Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I think pets should be required to be toilet trained and not just housebroken...

I have a plastic zippered bag full of 5 skeins of acrylic yarn which had been housed in my bedroom that one of the cats decided to pee in.  For whatever reason, the bag had not been zipped shut at the time of said assault, and I have no idea which of the little demons dears are responsible for this act of terrorism on my property.  I also had a beautiful mesh bag (blue, with butterflies on it) that contained my afghan in progress, sitting in the dining/sewing room, pending cool enough weather to hold it again in my lap, which I discovered had also been assaulted and foully marked, probably by the other breed of 4-legged beings we have circulating our premises...  These acts of cruel defiance are getting quite old and I am so very tired of them!

After much contemplation, I decided to try to clean these items, using the washing machine and dryer, as the last time I tried cleaning yarn skeins and a wip (work in progress) in the bathtub, the result was less than satisfying (it was hard to get the water all out and drip drying wasn't very expedient).  I put the 5 skeins of yarn, sans paper wrappers (which needed to be disposed of) into a pillow case and pinned it shut.  I then took the afghan and the 2 remaining skeins of yarn needed to finish it and placed those in a second pillow case, and again pinned it shut (the afghan was on a large circular needle, with wooden tips).  I washed these items, along with their bags, in the delicate cycle of the washer (as had been suggested on a bulletin board I frequent).  Then, I ran them through an additional rinse cycle, and tossed all the bags (except the plastic one) in the dryer, with a dryer sheet and those two rubber dryer balls, and let the dryer do it's thing.  A second cycle in the dryer was deemed necessary as the pillow cases were still damp, but the blue bag came out great (/smile).

I took the pillow cases up to my bed and courageously opened them.  The afghan was still damp, as were the two skeins of yarn, but neither seemed too worse for the wear.  I placed the two skeins in the window to finish air drying and draped the afghan cape-style below it, where the lovely fall breezes can finish the job.  The 5 skeins of acrylic yarn, however, were another story.  They were tangled beyond belief into and around each other.  As I just explained to Eric, it will take a marathon viewing of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, watched back to back, to get them all seperated into their respective units...  It will be a job of epic proportion!  Needless to say, until I have the time and energy to face this prospect they are currently back in their zippered plastic bag, now zipped, and stowed where the cat(s) cannot reach them....  And I have decided I have had enough yarn fun and will return to cross stitching for the remainder of the evening.

I have part 1 of 12 almost completed on my latest "take along project" called "How Does Your Garden Grow?"  I was not happy with the pale green I had chosen for the leaves/foliage, so I decided to make a quick run to Hobby Lobby (shhhhh--don't tell my bosses) to get the "Light Effects" DMC floss I wanted for it (along with some floss the color of my fabric to put the beads on with).  I was surprised they charged me only 75 cents for the flosses, given the specialty floss I wanted had a sticker that said $1.29 on it, but perhaps there was a sale I was unaware of. I had put in leaves on half of it, but they looked too bright to me, and I am much happier with the new floss, despite having to "frog" (rip out) the old stitches.  I am really enjoying this project and it is fast paced, in part because of the specialty stitches in it. I will post pictures when I get part one done.

I took Brie with me to run my errand today and we had a nice outing--got milkshakes at Steak 'n Shake--although we didn't do too much chatting.  My voice is still shot and it gets tiresome to talk.  Eric had class today and he bowls tonight, but I think I am gonna bow out of going to the bowling alley.  Too noisy for me to try to talk over with very little voice, and I am really liking having some down time today to just take things slow and easy.  Tomorrow is soon enough to start pushing things I think.  I am finally feeling human again and don't want to go backwards!

Anyhow, that is the scoop for today!  Thanks for listening to me complain!

Monday, September 28, 2009

I have survived!

I worked all weekend long, sick as a dog, and I have very little voice left, but I have survived!  Each evening after work I have come home and collapsed into bed, and overall I am starting to feel some better, but I still am far from 100% and I am looking forward to the next few days off to recouperate and get myself healthy again.  My poor nose gives Rudolf a run for his money, and my voice either scares or entertains small children...  and I have emptied at least one full sized box of kleenex and a bottle of hand sanitizer at work... We have been crazy busy and I am grateful for the hours.  I just hope things can mellow out now and I can get back on my feet.

My textbook arrived in the mail today, my FAFSA is being processed (financial aid stuff), and I have (finally!) the correct name now on all my program stuff for school.  The 5th is coming up and I can hardly wait!  I am so very excited to be moving forward again!

Eric has done a wonderful job of cleaning up the house for me today, and taking care of the slack while I have been sick.  I am so grateful for him--he is a wonderful man!  Even as I type this he is making me a tuna fish sandwich and some tea.  After being on my feet for 5 hours and talking to "guests" all morning, I am wiped out and in need of some down time.  He is so good to me!

Kids all got their midterms, and generally speaking they were decent.  Rei needs to work a bit harder at a couple of subjects, and Aurora was not happy she had some B's in there, but generally the grades were ok, and we are pleased. 

Lunch is ready!  So I am off to eat.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just a quick update for now:

I have a really bad head cold.  No fever or anything, just the typical cold symptoms and sinus stuff.  My voice is shot though, and my head feels stuffed with cotton batting.  I called work yesterday morning to double check what the policy is about working when ill (with all the H1N1 stuff going around) and I didn't feel like I needed a day home (although guilt from taking all last weekend off was also eating at me), so I went in, complete with box of tissues and bottle of hand sanitizer.  I did feel pretty crummy by the time I got home, so I took some Nyquil and went straight to bed.  I woke up a few times in the night, and this morning (around 6:30 a.m.) I called the church to let them know that I was too sick to do fellowship or even attend services (which meant the kids didn't serve either).  Eric is working, or he could have covered for me.  Patrick worked til close, and Aurora is still asleep too, at 11:30 a.m.!  Brie and Rei are watching a movie in the living room at the moment. 

I am going to go in to work again today.  I will just be sure I take an extra dose of cold medicine with me.  My problem yesterday was I forgot to bring it with me and when it wore off I was SOL.  I also work tomorrow morning.  Eric was wonderful though about letting me sleep last evening and this morning, and he can be so thoughtful.  Reimond (especially) is working with Brie to break her of the habit of calling everyone "Boo".  Another annoying side effect of being away for any extended period, heeheehee.  She slept quite a bit yesterday, and worked in her room some; she is gonna be checking back in with her work, probably Monday, to see about being put back on the schedule there.  Hopefully this week life will start taking on whatever flavor it is going to have that represents what "new" normal will feel like around here!

And now, I am off to get ready for work!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Misc. things for a gorgeous Friday...

Brianne is home, safe, sound, and graduated.  Eric left at 5 a.m. to go to Ft. Leonardwood, MO to go and get her.  I am not sure what time they arrived home, as I was at work teaching a class, but she is off and running at the moment, and Eric is mowing the lawn.  I am feeling really crummy.  Not sure if it's allergies or a cold, but the body aches of the past few days has given way to a scratchy throat and a dripping nose...  Not attractive at all!  I took some tissues and some hand sanitizer with me to work so that I wouldn't pass anything on to my students. I'm not running a fever that I am aware of, although the back of my eyes burn a bit, but then I am on Naproxen too so that may be helping.  I just feel like curling up and sleeping and will probably do so shortly.

I started a new cross stitch project, a portable one, called "How does your garden grow" by Papillion Creations.  It was released as a free pattern over 12 months last year, and I saw so many wonderful depictions of it I knew I had to do it myself.  I used stuff I had on hand to start it when I was at Liisa's, and I am quite pleased with how it is coming along.  The only thing I bought special for it were beads, because the few colors I have didn't go with it very well.  I will post pics eventually.

I was a little irritated at work today; one of the other teachers, who teaches many of the same classes I do, showed up in my classroom today to pick up things from her class this morning, and I just felt like she was intruding.  She comes across as though she should be the only teacher of these classses, and I feel like she looks down at me, even though we are about the same age (maybe because I work for the store and she is a contracted teacher?).  I just found it frustrating.  She had taught knitting to one of my students, and visited with her a bit, which was fine, but I just felt like she should just go.  Had to laugh too; I had an elderly lady sign up for my class, then didn't want to learn what I was teaching!  So I ended up doing two different things.  I worked with her on her questions and interests while the other student practiced a bit, then I taught the stitch to the other student while she worked on the projects SHE wanted to do.  It was interesting and she seemed pleased, but I felt like I was a split personality! Over all I felt like the class was a success.

Patrick is off to work, Rei is off on his bike, and Aurora is reading.  A nice quiet household!  I do think I am gonna lay down for a bit, because this weekend is gonna be hectic: the kids have bowling in the morning and I then work 1-6; Sunday we have church--the kids serve and I do fellowship, then I again work 1-6; (Eric works all weekend too). Monday Eric has off but I work in the morning--8:30-1:30.  Then we get about a half hour together before the kids get home from school and the week is in full swing...  I sure hope this bug passes quickly!  I have NO time to be sick! 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A few steps closer to finishing my degree:

I got all the financial aid stuff filled out today and submitted.  I am very excited about that.  I also got my text book ordered and it should be here early next week (just a bit over 2 weeks til I resume being a student)! Reimond's quilt I had made for him a while ago arrived via the US mail this morning and I am so glad to see it again (I made it to honor his black belt journey and it is something special--Liisa had it tucked away in the basement and sent it home with me, but I mailed it rather than trying to squeeze it into my suitcase).  I may enter it in the base craft fair, just because I can--just need to see how worn it may be looking.  If it looks too shabby, I will keep it here were it is treasured.

So everything is falling into place for school, and things are going ok here on the home front.  Patrick seems to be ok with his job, and Aurora is enjoying cross country; Reimond is just doing the school and social scene.  Brie will be here tomorrow night.  Wow, has this time gone by fast!

Some pics from my trip, and the saga of my return to IL...

My cool dude, going out to dinner with me, Liisa, and Jesse, while his mommy and daddy were at the hospital with Alexis.  We had a really fun dinner, then we had a sleep over at his house: Justin slept on the floor in his sleeping bag, and I slept on the couch.  When he woke up the next morning, he gave me the most adorable, mischievious grin, and dove under the blankets to cuddle with me on the couch.  Brought back memories of when I was in El Paso with them and Alexis was in the NICU; every morning he would toddle down and find me on the couch and we would cuddle while I woke fully up.

This was the day before her surgery; I went with Andrea and the kids to Target to get groceries and I bought each of the kids a treat.  Alexis picked out a package of 7 Disney Princess figurines, which she then carried throughout the store.  She wouldn't even give it to the sales clerk to ring it out--she had to sneak a scan of the bar code while Alexis tried to hide the package from her!  Alexis calls Belle the "Scary Princess"; we have no idea why! Justin picked out a Batman plane with a small figurine as well and some discs that shoot out of it.  He was very happy too.

Justin found the tinker toys at my mom's.  He loves to build and he made an amazing creation that he could park his plane on and Batman could sit near the top "flag" of.  He was thrilled when Neal and Jen came over with their girls--he loves them to pieces and calls them his "Girlfriend-cousins".

This is Sweet-tea's dog bed, being shared with her brother Popcorn.  Liisa made one for each of them and they really like them.  Unfortunately, Sweet-tea likes to chew and she put a hole in the corner of her bed already (and it wasn't even more than a couple hours old!) so Liisa has already had to patch it.  The beds are made out of colored denim, and two regular sized bed pillows line the inside of them, laid side by side for added width. They came out very nicely, and for $24 each (including the price of the fabric and the pillows) and a half hour or less of sewing time, she was quite pleased.  The ones she looked at in the pet shop ran almost $100 each!

This is Liisa's "Couch Blanket", with monkeys and frogs on the front, and a "mottled" green on the back; her other one, which she calls her "Vacation" blanket, has pink flamingos and other beachy images, with a mottled yellow for the reverse side.  I didn't get a pic of that one.  We had such fun making these and hanging out together.  I was glad I could help her get the fabrics for them--her roommate was quite impressed with "our" sewing skills (I wore the sleep pants I had made and which are, if I say so myself, are adorable!). 

So my trip home was a nightmare of many sorts.  I got to MSP with plenty of time, thank goodness, because I needed it!  I had purchased 2 small Yankee candles from the Mall of America, and they had wrapped them in tissue paper for me.  When I packed, I rolled them in a sweater to protect them.  The TSA agent scanning my suitcase panicked when seeing them (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but it felt that way) and next thing you know, my suitcase was being inspected, some sort of chemical scan thing was being wiped on all surfaces, and the candles were taken and scanned in a "private" scanner...  They allowed me to take everything back with me, so nothing was confiscated, but it was nerve wracking to wait, and I was initially quite confused until I saw them taking out my sweater and the wrapped candles for further inspection...

Then, I got to my gate, at the very end of one of the longer terminals.  I was one of the last to board, and my seat was in the middle of the plan.  It was a 5 pm flight to Chicago (NEVER AGAIN!) and everyone apparently had more than their 2 alloted bags, because by the time I got on, there was NO overhead bin space for my suitcase, which also contained my laptop (so that I only had the 2 allotted carryons).  The steward told me to put my suitcase by the front of the plane and they would gate check it for me, and I would get it back on arrival in Chicago.  The flight itself was easy, no turbulence or anything, but once we were on the ground, I watched MY suitcase get taken off the conveyor and thrown hard, face down (where my laptop was located) into the luggage trolley, with subsequent bags thrown on top of it.  I tried to convince myself that it wasn't mine, that I was just jumping to conclusions, but when I got off the plane, it was NOT at the gate as they had said.  I asked the steward about it, explaining I had to make a connecting flight, and he directed me to the attendants at the top of the ramp.....who were non-existant. 

I must have looked panicked, because someone in uniform (a pilot perhaps?) asked me what the problem was, and when I explained I needed my suitcase, told me that I would need to get it from BAGGAGE claim.  Apparently they only bring things back to the gate on the small planes, not the full size ones, and didn't the attendant ask me about connecting flights or anything?  I said no, and asked if this meant I would need to re-go through TSA etc., to which he answered in the affirmative.  I was just nauseous and ready to cry.  I feared the worst, that my beloved laptop was smashed or shattered, and that I would then also miss my flight home in all the run-around.  But I went to the baggage claim area, and sure enough, there was my suitcase rotating in the conveyor belt.  I grabbed it and went right into Delta/NWA's office area for lost bags, opened my suitcase, and turned on my laptop.  Thank goodness, it worked fine (it was in a case, and I fortunately had things in the outside pockets of the suitcase that added extra insulation I think).  I did complain about them not asking me about my connecting flight etc. as well as how blase they were about my getting my bag back, then asked how to get back to the correct terminal for my next flight. Had I known what they were doing re: gate checking, I would have at least removed the laptop from the suitcase and I am sure there would have been room for that in an overhead bin by itself...

I ended up leaving the building of terminal 2, and walking along the sidewalk til I came to the entrance of terminal 3, then went to the second level, where I was to go through security all over again.  I had my bag/purse slung over my shoulder, my laptop also slung over my shoulder, and my suitcase as I approached the queue.  I got stopped before I could enter and was informed I could only have 2 bags, and needed to check one.  I explained my laptop goes into my suitcase, leaving me with just 2 bags, but the woman would not let me pass until I put it in there, even knowing it would have to come out once I reached the scanners!  Then the agent asked me if I had a current boarding pass, as the one I had was already initialled (both flights were listed on one pass).  I explained what happened, so he finally initialled it again for the second flight, and I approached security.  I ended up with 4 bins and my suitcase; my laptop in one, my purse/bag and shoes in a second one, my laptop case in a third, and my unwrapped candles in a fourth, and my suitcase.  I actually sent an impatient male ahead of me in the line just so I could be sure I was appropriately revealling of any "contraband" I might be carrying.  They still took a close look at the candles (note to self, never travel with candles again--mail 'em back with the quilt I sent home by USPS) but they did let me pass, and with everything.  My almost 2 hour layover was now shrunk to just minutes, and I grabbed a small container of fried rice to eat (I was hungry but almost too upset to eat; I figured that would be bland and quiet my upset tummy).  I didn't even fully finish eating when it was time to board.

I got on my second flight with no difficulty, and arrived on time in St. Louis.  I called Eric to say I was on the ground and he told me he was on the train, by the arenas (about a half hour away).  I told him I would meet him at the airport train stop, and headed there.  I was muscle achey, I was thirsty, and I was headachy from tension, the long flight, and all the walking (my one foot is getting really bad!).  Eric then called and said they were kicking him off the train at a stop 5 away from the airport because they were going to be "one-tracking" the trains from that point on...  I said fine, I would get on my train and meet him at his stop.  As the train started moving we were informed we would need to get off at the third stop from the airport for this same "one tracking", and I was 2 stops from Eric!  I got off at my stop, and was told I would need to get on a shuttle bus that would take me to Eric's stop, where the trains would continue normally to Scott AFB; but then Eric called and said he was on a train to me...  So I waited.  By the time he got to me his 2 hour pass was almost expired, and I was tired and frustrated and cranky.  We were told the next train east would go straight through though, so we got on it, and it did take us to the AFB where he was parked.  It took longer to get from the airport to the car than it took me to fly each way to Chicago, then St Louis (minus the layover times in between)!  We got home just before 11:30 and we were both exhausted--me from the day, him from working his shift, then trying to come get me.  I was so very glad to be home and get to bed! 

Yesterday I was still somewhat travel fatigued, but I taught my class that got rescheduled to yesterday afternoon, and I tried to make it a quiet day/night.  Eric worked yesterday, but he is off today and tomorrow--had class this morning, then he picks up Brianne tomorrow at Ft. Leonardwood.  I teach tomorrow, then work Sat-Monday 5 hours each day.  I also work Thursday and the following Saturday. So today is essentially my only "day off" til mid next week.

Essentially, I loved the convenience of flying, and even with the layovers, 4 hours vs 10 hours for travelling was wonderful.  But my trip home had me thinking longingly of driving, because there would have been less headaches.  Still, I am glad I went, and I am glad Alexis is doing ok.  She has an incision on her belly that is quite sore, but she is active as much as they will let her, and she is feeling ok.  I am grateful to know she is gonna be ok, and once she is healed they can test to be sure it was all a success.

Now that I have shared this, it is time to get something to eat and more coffee.  Then it is on to tackle the chores that didn't get done with Mama being gone...  It never ends, does it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The surgery appears to have been a success!

The baby will be kept at the hospital overnight and I have Justin with me--we picked him up at preschool, Liisa and I.  He is a little dirtball at the moment after playing outside much of the afternoon.  I am gonna take him home for a bath and some dinner once Liisa gets back from a meeting with his car seat.  I fly home tomorrow evening and I have to admit, it is gonna be hard to leave, even though I really miss my husband and the kids.  It has been lovely to be here and I have really enjoyed my time with my big kids and the babies.  Liisa and I made one fleece tie blanket today, and will do the other one tomorrow morning probably. She also made 2 dog beds that turned out fantastic, only the corner of one has already been chewed and has a hole that needs to be mended.  I will post pics once I am home--have taken lots of them.  Just thought I would post an update!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Minneapolis, home sweet home!

I got in safely yesterday afternoon around 1 p.m., after two relatively non-eventful flights.  I found it ironic on some level that I had to take a train into St. Louis, to fly back to IL (Chicago), before flying to Minneapolis, but oh well, at least it wasn't Phoenix or something really strange!  I HATE O'Hare airport!  I landed at the end of aisle K in terminal 3 and my connecting flight was at the end of aisle E in terminal 2--took me forever to find it, and I am soooo glad we landed about 15 minutes ahead of schedule there!  Then, I ended up walking from gate 11, once I found it, back to the hub, by gate 1, so I could get a sandwich (McDonalds) and a drink before my next leg of my journey.  My feet were really achy by the time I landed!  Then in Minneapolis, I was near the middle of one of their longer terminal spurs, so I had a fairly lengthy walk to baggage claim to meet Jesse... 

Once here, Jesse brought me to the house, where I met up with Liisa and Amber, who kidnapped me and took me to the mall of America.  I am soooo excited!  I finally got to see the American Girl Doll store, and what a magical place that is!  I could so happily work in there!  One of the neatest areas was the doll hair salon, where they have doll sized salon chairs and workers fix your doll's hair into various styles.  They put capes on them and everything!  I was quite impressed, and Liisa (of course) and Amber, as well as I have our own dolls, so it was a "bonding experience" (No, we did NOT have our dolls with us there).  I am thinking my littlest girl is almost ready for her first "Bitty Baby" and I was looking them over very carefully.  But I would want to give it to her in person, and I cannot afford to do that right now.  She loves her babies though and I think she would really love it.  After the mall, we ran over to Joann's and I was distressed by how poorly it compares to mine.  Ours is so beautiful and this one seemed so unkempt and I have always thought it was poorly laid out.  Their fabric area is minimal, and is spread out into odd areas of the store.  I "saved" Liisa some money--she wants 2 fleece blankets and 2 dog beds, and we got her some cheap fabric scissors and some thread and machine needles for her sewing machine (Naughtly me, I took all MY stuff when I moved).  From there we popped across the street to Target, where we laughed at all the dog costumes they had, and then we met Jesse at Don Pablo's for dinner. 

We scooted back to Liisa's around 7:30 ish, dropped off the purchases, and headed to Tony's, where Justin threw himself at my knees and hung on for dear life.  Alexis followed suit, and I sat with them on the love seat, the recipient of many hugs, kisses, and cuddles.  Justin told Jesse quite seriously that he "needed me to stay" when we got ready to leave around 9:30 (Liisa had to get home to get ready for work), and I promised the kids I would be back today and stay by them.  I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow I think, and while I woke at my normal 6 a.m. (thanks Mascoutah school district!), I dozed back off until I smelled sausage frying this morning.  Jesse made me french toast and butcher shop sausage links, and Tony made me coffee, so I am a full, happy girl right now.  Liis is sleeping on the couch after working overnight (and being up over  24 hours), the puppies are in the kitchen finishing their breakfast, and I am sitting on my bed getting my thoughts in order before heading back to Tony's.  Tony suggested I steal his car with the car seats in it already and just take the kids and do as I please; I may do that.  Or maybe I will just hang out there til Liis gets up, and then we will steal the kids and go to my mom's.  That too is on the agenda for today.

There may be a catch in Alexis'surgery for Monday as she is not feeling well; she had a fever on friday and when I saw her last night she had the sniffles and her eyes looked like she wasn't feeling well.  I hope this doesn't get delayed from the standpoint that I cannot afford to make another emergency trip up here.  But I also want what is best for her.  We are playing it by ear.  I'm sure the doctor will make a decision Monday morning before she goes in.  I am just so happy to be here by my kids.  It is comforting, and familiar, and it is doing my heart good to be here.  I really needed this trip on some level myself!  As much as I miss not having Eric and Rei and the rest of the kids here too, in some ways it is nice being here on my own--I am able to be at my own disposal to do as I please, to operate at the whims of the other kids, and not worry about who needs/wants to go where or do what.  It's just nice.  I sorta don't wanna go home on Tuesday--would love to be here longer!  But I know that isn't realistic either.

Ok, downstairs to check on what the dogbabies are into as I am hearing paper rattling and pans....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting ready to go.

It has already been a very full and productive day.  Aurora had a follow up appointment and ultrasound at 7:30 this morning and she got a clean bill of health on her "female issues."  Now we need to get her going on her CT scan (for the hip pain) and get her set up with physical therapy.  I would have gotten going on this sooner, but Eric has the paperwork in the car still.  That is on tap for Wednesday after I get home I guess.

We then went out for breakfast, something we haven't done for quite awhile, and it was wonderful.  There is something really relaxing sitting across the table from each other, in a setting away from home, sharing a meal and conversation.  We have such good talks when we do this, and it is a time we reconnect with each other.  Sometimes we talk about the kids, sometimes kids are taboo for the length of our meal.  Regardless, it is something we enjoy doing and it is easiest to accomplish when the kids are all at school.  Afterwards, we went to Joann Fabric's were I utilized my extra employee discount (they doubled it for today and tomorrow) to get fabrics to update my professional wardrobe.  I got fabrics for 2 tunics, 2 skirts, a jumper, a pair of fitted slacks, and a 2 piece suit--skirt and jacket.  The fabrics work well together color-wise so they can be mixed and matched some, and they coordinate well with things I already own top and sweater-wise.  Most of the fabrics were on sale 30-40% off in addition to my employee discount, so I did quite well for myself.  Now I just need to get my sewing area up and useable! We also ran onto base and got my med refills picked up, and restocked a couple of necessities, then it was back home (by 1 p.m.) so Eric could lay down.  He got a flu shot earlier this week and now he has some body aches and sniffles/sneezes.  I gave him some benadryl and he crashed out for a few hours this afternoon; he still feels a bit punk now, but he's moving.

While Eric slept I got myself organized and started packing for my trip to MN.  I also sat outside and enjoyed all the planes doing their practice runs for tomorrow's air show.  I may be a geek, but I really get a thrill watching the things they do, and I feel so in awe of their abilities.  The kids got home from school, and are getting ready to head back for the football game.  The band is marching/performing during half-time and they need to be there.  Then tomorrow, Aurora is running cross-country, and Patrick has to help out later in the day at the air show with ROTC.  Not sure what Rei will be doing with his day as yet.  Then Sunday, the kids (Aurora and Patrick) have a parade to march in over in the next town.  I need to be at the airport for 9ish or so as my flight leaves at 10:40 and I have a layover of about an hour in Chicago.  The news pundits are all up in arms because American Airlines are changing some of their flight patterns and there are apparently going to be fewer direct flights anywhere out of St Louis.  Many are quite upset about this.  Personally, I don't care either way, just so I am not changing planes three or four times to go a short distance north.  I have a layover in Chicago on the way back as well.  Not that big a deal, honestly.

Everyone around here is still up in arms about the school bus beating in Belleville that made all the national news.  Our biggest connection to that school is that there are sporting events the kids attend--like cross country or track, or bowling.  The part that is really getting old is that it was African-American boys beating up a Caucasian boy, and it's NOT racially motivated???!!!???  One mother that was interviewed after her son was suspended stated her son was suspended because he was black!  Really!  I think he was suspended because he was engaged in an activity that caused bodily harm to another person, and his color had no bearing on it at all.  Lately race has been an issue over all sorts of stupid stuff that Eric has been dealing with at work, and it's so sad when it becomes an excuse for poor decision making or to get out of things.  I try to look beyond race because when I worked at the treatment center so often race was made into an issue when it really had no bearing on the situation and it confuses me that people use it as they do.  Now I admit, I will make cracks about things happening because I am blonde, but I never mean it seriously, nor do I use my being a woman to justify things either...  I do believe there are situations where race may play a huge role (positively or negatively), and in the case of the young boy being beaten up, I do think race was a factor.  I do not, however, believe race was an issue with the consequences being assessed.  Behaviors were.  That is my opinion, and others are free to disagree with me.

Anyhow, that is what is new in our neck of the woods.  I am eager to be in Minneapolis for a few days and see the family; Justin is so excited I am coming he told me he was gonna pack his stuff too and fly on a big airplane to see me too, and he and Alexis fought over who was going to talk to me first on the phone.  I have spoken to one girlfriend who I am going to meet up with this weekend, and I may see another one too; otherwise I plan to just spend my time with family (the friends are coming to me).  I am bringing my camera with, and good thoughts for baby Alexis for Monday will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Last update, I hope...

I got a wonderful phone call from work, and they were able to cover my hours for the weekend, so I am free to go to Minneapolis.  Eric gave me the go-ahead and I have booked my plane tickets.  I will be in town mid-afternoon Saturday, and will fly back to St. Louis dinner time on Tuesday.  I am breathing a sigh of relief and I am so glad it all worked out.  I know I would have managed being here and not there for the surgery, but I feel so much better knowing I will be close by if they need me (and I can help with Justin so they can be at the hospital, just like when she was born!)  Thanks for all the good thoughts!

Still riding that yo-yo...

I got a call from Andrea a little bit ago that they have scheduled Alexis' surgery, for Monday.  I checked out airfare to see if I could be there with them (although driving is an option too) and I could get a round trip ticket for under $200 if I fly Saturday to Tuesday.  Then I called work to check on my hours, because while I know I am scheduled for Saturday, I was not sure of the rest of the weekend/next week.  The Manager on duty heard me out and said she'd look to see if it is even possible to get off, because I am on the schedule for Saturday through Tuesday, and I am scheduled to teach Tuesday (although I don't think I have any students lined up as yet for that class).  I am guessing I probably won't be able to go, and it makes me sad.  I know in my heart Alexis will come through the surgery fine, but Andrea is scared to death, and who can blame her? Her dad had kidney issues because of his diabetes, and he had been on long term dialysis before he died; of course this is scary to her and raises all sorts of concerns and fears, rational and irrational. The MoD said she'd call me back in a bit, so I am waiting, but I am not optomistic about it at all.  They are down to bare-bones scheduling to meet payroll and so forth, and I am blessed to have the hours; I don't want to screw up my job or my standing.  Still, my heart is with my family in MN and this just highlights for me how hard it is to be so far away.

I am tired of sitting here and feeling sorry for myself.  Time to do the next item on my list and give my thoughts a break.

Seems like I am riding on a yo-yo string!

I got up this morning, got ready for work, and headed out, only to find out on arrival that they had tried to call me and say they didn't need me!  Bummer--I was looking forward to working today, and I was dressed and ready to start!  Didn't feel like shopping in the store, as I will do that on Friday (they are offering employees 30% off of everything we are allowed the discount on for Friday and Saturday).  I have some fabrics to get for gifts, to finish off a few projects, and to make a few things for me (I am now starting to look towards my internship wardrobe--will need a well-fitting professional assortment of garments).  I know what I want, but can't get it 'til Friday.

I decided to just go home, so I headed towards my freeway entrance, only to see it blocked by emergency vehicles and rescue equipment.  My guess is there was some sort of bad accident, as they had the entire ramp closed off and were re-routing traffic... So then I decided to see if I could get a pedicure--I am in dire need of one. But they didn't open until 10, and my local yarn/bead shop also was closed until 10, and the mall looked closed as well, so I went to Barnes and Nobles for a bit (they have a new release in a series I had been following, but it's in hardcover only at the moment).  None of the magazines caught my fancy, and the books I'd like were too expensive, so I decided to head for home, having now wasted a half hour.  The entrance ramp was still closed (my guess is it had been so about 40-45 minutes, because I heard sirens as I passed it on my way in to work), so I went the back route to get onto the freeway at the next entrance east of my usual spot. 

So now I am home, and there are certainly things I can be doing--no lack there!  But I am enjoying sitting on my bed with my laptop, the windows wide open, and the cats lying next to me.  I think I will do this for a little while longer. Eric is working his regularly scheduled shift today (he had picked up Monday as an over time shift), and he works tomorrow as well.  Then he has the weekend off (and unless told otherwise, I work tomorrow morning, and Saturday afternoon, 1-6).  I do need to get the financial aid application done for me for school today, and I also need to double check the name and course number of the class I will be needing to take so I can order my textbook(s).  I am so excited to be finishing this degree program up!  I realized that I will be earning my MS 30 years after graduating from High School.  How odd is that?  But I will have it and that is that part that matters most to me.

I have other things I could ramble on about, but I think I will stop here, and get going on some chores.  Might as well use this gift of time off productively!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Exciting news!

I spent a part of the afternoon talking to Capella University about what I need to do to re-enroll and finish my degree program.  I had to officially change my name (and address) on my records and fill out a new application to update info, but everything academically is in order. So, provided financial aid falls into place, I should be taking a class (they added one more mandatory class to the degree program) starting in October, while at the same time arranging for an internship (which will be the hard part--if I cannot find I job, I hope to God I will be able to find an internship site--it's unpaid as a rule).  I have to have that all lined up a term before I actually start it, so by January 2010, to start in April.  Then, for the winter term, (Jan. to March), I will do my final project/thesis, followed by 2 terms of my practicum.  Once that is done, I can graduate, so October 2010 is my endpoint!  It seems so far, and yet so close as well.  I am excited, scared, thrilled, overwhelmed...  Eric says once I have my MS I can then be qualified for all these well-paying jobs I cannot apply for as yet, and he will then sit home, eat bon-bons (and what the heck is a bon-bon anyway?  I have never had one!) while I bring home the bacon...  Not hardly!  I told him when I married him that I would be thrilled to live in a manner to which I would LIKE to become accustomed to....

It's not yet engraved in stone, but it is in wet cement, so I am cautiously optomistic that I am good-to-go.  It has been a long road to get here, but the end is in sight, and I am so very happy!

Just another manic Monday...

Ok, so not so manic, but it has been busy and productive.  I called and spoke to a parent advocate agency and got some good information.  I also got a phone number for someone in our county that works with parents about making IEP's and understands the laws etc. surrounding them.  I feel so much better about things now.  I am still waiting to hear back from the clinic about picking up the refill script for Rei so I can get it filled at the pharmacy today; then I can drop off the forms and the med at the school nurse's office.  As Eric said, I am going to request a receipt that they have it from me, so that they cannot say again "oh, it was never turned in to us" like they did a few weeks ago.  I am not giving up on Rei, nor am I going to let him have another year so that he dreads/hates school and learning.  I wanted to cry when he asked if he could just go back to MN where things were reasonable and they actually followed through proactively on things, at least sometimes.  I understand where he is coming from though--we do things differently up there, and I understood and was able to work within the system there.  I try to do the same here, but feel at times like all I am doing is beating my head against a wall.

I was very happy to hear that both the Vikings and the Gophers won their football games yesterday.  We don't have a sports package on our cable programming so I was not able to watch any of the games.   God Bless the Internet though for letting me keep up on scores vicariously!  Not thrilled about Favre being a Viking now, but if he helps the team to be it's best, I am supportive.  I do like football and hockey; baseball not so much (unless it is a kid's game--loved watching Rei play baseball).  Good stitching time too!

Aurora, bless her heart, finished cleaning the living room carpet yesterday for us!  I was so pleasantly surprised to see it done!  Eric had started it, but only got about halfway through it, and I was going to finish it today, but she did it instead.  What a good kid!  She's been voluntarily helping out with dishes too, and that is wonderful as well.  I need to figure out a good reward for her!

Eric was able to get things arranged at work so he can go to Brie's graduation on the 25th.  He will work the 23rd instead, and have that Thursday/Friday off, then work the rest of the weekend.  His schedule is confusing me with his working additional hours of overtime (they are really short staffed right now).  We are seeing each other like ships passing in the night between his hours and mine!  I think we have talked more on the phone than we have seen each other in person this past weekend!

The weather today is perfect--I am so happy to have all the windows open and the breezes floating through the house.  The only catch is Po is tired of being outside, so I guess I need to get him in--the open windows means he is really loud!  He hasn't been out all that long, but I guess the others should have a turn too.

Time to head back downstairs!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday musings...

I finally had a somewhat restful night last night, although I didn't fall asleep until after 1:30 am (and probably closer to 2).  Yesterday I had the migraine from hell--woke up with it, was out of my prescription meds, so had to deal with non-helping OTC meds, and it was so bad that the vision in my left eye was blurring slightly.  Being at the bowling alley for 3 hours with the kids didn't improve anything either, so by the time I got home I was miserable.  I finally took the "best" combination of OTC meds, caffeine, and a tension reducer and slept for awhile, so that it was at a dull roar by the time I went to work, but the caffeine in the coffee and the tension headache med served to not let me fall asleep easily, and it was of course, returning with a vengence as the night wore on. I ended up reading (and finishing) a book I had by my bedside before finally being able to sleep.  Of course, I was then up and talking to Eric at 4 as he got ready for work, but then I slept in til 10, when the dogs started barking to go out, and Aurora's cat was mewling to get to Batman (she is in heat, and bless her heart, our non-intact male is the best she can find...)  Today it is still there as a nagging ache, still on the left side, and behind my eye, but is no where near as bad as it got yesterday.

Anyhow, the plan for today is to finish as much laundry as I can before heading back to work for 3, and maybe spending some dedicated time knitting while the washer/dryer is going.  I have my second sock almost done, and the scarf I have been focusing on is over half done.  Then I have all those brand new delicious yarns my honey bought me from Knitorious to make Christmas gifts out of...  I am also eager to get started on that gift quilt, despite not having that last border done for MY quilt...  And I have some garments I would like to make.  Eric made a start on shampooing the living room carpet yet again and that needs to be finished (if not today, I can devote myself to it tomorrow when I am off) and then I would really like to start organizing my sewing area so I have a dedicated space set up that does NOT need to be taken up and down.  My goal for the week is to do that so that by the weekend I can really start using my space in a positive manner (the carpets in there need some spot shampooing as well--Damn dogs anyways!).

My friend Deb sent me a phone number of a student advocate service here in SW IL that I want to call on Monday about the situation(s) with the high school, and that, along with dealing with the med situation is on the agenda as well.  So, some running around to do, some cleaning and organizing to do...  And I work Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday next week...  My life has gone from too quiet to too busy in a months' time. I am just glad to have a couple of days off in a row--makes getting things done so much easier!

Aurora did well in her race on Saturday; her overall time was down by a minute (she was a minute faster than last week's race).  Patrick did well bowling, using Eric's balls (Rei's and Patrick's balls are being re-drilled to accommodate their growth spurts over the summer and were not ready for the start of Youth League).  Patrick had an 808 series, giving him a 202 average.  Not too shabby at all!  Rei didn't fare as well (he was using his 11 lb. ball) with an approximate 360 series, so a 120 average; he was disappointed a bit, despite having one awesome game with a score of 152. 

Patrick and Aurora have a very full weekend next weekend: both are playing/marching at the home football game Friday night, and are in a parade on Sunday, and Aurora has a race Saturday.  Patrick *may* be helping at the air show some on base as a part of ROTC, and he still doesn't have his work schedule for training (or his "McDonald's Costume" to quote Justin), but I am sure that will be on the docket too...  Their mom wanted to take them to IN for the weekend for her brother's wedding, and while it is an important family event, the kids have to also consider their grades and how they are attached to participation in these assigned school activities.  I *think* the plan is that they will be staying home because of these activities (initially we had been told their attending the wedding was optional), but who knows... 

The kids chose to not go to their Mom's for Labor Day weekend last weekend because of school related activities (and the fact that we could NOT pick them up from her on Labor Day because of work schedules).  I know she is (justifiably) upset about that, but when kids are in their teens and have obligations, these things cannot be helped.  My ex and I had to deal with that when our older kids were teens as well, and the biggest factor in managing it was communication between us, although it did help we were in the same city.  For whatever reason, Jim has been very flexible about seeing Rei , and while he knows he is welcome to come down at any time, I also make sure he knows when we/Rei are in town so that he can spend as much time with him as he wants to.  In that regard I am so grateful that we have maintained a "friends" relationship, although it took time to get to that point. I suppose it helps that we have been friends since we were 11 years old and grew up together in so many ways.

It's noon, and I have to leave by 2:30, so I guess I should start focusing on chores instead of just rambling here.  Hope everyone has a great last week of "summer"!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It just keeps getting better and better (sarcasm)...

I was in a really crabby mood earlier, but after talking to my friend Debbie on the phone, and then my daughter Liisa, I am doing better.  I am just really frustrated with the IL state laws concerning refilling controlled medications.  First of all, the clinic will not mail you the prescription (despite it being for refills, you need a new script each time); then, you only have 7 days to fill it.  I didn't realize this, and after picking up the prescription on the 2nd, I was not able to get over to the pharmacy until today, where I waited 20 minutes just to be told, "Sorry, it's out of date and we cannot fill it."  Called the clinic and told them I need a new Script, and they said, ok, but "sorry, the doc has left for the day (at 1 p.m.), and it can't be filled out til Monday..."  So that means on Monday I will make another drive to the clinic, making it my 4th one this month (between appointments, getting things re-signed for the school, and picking up scripts)...  It's a 25-30 min. drive each way, and costs in time and gas money!  (Oh, and you need to show ID that gets photocopied, and sign for the script when you pick up just the piece of paper... BAH!).  Then it's back to the pharmacy on base, where I will wait a variety of time to first drop it off, then get it filled.  I generally take my knitting with me because it is rarely a quick process...  I just wonder how the elderly or the infirm handle getting things taken care of it they are not able to jump through all the hoops that are put in the way of getting meds in a timely manner?

I am also still steamed about Reimond being home today on out of school suspension.  I understand he is no saint, and I understand there are rules and consequences, but I also honestly believe there has to be a better/more effective way to deal with things.  Perhaps I am being an over-protective parent, but still, if I don't advocate and stand up for my kid, who will?  I have been looking into resources today as to what rights and responsibilities there are for both the school and for us.  I will be keeping you updated as I learn more.

Liisa made me smile because she had a wonderful time at her very first professional conference.  She won a door prize today in a drawing, an I-pod touch, and she also won a "flip-video camera" for her and her team (not sure if they all won one or not) taking first place in a competition they were in to make a video.  She and her team also won first place bagging food for charity.  She is bouncing on air, and I am very proud of her!  I wonder what she is gonna do with her zune now???!!!!  I also talked to my mom earlier today and she made me smile as well.  My mom is such a wonderful person!

I bit the bullet and went grocery shopping today for the family.  We once again have food in the house, including a few treats...  I am making enchiladas for dinner and my husband is thrilled--in his opinion he has never had them "fresh"--always as left-overs.  Tonight will be a first for him.  I also bought some inserts for my shoes that I wear for working to see if they will help with my foot pain from standing/walking non-stop for 5 hours or more.  I work all weekend so it'll be a good trial run.

Also in my errands today I went to the quilt shop here in Mascoutah and bought some charm squares for the quilt I am making.  I am so excited by the variety of colors they have in them and I think they will be perfect for what I want them for.  I am ready to get started on this quilt.  Now I just need to prioritize the projects I want to make so that I can complete them in a timely manner.  Some I want to do so I have entries at the arts and crafts show on base, which I was so excited to participate in last year, and some I just want for gifts for Christmas.  My dedicated knitting time at the bowling alley really helps out there. 

Anyhow, what was going to start out as a sarcastic and bitter post has been significantly improved by some conversations with family and friends, and for that I am grateful. 

As an aside, today is a day for memories, for myself as for other people.  I hope everyone takes a few moments to reflect on the good things we have in life, and not just on the tragedies that were associated with today's date.  Some of my memories relate to 8 years ago, while others relate to 15 years ago.  Regardless, I give thanks for the strength that was provided in my times of trials and need, and continue to trust that God has blessings in store that have come out of those heartaches that occurred.  My life irrevokably changed on this date in many ways, and while I grieve some of those losses, I am also thankful for how things turned out.  Those who have walked with me all these many years understand where I am coming from, and those who are confused, just know that I am in many ways a better person for having had those experiences, as hard as they were at the time. 'Nuff said on this subject...

So tired but I can't sleep.

For many reasons, my brain just won't shut down tonight.  It has been a good week, it has been a full week, and I am content over all, but my brain just won't quiet itself tonight. 

Reimond got in trouble at school today.  He didn't take his med before school, and they don't have them at the school as yet (remember, they lost his paperwork, I had to get it redone, and I have worked every school morning since then, so I have not gotten the paperwork dropped or meds dropped off as yet).  They tried calling me about it, but I cannot carry my phone at work, and Eric was in class, so they sent Rei to the ISS room until they could get a response from one of us.  Rei had some authority issues with the ISS room teacher, a mixed bag if I read between the lines of him being defiant of stated expectations because they were, in his opinion, "stupid," and, of the ISS teacher being hyper-critical initially, then being down right disrespectful too (stating I was a bad parent because I didn't bring him up better, which pushed him over the top, claiming to the Asst. Principal that he "Threw a pen across the room and stormed out," which was both an exaggeration AND provoked in some regards, and making sure, during a fire drill, that everyone knew he was in ISS and to leave him be unless they wanted to join him in ISS).  Was he in the wrong for most of it? Absolutely.  But was the teacher in the wrong too?  I believe so.  She made things worse rather than better.  And she apparently has no understanding of the needs of an ADHD kid who is becoming more and more agitated by the situation...  Long story short, Rei spent time in the principal's office/hallway until I got off work and could meet with him and the Asst. Principal, and then he came home with an out of school suspension for tomorrow.  I am PISSED.  He missed most of his class time today because they kept him out of the classroom, then then take him out tomorrow too?  How is he supposed to learn?  And he was told he was being "written up" for not having taken his meds.  The Asst. Principal was hyper-focused on why we didn't have the med situation already dealt with as of the first day of school (Um, lets see, you LOST his signed forms?) and could I drop them off tomorrow, even though he cannot be at school... 

I am so frustrated with how they choose to deal with Rei, and I am frustrated too with Rei that he acts without thinking.  It becomes such a viscious cycle.  When she asked me if I had any questions I said, no, but that I was very dissatisfied with how they deal with him, and that I feel the way they have their disciplinary consequences set up is ridiculous.  What do they do with serious offenses?  Rei didn't throw a pen at the teacher, or even across the room; he was tossing it in his hand in front of himself before ANYTHING started, and it rolled off his fingers and onto the floor, just after he was asked to stop tossing it.  And when this all started he was quietly reading his book at a desk, then was handed "busywork" that was taken out of his binder, without his being asked, and told to correct a test he had passed.  He, of course, questioned why he needed to do that, challenging the teacher, and the rest ensued.  I made a point of telling him he needs to do as he's told and not argue, and he needs to learn that, but I still think the teacher was out of line for slamming me (even if she does deny it--Rei does a lot of things, but he doesn't lie), and I am getting really tired of "them" publically making him feel like a pariah over his meds or his being in ISS--which he was in because he ASKED to go to the nurse's office, then call me.  Yes, his attitude eventually stunk badly, and yes, he needs consequences (and he is grounded tomorrow, no fun day cuz he's home from school), but I think they went a little overboard.  I never did see the written referal. My guess is they will mail it to me, certified.

I think I am going to call Pacer of IL tomorrow and find out what Rei's rights are at school, and also find out what options we have available for him.  I don't want another hell year for him.  It is just eating at my heart right now. 

On a positive front, I got some yarn today to make another shawl, as a Christmas gift for someone, and I got some material for the background of an applique quilt I need to start.  Eric and I had a nice outing with his Mom after I got off work and he got home from school; now he works all weekend, and I work Saturday and Sunday.  My sock knitting class got cancelled so I have the next two Fridays open again from that.  I am also going to see if I can talk to my grad school advisor and see where I am sitting with regards to finishing up my degree program.  It's time.  If I cannot do it through them (because of the time that has passed), then I will move to plan B and look at the grad programs over in St. Louis.  I really need to do something positive for me.

Patrick got hired at McDonalds, and he goes in Friday for paperwork and to get his initial schedule.  Aurora has one doctor's appointment next friday for a follow-up ultrasound, and then we need to get her other appointments scheduled.  She is also ordering her class ring tomorrow and is very excited about it.  Brie has 2 weeks left at AIT, and we are glad she is doing well.  Liisa is at her first official functions as an AGM and she is doing very well there--won first place with her team in 2 events they held, making her manager and former manager very proud (and me too).  Tony I haven't heard from in almost 2 weeks now, so I will call Andrea tomorrow and see what is up there.  She and the little ones are doing fine.  I spoke with them a few days ago.

My sister and her husband celebrated 20 years of marriage on the 9th.  I am so very happy for them.  What a fabulous accomplishment!  And they are still so happy together.  I am thrilled for them.  My good friend and her husband had their 31st anniversary as well, and I am thrilled for them too!  In this day and age it is so reassuring to see that true love does last, and it gives me hope that perhaps this time I have gotten it right.  One year, one month and counting!  (lol). 

I think I am ready to try and sleep.  I still have many things running through my head, but none of them belong here in the public realm.  It's time to place them in God's keeping and take them back up tomorrow, where hopefully I will be refreshed and better able to start reviewing them again. Sometimes I really envy Eric's ability to just drop off to sleep when he's tired!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wow, another week has run right over me!

I have been intending to post off and on all week, but it has been just crazy busy for me around here!  I have been working numerous hours, have had lots of "little things" come up that have needed managing, and we have had illness here too--a viral something or other (to my knowledge, not necessarily the 'flu).  Eric's mom arrived on Thursday for a few days, and yesterday we went with her for an hour to go visit her 99 year old mother.  What a lovely and gracious lady she is!  I always feel so good spending time with her, and really wish we were not so spread as thin as we are for time that we could go visit her more frequently.

Aurora has had follow up appointments on her sore hip, and we now need to set her up for PT, a CT scan, and blood work.  They at this point really are not sure what is causing all her pain when she runs.  She did complete her race yesterday, which she was happy about, but is limping a bit today and favoring that left leg.  It was a crappy day for running: started storming at 2 am and then rained, a light soaking rain, for the better part of the morning and into the afternoon. 

I will be honest, I had sorta hoped it would be enough to slow down business at work, but no luck there.  We were swamped at the cutting table when I punched in, and we stayed massively busy until somewhere around after 7, when we finally were able to start putting things away and clean up a bit.  The sale runs through Monday and we have some amazing things available--I really need to do a little shopping myself, but am not sure when (or if) I will actually do it.  The things I want are more "wants" than "needs" so I am on the fence over it.  Especially when it comes to a few of the fabrics that have jumped out at me recently.  Although, when I go look in the closet, I have lots of clothes, but really, nothing to wear, if that makes any sense.  My weight is not cooperating with me and I feel like things don't fit right.  Not to mention I have a very limited "professional" wardrobe.  My years as a counselor left me with lots of jeans, button down shirts, tee-shirts, and sweatshirts (the wardrobe of convenience for being the the trenches with teens), but my church clothes/dressy clothes/working world clothes are very limited.  And in retail the uniform is casual slacks (khaki, black or navy blue) with a collared white shirt, no decoration on it, either button down or polo style.  I recently bought some patterns for some really nice dresses/skirts, but need some fabrics to make them up.  And time and a place to make them!

I am really thrilled to be working more hours--this week I have put in about 24 and next week I will put in almost 30.  But I don't like it that it is broken down over 5 or more days.  I really don't like working 11 out of 14 days.  It makes for lots of stress here at home on the stuff that needs to get done, because no one is generally around (or willing) to take up the slack.  Eric does do what he can, but sometimes he can be as bad as the kids (lol) and I get frustrated.  Although I can't necessarily get too angry--I too have turned procrastination into an art-form, and I too find plenty of ways to procrastinate doing everything but what is on the to-do-list...  My work schedule is either feast or famine, and I would really like to find a happy medium somewhere.

We were going to go to church this morning, but Liisa called and we chatted on the phone for a while (actually, I am so glad she woke me up!), then the morning just got away from us!  So Eric is downstairs making coffee cake for breakfast, I am sitting here in the bedroom drinking coffee, and we are having a quiet morning instead.  Patrick had a friend spend the night and they are playing video games, and Aurora is reading (not sure if it's homework or pleasure).  Rei is still feeling really crummy so he is in bed (so far he has been the sickest of those under-the-weather, but for him it is par for the course--he traditionally comes down with a cold/viral infection that aggrevates his asthma each fall near the beginning of the school year). 

Oh, just a quick grandbaby anecdote...  Liisa and Jesse took Justin and Alexis with them to the state fair on Thursday night.  The kids had a ball, and Liisa and Jesse enjoyed playing "parents" for the evening--although discovered it can be a lot of work!  Anyhow, the little ones loved the giant slide, and Justin has declared "mini donuts" to be his newest "really favorite food".  I agree with him 100%!  I really miss going to the fair. 

Brianne is graduating AIT on the 25th of Sept. and then will be home.  She is doing well and seems to be really liking it.  In a note she sent me she says she has mixed feelings about coming back home, which I don't doubt at all!  It's hard to go from being an independent adult to being a kid again, and she'll have to live under house rules...  I understand where she is coming from.  Haven't heard a word from my oldest son this training mission he is on (over in Wisconsin this time).  I am guessing he is doing fine or he would have called me.  Generally when I don't hear from him it means it's going ok, with very little extremes in any direction ("meh, nothing to talk about"). 

Eric is back on day shifts starting Monday, and he resumes classes on Tuesday for that fall term.  Looks like he only has this term and next term to complete, and he's slated to be done March 2010~  That will ROCK! (He will have an A.A. degree).  I am so proud of him for sticking with it!  I too really need to get on the phone and figure out what I need to do to complete mine.  I am tired of being in limbo! 

Well, I need more coffee and should go see what the rest of the family is up to...  Have a great rest of the holiday weekend!