Friday, October 31, 2008

This is Halloween

Everybody make a scene...

Yay! It's Halloween! I sent the kids to daycare in their Halloween clothes -- Milo has a glow-in-the-dark skeleton hoodie and Violet has a pair of orange and yellow pants and a black owl t-shirt with orange and yellow sleeves. Mr. Milo was very excited this morning and is looking forward to trick-or-treating with his daycare buddy. Violet will enjoy herself, but likely won't quite understand what's going on. This year, anyway... next year she'll get it, LOL!

Milo intends to dress as Jango Fett. He's had the costume for almost two months now and put it on to play dress-up weekly. Violet will be Yoda and she's going to ride in our backpack carrier on daddy's back. Daddy might figure out how to dress as Luke Skywalker, we'll see... And, if there's time, I'm going to wear the flapper costume I procured for my sister's themed wedding reception.

I'll stay home and hand out treats. In his infinite wisdom, Scott has hidden the candy from me. And, since he didn't buy anything chocolate, I haven't been able to sniff it out. Which is rather unfortunate as I'm thinking a bit of chocolate sounds pretty yummy today.

I'm actually pretty surprised that we've bought the kids costumes so far. Scott takes great pride in costuming for Halloween, but we haven't been on the ball enough to make costumes for the kids yet. I have the feeling we'll get the chance next year, as Violet will likely opt for something sparkly and cute. Milo will still fit into his Jango Fett costume and, I suspect, he'll choose to wear it again. I could be wrong, but the Star Wars obsession is still raging -- the Force is strong in that one...

My most memorable Halloween wasn't memorable because of a costume, or a party, or anything even related to Halloween. When I was thirteen, I got my first period right before Halloween. And that's why it is most memorable. I didn't have a horror story with blood everywhere like Carrie, and I don't remember any pain or anything. But overnight I felt grown-up. And suddenly Halloween seemed childish. I had stopped trick-or-treating -- mainly because I always seemed to have a dance lesson at TOT time. I dressed up for school because, in those un-PC times, wearing a costume to school was still considered fun. Even though half of the boys in the eighth grade showed up wearing dresses with balloon boobs.

Oh, the joys of middle school. I remember I spent half of sixth grade pining away for the boy who sat in front of me in class -- overjoyed when he agreed to dance with me at that most torturous of all events -- a middle school dance --then devastated when he ducked away halfway through the song. It was a completely unrequited crush. I crushed on no one my seventh grade year. I was focused on out-performing my best friend academically and was devoting my time to ballet. In eighth grade, my crush liked one of my best friends. I was hurt and disappointed and, since it was the end of the school year, the situation was left hanging. I couldn't get around town by myself, so friendships were mainly a school year thing -- they often dwindled and vanished over the summer. When I started high school, both my friend and the crush had moved away.

By eighth grade, I had determined that no one was ever going to dance with me at a school dance, so I went to mostly poke fun at the oh-so-fresh sixth graders and their terrified wide eyes. My sister included, though her eyes were never wide and her life experience quickly outpaced mine.

It seems so long ago, yet if I concentrate hard I can smell the Industrial Arts room, hear the bustling cafeteria, and feel the cold solidity of the tops of the science tables. As always, I remember mostly biding my time in anticipation of high school...then college... I know I wasn't an easy fit with my peers -- I wasn't good at playing the popularity game. I don't think I was particularly mean to anyone, but I'm not sure you'd remember me as the chattiest girl around, either. No worries, though, I think I came out just fine. Unlike Brenda and Eddie, I didn't peak too soon. But I guess that the costume of my own skin didn't really fit until adulthood, and I'm OK with that treat.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So, Barack Obama called me last night and urged me to do early voting. And I hung up on the likely next President of the United States. Well, I hung up on his robocall. I have no intention of early voting. I also have no intention of forgetting to vote. I just like the celebration that surrounds actually voting at my precinct. I like to get my little "I voted" sticker and wear it with pride all day.

We plan to take the kids with us to the polls. We took them on a freezing evening last winter to the Iowa Caucuses and kinda want to see the entire election through with them. Violet was the youngest caucus-goer at our precinct last year. And Milo might have been the most entertaining... He kept the Obama caucus-ers in stitches as he played with his Transformers in the aisle of the district auditorium. It was packed, by the way. When the entire group was in the auditorium it was standing room only.

I have to admit that I am becoming more and more politically vocal. Maybe it's that I'm hitting middle age and becoming cantankerous. Maybe it is that I'm just fed up with the direction in which the US has been moving. In any case, I am not at all amused by the statements made by some (NOT all) right-wingers that I'm not a real American. I most certainly am! I work hard, have achievements, and don't ask for hand-outs anywhere. I pay my taxes and participate in my government. I haven't broken laws except underage drinking, but really, I can name few who haven't broken that law. I don't litter and do recycle and treat my neighbors respectfully (even the US government can't make all of those claims).

I am frustrated that so many choose to say negative things about so-called "entitlements." Ok, there are some people who abuse welfare and scam the government through Medicare/Medicaid. I understand that. But the same money funds things like roads, libraries, Federal student loans, Federal work study, free/reduced lunch programs, before and after school care, the VA hospitals, subsidized housing and so many other things. Yes, our federal and state taxes do these things. I drive on Federal Interstates and repaid in full and on time Scott's Federal student loan. And for this, I'm gonna have to lump myself in with everyone else who gets money from our government. Which is pretty much everyone. I benefit from having secure borders and national parks. I use the infrastructure of this nation daily, therefore I do not feel bad about paying for it. I don't even mind paying MORE for it than the less fortunate.

I guess my leftist viewpoint is showing through, huh? I don't consider some Socialism to be a bad thing -- I always hear coaches saying that the team is only as good as it's weakest player. I believe that our country is only as good as it's weakest citizen. I can honestly say that if someone walking on the street in front of me stumbled, I would stop an offer them a hand back up. Isn't that what I'm doing my paying my taxes?

I think about how precariously so many of us are perched on the wire. One chronic illness, one devastating accident, one unfortunate death could knock us off the wire. Government programs are a safety net. I, for one, am glad that they are there.

And, hey, Barack? Please don't call and interrupt my supper again. I don't care if you ARE the next POTUS -- it's downright rude to call during a meal. I'll be voting. I'll be voting for you, so get to work! Stop lolly gagging!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nighttime Issues, Part 403

So the last week has been an interesting one around the Olinger Homestead. I am recovering from a nasty cold and have returned to the status of "fertile" again. As in one day after I asked Dr. Z (my OB/GYN) if it's normal to not menstruate for a year post-partum when my monthly-ish visitor reared her ugly head. She's not visited for almost two years and I really was fine with that... Too much information, I know, but it's my dang blog -- so there!

Milo helped carve his first pumpkin over the weekend. "Helped" is a rather loose term as he touched the pumpkin guts once and decided they were icky and spent the rest of his time wonder aloud (repeatedly) if Daddy was ever going to finish carving C-3PO and R2-D2 into the pumpkin. He did and it was glorious for a few days, then quickly turned to a moldy, runny stinky mess of pumpkin goo on our front porch. Scott, who is generally pretty level headed concerning all matters of ick, reacts very negatively to mold, claiming an allergy. I don't doubt that he has an allergy, but from what I can tell it is not life-threatening, nor even sneeze-inducing, so I always find the skittery dance he does around moldy objects to be kind of funny. In the same way I find it funny when he jumps when coming upon a snake.

The days are getting short around here. Late sunrise has stymied Milo's sense of overnight time. One morning this week, as I was dozing while nursing Violet in the glider, I heard his door open. I peeked around my hair to see what he would do as it was 6:45 and nearly time to get up anyway. He hesitated in his doorway, stepped out of his room, stepped back into his room, then stepped out again. He tried to pull his door shut, but it didn't close, so he pushed it wide open and then took two steps closer to our bed. I could tell by his pause that he wasn't sure if it was morning or night, but he believed me to be asleep and knew that Scott was sleeping soundly. He looked around our room and the only thing stirring was Tess, whose internal alarm clock rings loudly at 6:30 each morning.

Then my little man padded back into his room, shut his door and climbed back into bed. I heard him on the monitor as he told himself, "Good night." I roused Scott and told him that Milo was awake, he pulled on his lounging clothes and stumbled to the kids' door. He opened it and asked Milo if he was ready to go downstairs.

"No, Daddy, it's still nighttime. Go back to bed!"

Last night was one of those nights... I have finally hit a breaking point about Violet nursing all night. As in I'm tired of my sleep schedule being dictated to me by my toddler. She woke to nurse at 11:30PM last night and, by 1:30 she still hadn't really gone to sleep. She tossed, she turned, she squirmed and wriggled, but she did not fall asleep soundly. Each time she'd get drowsy, she'd roll off of my breast onto the pillow on my lap with a loud "pop!" as my nipple slid from her mouth. The she would decide that she needed to suck again, so she'd roll back onto my breast. Lather, rinse, and repeat for two hours. I was getting sore and she was, as I say affectionately, engaging me in "midget wrestling."

I stood up, kissed the top of her little blonde head and said, "Good night. I'm done being you pacifier tonight" and walked around the bed to apologize to Scott, "I'm sorry. I can't do this any more. I'm going downstairs so hopefully she doesn't scream all night long." And then I did.

I could hear her crying over the monitor and I decided I was likely the world's worst mom in that moment -- well, maybe Violet's worst mom in that moment. Then I heard Scott open the kids' door and scoop Milo out of his bead. Within seconds, I hear him deposit Violet in the crib. She cried for five minutes, then slept all night. Milo slept pretty well in our bed, though he did roll out once, surprising himself, but not hurting himself. Apparently he danced around the bed like a fish on a line while sleeping. I don't know -- I slept four whole hours in a row on the couch.

I do feel badly that Scott had a long night. But in all honesty, I haven't slept in my bed in 13.5 months. And he told me he was going to help get Violet into the crib in the other room way back in July. We'll see how tonight goes...

Friday, October 17, 2008


So I had a moment of complete insanity (on my part) at skating practice this week. Seriously -- I kicked a wall. So not me...

I'm trying to decide if I'm just tired and hormonal or if there is something deeper going on with my psyche -- like delayed postpartum depression. I AM tired, yes. And I AM hormonal (still nursing Violet plus my cycle hasn't started back up yet). And I am dreading the next month with Scott being gone for, well over half of the month. But my frustration and lack of motivation seem primarily to be tied to the skating, which is why I'm not yet sure if this is a medical issue or not. Plus, I've now come down with a whopper of a cold, so I don't know how that was affecting me on Wednesday night.

I do know that I felt sort of claustrophobic on the ice -- and that my every thought was one of negativity and annoyance. I lacked focus as I mostly thought about playing with the kids. And then we hit a point in practice where we were trying stuff and I was failing time and time again... that's the moment when I kicked the wall. The delicious pain in my toe was endlessly more comforting than the anger I was feeling. I was mad at myself and trying not to cry and somehow, kicking the wall made sense in that moment. But it didn't seem to work too well as mere minutes later I had spilled over and was stammering a confession to my shocked team: I don't really want to skate anymore. I'm tired of practicing and practicing and not getting things, of watching other skater's skills pass me by... of feeling desolate on that thin sheet of ice... deserted...

Most of my stunned teammates rallied around me, something which has actually embarrassed me. I don't do things to seek kudos from people; I dislike superficial back-patting. I started skating as a personal journey and have gotten sick of the ride, quite honestly. And no amount of "we need you" or "you are a very valuable and iportant member of the team" or "we'd be lost without you" is going to help me enjoy the scenery right now -- I didn't have that little meltdown to gain praise, it was something that slipped through before I could contain it. I know that without me, the team is down to the bare minimum required for competition, so if I leave and any other team member has a life change, we're (they're) not able to compete. And I'd be forever guilty of ending that because I truly love my teammates.

Practically, my mind knows that I could likely get the same amount of non-work/non-mom time if I took an hour long Pilates class at the local gym. I wouldn't have to worry about driving late at night in bad weather or, likely, hiring a sitter as often for when Scott is at rehearsal. I would get entire evenings back -- it's a three-hour round trip every time I go to the rink: drive 35 minutes there, skate, drive 35 minutes back. I'm sick of the drive -- most days. Some early spring mornings I am struck by the pastoral beauty of our state. But most evenings, I'm either driving into the sun or watching for deer in the dusk.

As always, Scott is supportive. He doesn't seem to think that I am stuggling in other aspects of life, but I feel my base laziness has been eroding some productivity -- mostly at work, though some of that involves me waiting on other people, so that may not be me, either.

It's just that I believe that I am one of the most patient people I know -- just apparently not with myself. I don't like causing drama, but that's what happened on the ice, in front of my teammates. I'm a workhorse, though, and refuse to leave the team mid-season, and know that the team is only as strong as it's weakest skater, so I strive to never be the weakest. I just wish that I had the physical capability to be one of the strongest. Or maybe the mental toughness to weather the storm in the mean time.

Maybe the wall I'm kicking isn't just at the side of the rink.

Monday, October 13, 2008


So the kids and I went to Playhouse Disney Live on Friday night. Scott is in tech for a play, so the kids and I drove to the Quad Cities to see the show. All the way there, Milo asked me if he could have popcorn at the movie and "Will I see Clifford, too?" Violet protested the sun in her eyes, poor babe, and I drove along behind several of the most annoying drivers ever to take the road: lil' old lady who can't remember where to turn, Purple Heart guy who won't drive the speed limit, and truck-with-no-cruise-control guy.

Anyway, as we're driving along, Milo has kept up a running commentary as he looks for pumpkins on porches. Soon the commentary becomes, "Mama! There's another field. And another one... the corn looks like battle droids, Mama!" I tell him that we're going to be seeing a lot of fields, living in Iowa and all. But as we turn onto the big highway from the little highway, the speed limit goes up and so does the road noise. My conversation with Milo becomes, "Mama... mumble mumble mumble?"

"Milo, I can't hear you. Please speak more loudly."

"Okay. MA-ma... mumble mumble mumble?"

"Milo, please say ALL of the words more loudly."

"Okay. MA-MA... mumble mumble mumble?"

In fact, the only thing getting louder is Violet as she complains about the setting sun burning her little eyeballs. So we pull off the road for supper. And so that I can use the bathroom. Milo protests as he wants to eat food "from the window!" I explain to him that I need to use the bathroom and that Violet is too little to eat in the car, but he's still grumbling.

So we get into the restroom and the handicapped stall is in use. Now, I will admit to breaking the convention and using the handicapped stall when in a public restroom with one of my children, but with both it is practically a necessity. However, since it is in use, we cram telephone-booth-joke style into the regular stall. I ask Milo if he needs to use this toilet, since we're already there, he insists, "Nope!" I'm wearing the diaper bag back-pack and leave it on. In fact, I manage to pee whilst holding Violet and cornering Milo against the door with the firm adminishment, "Don't touch ANYTHING!" Of course, he touches everything, so we squeeze back out the door and all wash our hands so we can order our food.

Naturally there are no high chairs available, so we pick a booth and I get Milo started on his meal while carrying Violet and our drink cups across the restaurant to get lemonade. You know, I understand that most people would like the option to fill their own drinks, but in that moment, I found it to be most annoying... Violet and I get back to the table and I tear apart a chicken nugget for her. I munch on a fry or two and take a sip of my Diet Coke -- a departure for me as I try to avoid caffeine after noon, but realize that I am responsible for driving both of my babes home from this event and therefore need to be awake. Milo looks up from his food with a panicked little face, "Mom! I need to tinkle!"

Now?? I glance around the restaurant and decided that maybe it was a good thing that Violet wasn't strapped into a highchair. I sheepishly ask the woman sitting in the booth near us if she would make sure that the employees didn't clear our table while I ran the kids to the bathroom. She gave me one of those "been there, done that" smiles and agreed to watch our rapidly-cooling food. And we ran off to the bathroom again.

Of course Milo is one of those boys who will not pee sitting down and of course the toilet in the handicapped stall is a real handicapped toilet -- so standing to pee at that one would only work if the child could pee out his armpits, so we fold, once again, into the regular-sized stall. Milo does his duty and we all wash our hands AGAIN.

Back to dinner. Violet grabs the empty paper fry holder from the tray and stuffs two nuggets and a couple of fries inside -- she's into the whole "putting things into other things" phase toddlers go through, so I am not surprised that she's re-compartmentalizing the food I just un-compartmentalized. I look over and Milo has started squirming. "Mama! Rub my bum!"

"Milo, do you have to poop?"

"No. I just need my bum rubbed."

"Are you sure you don't need to poop?"

"No. I just...YES! Yes! I need to poop!"

Again I ask the nice woman if she wouldn't mind guarding my food. Again she agrees. And again we are off to the bathroom. This time, knowing that Milo is only going to be sitting, I am able to opt for the more spacious and accommodating... accommodations. Milo again does a good job. As I flush, I notice two chicken nuggets, the paper fry wrapper and a fry sailing over my shoulder and into the toilet. Violet claps her hands and cheers, "Aaaaay!!!" And again we all wash our hands. Again.

Back to the table once more, this time with no incident. Into the car and to the arena. I pull into the parking garage attached to the arena and discover that I have no cash. The helpful guard suggests I utilize the ATM on the lower level, but when I drive down there I realize that to use the ATM I will have to park and leave the kids or park and drag them twenty feet to the ATM. I decide to circle the block and find a completely free space. Yay! No outrageous ATM fees for me!

I park the car and get Milo out, instructing him to stand by the tree in the easement. He does a lovely job with this while I get Violet out and pour her into my sling. Then the diaper bag back-pack. And finally, I grab Milo's hand for the block walk to the arena. Which turns out to be sort of a nature walk as Milo instantly spies a "grasshopper" that was actually a praying mantis -- so cool! And then he finds a stick that he's convinced needs to come to the show with us. I entice him to leave it at the base of a street light since the police waving the "light sabers" wouldn't let us in if we were armed with sticks.

We get into the arena with no fuss, but I stop at the restroom to change Violet's diaper and Milo decided he needs to use the toilet, so we all smoosh into a stall where he suffers performance anxiety and did not use the toilet. We all wash our hands again.

We are able to walk right in to our seats as they are on the floor, but off to the side. I am momentarily hopeful when I see that most of our row is empty. If the other patrons don't show, I'm all for sliding in to the middle of the row so we can see better. I send a quick text to Scott (who has called four times and left one voice mail). It says, "We're here." And then the rest of our row shows up. They look to be a perfectly nice family, mom goes in first, followed by two darling little girls and a man the size of the playhouse at Playhouse Disney. Milo can't quite see around him, so I help him sit on his knees on the front of his seat.

Curtains up!

Act one flies by and both kids are mostly paying attention. Milo is thrilled to see Rocket and both kids pat along. Violet only gets a little antsy towards the end of the act, but is riveted by Winnie-the-Pooh. Seriously -- she was like a screaming Beatle Maniac calling "Beh! Beh! Beh!" (bear) every time he was onstage, pointing her little index finger at him and clapping wildly.

Intermission comes and, worn down from Milo's whining for popcorn, we venture into the lobby for refreshments. After waiting in line long enough to have grown and popped the corn, I get to the front to realize that they don't take plastic, so I trudge away to the ATM to pay a stinkin' ATM fee anyway... We wait through the concession line AGAIN, and I order a small popcorn, soft pretzel, and a bottle of water. There is apparently no such thing as a small popcorn. So I ask for one that's not filled all the way. Which is apparently not done either, so when they hand me the popcorn, I tell Milo, "Hey! Look! It's Mickey!" and dump two thirds of the contents into the wastebasket. Fortunately, they've started the entre' act and we're off to the audience again!

We manage to scoot in before the house dims completely, so we avoid having to wait for an usher to guide us back to our seats. Either that or I outran the usher. Not sure which, actually... And after we get settled, the same family who was late to the beginning of the show filed in past us, late to the second act of the show, too.

Violet is less inclined to sit for the second act, so she squirms away from me and rushes the stage like a hormone-crazed fan-girl. I cathc her and ply her with a warm soft pretzel. Which she drops on the floor. I scoop it up instantly and think, "Five seconds? Right?" As it turns out, I needn't have worried about her safety -- she crammed the whole piece in my mouth and giggled. I am actually putting Milo in peril each time I run to retrieve her -- he doesn't weight quite enough to hold down his spring-loaded seat, so I have visions of him being catapaulted through the air, trailing popcorn as he flies backwards into the audience.

I don't recall what Handy Manny did in the second act... That must have been when I was chasing Violet and joking with another parent, also chasing a tot, about the "toddler mosh pit." But the show has concluded and Milo is beaming and Violet is pulling at my shirt, wanting to nurse. I figure that this is as good a time as any as the arena is emptying and the lines for the restroom are likely to be long, so I nurse her as unobtrusively as possible. I have just let down when Milo cries, "I have to tinkle! Now!" So I pop poor Violet off and pack up all of our stuff and dash to the line for the restroom. Which, thankfully, is not terribly long. We all contort into yet another small stall and Milo does his business, then I do, too, since we're driving home after this. And we wash our hands... again...

In the lobby, I dig into the diaper bag for the kids' coats. I'm helping Milo zip us as he asks me for a "prize" when Violet decides to make a run for it. She trips over my shoe and falls headlong to the floor, banging her cheek and screaming. And screaming. And screaming. I hold her close and she calms, pretty quickly, considering it's her bedtime and she's not snuggled up and nursing (for which she is still giving me a dirty look). I pull her jacket on her and put her in the sling, which must have a contact sedative effect as she relaxes instantly, snuggling in to my neck like she's a strange appendage. Milo continues to ask for a prize, specifically a Star Wars guy. As many times as I tell him that they do not have Star Wars guys at Playhouse Disney, the only thing that diverts his attention is me wondering aloud if his stick will still be at the lamppost. It was. Thus we have branded the "magic stick."

The ride home was not plagued by bad drivers, though the road noise was still loud enough for me to not hear a thing Milo was saying. He was disappointed that he did not see the praying mantis after the show -- after all, the stick was there, right? And Violet fussed for a while until I handed her the remainder of the soft pretzel, which was clasped in her tiny hand when she finally conked out back there. Milo fell asleep, too, though he was excited enough that it took a while longer than I expected.

I pulled into the front of the house with two sleeping babes, though Violet woke as soon as the car's interior lights came on. Milo, who sleeps more soundly, did not notice when I pried him out of the carseat, took him upstairs, removed his shoes, coat and pants, and laid him in bed. Violet did, though, and I came back to the car to find her little cheeks wet with tears and sticky with pretzel dough. I dressed her in her pajamas and nursed her to sleep. Scott came in a few moments before I laid her down, the dogs greeted him noisily, then I set sweet baby girl into her bed and went downstairs.

To use the bathroom by myself.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cranky Mama

Well... I haven't written in a while. D'oh!

Life is busy and good. As in lots of stuff to do and to get done and not quite enough time. I'm having trouble focusing, it seems. I don't know if this is a by-product of not quite enough sleep for the last year or if I'm just old and fat and tired of it.

The kids are good -- we went to our first parade this weekend. I'm not sure why we haven't been to a parade yet, other than we haven't seen one that fit conveniently into our schedule. Anyway, both kids were entranced for the first fifteen minutes, then Violet's attention wandered and she thought running out into the street would be a better idea than staying close to mommy and Milo. Milo was amazed and excited and awfully dang cute -- his jaw scraped the pavement when he realized that the paraders threw candy, "Mom! I didn't know that they would be throwing CAAAANDYYY!" He dutifully handed the chewing gum to his older cousins without protest -- mostly because his bag was full of Tootsie rolls and what could be better than that?? We listened as the marching bands came by, I pointed out the instruments. Milo thought those were "coo" (cool). Violet didn't flinch at the noise, so I assume that she enjoyed them, too. Although, neither was impressed by the horse brigade. I assume that Milo is sharing his new-found parade expertise with his buddy at daycare this morning.

I seem to have kicked the cold from which I was suffering last week without any lasting damage. Milo did not catch it and Violet has learned to dodge approaching tissues with great accuracy. She's perfected the head bob and wipe nose with own hands technique -- which she has yet to realize means I'll then wipe her nose AND wash her hands.

I've had a rotten time on my skates lately -- not falling or struggling or anything, just not motivated and pretty down on myself for not doing things. I was pretty grumpy at synchro practice last week, though my teammates insist I wasn't, but I feel like I was cranky and pushing the coach a bit. As in whining because others just weren't skating fast enough. Although, I simply refuse to try and slow a spiral -- it's impossible to slow going forward because using my toepick would mean tripping and that's just a bad idea. Although I really like our new program, history has shown that when S and I skate together, we generate a lot of speed. And then some shifting has meant that L is on ine side of me and S in the other -- so we're off to the races and may very well leave many in the dust. The back end of our spiral line (L, me, S and J) are the one who push into the element, so we're pushing from the back, which causes this whole caterpillar thing and ... anyway... I kept coming back to it and so on. Sorry guys! I guess pissy = power when I'm skating, because I surely was in a pissy mood.

I actually felt a little hormonal -- like I was cranky just for the sake of being cranky. It happened again on Saturday morning -- I felt completely out-of-whack and stubborn and generally negative. I don't like feeling like that, but I seem to have hit a wall woth my progress and since I can't afford lessons at the moment and my practice time on Saturday morning has steadily eroded as life gets a later and later start that morning I feel hopless and like a lost cause. My skills just aren't going to get better because I don't have the time, enery and now motivation to make it happen. Ugh... I hate admitting defeat like that. I hate feeling so negative and I'm really frustrated with myself about it.

I guess we'll see what this week brings...