Monday, September 27, 2010

Carrying around a small child

Most days when he comes home from school Riley drops his backpack in the middle of the kitchen floor. Why not? Where else would it go?

So today, for the eighth bajillion time, I picked it up. And my arm muscles actually groaned. It felt like he had a concrete block or two in there. I was a cat in a former life, so of course I looked inside. A few books and an organizer. Hmmm. I tossed that baby on the scale. 24 pounds. Can you imagine him carrying that home the 1.99 miles school officials say is between my driveway and theirs?

That's right, 1.99 miles - or a tenth of a mile less than needed for free bus service. However, our neighbor across the street whose driveway is about 10 steps closer to the school than ours qualifies for free busing. Figure that one out.

But I digress like always. Somewhere I have a point. But I'll have to figure that out tomorrow. Do you know how hard it is to blog and help with homework at the same time?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Procrastinating Christmas

My inner Grinch is coming out. Except for the green part. I don't look good in green. I'd prefer another color. Does this blog accept returns?

It's too early for me to think about Christmas. But everywhere I turn, there it is. Ornaments and wrapping paper in the store. Reservations for a holiday dinner. Christmas lists and holiday hams. I don't know what I'm eating tomorrow, let alone 90 days from now. OK, I'm pretty sure Klondike bars will be on the menu both days, but I might reform.

On a side note, I noticed that someone visited my blog after Googling Klondike. Maybe it was the Klondike people. Maybe they'll offer me a lifetime supply. That is the sugarplum dancing in my head.

In the meantime, I have other stuff to think about. Like what kind of Halloween candy to eat. I mean give out. And where to put my single turkey decoration. And why this family goes through an unbelievable amount of toilet paper.

Don't worry. I'll catch the holiday spirit eventually. But probably not before the leaves fall off the trees.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Must see TV for the crime-istas

Can you feel the excitement at the Hoop-lah house? It is Friday night and the new season of Medium starts in 15 minutes.

Carly and I are beyond happy. We've been waiting all summer.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My letter to Oprah

Dear Oprah,

Are you watching the TV premieres in your spare time? I haven't seen many, but I am trying to catch your show. Final season, you know.

My son, Riley, watched with me yesterday. It was about the Columbian woman, the political candidate who was kidnapped and held captive by rebels for more than six years. Her children had become adults while she was away. She no longer recognized her son's voice.

That statement burned. No risk of being captured by rebels here, but I know the pain of not recognizing your own child. It is how I sometimes feel about Riley. In my mind's eye, he is a boy. This boy.

Some days it's the voice or the facial hair. Other days it's the muscles or the size 13 shoes. But it feels strange. Like it's someone I should know, but am not sure I have ever met.

So please, warn me when you're about to break my heart. Puberty, menopause and the end of your show might be more than I can manage.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Calling 911

Don't panic. Everyone at the Hoop-lah house is just fine, minus a little sassiness, know-it-all syndrome, and a waiting heart attack from football fan overload. But I digress. This post is about me.

A few weeks ago, before I decided to lose 10 pounds, I thought I'd take an easier route. Gastric bypass maybe? No. Cutting out carbs? No way. A torture device that keeps you from eating because it severely hampers your ability to breathe? Yeah, I think I'll try that.

You guessed it, I bought a pair of Spanx. All the celebs rave about them, but now that I think about it they really have no fat to hold in. So what's the point?

Last night was the first night of card club for the season. What better time to whip out my Spanx and impress the 70+ crowd with my new fabulousness?

The pair I bought went all the way from my butt to my boobs. A little tight, I thought, but it'll loosen up. 15 minutes later I got a little panicky. That tends to happen when you can't breathe. And what was I going to? I'm driving down the freeway, no other underwear in sight.

So sometimes a girl has to make a hard choice. Last night, that meant getting out of the death grip ASAP and going commando. But I'll spare you the details. That's what friends do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Famous last words

What could be so hard about losing 10 pounds?

That's what I said last week. Silly me. I wasn't expecting to lose all 10 in one week. But geez, I wasn't planning on gaining four pounds either. In one week. And I didn't eat a single Klondike bar. That is just plain wrong.

I'm not surprised though. I'm an emotional eater and last week pushed all of my buttons. Every single one. Working from home doesn't help. There's a lot more food in easy reach.

I think I'll start over tomorrow. Tonight is Wendy's night, and you know I'm not going to miss that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Losing 10 pounds the Hoop-lah way #2

That Klondike bar calling my name during the night was totally out of line.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Losing weight Hoop-lah style

Now that I've met Mike's demands for equal blog time, here's my real topic of the day.

Losing weight. I know. Who wants to talk about that? Well, I'll talk about it, but only over a margarita with chips and salsa. And Dairy Queen for dessert.

Ahem . . . where was I? Dr. Oz wants me (and you) to lose 10 pounds. Just 10 pounds. Eat less. Move more. I know how it works.

Growing up, I was always thin. Then, around 17, I got a job at Donutland. Great job if you like donuts. And I do. Especially the cherry ones. Then I went to college, gained a little more. Had a couple of kids, gained a lot more.

That leaves me where I am today. I'd like to lose 10 pounds. Actually, I'd like to find some jeans that don't sit below my waist. Whose idea was that anyway?

Chances are I'm not going to find those jeans. Unless I time travel back to the 1980s. So I'm taking Dr. Oz's challenge. My goal is to lost 10 pounds by December 15. How hard can it be? I'm starting by telling you. My very own Weight Watchers group, without the weekly fee. You know how I love a bargain.

Shhhh . . .

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ten yard penalty for acting like a buffoon

Today was painful. Not because Iowa State lost to Iowa, but because it brought out the worst in behavior.

Does it really matter that much? So much that the anger is palpable and embarrassing?

I always thought I hated football. Now I know I do.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The trouble in covering Riley's butt

Today Riley tried on his jeans from last winter. Every single pair was too small. Imagine that.

So we hopped into the van and hit Merle Hay. American Eagle had a sale. Buy one, get one half off. Which means you pay a hugely inflated price for one pair and a slightly inflated price for the other. But a sale's a sale. And I had a coupon thanking me for my loyalty. But I quickly learned that my coupon - and their loyalty - expired yesterday. Too bad for me.

I've had the same experience at Justice - which always has a 40 percent off deal going on - and Kohls and Younkers. If you ask for the discount without the coupon, sometimes they'll give it to you. Sometimes not. It's totally inconsistent.

And that's the part I don't get. A happy customer is a loyal customer who comes back and spends more money. So what's the downside if they give you the discount without the coupon? When it's given with a "Well, I shouldn't be doing this . . " it's all I can do to not scream.

You probably heard me around 2:30. Sorry about that. I'll hit mute next time.

Anyone want to buy four pairs of AE jeans from last season, size 28 x 30? I'll give you a real deal, but you better have your coupon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I told you so

I hate to say "I told you so," but . . .

If you've talked to me in the last year, you've heard me complain about the Everyday Math program that Ankeny implemented.

Carly was in third grade and traditionally that has been the year kids focus on memorizing their math facts. But not last year. They learned about geometry, algebra and other concepts. Carly struggled to understand almost every day. And I watched her lose interest in trying. And honestly, I couldn't understand the relevance. Why would she need to know this stuff before she even knew her math facts?

Trying to be a good parent, I asked the questions. I was assured that this is the way kids need to be learning and that most kids were doing really well with it.

So imagine my surprise to hear fourth grade teachers comment twice in the past week about how the kids don't know their math facts. And that they really need to learn them. Now.

Really? I hope this isn't a surprise to anyone. Because it sure isn't to me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My very own Van Gogh

Carly brought this home today. Her pictures are always so happy. And sometimes a little funky and abstract, like her. How else do you explain the "17"?

Another reason to ignore the housework

Have I mentioned how excited I am that Kurt Warner is on the new season of Dancing With the Stars?

It's weird. I don't really like football or even the show, although I did take Carly to the DWTS extravaganza at Wells Fargo a few years ago.

But I like him. He seems genuine. A good husband and dad. Someone you could trust if he stopped to help change your tire. The fact that he is tall, handsome and from Iowa is just a bonus.

I have no idea whether he has any ballroom moves. I'm guessing he might. I'll watch and let you know.