Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
See this little beauty? It just made my summer! For the first time, I was able to sit outside on the patio for over an hour and...get this....not get ONE mosquito bite. NOT. ONE.!
Someone had left a comment (I'm sorry - I can't recall exactly who) about the fan so when I saw it at WalMart when I was grocery shopping this morning I grabbed one. I figured for $8.00 it was worth a try since I have been eaten alive in recent weeks.
So. Worth. The. Eight. Dollars.
Maybe this means one of these evenings I will get to sit out there and read for a while. Holy moly - FREEDOM! :)
Take *that* you pesky blood sucking nasty mosquitoes!
Kelton was in 7th Heaven picking out all his supplies. Poor Kaylen - she didn't get to pick any out. The kindergarten teachers are collecting $25 from each student and they are purchasing the supplies in bulk so the money goes further. It's a great plan and Kaylen doesn't seem to mind as long as she has her backpack.
The school supplies sent my grocery budget over the line I had set but he needs his supplies and either now or in a couple weeks it was still going to be a hit to my budget. That's life. I still need to get the kids shoes but other than that, I think we are almost ready for back to school.
Yes, I could have rearranged the dogs so the girl child and I had more room but that would have meant waking fully to get up and move their 60lb plus bodies around. I was too tired to think about it.
I should have done it.
The sickening thud of my daughter hitting the floor is something I could live without. Poor girl. :(
She stood up, dazed and confused, and crawled back into my bed. I held her close and said "I think we need to get you a seat belt for this bed." She agreed and then fell back to sleep.
Squished between the dogs and a child, I didn't get much quality sleep but at least everyone was quiet.
At 6:15, Kelton came in and joined Kaylen and I...and the dogs and cat. Cozy........ or not.
Then he went out and got his DS game and Kaylen went out and got her Leapster and, with one of either side of me, they played their (noisy) games while I dozed for another 30 minutes.
I have a lot to do today. It's looking more and more like a "two pots of coffee" day.
Do you think I will ever get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep again in my life? Between the dogs and kids, I think not. Because even when the kids are at Dakota's for the weekend, I still have the dogs waking me up throughout the night.
Silent nights? Hardly.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Nothing makes me jump up faster than bodily fluid in the bed.
A little? Ummmmm...not quite so accurate. My pj bottoms were wet and there was a good sized wet spot on the bed. *sigh* I sent Kaylen off to the bathroom and I grabbed the water proof pads I always have on hand in the linen closet and fixed the bed enough that we could sleep it in again. I changed my pj's and we both settled back in. She fell to sleep quickly. Me? Not so much.
I finally was asleep only to be woken yet again. This time by a little boy who wanted me to help him go back to sleep. I settled him in and off to sleep we all went.
The only good part of the night was when morning came. I had a child on either side of me. One playing his DS and the other playing a princess memory game in my phone. I LOVE cuddling with them in the morning. It's a great way to start my day...even when it comes after way too little sleep and way too early. :)
Monday, July 26, 2010
It's a spectacular summer night and where I would like to be is sitting on the patio enjoying the warmth but instead, I'm in my room looking out the sliding glass door. The mosquitoes drive me early in the evening. They are thick and blood thirsty unlike any year I can remember. They are out All. Day. Long. I no longer even count the number of bites the kids and I have. I wish they would go away now. I know we, as a society are becoming anti-chemical but mosquito killer is one I would gladly spray in my yard. The house next to us is empty and for sale (service redeployment) and while the neighbors are keeping the front yard in check, the back yard has become a jungle which I'm sure doesn't help keep the bug population down. *sigh*
I remember not too many years ago when I could hang out in the yard with a book in the evening hours. I miss those days.
Time to turn on mindless TV and climb under the covers. My favorite part of the day...a silent house, peacefully sleeping children and time all to myself. A little slice of heaven.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Honestly, it was anything but and he would be the first to tell you that. Tonight he said "You know, I thought it would be boring but it was really awesome!"
The drive was long but nice. The kids kept themselves entertained with DS (the boys) and Leapster (Kaylen) games as well as chatting each others ears off. And ours. Boy oh boy can those three talk! We arrived at the first stop which was a really cool learning center with before and after photos, a film of the actual eruption and various artifacts. It was rather interesting to revisit that time in history. Living in Washington State at that time, I experienced it first hand as a 16 year old but seeing it through the eyes of a 45 year old parent was completely new. And seeing it through the eyes of young children, learning about it for the first time, was intense.
We continued up the mountain for a while and ended up at an area with a trail that allowed up to climb on the edge of a very steep cliff (and with no fencing, I might add!). It was amazing. Completely and absolutely amazing.
Here are a few pictures of our day.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The kids were so darn excited to be getting "bonus" time with Dakota that I had no problem getting them to do what they needed to do this morning to get ready. They didn't even fight with each other once. WOW! I am so happy for them that they are getting to spend time with Dakota. They both really need it.
As for me, I'm just hanging out at the house. The laundry is going and the dogs are barking. A usual day around here. I do need to drain their pool and get new water in it but that seems like such a daunting chore to do alone. I think I need another adult to help me with the rinsing and cleaning.
Tomorrow Kelton has a 4 hour birthday party to attend so Kaylen and I will find something fun to do while he is there (though to be honest, I do have a bit of anxiety about leaving him for the swimming part. I get weird with the kids around water...I keep telling myself that there are trained lifeguards at the pool and he will be ok but....well....he IS my baby.
Saturday evening I am planning to build a camp fire and have a s'more making event. I know the kids will love it.
Sunday Marlene, the 3 kids and I are planning to drive up to Mount St. Helens. I've never been there before and I have always wanted to go see it.
Oh - and tonight Cande is coming over for a while. Girls Night In! :) YAY! Sounds like a fun weekend.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
So. Much. Fun.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
After we all woke up this morning, I got us all our morning drinks (coffee for me, warm milk for Kaylen and cold milk for Kelton) and then settled Kelton in with the laptop on my left and Kaylen with a tv show on my right. I just ate up this special time with my kiddos.
Around 8:30 Marlene stopped by with a donut surprise for the three of us. The kids got rowdy and there was much laughter and squealing for the quick 15 minutes Marlene was here before heading to work.
What a great way to start a day!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I held it together with the kids but I was definitely not a happy camper on the inside. I even took them to Lloyd Center where there is an "all things pirate" store that Kelton has been dreaming of for the past couple weeks since he saw it on an outing with Dakota. The kids each had $2.00 so they found something that they could pay half of and I picked up the other half. Kaylen left with a plush small monkey that makes monkey sounds and Kelton choose four plastic pirate characters. They are both very happy so all in all, a successful trip.
I, of course, spent time job searching. Always the highlight to my day (she said with sarcasm dripping from her words) because I've begun to see the process as an experience in virtual rejection. Hey - maybe I can create an affiliate internet marketing group for that. Ok ok - not funny. But really? Instead of being a hopeful experience, looking for a job has become a test for me; how long can my self esteem take constant rejection before I break?
Clearly about 7 months is the answer.
A bit later I set up the sprinkler for the kids and uncovered the pool. I ducked into the house for a few minutes and when I came back, Kelton had managed to break the new sprinkler I had bought just last week to replace the old one that had broken. This would be the sprinkler I need to water the lawn. Needless to say, being so close to the edge, it tipped me right over. I went inside and cried. Yes, you read that right. I cried over a broken $18 sprinkler. But you know, I don't have $18 to buy a new one at this point.
My mental state took a nose dive from there. Luckily, when bedtime for the kids rolled around, the kids wanted to have some "chat time". Somewhere in the hour conversation, they lifted me up with their love and things didn't feel quite so hopeless. They will never know how much that conversation helped me. They are amazing kids and I am so, so lucky to have them.
How's my mental state today? Tenuous at best but I'm holding on.
Monday, July 19, 2010
This is where I want to be right now. This outside log furniture looks so peaceful and I am incredibly overwhelmed with life today and could use some peace. A while ago I admitted to all of you that I can be going along ok for a while and then SMACK! I hit a wall and everything falls apart and feels completely unmanageable and then slowly I get my feet back under me and stand up again.
It isn't one thing that overwhelms me, it's the culmination of many and then one thing will tip me over the edge. The ol' "straw that broke the camel's back" story. Not unlike most of us, I know. I've been against the wall since Friday and I have been struggling to stand up again. I'm not there yet.
Last night Dakota told me that the kids asked her why they couldn't live with her full time and just visit me. From the sounds of it, she handled it well but it still hurts. I know kids always want what they don't have but it still stings. I know Kelton fell all over me last night when they got back and I know they both missed me greatly while they were gone, I know that I was smothered with "I love you's" last night and again this morning but it still hurts.
I know they have a great time with Dakota and her gf. They go to fun places and they shop and they are having non-stop fun and life with me is different. It's the life they have always had: chores, solid bedtimes, solid routines, etc. I know everyone would choose fun over chores anytime and I know they don't get that if they lived with her full time it wouldn't be like that all the time. Logically, I get all that. Emotionally, it still hurts.
Just another thing to say "You aren't good enough."
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I got to see the movie for free thanks to the Regal Points program. The last time I went to see a movie, the ticket receipt printer gave me the nice surprise of a free movie ticket. Nice!
Anyway...there was a line in the movie that really stuck with me and rings oh so true. I'm totally paraphrasing but it went something like this:
"Marriage is hard. It's hard work every single day. And at some point you stop seeing the other person and instead you begin to see them through your own projected junk."
Sounds hauntingly familiar.
It was a really good movie though to be honest, I would have liked a bit more closure at the end but that's me. I like a nice tidy ending. Still - definitely worth seeing if it comes to your area. I know here it is showing at only one theater (downtown Portland) but on four screens. That's it though - no other theater in the area. I know in lots of places all over the country it will never see screen time so add it to your Netflix list for when it comes out.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I carefully loaded the clothes in and added the detergent and then I very carefully (and respectfully) flipped the control to start the water flowing. I held my breath. Nothing horrible appeared to be happening.
I snuck out of the laundry room like a mother who finally got her baby to sleep and was afraid of waking them.
Five minutes went by. Still dry.
Ten minutes. Still dry.
My breathing became easier.
The cycle finally ran its course and I went back in, holding my breath the entire time. The floor was DRY!
I promise you - it's the simple things in life that bring the most happiness. Now I can scratch that worry off my ever growing list of things to worry about.
At least for now.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I was running around cleaning things up and putting things away when something took me out to the garage. The kids have been hanging out there lately digging through stuff finding things to sell at a garage sale which is fine and dandy but made a disaster zone much, much worse.
It's no secret that the garage is a mess. It seriously gives me anxiety. There is so much stuff out there: boxes and bins of clothes for the kids to grow into, bags of clothes they have grown out of that are either waiting to go to a smaller relative or waiting to be sold at a garage sale, toys that are too big to live in the house full time (doll houses...three of them...bins of other toys and doll stuff and games), their bikes, paint cans, camping stuff, law books and bar review material, etc. The list goes on and on and on.
It doesn't take long for the neatly stacked bins and toys to spread out across the garage and it had gotten really bad out there. This morning, when I went out there, I tripped over something and dang near bit it but good. That was it! I started picking things up and organizing things. It took 90 plus minutes but it is manageable out there again. At least, I can walk out there without fear of killing myself. Always a good thing, you know?
Once there was some sort of order given to the garage, I came back inside and changed my sweaty shirt (it's hot in the garage!), washed my face and applied acne medication to combat my issue with sweat induced acne and began the never-ending job search. I found an applied for several positions while also helping the kids work on an art project. Multi-tasking at its best! :) Then it was time to feed the kids...which is what I just finished doing.
I'm also stressing out over the washing machine. Last night when I went in to switch a load, I discovered a small bit of water on the floor. Not enough to say "Crud! The washer is leaking!" but enough to make me a bit wary of starting another load. *sigh* I guess I'll know soon enough but really? This is a stress I could definitely do without. I am already playing games in my head about how to deal with a repair bill. Buying a new unit is out of the question - even from Craigslist - because it needs to be full size stackable units to fit into the space it needs to fit into.
I swear - I'm ready for live to come together and things to get easy (well...easier...since I know life is never easy). And on that note, I have a wasp in the house to figure out how to safely remove without getting myself stung.
Easier. I am more than ready for easier.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I am sitting on the patio blogging from my phone. Technology never ceases to amaze and confuse me. :) I don't type nearly as fast on the phone as I do on a keyboard though so I doubt this will be the new thing for me but its entertaining for today. hee hee.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Kelton had a pretty good case of it and Kaylen has a mild case. They both have drops to put in their ears 4 times a day for 5 days. No swimming or water in the ears until the medication is finished. Then, we need to be really careful to dry their ears (even blow drying them) to keep the moisture in their ears down.
Here's hoping for a more peaceful night of sleep tonight....or at least by tomorrow night.
I've never had swimmers ear so I don't know what it would feel like but from his behavior (clearly not feeling 100%...and has been up a lot the past couple nights which isn't in character for him) something is going on in that ear of his.
This morning Kaylen started saying her ear hurt, too. I'm not convinced when it comes to her - I have a feeling it's more of a "Kelton is saying it and getting attention so I will too!" situation but since I need to have Kelton seen, I'll have her looked at as well. Better safe than sorry. Not exactly the way I had planned to spend the morning but I guess grocery shopping can wait another day.
After the doctor appointment, I'm taking them to Chuck E. Cheese to play some games. Last night, while cuddling with me, Kelton said "Mom, I would really like to do some fun things this summer. We stay home a lot and it would be fun to do something. I know all my ideas cost money but maybe we could do something every week or so?" His eyes help so much hope as they looked at me. My babies. I feel so bad for them. They really are being troopers about "We have no money for that right now."
Monday, July 12, 2010
Now some people give this level of relaxation from jumping onto massage tables and enjoying a deep tissue massage. I can't indulge in that because of my back problems but some days I would love to be able to have someone massage the stress and tension away. I guess I'll just have to settle for a comfy softness of my bed.
We reached Cannon Beach by 10 and were soon happily eating at the Pig-n-Pancake (no secret - it's my favorite place to eat). After breakfast we walked around town and in and out of shops. The kids all got some small things and I even bought a few things for myself - like a really cool starfish necklace.
We stayed in Cannon Beach for a few hours and then we headed into Seaside which is definitely the more "kid centered" beach town. We hit all the regulars like the merry-go-round, the train and pedal cars and the arcade (and yes, Pig-n-Pancake again for lunch). Finally, much to the happiness of the three kids, it was time to hit the sand. We saved the beach itself for last since I knew the kids would be wet, sandy messes once we were there....and I was not wrong. At one point, Kelton buried himself in the sand. What a lovely mess. :)
We had a fantastic day and it was hard for us to leave. We headed out of town around 8pm (the kids voted and we ended up having dinner at the Pig-n-Pancake too) and finally arrived home around 11 (we stopped in Longview to watch a huge fireworks display). The kids had all fallen asleep on the drive home so we carried them into the house and tucked them into their beds.
It was such a good day...and you know it was a great photo op! Here are some of the 150 pictures I took. :)
Friday, July 09, 2010
After a good lunch, they are back in the pool enjoying staying cool. The really funny thing is they wanted to come back outside because they were cold inside. Really? Cold inside the house? It's 70 degrees and PERFECT in the house. Yeah yeah...but that's what I like it to be. I admire all of you who run your a/c and keep it in the upper 70's but that isn't me and never has been.
So they think it's cold in the house but you know, I'm ok with that because it means they are outside and not sitting around playing their DS's and Leapsters. So really? It works out perfectly. And bonus! They are so tired at the end of the day that they are happy to fall into bed at bedtime without complaint. Well...without much complaint.
Ok seriously? The kids are pretending that the pool is a toilet and are "flushing" each other. What does that mean? I should peek around the bush and see what they are doing because listening to them? It's dang funny. Who knows what games await them as the day goes by. Perhaps they will pretend to be Pokemon characters again. Maybe magic travelers who pop up in different places every time they dive under the water (yes, they played those yesterday) or maybe something beyond my wildest dreams. I love these ages. More playing together, less fighting and Mommy even gets to enjoy some quiet time.
Ok - conversation time is over and now they are playing some strange game. I'm pretty sure that, if they aren't careful, I may need to look into disability insurance for them. Holy cow - they are so rough when they play.
The mosquitoes this year have been thick and nasty. They are everywhere and apparently they find Kaylen and I to be quite tasty. I have been using bug spray on me but it doesn't stop all of them. I have noticed that mosquitoes have gotten worse through the years. Where are all the bats that should be gobbling them up? This is crazy and so not pleasant.
Ooops..kids are on the move. Need to grab towels for them. More later.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Here are a few photos of my water babies:
Yesterday afternoon Marlene was done with work early so she and Andrew took us to Esther Short Park to play in the water. The kids had a blast and I have to admit, event though I hate, hate, hate being splashed with water, even *I* had a good time! I was pretty wet there for a while but the heat took care of that in no time. :)
Summertime! It appears to finally be here.
When the temps get hot it's hard to get cooled if your house is just as hot (or hotter) than outside. I find I am a much nicer person when I can cool my core temperature. If I am hot and miserable......well....that just isn't pretty.
There is one good thing about the heat though....it's one of the only diets that work for me. My appetite is non-existent in heat. I guess that's a bonus now, isn't it? :)
The kids have been living in the pool. From where I sit I can hear the happy sounds of them splashing in the water. Normally I would be sitting at my guard post but because of the size of the pool, it is where it can't be seen in the afternoon unless you are sitting directly in the sun. And let's remember: Casey doesn't do hot weather. The surest way to make my throw up is putting me in direct sun for too long.
So - I have the door open listening to their every word. I can get out there in mere seconds. I would never, ever have done this when they were younger but it feels ok this year.
I have some photos to post. I just need to upload them. Maybe I'll do that next. I hope you are all enjoying your summer day....no matter what you are doing.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
As for me - I have an overwhelming sense of peace and calm. After a year of constant turmoil and chaos, this is a welcome feeling. Yes, I'm still stressed about certain things but this morning? This morning calm and peaceful wins out.
Last night Dakota was here with the kids so Marlene and I headed down to a favorite place, Beaches, and enjoyed dinner on the terrace overlooking the river. We were just sitting down when I noticed that a friend, Jennifer, and her son were seated at the table next to us. We scooted the tables closer together and enjoyed a conversation (this was the first time M and J had met) as we took in the sights and sounds of a warm summer evening.
After dinner, we headed into Portland for a bit and then stopped at Dairy Queen to enjoy a Blizzard and then it was time to go come home to switch places with Dakota. Tonight Dakota will be here again (instead of her usual Thursday) as she will be flying out of state late tonight and won't be back until next week and tonight will be an even hotter summer night to enjoy.
I hear Kaylen stirring in the other room. Time to get this day underway. Stay cool if it's hot where you are, stay dry if you have rain but above all else, enjoy your day! I know I plan to.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Friday night Marlene and our friend, Cande, went out to a local lesbian bar and had a blast! Marlene and Cande danced for hours and I had a great time people watching (I don't like to dance so it was perfect for me). We stayed out late and really had fun.
Saturday Marlene's son was dropped off in the morning and we spent the day running errands and looking at new cars (Marlene is in the market for a new vehicle). Andrew and I were pretty much bored silly by the car shopping but we managed to turn it into a fun time just the same.
Later that evening we went to celebrate Marlene's mom's 83rd birthday. It was not my first time meeting the family so this time I was a bit more relaxed and had a good time texting Marlene's sister from my end of the table.
Yesterday, the 4th of July, we picked up Andrew and headed out for a drive up the gorge via the scenic route. Oh my gosh - it was breath taking! I took a bunch of photos and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
After exploring the gorge, we landed back in Cascade Locke to watch the fireworks display and let me tell you - we were not disappointed. WOW! We already are making plans for taking Kelton and Kaylen with us for next year. I think they would really love it.
Here are some photos of my day. It was an amazingly wonderful weekend and I am very, very, very happy. Life never ceases to amaze me.