Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve, 2010

As this year comes to a close, it has been an exciting day: severe weather, tornadoes, straight-line winds...  We were lucky in that all we got was the rain and thunder/lightening.  Still, the winds were bad enough that the back door blew open and Po decided to take himself for a very wet run.  The girls were first out the door after him, with Brie falling on the conrete and giving herself a lovely purple bruise on her knee.  The boys followed, but came back soaked, saying that they needed a car to head him off.  I got the keys and headed for the van, and parked next to the cemetary and the bridge over the creek after seeing him head that way along the edge of the creek...  I opened the van side door as the rain poured into it, and stood outside calling Po to me (while the girls were still running behind him).  He debated briefly going under the bridge, but decided to climb the embankment and jumped into the van on his own.  I slammed the door behind him, and heard the girls yelling for me not to leave without them.  We were all soaked to the skin by the time we were back in the van, and I had to stop in the cemetary to wipe off my glasses to see to drive: they were wet and fogged! The storms have now passed and I think we are out from under the Tornado warning (I think it expires at 3).  My poor mother was scared to death because she saw the reports on CNN and she called me a number of times to check on us.  We were fine through it all though.

Last night we had our Christmas celebration here.  As I was making sugar cookies I got my first gift: a Cuisanart Stand Mixer.  I was trying to stir in 5 cups of flour into the batter and grumbling about the challenge of it (my wrists tend to bother me with repetitive motion stuff); Eric told me to take a break and then gave me my mixer (Merry Christmas!).  He lucked out--didn't even need to wrap it! I used it to finish up my cookie dough and it is amazing! I am going to enjoy the heck out of this new appliance!  It came with a mixing blade, a dough hook, and a whisk.  Then, I made some macaroni and cheese from scratch (it was tasty, albeit a little dry cuz I baked it too long), and ham, with corn, and green beans for dinner, and the kids had dates/friends here for the party and meal.  We did our family gift exchange to much laughter and fun. The kids were satisfied with their gifts for the most part, although a few still need to complete their shopping for the family.  Baby Skye was awake for the gift opening, and she was enamored with the color and the noise, then went to sleep.  I had knit socks for Eric (in black, as he requested), which I worked on when he was NOT home, which he loved, and I also surprised him with a Mascoutah Dad long-sleeved tee-shirt to wear for Aurora's bowling matches. I had also bought him a bowling ball, but he knew about that as he ordered what he wanted for himself.  I picked it up but he still needs to have it drilled for himself. Between Eric's parents and my brother and his partner, Eric and I are set for some lovely evenings at the winery.  We could not be happier with that!  It is our getaway place, and we love it very much! 

Aurora was thrilled with her gifts, and even more so, thrilled to be celebrating Christmas here at home with us. She had a difficult time at her mom's this year, for many reasons, and she wanted to be home.  We got her a bowling ball for her big gift, and we also got her her letter jacket as her birthday gift, but she opened it so that she'd have something to open from us.  Brie's big gift from us was a Cricut personal cutter--used for scrap-booking, and she was thrilled.  She had borrowed Liisa's after the baptism for a week, and was sad to send it home.  When I found one on sale we bought it a few months ago and had it tucked away til now. Patrick didn't have a big gift per se, as he got a book set he wanted and some video games, and Rei got clothes from us.  Had to laugh that Rei and Patrick got the exact same t-shirt: one from us, the other from my nephew to Patrick.  It'll make laundry interesting.  Skye got some beautiful clothes from her relatives in Florida, as well as from her great grandparents and us.  She needed them as she is growing like a weed.

Our Christmas in Minneapolis the weekend before was fabulous, and it was so hard to come home from so brief a trip.  We drove up in challenging weather, and had a couple of near-misses on the slickery roads, but Eric is a wonderful driver and we arrived in one piece, albeit pretty tired.  Eric napped til the company arrived at my mom's and I entertained the baby and helped my mom ready for guests.  We had about 21 people there total for Christmas, and it was a traditional Heikkila Christmas.  Justin and Alexis helped me open Skye's gifts up there, and she again got lots of wonderful clothes, as well as a couple of toys. The gifts we brought were big hits, including the quilts I made for my nieces.  I am sorry to say I have no pictures as yet of the quilts because I finished them but didn't have time to photograph them, and my camera was not handy when the girls opened them.  They were well received though and will be much loved.  Memphis' has fairies on hers, 12 of them, and Maddie has wolves and northern MN animal silhouettes on hers.  There was much noise, commotion, laughter, and love present.  Christmas day Eric, Skye, and I went to Tony's house to see what my little kids got from Santa, then went to Liisa's to visit with her guests. Patrick and Rei had stayed at Liisa's overnight, and they ran the roads all Christmas day with Rei's friends.  We left my mom's on Sunday morning around 10, grabbed the boys from Liisa's about 10:30, and were headed south by 11.  We got home around 9:30 that night, again pretty worn out.

I finally gave in and took myself to the clinic on Tuesday to get my sinuses dealt with.  I didn't have an active infection but the tissues were so swollen they were acting infected.  I was put on mega-doses of prednisone to combat that, as well as a change in my allergy meds.  I am definitely starting to feel better.  This morning was the first one I didn't wake up sneezing my head off and blowing my nose.  I also got an order to get a doppler scan of my left calf because I have been having intermittant pain just below my knee for about 2 months now as well.  I figured it's time to get that addressed as well. 

So today, for new year's eve, all the kids are off doing their own things. Aurora has left to go out to dinner with her boyfriend and his family, then they are off to the hockey game later on.  Brie has left to go pick up her date for the evening, and they too are off to dinner later and then out for the evening.  By default, Eric and I will be keeping Skye. My guess is Patrick and Rei will also be off with their respective groups of friends too, and Eric and I will make it a quiet night.

We have had lots of changes again this year, but it has been a good year. We are continuing to move forward in meeting hopes and dreams, and while the process is slow, it is a process and we do see some progress.  Hopefully as this new year unfolds we will see increasing levels of maturity and growth in our young adults who live here at home, and our teens will successfully transition into their next facets of life.  I pray this will be the year I finish my degree program and that Eric finds joy in his career choices.  I am so very grateful for all the blessings we have been given, including my dear girlfriends who are never further away than a phone call.  I am also grateful for our families and the time we have been blessed to spend with them this year.  I hope that will be expanded over the coming year as well! 

Happy New Year to all, and may God bless us all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice 2010

I slept through the lunar eclipse, and I slept in til almost 8 this morning, but I have noticed that the day has been grey and gloomy.  I saw outside at 2:30 this afternoon and could have sworn it was closer to 5 p.m.  Eric and I went Christmas shopping yesterday and today, and we finished up about 5 tonight.  I still have some gifts to finish up, but I have a good start on them, and can send them when they are done.  The quilts will be done to bring north with me.  I finished machine quilting them tonight, and all that is left is to bind them and wash them (because Po peed on one of them, and they both were dragged on the floor at random times).  I feel like I am on track.  The concern now it the weather for travelling, and Eric is of the opinion right now that if we leave early enough in the morning, and give ourselves time to travel slowly, we should be fine.  I told him tonight that if we need to stay home I will be okay with that, albeit disappointed, but I don't want to jeopardize our safety either.

Rei has passed all his finals, while Aurora was exused from taking any.  Tomorrow is the first day of winter break.  Aurora will be leaving with her mother sometime around 3 tomorrow afternoon, and she is a bit perturbed that her mom won't be bringing her home until the 29th (we are doing our Christmas here on the 30th). She only gets 10 days total of vacation and her mom is claiming 7 of them...  My feeling is this is the last Christmas we need to deal with it, so lets try to get through it will as good grace as possible. Her mom had wanted to collect her today, but she had school functions to deal with (a basketball game she had to play at with the band) and she has bowling obligations tomorrow. 

Skye is doing wonderfully.  She is laughing spontaneously at lots of things, and she is so alert and "busy." She wants to be upright, she wants to be seeing everything that is going on, and she definitely has some preferences for certain people and things.  Rei and Jared have knit hats that have skull silhouettes and mohawks on them, and she cries really hard when she sees them, even though she normally adores Reimond. For some reason they scare her.  She also loves to watch TV.  Not that that is good or bad, but she likes seeing the color and movement.  She also likes to go shopping, and when we had her Christmas shopping with us yesterday she attracted lots of attention and smiled at everyone!  She is so easy to take places, other than being heavy to carry around in her car seat.  The stroller has been a god-send and we are giving it a workout!  It is so nice to use with the car seat in it for now (she hasn't been in it as much without the carseat because we are generally "going someplace" when we take it out), but she loves to be on the move!

Anyhow, that is what is new as of today...  Looking forward to Christmas, hopefully in MN with the family, and then again here in Mascoutah next week...  I will keep everyone posted!

Friday, December 17, 2010

At least there is sunshine for the moment!

Today is Friday, and I am soooo tired!  I have been up off and on since 3:30 this morning when the alarm went off, and have been up for the day since 7.  Brie and Eric both had to be off for work by 5/5:30, as both started at 6 this morning, and my sinuses decided to go nuts around 5:30, so I had to get up and take something to deal with that...  Grrr!  At least I have plenty of coffee!  Eric made me a pot this morning and put it in the hot pot for me, so I have fresh coffee without needing to wait on it.

The roads are more passable today, after our freezing drizzle of Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  The kids had another snow day on Thursday. Today was my first day out driving on them, and it was no worse than what I am used to up north.  The sidewalks and driveways are treachorous still, and I watched the neighbor boy wipe out on the neighbor's driveway as he was walking to the bus stop.  His mom ended up coming out and helping him up and collecting all his belongings, which scattered everywhere, then drove him to school.  He had landed flat on his back/backpack, so I asked her if he was ok (he was) as she was arriving home as I was getting ready to leave.  I drove the kids to school, and then had to take Patrick to work.  Aurora is actually off today as she (as a senior with decent grades) got exempted from finals.  I am not sure what her plans are for today.

Despite having the tree up, we are so unready for Christmas, it's ridiculous!  We have very few gifts ready for Minneapolis next weekend (weather permitting), although I do have both quilts just about done.  I also have some knitted gifts close to completion.  Eric and I are planning to do some shopping on Saturday as he only has an 8 hour work day then, and we will finish up things on Monday and Tuesday.  The plan right now is to leave for Minneapolis bright an early on Friday morning (like 5ish) so that we are up there sometime between 3 and 4; festivities at my mom's start around 6ish, so there will even be time for a nap! I'm really not sure how this year got away from me, because I have been sorta conscious of the days passing, but I just feel totally unprepared this year.

I am starting to hear Skye rustling in her crib, so I guess I need to go tend to her!  Here's to praying for good weather for next weekend and travelling!

Baby Skye

Here is a cute picture of Skye to brighten the morning!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A snowy Sunday without sun!

We have cold weather, snow falling, and icy roads around here, or as Liisa would say, "crisco covered roads."  Eric and I went to Brie's Company Christmas Party for drill and we saw around ten various vehicles in the ditch or the median on our way there, and a semi in the trees/ditch on the way home.  Brie had taken Skye with her earlier to the armory, then drove to the VFW where the party was being held, but she sent her home with us because the roads were so bad (we have a bigger vehicle).  Some people continued to drive like idiots, but most were respectful of the road conditions. 

I have been observing with entertainment all the comments from family back home over the snow they have received.  The official amount is just over 22 inches, although I have heard between 26-30 inches depending on the drifts.  The little CRX is totally buried right now, and Liis thinks it's gonna take about an hour to shovel it back out.  She posted the cutest video online (facebook) of her puppies playing in the snow last night.  I still need to call and check on my mom, but I am sure they are fine or I would have heard something.

Skye was so good at the party.  She was enamoured with watching all the people and the kids that were there, and she loved all the bright shiny things people were wearing. She was so tired though that her eyes were all heavy, and she fought sleep as hard as she could, finally collapsing on Eric's shoulder. She sat with Santa and I took her picture. Skye fussed for part of the ride home, then fell sound asleep in her car seat.

I haven't been blogging much of late because any free time I have has been taken up by working on Christmas gifts that I am making.  I have started free-motion quilting the first of the two quilts I made, and I am thrilled with how they are turning out. I am getting faster as I go along (the first block took an hour to do), and gaining confidence with each block I do.  In some regards, it's gonna be hard to part with them when they are finished!  They are both so fun!

Anyhow, that is what we are up to around here. We are hoping to get the tree going soon, and then have a quiet evening here at home.  No more driving around for us!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Isn't she sweet? We bought Skye the giraffe when Liisa and Jesse were in town for the baptism, and Skye adores it. She especially loves chewing on the antlers and the ears.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just wanted to share a few pics Liisa sent me

Tony has received a promotion, to being a Staff Sgt. in the Army Reserves.  He had his Christmas Military Ball last night, and he took both his wife and his sister as his dates. They had a wonderful time, and I am so proud of my handsome son.

Andrea and Tony
Liisa, Tony, and Andrea

Tony and Liisa
 Don't they all look fantastic? I enjoyed Liisa's frequent updates during the dinner on facebook, as well as the pictures she sent me in text messages.  I have to admit, I adore technology for keeping me a part of my older children's lives. Otherwise I would feel like I am missing out on so many things! It also keeps me in contact with the rest of the familu.

As the holidays approach, I find myself feeling homesick more often. In talking to my mom, she said she missed me after thanksgiving because I always used to be her chauffer to take the Christmas Wreaths out to the cemetaries for my dad and grandpa, as well as to some graves of elderly family friends whom we adopted over the years. My nephew took her this year.

We have really chilly weather here this weekend, and it was 23 degrees when we left for travel league bowling this morning (just Rei and I). Reimond stated he was embarassed by me because, as always, I brought knitting with me. I saw another woman knitting too, and I walked over to her with mine, and we compared notes on taking our projects places. (She mentioned her kids give her grief as well).  I told her that since I don't bowl myself, I use it to be my "dedicated knitting time" as I support and cheer on family members and their teams. 

I am plugging away at the Christmas gifts I am making, and I am starting to see some progress. I have also been experimenting with recipies from "The Pioneer Woman", a blogger I follow who has now published a cookbook that I really want to get. (I am using her recipies published online). I made a to-die-for turkey potpie last night for dinner and it turned out amazingly well. Eric actually raved about it!

Sounds like my grandbaby is unhappy right now, and neither Mama nor Auntie Aurora are able to settle her.  Guess it's time for Grandma to check in on her and see what she needs...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yes, it is definitely December!

Oh the weather outside is frightful!  We have cold similar to MN winters, but not the snow.  Our highs over the weekend will be in the low to mid 30's.  According to the weatherman, this is more indicative of mid January than early December...  So how do the kids dress for school? They layer hoodies.  Not winter jackets, not hats and gloves.  Just hoodies.  Brrrrrr!

Eric and I went and saw the latest Harry Potter movie last night.  I liked it--loved the scenery and it's truth to the story line, but it felt....disjointed.  Like reading a summary of the chapters rather than a flowing narrative. I am curious as to how they will finish the final chapters of this last tale.  I do love the story though, and it has been wonderful to see how the actors have followed the roles throughout the years.  Watching Harry and his friends grow up on the screen...  I will miss it when it is done, and may have to repurchase the movies to have a complete collection.  Eric and I have been trying to engage in some work and some play while he has been off work these past two weeks.  We have shampooed the carpets, we have done some organizing, and I got all the quilt blocks embroidered that I needed to finish.  Now all that is left is cutting out the sashing and setting squares, then sewing it together. The final step will be to quilt them, which I will also do on the machine. 

Skye *may* be coming down with her first cold.  She seemed like she was running a fever yesterday when we were at the bowling alley for Aurora's match, and she has slept a ton today--more so than is normal for her.  She also sounds sorta "snuffly" when she breathes.  She hasn't been terribly fussy though, and I have to laugh: I had her all day, then when Brie got home from work she asked if we would watch her longer so that she could go to a movie with a friend. Aurora has her right now, and when I went to check on her, Skye was sound asleep again in her lap. 

Today is my first real chance to be on the laptop these last couple of days.  Aurora was using it for school and it got taken downstairs.  I have been so busy with things that getting on the desktop ones seemed impractical. So I am trying to catch up on things today, including 74 emails to read.  I am pleased to announce that my program change was accepted, and now my MS will be in Clinical Psych and Child & Adolescent Development.  I am registered for the first subspecialty class for January, and I am very excited about it.  There will be three of us taking post HS classes in the household come January, and 2 in high school; Patrick will be the only non-student.

I am still fussing with the dregs of that cold from hell; it was a month yesterday that I started with it.  Now it's down to a nagging cough and an "allergy-type-head" in the morning--sneezing, runny nose, etc.  I have gone through two boxes of tissues and two boxes of pseudophed...

This is gonna be another busy weekend. Aurora has a bowling tournament this Saturday, Rei has youth bowling, and I am babysitting. Eric and Brie are working.  Sunday should (hopefully) be a bit tamer.  Anyhow, that is the news from this end of the week.  Here's to staying warm over these coming chilly days!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday morning...

Cyber monday.  It's all over the news.  I have shopping to do, but don't think I will do most of it online.  I do need to run out and get some fabric however, as Jesse's sister and her husband (who was a friend of Liisa's and she introduced him to Jesse's sister) had a baby yesterday morning. I need to get a gift made and mailed for him: Ephram Gregory.  I saw pictures Liis took at the hospital yesterday afternoon and he is beautiful. Of course I am biased: I think all babies are beautiful.  Even the ugly ones are so ugly they're precious!

We had our Thanksgiving dinner last night and it was very nice.  We had dinner for 11 (if one counts Skye too) and we actually had enough chairs for everyone--we raided the garage for an extra table and some "older" chairs we hung on to for extra seating. I used the turkey recipie by Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond (a blogger I follow, and now a cookbook author), and was so pleased with how it came out! I also made 2 loaves of bread in my bread machine, baked 2 pumpkin pies (I made the crusts from scratch), and we had homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes (with runny gravy--still haven't mastered that yet), homemade candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and, stuffing (with and without onions).  I was cooking basically from 11 am til we ate at 7 p.m.  Eric did an awesome job of steam cleaning the carpets on the main floor for me while I cooked (getting ready to set up the tree, and cleaning up after Midnight's accidents), and then he put all the left-overs away for me.  I had hoped the girls would do the dishes, but no such luck. I am gonna do the bulk of them up today... (it was after 9 by the time we were done eating and the kids were all invested in watching movies with their guests versus doing chores). I honestly think I was asleep before 10:15 last night!  I was worn out!

Aurora didn't say too much about her Thanksgiving with her mom, other than it was "no better, nor no worse than other holidays there."   It was a fast trip, from Wednesday evening (her mom picked her up around 5:30) and she came home Friday night around 11 p.m.  She was a bit frustrated with being home so late, because she had to be up and ready for a bowling tournament on Saturday morning by 7 a.m. She also had (has) a cold, so she was somewhat worn out.  She did fairly well in the tournament, but the team itself didn't do so fantastic.  Eric and Brie (along with Skye) went with her as her cheering section, while I really enjoyed having the house to myself.  I focused on working more on my quilt block embroidery, I knit on an afghan I am trying to finish (I started it 3 years ago October on my first trip down here with Rei to visit Eric and the kids when we were dating), and I also did some chores and finished reading a series I have been really into. It was amazing to have the house quiet, and to complete some things uninterrupted, only multitasking on those things I WANTED to multitask on.

Today we are back into the swing of "normal". Brie and Eric are at work, Skye is napping beside me on the bed, Patrick is still abed (for whatever reason, he hasn't been working last week or this week--not sure why), and Rei and Aurora are at school.  I have a list of things I want to accomplish today, so I am going to need to take advantage of Skye's nap to get some things done.  The biggest thing on my list is getting my winter term set up for school.  I am going to register for just one class for starters towards the sub-specialty of Children and Adolescence (I need 5 classes for the certificate); Brie is taking 4 classes in the winter, and Eric is taking 3, along with working, so I don't want to overload myself (and babysitting) by initially doing more than one.  Maybe spring I can do two, but we'll see.  In this way I can maintain my student status, continue to network for an internship, and figure out what I need to do for MY life.  I also need to get Rei's appointment set up with the cardiologist for his Echocardiogram and EKG (for the pulmonary fistula he has), and I also need to set up some other appointments as well, for dental appointments, eye appointments, and so forth.  I have my list!

Liisa just called me on her way home from the vet: her female coon hound has been peeing indiscriminately the past few days, and has been tetchy, uncomfortable, and out of sorts. She thought SweetTea had a uti, but the vet says she is experiencing female incontinence. They are putting her on a pill for her bladder (like humans take!) and that should help.  Hopefully it will be a short term thing (half a pill every 12 hours), but if not, then it will be a regular part of her routine.  Liisa is such a good dog-mommy though. She is taking it in stride, and she is doing what she can to be sure her big girl is comfortable.  It makes me wonder if we need something like that for Midnight especially, although Po is being naughty too.  He peed yesterday on my couch cushion and floor, on the freshly shampooed sewing room carpet and chair, and he has been marking things upstairs again too (now that Brie broke our gate at the landing he can get upstairs easier). Midnight I can somewhat understand, because he is elderly and he can't generally help himself. Po, however, is young and should know better.  He is just being territorial.

Ok, my day is starting to get away from me.  Time to start making my phone calls!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ok, so thanksgiving is tomorrow, but I don't know if I will get a chance to blog tomorrow or not.  Skye is sleeping next to me, Eric and Brie are at work, and the rest of the kids are still sleeping. It is a totally gross and disgusting day outside: cold, heavy rain, cold temps (just above freezing), windy; and a perfect day to be inside. For the moment I have the tv on, and am enjoying watching some of the pre-holiday talk shows for ideas for decorating, gifts, and meals. Realistically I probably will never use any of them, but it's still fun to dream.

I am still fussing with my cold. It's a cough that won't go away at this point, and I am so very tired of it. I feel better otherwise though. Just don't make me laugh or talk too much! I am also back to trying to figure out how to juggle chores and babies.  Skye has decided she wants to be sitting up "like people" (to quote Rei) rather than being laid in a reclining manner, and she is very impatient with lying down. When awake, she wants to be stimulated, interacted with, and participating with what ever is going on. She has little patience for being put down so grandma has two hands to do things with. When she naps, I try to rush through the things I need to do, so when she is awake I am free to play a bit. Skye seems to grow and change every day. She loves to coo and babble, she is starting to laugh spontaneously at things, and she is such a happy baby as a rule.  She has, however, developed this terrible high pitched squeal that she uses to indicate her displeasure, and she has a way of letting you know when she is unhappy about things. She has her cries that indicate things like being wet, scared, hurt, or sad; but she also is starting to let you know when she is angry, frustrated, or just plain annoyed.  It's fun to see how she is starting to experience things and share them vocally as well as with facial and body language.

Aurora has to go to her mom's today for the holiday. She will be home Friday night. She then has a high school bowling tournament on Saturday morning that she has to be home for. Brie is working much of the holiday, and Eric has to work on Thursday too. I think we will probably either do our dinner on Saturday or Sunday, so I don't know what exactly I will make for tomorrow. Patrick, for whatever reason, is off all this week, and he is dividing time between home and friends. He went out yesterday and got in around 5 am, just before Eric left for work.

I'm not planning to do any black friday shopping this year, although I have enjoyed it in years past with my sister and family. I don't have any specific things we need so I will just get things as they come along over the coming weeks. I am not feeling too terribly psyched one way or the other for Thanksgiving this year. Mostly I am just looking forward to being with the family I have here, and talking to the family across the country as we are able to. The Heikkila clan is gathering at my brother's house for the meal tomorrow, and I miss some of those days. Mostly I just want things to be cozy down here, and I want to have time to enjoy it.

I am thankful for all that I have, and for the changes we have had that have brought us to this point. I am content with life as it is unfolding, and while I miss the past, I am also looking forward to what is to come. It's important to me to live in the moment and leave the regrets behind me, so that is where my focus is for now. I am grateful for my family and friends, for my health, my talents, and my faith, and I am thankful for those I have in my life to share things with.  Even though the weather stinks outside, I am warm, happy, and loved.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sunshine and (hopefully) feeling better...

We are headed into a very nice weekend, weather-wise, and it's a busy weekend.  Eric is working all weekend, although he is home sick to day (he unfortunately got my cold from last week, and he feels like death warmed over now too--got sick yesterday). The kids have bowling on Saturday, and we also have Jesse and his buddy coming down from Mpls sometime that afternoon (they are actually flying in Saturday morning, but will be running around with a friend of theirs, who happens to live in St. Louis, for awhile in the morning). The house is in dire need of some tlc, and I will admit to being disappointed in the kids.  I had asked ALL of them to pitch in and start getting things cleaned up--esp. since they have been having regular gatherings in the living room with friends for movies and video games.  No one has done anything, although I have been given verbal promises from all of them.  I guess I will be cracking the whip today after school.  I really need things decent for our company this weekend.  Jesse is coming down to get the CRX with his buddy; they will be driving back on Sunday.  It's just a quick visit, but given we will also have Aurora's mom arriving on Wednesday to pick her up for Thanksgiving, and it is important to me that things be tidy when she comes in.  Maybe it's just vanity, but it's important to me that my house gives a good impression to people.

I feel like I have lost a week due to being sick.  I have 9 more quilt blocks to embroider, I have a shawl finished that needs blocking, I have pieces to cut out to finish the quilt tops, and I have a few outfits for me that I really want to get made up.  Eric and I are planning out our christmas gift plans, and I am still hoping to go to Minneapolis for the holiday.  Right now it sounds like Brie is planning to stay home for the holiday if we go but I would bring Skye with me.  That feels a bit awkward, because it will be Skye's first Christmas. So we still need to talk more about it before any decisions are made. Aurora has to go to her Mom's for Christmas this year, so we will do ours here at the house, probably on New Year's eve again like we did 2 years ago.  Actually, that worked out nicely for us, plus we could get gifts during the after Christmas sales...  Always up for saving money!

I don't know where the time is going to.  It's moving so fast though. I am pleased to announce that as of last Friday, Rei was passing all classess except for one (English is, and always will be his downfall).  I am pleased to see him working hard though. Aurora got her ACT scores back, and while I thought they were very good, she was a bit disappointed and wanted them a bit higher. Brie has registered for 4 classes starting in January: three classroom classes, and one on-line class.  I have some concerns about how she is going to manage everything, but she seems to think she can do it.  I will be watching Skye (apparently).  I really don't mind watching her, especially on the days Brie works 6a-2p. Then I feel like I still have some time to get stuff done without having to multi-task. Given her classes will be evenings on Tuesday thru Thursday, I will be losing those evenings for myself, at least 'til Skye falls asleep.  Patrick talked about possibly returning to school, but I have seen no action on that front, so my guess is he is going to continue on as is...

Skye just woke up, so duty calls!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey it's Monday!

The baby and I are sitting here on the bed, the sunshine is streaming into the bedroom and feels lovely, and I am trying to find some energy to go downstairs and start tackling some chores.  I am on day 5 of this horrid cold, and my energy level is nil right now, but I have a simple crockpot meal I want to put together and have come slowly all day long so that is step one on my agenda.  Then step 2 is to clean the kitchen.  Eric pitched in last night and did a load of dishes in the dishwasher, but given I have kept to my bed/bedroom most of the weekend, not much has been done downstairs other than "living."  The kids have gathered down there, Eric has been in and out, and I will admit, I boycotted doing anything other than trying to rest and take care of Skye.  Considering how much I have napped and slept these last few days one would think I would be bouncing with energy, but I'm not.  My muscles ache from coughing, and I am so tired of sneezing and blowing my nose...

Enough complaints.  Skye is being wonderful, and I am grateful she is an easy baby.  Eric has been wonderful too, and I appreciate him so much.  Saturday night he took us all out to Olive Garden for dinner for Aurora's birthday, and that was lovely for the most part (Brie decided she and Skye wouldn't join us because it was too late for her to be out with an early day on Sunday). Then, last night, Eric ordered Pizza for dinner, because he didn't have the kitchen ready for cooking in.  He has taken good care of me though, and I appreciate his patience with me. 

Goals for this week include catching up on chores, getting as many blocks embroidered as I can so that I can sew the two quilt tops together, getting my FAFSA form filled out for financial aid for the school year (so I can get enrolled in my next classes), and getting laundry put away (I need some empty baskets again!).  It's Eric's long week at work, and his last week of classes too, so I am gonna be on my own quite a bit.  Oh, and my last goal is to try and get healthy.  I am so tired of being sick!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I know, it's Thursday...

I am not necessarily happy that I have gotten to a once a week blogging pattern, but things remain busy around here, and time to myself continues to be a premium.  Added to it today, I have a cold/sinus something or other.  Basically I feel blech.  Congested, scratchy, achey, headachey and just wanna veg out.  Today I did the bare minimum of what needed to be done, and Skye and I laid low.  Fortunately she is a good baby and not a lot of work, so she was content to just be by me and coo and smile, or sleep. 

Despite this being Eric's short week, he picked up an overtime shift on Monday (10 hours), and he has an 8 hour training day on Saturday, another supposed day off.  Brie is at drill all weekend so I will be having Skye 12 days straight; the kids also have bowling and travel league again this weekend.  Rei and Aurora both did well bowling last Sunday for travel league, with scores in the mid to high 170's.  Aurora has brought some of her scores up into the 200+ range, which thrills her to no end, and she is hoping that she will maintain a 200 average for the high school bowling season, which began on Monday. In fact, her, Brie, and Skye just left for the bowling alley for practice this evening. 

Anyhow, life marches forward around here, and there is constantly something going on.  We are going to be going out to dinner for Aurora's birthday this weekend; She had a nice birthday and a good weekend last weekend, although it was sorta quiet for her.  Otherwise everything is status quo for the rest of us: Patrick working and hanging with friends, Rei and Aurora doing school stuff and bowling, Brie working and parenting, Eric finishing up his last couple weeks of this term at school on top of working lots; and me keeping track of everyone else's schedules and hanging with Skye.

Have a good weekend, and lets hope for rain!

Friday, November 5, 2010

just a quick update:

I had written yesterday about the downsized SUV I was interested in...  Eric never called them back to see what kind of offer they were willing to make on it, so I am letting it go.  I know and can accept that realistically it is unfeasible for us to add another expense onto our budget right now.  I just was kinda hoping as it was everything I had been looking for.

I got my sewing machine back last night all cleaned and maintained.  I am excited to get going on my projects and see them come to fruition.  I took 9 of the quilt blocks I have finished to show them off at the embroidery club meeting last night and they were very well received.  I am not sure if I will have the second quilt top ready for the next meeting in December, but we'll see.  Hopefully I will have both of them done though, God willing.

Anyhow, babycakes is waking up, so it's time to move on with our morning.  Her lovely morning nap is about over.  Busy weekend ahead between Eric working, the kids having bowling and travel league, and the normal weekend stuff besides...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Almost Friday again...

and it's again been a busy week.  Rei was home from school on Tuesday and Wednesday because of a migraine headache and stomache issues.  At one point I wondered yesterday about appendicitis, but his pain in his gut wasn't localized enough.  Needless to say he is back to normal.  I am babysitting a regular 40 hours a week with Skye, and that is going well.  She and I are starting to get a schedule/routine down, and I truly appreciate that.  I can't remember if she is 9 or 10 weeks old today, but she is growing well, and is such an easy baby.  She was 10 lbs 6 oz. at her appointment on Friday, and is now 21 inches tall.  She's starting to fill out nicely, and she is becoming quite the armful.  Hasn't lost any of her newborn cuddliness as of yet though--still tucks her knees up and curls in tight, and she sleeps in a "frog" pose when she's lying down.  She's really strong though and it won't be too long before she starts rolling on her own. She is also starting to reach out and bat at her toys (we have a hanging rattle set on her car seat handle), and she likes to make noise with her wrist rattles.  Skye got three shots and her oral polio on Friday and we had a rough evening thereafter.  Her one leg especially was very sore and her cry was quite pitiful and heart-wrenching. We gave her baby ibuprofen to try and make her more comfortable, and she was better by Saturday.

I have been feverishly working on embroidering some quilt blocks for some gifts I want to make.  I ran into a snag on block number 10--redid it twice at the 100 minute mark (of a 204 minute design) and ended up tossing it out.  Eric and I took my sewing machine in to be serviced yesterday when I realized I was coming up on the one year mark of having it (November 13th), and they kept it overnight for cleaning and minor repair (the needle-threader wire needed to be adjusted/replaced).  I have used it well this past year and wanted to be sure that it was still working at peak performance before the warranty ran out.  Eric decided to get me the three year extended warranty on it (the "gold standard"), which includes all parts, labor, and routine maintenence for the next three years, so my "toy" will remain in good operation.  We decided that it was worth the expense, given both the value of the machine, and all I do with it.  I was going through withdrawal last night though--not only do I still have 3 blocks to finish of one theme; I also have 12 to do of another theme.  Then, I need to put the quilt tops together!  I am keeping track of the time it takes me to make each embroidered block (for my own knowledge), and while part of me wonders if I am cheating by mechanizing the process, another part of me recognizes that this is just another art form that takes time, effort, and some talent to acheive the final look I am going for. It's mechanized, but not commercial, if that makes any sense (it does to me!). 

Yesterday Eric and I ran to a car dealership after Brie got home from work. I had gotten one of those "promotional thingies" in the mail (this key may start a brand new 2010 Chevy Impala that you can win!), and I was curious.  Obviously, someone wins it, and I often wonder how often I have blown my chances by just tossing something out instead of taking that chance...  Needless to say, none of my guarenteed winners were winners (I now have a website to go to, to enter a code, and then I can choose one of an assortment of "gifts" that is my "guarenteed" win); we did look at the vehicles they were selling however, and found one we really kinda like (I am in the market for a new vehicle--my van runs, but that's about the best you can say for it). It's a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer, in a navy blue, with lots of bells and whistles. The price on it was $13,900, but I also had a "guarenteed discount" of $3,500. from the dealership (part of their promotional package to sell off these trade-ins) and the salesman who was working with us said they would guarentee "deals" and "deep discounts".  We decided to see what they would put together for us, and Eric is going to call him back later today to see what they will offer us.  More than likely we will just walk away from it (no loss either way), but there is a very slim chance that if the deal is good enough we'll go for it.  I can trade in my van if that sweetens the deal, however, with both Patrick and Aurora looking to get their licenses soon, we may hang on to it for another running vehicle...  I am NOT holding my breath, however, and will be fine with however it turns out.  Eventually I will need a better vehicle, but I can manage with what I have for now.

This is Eric's long week between work and school, so we have really enjoyed his last two days off.  Today our focus is going to be on his homework and my chores, sharing Skye between us, then when he goes off to class, I will go off to my embroidery club meeting (and pick up my sewing machine!). Tomorrow will focus on more sewing, babysitting, and the normal parenting that needs to be done...  The usual around her for us!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's difficult to find computer time with a baby!

I forgot on some level how time consuming babies can be!  Skye sleeps, eats, and needs to be changed on her schedule, not mine, and we are in the process of trying to develop a routine that works for both of us.  It sure has cut down on my internet time though, and knitting anything complicated has moved to a back burner during the day.  Brie is working a guarenteed 40 hours a week, and she actually went in for an extra 5 hours today because they needed help.  She's on her way home now, then she wants me to go with to Skye's 2 month physical.  I'm ok with helping out, but I have a lot of my own things I need/want to do too.  I have a number of Christmas gifts I want to continue working on, and they too take time to do the way I want them done.

I have been really concerned over the past few days over my nephew Colin.  He had been sick with a headache and extremely high fever for a few days, and they thought it was a virus; when the temp stayed in the 104 degree range, they took him in, then over to the ER.  He has viral meningitis.  They did send him home, with pain meds for the head and back ache, and strong ibuprofen for the fever.  Kristi said his fever is more manageable today, but he still aches terribly, and has the chills.  Poor kid!  Like my boys, he is tall and skinny, with no extra body fat at all, and things hit him hard.  My son Anthony had this too about a month and a half ago; not sure where or how they have picked something so serious up!  Kristi said she is wiping down all community surfaces with bleach wipes to sterilize anything he might have come in contact with at home so he doesn't pass it on to anyone else.

Eric is a bit perturbed with me.  Aurora needs a sports physical for the high school bowling season, and that starts Monday, so I had suggested he take her this morning. He wanted me to take her, but between babysitting (didn't want to take the baby with to the Minute Clinic at Walgreens and expose her to "sick people"), and her doctor's appt this afternoon, it would be around 3-4 before I could run her over.  He does have homework to do, which he has procrastinated on doing, and of course, when I suggested he just take Aurora and go now, he said "but I was just about to start my homework!" I know he needs to get this done, but I am getting frustrated with everything taking precedence to his studies, then him getting mad when he cannot get things done "last minute" because other things do come up.  I am only one person, and I can't do everything, including manage his time for him.  This is such a sticky point between us, and I have to leave it be.  I am also doing my best NOT to feel guilty for not taking Aurora earlier in the morning or later this afternoon but it's hard.

Speaking of school, I have decided to add a subspecialty to my program, that of Child and Adolescence.  It means an additional 5 classes, but it will help buy time towards getting an internship site set up and allow me to maintain my active student status.  I really do hate the way they have the practicum program set up, and I also hate how limited some of my options are around here for finding a site that meets the stringent requirements Capella has.  I figure this is the best of all possible options, and then, if a practicum site is still not in the cards for me, I will switch my degree over to counselling psych from clinical, just to have it done.

I owe a few people some cards and/or emails for their various birthdays this month, but life has been so wild around here trying to get things figured out that I haven't been out and about much (e.g. to go buy my usual stack of cards), and as I said at the start of this, having time to be on the computer for emailing or even facebooking! 

Sounds like Brie is home, and I still need to get my hair dried. Have a good weekend all!

Monday, October 25, 2010

All ready off to a better start...

Eric and I had a few more heart to heart conversations on the phone throughout the course of yesterday afternoon and I finally felt like I got heard.  My goal wasn't to change his mind; it was for him to take the time to listen to my feelings on thing. We recognize we come from two totally different approaches and schools of thought in how to deal with defiance and disobedience, and we will continue to clash on things, but perhaps things won't go to the degree they did because we have a better understanding of each other. When Eric got home, Rei apologized to Eric for his behavior and attitude from Friday night, and Eric apologized as well, then we all went out as a family to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner (and football--had to watch the Vikings vs Green Bay!).  We had everyone together for once, even Rei's girlfriend, and we talked and laughed throughout the meal.  The kids made fun of me for missing parts of the conversation because I was watching the game (no sound there, so it's all visual), and my cheering an interception caused our waiter to almost drop our drinks, because I startled him.  It was a bit akward because I think I was the only Viking's fan in the restaurant (from the sounds of the groans when I was cheering), but oh well.  I had fun.  Have to admit I found the last two minutes of the game frustrating though...  Losing by 4 points! (We left the restaurant at half time).

Eric and I went to bed after the game was over, with the sound of much needed rain (along with thunder and lightening) on the windows, and were "rudely" awakened at 2:22 am by the phone ringing...  Eric was called in to take an overtime shift for today.  We didn't have a lot of plans for the day, other than being together and babysitting Skye, so he decided to go in. He figured where he was covering he'd have plenty of time to focus on homework, with few distractions so it may be a good thing on the whole (not to mention the overtime money is nice).  I think my focus today will be on cutting out some fabrics that need to be cut, and doing some machine embroidery (looking towards Christmas gifts), along with enjoying the baby. I do feel much better today, more positive and optomistic.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's a new day, a new week...

Here is to hoping this new week will go well for all of us.  This last one has had a few ups and downs.  Babysitting Skye was a joy, and I couldn't ask for a better baby.  She and I ran some errands that needed doing, we took her grocery shopping, we walked almost daily outside (it's been gorgeous weather here this past week), and she is such a joy.  Skye tends to smile with her whole body, and her squeaky giggles surprise even her sometimes!  I have had to relearn how to budget my time to get things done, and I have re-mastered the art of doing some things one-handed.  It's going fine though, and while I am a bit more weary than I had been, it is nothing unmanageable. Brie seems to be happy being back at work, and we did some babysitting over the weekend as well, so she could do some things with the kids (bowling with Aurora on Friday night, going to the haunted house with all the kids Saturday night), so she is enjoying live-in sitter service.  So far I am not feeling too taken advantage of, but we will see.  It's only been 8 days...

Eric has gotten himself behind in his homework, so I have had to help some with stuff so that he can get back on top of it.  It's been frustrating for both of us.  The kids got their midterm grades yesterday, and Aurora is satisfied with hers (2 As, 2Bs, 2Cs--the Cs were in physics and pre-calc); Rei had some decent grades (Bs), some passing grades (Ds) and some fails (but in the mid to upper 60%, which means close to passing).  I have been in contact with his teachers because he has been slacking off at school in some things, and I have been discussing things with him as well, because the Fs are not acceptable--if they are that close to passing grades, he should be able to pull them up higher.  Brie just got the notice from SWIC that transferred her credits from McKendry to them and she now knows where she stands on that front.  She is looking forward to school in January.

Friday night was a mess around here, and Eric and I were at odds after he and Rei had a major conflict.  Over spilled milk.  That's how it started.  I don't want to go into specifics other than to say by the time we were finished the girls had put in their unneeded 2 cents, Rei left with his friends (who were quite upset as well), and Eric and I were on opposite sides of the fence.  I will freely and honestly admit I stand up for my kid, right or wrong.  Not that I support or defend his behaviors when he is in the wrong, but I strongly believe things should be handled or addressed in a specific way.  Eric has opinions that are counter to mine, and when he thinks he is in the right, he also doesn't back down.  Hence the conflict between us.  We have tried talking it out, but I feel Eric is unwilling to hear my opinion on this so I have had to just drop it. It's not even that I expect him to change his mind; I just expect him to hear me out, which as of right now he hasn't.  We are back to being cordial, even companionable together for the most part, and I just need to let it go for now. It still stings though.  Case in point? This is my husband's facebook status from about 10 minutes ago:

Eric XXXX  A night has passed. My wife and I had talked througout the day we disagree on a few things but all is well I believe. The 16 yearold did not say a word to me so I assume the status has not changed from the other night. I figure an apology is in order or his challenge still stands and he believes he can take me.

Having heard BOTH sides of the story, as well as witnessing all of it myself (thus having first hand knowledge) I am once again feeling frustrated at how events are being interpreted.  Yes, apologies are owed, on BOTH sides. This did not start out as a pissing contest, so why does it have to be turned into one?  God I am frustrated all over again!

I actually got a lot accomplished yesterday that I had been wanting to get done. I have more on the agenda for today as well, so I guess it's time to get coffee started, and get on with my day. We have another beautiful day in the offing, although they keep suggesting we are gonna get rain--haven't seen any as yet though.  Here's to hoping this coming week goes smoothly and positively!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I am on day three of seven babysitting the little one. She is 8 weeks old on thursday. Eric is off today, so we are enjoying Skye together. She is such an easy baby to take care of. She eats, naps, smiles, and is starting to coo and laugh.

I am using this time home to work on starting Christmas gifts for people, and I have even bought our first gift! So nice to be started. Eric and I went out on Saturday and got some things for the house again. We decided to add to the gardens so we have bulbs for spring; we got some things to add to storage in the master bathroom and closet; and we got some paint chips to decide on colors for the "master suite"--bedroom, bathroom,and closet. That is our starting point for now. It makes me really happy to see things coming together.

Brie got the paternity test done last week and it looks like the results may be here. Now to wait impatiently for her to get home and open them...

Update: the results state emphatically that Skye's father is the person Brie said it was, with a 99.999% certainty. She is pleased and relieved to have it official. Now to start the ball rolling on child support...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I know it's been a week...

I just haven't been in the mood to blog this week.  I am in my normal post MN funk of being a bit homesick, and struggling a bit with regard to getting back into the swing of things here at home.  I think I do so much running, and spend so much energy trying to accomplish all that needs to be done when I am north for a short weekend that I get overdrawn energy-wise and it takes a couple of days to recover (esp. from the drive).  Oh well, I am better today, which is nice.

We had a wonderful time in MN.  The boys stayed at Liisa's, the girls with me at my mom's.  We met up for various things, and did our own things as well.  Aurora took a tour of the U of M and it went really well.  She seems to like the campus and what they had to say about scholastic offerings etc. Brie also liked the campus and talked half-heartedly about maybe wanting to go there as well...  We must have spent a good three hours on campus between the tour, then walking around on our own.  It was fun and brought back lots of memories for me of my days there.  Despite the fact that they have added some new buildings and changed some buildings around (regarding what they house), the bones of the U remain the same and it isn't hard to get around once you know where you are or where you want to be.  We had gorgeous weather for being up there too, so that helped immensely.

Saturday was Jesse's lawn tractor party and bbq/bonfire.  Patrick spent much of his weekend up in Princeton with Tony and Jesse, which (I think) was really fun for him.  He spent time hanging with the older guys in the family and driving stuff.  He was a big help at the party too, with helping monitor times and place standings in the races.  Rei and Ryan spent Saturday day and night up there and they too had a ball.  The girls and I were there with the baby on Saturday from mid afternoon through late evening, and we had such fun.  Kristi and her family came up, as did Jen and the girls, so we had a nice representation of my side of the family.  We even took some fun pics of me, Jim, and our three kids!  I have to admit, it was odd seeing my ex interact with my step-kids, but he treated them no differently than he treats the rest of the kids, and it was fun to see.  Jesse's family also was there in full force, and that was fun to visit with them too. 

Sunday was a fairly quiet day.  I got together with a couple of girlfriends, and we also had a family dinner at my mom's.  So fun having a "typical family dinner at Grandma's house" for 20... My dad would have loved it!  I also spent lots of quality time with Justin and Alexis, and they adored baby Skye.  I was in love with Justin singing lullabies to her when she was fussing a bit, and watching Alexis hug and kiss the top of Skye's head.  I am so blessed in my family!

Monday was a loooooooong drive home.  Despite my best efforts, we really weren't out of the city much before 11:30 am, and we didn't get home til after 10 pm.  We seemed to need a few more stops (due to baby needs, meals, and gas) than we had needed on the ride up, but that is a matter that comes with travelling in two cars, with a 6 week old baby.  The drive itself wasn't too bad, and I even let Patrick drive for part of it.

Now we are trying to get back to whatever will soon pass for normal.  Brie sees her doctor tomorrow to get cleared to return to work status, then she is at drill all weekend (Grandma babysits).  She will need to get ahold of her manager at KK to find out what her schedule will be at the donut shop. Again, at least for the time being, I will be babysitting.  Not a huge deal, as Skye and I get along great.  Skye has her 2 month checkup the end of the month for her shots etc.  That will be interesting to see how much she has grown, given how voracious her appetite has been of late.

Anyhow, I will post pics when I get them up onto the computer.  I have been slacking lately doing that, and I know pics help to make this blog of mine more interesting...  Time to get some dinner started now tho'!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just an update...

I am needing to get things ready for our trip to Minneapolis.  We are leaving tomorrow after school: Aurora, Patrick, Reimond, Brie, Skye, Ryan (Rei's friend), and me.  Eric is staying home because of work all weekend (and he can keep track of the dogs).  The rest of us are all going.  Aurora has an appointment on Friday at the U of MN for a tour and visit, while the rest of the kids hang out at Liisa's, and probably the mall of america.  Saturday we are going up to Jesse's land in Princeton for his annual lawn tractor races and cookout.  Looks like the weather should be stellar!  Sunday it now looks like Mom will do a Sunday dinner at her house for all of us.  At least, that is the game plan as of right now.  A part of me is ready and raring to go first thing tomorrow morning, however, part of me is dreading the long drive and arriving at 1-2 am.  Patrick can help me with the driving (at least potentially), and Brie will have Aurora along in her car--more room for the baby stuff if we take 2 cars.  I have really been missing my mom and my sister and my grandbabies and my kids.  My brothers too, for that matter, but I am needing some "girltime". 

Eric and I went out to lunch today after he woke up, just so we could touch base a little.  He has tomorrow off as well, then is back on Friday thru Sunday, overnights this week.  He has class tomorrow night as well.  We really haven't spent very much time together, even with his being off this past weekend because life has been so very full.  I have missed our time together.

Liisa and Jesse arrived safely down here mid Saturday afternoon.  I got all the sewing done I needed to do for the baptism--both the dress and the "towel" used in the ceremony.  The ladies at the church loved the baptismal towel I made and have asked me to make up some more for them to have at the church.  I said I would even be willing to personalize them if I get enough advance warrning as I did Skye's, with her full name and the date.  The dress turned out lovely too, although I am not happy with the button holes.  For whatever reason, I didn't do a very good job on them.  We spent Saturday evening here just hanging out, after running to the mall for some things Brie needed for the baby.  Sunday's baptism was lovely and Skye didn't cry through the ceremony, although she bellowed quite well during the sermon.  Brie took her back and changed her pants--that little girl does not like to have a dirty diaper!  We then went to brunch at the Winery after the service, and it was lovely to be there with everyone.  We had a nice afternoon.  We went home, and the Soulak side of the kids went one way, and the Maze side of the kids went another for the afternoon, while Eric and I babysat little Skye.  She was very good for us.  We watched some tv, and called it a night after everyone got home.  Monday was low key around here til the kids got home from school; Eric napped prior to work, and the kids and I went apple picking.  They we hit a bar on Main Street that has $1 tacos for the evening.  Lots of families were there enjoying a beer and the food, so it wasn't out of place to have the teens and the infant there with us.  We got home around 9ish, in time to watch a little tv and then call it a night.  I was exhausted!  Tuesday morning, Liisa took the kids all out to breakfast before school, then her and Jesse took off around 9:30 am.  They got home a bit after 9 last night, taking their time to drive home.

That left me with Tuesday afternoon and today to generally get ready for our trip north.  Tomorrow is the embroidery club meeting, and I may blow that off to have a morning with Eric.  I do need to run onto base and drop off my submissions for the Arts and Crafts show.  I am going to enter my Shipwreck Shawl, the baptismal gown, and the napkin/towel I made.  The show is next week.

Anyhow, that is what is new in our world.  Brie, Aurora, and Skye are back from running a couple of errands so my peace and quiet is at an end...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crisis averted

When it rains, it pours. We have been waiting a couple of weeks for the travel league schedule to come out, as Aurora and now Rei too, are bowling for it. We missed two weeks ago because Aurora had to march in a parade, and Rei's ball was not ready (the holes were being redrilled), and we had not been given a schedule. We discovered after the fact that the travel league coincided with Eric's weekends off, BUT now it conflicts with Skye's baptism, which we had to scedule around church availability, Eric's weekend off, and Liisa's ability to get down here. That fell into place for tomorrow...

When Eric and the kids got to the bowling alley today, we were hoping against hope that the match for tomorrow was scheduled for later in the day. It wasn't. Even if we moved the baptism to the 8 am service there would not be time to get the kids to the bowling alley for the match. Fortunately, they currently have a full team, so WE are off the hook that way. Unfortunately, the kids will be missing another match for the season. I am sure Aurora is upset about this (she tried out for, and made the team; Rei was asked to join to round out the numbers of non-high school league bowlers) but it can't be helped. She too is godmother to Skye and would (I hope) want to be there.

So one crisis is averted and we are moving forward with the weekend!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last day of September, 2010

Today is the last day of this month.  I am not sure where, exactly, this month has gone however!  I remember when it began, but then it runs into this giant blur of time passing...

We had such a nice time with Eric's parents here this past weekend.  It was a busy weekend, between homecoming, Eric's work schedule, and other plans, but I always enjoy spending time with them. I was also thrilled to take pictures for the family of Sandra's mom with her great-great grandbaby.  Five generations in one photo!  Grandma Hap was so pleased to meet Skye, and it was an emotional day for all of us.  I am so grateful I was able to be a part of it.

Now we are getting ready for Skye's baptism on Sunday.  Liisa and Jesse will be coming down on Friday, and I still have beds to re-make. A few small things to do to get ready, but for the most part we are set.  Eric has yet another overtime shift on his day off (Friday), so he is working still these next two days, along with classes in the evening.  We are both burning out a bit on the schedule!  Next schedule should be better though, as he has only one OT shift on deck. 

I am in a funk, if I am honest with myself.  I am homesick for my family in MN (which includes my girlfriends), and I am feeling a bit "cabin-feverish", which is silly because I have transportation and can go where I please.  I just feel antsy and edgy lately.  The only time I can really sit and relax is when I am reading or working on a project.  That feels more escapist though than productive.  I look around each room I am sitting in and I think of all I want to do with that room (paint, decorate, move) and so many things take money that isn't currently in the budget.  I end up feeling guilty for wanting to make things be different, and that is foolish too.  There are things I can do to make things look better, but my wanting them to be "perfect" gets in the way.  It sucks.  I've got myself stuck into a spiral that I need to find my way out of.  A blog I read referred to it as "wallowing" and I think that's true.  It's where I am, and it's NOT an attractive picture at all.  I guess the solution is to set small goals for myself and take baby steps to get there.  A little at a time instead of massive, sweeping changes, and to be thankful for what I have.  It'll all come together in time, if I am patient.

So: enough pondering.  There is laundry to switch, cat boxes to change out, and trash to collect for the curb...  And my oldest child to look forward to being here by me in another day or so.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strange Folk Festival!

Brie, baby Skye, my father in law Noel, and I went to this festival today. It was rainy, grey, muddy, and chilly, but I loved it. It was like the old Powderhorn Art Fair used to be, filled with artisans, live music, and crafts of all kinds. I came home with a couple of skeins of hand dyed yarn and a wonderful whittled statuette of Merlin and Archimedes for Eric (I saw it and it screamed out his name at me). We wandered for a couple of hours, until Skye needed feeding, then headed back home. I wish I could have gone yesterday when the weather was better, but was so glad I made it there this year.

Rei had a fun time at the homecoming dance and he escorted both his girlfriend and her sister. They looked so good together, although Rei towered over both girls. I will post pictures once I get them uploaded off of my camera.

Eric now has two days off, so i am happy! We will do our best to enjoy his "weekend".
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's gonna be a long weekend

for my poor husband.  He has worked 40 hours of overtime these last two weeks on top of his regular 80-84 hour work schedule.   He has essentially had one day of to every three to four days on.  He is burning out on it, as am I.  I miss him not being around much.  This is on top of his full time class schedule, which runs this term on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings (with league bowling on Wednesday evenings).  He volunteered for all the overtime as he felt he could do it, but he says this next schedule he won't take on as much.  He needs the rest!  He is, however, working today thru Sunday of this weekend, which makes him sad cuz his dad is going to be here visiting for most of those days. 

Baby Skye is on a growth spurt, and she is eating every 45 mins to 1.5 hours when awake, then napping for up to three hours when she finally crashes.  Poor Brie feels like a vending machine, the baby wants to eat so frequently!  We have supplemented a bit with formula, but it gives Skye tummy aches if she gets too much, so we try to limit that to only when necessary.  I can't get over what a strong little baby she is--she is so alert, and so squiggly!  She studies everything!  I am really enjoying her being here with us, and I get more than my fill of holding her.  Being only 4 weeks old today, I don't think she is "spoiled"per se.  I don't think holding and comforting a newborn is spoiling at all.  It sure is hard to believe 4 weeks have gone by so quickly already though.

I got my shipwreck shawl all blocked out over the past two days, and it turned out fabulous.  I do see in one spot where I had dropped a stitch and it ravelled back; I didn't catch the stitch back up perfectly so the "ladder" is a little twisted on a couple of "rungs".  Oh well, it's only noticeable to me.  No one else would probably even catch it unless really studying it, and it won't be easy to spot when being worn.  I am very proud of it!  I may enter it in the arts and crafts show this fall at the base.  I also got my new knit pick needles today in the mail.  Eric let me order the set of interchangeables from them in the wood called "harmony".  They are beautiful needles, and they are just what I needed for this latest project: another lace shawl, this time in 100% kid mohair (so cobweb lace).  On the needles I had been using the stitches fell right off the needle and were hard to work with because the needles had such a dull point.  I have already done two rows with these new needles and it has been an amazing difference!  Good tools make all the difference between doing things right and making due...

Homecoming Spirit week has continued.  Rei and Aurora went dressed as Nerds on Tuesday, and looked "adorkable"; Wednesday Aurora went dressed in the fashion of the 1980's, and participated in the powderpuff football game yesterday afternoon. Senior girls won! Today she went dressed as a construction worker, and Rei and his friends went dressed as color crayons (they had primary color t-shirts on that Brie decorated with the crayola logo and their colors on them with fabric paint).  I don't remember what tomorrow is...  Then there is still the football game and the dance.  Rei is taking his latest girlfriend to the dance; Aurora decided not to go this year (we tried hard to convince her to go--she went last year and Rei stayed home).  

The pastor came over and met with Brie on Tuesday, so everything is now set for the baptism, except for my making the dress.  I will do that next week (when I have money to go buy the fabrics).  Brie also took her placement test for math, and will be taking a non-credit refresher math class come spring term.  She got herself all stressed out leading up to this test, and is concerned how she is going to manage everything (work, baby and school) come January, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.  Still no job as yet, despite her optomism about the one application.  

Honestly, I am less in a funk than I had been, but I still feel sorta stressed.  Wish I understood why!  Yes, life is complicated right now, but I feel like I have a good handle on most of it.  And I am making a game plan to deal with the rest...  I guess I just need to trust that God knows where I am headed and he keeps me staying the course!  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just a quick note to say...

I have the best girlfriends in the entire world!  I have been in a funk of late, and pondering all sorts of miscellaneous things.  Today out of the blue a dear friend called me and "filled me back up."  She reminded me of how blessed I am in the friends I have, especially those who have grown with me through the years, who understand the present in the context of the past, and no other explanations are needed.  We had a long, heart-felt conversation this afternoon, I shed a few tears (mostly of gratitude), and I now feel refreshed and re-focused. Thank you for answering an unasked prayer today Deb!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I know, it's been a week...

We had to turn the airconditioner back on last night.  It was so muggy and humid that there was no way we could sleep comfortably otherwise.  We will need it on for the next few days, as temps are headed back into the low 90's for the week.  Yuck! 

Today is the start of Spirit Week at the high school, and Rei went dressed in the neighbor's bridal gown.  It was cross-dressing day.  He had his hair curled, and makeup on, pink nail polish, and so on...  It was interesting!  He made a funny looking, gangly girl.  Aurora went dressed in Rei's clothes as a boy.  I haven't seen her.  I only saw Rei because he ended up calling me to bring him a shirt and bring the dress home because he was getting way too hot in it.  It was worth a laugh and Brie apparently took pictures. 

I have been in a funk the better part of the weekend and today.  Nothing really going on to account for it, it just is.  Eric and I did go on a date on Saturday and that was wonderful--we went out to dinner and then saw the movie Inception. It was really good, with some surprising twists to it.  I think we may buy it when it comes out on DVD.  I really liked Shutter Island too, nother movie with Leondaro DiCaprio in it.  He has done some interesting films.  Anyhow, despite my funk I am getting a few things done that need doing, so I have to take some pride in that.  I also am looking forward to my company these next two weekends.  Eric's folks will be here on Friday and his dad will stay with us while his mom goes to St Louis; they return home on the 28th.  Then Liisa and Jesse will be here on the 1st and I cannot wait to see them.  I am planning a trip to Mpls the following Friday for the weekend (the 8th to the 11th) for me and whomever of the kids are interested in coming up.  Yeah...  Lots on the docket the next three weekends.  Should be interesting.  In the meantime I need to get the baptismal gown made for our baby, and I need to start working on my professional wardrobe again, as well as make headway on cleaning out the sewing room of boxes and mess.

It was really fun to take the baby to the fabric store yesterday and show her off to some of my favorite people who were working.  I miss the people, but not the job.  I also miss the discount... I miss having a routine and a structure to my day.  That truthfully is my goal for these coming weeks leading up to my guests.  Figuring out a structure to the day so that I feel productive and not lazy.  Anyhow, that is where I am at for today.  Time to change the load of laundry!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Guardian Batman...

Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby, watched over by a kitty that weighs three times as much as she does? I love how gentle Batman is with her. A true superhero!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Gorgeous Monday!

This weekend was a weekend of mixed blessings.  We had a significant amount of "family time" (at least me and most of the kids) when we went to the air show on Saturday, and then we had a quiet day Sunday, when the kids all had their own plans, Eric was working, and I was left to my own devices.  I got some things cleaned that needed cleaning, and I scrapped a project I was trying to start that just wasn't working for me (I need to order some new knitting needles from Knit that have a sharper point).  I spent some time Saturday remembering some life-changing events from the past, and thinking about Jim's mom, who died 16 years ago on the 11th; I also enjoyed some quality time with baby Skye.

We have resumed our normal summery temperatures, and the blue skies and white fluffy clouds are amazing, with just enough bite in the breezes to appreciate that fall is just around the corner.  Eric is working a ton of overtime these last two weeks, and I am really looking forward to trying to have some "us" time tomorrow when he has his sole day off til Saturday.  He also starts school this week, so Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights are now occupied again, with Wednesday nights reserved for Bowling.  The kids start youth league again on Saturday as well, so my weekend mornings are firmly committed for the coming months.  There are no firm plans as yet to when (or if) Brie will start working, and she is gonna be running around later to drop of and pick up more applications. I guess I will be babysitting while she does so (we are gonna need to work on asking versus assuming with regard to babysitting duties, not that I mind helping out--so far Skye is NOT a lot of work!)

I have been in sorta' a funk off and on the past few days, either up or down, with little in between.  I have been engrossed in another series of fantasy fiction and have been easily enticed into while-ing away my hours in Dublin, Ireleand vs focusing on the here and now.  I am a bit disappointed in myself for doing this, yet cannot seem to do otherwise either.  I feel directionless and unmotivated to get moving right now.  It's just too easy to just "be".  I am liking it, but I am not...  If I attempt to label it I could probably call it "passive avoidence" because there are things to be done, even things I enjoy and not just chores/obligations, but I cannot seem to get enthused about any of them at the moment.  I feel like I am "on hold" at the moment; I get ready to start something, but something else comes up that sidetracks me, then when I go to get back on track, something else comes along, whether it's the baby, one of the kids needing something (like to be driven somewhere), or my own distractability.  I need to make myself a schedule, then keep to it!  This sense that I have all the time in the world to get to it is kicking my ass!

We have had a slight change in plans, and my mom, sister, and friend are NOT coming down to visit us any time soon.  Liisa and Jesse, however, are planning to come down for Oct. 1st.  Yes, Liisa and Jesse C.  They are back together again, although I am not sure what exactly their status is.  They haven't labelled it for us, and I am not asking.  As long as they are working out their differences, and are content within their relationship, it's not my place to ask too many questions.  I am glad about it though.

Anyhow, that is what's new around here.  I think I need to go outside for a bit and soak up some vitamin D!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A rainy Thursday

It's a gloomy, rainy day today, perfect for cocooning inside and hanging out.  We are dealing with the fallout from tropical storm Hermine that left tornados in Dallas yesterday.  The only really concerning part is that the air show is this weekend, and two years ago, the rain made for an uncrowded but muddy day...  Eric is fussing with a cold, and I am just fussing, so we are making it a quiet day here in our bedroom (to minimize germs for the baby). 

Yesterday Skye had a rough day.  She wanted to nurse but she didn't; she wanted to sleep but she didn't, and poor Brie got a taste of what "fussy baby" is all about.  It was hard on both of them, but they got through it (I spend a few hours helping to hold and cuddle just to give them both a break from feeling stressed).  Skye is starting to fill out a bit, so my guess is she is gaining weight nicely.  She has her first doctor's appointment next Thursday. Two weeks old today!  The time really does go by fast.

Eric didn't do so well grade-wise last term and is frustrated with himself.  This new term starts on Monday and he is planning to do a few things differently.  Fortunately his work came around and he will continue to be on day shifts through December (to accommodate his evening classes).  His initial request had been refused, but when he went through channels they reconsidered that decision.  I am going to be talking to my school as well about maybe adding on another program to the one I have been in-- one with a focus on children and adolescents...  I don't want to change my degree program exactly (I still want to do the internship) but from an applicability standpoint, perhaps this would help.  I am going to also look into an LMFT focus and see if that would significantly change things around.  Lots to consider!

I am thinking about making a trip up to Minneapolis the second week of October (that weekend) for Jesse's annual land party, and we'll see if that pans out or not.  Jesse wants Rei to come up for it for sure, even offering to help fly him up, but I had told family I would try to come up then too when I was last there (in July), and I'd like to go, if that works out.  Brie is looking at potentially having a job with a restaurant in Lebanon, but has no idea of hours or schedule yet.  I am thinking she may need to ask for that time off if I go, so she can come too, as I will be her daycare (unless she wants me to just bring the baby with me--but that would mess up nursing); that is one of the factors that will play into my decision. 

The kids are all doing fine, busy with their own schedules and activities.  Nothing new or exciting to talk about there.  Justin has started Kindergarten and "Loves school!"  He is also playing peewee soccer with the park team up there.  How I wish I could go to his games and practices!  Alexis is bumming because she is NOT going to school and she really wants to go too; she will (hopefully) be going to preschool like Justin did, also at the park, a few days a week.  I miss my little ones something fierce!

That's all I have on my mind for now!  Time to curl up with a good book and relax again!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday afternoons are for...

relaxing, resting, reading, ruminating, and remembering, not necessarily in that order.

It is a beautiful weekend,  weather-wise, and I have been spending as much time out-of-doors as I can.  Eric and I went to historic St. Charles, MO yesterday for the afternoon and wandered the banks of the Missouri river, then checked out all the shops and boutiques of it's main street.  Most of the buildings are national landmarks, and have been preserved for their historical significance on the outside, but the insides have all been made over into shops, antique stores, and gift outlets.  There are some that specialize in handcraftsmenship, while others are more commericial in orientation, but I was thrilled to discover along that same stretch of road a quilt shop, a cross stitch shop, and a yarn shop!  I made a purchase at the last one (yarn for another shawl I am contemplating), whereas I am well stocked at the moment on supplies from the others, but it did my heart good to just be in these places browsing and knowing that if need be, I could find my way back.  Eric and I had lunch on an outdoor patio, and we sampled wine and cheese from a shop called "The Wine Cellar," a place featuring wines from around the area (primarily MO, but there were a couple from IL too).  Before they closed we went back and bought three bottles, along with some cheese we had sampled and enjoyed.  The weather couldn't have been better for such a day outside, and it reminded me of a cross between Stillwater, MN and Williamsburg, VA.  I can't wait to go back sometime again in the not too distant future.  It's about an hour drive, towards the route we used to take going to MN (just off I-70 west, first exit after you cross the MO river bridge).  If I didn't hate driving the poplar street bridge as much as I do it would be likely that I would go more often than I will for now...

We went to church today, Brie, Skye, Eric, and I.  It was disappointing to realize that the kids had been scheduled to serve today, and I was on fellowship duty (I did help with coffee and the dishes); for whatever reason I have misplaced the schedule and had no idea we had been on-deck today.  It was still a nice service--Pastor Heidi always has a powerful message--and the baby was a huge hit with everyone.  It felt odd having three of our family NOT there, but what else could we do?  There are commitments all over the place, and we have to honor those too.  Now Rei is off with his girlfriend, Brie is working in her room, Eric has taken Aurora bowling, and I am sitting here blogging  while my clothes are washing. 

I finished reading a good book today, the second in a sci-fi series (now I need to buy the next one, although on my Nook that isn't hard to do), so that has been how I have spent most of my afternoon thus far, outside, and sitting on my swing...  It's a relaxing holiday weekend, and while I am sorry I can't be in MN for either the Renaissence Festival or the final weekend of the state fair, I can at least enjoy these glorious days of early fall/late summer!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Proud Uncles

A sight that never ceases to amaze me: two boys enjoying their six day old niece.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Raindrops on roses...

I just wanted to share how lovely my roses are after the rain, all wet and sparkling.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

September Rain...

It's a rainy, gloomy day today--definitely feels like fall outside, albeit warmer.  That's ok though.  I need a day just to be inside guilt-free.  There are many things I have on my to-do list, and it's time I started wading through some of them rather than spending the day visiting on the phone, holding the baby, or reading (not that there is anything wrong with those activities either!)

It's just been a week of changes and reflection, on life, on love, on death, and on how quickly time passes by.  Jill and Dann's aunt Mabel lost her fight with Lymphoma a week ago, and her funeral was yesterday up in Minneapolis.  I would have given almost anything to be there with them, but with our lives down here being as chaotic as they are, I needed to stay home.  Fortunately, I have a fantastic eldest daughter who stood in for me, filled with love and compassion and joy, and I know she was a comfort to them, as she is to me.  Liisa is an amazing girl and I am so very proud of her.  My friend Cindy's mom also died, going on 2 weeks ago now as well, and my heart has hurt for all of them.  I have been where they are now, and I pray that God will work to fill the holes in their hearts that they are currently experiencing.

Today is a day of changes too for other family members.  Justin starts kindergarten today, and Andrea is experiencing the growing pains of letting her baby make his first foray into the world of public education; Kristi and Rollie are taking my niece Jocelyn up to her college dorm today and are letting her spread her wings for the first time without them; my friend Deb is sending her baby out the door for her last year of high school and is feeling the angst similar to Andrea, albeit at the other end of the spectrum; and other friends too are watching their young take their first steps into the world of adulthood as they enter college too.  There is a part of me that is so thankful I still have a house that is full of laughter, young people, and chaos, and yet there is another part of me that is looking forward to tidiness, quiet, and space, something we currently seem to have in short supply!

I am also coming up on all the "anniversaries of the heart" that I experience every fall, and so far anyway they haven't been as much on my mind as they have been in years past.  Probably in part because there are so many other things going on this year to keep my mind occupied and busy.  I may or may not blog about them as those days cross the calendar; those of you who have been "family" forever know what they are and it isn't necessary to rehash them in great detail.  I just need to acknowledge them in my heart, and mentally give them room to "be" there, then move on.  The heart holds on to what it holds on to, with no coaxing, encouragement (or discouragement) from my rational mind and I have to accept that!

On a totally separate subject:

Baby Skye is doing wonderfully.  She is eating well, sleeping ok (all things considered), and she has wonderful periods of wakefulness where she looks around, studies things, and really seems to be absorbing the world around her.  When it is just Brie and I she spends more time "down"--meaning we don't hold her 24/7, but when Auntie Aurora is here, she is in arms more often than not.  We had her at the hospital for a bilirubin recheck and it was fantastic (especially for a breast fed baby!) and the nurse, who was also our childbirth instructor, was thrilled (she is also a lactation counselor).  Her weight had dropped a bit, so she was 5 lbs 15 oz at that checkup, but totally healthy and looking great.  She is such a pretty baby, with delicate, dainty features. Her fingers and toes are unbelievably long, and she appears tall for how little she is, but she is healthy, very proportional, and so sweet.  Brie is showing all signs of being an excellant mother, and I am quite proud of her!

Eric finished his school term, and now has a two week break, which I hope he really enjoys.  He had a wonderful vacation and was blessed to be home for all of Brie's lying-in; he and I were so glad we could share in Skye's birth with Brie.  It has created a very special bond between us.  Patrick is working more/longer hours at McDonald's these day, and I had taken him with us on a run to the book store the other day, so when he isn't working or hanging with friends, my guess is he will have his nose in a book...  Reimond is testing limits a bit as far as not being home very much.  Part of it is he does have an active social life, but part of it is that he is struggling with something, and I just haven't been able to put my finger on what it is.  It looks like he is keeping his grades up at school so far, and is on top of homework.  His mood and attitude have been "iffy" though, and I worry a bit when he keeps himself so distant.  Aurora is loving being an Auntie, and she is a big help to Brie.  She is also working really hard at school, and has been focused on doing her best there.

We have a baptism and a graduation party that need to occur, but for right now dates are on the fence, as we have so many schedules to coordinate with to make them happen.  I will post dates as I know them.  We are also looking forward to having family come down from MN to visit in the near future, so that too is awaiting finalization.  Lots to look forward to in the months to come, and I am gonna just take it step by step!

Anyhow, that is the update for what's new at our house!