Friday, August 28, 2009

The glass is half-empty, and it's cracked, and really nobody wanted that yucky water anyway

The summer "last hurrah" week has been busy. Within the last 7 days, we have been to Day Out With Thomas, the movies, the beach, the splash pad, a Cubs game, and a new children's museum. And today this exhausted mom went out to lunch at an actual restaurant and then to the movies with my new friend Carolyn, who I met under very unusual circumstances.

Speaking of unusual circumstances, on the way home from the Cubs game I ended up crammed on the Red Line car next to one of my former students. One of my former students from California. She was on vacation with her family. The thing is, I remember everything about this girl, from her mom's last name (not the same as the girl's) to what they got me for Christmas (a book about organic gardening and a potato scrubber). And I had a lot of students. But the girl's mom didn't remember me at all. And I am pretty sure she hated me when I had the girl in my class.

It was truly a very weird coincidence. One of those "of all the L cars in all the world, she had to walk into mine" kinds of things. Or something. I couldn't believe how weird it was. But I couldn't just leave it at that. In typical Shannon fashion, I had to launch into some big pondering about my "old life." By which I mean, the life where I was an elementary school teacher and single. And a lot thinner, which sounds like it isn't that big of a deal, but it really is.

I was not too happy the year I had that girl in my class. I had a class full of geniuses, several of whom had weird behavioral problems. One kid peed on the handball wall. Another kid had to be pried out from under the table. Parents were on my case a lot. The principal was always mad at me for something like having papers on the floor of my classroom. There was so much drama. I cried in front of my students and had to go home early. (As an aside, that was the day I decided to adopt a cat, and I got my sweet Leia out of all of it.)

There was so much drama back then. On top of my professional woes, I was also planning my wedding and a subsequent move all the way across the country. I had neither a home nor a job in Chicago.

I can definitely say that I am way happier in my current life than I was back then. I might dare say I am happier now than I have ever been. The first 25 or so years of one's life are so tumultuous. And even though I think I had a great childhood and a very fortunate young adulthood, there was just so much drama.

But I'm also one of those people who believes that if things start going too well, some horrible tragedy is bound to befall you. (I know, I'm a real optimist.) So I'm going to spend the next few months hiding under a pile of pillows, just to be safe.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Like I'm Mother Theresa or Something

I'm just going to start out by telling you why I am the most awesome human being ever. So, today the boy and I dashed into Subway for a quick lunch before my 1:00 appointment with my crazy meds doctor. Or so I thought it would be quick. Unfortunately several tweens/teens from the local junior high had just descended upon Subway. Overall, they were super well-behaved and not annoying like some teenagers, but I was truly saddened by the following situation.

One boy was not in line with his friends. He told his friend that he didn't have any money with him, and asked the friend to please buy him a bottled water if the friend had any leftover money. About 5 minutes later (still in line), the friend-with-money told the friend-without-money, "Hey, look, I don't think I'll have any money to buy you anything, because I'm gonna get like a super-giant sandwich, a drink, chips, and a cookie." And I swear to you, the other kid had to walk outside because he didn't want his friend to see him crying. I thought this whole thing was super rotten on the part of the friend with money. So, when it finally became my turn to order, I made my sandwich a meal and got some chips, which I gave to the kid along with the water I bought. I told him I was on a diet and didn't want the chips.

Now, it's not like this is the charitable act of the century, I mean he was just a kid with a cool cell phone in a middle-class suburb who happened not to have any cash. And really, I'm a jerk for even bringing it up, like I deserve some accolades. I just want to get it in writing that I have some good dieting karma coming my way, and that I'd BETTER lose weight tomorrow at my Weight Watchers weigh-in. Because that's how you lose weight, by doing good deeds.

Okay, now that I've gotten that anecdote recounted, today I'd like to talk about the issue of being overscheduled versus underscheduled. This wasn't a problem when I was working, of course. But when I quit my job, everybody (including the afore-mentioned crazy meds doc) told me I would have to make sure my days were really structured. So I signed the boy up for Monday/Wednesday free play at the park district, and Tuesday music class. At the time, he was going to daycare Wednesdays after free play, as well as all day Thursday. Fridays I would try to take him to some fun outing like a children's museum or park. I liked the idea that I had something to get us out the door every single day.

But right off the bat, I hated that stupid free play. It was just hanging out in the basement of the park district with a bunch of people's hand-me-down toys. Why should I work to get us out the door when we have perfectly good toys at home, I wondered. This became especially true in the winter, when I would have to shovel 6 inches of snow off our driveway and battle the boy into his winter coat to go to the stupid free play.

And two days of daycare time ended up being too much. Between daycare and our classes, we were never able to schedule anything with friends who wanted to get together. And it turns out that a big part of a toddler's day is already scheduled by naps and meals anyway. So we cut back to one day a week of daycare, which I primarily use for errands and appointments, and occasionally to watch a movie or take a nap.

My gym visits ended up taking up a chunk of time, too. It takes me about an hour and a half to work out, get changed/shower, and drive the round-trip to the gym. In the toddler world, an hour and a half is a big chunk of the half-day known as Pre-Nap. (There is another part of the day known as Post-Nap, of course, but I seldom visit the gym during Post-Nap.)

You would think after 6 months or so of tweaking our schedule, that I would have gotten down to the perfect balance of activities. But the summer felt like an overscheduling disaster, albeit a fun one. The boy was going to a little camp that was only two 90-minute sessions a week, but which somehow took up the entire morning two days a week. He did swimming lessons one morning a week, I did aquacize twice a week, we still had our one daycare day, and we were in the summer reading club at the library. Sometimes on Sunday nights I would think about the upcoming week and feel as overwhelmed as I did when I was working. Though I would like to once again mention that being overwhelmed by driving your cute toddler to cute toddler activities is way better than being overwhelmed by correlating math textbooks to state standards.

Anyway, we lived through the overscheduling of June and July, and then all the toddler activities ended right before we took The Fabulous Trip. And now that we're back, we're in that lull between summer and fall, and there are no scheduled activities. And it's just like, there's nothing to do. I hate waking up in the morning and not knowing what the day holds for us. I mean, yes, I have a loose plan, but when you don't have anywhere you have to be, you can easily get sidetracked by household chores, petting the cat, etc.

So now I'm longing for some scheduled activities. There's just something about fall that makes you crave routine. So this morning, I went on the park district website and scheduled us up the wazoo. The boy will be returning to Music for Minors, the park district toddler music class that tires me out, but overall is a really great activity that requires very little effort/driving on my part. That's on Tuesdays. One Monday a month we'll be doing the nature class at the forest preserve, so the boy doesn't suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder. Wednesdays we plan to go to the new library story hour that's just for two-year-olds.

And that's just the boy. I signed myself up for ice skating lessons, which I'm really excited about. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I have some new classes at the gym I want to try.

So, let's hope that we achieve the right balance this fall. Lord knows I need to get myself on a very disciplined schedule before the winter hits.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You Know

Sometimes I think blogging is tiresome. Because it's all "let me proceed to recount the events of my life in great detail, with commentary," when in actuality you have already lived them and probably talked about them to death with other people. And I know you are under no obligation to talk about everything going on in your life, and I'm sure nobody does, but you have to draw from your own personal life to some extent when you write a blog. And I guess right now I would describe my life as "good, but nothing to write home about." I assume you understand that today's equivalent of "write home about" would be "blog about" or "update your Facebook status about." Then again, maybe the ease of updating people on your personal life kind of lowers the standards of what is actually news-worthy.

And now I'm off on a tangent. Anyway, here's what's been going on with me lately:

Our family had an awesome weekend! We went to Day Out with Thomas on Saturday, which was just the absolute perfect outing for a two-year-old. Not too expensive, not too overstimulating. Just good fun with a beloved engine that wasn't actually pulling the train behind him. Oh, and this really awful tour of a 1950s-era streamlined passenger train that had private berths that featured seating for two, a toilet, and two fold-out beds in an area the size of the interior of my Toyota Corolla. My claustrophobia was in full swing.

But overall, it was a good day, and we topped it off with a visit to Sweet Tomatoes in Schaumburg. Now, for you California folks (or maybe it's just Southern California, I'm not sure), Sweet Tomatoes is known there as the Souplantation. Also known as the favorite restaurant of both my dad and stepdad when I was growing up, though the least favorite restaurant of my mom. I remember it was always ugh, Souplantation again?! And I remember my parents taking me there when I was home for a weekend during college, and feeling like it was exactly like eating in the college dining commons, what with the buffet-style serving and the plastic trays and all. But now that I live in a place that is close to an hour from the nearest Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes, I get pretty excited when we just happen to be in the area.

It's seriously like the best and worst place to be while on Weight Watchers. On the one hand, it's a buffet, which means all-you-can-eat, and with Weight Watchers all-you-can-eat (or at least all you're supposed to eat) could fit in a teacup. But on the other hand, they have all kinds of things that are kind of exciting but low in Weight Watchers points. Like a raspberry mousse made with Splenda, or fat-free Edy's frozen yogurt. (Edy's is Dreyer's in California. Geez, there are a lot of different names here in Chicago. My least favorite one being washroom instead of restroom.) So at least at Sweet Tomatoes you don't have the experience of going to a restaurant and discovering that there's nothing you can eat there.

Sunday we took the boy to his first movie. And I have to say, watching my kid watch the movie was actually cuter than watching the actual movie. And we saw Ponyo, which was pretty much dripping in cute. The boy sat perfectly still the entire time, with his special kiddie tray of popcorn on his lap.

Now, let me pause to say that I was hesitant to set the precedent of purchasing snacks at the movies. I grew up in a family where you either snuck in your own snacks, or else had nothing. (Which, in retrospect, seems like kind of a bad moral lesson to be teaching your child, but maybe it's worth it given the price of movie snacks.) But never getting snacks at the movies left me with a constant desire for them, and as an adult I find myself getting snacks more often than not. Of course, given that I have seen a total of 3 movies at the theater in as many years, it's not like I'm breaking the bank buying movie snacks. To me, there is something about the way that movies just mesmerize you, mouth all agape and eyes open wide, that just begs for the slow-crunching of popcorn. And there is something about the saltiness of popcorn that begs for a soda. I also think Red Vines are a nice way to balance out that saltiness, but most movie theaters now sell the inferior Twizzlers.

Oh and also, I'm on Weight Watchers.

After the movie the family went to Trader Joe's. And by Sunday night, I had the house clean, the laundry done, and the groceries purchased.

So I felt pretty good spending Monday at the beach with my friend and her son. Now, here in Illinois, our beach is at Lake Michigan, which looks and feels enough like an ocean to make for a pretty good beach. As a bonus, it lacks the salty sea air that does weird things to your hair. Now, my mom told me that when my brother and I were little, she spent as much time at the beach with us as possible, because it's hard for kids to get into trouble there. And boy is that true. My friend and I mediated a few disputes over sand toys, but overall our two kids just played happily with nothing but sand and water to entertain them for hours.

But after the beach came the moment when I hated being a parent. The drive home was a little bit stressful because the kids were screaming, and then I got home with a big bag of sandy, wet clothing and towels, and I still had to get some dinner on the table. I was really missing the days when I could just eat a bag of chips for dinner and go to bed.

So this morning we all slept in, and then I took the boy to the splash pad. And he got so tired there that we all got a nice nap. Because I am a big fat lazy-ass.

The only other exciting thing going on with me is that I discovered some new ice cream sandwiches. Well, actually they are frozen yogurt sandwiches, with strawberry yogurt sandwiched between oatmeal cookies. They are made by Blue Bunny and they're called Sedona. They are 3 points on Weight Watchers.

And that is all.

Friday, August 21, 2009


That's all I can say right now. (Okay, that's not all I can say right now, as the following paragraphs will attest.)

Maybe it's a post-vacation letdown, but I just feel like life is so dull right now. The thing is, normally I kind of like dullness. It's nice when people ask you what's new and you can say "nothing." It's certainly better than having bad stuff going on in your life, and even the good stuff can be kind of stressful. I really just like getting up every day in the same house and doing the same stuff, with a little low-key excitement thrown in. And by "low-key excitement," I mean stuff like going to the park or a museum. I think my toddler son's love of cheap thrills has worn off on me.

But when you've been in Hawaii at the best hotel ever, wherein you had a constant view of the ocean, coming home to the center of the country is kind of boring. And it's like, "Ugh, I have to make three meals a day??

Shame on you, Hawaii, for making the rest of my life seem so boring.

But actually each day since we got back has improved in terms of its increasing normalcy. The first day back, we had no food and a bunch of chaos everywhere. But now the house is in a slight bit better state of order, and I am proud to say that I have not relied on a restaurant or take-out for SIX WHOLE DAYS!

So yesterday I went to Weight Watchers and found out I had lost 0.8 pounds since my last weigh-in, which was two weeks ago in California. At that California weigh-in, I had lost 0.8 pounds in my first week of vacation, which means my total weight loss for vacation was 1.6 pounds. I'm not sure how to feel about that. I mean, you could pee right before your weigh-in and lose 1.6 pounds. On the other hand, the ability to lose weight, or just fail to gain weight, is pretty good during vacation. And I guess I'm ultimately proud of myself for starting Weight Watchers before vacation, because at least I got a little bit of a jump-start on my weight loss.

However, I have only lost 7.2 pounds in my first month of Weight Watchers. Having a grand total of 75 pounds to lose, I really want to speed things up. My goal is to get to 10 pounds by next week if it kills me. Which it might, because it's looking like a bad gym week next week. It's the annual maintenance week, during which the pool is drained and the daycare has really crappy hours. I was thinking about using that week to try a new class at the gym, but none of them is scheduled during daycare hours. I should say, none of them except Cardio Spin is scheduled during daycare hours. And I'm sorry, I know some of you just love spinning, but I personally do not enjoy sitting on a hard bike seat the approximate width of my TV remote and willingly turning up the resistance on my stupid little wobbly bike. Oh, and the fact that you have to watch yourself in the mirror while doing all this is not sweetening the pot.

I'm thinking about taking on an ambitious workout plan for the fall. This is largely due to the fact that I'm a little bit bored of swimming, especially since it looks like I have broken my second waterproof MP3 player in six months. (And yeah, I know it's only stuff, it's not like a person is sick or dying, but can I briefly just vent my anger here and say F--K you, Speedo! And yes, I know I'm not hard-core because I used dashes instead of the real, whole word, but I hear you can get some really weird visitors to your blog if you use swear words. So just know I'm using the real word in my head.) Anyway. I still want to swim three times a week, but I want to throw in some other stuff, too. So I'm thinking about doing ice skating lessons Mondays, yoga Tuesdays, aquacize Thursdays, and a weight-lifting class Saturdays. Ideally I would like to swim Tuesdays before yoga, as well as Wednesdays and Fridays. This way I could have Sunday as a rest day, the way God intended.

Let me say, an ambitious workout schedule is not really something I normally do. I usually figure I'm just going to fail and be disappointed in myself, so why set such lofty goals to begin with? But I figure if I plan all these different activities and one of them doesn't work out, I will still have a whole bunch of others to fall back on.

Oh, and have I mentioned in the last 15 minutes that I struggle with depression? I hate to say it, but truly the only way I can keep it under control is with exercise. Now, let me back up and say that I don't think exercise alone is enough to cure most people's clinical depression. I am also a proud member of the Prozac Nation, and I go to therapy as well. I absolutely think anti-depressant medication is necessary for a large number of people (myself, obviously, included) because sometimes you need the medication to even get yourself motivated to exercise or do whatever else you need to do to improve your mental health. But I also believe that once you are motivated enough to make yourself better, you have a responsibility to do so. That is, you cannot just pop a pill and expect that it will solve all your problems (with the possible exception of Xanax). After you take a pill, you have to get the rest of the way on your own.

I think part of the meh-ness of this week has been because I've only been to the gym twice. As I said, the daycare situation is crummy during the last weeks of summer, and of course I have also had 50 other things to do. Is it actually at the point where I'm eager for fall to come so I can get back into the routine?

Well, not before my last hurrah week next week. More on that later.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This post brought to you by: Lame

I am feeling so very lame these days. Lame in that I think I could sleep all day. This morning the boy and I slept in until 10:00. Then we went to the gym, where I swam 2,300 yards. Which I do think was good for not having been to the gym in three weeks.

But then after that, I was seriously too lazy to drive to the mailbox to mail a letter, and I decided to just mail it from my home mailbox. That's right, too lazy to drive to a mailbox.

At home I made lunch for the boy and me, then put him down for a nap. I told myself I was going to get some chores done during his nap, but, oh, maybe I'll just lie down for a little while first. It was 2:00. That's right, a mere 4 hours since I had woken up. And really all I had done in the meantime was go to the gym and eat. And I slept for almost two hours!

And then after that? I was exhausted. I took the boy to the library to claim the lamest prize ever that he had won in the summer reading club raffle (2 children's tickets to the zoo, for which we have a membership anyway and could get free passes from the library if we wanted). The library was undergoing renovation, and the children's section was closed. So we went over to my friend's house so the boys could play and we could generally ignore them. And that's when the sky opened up and there was a torrential downpour, along with a thunder clap that actually made me jump. The it took us forever to get home because the viaduct was flooded, and I honestly thought I would fall asleep on the road, driving home from a house that is in the same town as I live in.

I made salmon burgers for dinner. They were so good. Then I telepathically asked Bill to give the boy a bath, and somehow he actually got the message. I was supposed to read the bedtime story, but I was too tired. Sensing a theme?

So, I don't know if I can blame my exhaustion on jet lag, almost a week after we got home. I mean, come on, it's not like we were in Europe or something. I think part of my fatigue is just getting back into shape to do my daily chores. I had two weeks off from most household frustrations, so I have to get back in the swing of things.

Oh, and I guess I could give myself credit for swimming 1 1/3 miles today. But I have it in my mind that a good person could work out and not be totally exhausted afterward. But, then, my overly-high expectations for myself are a topic for another blog post. Or therapy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Taken to the Cleaners

Our family is really screwed up, sleep-wise, right now. I blame jet lag, but maybe it's just because we are all really lazy. Or, in the case of the boy, just really resistant to sleeping in our own beds, which leads to late nights of protesting and exhaustion on everyone's part.

This morning the boy and I had plans to go visit his little friend and her family, who had just moved and needed help unpacking. We were supposed to leave at 9:00, but the boy was still asleep. I let this go until 9:15, and then I woke him up. At which point he said, and I quote, "No, I want to sleep." Now darned if I wasn't the stupidest mother alive for actually waking up a child who verbally expressed his desire to sleep. But what was I supposed to do? We had plans.

We got to the house (late), and I immediately realized how much more organized this newly-moved-into house was than my own lived-in-for-two years house. I find this fact very stressful. Clutter is my arch foe. My husband, however, seems to thrive on it. I find this clutter almost too much to handle, especially after we get back from vacation and things are in a state of disarray.

Anyway, while at my friend's house, my husband called to tell me that the dry cleaners had called to say they had ruined my black dress. This was the dress that I got compliments on, and they were glowing, "I love that dress!" kinds of compliments and not obligatory "Oh you look nice," kinds of compliments. But whatever, because I wore that dress for two events and I probably wouldn't have occasion to wear it again. If anything, getting reimbursed for it from the dry cleaners was actually the best possible situation for me.

Except then when I got home, I got an invitation for another wedding. A wedding this dress would have been perfect for. And I didn't even know this person was engaged, so I was super excited for her. Oh well, the wedding is on Halloween. Maybe I can just wear a costume instead. Though I think that might sort of be mocking the institute of marriage.

Then I took a big fat nap. I seriously felt like I had been drugged. And again, I'm not sure I can blame jet lag. I think with jet lag, you are supposed to be wide awake at certain times, just not the times appropriate the time zone you are in. I mostly feel tired all the time, though part of the problem is that I have stupidly taken on some dumb organizational projects to do on top of the general post-vacation chores. It is the time of year when office supplies are cheap at Target for back-to-school, so I bought a bunch of folders and stuff to try to get organized. It's always a great idea to start reorganizing your closets when your house really could just settle for a removal of suitcases and dirty clothes from the floor.

After the nap we had a pool date with our friends. Except we had to go to the other pool in town, because our regular pool is already closed for the season. How freakin' sad is that? So, this pool is called Dolphin Lake Pool. The baby pool has a big dolphin statue sticking up in the middle of it. However, it is against the rules to climb on the dolphin. So, whatever, Dolphin Lake Pool. Additionally, there is an actual lake next to the pool, where you are not allowed to swim, ice skate, or sail in boats. They do stock it for fishing, and other than that the acceptable activities at Dolphin Lake are looking at the lake or stepping in the generous amounts of duck crap that exist everywhere along the lakeshore.

For dinner the boy helped me make my new best friend, Pillsbury reduced-fat cinnamon rolls. At 3 points on Weight Watchers, I can really only afford to have one, but I like to include it as a sort of high-carb, nutritionally devoid "loss leader" at dinner. That is, it's something I can eat that makes me at least feel like I'm eating some kind of normal food. Really any bread product works as a loss leader, though the cinnamon rolls are good when you're making a Shannon favorite, breakfast for dinner.

And that is all for today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

And We're Back

So, it's been awhile. And I considered sitting down to write so many times, even logged onto Blogger a few times, but I never got around to writing. Then more and more would happen and I'd feel like I was more and more behind in my blogging, sort of like what happens when you don't update family photo albums (a topic that makes my shoulders tense up just thinking about it). And then you find the task of updating the world on your life to be more and more daunting, and you just keep procrastinating.

Except, it occurs to me that your blog does not have to be a comprehensive diary of everything that happens in your life. You have probably been properly updated on my life via Facebook, e-mail, phone calls, texts, online photos, or face-to-face interaction, and if you haven't you probably don't know me well enough to even care about all the details of my life. And just listing all these forms of communication really makes me realize how much of an obsession we have with constantly updating people on our lives.

Case in point: the Weight Watchers website now has a Facebook-style status update box, wherein you are supposed to list what you're doing right now. I guess as long as you don't list your status as "is eating a 7-layer chocolate cake," you're probably good.

So, I will not attempt to list everything that has happened since my last blog post. But, I do have an obsessive need to sum it up:

1) Two days before we were supposed to leave for the trip, the doctor put my husband in the hospital for testing because my husband said he was having occasional headaches accompanied by a tingling feeling. When Husband told me he needed to be admitted that night for an MRI, my mind went from zero to How am I going to raise my son alone? almost instantly. Long story short, diagnosis: sinus infection.

2) We spent the first week of our vacation in Southern California. The SoCal portion of our visit is always kind of stressful. There isn't enough time to see everybody we know out there. To all my friends I didn't see, please do not take it personally. I saw my 90-year-old grandparents for a total of 25 minutes at Carrow's, and then we had to eat and run. 'Nuff said.

3) Highlights of California: seeing my brother get ordained as a priest, going to Sea World (which had a Sesame Street park-within-a-park, which would have been enough for The Boy right there), beach time, trying Pinkberry yogurt for the first time.

4) The second week of vacation was in Hawaii. It was so unbelievably awesome there. My brother Tyler's wedding was probably the most beautiful wedding I will ever attend. The hotel we stayed in was like a dream come true, with its abundant pools and gorgeous ocean view. The ocean was warm. And I loved being able to hear the waves crashing while I fell asleep. I think I was able to relax, in spite of vacationing with a two-year-old.

5) It took us two days of travel to get back. That sucked. I never want to see another airport again.

And now we're back. And I'm so ridiculously stressed about stupid stuff like laundry, and then I have to step back and tell myself that laundry is a pretty dumb thing to get worked up about.

These last couple weeks of summer feel really weird. After the fabulous vacation I took, I feel like summer is over. Yet at the same time, I want to push myself to enjoy each of those "open Memorial Day through Labor Day" activities one more time. This week I'm tired, though. I think next week will be "last hurrah" week.

Though I have never been one for last hurrahs. It always feels like too much pressure to try to really enjoy something enough to tide you over for some period of time. And then you're so sad that something is ending that you can't take time to enjoy it.

Or maybe that's just me and my overthinking ways.

This is also a weird time because it's the first time we don't have a bunch of activities scheduled. On the one hand, that's nice, but it's not nice enough to prevent my head from swirling with a bunch of ideas for fall enrichment for the boy and me. He's going back to toddler music class. I also think I might become one of those annoying moms who plans out stupid little weekly craft activities for her kid, because I'm worried about the boy's art education. Or is that a sign that I need to get a job?

I'm also going to be one of those annoying moms who tries to get her kid into a swim class that isn't really for his age. I want him to take a real-live swim class at the indoor pool in the gym, the kind where he starts to learn strokes instead of stupid little pool-based songs. Also I kind of want to put him in a class where I don't have to get in the water with him. Because while I do love swimming, I don't love dancing around the pool singing "The Wheels on the Bus" while holding a toddler.

As for my own personal enrichment, I am going to an 8-hour floral design seminar Labor Day weekend. And I am taking a one-time cooking class called "Breakfast of Champions" at the gym. I'm toying with the idea of taking an online non-credit class at the community college. I also wanted to take adult tap dancing lessons at the park district, mostly so I could own the cool tap shoes, but the class is on the same night that Husband teaches his night class this semester. I might take ice skating lessons, but I feel like a dumb fat-ass taking introductory ice skating lessons as an adult. And I also think if I want exercise, I should just take a class at the gym because those come free with my gym membership.

And while we're on the topic of fitness, I kind of went on vacation from Weight Watchers while on the trip. So now I have to reel it in. And we're in the period where the gym drains the pool for cleaning and has really limited childcare, so my exercise isn't really back in full-force.

Other developments since the trip:

1) The cat is really needy. I thought cats were supposed to snub you after you leave them alone for vacation, but this one is all up in your face, starved for attention.

2) The boy will not sleep in his own bed, nor go to bed at a reasonable hour. Right now it's 10:45 and he's screaming.

3) Our trash can disappeared.