviors of the zombie war. People would just go to sleep at night with no physical problems and will themselves to die in their sleep. So the DeStRes people would travel all over the place to film survivors in action, taking a stand, then make movies out of hte footage and show them at refugee camps - suddenly those over night death numbers started falling. Really cool.

And I know I am rambling on now but there was one more really cool bit about (North or South?) Korea and how everyone thought before WWZ broke out, that they were planning an aggressive military attack on another country. To prepare they were building underground tunneling systems and cities where they would retreat after beginning their attack. Then suddenly, without attacking, everyone just disappeared. Somehow they knew something was going to happen. The interview is taking place after the majority of war efforts has come to an end and the interviewee is discussing how no one knows where the entrance to the tunnel system is so no one can tell this entire underground population "come on out it's safe now!" But the even creepier part is, what if they did find the entrance and opened it up to have millions of zombies come pouring out after the world has worked to overcome the majority of the zombie problem.

Overall it just really had me thinking about how various governments, populations, social classes, and individuals handle world wide crises and in a lot of ways World War Z is a best possible outcome type of result - especially when compared to "Dawn of the Dead."

Since there are 2 open spots on the night stand now I have picked up The Expedition of Humphry Clinker and for book club The Abstinence Teacher. I also am ready to wrap up The Romantics  - I can't take any extra wedding stuff right now. The girls and I spent hours working on oragami bouquets today, don't get me wrong I love to help and I love crafts but this wedding can't come soon enough, I'm ready to celebrate already...mmmm mmmm mmm wedding cake.

Friday, February 25, 2011

5 Signs You're Horrible at Reading Her Signals

This morning I read an article (on my beloved Yahoo! news screen) called, 5 Signs She is Into You. See it for yourself here:

1. She touches herself - after laughing at this one like an 11 year old boy for about 5 minutes I found they really mean, she primps herself (fixes her hair, goes to the bathroom to check her make up, etc.) Ok, I carry a pressed powder compact in my purse at all times, but in the 4 years I have had it and it has probably expired, I can count on one hand the number of times I have used it. And in those times, I don't think once was to "fluff up" while on a date. As far as my hair goes, if I take the trouble to do it nice for you (which I hardly ever will, I don't even own a blow dryer) I will hairspray it with something equal to cement and not touch it again all night. Above all, if I keep running to the bath room it's because I have had 4 glasses of iced tea and my kidneys are the veterans of a heavy-weight-gain-pregnancy, they hold about 1 fluid oz each before needing to be emptied.
"My insides match my outsides- fake ~ Daniel Tosh"

2. She asks about your family - not that I am or ever was an expert on the dating game. Any success I had was the result of nodding and giggling a lot. Furthermore, the way I landed my knockout of a boyfriend was sheer luck. That being said, it seems to me an expert date/advice giver would tell you not to talk about anything family related with a prospective guy until about 6 months into a committed relationship because you might scare him away right? If I ask about your family though, I guess in a round-about way it's because I'm into you -- but mostly I want to know what I am getting into. With Steve, I really lucked out, as far as his family goes, I love them all, and on occasion refer to various family members as "my favorite D____."

3. She is attentive - Not that I wasn't into Steve in the beginning, because our chemistry has always been intense. But I don't think I was ever attentive until most recently when I myself became a more nurturing person as a mom. And as much as it pains me to admit, I haven't always been the nicest girl to date, I was a pure nightmare in my younger/single-er years, believe me it was all about getting mine even if I really was into a guy, being attentive to his needs was the last thing on my mind. *Note: I like the new me better :)

All for you my love, all for you ;)

4. She is touchy-feely - When I read the first one, my reaction, was no she won't touch herself, she will touch you! And alas here it is.I don't think that the "knee-tap" is what I had in mind though - I would consider holding hands, stroking your hair, etc. If I accidentally stepped on your toes under the table and you think that means you will get are a moron.

My toes have never been so turned on

5. The date lasts longer than you expected - does this mean we go for pie and discuss the movie afterward a-la Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette?? If so, I am definitely into you. Also, this probably means I am living in a fantasy world where men want to talk Elvis over pie into all hours of the night and someone should get me started on Lithium - stat! If this means the date lasted longer because we went home and hooked up, don't count your chickens yet buster. Ever hear of the movie "He's just not that into you?" - well the latest trend among women is that *gasp!* she really just wants to get laid too and the pretense of dinner and a movie is just as lame to her as it is to you.

Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate

Yeeesh - I think I have become a cynic...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Tale About Tattling

Who is worse the kid who tattles or the kid who is being tattled on?

I agree, tattling is irritating and in a lot of ways it is a bad behavior all its own. But this thing that we tell kids not to do, seems to have lasting negative effects later in life too.

Example: If a Johnny knows his best friend Sammy is cheating on his Girlfriend Suzie - it's not unfathomable that he will keep quiet - bros before hoes. But in the case Suzie isn't a ho, she's really good friends with Johnny and has a right to know Sammy is sleeping around. But Johnny was taught not to ever tattle.

I don't know if that was the best example but hopefully you see where I am going with this yeah?

I guess as a parent this is just an issue I know I will eventually be confronted with. Sure Aiden doesn't have siblings but I know for a fact he's going to be playing with a particularly menacing little boy at the lake all summer every summer and the situation is bound to come up.

Typically parenting police will tell you to follow the 3 D's - deadly, dangerous, destructive. If something is happening that falls into these categories - tell your kids to tell you immediately. If it doesn't they need to learn to keep quiet. I've also heard of telling your kids to know the difference between a tattle (i.e. Sammy called Suzie a stupid head) and reporting (i.e. Sammy is planning to kill Johnny with a gun).

My mom's strategy was "If you aren't bleeding or dead, I don't want to know about it."

I was definitely not a tattle tale - I never ratted my sister or other playmates out for anything. Mom was very clear about this rule and the punishment for tattling was always severe. So I don't tattle.

But then I got to an age where you could say that some seriously destructive things were being done to me. And I was participating and/or a witness in dangerous behavoir. But I never spoke up. I either dealt with things myself or in the event I didn't know how to deal, I would carry it with me (might I say the scars and the secrets run deep inside this tattooed body and I will need a large coffin because I'm taking some major things to my grave).

Obviously, for better or worse I have survived and am here to tell the tale but it makes me think, "fuck the 3 D's." I would rather have a child who is a tattle tale and to know that he knows without a doubt what is wrong vs right; furthermore that he never feels he has to shoulder any issue big or small alone - than to have him ever feel a minute like he is totally alone.

And furthermore, if/when tattling becomes and issue I feel that instead of telling a kid not to do it because it is annoying or incovienent to a parent, it can be a learning opportunity. Just because a child tattles doesn't mean a parent has to rush in to police a situation. The parent, who engages in parenting effectively, would take the chance to say, "I know that you came to me because something is wrong and you don't know how to deal with it. So, together, lets brainstorm some things that you can do to fix it, end it, or ignore it. Then you can go back to where you came from and carry out the best option."

This way, I know my kid knows right from wrong. He is unafraid to ask for help. And in the grand scheme of things we have an open relationship where he can tell me anything.

I guess when the problem comes up I will tell you how it all plays out (could be awhile) but I think I'm going against the book on this one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube

I was the first person to say I'd be there no matter what.

Well today was supposed to be day 2 of 30 days of I'm going to stick to it and not let this horrible mood ruin my plans. Though they have changed a bit - I was planning to say that the thing I love most about myself if my forgiving nature but you don't really want to hear anything philosophical from me today since it is likely to be tainted by my mood...

So instead....

 Something I love about myself is my voracity for books, reading, learning, and vocabulary.

Recently, I watched every single episode of desperate housewives (about 150) in a matter of just under a month. And there was a character played by Julie Benz who I LOVE - I have had a thing for her since her Buffy/Angel days. Anyway, on "Sex and the Suburbs" (what I call Des. HW's) she plays a stripper who wants to make more of her life and begins by reading Moby Dick. This is a selection from the list of "100 Books to Read Before You Die" - hearing this my heart stopped...There is such thing?!?! How did I not know?!?! It's like my own personal bucket list. Thanks to my International Baccalaureate Education (I never get tired of spelling that out) I have read 30 of the books.

I ordered 6 from the list to read next (this will be inclusive with the books still on my list but not this particular list) and I marked about 6 more to order after that/ask for for my birthday.

1. I am a nerd and I love it
2. Thank God I read 4 at a time or I would never get through all this
3. is like books for free - I have been boycotting big book chains for about a year now and am happy to see Borders going under

Back to the topic at hand - how silly is it that this list has made me more excited than anything else in months? I love this about myself. The need to read and learn new words and new theories, thoughts, and opinions. The    desire to fill my head with a million tid bits that will only ever be useful in the occasional trivia tournament at my retirement home and the sensation of the last page of a book - it's like the mutual end of a beautifully romantic relationship.

And the smell of books - I have always been fixated with the feel of them. Since becoming a devout Amazon buyer the smell of used books has become equally intoxicating.

Today, I love that I can escape this rotten day with the end of The Historian, the turn of events in The Romantics, a peculiar account of underground tunnels in S. Korea in WWZ, and the abolition of slave trade in Georgian England in An Interesting Narrative.

Oh yeah!
 This also makes my day livable....

Can You overcome this heart that's overcome?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lets catch up :)

Last week I had so many opportunities to blog, but nothing worth saying. And now that I should realllllly be reading Equiano's An Interesting Narrative - I would rather catch up on our eventful weekend with you.

Friday night was extremely uneventful, as is usual when you have kids. But it's still really important to me that it is a special occasion every week because you should always have somehting to look forward to at the end of a hard week, even if it is just coming home to these crazies! So we baked cookies (by baked I mean literally, all we did was put them in the toaster oven for 10 lazy can you get - the cookie dough is premade and frozen and we didn't want to wash, dirty, and rewash a cookie sheet). We are aswesome...
As any cookie afficianado knows, dunking in milk is mandatory for maximum enjoyment - Aiden has never dunked his cookies before and thought it looked like a good idea after seeing Mom and Dad do it, and he became an instant addict --
Also, he got to test our his new toy box, but not with toys. My dad and I got an idea for a Thomas the Train toy box at Christmas but never got it finished. The deal was he would build it and I would paint it, but the holidays got busy and then he had his little health scare after the New Year and the toy box fell by the wayside. Anyway, Steve has been a huge help getting it finished up building, not only does he have the tools and garage space my dad needed but also the motivation - Dad gets stuck on projects a lot...

Here is the finished built project -- once the funds are available there will be Thomas and friends painted on the sides and such.

Aiden wasn't the only one to test the toy box, Dexter got in on the action too!

After a couple relaxing days at home we headed up to the mountains for some snow fun - in case anyone forgot, it is actually winter (says the girl who wore flip flops today...)

Aiden went sledding -- he is such a snow lover! I would have never guess based on his first experience but we can't hardly keep him out of the snow now. What's more, he likes to eat it, and he won't even pick it up first, he'll just bend over, squat, lay on his belly, ect.. and just lick it of the ground!! So funny.

After sledding Steve and I went to see True Grit. The remake of the John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn. I loved it. I didn't remember it being so funny when I was little, probably because I was too young to understand the humor but as soon as I come across a VCR I will find out what the story is there. The VHS tape was one of the first things I inherited from my grandparent's house - I used to climb up in my grandpa's lap and tell him I wanted to watch "The Rattlesnake Movie" all the time, it was our thing. Watching it yesterday made me miss him a lot. I wonder what he would have thought of Jeff Bridges in John Wayne's role. Barry Pepper who funny enough, played Ned Pepper, was amazing! I don't remember seeing him anywhere else but he has had roles in a lot of war movies including Private Ryan, so hopefully we see more of him soon.

The movie also had me thinking of the Oscars coming up - such a shame that it is all so political anymore. It seems unlikely that Bridges can win again even though he really deserves it for this performance. But if it goes to Jesse Eisenberg I'll be ticked - sure he was good in The Social Network but it seemed like he kinda just played himself, the day Eisenberg can pull off a Rooster Cogburn, then he can have my vote.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot to show you how Evil Kenevil broke a sled this weekend...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just really thankful

That I have a beautiful, healthy, smart, baby boy sound asleep in the next room. It brings tears to my eyes to know I am so blessed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day One: Something you hate about yourself

Let me preface my "30 Days of Truth Journey" by saying this: this is not an aim to change anyone or anything about myself - this is an aim to be completely honest.

Something I hate about myself, is my inner voice/expectations of myself and my capabilities. While I do like to be pushed and challenged and have people whom I respect tell me that I am capable of more and I need to achieve it - my inner voice seems to always expect 110% percent and is very unforgiving.

It's a bit more complicated though -- I expect the least/worst from everyone I know. I assume I will be let down, I predict others will ruin my plans, I count on having my hard work, opinions, advice, etc. thrown out. I wish I could expect better of others but alas it is even more twisted than that: the reason I expect so little of others is because I often feel taken advantage of. I feel like others assume I will take care of things they don't want to, I think because I work so hard that other people believe I have extra time or ability to handle their mistakes, and worst of all, I myself have allowed this to happen so many times that I tell myself if I don't do it, it won't get done.

So I have come to expect of myself what I perceive other's expect of me which is literally that they expect everything of me - and maybe it is like I said a product of expecting so little of others or maybe it is that I am taken advantage of - but it is what it is. I expect myself to do, handle, fix, and prepare everything for everyone.

And this is what I hate about myself - my inner voice is extremely hard on me. 

As I mentioned, I don't plan on changing this, at least not now, and in this case I think it's because I don't really know how.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shinning a light in the dark

I mentioned a couple posts/weeks ago that I have been trying to get through my book list more quickly...well the mid week switch up is working. I finished "Waking the Tiger" and it has really had a very spiritual, profound effect on me. It's a pretty technical book, lots of psychology about trauma and recovery and on and on - to spare you, I will mention a couple things that really stuck with me...

Animals have a few possible responses to danger/threat - the obvious ones that we hear all the time are flight or fight, but there is also freeze. While it seems like a weak response because sometimes freezing has less than favorable results (ie the deer in the headlights) but there are some animals that benefit from it. Remember in Dinner for Schmucks how Steve Carrell would just freeze and play dead when people attacked him? And then they would leave him alone because it's not much fun to beat up on something dead - well turns out this totally works for small animals. Doves for example, if grabbed from behind will freeze up, and if you turn them upside down they will remain frozen, feet sticking upward and not move for several minutes. When you set them back down, the will unfreeze and continue on as if nothing had happened. What could this possibly have to do with me you's my new personal coping mechanism - well it has been for a long time but now it has a name. Levine says that it is totally possible for people to experience trauma or loss or threat and to freeze - freeze their emotions, freeze their reactions, etc. and to continue on with life until they are ready to revisit and deal with it. So when I am asked why it is so hard to go visit my grandparents, or to talk about my trauma, or abandonment issues, and I say I just don't want to - it's because I am freezing it for right now and when I am capable I will revisit.

Another tidbit I really liked from the book was a line where Levine says, "Success doesn't mean winning, it means simply surviving and being alive," this means so much to me in the midst of all the chaos of my life. By no means am I winning the rat race, but I am surviving, what's more I am alive and while I struggle everyday to be a good mom, finish school, earn enough money at work, give Steve a meaningful relationship - I am striving in the midst of all of it. And just to prove to Levine that I was listening - I realize now what my Dad meant when he said "You've been through a lot and you don't deserve any of it" and I appreciate his sentiment - but now I also know what to respond (months later). I know, because of the strength of my faith, that God did not decide one day to smite me. I know that I have an immune deficiency because of complicated genetic factors and environmental enfluences. I know that people die because it is the circle of life. And I know that there is no one out there who decided to maliciously hurt me when they woke up one morning. Life is a series of decisons made by people whose actions we can't control and it is also a matter of living with the consequences of those decisions knowing they can't be changed but by simply surviving them.

One last thought - Levine also says that when something bad happens and we ask ourselves why, we are trying to apply meaning to it. All we need in moments of fear is awareness - to be aware of our surroundings, our feelings, our safety and that which threatens it. There is not necessarily meaning in a lot of things, but by simply being aware, we are giving ourselves all the tools we need to survive it.

Anyway, I loved this book, it really broadened my horizons and if you need to get your thinker a thinkin' its worth a read. Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine.

Since I am sure this is all really only interesting to me now that I have finished, here is a special treat for making it through the jibber jabber - a special some one lighting up the dark in his own way...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snow Day Blog Day

We have 4 inches according to the news but I'm sure if the weather man had to get in and out of our unplowed "cul-de-sac" he would adjust that number significantly. Maybe the 4 inches applies to some scientific-weatherific formula and it is exactly precise but lets try a different formula:

Our "cul-de-sac" (note the quotations), doesn't have it's own name, it is just part of Florida Ave, so I guess as far as the city is concerned, since Florida Ave has been plowed our little 4 house semi cirlce doesn't need any special attention. So, that four inches that was piled uniformly accross Florida Ave is now piled about ten inches high (on top of our 4 inches) accross the entrance to our "cul-de-sac" -- how is it possible that the road immediately outside my door can be any worse than HWY 93 on a day like this??? Oh it's possible...

So since we're snowed in...I'm catching up on pictures/blogging from the weekend (which included a really fun snow day!).

Super Bowl Sunday - since we don't care about the Packers and definitely not about the Steelers, Sunday was all about the food. As I mentioned I selected a slow cooked ribs recipe from my slow cooker recipe book "Maple Ribs" -- it turned out to be really easy! The hard part was browning the 8 pounds of ribs on all sides before getting them into the cooker - I just didn't have enough hands! But after that It was a matter of mixing maple syrup and spicy brown mustard which looked disgusting but after a couple minutes of measure and stir that was all there was to it. I did experience the joy of slicing an onion into ringlets for the first time - that was intimidating but with luck I didn't even need my back up onion - but it's now Tuesday and my fingertips still smell like onion.


piled up in the cooker

cookin away!

Since that ended up being a lot easier than I anticipated, I had time to make some little weenies (also very easy - boil and smother) and I improvised a queso dip too! Left over velveeta from slow cooker mac n cheese and rotel and sausage - I think I have Chile's recipe.
There was so much food that by the end of the 1st quarter of the game I was totally full, totally bored and ready for a nap! Is it just me or did SUper Bowl commercials used to be soooooo funny? Now it's all about who is in it (Beiber and Ozzy, Eminem, Simon etc. etc. etc....) it seems to me that like 10 years ago they were ridiculously hilarious and never had anyone famous in them! Though I will say that last year's Letterman/Oprah/Leno was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Anyways, while I was inside cooking the boys were outside playing - my frontyard is now a race track!

These busy boys went through about 4 pairs of snow mittens and 3 cups of hot chocolate -- but they had a blast. Aiden was really so sad he had to come inside...until he saw all the goodies on the coffee table and began to munch away.

Today looks like it might be a different story though, the snow is still coming down and by the time Aiden gets up from his nap it's probably going to be so crappy and cold out that he won't be enjoying it much. But that is because he was up all night on and off -- nope these days never do go away all together...

Sleep has been a really tough thing to corner for me with Aiden - it didn't occur to me to ask anyone for help until Aiden was 9 months old, I just figured I was going through the typical stages, needless to say I have had my "what will you do different next time?" answer ready since then! Anyway, he was such a good bedtime sleeping after that until just a couple months ago. We thought he was ready for a big boy bed but turns out he wasn't, it was a nightmare and we had to go back to the crib.

When I talked to the doctor though she reassured me that everyone lives out that nightmare while transitioning to a big kid bed. Turns out, we are ahead of the curve on potty training and what most people don't know is that doing both at once can hinder success for both. Since we went back to the crib, his potty training seems to be back on track. Most people/experts/baby police tell you that if you don't have complete success in one month you need to start over but I don't know how we would even go about that -- tell him the potty is bad? Take it away for a week and reintroduce it?? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard -- especially because Aiden knows what it is, what its for, and even if he can't say "I need to go now" he has interest in going all the time anyway and when he has an accident he is aware of yeah it's taking more than a month but thank God I don't have to have everything done just the way the books say because he's going to be such an independent little boy. He's going to do things at his pace and his comfort level and the best part is that he will be aware of what he is doing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mid-Week To-do List...

Some things that need doing....

1. I need to clean out my blog queue - I have so many blogs that I don't actually follow that I am following. The only blogs I really need are: Abby's because I love hearing about her kids, and her cooking blog because it makes me feel like I want to cook something more than mac n cheese ;). Also, my college room mate's because she is such a good writer/thinker, and a friend's from high school because sometimes a blog is the only way to keep in touch and have the conversations you never have time for. I will be doing away with all other cooking blogs because there is no way I will ever live up to them, and New Dress A Day has kind of run it's course for me, so it's out. I do want to keep those of close friends though - there's only one now but I'm sure more will follow...they always do. I think its time to ditch the photography blogs and the anonymous motherhood blogs because I am not feeling so alone as a mother as I used to be so they don't do me much good anymore.

2.Homework - I give myself a freebie this week because I have been sick, but it is officially on my checklist to never be working on unfinished homework the day it is due again! After today...

3. Buy a new camera - not in the market for anything fancy, and waiting for my finances to level out a little but I think at the end of the week I will have a 100 dollar budget for a new one. The fact is, Steve needs one for work and I can't be documenting every moment of Aiden's life without one so it's time.

4.  Cooking - As I mentioned being so inspired....I picked out three recipes to whip up this weekend (whip up is not quite accurate because one needs to cook for almost 8 hours) but I am determined to domesticate myself in this way...especially since we deep cleaned the house late last night, I need a new home-endeavor.

5. Time for an attitude check - I need to remind myself usually every week about half way through that I can not control the actions of other people and that being upset doesn't do me any good. Everyone will do what they will no matter what and it's best to focus on yourself. Okay maybe this should be on my daily checklist...

6. Keep up with the girls - Sometimes we go a week without talking, yikes! And if anyone knows this fact, it's me: a lot can happen in a week. I want to try to check in with the girls each at least once a week until it becomes so established that I am checking in every day (okay that's least every couple days). Sometimes being there is done by being proactive!

7. I want to check my book list every week mid week - right now it is huge! And it helps that I read 4 at a time but recently a couple have fallen victim to others (because lets face it some books are just better) but I want to implement a new system where mid week, I swap one of the better of the four for one of the worse and give it a fighting chance, thus putting a bigger dent in my book list. In case you were wondering - currently reading The Romantics (ironic since one of my friend's is planning a wedding right now), The Historian (I've been going to bed with Dracula A LOT recently - soooo good!), World War Z (finally have it down to 100 pages left - anxious to see Brad Pitt in the part of the reporter....also the website is so fun: and finally Waking the Tiger (it's all about how humans and animals deal with trauma...very good read! I really hope Peter Levine gives another talk in Denver soon).

8. Enjoy more family time - this is hard because by mid week I am swamped with school and if I am going to be getting my homework done on time from now on it will be even harder. But I want to maintain dinner with my dad one night a week and color with Aiden as much as I can and even if I have to double up on somethings I want to prioritize my time with Steve because as I noticed last night, sometimes a hug is all I need from him to make me feel better, so I want to ensure a good daily dose, even if I am just making him watch Desperate Housewives with me...

9. Ask for apologies - Probably doesn't belong on my mid week check list...but sometimes I feel slighted or hurt and I just let it go. Not always bad but after talking with a good friend this morning I wanted to remind myself that it's okay to ask for an apology when I feel I deserve one. Besides, most people will not change nor feel sorry unless they are told they need to.

10. I want to do 30 days of truth - and I think I will do one a week.

Anyway, as I mentioned I need a new camera, so the next blog will hopefully have photos - possibly photos of my cooking success!!

*Here's hoping I make it to next week*