Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sorry I have been absent:

We just have been really busy around here this past week, with Eric having most of last week off, finishing up the stuff for Christmas, and the kids all home from school.  I have to work the next couple of days, but I should be on to blog about the holidays, complete with pictures, before the turn of the "decade."  We had a wonderful Christmas, and hope to have a fun New Year as well!

Happy Birthday Mom!  And Happy 5th Anniversary to Tony and Andrea!  What a memorable date this is!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Big sigh of relief!  It is finally starting to look and feel like Christmas around here!  Eric and I spent the day "power shopping" and we have all the "to be mailed out" gifts done.  Now comes the fun of wrapping everything and sending it out (heeheehee).  There are still a few things that need to be purchased for our kids, but we know what we are doing for them, so we are set.  Eric is planning to get the tree started for me today, so that the kids and I can decorate tonight, and then I will start putting stuff out/under the tree.  Liisa and I coordinated on our computers last night with webcam stuff so I can see Christmas Eve at my mom's, and I am excited for that too.  Because some of the other stuff is done, I can perhaps do some baking next week, with the kids home and on their winter break.  Aurora will be headed to her mom's on Saturday, which is somewhat frustrating because we should be able to have her through Saturday (7 days for that part of the winter break--last I heard, the week runs Sunday to Saturday), but as her mom will be transporting her both ways, I guess there isn't much we can do about it.  It is disappointing though that this can't be discussed.  Aurora wanted to be here for her full Christmas week off, but it isn't going to happen that way.

I am feeling better, although I do wish the cough would let go--it is still naggingly there.  So far the furniture is doing wonderful, although Eric's freshly shampooed carpet has blood spots everywhere on it.  Leina has a cut above her dew claw on her right back leg, and she keeps worrying it, and bleeding all over everything!  It isn't a huge cut, but when irritated bleeds profusely.  The kids tried wrapping it in an ace bandage to hold a gauze pad on, but she wasn't having any part of that.  It is better today, but now we have many places that need "spot cleaning".  It never ends!

My next order of business is figuring out Christmas cards.  Perhaps I can get a good picture and do it that way over the next few days and send something out between Christmas and New Years...  My good intentions from last year went out the window and I never did get any sent out.  Hmmmm. 

The neighbor's dog had puppies yesterday, 4 teensy weensy teacup sized puppies, and our girls are enamoured.  Eric and I have firmly said NO, but the begging halfheartedly continues.  These little ones don't have much for fur, and their eyes are not even close to being opened (duh, they are just hours old), but as Eric says, they would be snacks for our dogs and cats here if ithey were brought in. 

Anyhow, that is the update for today.  Hopefully the next entry will have pics again!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Doing better today!

I called the clinic yesterday morning, and was able to be fitted in yesterday afternoon.  I have bronchitis and a sinus infection.  I have been put on 10 days worth of Augmentin, and already this morning I can feel a small difference.  I also got some decent rest yesterday/last night and that helped too, although I am feeling a bit guilty: I didn't go to the holiday concert at the high school, despite Patrick and Aurora both performing in it.  I just honestly felt too crummy to be there and didn't want to be an interruption with my coughing.  I did run multiple trips back and forth as mom's taxi though. (For that matter, I also missed my sewing machine class, but I called them and can retake that particular class at a later date--the classes are free and can be taken as many times as needed to master the machine). 

I am still struggling a bit to get into the Christmas spirit.  The "plan" had been for Eric to spend the weekend getting the tree and lights organized so we could decorate; the reality was that "other things" got in the way, and while the carpet in the living room got shampooed, the furniture etc. is not back in place, nor has the tree been even hauled out of the garage.  I hate being so far behind!  Christmas is 10 days away and nothing is even looking "christmasy" around here!  I worked all weekend, on top of being sick, so I didn't do more than was necessary myself, and yeah...  Now Eric is on his long week of work, and we have very little time to do anything other than deal with his schedule/work around it.  Hopefully by the time his days off roll up we will be getting back on track for things to get done.  I know it's important for us to develop our own traditions and interactions now that we are a family, and I know these things develop over time.  We had a wonderful "party" on new year's eve last year celebrating "our" Christmas; I'm sure we will figure this one out too.  I just need to let go of all the "musts" and "shoulds" and do what I can with what I have. 

In the meantime, there are gifts to finish up on, and presents to purchase; there are chores to be done, and errands to be run.  I think it's time I start making my lists and checking them twice to be sure I don't forget anything important!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This won't be a very long post

I have very little voice at the moment, and am still so congested I feel like hell...  I went to bed at like 5:30 last night and I am feeling rested, but still not much better.  I really needed the sleep though.  Between getting the last of my assignments done and posted, and worrying about Rei's appointment at Children's, I didn't get much sleep on Thursday night--was after 4 before I dozed off, and it wasn't really very restful sleep at that.

The appointment was long, but I really like his cardiologist, and I also was pleased to see we had the same tech doing the tests as last year--he is just a hoot!  When he put the electrodes on Rei's chest for the EKG Rei was afraid he was gonna get shocked, and the tech implied that "it's easier if you don't know it's coming!" We saw the fistula on the screen and it still is amazing to me how clear some of these things can be seen.  The cardiologist was somewhat concerned because he saw something he wasn't sure about; he was concerned that perhaps Rei's right coronary artery was not getting proper blood flow to his left ventricle, but after consulting with a few other people, he called me back late yesterday afternoon and said that they think it is ok, and that they won't do extra tests at this time after all.  I am so relieved, and so grateful they are being careful.  Rei is still my baby, for all that he is 6 feet tall, and I don't want anything to happen to him.

Brie is still enroute home.  She left NC around noonish yesterday, but elected to pull over at a hotel for the night (good call on her part).  She should be home sometime this afternoon.  She had a wonderful time, and she is really into this guy she went to see.  It is nice to see her happy. I just hope she uses some common sense and doesn't do anything too foolish (though who am I to talk? I married a man I met online, moved 600 miles south, and changed my entire life around in the course of a year's time... And I couldn't be happier!!!!)

Eric took the kids to bowling this morning (Aurora and Rei, anyhow. Patrick had to be at the school to sort fruit for band. Aurora has the afternoon shift).  I am hoping he will take some time today to get the decorating stuff started, as he wanted to work on the lights for the tree etc.  If he doesn't get to it, I will focus on it next week.  I work all this weekend.  I got some wonderful bargins at Joann's yesterday: saved $243 on my purchases (got a doubled employee discount). I spent the bulk of what I bought on a dressmaker's form--I have always wanted one, and this one I can adjust to fit my bust and hips--makes it easier to fit things if I can do it on "someone" else, and at the moment no one down here sews like Liisa and I do, so I don't have much help for me.  It was originally $199, on sale for $99, and I got 30% off of that--I couldn't pass up the opportunity, and Eric was fully supportive of it.  I also got some small things to give for gifts, and overall, what I spent was still way less than the cost of what the dressmaker's form would have been full price (ok, honesty time: I spent $163--but for what I got, and what I saved over the "real prices"--cuz I got the discount on the total purchase, sale prices and all) I couldn't go wrong!

I got the email notice that I got approved to take my integrative project, so I will be writing my masters thesis starting in January.  I am really excited about doing this, and have my topic already in my head.  I just need to do the research and start the process.  I am doing a literature review on Reactive Attachment Disorder, and hope to have a well-rounded presentation on neurobiological causes, emotional disorder representations/manifestations, and treatment options.  I am very excited about it because this is a topic I find fascinating, having worked with many kids with this diagnosis over the years.

That is all for right now. Not sure if I will be posting at all this weekend; I am gonna try to get in to the clinic on Monday and hopefully get an antibiotic.  I am convinced I need one, but the office is closed on the weekends.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired...

A month ago I got sick with a bad cough, about the same time Rei had swine flu.  I thought I was getting over it, but it continued to be a nagging in my chest.  Then, on Tuesday, I woke up with a sore throat and sinus drainage/gunk...  No fever at all, but a few body aches. I feel like such a hypochondriac~ I don't feel totally miserable, but I am not "well" either.  I probably should go in and get it looked at, but it seems like a lot of fuss for something that's more an annoyance than being "ill".  So instead, I just whine.  And carry around a tissue box, and a bottle of hand sanitizer.  I work this weekend, and if it isn't better by Monday then maybe I will make an appointment.

I am probably jinxing myself by saying it aloud, but so far the dogs, cats, and kids have been respectful of the new furniture.  And I have to say, I am loving being curled up at the moment in "my" chair, with my school stuff on the ottoman, a cup of coffee on the lamp table, and a blanket over my lap.  It is so cozy in here now, and I love it.

I am dragging things out with regard to finishing up my last couple of assignments for class.  I have really enjoyed this term and there is a part of me that is glad it's over, while there is another part of me that is gonna miss it.  I am waiting on approval still for my integrative project (new name for "Master's thesis"); I guess I have til January 10th for that to be approved/denied before it's an issue.  Not much I can do otherwise though, so I guess I will just wait patiently.  In the meantime, I really need to get these last few things written up, but my drive is so ambivalent at the moment.  I am really trying to do things one step at a time though, and once these assignments are done (by tomorrow), then I can focus on the holidays.

I had really, seriously toyed with the idea of going home to Minneapolis for Christmas, even to the point of checking out plane fares so we could bring Eric north with us for a couple of days, then fly him back to Mascoutah for his shifts on that Wednesday night and Christmas eve (with the plan that the kids and I would drive back Christmas day).  But I am scheduled to teach a few teen glasses that week, and I don't know if I have any takers or not, not to mention that the work schedule is not terribly flexible right now...  I don't know if I could take time off without penalty, seeing as I didn't ask early on.  It's just not feeling like the holidays around here much.  Perhaps that will change once I have the tree up and start wrapping presents and such.  Rei really wants to make Christmas cookies too.  I miss baking.  I don't know.  I am just frustrated with myself for some of my own ambivalence to get into the holiday spirit!  I am not sure where the joy went, but it feels out of my reach for the moment.  Maybe it is the assignments hanging over me, none of which are huge or onerous.  Maybe it's working in retail...  The sappiness of the carols on the PA and the consumerism, although where I am at, people are creating more gifts, so there is meaning attached.  Lots of fleece tie blankets this year!  I have this week to finish up the gifts for Minneapolis and get them mailed out, and I have a few things left to shop for; we still need to figure out what we are doing for our kids too...

I heard some sad news today: my wonderful in-law's elderly dog passed away.  She had congestive heart failure, and the cold has been too much for her.  I am so sad for them though. She was a much loved member of the family and she will be greatly missed!  I am sorry I never got a chance to meet her.  There are days I wonder how much longer we will have Midnight.  Some days he still acts like a puppy and is all bouncy and excited, whereas most days, he just lays and sleeps.  He has taken to following me around the house and laying whereever I am, and he even sleeps on the floor near my feet at night when Eric isn't home.  For all that he is a crochety old guy, I have become attached to him, and despite my occasional frustrations with him, I like him best of all the dogs.  He is definitely a character.

Rei goes tomorrow for his cardiology appointment.  We have to be at children's at 10:30.  I am taking him on my own because Eric needs to sleep, and I am ok with it.  I am fairly confident that they will find no significant changes from last year and will continue to monitor him as he grows.  As with all moms though, I do have that niggling anxiety in the back of my heart that won't quiet until after we see the doctor.  I will update you tomorrow after we get home on what we find out.

Brianne is supposed to be driving home from North Carolina tomorrow. She was going to head back today, but decided to stay til tomorrow because her friend had a company (military) Christmas party tonight and she is attending with him.  We really haven't spoken much, beyond text messages and facebook updates, but it seems like she is having fun.  I hope she takes it slow and easy coming back tomorrow though.  At least most of the bad weather is over with.

Anyhow, that is all I have for today!  Stay warm all, and those of you in MN, enjoy your snow!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Windy blustery day!

I couldn't believe the weather today!  We had blowing snow, although none of it stuck, and the wind was so strong it blew the neighbor's trampoline from three doors south of us, through the backyards, and landed vertically against the side of the house to the north of us!  Our heavy black grill got dumped over on its side next to the back door, and the outdoor chairs all got blown over as well.  Even my big bird feeder ended up in the grass and not on the hook where it belongs.  As I drove to work today the van was shuddering against the wind, and I "white knuckled" it all the way to work.   It wasn't as bad on the drive home, but was definately cold!

I continue to work on the last of my assignments for this term.  I have not found an internship site as yet, and I have sent the appropriate emails to my university about it.  I asked if they could forward me some suggestions, and I have also needed to ask for permission to do my "integrative project" out of sequence (before the internship) so I don't lose ground.  One step at a time!  That's all I can do.

Not much else to really chat about tonight.  Things are going fine here, and we are just trying to get ready for the holidays.  I cannot believe how fast the days go by sometimes!  It seems like November just flew past, and December isn't slowing down much either...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New furniture and other things

This is my new couch.  It is soft, and cushy, and oh so comfortable.  The old stuff is behind in the kitchen, and that is Eric running the vaccuum cleaner behind where the old couch had sat.  I am so thrilled to have it.

This is the chair and a half and ottoman (it's called that because it is bigger than a regular chair). I love that I can sit in it all cross-legged and be cozy.  The ottoman is also comfortable.

Here I am holding the sold sign that was on the chair when they brought it in.  Don't look too closely at me: I have the crud again (nasal drainage, sore throat, cough, etc) and I hadn't yet showered or put on makeup...

Last of all, this is the love seat.  So far the plan is having the couch along the carpet line with the back facing the kitchen, the loveseat is centered along the middle of the long wall facing the windows, and the chair and ottoman will be slightly angled towards the tv, next to the lamp table, right by the window closest to the back door.  We are going to get rid of the kennel by the door as the dog doesn't use it anyway, and we will be putting the tree in the corner by the window and entertainment center, probably this weekend.

I work tomorrow, and I work from 1 til 8 on Saturday.  Eric works the overnights Wednesday and Thursday, and he has his third class on Wednesday mornings, so we will both be gone tomorrow morning.  I am not sure what the plans will all entail for the weekend, but doing the tree is at the top of the list.  Kristi sent a huge package of gifts to us that arrived today (I hate her--she is already done with shopping and wrapping...  I have about half the shopping done, but none of the wrapping or mailing...)  With regard to the living room, we are thinking we are going to need to still get some end tables (for setting glasses on etc.) and we would also like to get another chair, maybe a recliner/rocker combo.  But for now, we are very satisfied with how it looks and how it is coming together.

Eric is at bowling tonight. Aurora was gonna go with him and practice after her tournament today, but she was unhappy with how she bowled tonight, so she came home instead.  Patrick is working, and Rei is doing homework.  I actually should be doing homework too at the moment, but I wanted to write here first.  Brie made it safely to North Carolina, and she seems to be having a good time from what we have heard (which isn't much).  She said she would be home on Friday. 

I wanted to add that I am doing better since I added prozac into my daily regime.  Things feel brighter again and not as heavy to deal with.  My ability to cope is improving and I am feeling better.  Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks for the support and encouragement.  It has been a blessing to me.

Now, I am back to studying!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just a quick note to say:

I got 100 points out of a possible 100 points on my term paper!!!!!  The comments the prof made were very complimentary and I am quite happy!  Now to get back to studying for this last week of class!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Couple of things to celebrate!!!

It's been kinda an exciting day for out military family members!  Brianne was awarded her promotion to E4, Specialist, this morning at the National Guard Christmas party (I was there with her, representing the family)... We ate lots and it was fun to see all the people there.  Then tonight, Tony called Eric to say he had won the brigade level of an "ultimate soldier-Army" competition, which qualifies him to go to the division level next...  More studying ahead in his future!  Some of his superiors referred to him as Sargent, although he has not officially been promoted yet, leading him to wonder if they know something he doesn't...  I am so very proud of both of my kids!  They are working hard, and they deserve to be acknowledged!

Liisa and Jesse have had a wonderful time on their Myrtle Beach vacation; they had quite the adventure horseback riding this morning (including Jesse's horse kicking out at the other horses repeatedly, and all the horses having some "attitudes")...  They will be flying home to Minneapolis tonight and she is eager to see her "dogbabies". 

Aurora also had an exciting day yesterday: she bowled extremely well at the high school tournament, and came in 8th overall (individual scoring-wise).  We are very proud of her as well!  Rei also had a good morning bowling (youth league) so that was fun.

Eric returns to school tomorrow for what may be his final term but unfortunately he has two monday classes: one in the morning, one at night.  For tomorrow anyhow he is going to go straight to school from work (he gets off at 7), sleep in the car a bit (he has a cold weather heavy duty sleeping bag in there now, and a travel pillow), go to class, sleep again for awhile in the car, then do some homework, attend his second class, then come home.  He may or may not stay for the full evening class, but he is of the opinion that it doesn't make a lot of sense to drive an hour each way to only be home for 2 hours, when he could work on stuff there using the library/student center between classes, and/or sleep in the car (more of an option down here where the weather, while cold, isn't deadly like it would be in Minneapolis or further north).  We will take it a week at a time! This is my last week of class til the new year as well, so I am needing to be sure I have everything done and turned in...  No worries there though.  And my sock knitting class was fun!  I had only one student, an older woman who knits, just never has tried socks before, and I enjoyed her very much.  The only catch? I need to knit a sock to stay up with her, so I can show her what comes next.  That means I have started a new sock too, and I will need to be diligent on that so I can show her how to turn the heel and make the gusset next Saturday.  One more project to add to my plate, lol.

Speaking of plates, and looking at the time, I need to go start some dinner for all of us...  I am getting hungry finally!  It has been such a great weekend though (and I have been so grateful to be off for it--it's been crazy busy! I am so proud of the kids for their successes this weekend.  It's been really fun to see and be a part of, both directly and indirectly!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sorry for the blogging delay...

It's just been a very busy week!

Monday I had the paper from hell due, and spent most waking hours prior to thanksgiving working on it. It was due (posted) by noon on Monday; I had it posted at 10:29 am...  I was quite pleased.  Just checked online and no grade has been posted for it as yet, so my fingers remain crossed...  After typing forever on that thing, I just didn't feel much like writing/typing for a few days...  Which then got away from me.

After posting the paper, I was very excited to spend some time with Eric reinforcing my butcher block table (brought here from Minneapolis, however, we somehow lost the screws for it).  Once it was standing solidly, I unboxed my new sewing machine and set it up.  It took me a good hour and a half (ok, closer to 2 hours) to screw up my courage and plug it in, wind a bobbin, and thread it, but I have to admit, it is amazing, and everything I had hoped for in a sewing machine.  I have NOT used the embroidery functions as yet, only the decorative stitches, but it is amazing!  The embroidery parts remain in their suitcase until my classes (which start monday) so I set it up correctly.  Don't want to screw it up my first time out!  I really am thrilled with it though.  I have already sewn one christmas gift on it, and it is quite impressive to me.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I had to work.  The mornings were steadily busy and for the most part went by quickly.  Wednesday Brianne flew up to Minneapolis, where she bought Jesse's brother's car (she is thrilled with it!).  Then she drove to Fargo, ND where she visited with a friend (from Hawaii) who is stationed there, then drove on Thursday to Nebraska somewhere to see another friend, and finally arrived back home last evening.  She has drill all weekend, but then plans to drive to NC on Monday to see someone, has plans to go to someone else's graduation on Friday (at Ft. Leonardwood perhaps?) and then is taking Eric to a concert on Saturday.  She is still not working (other than her National Guard stuff) so I hope she figures something out about that soon...  Otherwise life is gonna start getting expensive for her, what with supporting a fancy phone (with internet on it) and a vehicle...

Friday Eric and I went out to breakfast after dropping the pilot off at the dealership for an oil change.  We spent part of it discussing our plans for December (coordinating calendars, planning for the holidays); then we went over to Weekend's Only, a furniture outlet store here in town, and we ended up BUYING new living room furniture!  I am so excited! I have never had new furniture in my entire life, so this was amazing for me!  We got a couch, a loveseat, and a 1.5 person chair and an ottoman, all for about $1000.  I was planning to pay for it outright, but we decided to do the financing thing (just for convenience), as our Christmas gift to each other, and it will be delivered on Tuesday.  Then we will get the tree up (after rearranging the living room around) and I cannot wait!  The furniture is a beige, microsuede top (cushions, armrests, seats--very plush), with dark brown leather for the sides, back, and "baseboard" (our concession to the dog's being naughty--easier to keep clean and less risk of stuff soaking in... BUT I will kill them if they damage my new furniture!) We also got a 5 year warranty on it against stains, damage, etc. which should take us through getting everyone graduated...  I had initially wanted something more patterned, and darker, but the more we looked, the more this set grew on us, and given we haven't painted or anything yet, if seemed like something that would work for us with any color (I can use my afghans or quilts without concern for clashing colors).  I am quite pleased, and very excited to have it arrive.  We will trash the old sectional with no tears at all--that thing is falling apart under us!

Today has been bowling for the kids (Aurora is at a tournament for the day, and Rei bowled youth league); this afternoon I have to teach sock knitting...  Which reminds me, I need to fly--just looked at the time and I am gonna be late!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Sunday!

And I am referring to the weather rather than the date, although the date fits too--work has been crazy busy!  My neck, arms, and shoulders are feeling it from all the bolts of fleece I have unrolled and cut (and carried and put away)...  I feel about 90 today! 

We had a very low key Thanksgiving day--the kids went to see a movie, and I worked on school stuff, while Eric worked.  Friday I got up at the crack of dawn to hit the black Friday sale at JoAnn's to get Liisa her present (she made a point of reminding me I needed to get it) and when I pulled into the parking lot at work it was FULL!!!!  I got in to the store at 6:05 and there were already long lines at the checkout, and the item I wanted to buy was gone from where we had it displayed...  I asked and fortunately there were still a couple more by the checkout lines, so I got one of the last 2!!!!!  Thank God--I think Liisa would have been crushed had I not gotten one.  I then carried it to the car only to have another woman approach me as she was power-walking in, asking me if I had bought "her" item...  Poor lady, doomed for disappointment.  I called Liisa and woke her so she could share in the excitement (she wanted and got a Cricut Personal Cutter--it does diecutting for scrapbooking).  She was thrilled!  Then I met Eric for breakfast over at Bob Evan's (like a Howard Johnson's) at 6:45, and that was very nice--him still in uniform after work, and me dressed in my "uniform" too for work...  I headed back to work at 8 and sat in the back for a half hour reading my book, then hit the cutting table for 8:30--and worked my arms off til 1:30...

In the meantime, Eric went home, put the turkey in the oven, and went to bed. I did the rest of the meal when I got home just after 2, and we ate our dinner at 4:30.  It was wonderful!  After dinner, I came upstairs to study, but fell asleep on the bed about 7:30, and slept through til just after 10, when I put my nightgown on, climbed under the covers, and went to sleep for real...  Slept over 12 hours and felt great yesterday!  Between being sick, school stress, and working, I have been exhausted, and it felt wonderful to just sleep!

Yesterday was another work day for me, as is today, and my arms are feeling it.  Right across my shoulderblades and neck too.  Eric has been enjoying his days off--not getting too much done, but enjoying them none-the-less.  The kids too have been spending some quality time together, which has been really nice and we have been glad to see.  They have gone bowling, taken in a couple of movies, done some shopping, and played a lot on the x-box. 

Anyhow, that has been our holiday weekend.  Hope everyone else has had a safe and happy one as well!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

Today is Neal and Jenna's 20th wedding anniversary!  Wow,  where does the time go?

I am still fighting with the remnents of the cough from last week/weekend, and am so tired of the crud--it's making me weary!  I came home from work today and ended up taking a nap for a little bit because I felt so worn out!  Eric laid down with me when he got home from getting groceries, but my coughing was bugging us both, so I ended up getting up.  His cold is lingering too, but he is getting better as well. 

All the kids went to the bowling alley this afternoon, so I now have a quiet house to myself--at least til they get back.  We aren't doing our big dinner til Friday, so tomorrow is gonna be a low key day.  I have my 20 page paper to finish up on and that will be my focus for most of the day.  I actually should be doing that now. 

I am just feeling kinda blah today.  It's gloomy outside, we really have no plans, it's just blah.

Anyhow, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope the day is wonderful for all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back to normal, sorta...

The kids all went to school today!  Reimond was panicking a bit because his homework was not totally done, but I told him that since he made an honest effort to do what he could with it, I would send a note to the school requesting an extension on it.  He has been so sick, and while I do believe he could have pushed himself to do more than he did, especially on Saturday, I also recognize that he still is not up to snuff and is easily tired and worn down.  That flu is nasty stuff, and seeing how sick he was with the tamiflu, I can only imagine how bad it might have been without it.  I hope his teachers are equally understanding.  This is a short week for the kids because of the holiday (I think they are off Wed. thru Friday).  That will give him time to complete it all. 

Brianne is complaining of feeling really punk still--specifically her legs are really aching and she has other diffuse body aches as well, along with her cough.  I don't honestly think she spent enough time taking care of herself when she was getting sick, so she has "relapsed" some.  Patrick hasn't been sick that I am aware of, but he has had a cough for a long time now that comes and goes.  Aurora was bragging this morning about how she hasn't gotten anything as yet...  Keeping my fingers crossed that that remains true.  My cough is still there and I remain sounding congested, and I now also have laryngitis again; still no actual "cold" symptoms.  Eric on the other hand, sounds like he has a full-blown headcold, so he took Nyquil when he got home and I am letting him sleep the day away if that is what he needs.  Last night he was sneezing his head off and his nose would not stop running! He has a bit of a cough too. Aren't y'all glad I have this blog to share all this info with you??  heeheehee....

Well, I guess I need to be getting back to "hitting the books" as these assignments won't write themselves (oh how I wish they would sometimes!).  Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not a swine flu update!

I think Rei is finally on the mend.  He seems better, and is actually now in a state of panic over some school work he has to complete.  I will help him get his thoughts in order on it, and can help him a bit more when I get home from work tonight (I work 3-8), and if need be, I will send a note to the school asking for a small extension on some of it--it was a lot of homework and it seems to me that it is a lot to expect someone to totally catch up while they are starting to recover.  I told him to do the best he can, and to slow his butt down some--because he feels better he is starting to push the envelope a bit and then feels crummy again.  Teens!  There is never any middle ground!

I got home from work last night at about 9 pm and I felt really crummy.  I was in bed by 10 and asleep shortly thereafter.  My cough is starting to break up some and I think the sleep really helped.  Eric, however, now has a runny nose.  I hope he feels better when he wakes up too.  Like Rei, I am getting anxious about the amount of work I need to do for school.  I have my assignments for the week to get done, plus I have that paper to do.  I work today and Wednesday, then again on Friday and Saturday.  (My guess is I will work Sunday too--big after Thanksgiving sale).  I have also realized that the month has gotten away from me and I still don't have a start on finding an internship site.  I have til the end of December to find one, but I am getting scared.  I really need to have this figured out and organized and it is not gonna just fall into my lap, as much as I would like it to. 

So today is a day of work and minor panic.  Like Rei, I just need to break it down into managable bites, and I need to focus on what I need to do.  It's gonna come together, but I need to stay on top of it, for him and for me! So glad Eric is done with his term!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Swine flu day 5

This will be a really short posting because I have a lot of homework to do, and looking ahead to next week I will be extremely busy (my teaching schedule alone has two classes and I have yet to know what my work schedule is going to look like...).  Reimond is looking the best today I have seen him look since Tuesday night.  He is moving around and up, his color looks good, and his eyes look clear.  It seems the body aches are not bothering him as much today, although to be honest, I really haven't talked to him so far today other than to give him his tamiflu dose for the morning.  I think he is finally on the mend.

It was just Aurora and I at the bowling alley this morning.  Patrick was supposed to go as well, but he "turned his phone off" and alarm clocks don't work, nor ringers, if the phone is off...  He had asked to stay at a friend's last night, I said yes, but be home by 8 am...  Yeah....  Brie had gone out with friends last night too, and didn't get in til almost 2:30 am; not sure what time she actually went to bed after that.  I was in bed at 11, although I was up and down a bit with my own coughing. It was very eerie to wake up this morning to the fog we were under--I could see the street light was on, but could not see the houses across the street.  In fact, I could barely see the CRX, parked next to the street lamp! I called Eric and told him to drive really carefully as he got close to home because the fog was so thick/heavy and he said it fluctuated like that all the way home, better in some spots, really thick in others.  He got home in one piece and went to bed.

Anyhow, that is what is new around here for today.  Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers--they have helped immensely!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Swine flu day 3

I am happy to report that today has been a much better day for Rei.  His temp has been down since around 6:30 this morning, his eyes look clearer, and he's had an appetite and energy to move around the house today.  I am so very relieved!  Unfortunately, I have developed a cough and an ache in my chest, and it feels like I have swallowed water or food down the wrong pipe (that'a how it feels to me anyhow).  I have no fever though or body aches or any other symptoms, so I pray it stays that way. I have to work tomorrow from 3-8.  I am unsure what the rest of my schedule looks like but I know for sure I will be on on Friday (Black Friday). 

The girls had a wonderful time at the movie last night, and Aurora survived school on about 2.5-3 hours of sleep.  She has now laid down for a nap.  Her class ring came in today and it is lovely.  Eric brought it home after he paid for it and we gave it to her when she got home from school.  We also have started looking into how many graduation announcements we are going to need to get for Patrick for May.  Not sure yet what his graduation date is--I couldn't find it on the school web-site!  And then there is the homework for Rei...  He has a bunch of it, which I am sure thrills him, even if he is feeling better!

Other than that, we are doing ok.  I have a lot of studying I really need to focus on myself so I have my paper done before the holiday, and I really wish I had more time.  I have not been budgeting it very well the past couple of days with Rei being sick.  (I did, however, read a fascinating book called "The Eight" by Katherine Neville; it was a bit slow to get into as the stage was being set with multiple characters, but once in place, it was wonderful). 

Eric is getting ready for work so I guess I will go--want to spend a few minutes with him before he leaves!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 2 of Swine Flu...

I was so frustrated last night.  I waited for Eric to get home from the bowling alley so I wasn't leaving Rei home alone while he was so sick, and headed for Walmart to pick up his prescription.  I was dumbfounded to discover that the pharmacy closed at 9!  It's a 24 hour Walmart supercenter, so I had assumed it would be open til at least 10 pm....  I was so upset!  I didn't call the doctor back and request he call it in elsewhere, because I am still new enough down here that I am still not familiar enough with who has a 24 hour pharmacy and who doesn't.  I went over this morning and picked it up (Tamiflu), and fortunately, even with the delays, it is still in the 48 hour window of it being effective (although it's closer than I would like...).  He is still running fevers topping 102.xxx and he is feeling like he's been hit by a large semi.  I called the cardiologist today and they have rescheduled his appointment now for December 11th; what a shock they don't want him in the office tomorrow!  I also called the church to cancel the kid's serving on Sunday because with the incubation period being so  unknown, I didn't want to take chances with safety, and the Pastor was very supportive of that (I talked to her on the phone this morning).  The school too said he is NOT welcome back until he is fever-free and unmedicated for 24 hours.  I will be running over there tomorrow to pick up his homework assignments.

I was thinking that it's possible Brie had some form of it just ahead of Rei.  She too had gotten sick pretty rapidly, and felt like she had been run over, although she didn't run a fever, and now, 4 days or so later, is rapidly on the mend.  She had a flu shot though at AIT so that potentially mitigated the severity of her symptoms.  I just hope the rest of us stay healthy!  Eric has had both the flu and the h1n1 vaccines and I think he is pretty protected.  Not so much for the rest of us though.

Eric is now officially done with his term and he is breathing a sigh of relief.  He has another 3 classes next term, that starts the beginning of December, with a break for the holidays, and this potentially is the end of it for him. My class goes through mid-December, so I need to stay focused and on-task.

That is the update from here for today!  Stay healthy!

Today has been a fairly rough day for Rei in that he's felt sicker than yesterday (as evidenced by the fact that he's primarily laid in bed and slept--no videos/dvds playing at all).  He was up and moving for about an hour and a half late this afternoon but quickly returned to bed.  His temp is around 100.xx when the ibuprofen is in his system, but quickly climbs back up to 102.xx as it wears off.  Here's to hoping tomorrow is a better day for Bingo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sometimes I wish I had gotten my MD....

My husband will say I am being reactive, and he'd be right, but I put in a call to Rei's doctor a little bit ago because last night he got sick pretty suddenly (had been out Christmas shopping with Brie all afternoon, was animated and fine at dinnertime, but about 2 hours later was holding his chest complaining of how badly it was burning and was coughing a dry tight cough...) I initially thought asthma, because Eric had boiled a pan dry on the stove, and the plastic handle on the lid started to melt--it was noxious smelling downstairs! I took his temp, normal, gave him some ibuprofen and a neb treatment, and he went to bed (at 8 p.m.).  I woke him for a neb at midnight, per his request, and then he had another at 6:15 this morning.  He had a "temp" of 99.5, so it was iffy, but he felt lousy--his chest was still really achy and he didn't feel well, so we kept him home.  Did another neb at noon, checked his temp early afternoon because he had the chills really bad, but no fever; then about an hour ago he asked me for some ice cold water and when I looked at him he was really flushed and feverish looking--his temp was 102.7.  My guess is he has a virus; Brie was/is sick with something, but it hasn't really laid her up too terribly badly (she has a cough and some achiness, but no fever and hasn't really stayed lying down too much), so my guess is Rei has something similar.  But he hasn't had either flu shot (annual or h1n1) so I am nervous.  He is in a high risk group because of his asthma.  And he is a teen. And I listen to the news. So I am being an overprotective, over-reactive mom, and I called the doctor's after-hours service and am waiting for a call back...  Why do I assume the worst?

I knew he was sick though when there was no arguement over needing to stay in bed all day and not run the stairs, play around or goof off.  He says his body really aches (could be the fever talking) and he has the chills really bad.  His chest is tight and achy too, and his cough is tight but dry; he doesn't have any "head cold" type symptoms, but he says his throat feels "tight", whatever that means.  Anyhow, as I await the call back I am sharing my concerns.  Not to alarm anyone, but just to get them off my chest/mind... 

I got over the effects of the food poisoning by Monday morning; I spent Monday and Tuesday doing some misc. running around because I had some issues with prescriptions at the base pharmacy and had to run back to the clinic for new rxs--one was a date issue on Rei's med (I told them I would pick it up in Thursday, they dated it the Monday I called; it was expired on Monday when I tried to fill it), and they don't carry the antidepressant I had wanted to be on at the base pharmacy, so I had to get a different rx for one they do carry...  Lots of running!  It's all straightened around now though, so all is good on that front.

This is Eric's last week of classes for the term, so he has been scrambling to get work finished up and turned in.  He got frustrated with some of it so decided to go to bowling tonight (it is his week to bowl Wednesday; next week he bowls Tuesday). Plus he had an appointment with Aurora to get her new balls drilled.   So they and Brie headed to the bowling alley just a bit ago. Patrick just took off to go to a heavy metal concert of some sort with some friend of his over in St. Louis.  It's not a national act (I don't think) and is playing at a bar/grill just across the river.  We left the decision up to him as to whether he should go or not, after laying out all our concerns (it being a school night, his being up past midnight last night after working til 10, his working tomorrow night after school); It all fell on deaf ears and off he went. So it is just Rei and I home.  So much for my planning anything major for dinner!  I will probably do soup again (had soup and a sandwich for lunch too). Or maybe I will just make up one package of hamburger helper for me and wrap the left overs for Eric and I for lunches over the next few days.

I was a bit distressed to realize that I have a major project due by NOON on the Monday after Thanksgiving.  I work in retail, so obviously I won't have that weekend to work on it...  I am not sure what my schedule will be for next week so I have to do as much as I can this weekend and early next week.  I will need to have it done by Thanksgiving.  We won't be having our Thanksgiving meal til Friday anyway--and Eric and the kids will need to cook it, as I will be working at least part of the day (Eric works Wed. and Thurs. overnight that week, so will be sleeping in the morning and working that night).  The syllabus said the project wasn't due til the 11th of December, but he, as the instructor, has the right to set his own deadlines for things.  Blech! So I too have been studying hard this week along with Eric.  My paper has to be no more than 20 pages, excluding references.  I can do it, but it takes some planning and I thought I had more time...  Oh well.

My reference to the above and wishing I had gotten my MD: I was premed in college when I first started out, and then discovered I liked Psych better than the maths/sciences needed for med school.  Still, there are times I regret I hadn't gone for it, especially when my kid is sick and I feel helpless to help him. Say a prayer if you would be so kind, or think good thoughts.  I am fairly sure I am over-reacting, but then again...

Deep breath in.......  and out......  and relax.....

I just got off the phone with the doctor and he is of the opinion that it IS swine flu, as that is currently the only thing going around that he is aware of.  He is calling in a prescription for something (my guess is Tamiflu) and I will go pick it up in a little while. Change in plans for Patrick too.  The friend that invited him to the concert left without him, and plan B also fell through, so he too is now home for the night.  He isn't happy about it, but I think it may be for the best.  I'm sorry he's disappointed though, and that his friend wasn't so good a friend tonight.

More later on if need be!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Food poisoning sucks!

Let me say, despite what my husband believes, eating left-overs that have been combined into a container is NOT a good idea (unless they are all intended for one meal, eaten within the next day or so).  I used some left over ham that had been stored in a container with the tail end of the rice and green beans from a meal (late last week?) in scrambled eggs yesterday when I got home from work.... and got sicker than a dog last night, starting at the restaurant where we were having dinner celebrating Aurora's 16th birthday.  We took her (at her/the kid's request) to the Hard Rock Cafe over in St. Louis.  The meal(s) were good, albeit expensive, and they did a wonderful job of embarassing the heck out of Aurora.  But my tummy was NOT happy, and I have been up off and on most of the night, with my tummy still reminding me it is on strike today...  Blech! I think if the ham had been in a container by itself all would have been fine (I am leaning towards the straggling green beans as the primary culprit), but regardless... I won't be doing that again! (and I won't be headed into work today either).

On a totally different subject, I am so thrilled I am beside myself!  When I was at the store picking up my old sewing machine, I was talking with the women about how disappointed I was that it was beyond repair, and, as per my husband's instructions, I asked about costs on machines with the features I want, what sorts of financing were available, and so forth.  They pointed out that there were two machines that fit the bill for me, a solid mid-range machine, and an upper mid-range machine (the top of the line was beyond consideration).  Then, they told me they had the upper level machine for sale at a price similar to the mid range one, *IF* I was interested in purchasing one they had used strictly for demos at shows and so forth.  It had all of the parts and warranties intact, because it had never technically been used, and it was in perfect condition, and best of all, would qualify for financing (over 3 years, interest free).  I didn't get my hopes up, but I did call Eric and share with him what I found out after I left the store, and he made me cry.  He said we should get it.  It was a good deal, we could afford the terms, and as far as he was concerned this was a NEED for me and not an extravagant want--that I would use it and get my money's worth out of it (as evidenced by my wearing out my last 2 sewing machines).  So on Friday afternoon we went to the store and we bought it: a Babylock Elegante` 2.  It sews, it embroiders, it does lettering and monograming; it utilizes patterns that can be downloaded for free off the internet (as well as ones that can be purchased per licensing agreements by designers--e.g. disney); it has a full color touch screen, is user friendly, and I am so impressed with what it does (they had one in the shop embroidering a tea towel the first time I was there, an apron the day we bought it); classes to use it are free and repeatable, and they offer full support to all customers.  I had gotten off the phone with Eric on Thursday so thrilled that he "got it" and why having a decent machine is important to me (he worked as hard explaining to me why we should do it as I was working explaining why we shouldn't...) and that meant the world to me.  I didn't need to explain or justify or plead my case--he already knew and was telling me!  He is so amazing!  Sometimes he just blows me away!  We bought it on Friday and I got all emotional in the car driving home.  I am so excited!  It does, however, still sit in it's box in the "sewing room" at the moment because the table it is going to go on needs to be reinforced with better screws (it's really wobbly right now), and we both have homework and other chores that need to be handled before I start playing.  Christmas gifts are gonna be really fun this year though!

Yesterday I had a great time at work teaching 11 brownies (girl scouts to be) how to sew.  They made polar fleece blankets and scarfs, and it was loud, chaotic, giggly, and entertaining.  We accomplished most of our goals--all the sewing got done, although the blankets need to be finished tying and fringed at home; and it was really fun.  The girls all were enthused and excited to be learning a new craft (for a merit badge).  Eric in the meantime took all of our kids bowling, and they overall did really well.  We bought new bowling balls for Aurora for her birthday (and the up-coming high school bowling season) and they should be in soon for her.  We met back up at the house (I got home around 2), and then we went out to eat as a family around 6--so nice to have the kids all home and together for an evening!  Despite my tummy troubles, it was so fun at the restaurant, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. 

I got a good report at my doctor's appointment on Thursday.  My blood work all came back in normal ranges, so my meds will continue as scheduled, and she agreed it was a good idea to add Lexapro back in (along with my Wellbutrin) to manage the increased depression symptoms.  She could see in my old records that I used to take both in the past, and was amenable to making the change.  She also ordered bloodwork for 6 months from now to check for perimenopause, as she (like my mother) wonders if that is an underlying issue for me.  All in all I was very satisfied with the news, and don't need to go back for 6 months again.  Now we just need to get through Rei's follow-up with the cardiologist on the 20th. 

That is the news from around here for this weekend.  It's been fun, active, and sorta exciting. Now today the plan is to stay close by the bathroom, work on homework, and take it easy. Maybe even watch a little football!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's day!

Wow.  I never realized until I started thinking about it how many veterans I really have in my life.  There are the obvious ones, like my husband and my son (although he, like Brianne, is in the National Guard/Reserves), my father and grandfather, some uncles, a cousin, and many of my kid's friends, not to mention living in a military community...  It takes someone special to serve, especially when the world is so unstable, and I am so proud of, and grateful to those who have chosen to do this, whether as a vocation, avocation, or a personal commitment.  Thank you Vets and active duty!  I am so very proud of you!

I had an amazingly short work day today.  I went in, I punched in, and 5 minutes later, I punched out!  They decided they didn't need me today, and in fact, had not realized I was even on the schedule til I got there!  Oh well, it has been a productive day for me--I have been working on homework (2 looooonngg chapters to read and understand, research articles to look up that support the concepts, and assignments to write).  I am breaking it into steps so that I can process the various ideas (Rational-Emotive-Behavioral-Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), and of course, how they compare and contrast with previously studied theories and systems of application.  It's coming along, and I am sloooowly making headway on it.  My reading glasses are proving their worth today!

I also snuck in a little cross stitching, which felt wonderful to pick up for about a half hour.  It was a part of my giving myself a break to think things through.  I am continuing on "How does your garden grow" and still am emamoured with the colors and specialty stitches.  They make it go so much faster than straight cross stitch!  I had agreed to sew up a fleece jacket for a co-worker at the fabric store (she doesn't sew!  How odd!) and I also agreed to sew up some pajamas for another co-worker's daughter as a part of her leadership project for Girl Scouts (the female version of the Eagle award).  I will be using the back up machine for those, as I am slowly coming to the conclusion that it is silly to try and pour more money into my old machine when it is clearly outdated.  Time to start saving for a new one!

All the kids are home today, as there is no school for the holiday.  It is one of the few things I do appreciate about small town living.  They do at times remember to honor the things that are important in life.  In Minneapolis, school is going on without interruption, or even any rememberance of what today is all about.  They are gathered in the living room playing games, watching movies, and hanging out with each other.  It is kinda nice to see!

Ok, break time is over and the books need me...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sad day!

I got a call from Jackman's repair person and he said he couldn't repair my sewing machine, and that there was no charge for looking at it.  He recommended I send it to an authorized Janome dealer to look at (probably going through the last place that repaired it--but it ran me $125. just for them to look at it, not counting the repair/parts).  So.  I either need to make due with the back up one I have and start pricing what I want for features for a new machine, or I need to suck it up and send it out yet again and pay for it to be looked at by an expert in my brand...  Not sure what I want to do at this time.  It is old--over 12 years, so I have certainly gotten my money out of it.  It just has such sentimental value for me! 

We are stuck with a grey and gloomy day again today, and it just depresses me.  One of the cats (the one in heat, I am presuming) peed again on my down comforter, and when it was on the floor awaiting a trip down to the laundry room, one of the dogs peed on it too.  At this rate I am going to need a new comforter too in the near future!  So tired of pets!

Eric and I went out for a nice lunch this afternoon, although our server was clueless in many ways--misheard our order, gave the wrong items to the wrong person; he made up for it by making the corrections, which actually benefitted us, but it was so odd.  We had a good conversation and it is nice to be away from the house and be just us now and again. 

Now, it really is time I hit the books.  I am so far behind at the moment that it is upsetting me! I need some peace and quiet and limited distractions!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday night and all is well...

Aurora got home bright and early this morning.  Her mom and her friend dropped her off bright and early, and Aurora said they left IN at 4 EST (so 3 our time) and got they got her home right around 8:30/8:45 am.  They made really good time.  Aurora said she had a good time yesterday at her Grandma's house; the neighbor next door was running a hay ride and she was able to ride a horse, although today she has a sore bum from it...  She has been limping around some, and we just laugh at her.  It has given her some time to finish some homework (she had to finish sewing a "mole" for her chemistry class that we started on Wednesday), as well as an English assignment she also had to finish up.  She also spent some time with Brie and Rei and they had fun.  Went to the mall, and then hung with some friends.

I worked yesterday and today.  It has been really busy in spells, but fortunately we had a few quiet spots where we could catch up on putting things away.  I demonstrated using a "knitting board" for the first 2 hours of my shift yesterday and while I don't think I sold any, I had a number of nibbles on it as I worked on a scarf.  It isn't a bad product, but slower going than I would like, partially because of how nubby the yarn is  that I was using.  I have also learned to do hairpin lace because I had to demo it last weekend; that I actually sold a couple of kits of, which was cool.  It is a fast method for making wide strips, but I haven't tried to put them together.  Maybe when I have more time I can try this for me.  I haven't heard info as yet on my sewing machine, but I am praying no news is good news and that the repairs will be something simple and not too expensive.  I have a lot of sewing I need to get going on and I need that machine.

All the kids are home right now, except Patrick, who went to a movie with some friends after work, and Eric, who is at work.  I am thinking it is close to when I need to get ready for bed too.  I have been waking up early, really early of late, which isn't all bad, and hopefully with tomorrow being a day off, I can have a really productive day.  It has been a gorgeous weekend, and I hope tomorrow is a nice day too!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Anticipation of a date can be a mixed blessing.

I have this thing with dates.  I remember almost everything related to milestone dates, and there are many dates that are "anniversaries of the heart" for me.  As they approach, I remember the events and feelings associated with them, and I ponder them and commemorate them in turn, depending on what they are.  Some dates as they approach I dread, because they were so hard, so painful, and even though they are long past, the ache of them remains and I don't know how to let that go.  

Today is one such date, because it is the day my dad died.  I am not going to turn this into an ode to him, or a long drawn out rememberance.  I just want to say that I loved him, that I miss him still, and that I am so grateful he was given the opportunity by God to be sure all his loose ends were tied off before he left us.  My dad's death is the middle of the trilogy of dates that make up my personal season of darkness.  They start with Carol the end of August, peak with my Dad the beginning of November, then culminate with Christmas day, which is when Jim walked out on the kids and I.  As the days then move towards spring, I feel myself lighten and breathe easier.  I am not sure why these dates hold such power over me!  They are all long passed, and I now have some happier moments which can replace these hurtful memories. Still, it is something almost totally visceral.  I feel it deep inside me as those days approach, even when I am not consciously remembering the dates...  They were major losses to me that changed the direction of my life irrevokably, but it confuses me as to why they still affect me so profoundly, given it is now 12 and 15 years after the fact.

Having said that, my goal is to have a good day today. I am taking the boys, and possibly Brie, to the bowling alley this morning; I am taking my school books with me as well (but leaving the laptop home--trying to write there didn't work so well); I will get some writing done when I get home and post what I can. Then it is time to go to work.  Eric will be sleeping the better part of the day (I hope anyway); and when I get home from work tonight I think I am going to cross stitch for a while, just to handle my fibers and threads for a bit.  The sun is shining, it's going to be in the low 70's, and I pray it will be a good day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday's musings.

It has been a long week.  I work all weekend, as does Eric, and I have accomplished a lot on my days off, but I am behind on my homework assignments for the week and that is really bothering me.  I have gotten bogged down in the details of homelife and I have allowed my stressors to overpower my common sense.  I need to buckle down tonight and play catchup, which sucks, because I really like my Friday night TV--especially Ghost Whisperer and Medium.  Numbers, I have heard, have numbered days and they may be bringing back Flashpoint, which I really like and was sad they had dropped.  Oh well, I have to do what I have to do!

I worked today and it was so slow at first, then got wild.  Not sure what everyone is buying, but they were shopping!  I worked 8-1, then I had to run to the mall; one of my pairs of glasses was in, and I am happy to have them.  They are wonderful!  I see things so clearly now, and I am just in awe at how nice it is to see clearly.  The other pair I ordered had the lenses come in, but one lens was pitted/flawed so they had to return it and have it remade.  Still, one pair is better than none, and I am satisfied.  Then I had to make a run to T-mobile to get a new phone,  as Rei closed Cliff's car door on his and broke the screen.  Not being able to see text messages or phone numbers is the end of the world for a 15 year old, so I gave in and got the phone I really wanted and gave him my 2 month old one.  It hurt to have to pay full price for a phone (he didn't qualify for an upgrade until May, and I used mine in August) but we both have something we want, and I am grateful I was able to do it.  Now I am done with spending for awhile (a good long while) and while I had hoped to buy an Asian Ball Jointed Doll (there is one I have fallen in love with) a phone was a priority whereas a doll isn't.  I will get the doll eventually I hope.

The shooting at Fort Hood yesterday hit really close to home for all of us.  Liisa's friend Tesa and her husband are stationed there.  Fortunately, Hunter had the day off and was home with her (they live off-post, sharing an apartment with some friends).  We don't know if anyone close to them was affected or not, but being part of a military community things like this are scary for all of us because they could happen anywhere, at any time.  We are keeping the folks down there in our prayers.  We have a bunch of family members "up north" headed out for deer hunting this weekend as well, so I hope everyone pays attention and stays safe. 

Aurora did go to her mother's for the weekend.  We had initially said she couldn't go when return transportation was not arranged (it had been suggested we arrange to fly her back from Chicago's O'Hare if we couldn't drive up to get her) but after many heated discussions we were told that she would be brought home Sunday night, and Aurora was told she needed to go.  Aurora was very upset she had to miss being a delegate to the Model UN event that was held at Southeastern Missouri University yesterday, as her mom called the school and excused her from attending without consulting with Aurora or any of us. That too had been a sticking point, especially for Aurora, as she had worked really hard to gain her place on the team and she didn't want to miss out on this obligation.  Today is her 16th birthday, and I hope she has a happy one.  She has been text-messaging with us off and on throughout the day, and is happy that the phone is now hers alone (Patrick bought his own cell phone now that he has a regular pay check and he has is own "bill" on Eric's plan).  I truly hope she had a good day today, and that the weekend goes smoothly for her.  She really wanted to spend it here at home with friends and family.

Eric is off to work for the night, and is on all weekend 6 pm to 6 am.  I too work all weekend: 3-8 tomorrow afternoon/evening, and 1-6 on Sunday.  Then I work Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and I am teaching a class for 3 hours on Saturday morning.  Gotta love the girl scouts!  I think that will be a lot of fun!  12 scouts, 3 adult helpers, and the troop leader.  They are making some things out of polar fleece. Patrick too is working all weekend, and from what I just heard, Brie has plans to go out tonight.  Sounds like it's gonna be just Rei and I home tonight for the most part! 

Eric and I had a meeting with Rei's case manager at the high school on Thursday afternoon.  I felt it went very well and it really helped to reassure me that I am on the right track with things.  It also let the school know that Eric and I ARE invested in Rei's education and meeting his needs there at the school.  She is going to put in place a meeting for me to set up a behavioral intervention plan for Rei so that he stops being punished for his ADHD (in other words so that there is a process and we are all on the same page).  I do NOT have a problem with his being called on the carpet and having consequences for behaviors that are out of line or inappropriate, but being told he cannot draw as a coping mechanism is just not fair--especially if he has nothing else available to him to do in it's stead.  I felt the meeting was productive, I voiced my concerns, and I was able to be an advocate for my son.  And they too followed through to be sure they are in compliance with his IEP stuff, which is really important to me!  As I said at the start, it has been a productive week but it has also been a stressful one.

Pekeiko is in heat again, oh joy...  So tired of the yowling!  And Midnight is being protective of the bedroom as she stalks it for Batman...  Gonna be an interesting night from what I can see!  I hope everyone has a good weekend!  I know mine is going to continue to be hard on a few levels, but I hope it will continue to be productive...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Why is consideration such a hard concept to grasp?  Consideration for others, consideration for ones-self, consideration for the community, the household, one's neighbors...

I am writing in the abstract today, and being very general, because I need to.  But I also need to "think aloud," in print.  Life would move along so much more peacefully if people took the concept of consideration to heart.  It doesn't mean being a martyr, nor does it mean being totally selfless; it just means taking a look at how one's choices and behaviors affect or impact on the world around you and doing what is necessary to prevent it from being hugely negative.  It's the little things in life, like picking up after ones-self, or making a phone call when plans change.  It's making a determination about who's needs are more important, and understanding why they should even be taken into consideration!  It's communication, and taking the extra step.  Sometimes it's just being responsible and following through with one's obligations instead of procrastinating, justifying, or excusing...  A little consideration goes a long way towards smoothing rough situations, and it generally takes so little effort to do...

I have been told I am a very considerate person, and I have been called inconsiderate on more than one occasion.  I try to follow through with what I say, and I try to be thoughtful of other's and their needs/wants/property or beliefs.  I am not always successful, but I do try my best, and I would hope that counts for something in the long run.  I try to set a good example for the kids, and I try hard to practice what I preach.  It would be so nice to see others take a similar stance.  (Although, as I use the word "try" over and over, it makes me think of the quote by Yoda from Star Wars: "There is only do or do not; there is no 'try'").  It might make me an odd duck, but I do take people's intentions into account as I view something, and whether or not they mean things the way they come out (another quote comes to mind, this time of my husband's: "you didn't mean to  ______________; however, you didn't 'mean not' to do it either"--in otherwords, done is done, regardless of intentions...).

I realize this is all as clear as mud, but it stems from things that have been going on since last night (multiple phone calls, negotiations, emails) as well as today, and my cleaning up after the kids and pets this morning because it hadn't been done; (note, it was not as bad as it has been at times--I do see random improvement!), on top of the stuff that I NEED to get done that is staring at me reproachfully (yes homework, I do see you sitting next to me...).  Worst of all, I NEED a nap!  And I have the munchies--a side effect of stress. I am not hungry per se, but man some potato chips would hit the spot, or some lemon custard; yeah...  It's just that kind of day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another sunny day!

It is so nice to finally see the sunshine again.  Someone commented on my last entry asking if I had seen Noah around at all recently--sure felt that way as the heavens poured down on us!  I hope to get lots of my in the house chores done this morning so I can spend the early afternoon basking like a cat on my swing in front of the house with some stitchery or a book.  The sunshine is helping my moods and energy levels to a small degree, although they still fluctuate far too easily and I feel myself withdrawing... 

Things are feeling a bit unsettled around here as Miss Aurora's birthday plans are not coming together as she had hoped.  Her mom made arrangements with the school to excuse her from her model UN team commitment, which she is very upset about (and has worked hard to earn her place on--it's being held at a local college on Thursday), and she had really wanted to spend her 16th birthday celebrating with friends (it's on a Friday and there is no school).  She also was hoping to practice her bowling with the youth league on Saturday (home lanes and all that) in preparation for High School bowling try-outs next week.  None of that has carried any weight and she is expected to go out of town on Wednesday after school.  The still unresolved issue right now is how she will get home; Eric cannot pick her up on Sunday--he is working overnights all weekend, and he can't get out of it.  They are so short-staffed as it is he has been picking up some "mandatory overtime" so that they have coverage.  I am also scheduled to work, and in retail, we are headed into our busy season: holiday outfits, Christmas gift making, and decorating accessories. I don't have the option to call off work any easier than Eric does.  This has been all laid out and fighting about it isn't going to change anything.  I do stand by my belief that it is important and necessary that the kids spend quality time with their mom.  As a mother I understand her wishes completely, and while I do see where the kids (and I do mean all three of them) are coming from in their feelings, things won't improve unless everyone makes an effort to reconcile, forgive, and move forward.  It would be nice to see the effort being made this way too on their behalf once in a while.  Participating in their world, and showing interest and commitment goes so far toward mending bridges.  And I am not speaking from a position of inexperience.  I have my own situation to draw on, and that too colors my perspective.  It's just really hard (uncomfortable) sitting where I sit right now, because it is not my place to get in the middle of any of it, and while I see things one way or another, I don't have the right to interfere.  The dynamics of their old family structure are coloring all of it, and I am not a part of any of that.  So I listen, I offer my suggestions where I think they might be helpful, I comfort as I can, and I try to offer as unbiased an opinion as I am able to.  Blended families are hard!!!!

Patrick is working most of the weekend (what a shock!~heeheehee), and Brianne is doing stuff with the Nat'l Guard all weekend, so that just leaves Rei to fend for himself much of this long weekend off.  I will probably be running him back and forth to the skatepark in Belleville between work shifts...  He has been going there after bowling the last couple of Saturdays and has had a wonderful time, returning home proud but scraped and bruised as he masters new skills.

Tony is talking about possibly coming down for a visit in a couple of weeks, and I so hope he does.  Alexis and Justin called me yesterday and Alexis was adamant (wouldn't let me even get a word in edgewise!) that "you need to come HOME Gramma Reina, you NEED to come home now! I need you Gramma Reina, I need you come home NOW!"  I just had to smile.  Then Justin told me I should just pack 2 suitcases and come visit for "a really long long time" cuz he loves me and misses me...  I grinned from ear to ear, even as a couple of tears snuck down my cheeks.  Those little ones mean the world to me and I am so glad they haven't forgotten me.  As much as I loved my grandparents, they were mostly strangers to me because they were on the east coast while we were in MN.  I only saw them once a year for a few weeks and the rest of the time it was just random phone calls, letters, gifts in the mail, and exchanging pictures now and again.  I want to have the relationship with my grandkids that my mom has with my kids--active, involved knowledge and love.  It does my heart good to know that they love me and remember me.

Well, I think it is time I get headed downstairs for the rest of my morning.  The boys picked up all fabric related items off their bedroom floor, and these got deposited in the laundry room this morning.  I cannot see the floor (or the washing machine!) so I guess I should get started on marathon laundry.  I will take my laptop and my books down with me so that I can study between loads, and maybe run the vaccuum too before Eric gets home from class and needs to go to bed.  His working nights with morning classes makes sleep a challenge for him; another reason why it is so important he sleep when he is able to!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pics from the back yard and walking path...

The water has broken free of the creek, flooded the marshy woods, and is almost up to the walking path...It is really cool looking, and has actually gone down quite a bit in the last two dry days we have had...  It is still really wet outside though and our back yard feels like walking on a sponge.  You feel the ground squelch under your feet!
On a separate subject, I took my sewing machine in again to be looked at.  Once again it has jammed up, sounded bound, and blew the fuse.  I took it to a different place to get it looked at and I will hopefully hear something back by Friday at the earliest.  I did browse a little to see if there were new models that looked good to me (there is a nice selection of machines at Jackman's), but I am not even gonna think about buying new until I know what is wrong with what I have (it has sentimental value to me).  I have a back up machine I can use til mine is fixed.  I am just glad to have it somewhere that comes with high recommendations.

Now back to watching the Viking's game....

The start of a new month, and hopefully a new attitude as well...

I love it when daylight's savings time ends...  I feel so much more rested, and I love waking with the sun coming in the bedroom window.  Having sunshine again has been balm to my battered moods.  My doctor's appointment for the meds is on the 12th, but just something as simple as being able to be outside for a bit, and basking in sunlight helps my mood and spirits to bounce back.  I also really like my readers!  It is so nice to see the page without shifting the book or my glasses to see the words clearly, and to have things no longer doubled over or fuzzy on the left is amazing!
We had a huge turnout of kids here for trick or treating,  Eric had bought a ton of candy and I actually ran out after the first hour!  Brie ran to walmart for more, and that too was gone shortly before 8 p.m. when the "town sanctioned" event ended...  I took a little time before the kids started coming and decorated the table in front of the house with Halloween paraphenalia, and I sat with my crocheting next to the table to hand out the treats.  We had a nice selection of wee ones through teens--lots of star wars and ninjas this year, along with the requisite princesses, fairies and witches; the scary movie contingent was here, and there were NOT too many teens wearing street clothes with a hint of face makeup out just looking for handouts (although I did get one mom, in full getup, say to me "I look 12 don't I?" and giggled...  I gave her one miniature candy bar because I wasn't gonna get into it with her...)  There were a few middle school girls who looked "whore-ish" and I wondered what their mothers were thinking in letting them go out like that, and there were a few kids that should have had jackets or sweatshirts on for warmth (it was a chilly night--maybe upper 40's/low 50's?) But overall I really enjoyed it and was so glad to be home handing out treats!  The picture above is Justin and Alexis at Liisa's.  He was Peter Pan and had a "really big sword" (I have a pic on my cell phone showing the sword), and she was Tinkerbell...  I had bought them treat bags--which sat in the car filled with toys apparently--because the pumpkin buckets were for candy!  (and no, my feelings weren't hurt--I found it amusing that they have their own ideas about things!)

Rei got home from the skate park in Belleville in time to go to a few houses for treats; generally I don't approve of older teens trick or treating, but around here (as in most places) some of them still go.  Brie put on her fairy costume from last year but quickly changed as she was too chilly, and Patrick and Aurora were at a marching band competition and parade.  They got home around 11:30 last night and they took a 2nd and a 3rd place in the competitions.  Eric and I played a little Everquest, and it was a low-key night for us.  He and I are probably headed to church for 10, and then today is going to be focused on chores.  (I had left a list for yesterday when I was at work, and NOTHING got done on it!)

I am so excited to start a new quilt I am going to be making.  I got a few more fabrics for it yesterday when I was at work, and I bought a new rotary cutting mat--my old one was so chewed up that the lines were grooved into it.  Got a 24"x 36" one (by fiskars, not Olfa) for $11.99--the Olfa ones run $40 for that size!  I still need one or two more fabrics for it (borders and such), but those are not necessary to the body of the work, so I can start it when I am ready to.  I just need to get my sewing machine in to the repair shop again (and perhaps just trade it in for a newer model) because it bound up on me again, then blew the safety fuse, so now it won't turn on at all!  I have a spare machine I can use, but it is like driving a Yugo after having used a cadillac for the last 15 years...  It works, but.....  My head is full of ideas for things I want to make and I really need to start dedicating specific blocks of time to different things--like setting up an office planner with appointments.  I can do this and it will make me happy! (I am trying to be realistic too about what I can or cannot accomplish before the holidays).

So the plan for today is school work for an hour or so, church, then setting up the sewing room to be user-friendly so I can start cutting stuff out and using it, working on mine and Eric's laundry (his uniforms need washing, lol), and cracking the whip on the kids to help with the floors and their messes in the living room...  Gonna be a full day today!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I really have not done any decorating for the day/night/season as yet, because of all the rain we have had, but since it is supposedly done, I will tidy the front and put out some decorations when I get home from work.  I am doing a demo from 11 - 1 pm on making a "hairpin lace" scarf (looks like a loopy boa).  Our area got hit fairly hard from flash flooding and the rains--both entrances to our neighborhood from the air force base were closed due to water on the road from the creek(s) flooding, and Eric watched one car floating off the road who tried to run it; he ended up going back out onto the freeway and around the airport to get back to our house after grocery shopping!  So glad he decided to drive me to work yesterday and pick me up: we saw one car in the ditch in the treeline who had apparently hydroplaned off the interstate and into the water (this was in the rain on my way to work).  The water levels are starting to drop around here, but there still is very little place for the water to really go.

Eric did go with me yesterday to pick out some new glasses.  I actually bought 3 pair.  One pair is a dedicated reader (single presription) and I am dumbfounded at how clearly I can again see things to read close up--may not even need my maginfier for cross stitching for awhile!  The other 2 were clearance pairs (50% off) as well, so I did buy 2 for daily wear--a pair and a spare!  The woman who helped us agreed that with the strengths of my prescriptions it's better I not be without a backup pair, and given I wear them 16-18 hours each and every day, it's nice to have a backup so I can change them at up at whim.  I did get the anti-reflective coating put on them too, so I am excited to see how that will impact my night driving.  They should be ready in a week or so.  Part of me felt guilty for spending the money (I had it in my savings) but as Eric said, it is my vision, and I need to be able to see clearly to do all that I do (reading, school work, handwork).  As much as I feel a bit self-indulgent (there is a time not-so-long-ago I would have bought just one pair, at the cheapest possible rate I could get away with, no bells or whistles to them), and that side of me is pinching a bit, I am so excited to have them.  I have already made use of the readers and I like them a lot.  (The only drawback is they do close work only and the distance is blurred if I look up to check out the tv or something... But once I have the bifocals, that won't be an issue if I want to multi-task!).

Eric is off with the boys to the bowling alley, and I am going to finish up this week's assignments for class.  Then I am off to work as well. I am sure hoping we see some peeks of sunlight today.  They say it's supposed to be dry, but I really need sunlight too!  Then it will be home for chores and to ready for the trick or treaters!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just a quick update...

I saw the eye doctor today and my distance vision needed a correction in my right eye, and my close vision (in the bifocal) needed strengthening in my left eye.  I have a new prescription and I hope Eric will be willing to go with me to get new glasses ordered.  I found a pair at the eye doctor that I fell in love with, but given the frames by themselves are $359, and the progressive lenses will be around $250, I am guessing that won't be on the list of priorities.  The doc did agree that I should consider getting a pair of readers to just keep at my bedside for reading or stitching, and I may do that just because...  He also recommended getting an anti-reflective coating put on my new lenses so that it minimizes some of the glare when driving at night.  I may try that too, given all the driving I now do.

Work has settled down a little bit, now that one of our major sales is over.  I like it steadily busy, but the rain we have had has drown out our business!  I am so tired of rain.  Walking in the grass is like walking in a marsh--you hear the water squelch under your feet, and if barefooted, actually sink into the muck!  The creeks near us have overflowed their banks, the reservoir is high, and the ditches look like small creeks.  Many fields are flooded, and we have a number of local farmers that have not yet brought in crops because the ground is so over saturated.  We are supposed to have rain the better part of the next few days, with an expected total of 2-4 more inches...  I am just really tired of how gloomy it is outside, and how dim it can be inside.  Not to mention chilly and damp.  It feels like we never completely dry out (shoes, hoodies, umbrellas...)  I almost envy Colorado it's snow--at least that is managable (lol); for me anyhow!

Justin and Alexis got their Halloween treat bags from us this week, and I am so glad they like them.  I can't wait to see pics of them in costume: Alexis is gonna be Tinkerbell, and Justin is gonna be Peter Pan.  Tony is safely back from Idaho, and is home for a bit.  I am glad he is staying put for at least a little while.  It would be sad if he had to miss trick-or-treating with the kids.  Which reminds me, I need to still get candy....  Actually, we need a whole grocery shopping trip this weekend!

Anyhow, that is what is new today.  Am so wishing it was warm and sunny!