Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

May you all be merry and bright. :)



Monday, December 17, 2012

Warm and Toasty

So - as you probably already know, I work as a substitute in our former school district.  Some of the jobs I am called for require outside time.  Lots of outside time.  Outside in the winter is not my friend - nor the friend of anyone with a titanium rod in their spine.  Once I get cold, you can literally *feel* the radiating cold spot in my back.  So working outside?  Not all that fun for me but I do it because it's a job and a job pays money.

I have long underwear type things that help but not a lot.  I have recently learned, though, that Tourmaster Synergy has a line of heated apparel!  Now we're talking!  Can you just picture climbing into clothes that will stay warm and toasty when you are outside?  Talk about amazing!

Sure - we all know about the hand warmer packs and the shoe warmer things but clothes that are heated?!?!?!  HEAVENLY!  Especially for me!

Not that I would, or could, rush out and buy any but the fact that they exist make me happy.  Happy is good.

More Ramblings from Someone Who Has Had No Sleep Lately

I made my special peppermint Christmas candy treats today.  After all these years, I have it down to a science so I was in and out within an hour.  Of course, it takes two hours for them to back and cool but the messy part was over and done quickly.  I am going to bag some up and have the kids give some to their teachers tomorrow.  I know it's not as crafty as some parents but they are tasty and it's something I can do.  Last year the kids went to the dollar store and picked out gifts but honestly, I don't have the extra cash for that this year (yes I know, woe is me) and plus, I don't have the energy.  Everything is so far from here - no longer a hop, skip and a jump from things.

I did most of my shopping online this year.  I actually prefer that if I know what I'm looking for.  I don't have to wade through Sunday ads full of useless (to me) things like air compressor deals. I just go to my ipad, pull up my Amazon app, plug in what I'm looking for and hit order.

I can't remember when I moved to online shopping for Christmas but I think it was the second year of Dakota being in law school.  With two little kids and no virtually no help, I found it easier to shop online and have it all sent to  my doorstep.  Besides, I kinda like the UPS man showing up.  It's like a mini-Christmas every time.

My brother, bless his heart, added me to his Amazon Prime Shipping account.  LOVE IT!  Free shipping.  If I could ask for only one thing for Christmas (and honestly, I haven't asked for anything from anyone), it would be to continue to the Prime membership.  It is a God-send and I am so grateful for it.

Anyway - time to check on my peppermint candies.  Wish I felt like I wanted to snack on them....but I don't.  :/

Misc Rambling

All the stocking stuffers have been purchased and wrapped.  I don't know about you, but I find the stockings kind of daunting....and expensive.  I tend to go for bathroom items....toothbrushes, tooth paste, deodorant, shower soaps, etc.  and then add in a couple small toys (trading cards, etc) and then toss in candy.  And yet - because bathroom items are so costly - I end up spending way too much.  The thing is though, I'd have to buy all this stuff anyway.  I'm just pre-buying and stocking up.

Kelton is too old to have bath foam and bath crayons but, thankfully, too young to need to worry about things like razors and shaving brushes.  Kaylen is too old for Dora bubble bath and just right for the kid make up kits. 

I found myself feeling sad as I passed things that would have been perfect for them in years gone by.  Of course, I have been feeling overwhelmingly sad and missing the small kids that they used to be.  Oh how I love them as they are right now but some times my heart aches for their tiny little selves.  I long to hear their baby voices and laughter.

Days were simple back then.  My entire existence revolved around them and their needs and their routines.  Simple.

I want that back.  And yet - you can't go home again.

Oh how I know that one too well.

Slow Go

My laptop is slow.  PAINFULLY slow.  As in "turtles can run faster".  But then, so is my desk top computer.  I wish there was an easy, free way to speed up my computer but the truth is, they are old.  Antiquated.  The CPU for my desktop dates back to when Kelton was an infant.  I had one inbetween but it blue screened on me and so this one was brought back to life.  Sorta.  My laptop dates back about 5 or 6 years.  My brother has kept that one limping along but it takes forever to load.  But...ironically, it's faster than the desk top.

First world, shallow problems.  I get that.  But right now my brain is over filled with too much hurt and heartache so shallow probems just seem easier to focus on.

Fa La La La La.  And all that.

Sinking

I think I'm beginning to sink into depression.  There is a small voice in my head telling me to go see the doctor but I just can't bring myself to do it.  I am still functioning.  I get up, take care of my children, log in and find work for the day, pay bills, grocery shop, etc. but something is missing.

Maybe it's the gray skies that won't quit this time of year.  Maybe it's the drama that unfolds around me constantly.  Maybe it's the exclusion.  Maybe it's just me.  Maybe it's the holiday.  Maybe I just need a freaking break.

I could tell you this is new...within the past few days.  That would make sense.  But no - it's been going on for weeks now.  I have made it a point to get out of the house and into the world as much as I can.  Working around people.  Faking it until I make it.  But I wonder.

There is so many little things around here that drive me crazy.  Moulding that needs to be replaced because they haven't yet been from when we put in the new flooring.  A master bath that is "in progress" of being renovated.  The closet floor in Kaylen's room that needs to be finished.  I have curtain rods that still need to be put up.  Etc.  It's slowly getting done...well...some of it.  I'm sure, in time, it will be done.  But it does add to my stress.

Over all, I am not confident that I am adjusting well.  Everything seems so.....big. 

I figure I will hold on until the first of the year and if I'm still feeling this way, I should get myself to the doctor.  But that might mean finding a new one first.  I'm not crazy about the PA I have.  We'll see.

Time will tell.  It always does.



The Monday After.....

This morning brought many challenges for me.  The biggest was pulling off a routine morning with the kids and taking them to school.  As we drove, I gently reminded them that they would probably hear talk about what happened at the school on Friday.  I told them that it was far away from here and they were safe at school...all the while knowing I was lying.  Safe?  What is safe anyway?  Our school doesn't lock doors.  There are signs to remind you to check in at the offices but honestly?  There is nothing that would give anyone even the slightest bit of reassurance that they are safe at school.

But then - my grandmother's words replay in my head:  "Locks are only for honest people.  If evil wants in, it will find a way."

Sandy Hook had locked doors.  A security system.  But evil found its way in anyway.  Through a broken window.  If evil wants in, it will find a way.  Indeed.

As I drove up into the drop off lane, I noticed people I have never before seen.  There are always adults out waiting to help kids get safely from cars to the sidewalk but today there were men in uniforms, official patches on their jackets.  The fire department for our small town was out in force, circle the buildings and greeting children.  Usually I kiss Kaylen from inside the car, today I was compelled to get out, wrap my arms around her, kiss her and hold her for just a moment.  I found my cheeriest voice and told her to have a good day and that I loved her.  I watched her walk away from me, towards the uniformed med on the sidewalk.  They greeted her, offered her a sticker and off she went.  I watched her small little body growing smaller as she walked towards her classroom door.  The terror rising inside me.  Be safe, little one.  Oh please be safe.

I took a deep breath, climbed back in the car and headed next door to Kelton's school.  I repeated the scene with him and off he went, avoiding the firemen.  Into the building he walked and, with tears in my eyes, I drove to the far end of the parking lot to exit. 

I was greeted at the far end of the parking lot with fire trucks, ambulances, the fancy truck the fire chief drives, and other vehicles.  Nothing as simple as activity buses for sale were parked there.  No - all first responder vehicles.  All there to try to reassure parents that their children are safe.

It was both stunning and reassuring.  When did it come to this?  Oh right.  Friday morning when evil visited an elementary school.

And we will never again be the same.

Post Birthday

So.  It's Monday.  A Monday after a week of shootings.  Also the Monday after my birthday.  Which was Saturday.

I was very conflicted with my emotions this weekend - birthdays, to me, always mean a happy day full of doing things that make me happy.  Except, I was feeling anything but happy.  Call me funny but the images of what took place in Newtown CT on Friday morning made me feel many, many things.  Happy was definitely not among those feelings.

But it was, after all, my birthday.  Which comes but once a year.  And is often looked over because of the holiday season.  So I wanted to do *something* to feel special.  The kids were with Dakota - which was incredibly hard (made harder still Friday) since it was the first time in 10 years I didn't feel little arms around my neck on my birthday.

Stephanie saw to it that I had a good day.  First there was coffee in bed, then she made me breakfast and then we got ready and went out into the world.  In and out of stores we went all afternoon...buying precious little (and definitely not pandora charms though they are pretty darn nice!) but having fun none the less.

We ended our day with dinner at the Spaghetti Factory.  It's a favorite place of mine and somewhere I rarely go.  I think the last time I was there was well over a year ago.  It was nice but I was in such an emotional state, I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to.  That - and because I was all topsy turvy inside, I wasn't very hungry.

After dinner, we headed back to the house and brought in the bins of Christmas gifts and we wrapped gifts while watching a Christmas movie. 

Before I knew it, the evening was over and it was bedtime.  My birthday over for another year.  I'm 48 now.  I can't quite wrap my head around it.  Forty eight.  Where did all the years go?



Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Rough Few Days

Like so many others, I have had a rough couple of days. The Sandy Hook tragedy has shook me to my very core. I have always had trouble letting my babies be in the world without me but slowly, over the years, I have learned to let go and trust the schools and teachers with the most precious parts of me.

I had started taking their safety, while at school, for granted. Don't get me wrong, I have never been 100% trusting when it comes to other people and my children.....which is a key reason as to why I chose to get involved in their school. I want...and need...to have my finger on the pulse of their day to day lives but I could drop them off and leave them without the constant sense of dread.

But Friday, evil made itself known in an elementary school. In first grade classrooms. With children the same age as my daughter. My mind could not wrap around it. My mind tortures me with visions of my daughter, her friends, their teachers lying dead on the floor of their classroom. Their brightly colored art projects and the stacks of easy reader books all around their room. Desks, crayons, tiny chairs.

I see myself in the faces of the grieving parents. I cry for them, and with them. Their babies gone forever.

Those families woke up, ate breakfast, got ready for their days, kissed their children goodbye with promises to see each other at the end of the day. Maybe talked about the plans for the weekend. Of trips to see Santa, picking out trees, wrapping gifts. And then...in the blink of an eye, the beat of a heart....their children are ripped from their lives in an act so violent that I can barely breathe when I think of it.

There, but for the grace of God, go I. Go all of us. It could have been our school, your school, the school down the road.

As it turns out, I have a (tenuous) tie to Sandy Hook. The school superintendent is the mother of a friend of mine. Until Friday, I didn't know that. Until Friday, I wouldn't have been able to tell you where Holly's mom worked or what she did...or heck, what she looked like. I know now. I watched the interview with her, saw the pain in her face and heard the tears in her voice. I can't begin in imagine the heartache going on in Newtown, CT. I can barely handle the heartache going on inside me.

Those sweet babies. It could have been your sweet babies. It could have been my sweet babies.

I, along with so many others, have been changed and our sense of security when it comes to having our children outside the protective circle of our arms will never be the same.

But the trick in all of this will be to give the message to our precious children that they are safe in the world. That we will be there to protect them and keep them safe from harm...all the while knowing we can only do our best. The rest is completely out of our control. A tomorrow, I will put on a happy face and kiss my babies goodbye in the drop off line. I will say "have a great day. I love you and I will see you after school." And I will drive away from them, praying with all my might that they will be safe.

Onward we go. Changed once more.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Nothing Goes As Planned. Ever.

So...this weekend, so far, resembles nothing like I thought it would.  There was no holiday treat baking today.  No Christmas movie, as I thought there would be.

My Friday was filled with working a few hours, getting Maddie to the vet because she ripped her dewclaw and it was clearly painful for her (Thankfully no surgery was required.  They removed the broken part and I need to watch it for increased swelling and redness.) and taking care of Kaylen who was a mess because she had had a couple of difficult days at school.  Boys being mean, a friend being mean.  Hating her life.  Wanting to move home.  Wanting to go back to Crestline.  Wanting her real friends.  It's hard to see her struggle and because I am also struggling - it makes it doubly painful.  I think it was good that we were planning to attend WinterFest at our old school.

The kids and I did make it to the Crestline WinterFest and had a great time!  They both saw friends (more so for Kaylen since 5th graders were suspiciously missing in numbers.  Maybe they feel they are too old at that age...I don't know) and teachers and we were all treated like royalty.  It was nice to "go home" again as the three of us are terribly homesick.  I got many much needed hugs from people.  Lined up a few lunch dates and even had the principal ask me if I was interested in jobs at the school.  Ummm YES!  She said she would put me at the top of the list because it is hard to find good people and I am a good person for any job.  (well yes.....always have been.  But apparently I am being missed big time.  I will admit - that feels good but a big part of me wants to turn back the clock and still be there.  Change is hard.  I'm struggling.  No new news there.)

I admit to finding it ironic that I could end up working at the school we just left - meaning driving back and forth from here to there which is the reverse of what I had been doing for the past two years.

Anyway.......last night was great and so, so, so needed.  For all three of us.


Kaylen and her some of her friends: Devon, Kyle and Anisa
Kelton with Mr. Daniels
Kelton with his friend, and our former neighbor, Josh
Kaylen with Devo, Anisa and Ms. Miller
Kaylen and Anisa

Today Kaylen had a play date with Ella, Andrew had a party to attend, and Stephanie had work which meant Kelton and I had a day together.  We hemmed and hawed over what to do with him finally choosing Chuck E. Cheese (for the arcade games - not the atmosphere).  He had a blast and I had a good time following him around, watching him play, and soaking up his happiness.

After we were done at CEC, we headed over to the area where Ella lives so we could pick Kaylen up at the appointed time.  We were early so Kelton suggested we run my *ahem* dirty car through the car wash.  I plead country life on a dirt road as my defense.  :)  We went through the car wash - which is always a good time - and then I decided vacuuming out the inside would be a good use of time.  Kelton was in HEAVEN!  He had such a good time with the vacuum and I will say - the car feels much more organized and clean now.  I've been amazed, and kinda grossed out, how much crap accumulates in the car now that we are in it so much.  Again - I am going to use the country life defense.  It wasn't nasty or anything - just some trash the kids leave behind from granola bars, receipts that I leave behind, dog leashes, etc.  And tons and tons of pine needles.  Ugh.

And you know - I kinda like knowing that Kelton likes to vacuum out the car.  I'll be stashing quarters for the next time we are buy the car wash.  Might as well hone his skill.  :)


Friday, December 07, 2012

Finally Friday

It's my weekend with the kids and I've really been looking forward to this day.  They have been with Dakota for the past two weekends due to the Thanksgiving weekend (it was her year) and needing to get the schedule back in sync with Andrew's weekend schedule away.  It's important that we have the kids on the same alternating weekends or it leaves zero kid-free time for Stephanie and me.  Not ideal, that's for sure.  True, they all have Tuesdays and Thursdays with their other parent but Dakota picks the kids up at 5pm and has them back home in time for bedtime routines by 7:45pm.  Andrew's other parent doesn't pick Andrew up until 7:15pm and then has him overnight.  It's kind of crazy but it is what it is.

Anyhoo.....tonight the kids are with me and the three of us are going to go back to our old school for WinterFest.  This morning, on the way to school, they were both talking about what friends they hope will be there tonight.  Oh how I hope they have a good time.  Personally, for my part, I'm hoping to see some of MY old friends, too.  The three of us really miss our old stomping grounds and familiar faces.  Me, probably most of all.

Tomorrow I am planning to have Kaylen (and Kelton if he wants to, though something tells me he will opt out, preferring to play on ToonTown)  help me make some Christmas treats.  I'm looking forward to that.  And then on Sunday, weather and people permitting, we will go to the tree farm and cut down the non-artificial tree for the family room.  I think they kids will enjoy the experience.

I think I am all but done Christmas shopping.  We still need to get a few things off Andrew's list but I'm going to leave that in the hands of Stephanie.  Kelton and Kaylen are done though and I'm pretty happy with the result.  I'm looking forward to wrapping everything and making it all pretty but that will need to wait until next weekend when the kids are gone. 
I've had a good time shopping for what I needed.  A good chunk, once I knew what I was searching for,  I did online.  The rest had me in the store admiring one store display after another.  I admit that I love being in the stores this time of year (well - any time of year, really) because everything is all festive and happy.  I need that feeling....festive and happy.

I'm trying hard to make this a good Christmas for Kelton and Kaylen.  They are so darn excited and since they are still big believers in the magic, I want to make it as magical as possible.  I have a feeling I am getting to the end of my magic believing time with them.  Which makes me more sad than I could possible explain.

Anyway - I need to wrap this up since I have a job to get to at a local elementary school.  Today, for the second time this week, I get to play the role of Lunchroom Monitor.  WoooHoooo!  Hey - at least it's something.  :)

Monday, December 03, 2012

December....already?

How in the world is it December already?  Wasn't it just June?  July?  Maybe August?  It must be winter though because it gets dark early, is still dark when I pour my first cup of coffee, and is downright cold and wet most days.

Yep - sure sign that winter, if not *actually* here (you know...that whole winter solstice is December 21st thing) is darn close.

And since I brought up December 21st.....what are your thoughts?  Do you think life, as we know it, will end?  Kelton mentioned something about how cool it would be if the Zombie Apocalypse happened that day.  Me?  I don't think that part would be so great but if the world has to end, then I hope we all just go quickly.  And whose December 21st date do we use?  Is it a rolling end of the world......we just watch it happen from the far side of the world as it get closer and closer to the United States?  I remember Y2K and all the predictions that never came to light but still...I watched in relief as the year changed from 1999 to 2000 across the world, knowing that we were among the last to experience it so by then, we'd already know what was what.

Maybe that will be the case on the 21st.  Or maybe we will all still be standing on the 22nd.  Kinda like that May date two years ago when the redemption was supposed to happen.  All I know is I'm ok either way.  Because, you know, I have no control over it anyway.

That's one thing I've learned quite well:  control is an illusion.  I don't know who has it but it certainly isn't me.  In any way, shape, or form.

But on a happier note:  the tree is up.  Well, the first tree is up.  The kids and I LOVE our fake tree and the fact that we can have it up for weeks and weeks.  Stephanie and Andrew prefer a real tree.  So, the fake tree is in the living room and the real one will go in the family room.  Somewhere along the line, we will take ornaments from both collections and mix them on the trees.  Somewhere along the line, we will decide which tree we will use for the Christmas presents.  Somewhere along the line, all this won't cause panic for me.  And anxiety.  And tears.  And and and.........

It's hard.  How hard?  As hard as a metal hose.  To bend it all into a different shape will take great effort.  Blending families is not for the weak.  This is hard shit.  Some days I wonder how I can find my way through it.  Some days I would probably tell you that I can't.  Some days it seems doable.  Some days feel good, others feel anything but.

Change.  Never been a fan of it.  That hasn't changed at all.

Kelton and Kaylen are thrilled that their favorite month is here.  I love seeing how excited they are and I try, with everything I am, to soak it up and let it pull me through.  They are both BIG BIG believers in the magic of the season and I am so thankful for that.  I have been mentally preparing lists of holiday things I want to do with them when they are on break.  This year though, there doesn't seem to be much time between the end of school and Christmas.  It is going to go too fast but I am hopeful we will trek out to look at lights, made Christmas goodies, read more stories by the light of the Christmas tree.  Just be together.

Time goes fast and I want to have a good holiday season with them.  They are growing so fast and I so much want to keep them little.

My babies.  My angels.  Every birthday and Christmas gift I have ever wanted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Where has the year gone?  I'm already feeling the pressure of not having enough done in the way of Christmas gifts.  I think I have Kaylen all but done.  Kelton is a struggle for me.  All he wants is Skylanders Giants which is great but I learned last year not to do single theme gifts.  Kaylen insisted on all things Barbie and then by June, was done with it.  I want a variety of things to hit a variety of interests.

And yes, I noticed that I titled this Thanksgiving but am focusing on Christmas. 

I've never been hugely into Thanksgiving.  It's a holiday that, in my opinion, should be moved to somewhere else on the calendar.  It gets the short end of the stick and honestly, I could do without it.  Then people wouldn't get all cranky and snotty when they learn I decorate for Christmas as soon as the Halloween decorations come down.

The kids are with Dakota for Thanksgiving this year.  I will confess that I'm not a fan of holidays when it comes to splitting time, nor dealing with it as a blended family.  It's chaotic and depressing and sad and I am finding the joy of the season hard to capture.  I want to.  But I don't feel it.  Haven't in...oh...say about three years now.  Thinking of Christmas morning makes me want to cry.  It isn't the way it was supposed to be and my traditions and things I think are important, are not shared ideals of Stephanie and Andrew.  What gives?  Which traditions trump because they can't co-exist just by the very nature of the holiday.

I don't think  passing out presents immediately and ripping everything open in less than 5 minutes is acceptable.  They do.  Last year, when we finally had our joint Christmas celebration, it was a struggle for me, and for my two as we tried to understand their ways.  But then, I'm finding lots of things with a blended family a struggle to find compromise.  I just don't want to feel like I am giving up things that are important to me.  You know?  And I don't want Stephanie to feel like like she is giving up things that are important to her.

And then there is Dakota and Vicki.  Where does everything and everyone fit in this year?  Last year, I felt awkward having Vicki at Christmas morning.  I'm just going to say it - even though I wanted to be the bigger person and be ok with it, I felt like an outsider in my own home with my children.  But it was the deal we made at the onset: the kids would always wake up on Christmas morning in their beds where ever they lived with me and Dakota (and whoever she was with) would be welcome to join us for the gift opening.  And I don't want the kids to wake up anywhere else but with me.  And Kelton must feel the same as he said today "I don't really care if they come (for Christmas morning) or not since I know we will see them later.  I just know I want to be home when I wake up."

How does that play with another child?  In another house?

I don't know.  And I'm rambling.  All these things are starting to keep me awake at night.  Again.  Tis the season for endless stress, I guess.

Sometimes I wish I could just fast forward but then again, I don't.  Because I want the kids to enjoy every minute of it.  Even if I don't.

Ugh.

But hey - Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I hope you who are with family and friends enjoy the heck out of the day.

New Shoes

I am a Sketchers kinda girl.  Easy to find, models don't change much year to year.  White leather.  Pretty easy and don't forget, mostly affordable.

Stephanie is a tennis shoe hound.  I am not sure I even know how many pairs of shoes she owns.  She changes them throughout the day.  The comfort of her feet is critical to her well being.  I say rock on. 

For me?  I just put my feet in my shoes and don't really think about them again until my shoes come off at the other end of the day.

I'm easy like that.

But lately, my back issues (syringomyelia) has given way to hip problems and nerve issues that shoes seem to increase or decrease.  So Stephanie took me to the Fit Right NW store in town and had them run me through their walking diagnostic test and from there they determined the type of show I needed.

*Ahem*  *cough cough* 

Waaaaaay too much money later, I was the proud owner of a pair of Ghost GXT shoes.  They were AWESOME!  For the first two weeks.  Then I noticed a squeak, an uncomfortable feeling inside started to develop.  Huh.  Weird.  I took them back to the store (because honestly?  For the kind of money I wanted shoes that would STAY amazing.  You know?

I had hoped it was just a glitch.  So they special ordered me another pair (they didn't have any in stock).  While they were working on their end, I looked around the shop.  Fancy stuff.  So much gear for running (and is it wrong that I thought, ever so briefly, about buying the stickers for your car that have the miles you have run?  Hee hee.  A runner I am not, and never will be but the general population doesn't need to know that and they could look at me in awe when they see my 26.2 mile sticker.  Yeah right.).  I didn't see any of the fancy salomon s lab items but there was so much stuff crammed in a small store.  Who knew?  It actually made me wish, for a brief second, that I could (and wanted to) run.

Anyway.....they ordered the new shoes.  They came in.  I was thrilled beyond reason.  And then yesterday, eight days in, the same issues started to present themselves.  Clearly, this is not the right show for me.

So now I need to go back and try again with a different pair.  Which sucks.  Because these are cool.  They are black, which means I can wear them and pretend I'm dressed up more than tennis shoes usually allow, and personally, I think that's kind of cool.  I'm not a brightly colored shoe kind of girl.  And right now?  I'm kinda missing my Sketchers.

But I'm sure I will eventually find a good pair that will work and help ease the pain I have.

What? Can you amplify that a bit more? Oh wait - please don't.

Kelton is into music these days.  Specifically rap.  Yes, I said rap.  I'm not sure how this happened but I can tell you that I will be very, very happy when he outgrows this phase.  Of course, he isn't as bad as Andrew.  Suffice it to say that I am really, really glad they don't have a MXR amplifier.  Not that I don't think it's great that they are enhancing their love of music and musical ability...it's just that I don't have a need to hear it 24/7.  If you know what I mean.

There have been a few little charming ditties for which I had to put my foot down.  Oh my gosh.  Totally inappropriate.  Totally offensive.

Yea YouTube.  Or....you know, not.

So back to the amplifier.  I'm really, really greatful they don't have an amazing piece of equipment to broadcast their new found interest.

And here's to hoping this phase ends as quickly as it started.

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Manic Tuesday

What a day it has been.  And it isn't even 11:30am yet.

Got the kids up, ready for school, and delivered to their classrooms.  Back home to do morning chores and make breakfast for Stephanie and me.  Today is our second year anniversary so we enjoyed a little extra time together before heading off for our days.

First I had a phone call about heading up the school book fair next year.  Then I had three kittens to get to the vet (and now I have several slices on my hands and arms from not so happy about being caught and tossed into a carrier kittens.).  Shots, deworming and a new dx of ear mites later.....I brought everyone back to the house.  Waiting in the driveway were the electricians I hired to replace the main bathroom ceiling fan and wiring.  The fan hadn't been working for the past couple years which didn't have any ill effects with one, sometimes two showers a day but with with five of us showering....well....it was time to fix it.

While the guys were hard at work, I received a call from our pet sitter cancelling this weekend due to health complications on her end.  So now I am trying to figure out another way to get the pets taken care of for two nights so we can take the kids and go to the beach this weekend.  I am *this* close to working it out.  It will cost more but I so don't want to disappoint the kids - especially Kelton.  Plus, I am looking forward to getting out of dodge and breathing in some fresh sea air.

I have a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak.  But I can tell you that the on thing I don't have to worry about right now is working on  cd replication here.  Truth is, I haven't touched a CD in a long time.  DVD's every now and again but CD's?  Nope.

Ok - I'm off to contact the local kennel.  I've never put a dog in a kennel before...I'm a bit apprehensive about it but it sure would be nice if it were a viable alternative.

It's always something....that's for sure. :)


Friday, November 09, 2012

Coming Undone

To say it's been a bit of an emotional few weeks is kind of like saying we have had a tiny bit of rain.  And, in case you are wondering, we have had a very, very wet and chilly few weeks. 

The upshot of it all is that I made my last trip to the house I called home for ten plus years.  The house I magically transformed into a loving, nurturing home for my two babies.  The home where my babies rolled over, sat up, learned to crawl, learned to walk and run.  The home to where I brought Kaylen, fresh from the hospital, to forever be Kelton's baby sister.  The home that was the entire world, entire universe for my children and me for their entire lives.

One my last stop, I stood in the silence of the emptiness and I promise you, I could hear the echos of laughter, I could see them dancing their silly dances to their silly songs together in the kitchen while I cleaned up dinners night after night after night.  I heard them in their bedrooms.  Saw them laying under the branches of the Christmas tree, looking up at the lights.  Saw them splashing in the pool in the backyard.  Kicking through the leaves in the front yard, making giant piles and then jumping in them....squealing in delight.  I could see Kaylen having her tea parties than she had every. single. day. for a good year when she was two.

I could see the swing set being built, heard the happy voices of 5 year old Kelton and 2 year old Kaylen as they eagerly waited to be able to slide on the slide and swing "up to the trees".  I can see them running out the door into the dark of night, dressed in boots and coats, to play when the project was finally completely.  It was past their bedtimes but they had waited all day and I couldn't deny them.  I could hear Kaylen's amazing laugh as I pushed her in her orange airplane swing.

Every direction I turned I was hit with memories.  The tears flowed fast and furiously.  The emotions ran the full spectrum.  Anger welled up at all that was lost for my children....for me.  Heart ache over things that were, that never will be again and dreams that both lived and died within those walls.

A new family has rented it and will be moving in this weekend.  Small children to fill the house with sounds and magic.  New children to sleep and play in my children's rooms.  A dog who will romp and play in the yard.  It absolutely breaks my heart.  I thought I would live in that house well past the children being grown. 

But...it isn't to be.  Wasn't meant to be, some would say.  I don't know.  All I know is it isn't and, in the end, there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Yesterday, three years to the month of being told I no longer had a relationship, my "divorce" became final.  I signed off on the house and will be removed from the title.  Everything is cleaned up.  Lose ends tied up.  The irony of Washington approving Marriage Equality in the same 24 hours period of finalizing of my divorce is not lost on me. 

My partner-based relationship with Dakota has been long over.  It is the home I built with, and for, my children, that I grieve for intensely.

And at the same time, I have a wonderful woman who loves me, and whom I love, deeply.  I share her home, we share our children, we are building a future - and one day I'm sure this house will feel more like my home than it does right now.  I still struggle with feeling like a visitor.  It's my doing, nothing Stephanie does or doesn't do.  She is understanding as I go through whatever wild ride my emotions takes me on.  Thank God for that.  She gave me pretty much free range on putting the house together, merging all of our things, decorating.  She is building me a closet so I can have more space, she lovingly put in the new floors, she encouraged, and helped me, paint.  She tries so hard and yet at times I still feel like a visitor.  That's my stuff though.  Me, being disoriented.  Me, afraid of failing again, of disappointing again, of being told my dreams, goals and desires aren't good enough. 

I have realized that I come with *a lot* of baggage.  Fear.  Trust issues.  Insecurities about being enough, doing enough.  None of it is founded in my reality with Stephanie.  It's me.  It's my past.  It's what I am currently bringing to the table.  Stuff I need to figure out how to make peace with.  How to quiet the voices in my head.  How to still the panic and anxiety I seem to have now and again.

The children are happy and adjusting well.  For that I am grateful.  As for me?  I have some things to work out for myself.  I need to get to a place where I feel like I am enough.  What I do is enough.  I need to find areas where I feel like I have some control so I can stop feeling wildly out of control.  After years of being on my own with the children, I struggle to include others in our circle even though it is what I so very much want.  I'm used to it being me and them.  It's been the three us as a primary unit for the better part of seven years (since Dakota started law school back in July of 2005 and, consequently, spent very little time with the kids and me.  Little compared to the amount of time the three of us were on our own together.). 

I don't know.  I'm doing the best I can.  I go back and forth between being great and feeling like I'm coming undone.  I guess that's mostly normal though given the monumental changes over the past while.  Yeah - normal.  I'm going to hold on to that. 

Normal, considering everything.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Shoes Shoes Shoes

Shoes. Twelve pair, to be exact.

That is how many pairs of shoes Miss. Kaylen has had since May. Yes. This past May. You know, not even 6 months ago. We should all be so lucky.

And of those thirteen pair only one was not purchased by me. My sister bought Kaylen a $1.00 pair of peace logo flip flops when we were up visiting in July. All the others though? *sigh* The girl and her shoes. A never ending saga.

She outgrew her Crocs and needed a new pair in May. The straps on those broke in July so I ordered a new pair. That's two pair.

She still needed a "real" pair of shoes in May but we ended up failing miserably because of sensory issues and bought a pair of Keene's. (bye bye waaaay too much money). She wore them a lot but alas, she outgrew those and in August, I bought her another pair. We're up to four pair.

For school I bought a pink pair of Ked-type shoes, a green pair of Ked-like shoes, and black dress shoes. That brings us up to seven pairs of shoes.

For soccer, I bought cleats. Three weeks later, she melted down because they were too tight (ah yes - sensory issue meltdown in full force. It was oh so much fun.). We went shopping for another pair. Those she wore all season though I am 100% positive they will not fit come spring.

What are we up to now? Nine.

Today she came home and her Crocs strap had broken beyond repair (it broke a while ago but I glued it and babied it along.). She and I went online and after a PAINFUL experience with not having the style she liked in the right size....she finally agreed to a pair. It will take two weeks to get them. That makes ten pair of shoes.

She welled up with tears. Her other shoes simply will not do and she doesn't know how she will deal with it for two weeks. *sigh* Did I mention that she has MAJOR sensory issues with shoes?? Always has.

Off to Fred Meyer we went because Stephanie had noticed last week that they carried Crocs. And Crocs, by their very nature, are roomy enough to limit issues with fit and can be worn a long time...as long as we stay with the basic style and not get the fancy Mary Jane strap kind which, apparently, do NOT stand the test of time.

After being SURE the style of Crocs Fred Meyer carries wouldn't do and fighting back tears in the aisle (as a very tired mommy is on the verge of a mental breakdown, too), she tried on the fuzzy style Crocs.....and loved them. Of course.

And that is how we end up at pair number Eleven.

Add to that the peace flip flops from my sister and we have a mind blowing TWELVE pairs of shoes in less than six months.

Poor Kelton....he has only had four pairs of shoes in the same time span. And one of those pair are his "stay at school gym shoes". The real difference though is Kelton's four pairs of shoes will likely last him through the school year. I wish I could say that about Miss. Kaylen.

Meanwhile, my tennis shoes are two years old and starting to look like it. And suddenly......I feel like my mother who used to complain constantly about having to go without buying new underwear in order to keep the five of us in clothing. *sigh*

Life comes full circle. As it always does.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

My little goblins are dressed up and ready to go Trick or Treating. First time ever that I won't be going out with them. :(

I'm sure they will have a great time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Interesting Few Days

Kaylen arrived home from school Tuesday happy and excited. She had faced her fears and ridden the bus alone - without Kelton - for the first time. (Kelton had stayed after school for a Science Olympiad training session.) I met Kaylen at the end of the road and walked with her back down to the house. She chatted my ear off the entire way. She couldnt' wait until the next time Kelton stayed late at school because she had SO much fun without him. It was all girls on the back of the bus. Blah blah blah. So, so happy she was.

Fast forward an hour. I'm getting ready to go get Kelton and asked if she wanted to go or stay home with Stephanie. "Stay home." came a small, weak response. "I'm cold." The house was chilly so I put a big fluffy blanket on her, kissed her and went on my way. By the time I got back, 20 minutes later, she was completely under a blanket playing on the iPad. I couldn't even tell she was there, except the lump moved when I called her name.

A half hour later, she came to me complaining of being cold. She looked sad. Not the bubbly girl I had chatted with on the way down the road not even 90 minutes earlier. Hmmmmmmm. Mommy alarm bells started going off. Was she getting sick? I changed her into a fleece sweatshirt and had her put on her shoes. Dakota was minutes away from arriving to take them for her Tuesday visit. Kaylen was getting grumpier by the second. I needed to take her temperature but just then, Dakota arrived.

I alerted her to Kaylen's status and said "I think she might be getting sick. I was going to take her temperature but I haven't had time." Kaylen, of course, said "NO I'M NOT!" Off the three of them went.

Two hours later, right before they were to return, I get a text that says Kaylen has a fever of 100 degrees. *sigh* Chalk one up for Mommy intuition. They arrive home and Kaylen melts when I tell her she won't be able to go to school the next day. I back off and tell her we will decide in the morning. It will probably be ok. Hey - a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do when a sick child is losing it. I knew good and well that if she really was running a fever, she wouldn't be going to school. I let her believe what she needed to though.

Dakota left and I went about getting Kaylen settled in and changed into pajamas. I took her temperature which came back as 99. She was a whiney, clingy mess. She said she needed to do her reading homework. I told her she didn't have to, which resulted in more tears. Then she looked at me and said "I don't wanna read. I just wanna go to bed." I tucked her in and she fell to sleep immediately.

"Yep." I thought to myself, "Here we go."

I heard her get up at midnight to go to the bathroom. I got up and tucked her back in. I heard her get up at 4am to go to the bathroom. She quietly came into my room and said "Mom. I'm not going to school today. I just threw up a little bit." I asked if she was ok, she said she was and then went back to bed. Stephanie and I stayed awake and talked for a while. I didn't go back to sleep. I got up and got ready, Kelton woke up and got ready. Kaylen slept on.

Around 7, she woke up and came into the living room and asked why I hadn't woken her up. "Because," I said, "You need to sleep." She crawled on the couch and huddled in the corner. I went to put a blanket on her and she said "I'm hot!" I took the blanket off, got the thermometer and lo and behold - her temperature was over 101. I got her comfy, took Kelton to school and then came back. She hadn't moved an inch.

And that's how the rest of the day played out. She didn't talk much, she didn't want to watch TV, or play on the iPad, or eat, or talk. Stephanie and I got some Otter Pops and water down her but mostly, she just layed on the couch. Poor girl. :( I kept Tylenol and Motrin onboard all day and yet every time I took her temperature, it was still over 101. I broke the news about no school the next day. She didn't care.

It was early release so Kelton was home by 1:30. He tried to interact with her but she wouldn't engage. At 2:30, with Mortin still onboard, I took her temperature. 102.5. Well now - this was going in the wrong direction!

I called the school to let them know she wouldn't be in on Thursday and shared the rising temperature information. The secretary said "I think I should tell you that we have had several confirmed cases of strep in the 2nd grade. There are no cases reported in her class but there have been in a couple other classes." I thanked her for the information and hung up - as alarm bells start going off in my head at record speed. The kids have never had strep before - it wasn't even a blip on my radar!

I picked up the phone and called Kaiser. They got a message to her clinic and within 10 minutes, I had a return call. After talking over what had happened in the last 24 hours (and the fact Strep was in the school), they suggested bringing her in for a Rapid Strep Test. I bundled up my lump of a child and off we went.

She was a champ. Didn't whimper when it was time for the throat culture. The nurse told us stories of 12 year olds who had to be held down. One was there just that morning. Kaylen weakly smiled when the nurse told her how strong she was and how brave.

The results took hardly any time at all. The lab tech came out with a pink sheet of paper with the word POSITIVE stamped all over it. Off to the pharmacy we went.

 Because of Kaylen's severe allergy to Keflex, it took quite a while for the pharmacy to research the drugs. They have a standard go to list: First line of defense is Penicillin and the second drug of choice is....Keflex. Ok then. Penicillin, right? WRONG! Penicillin is, apparently, a third generation relation to Keflex. The pharmacist came over to talk with me. It was too close for her comfort and she wasn't inclined to fill it. There was another option: Clindamyacin. The catch? It tasted awful. The pharmacist warned that it was one of the most vial tasted medication out there. She needed liquid because the pill form was huge.

What could I do? We had to do it. The pharmacist told me to give her a popsicle to numb her taste buds, have her take the medicine and then follow up with the rest of the popsicle. I needed to get two doses down her before bedtime.

Thankfully, this is Kaylen. She doesn't like it, but she does it without a fuss. I was a nervous wreck. Two doses were all it took for Keflex to almost kill my daughter. I had to Epi Pen in sight all night. I put her to bed about 20 minutes after her second dose. She was only running a 99 degree temp and declined more Motrin. I checked on her a couple times and then at 10:30, I woke her up and had her show me her tongue and lips. She looked ok. No hives. She felt hot to the touch. I took her temperature, it was 103.9. I got Motrin down her and let her go back to sleep. I felt fairly confident that we were out of the woods for a reaction to the medication.

Stephanie checked on her a couple hours later. Still good. Thank God. I was up at 6, and checked on her. All was well and she was cool to the touch. She got up about 45 minutes later and said, in a happy voice, "I feel MUCH better!"

Without meds, her temp was 99.7. Yes, indeed - you ARE much better, Little One!

She is home again today and can return to school tomorrow (as long as her fever doesn't go back up). Kelton is crazy jealous over her being home again and tried like crazy to convince me he was sick. He wasn't - so he is at school. :)

I'm so happy to see her bright eyes again. And Strep? I'd be happy to never, ever see your face again!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pages

I created these pages in the past two hours. Not bad, if I do say so myself. :) I would love to include photos of Andrew but he is incredibly difficult to get pictures of...I'm prety sure he believes the camera will steal his soul. :) I'm confident that, in time, I will get a few good shots of him. I really like the one of Kaylen and the one of Stephanie and me. The pumpkin one I'm lukewarm on. I may have to play with it again on another day. But still.....not bad. I said I wanted to get back into it and into it I got. :)


Rainy Monday

The rains arrived late yesterday evening and they have been steadily falling ever since.  We all slept with our windows open a little so we could enjoy the sounds.  The kids thought it was so cool and it dawned on me, as they went on and on about how great it was, I had never opened their bedroom windows on a rainy night at the other house.  I wonder why. 

Today was the first day of rain on a school day for this school year.  The tension was thick as Kaylen grappled with having to walk down the road in the rain after school.  I gave her an umbrella but she still isn't liking it.  I guess it IS a lot different than jumping off the bus and running up the driveway to the dry warmth of the house like she has done in years gone by.  That's for sure.

It was a three day weekend for the kiddos.  Friday was a teacher in-service day so the last three days at the house were full of noise, chaos, laughter, arguments, messes everywhere, etc.  Today, after they all were off for the day, I came back and cleaned the house.  It's serene, calm, clean.....quiet.  A nice change - even though I do miss the kids being home.  Still - there is an upside to them being at school.  It's quiet enough that I can hear myself think.  :)

This Friday is Book Fair set up.  It feels surreal to me.  I'm used to book fair being in early March so needless to say, the timeline is kind of messing with me.  Next week is conference week and book fair week.  I am working several mornings at the book fair and then the kids will be out of school for the day at 11:15am.  A whole new mindset.  I'm still not clear on the thoughts behind book fair during conference week but apparently it is because most of the business will come from parents after conferences.  As, as opposed to our last school, kids are encouraged to be in attendance for the conference.  Personally, I think that is odd since it seems to be that the adults will have a difficult time really discussing the child in question.  There are questions I want to ask that I don't want asked in front of them.  Ugh.  Again, it's different here.

Oh- and I don't yet know what day the kids conferences will be.  I'm hoping that info comes home today.

Time for another cup of coffee.....and time to enjoy the quiet.  :)



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scrapping

I'm waaaaaaaaaay out of practice....like three years, give or take.....but I decided to see what I could do in the way of making a page.  I'm definitely rusty but it was fun to get back into the program and create. 

Here's to finding my groove....one of these days.  :)

It's Fall

It's fall....and not much says that more than the leaves, in all sorts of colors, falling from the trees.  Today, on the way home from the pumpkin patch (see below for pictures), we drove down a street and the leaves falling resembled falling snow.  Very pretty. 

Living in the country, I am surrounded by everygreen trees and not many leafy trees.  I love evergreens but this time of years has me wishing for leaves in the yard.  Though honestly?  I'm loving the thought of not having to rake.  :)  So - as with everything, you take the good with the not so good.

Anyway.......autumn is my favorite time of the year.  The colors, the scents, the cool, crisp air, and yes....even the rain.

I have all my fall decorations, as well as the halloween decorations, up in the house.  What I don't have, however, are special fall curtains. Until recently, I never even considered it.  Did you know you can find  burlap curtains for sale?  I know!  Me either. But there you have it.

I have only ever thought of burlap as something you use for sack races.  Bags that potatoes used to come in when I was a child.  I never thought of using it as fiber for use in your home.  But I think it's great!  I mean, why not, right? 

Fall. Such a great time of the year.  So many possibilities.  I love thinking of huddling down and doing inside things.  I'm even itching to download some digital scrap book kits and get back to scrapping. 

I better hurry though......Christmas is coming fast which means I only have a couple weeks to really enjoy the fall.

Pumpkin Patch 2012

Despite the threat of rain, we headed off to the pumpkin patch this morning for our annual visit. I love going to BiZi Farms, mainly because it is the place where I have taken Kelton and Kaylen for almost every year of their lives. As it turns out, it is also the place that Stephanie has taken Andrew in his younger years. Kinda nice to have a place like that where we can merge the memories of both groups into one.


Thankfully, the rains held off. We fed the animals in the petting area, we sampled fresh apple juice, got lost, and found, in the corn maze, shot pumpkins, picked out pumpkins, enjoyed hot apple cider and/or hot cocoa, played on the hay pyramid, and played in the corn bin. All in all, a very good time.

Friday, October 12, 2012

More Ramblings

What?  You thought I was done?  Silly you.  :) 

Guess what fun part happens when you put in a change of address at the post office?  You get to sign up for a bunch of mail order catalogs and other fun stuff.  It is a perk....well, if you are someone like me who likes to get catalogs in the mail.  :)

Today I received Pottery Barn.  So. Much. Fun.

I can't really afford to shop there but looking at everything, dreaming and scheming of how I might capture the feel of something for way less money makes me kinda happy.  Sure - I might not be able to get something like boston bedroom furniture but I can look at the way they set up a room and glean some ideas that I cam implement on my own in other ways.  I'm handy that way....making a home and all.

One of my favorite places to go, and not spend much money at all, is Big Lots.  I picked up a few knicky-knacky type things for under $30 and gave several areas a little pick me up.  Making the home I am building with Stephanie more "ours".  Always a good feeling.

I love making a house a home by adding cozy touches.  And I have to say, I think I have done, and continue to do, a really good job in the last six weeks of making this place a home.

Saturday

Did you hear that?  Yeah - I think it was me screaming.  I just spent some time putting together a post and then we had a power flicker and I lost the connection and well.....lost my dang post.  Which is really just the icing on the cake for right now.

Maybe it really is time to contact a raleigh commercial real estate attorney and see what some options are.  :)

Ok ok - that would have made so much more sense if you could read the post I did prior to this one.  You know, the one that is gone into never never land.

*sigh*  It's just been one of those days.

One of those days when I give and do and do and give and it is never enough.  And I'm tired.  I tried to nap but that was a no go with the three kids.  Stephanie, however, can sleep through anything so she is still snoozing away.  I got up, made food, fed them, cleaned up a mess or two, folded laundry, broke up arguments, etc.

It's raining.  My plans for the weekend went up in smoke.  It sucks only having the kids every other weekend because it appears I just lost my chance to go to the pumpkin patch.  Sure, I could drag us all in the rain but then I have to endure the complaining and whining and honestly?  I'm not up for it.

It's been a week of whining and complaining....and standing firm with this kid or that kid.  Dealing with the massive headache that "other people" bring.  Dealing with an actual headache that I've had all freaking week long.

I'm cranky and crabby and tired and overwhelmed.

And tomorrow is soccer.....in the rain.

Just shoot me now.

More Guitar

Are you wondering how many posts I can have about guitars?  Especially when I don't actually play or have a deep love of them?  well wonder now more.  Apparently, the answer is: A LOT.

But what's not to love about the Ibanez Artcore guitar?  No, really.  What's not to love?


I mean SERIOUSLY?  It's red.  That's all I need to know.  :)

Red is an awesome color.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color red.  And it makes music.  So right there - it's all good.  :)

My friend, Stella, would probably love this guitar.  Her birthday is Sunday.  I would love to see the look on her face if I could present this to her to celebrate her years on the planet.  Unfortunately, this won't be waiting for her special day b ut I hope what I did send will make her *almost* as happy.

A red guitar.  Seriously cool. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Kelton James: 5th Grade, Age 10


Kelton...my sweet first born.  Such a great kid.  His curly hair and never ending smile lights up my days.  He is doing so well in school - reading at an almost 9th grade level and excelling at everything else.  Well, except spelling and penmanship.  The spelling is because of his speech issues (third year in speech and doing remarkably well) and penmanship because well......I have no reason.  :)  But it doesn't matter - I love him more than anything.

I look at this picture and seriously cannot believe it.  In my eyes, he is still about 15 months old, toddling all over the place.  But I guess there is no denying it - he is growing into a fine young man.  And I could not be more proud of him.  I love you, Kelton.  You truly are my miracle.

Andrew: 7th Grade, Age 12



Andrew is such a great kid.  Always ready with a joke and a smile.  Loves to play with the other two and to hear all of them laughing together is an amazing sound.  He tries to act tough but is a gentle, sweet kid at heart. 


Monday, October 01, 2012

Kaylen Lane: Second Grade, Age 7

My beautiful daughter.

Look at her hair!  I can't believe how long it has gotten over the past year.  Her hair aside, she is one of the two best things I have ever done in my entire life.  Sweet, caring, kind, loving, generous (to a fault), responsible, driven, imaginative, intelligent, funny, and oh so much more.  Oh how I love this child!

(Kelton's school pictures were taken a week after Kaylen's so hopefully I will be posting his school picture in the next few days.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday in the Country

Sunday in the fall around here for Stephanie can only mean one thing....football.  At least, when the Seahawks are playing.

Sundays in the fall around here for me?  Finding little things to do to keep me occupied while the football game is on.  :)

Lucky you - today, that means blogging.  :)

Both Kaylen and Andrew had soccer games yesterday so we spent the morning driving into Vancouver to be at Andrew's game at 9am and then racing out to Battleground for Kaylen's 11am game.  Due to Andrew's game running over by...a lot....we missed Kaylen's warm up time and the first couple minutes of her game.  Oh the life of multi-kid sport season.  Next week, we have a game close to home and then another one an hour north.  Since the kids are all at other parent's houses next weekend, we have time to get to both because we don't have to factor in warm up time.  Only 4 more weeks for Kaylen's games and then her season is over.  I think Andrew's schedule is the same but he might have two weeks longer.

Then we can go back to not rushing out of the door first thing Saturday morning.

Yesterday, at Andrew's game, I took a few pictures of the kids with me. Check them out:

I really like this one!



 Yep....silly kids.  :)

So today.  Let's see....what might today hold, you know.....AFTER the football game.  We have the dishwasher that needs to be reinstalled from when we did the kitchen floor a few weeks back.  We had tried to install it a couple times but as it turned out, we needed to replace a part which meant we had to order it and then wait for it to arrive.  It's here now so hopefully, it will be a quick job to get it back in.  Trust me - the novelty of washing dishes by hand for a family of 5 wore off a good long time ago.  The kids, however, have had a good taste of doing dishes which I think can only benefit them in the long run.

Oh - did I tell you that I went to a PWT (People Working Together) meeting at the new school?  It's their equivalent to a PTA or PTO.  Anyway - I volunteered to be on the book fair committee for the October book fair.  I am determined to keep my involvement down this year because I was so burned out by the end of last year....my 4th year running the PTO at Crestline.  It's nice to see a higher number of parent volunteers at the new school but I heard the same thing from many people:  it's always the same group volunteering.  Same issue, different school.  I suppose that's how it is everywhere, though.

Being back in the school means background check reports, which because I knew I was going to get involved on some level, I completed back in June.  Maybe at the next open house, there should be a station set up for easy processing of the background checks.  It could have a banner that reads:  FREE SERVICE:  check background checks here!!  And then, once people have their checks run, you snag them for volunteering.  :)

You know how people can't resist free things.  Two birds, one stone.  I'm all about that. :)

Okee doke - it's half time.  Maybe we can work on the dishwasher and see if we can get it in before the second half of the same.

Friday, September 28, 2012

All Up In My Grill

Who is all up in my grill?  My sister.  For two days running now I have gotten emails and phone calls saying "Your blog is boring."  "You could blog about getting stung by a bee, ya know."  "When are you going to blog?"

Ok ok ok.  I get it.  What can I say?  I've been busy....and...most importantly....happily living life.  When I get all happy, there isn't much need for blogging and getting all my thoughts out.  Besides, if I did blog about all the ridiculously happy things, you all would start complaining that I'm pooping rainbows and unicorns.  I can't win, can I?  :)

So what's new.......we have two new kittens.  They have yet to be named because we have yet to get to spend much time with them.  They huddle together, sleep the day away, play all night, and hang out with Zip (the 2 year old cat) as they all try to avoid coming into contact with Cody and Maddie, the dogs.  They have been with us two weeks today.  As anti-social as they are, they have come a long, long way.  If we catch them, we can hold them.  Last night they let us pet them for a few minutes and one even snuggled with Kelton for a brief moment in time.  They were from a wild litter, so really?  We are making progress.  Slow but steady.

Yesterday I got stung by a bee.  Three times.  That was fun.  Not.  I am still achy and sore but doing ok.

Life with Stephanie is going amazingly well.  I'm happy, she's happy, the kids are happy......so life is good there.  :)

I ruined a small section of the new floor which now needs to be replaced.  Let's say dropping a bottle of carpet cleaner solution and not noticing the lid broke off of it isn't a good thing.  It was only about 4 minutes of time but it was long enough to ruin about 4 boards.  Stephanie, upon seeing my panic, assured me it was no big deal and she would fix it...and would, in fact, replace the entire house full of floors for me if she needed to.  *swoon*  She loves me, what can I say?  All I could think of was "All those hours and hours of hard work she put in laying the flooring!  Not even 6 weeks later, I go and wreck a patch.  *sigh*

Life happens, though, right?

Let's see...what else...what else?

Kids are doing well in school.  Kelton seems to be happier at the new school then he was at the old one.  Kaylen misses her old friends (especially Ella) and familiar teachers but is doing ok.  She hates the bus so I am peppering the week with running out to pick them up (I already take them every morning) while still having them ride the bus home some days.  The school counselor will be working with Kaylen to introduce her to come of the girls who ride her bus (no one from her class rides her bus) so she won't feel quite so lost on the 40 minute ride home.

Kelton and Kaylen have settled into the new house and we have found routines that work (for the most part). 

Other than that - I really don't think I have much to write about.  Weekends are filled with home projects, soccer games, and some much needed down time.  Life is busy and crazy and good.

(Lannon:  Does this win my any points?  I blogged just for you! *grin*)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The House

We have spent the past few weeks workig on the outside of the house. New paint, new gutters, and needed roof repairs. I have to say, we are really enjoying the peaceful light green color. It's a subtle difference, but a good difference.

I wish I had before and after photos of the inside. It is truly amazing what a lot of sweat equity gets you. :)


Before:

After:

An Update

So - the kids have been in school for one week plus one day.  Today was the first day there were no comments about "I wish I didn't have to go to school."  or "I miss Crestline."  Today, both kiddos got up happily, took care of what they needed to take care of, and got themselves ready and into the car without so much as a cross word to each other, or me.

SCORE!

This week, I started driving them in the mornings.  It allows for a slower pace and, I believe, less stress and anxiety for Kaylen.  She HATES the school bus.  I can't say I blame her.  It is a 30 minute drive to school and a 45 minute ride home (I have NO idea why it takes so much longer.  They aren't the last stop in the morning but somehow, they end up being second to last at the end of the day.)  That's a long time to be on a hot, crowded, noisy bus.  I agreed to take them most mornings and then pick them up one day each week which seems to be going well.  (The pick up lane at the schools is a nightmare!  I picked them up yesterday and was sooo frustrated.  Plus I have to go through the lanes at both the school (Kaylen is in the primary school (K-2) and on the other end of the property is the intermediate school (3-5) for Kelton.  Different buildings, different rules, different picture days, different lunch rooms, different principals...etc.)

Last week we battled the "No one likes me.  I have no friends.  I hate that we moved.  I hate this school.  I want to go back to Crestline." with Kaylen.  Kelton seems to be rolling with it well and is making friends.  Apparently, being a new 5th grader is much easier than being the new kid in 2nd grade.  Or maybe it's the boy vs. girl thing.  Maybe it's just my high anxiety daughter.  I don't know.

This week, day by day, she is talking more and more of new friends, and today I heard the words "Best friend" in conjunction with someones name.  Yesterday I learned she eats lunch with "all the girls".  I walked her to her door the past couple mornings and I have watched as more of the girls flock to her side when she arrives.  It does this mommy's heart good to see that!

I won't lie.  Moving, and starting a new school, has been a hard transition.  Yesterday, our former district started back and I was hit a few times during the day with strong pangs of missing *my* friends at school, roaming around a building I know and had the ability to come and go from as I wanted.  I was at the house picking up a few boxes (yes - I still have stuff I am dealing with there - anyone want to come help me finish?  My back is slowing me down more than I want.) and the school bus drove by.  Apparently, no need to stop at the end of my driveway this year.  Last year, at the beginning of the school year, there were 7 kids.  By the end, there were three.  Those three (my two and another) moved over the summer.  So strange to have the bus filled with familiar faces drive by me without stopping to pick up my two.  So yes, this has been difficult, and continues to be, for all three of us.  But we are settling in and finding our place....bit by bit.

It's a good thing I don't smoke.  I'm pretty sure the stress would have me smoking a lot.  I would probably need to look into those electronic cigarette's with the famous smoke free shipping.  It's also a good thing I'm not a big drinker because seriously?  There are some days I would like to pour a big, stiff drink.  Instead, to deal with the stress, I put on my jammies, pull out a comfy blanket, turn on the TV, and curl up on the couch.  Come to think of it - that has become a routine every single night this week.  Stressed much?  Naaaaaah.  :)  Hey - at least I found a good way to deal with it, right?

Anyway.....things are moving along.  Step by step.  One day, sometimes one minute, at a time.

Check out this fancy schmancy Epiphone Limited Edition Joe Bonamassa Les Paul Electric Guitar.  And it can be yours for the teeny tiny asking price of $1165.00. 

*THUD*

Now I know guitars, good ones, are not inexpensive but holy heck - that is some price tag, dontcha think?

Good thing I'm not in the market for an electric guitar.  :)  If I were, I'd probably go for an affordable gibson copy because why not, right?  Copies are good.  It's not like I'm a professional musician.  If I were, I just might pony up the $1165.  :)

Why am I looking at guitars?  Good question.  Sucha  good question that I have no good answer except "because".  You know, that famous answer that drives parents INSANE when a child give it.  "Because is NOT an answer."  We all say in response.

But it's it?  I mean.  It IS an answer.  Just not a good one.  :)

So....because.  That's the answer.  Because I can.

:)