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!