Time for a few updates, for all of you Uncool Mom readers who are dying to know the answers to such burning questions as: Did my now-17-year-old ever get her driver’s license? Did she ever get a job? How is the exchange student doing now that she’s gone back to France? What was the outcome of the CBS DFW Most Valuable Blogger contest? Read on to find out the answers, and other things I promised to “keep you posted” about in 2011:

The Diet— In August, I
posted about spending the summer doing the Atkins Diet with Allison and how we were both having success with it.  She stuck with it until about a month after school started (it’s a really hard diet for a carb-loving teenager to do, especially when everyone around them is eating chips and pizza). I’m still at it, fluctuating between a 13 and 15-pound weight loss, and still very much enjoying the low-carb way of eating.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to make exercise more of a priority so I can hit my target loss of 18 pounds, ’cause I’m not planning to take away any more carbs from my daily eating!

The Exchange Student—  Emmie calls the day we drove Cleo to a local Episcopal church to join the large group of other AFS students heading home “the saddest day of my life” and both Emmie and Allison immediately took up the cause of trying to persuade Andy and I to get another student for 2011-2012, but Andy said we needed a breather, and life went on without a third kid in the house.  We still refer to our game room as “Cleo’s Room”, since the bed, dresser, and makeshift closet are still there. Cleo got busy traveling with her family and getting adjusted to being back in school, and the time difference and our own busy schedules have made our Skype visits few and far between, but we all want to do better at communicating in the new year.  I do hope we can visit her sometime in the near future!

The New Dog— 
Ben Arffleck is still an attention-hogging sweetheart and charming everyone he meets, and one of these days I hope to snap a photo that shows him smiling… we swear he really does!

Being On Time— I’m still working at this, but for the most part, doing pretty good. That journal I bought (for writing about what happens when I aim to arrive 15 minutes early to something) is still pretty empty, but I did recall once how that extra window of time helped me be able to go to the gas station when I’d forgotten I was on “E”. Usually when that happens it makes me really late to something (and causes me to only put in a few dollars’ worth of gas), but in this instance I had plenty of time to fill up the tank and still make it to my destination on time. And that was a great feeling! 

Chair-ache —  not long after I
posted about the dangers of prolonged sitting, even more gloomy news and statistics about it splashed across national media.  So I now have a timer on my desk, and it goes off every 20 minutes to remind me to get up and stretch or move around.

The Quest to Drive— Almost a year ago, I posted about finally signing up for an online Parent Taught Driver Ed course that we were beginning with Allison.  Now 369 days later, that course is still yet to be finished, even though she did complete enough of it to get her learner’s permit last July (remember the Texas Driving Test post?). Her busy schedule and lack of motivation definitely contributed to this whole thing being put in a time warp, not to mention that it’s been hard for her to learn to maneuver in a minivan. Some parents say “the older the better” in starting driving, so maybe we’re right on schedule.  She’s definitely motivated now, since so many other kids her age are driving, and so many who are younger than her.  And, Andy and I are ready to stop being her chauffeur, so ready in fact that we put aside (at least temporarily) the requirement that she had to save up money for part of the insurance and gas before we got another car– over the holiday break, we bought a used Mercury Mariner off Craig’s List, and made up a “driving class schedule” for the next two months.  (Yep, that’s right, we are now a two-dog, two-button, three-car family!!)  She is thrilled to be learning to drive in a car smaller than than a mom machine (not to mention being able to put her drill team decal on a ‘non-embarrassing’ vehicle) and Andy and I are happy to be a little closer to her being totally responsible for driving herself where she needs to be.  Ah, I can see it now– no more facing her wrath if we’re not ready to go at the moment she walks out of the house (even though we’ve been ready for a half hour and have since become engrossed in something else)…no more angry texts if we’re not waiting outside her school at the millisecond she decides to make her exit (WHY ARE YOU AT THE GROCERY STORE!!??)…no more hearing pleas to take her to the fro-yo shop or CVS or a craft store… So far, our renewed “driving class” has gone pretty well (sometimes I’m the better teacher and sometimes Andy is the one for the job) and we’re requiring her to drive every day, so if this continues she should have her license by Spring Break.  Meanwhile, Emmie has announced she plans to take driving at a “real” driver’s ed. school when she’s 14, so she can get her permit at 15…

Bieber Out/Criss is In
—  Justin’s star lost its lustre pretty quickly around here, even before he was accused of being a baby daddy.  Now Allison is obsessed with Darren Criss (of “A Very Potter Musical”, “Glee” and now Broadway fame) and Emmie is into… The Muppets?!

A Summer Job—  Allison did attempt to earn some future gas/car insurance money when she filled out several applications and got a job this past summer working at a mall clothing store, but it was “seasonal” (for the Back to School rush), paid minimum wage, didn’t offer her many hours and didn’t last very long.  Which she was okay with, since she hated the way they made her wear a headset, “work the floor” and put the “hard sell” on any breathing entity that walked through the door. So, needless to say, those paychecks were short-lived and are long gone. But even though she despised the job, she said it was good experience to let her see what she didn’t want to do in her future, and help her really appre
ciate a good job once she finds one…

Kids and Forgetfulness— No magic solution for this yet! Emmie did find her paisley lunch bag after she lost it on the first day of school (a friend found it lying on the floor of a school hallway and saved it for her) but she’s lost it again, this time I think for good (including a cool soup Thermos that was inside as well).  And the other day, Allison left a key to the new car inside a cheetah-print SHOE as she put it back on the shelf AT TARGET!  The key was finally found after a long, panicked, all-store search…

The Blogger Contest— Remember
this one? A bunch of you helped me out and I really appreciate all the votes, but I didn’t win.  CBS DFW gave two awards, one for the most votes and one as a “Judges’ Choice”.  The “most votes” in my category went to a “shopping diva”-type blog, and Judges’  Choice went to a knitting blog… go figure…
but, upon recently reviewing my blog stats for last year, I still feel like a winner.  The number of monthly visitors to UncoolMom.com climbed steadily in 2011, to an increase of over 400% from 2010.

THANK YOU so much for all of your visits, support and comments. It’s hard to churn out content every four days or even every week, but as long as you keep visiting, I’ll keep writing.  Please come back often in 2012 and bring all your friends along for the ride as well!!!!

3 thoughts on “Updates”

  1. Great post. It made me go back and read the “sitting” post (must have missed it the first time around). I had no idea! I sit all day long! Wow, I’ve really got to change things. Of course, if I had it my way I’d be a stay-at-home mom with Evan, or at least stay home a few days a week. Nothing gets your blood flowing like chasing around after a 2-year-old!

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