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".
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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!
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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.
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Raindrops on roses...

I just wanted to share how lovely my roses are after the rain, all wet and sparkling.
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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!