Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Well, it's time to face facts: February sucks eggs. I could not be happier to see that month end, and don't the let the door hit you on the way out. I feel like I've been living at the bottom of a dark pit, with no light or energy. March has entered with so much warmth and sunshine that, even though I know it won't last, I feel like we've got reason to hope that this month will be better than last. It can't be worse.

I thought that, to celebrate the end of such a crappy month, I'd revisit some topics that I've written about before. Kind of an update. But don't think of it as a cop-out, it's not that I can't think of a new topic to write about. Honest. Think of it more as an enhanced blog, it's always evolving, always fresh and new. (Okay, plus I have had a headache for like three weeks and so maybe the topics aren't flowing as fast as normal.)

My hair:
I can't remember if I blogged about this incident, or if it was only a status update on Facebook, but I wanted to let you know that my bangs have successfully grown back. I am no longer stuck with my only styling option being the "Conan O'Brien" which isn't very pretty on him, either. Although on some days I was able to achieve the "Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice" look, for a change. This new hair challenge happened after I, very misguidedly, decided to trim my own bangs. Bad, bad idea. Next time I want to save myself the effort of going to a stylist, instead I'm going to draw some bangs on a piece of paper, attempt to cut them in a straight line, fail, and once I've got that out of my system, make an appointment with a professional.

Cooking Dinner and Joy Units:
This is a two-fer update. I've mentioned that sometimes it's impossible to cook food that anyone in this family will eat on a regular basis, and I've mentioned the diminishing returns on Christmas presents. Well, for Christmas Ryan got me a cookbook that has defied both expectations. It's called "Rachel Ray: 365 - No Repeats" which I think is fairly self-explanatory. The amazing things are these: 1) Most of the meals I've cooked the kids will eat, and occasionally actually enjoy! 2) I've used the cookbook almost exclusively for the last two months. I still throw in a lot of old standby meals, but when I want to try something new, three or four nights a week, that's the book I use. That, I have to say, is quite impressive. In terms of successful Christmas present, this ranks up there with Zack's lego men for most-used gift.

If last semester was the Mr. Hyde of school experiences, this semester is definitely Dr. Jekyll. (He was the nice one. I think.) I'm only taking one class, and we've had so many Mondays off of school that I feel like I'm only taking half a class. Plus the teacher is super-easy - short reading assignments, one paper for the entire term, it's a piece of cake. Maybe it just helps knowing what my expectations should be, but I'm sailing through this semester. Someone might need to nudge me when it's over.

Sick Children:
I wrote a month ago about whether to let a child who is coughing *a little bit* go to a birthday party, and decided to let him. In retrospect, I think I might have preferred to take a moral high ground in this dilemma and keep him home. Since then I have seen children so far beyond sick playing with other kids, like no one's ever heard the word "contagion" before. I know that what is one person's minor cold is another person's SARS, but believe you me, I will be so happy when this winter is over and I don't have coughing children in my house (my own or otherwise).

I've been pretty consistent about going to the gym since about September. I aim to go every weekday, but I just realized today that almost every week has a day where I have to cancel. But still, four days a week is very impressive for a person who has never been physically capable in her life, who in fact has been known to sneak to the back of the softball line-up to avoid having to take a turn at bat. Not the active, athletic type, me. I still attend Zumba on Tuesdays and I have to say I really, really enjoy it. I probably still look like a complete dweeb, but this month the instructor is recycling some routines and because I'm familiar with it, I feel like I can put some effort into actually looking coordinated. It helps that the last couple of weeks some men have been attending, so clearly I'm not going to be the lowest common denominator. That helps. But - coincidentally? - there's also been an incredibly under-dressed young woman there which does not help the ol' self-esteem. And I haven't lost any weight, which frustrates me a tiny bit, but not a lot because I am also not really dieting, so what do I expect? Well, clearly I expect to still lose weight, but I recognize the irrationality of that statement.

Kitchen Remodel:
I might have done this one before. My dad has asked me for the last year for an update on the kitchen: now that I've lived in it, what is it that I like/don't like and what would I do over? In short, I adore the kitchen. For only having one shot, I think it turned out really well. My biggest complaint is the upper cupboard doors - they are what is called a "full overlay" which means that the door covers almost all of the cabinet and you don't see the edge of the cabinet underneath. The downside is that the doors can't open all the way - the hinges can only open like 60 or 65 degrees (can't remember) so when I'm unloading the dishwasher, the open cupboard door is whacking me in the shoulder. It is quite inelegant for an otherwise high-functioning kitchen. Also, I haven't gotten full use of the spice drawer, since Darcey learned to open it and dump paprika all over the floor. But other than that, we love the mail/keys/phone area at the end of the pantry, the dropped bar where the kids practically live, and the uninterrupted span of counter space now that the sink is on the far end. And my favorite thing of all might be the pull-out trash can right where I prep food, which keeps everything so much cleaner. It's awesome.

That's about it. Hopefully March will give me some great new blog topics, or at least not suck.


Sarah said...

Lovely re-visits Emily :) It's nice to hear the kitchen "if i had it to do over again" thoughts as even a dream house ends up having issues. You sure had great results!

I'm impressed with the cookbook results... think i'll check it out next time i'm browsing in a bookstore. (yea, that's our way of getting out of the house some weekends) My issue with most cookbooks are not having the ingredients on hand to try something new and having to plan ahead... which would not be bad to learn to do! Otherwise it's the standbys - all the time.

Drake Steel said...

Hi Emily,
The only opinion I have is about exercising. I remember when you first described you in Zumba or whatever. When you thought who was that person barging around and realized it was you in the mirror! Well when we were on the cruise last year I was running around one of the decks and there is this reflective kind of window and I saw myself and it totally ruined my opinion of what I looked like. Its like a Norman Rockwell self portrait which has him using various heroic faces where his was old, blank, featureless. I saw myself and thought who is the old guy shuffling along... Its me!