Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eric is ON VACATION!!!

Thus, so am I!  We decided to go ahead and go to Minneapolis for the first part of it, leaving tomorrow morning and coming back on Tuesday. I am looking forward to a low-key time there of visiting, enjoying the lakes, and spending time with family and friends.

Last week went very well. Dalton is a very nice young man, and he seemed to really enjoy getting to know Skye as a person and not just a picture or a concept. She came to really accept him too, although it took a little time for her to initially warm up to him, and he soon mastered the art of feeding her a bottle and playing with her. He even changed a diaper! His mother is a lovely person and I really enjoyed getting to know her. His sister is very nice as well, and she was here a few days too. They stayed at the hotel up the street by the interstate. I spent quite a bit of time with all of them initially, then eased my way out as people got more comfortable with each other (I didn't want to be a distraction for Skye). It was fun to see her responding to her family members and to see similarities in traits and expressions. The headed back home on Sunday, and I am sure we will be seeing them again at some point relatively soon.

Brie is getting ready for her two week trip to AT at the end of next week. I am sure things will go fine, and I think Skye will do well with the change. She is cutting more teeth, and has a mouthful already. She is also starting to toddle--walks behind her walker-toy, and she travels along furniture quite well. She also stands alone until she realizes she is doing so, then she grabs on quick. I don't think it'll be too long before she is going at will. Brie made the dean's list for her term and we are very proud of her. She got the letter about it yesterday.

I am enjoying my time away from school. I was quite disappointed to get a C for the term, despite an A on the final paper, and A's throughout most of the term. I flubbed up the week between Mother's day and Graduation because I just couldn't do it all, so I turned in some assignments late (she said zero tolerance for late assignments and by God, she meant it!) I just felt badly for myself that she dropped me 2 grades for the late assignments, when I had run consistent 98-99% on everything else.  I had been expecting a B.  Oh well, I still passed and I know the material really well.  I am in the process of getting financial aid stuff re-done so I can get registered for summer session (Starts July 11th, so I need to get going on it).

Quick update on the kids:

Aurora is bowling on a summer league, and she is enjoying her summer, spending time primarily with her boyfriend.

Patrick hasn't been around much, nor has he touched base lately, so I am not sure what he's up to. He is suppose to be coming to MN with us, so I will know more then I am thinking.

Reimond is running with friends as well, and doing some hanging out with Aurora and her boyfriend. Typical summer for the kids.

My Minneapolis babies are now 6 (Justin) and 4(Alexis) as both had birthdays this month. Justin has mastered riding his bike with no training wheels.  I can't wait to see them!

Everyone else is doing ok. Liisa lost her job on Monday but had an interview with a new place today that went well, and she isn't wasting any time trying to find employment ASAP. Tony is home for the time being as well, so he is working steadily and juggling kids and home with Andrea. They are doing fine.

Sounds like my laundry is ready to change over!  Yay!  Then I can finish packing!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today is the day!

Today is the day that Skye gets to meet her dad and some of his family members. I am looking forward to finally meeting them as well, and it is my hope and prayer that things go smoothly while they are here, for everyone's sake. It's going to be an interesting week I think!

I got my paper done, including a restart on Thursday night at 7 p.m. after realizing that I had misread the directions and had already written 11 pages over the course of 8 hours or so...  I was able to recycle a little of what I had previously written into the final draft, albeit in a slightly different form, but most of the paper was "fresh" and new rather than a re-write.  I have to say, I really sweated it, because I had worked so hard on what was initially written, and thought it was well done. Oh well, live and learn. I am just thankful I reread the instructions before I finished it and sent it off into the interweb to the instructor! I ended up with a 92/100 because apparently "there continued to be problems" with my APA formatting.  This bothers me, because I wrote with the APA manual open and next to me.  Oh well, I did my best.  I am curious about what my final grade will look like because I missed 2 discussion questions during the graduation preparations and I also didn't turn in the two prep assignments for the paper (also due during that week between mother's day and graduation), but the rest of my grades were 98-99%.  I get so nervous when waiting, although if I get a B for the term I will be satisfied (a C would disappoint me though, and I don't think an A is in the running right now--the instructor just isn't that generous, despite my being in constant contact with her over what was going on).

We are planning to go up to Minneapolis after all over 4th of July weekend. Eric did get the extra time off for Friday and Saturday, so we will go up Thursday the 30th and be there thru the 5th, driving home that morning sometime. I am very excited. I was talking to Andrea today about having a birthday party for the kids, perhaps at Liisa's on that Saturday, and inviting the family to it. I don't think it would be too much work, especially if the weather is good and we can do it outside, or maybe we could go down to the falls and do it there. Just have cake, ice cream, and sodas.

Eric and Aurora have started running most mornings that he's off to get her ready for the cross country season, and he is enjoying that. I am pleased to say I am back on track too with my weight loss and have lost a total of 14 lbs as of today.  I am doing well! I have tried to get out walking or biking on a regular basis and I am being mindful of the points program so I eat healthy.

Sounds like the baby is up--she went down for a nap around 8 after getting up around 6ish this morning again.  Time to feed her, finish the dishes, and get some vaccuuming done.  It's gonna be a hectic next few days!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just a quick note...

to free up my brain cells before I return to the world of non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors (NSSI for short) in adolescents, the theme of my final project.  Research in this subject has come a long way since I first looked into it about 5 to 8 years ago.

We got the van fixed, to the tune of $139. Eric was not thrilled with the cost, but given he couldn't get the broken hose off, and it was moving the heater core in the process, he felt it was better to have a pro do it, and I agree. It is back on the road now, and I have begged and pleaded that it be driven gently, with an eye on the thermostat (because the hose that was broken had dry-rotted and cracked from age; there may be others that will fail with one new one on).  I have my fingers crossed.

I still have a sore throat, now heading on the third day of it, and it sucks. It isn't allergies; it's more in/around my glands, and feels like lower tonsils, primarily on the left side.  I don't think it's strep as I haven't had a fever. It's just a constant ache when I swallow.  I am keeping the pain at bay with naprosyn (generic aleve), as I don't have time to indulge in being sick right now. I am on a very tight schedule this week!

The younger kids seem to be enjoying their summer break: lots of hanging out with friends and doing a lot of very little (if that makes sense--lots of hanging out, watching movies on netflix, running the roads, etc; very little chores or helping ME out...) I get help when I ask specifically for it, but it generally falls under the rubric of just enough to say it's done.  Oyvay!

Eric started his new term last night and it looks like it may be a challenging one for him. Certainly hours-wise it's gonna take a toll. Brie is off at class right now, and it looks like she's gonna have tuesdays and thursdays off for school, but then work every weekend plus monday, wednesday, and friday. Patrick has started moving his belongings out to the apartment in the middle of town. He came home for breakfast yesterday, which made me laugh, then worked on packing up more things. I do hope he is able to find a job soon, or his savings won't last too terribly long and he'll be back where he started from.  I give him credit for trying though, and support his intentions!

As much as I hate grey, gloomy days, I have to admit I am grateful for the rain and thunderstorms today. It keeps me in the house and focused rather than tempted to be outdoors doing other things. I am thrilled to report I lost 1.6 lbs this week, bringing my total loss back to 12.6 lbs, and .6 lbs represents a new loss over the initial yoyo loss between April and now.  So happy! I rode my bike last night. Didn't go terribly far, but it felt good to get on it, and I am sure, with practice, my confidence will improve (not to mention my thigh muscles--I was feelin' it!)

Ok, back to the books!  7 articles to annotate, then the two assignments for this week to write (so that I can focus on my paper the rest of the week). I CAN DO IT!!!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

When it rains, it pours!

My son Anthony surprised me with a visit this weekend.  He was under orders with the Army Reserve and was doing some advanced training over in KS, but they were given the weekend off. Rather than stay in the barracks and be bored to tears (or find mischief to get into) he decided to come to mom's, see the family, and play with his little brother.  It was great to have him here!  He was helpful too: he got Eric's harley all up and running (Eric went and got it licensed and insured on Friday) so we now have that for a backup vehicle (although as Eric says, he needs some practice on it before he takes it any distance); he checked out Brie's car and said "trash it" (if it was salvagable he would have told us, because he is a whiz with cars); and he diagnosed a blown radiator hose on my van (it has been leaking and overheating). The catch? The van has been the backup vehicle for Brie to use to get back and forth to work and school, and it cannot be driven as it is right now either...  Eric says he feels competent to replace the hose, but we have to get one first (Tony would have done it for me but he had to get on the road for his 6 hour drive back to the army base) and I am not sure we can get it done tonight. 

Then there is the week ahead.  Eric's new term starts and he'll have class monday, tuesday, and wednesday evenings (after work on the days he works), so he'll essentially be gone from 5 am til 10 pm on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  The car Brie was going to buy from a friend is no longer for sale, and she was not approved for a car loan so she can't get one through a dealership...  We are back to the drawing board on that front.  She is, however, getting the phone she has been salivating over: her replacement phone won't hold a charge, and because it is an insurance phone, and they don't have any of her phones left in stock, they are sending her the one she wanted as a replacement phone (using an upgrade on the plan to get it). From what she is saying, she is getting the new phone (it should have cost her close to $200) for free, along with the accessories, and it should be arriving on Monday.

I have my final paper to write this week, and have a lot to do to prep for it, along with my last two assignments. Brie had drill all weekend, so I have been babysitting, and she stayed last night at a friend's (whom she is riding back and forth with to drill), meaning I haven't had a lot of time to do schoolwork. Last night after Skye went to bed I did print off close to 200 pages worth of research article on my theme that I will start reading and annotating today. Eric has been gone the better part of the weekend despite it being his weekend off because Aurora has been in a gateway tournament (Bowling) in St. Louis, about an hour away. She made it to the semifinals today, and Eric said she is doing well--solidly in the middle of the pack at this point. But that limits my mobility dreadfully and we need groceries and stuff...  Not to mention getting the hose to repair the van...   I am feeling a little frantic.

The nice thing is Tony was no work at all.  He helped with the vehicles, he played with the baby so I could do a few chores, he entertained Patrick and Reimond (and it was wonderful to see him hanging with the boys, working on bikes, making Patrick his assistant as he repaired the harley and checked out the other vehicles). It meant the world to me to have him here.  We even dragged him to the pool to cool off yesterday after his repair jobs were done! Skye went to the pool for the first time (she seems over her cold for the most part, finally) and she loved it. And I am glad we are getting use out of the family plan!

I have relost one of the two pounds I had gained, and hopefully the second one will be gone when I weigh in on Tuesday. I have gotten back to being good. Lets just hope the stress of the coming week doesn't get to me too badly (along with PMS etc.).  Speaking of that, my sister's surgery went well, although it was more extensive than they had planned on, and she was in the hospital an extra day because of it. She is doing better though and is glad to be home. She even went up to the lake this weekend with her family and told mom she could sit on her backside as easily there as stay home, and it makes sense to me!

Patrick is back to job hunting as he lost his job at McDonalds early this past week. He was late one too many times.  He is bummed and relieved both. He is planning to move in with a friend to an apartment in Mascoutah proper and has been putting in applications at the businesses on Main Street. The apartment is centrally located between here and Main St. so he feels transportation (or the lack thereof) won't be as big an issue, and my guess is he will use his savings to cover his costs of moving. He is of the opinion that it won't be "forever" at this point; he just sees himself as helping out a friend for a few months, as well as helping himself be closer to the job market. Eric and I fully support this. My guess is this will happen sometime over the next few days.

I am hoping I am not getting sick. Yesterday I felt really run down and tired (although some late nights and early mornings this week helped to contribute), but I woke up with a sore throat/swollen glands. I do NOT need to be sick with everything going on this week!  So I am drinking my orange juice, taking my vitamin, and praying hard!

Skye is needing attention so I guess I will post!  Keep your fingers crossed for us this coming week goes smoothly!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apologies all around...

I am mortified to realize that the previous post I wrote, just for myself, published instead of deleted after I wrote it. Sometimes I get so frustrated I need to vent, but then hit delete so that my thoughts remain private. For those who read it, please take it for what it was, private thoughts that weren't meant to be published, thought in a moment of frustration. I apologize if any of it upset anyone.

I am getting down to crunch time with some homework, and things are chaotic at times around here. With only two running vehicles, I feel like I am sometimes on the bottom rung of the priority ladder when it comes to usage, and the needs for mobility don't stop just because there isn't an extra running car. Skye is amazing in all she is learning to do and express, but the downside of that is that she is fairly strong willed and independent, and she wants what she wants, when she wants it (of course that describes most kids these days). I only have two hands, and am not as good at multitasking as I used to be I guess.

My husband took on an overtime shift this week because it's his short week otherwise, and it threw a minor wrench into our plans for things to accomplish before his new school term resumes next week. He is doing a great job of balancing all his responsibilities and deserves some down time too. I sometimes just get impatient when I should be more understanding. We have taken on a lot of things we want to accomplish, but haven't really gotten very far on any of them, and the upheaval they have caused gets tiresome at times. I know my frustration over that is directed as much at myself as it is him, because I too start things, meaning to finish, and there they sit because of interruptions and distractions.  With his working the overtime shift, I have been really confused as to what day it is (I know the days based on the normal routines); his having worked 3 days in a row suggests to me that today should be Monday, but it isn't; and yesterday I wasn't sure if it was Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday! I knew in my head that it was Wednesday, because my assignment was due and Aurora had stuff at the college scheduled. But it felt like one of the other days, because Eric was working his second day in a row...

Anyhow, please forgive my rant and understand that I was having a rough time, with many stressors and worries all at once. I learned a valuable lesson out of it though: to make sure if I do put anything out on my blog I double check which button I am pushing before I hit it and I proof read it to be sure I am posting what I want to be posting. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

An update for June!

It has been a full week already, and we are only just barely into the month. The kids and I got safely back to IL from MN on Tuesday, even if we were again running a bit later than I had initially planned. It was a good trip and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go. Saw all my siblings, most of their families, a number of dear girlfriends, and spent time with my mom and some of the Florida relatives, who were up visiting the same time I was. I came home saddened to leave the other grandkids and my big kids, but grateful for the time and activities we had/spent together.

This week has been a week now of catch-up-- on chores,  on homework, on life. Brie had some issues this week: her car engine seized up and is not driveable (she let the oil run dry) and her cell phone took a dunk in the toilet (literally); the replacement phone will be here on Monday (she hopes--is going through withdrawal from not having text messaging!) and she is talking to the bank again on Monday about an auto loan to get a new-to-her car.  My son Anthony says we could probably resurect her car with a new engine, but since we don't have anyone down here with the expertise to put one in, I am not sure what we will do with it. My van is once again getting lots of mileage put on it as it takes the place of second runner for whomever needs it. 

Skye had a bad cold when we got back--sneezing, runny nose, cough, and low grade temp. She is finally sounding better, but was a sick cookie for about 72 hours. She has a fake cough to go with the real one that cracks us up. Aurora came home from Hawaii sick too, but she had a lovely time while there, and she seems to be feeling better as well.

Aurora and Rei, Skye, and I went to the travel league bowling banquet today. Aurora got first place females for high average, and they both (along with the team) got team trophies. It was really neat to be there. I am proud of both of them! It was a long day for Skye though, who was stuck on laps, or briefly, on the floor, and she was getting bored and restless. We got through it though and she did well.

I got the family pass for the pool for us, and I went yesterday for two hours.  I had asked Rei to spray my back with sunscreen (the aerosol canned kind) and he did--but he didn't check to make sure it was evenly applied, and I have a very blotchy sunburn in places, esp. along the edges of things...  Youch! It isn't terrible, unless Skye scratches at my skin, but when she does, I want to cry!

Eric is done with classes for a week--Yay! And his long week ends today so we should have a nice week this upcoming one. We need it!  I haven't been doing so hot on my WW plan lately--got off track with the month of May and all the parties going on, and haven't fully gotten back on the bus as yet...  I am working on it though!  At least I have maintained my initial 10 lb loss, and hope to now add to it (I regained 2 lbs from the initial 12 I had lost).  I am not discouraged though. I made some conscious choices.

I have two weeks of classes left and need to try and get ahead on some things there so I can do my final paper. I have to figure out my topic, then call Eric's dad and interview him for it.  Not sure even still what I want to write about!  I have to figure it out soon though--it's supposed to be about 15 pages long or so...

Anyhow, that's where we are at for now: enjoying these hot, summery days (FINALLY!), figuring out what is gonna pass for the new "normal" schedule with school out, and, taking things a day at a time. My sister has her surgery tomorrow, so I have her in my prayers, and I am cautiously looking towards another trip to MN in July over the 4th.  We'll see what happens as we get closer!