Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Midweek Hump!

It's Wednesday!  Eric is working today and tommorrow, but is done with classes for this week, Aurora is now picked up and brought home from school, and Skye is napping.  It is supposed to be a brutal day today and through the weekend, with heat index warnings through Saturday night.  Very thankful for central air!

Justin started 1st grade on Monday in Minneapolis.  He had a little excitement after school though. Despite the school being notified, by his mother, that he was to go to Mpls Kids next door at the park house after school, they put him on the school bus and SENT HIM HOME! Of course no one was there, and no one was home at either of the neighbors on either side of his house, so my smart, brave little 6 year old grandson sat outside and patiently waited for someone to come home all by himself.  In the meantime, Tony went to get him at Mpls Kids and was freaked when he wasn't there...  Andrea was at work and she too freaked out; Tony went home and found Justin there safe and sound (he had been there about an hour on his own), but the school, transportation, and Mpls kids all heard about it...  We all praised Justin for being a big boy and knowing to stay put, and I am very proud of him.

Rei starts school next week and he is basically ready except for a backpack, which we will get one day this week.  The new school is gorgeous, huge, confusing (for right now), and amazing.  I really am quite impressed by it.  We went to every class he has and his locker so he could judge times and distances (and how long he had to flirt, bs, and hang with friends between classes). It's (hopefully) gonna be a good year. Brie is in classes three evenings a week and Saturday mornings; Eric will be in classes two nights a week, and I still need to get signed up for my course. Aurora is liking school and is doing a fairly decent job of juggling two sports, homework and a boyfriend. She missed getting her license yesterday because she didn't come home in time to go take the tests (she was riding home with a friend), so that is still on the agenda for Friday or Saturday.

Eric fixed his motorcycle on his own to be sure he had it for work--he had to replace a cellenoid (I know I spelt it wrong), and he has an appointment to get it looked over at the shop in two weeks because of a lose wire that keeps grounding out. We had to get a headlight replaced on the honda yesterday so we looked at used cars there, then went over to the Chevy dealer and test drove a Chevy Cruze.  We drove (Eric drove) the Cruze econo model, which is a manual 6-speed, and gets 42 miles to the gallon, along with having amazing safety ratings. We both really liked it, although I would prefer it as an automatic (I know Eric likes the manual better); I have driven a manual in the past and am ok with them, but like automatics better, even if it means a slight drop in gas mileage (to 38 fwy). We just really need to figure out how to finance another vehicle, especially if we do go with brand new.  I am favorably impressed with the price points on the Cruze too, and the plan (if//when we get one) would be for Eric to drive it daily while I keep the pilot (and share it with Aurora), to save money on gas, and then I would use it for trips to Mpls. and local running around when Eric is home.  It's nice to have a possibility in mind, even though we have nothing set in stone right now.

Skye is awake, and Brie just got home, so I am gonna go out and water the gardens...  I have about 2 hours to myself before I am back on duty!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy birthday Skye Noel!

Her birthay was actually Friday, but I have been sick the past few days and haven't been on the computer much. So hard to believe a year has passed! What a joy and blessing this little girl has been! May you be rchly blessed in ths new year baby girl.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back to Saturday again!

I am not sure where the week has gone to! It's been busy, hectic, crazy!  Aurora started running cross country this week, with 6 am practices and needing rides, so Eric and I have taken turns running her over to the University for her practices, sitting in the car waiting for her to finish, then coming home.  It makes more sense (especially gas-wise) to just wait on her, because it is a 20 min ride each way, and by the time one got home, it would be time to turn around and go back.  I have gotten quite a bit of reading done.  Brie starts class today, and Aurora starts classes Monday.  Aurora and Eric are at a gateway tournament today (bowling) and if she does well, tomorrow as well, over in St. Louis, while I am home enjoying a gloomy, COOL, rainy morning with Skye.  I have just laid her down for a nap, and decided to take a few minutes for me.

It was so cute yesterday: Brie got invited to a concert last night, and Eric and I were with Aurora at her cross country practice (it had been moved to late afternoon from the morning because of lightening yesterday morning); Brie asked Rei to babysit (until I got home) so she could go, and he took Skye with him to the Purple and White game at the high school.  He carried her in a baby carrier on his chest (with her facing forward to see everything), with a backpack on his back with diapers, wipes, and a bottle...  She was a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the noise (meaning she was sorta shy and quiet initially) but she soon acclimated and clapped and yelled and laughed.  Some friends of Rei's (girls) took Skye down to the Cheerleaders, where she was happily passed around, until she realized Uncle Rei wasn't there and started to cry.  The girls brought her back and she was happy once more, staying for the entire game!  I had called Rei when we got home and told him I would come and get her whenever he wanted, so I was quite surprised when he didn't call until the end of the game, and said she was perfect the whole time!  It just tugged at my heart because I remember when my sister used to take Liisa to stuff at the high school too when she was a baby. Happy memories!

I have to be honest and say I have been in a bit of a funk the past week or so.  I have found myself emotionally eating, and I have found myself struggling with keeping up a positive attitude.  I realized it was due, in part, to missing having some quality time with my husband!  Things have been so crazy around here that we have not had any time for "us." We remedied that by leaving Skye with Aurora yesterday morning and going out to breakfast, then running some errands together (home depot and lowes), and later taking Aurora. With Skye being worn out from the football game, she ate dinner and went to sleep in my arms right away, so we also had last evening.  It was a lovely change of pace and much needed. I am feeling less stressed out today and hoping that this weekend continues to be relaxing.

I have also been a bit down on myself lately because my weight gain instead of loss these past two weeks (just a pound total, but still), and I was tired of my hair being striped. I took myself to the salon and had high lights and low lights put in to blend out all the color changes, and while I am okay with how it turned out, it is a bit darker than I have been for a long time (the stylist went a couple of shades darker than my "natural color" on the low lights, almost to a chocolate color), and while it has blended beautifully, it is definitely darker looking overall. The darker colors will lighten up with washing, bringing it back (or closer to) my natural color, which is similar to Rei's, Erik's, Neal's, and Tony's, thus meaning less maintenance in touch ups etc. I was pleased to be told I still have NO grey in my hair at all, and given I am getting closer and closer to 50, that pleases me immensely.  My guess is when I am an old lady my hair will be white, like my Aunt Aili's was.  It's nice, but a bit startling to see myself in the mirror when I am not expecting it, and I kinda miss my lighter hair, but this is good for now.

It is so hard to believe that Skye is going to be a year old on Friday.  It seems like this years has blown by in a heartbeat!  She is such a joy to us, and so happy and loving.  Brie and a friend of hers are taking Skye out today for her birthday, and she got a lovely package from her Dad and his family in the mail yesterday: pjs, shorts and tops, sandals, dvd movies, and a leap frog puppy that plays games, music, and talks to her (personalized with her name!).  She loves the music feature on it and knows which buttons to push/squeeze.  We are now getting her 18 month sizes because she is not fitting the 12 months sizes so well anymore--especially the pants/shorts.  She is a healthy size, and looks beautiful.  Her hair is growning in and curls in the back so sweetly. She is trying so hard to talk, and she responds to and mimics everything! Eric and I are really enjoying watching her grow and change.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday morning coffee...

It's so lovely to sit here in my quiet bedroom, drinking my coffee, watching big fleecy clouds roll by in blue skies over the housetops across the street.  I have had a lot on my mind of late, and it's nice to have some time to put them into some sort of order.

Liisa called me yesterday morning to tell me Jesse's maternal grandmother had died.  She had been having multiple strokes over the past month-month and a half, and had been in and out of the hospital and a nursing home.  They brought her home from the hospital to her own bed on Friday after they were told nothing more could be done for her medically, and Liisa went with Jesse Friday night to see her.  Liisa called me when she got home, around 11 p.m. Friday night and just sobbed.  She loved Marilyn dearly and was distraught that she seemed to still be so vital and present that "saying goodbye while she was still here" somehow felt wrong. I explained to Liisa that when the body starts shutting down, nothing can really be done to reverse that process, and that this was a part of life.  I felt so bad I couldn't be there with her. She wasn't around as much when we went through it with my aunt Aili, and she was so young when Grandma Soulak died that she doesn't remember.  When they got the call Grandma was gone, her and Jesse were on their way back up to Grandma's house. Jesse was going to play his guitar for her, and Liisa was going to read to her from the tabloids, something they used to do on a regular basis through the years.  Liis both found and offered comfort being at the house with the family as they waited for everyone to gather before the coroner finally was called to come out to get the body.  I am so very proud of her for how she is handling all of this.

Liisa and Jesse are no longer together as a couple, and haven't been since December. They have, however, remained the closest of friends, and are trying to navigate the waters of loving each other as friends (versus as lovers/life partners).  This too is a difficult road to walk, but we all love both of them and want nothing but the best for each of them. My mom continues to hope that they will find their way back to each other, but I am accepting that this is how it is and I pray for both.  They still share custody of the dogs, and in many ways, Jesse is more devoted a "dogdaddy" than many fathers are of their biological children!

I have resumed doing (relatively) daily devotional readings, which I find both comforting and chastening.  One I read recently hit a little too close to home, in that it dealt with finding the good in all things, being one who is supportive and uplifting versus critical and nit-picky.  The reading (if anyone is interested) is Ephesians 4:29-32. Lately I have been fairly negative and critical in how I approach everything: the dogs, the kids, even sometimes Eric, and especially myself.  I don't like being this way, and when I catch myself being critical I feel terrible about it, but it hasn't stopped me from doing it a whole lot.  I know why I have become so critical, and many of my complaints are valid, BUT complaining doesn't change anything, and being vocal about it sets the stage for negativity to build on negativity. So my plan is to start catching myself when I am being critical or negative and try to find ways to build up rather than tear down the things that bother or upset me.  Maybe if I set the example, others will follow, and that positive vibe will be reflected in our daily lives. It's worth a try anyway!

Patrick came by on Friday to pick up some mail he had here, and he stayed for dinner and most of the evening.  He starts his new job on Tuesday, and I need to run him out to get some black pants for it either today or tomorrow. He explained that his girlfriend breaking up with him was NOT about him; it was about her life (being a single mom among other things) was so complicated at the moment that she didn't feel it was fair to him to be relegated to the sidelines, and that she didn't feel she had the ability to focus on a relationship at the moment or give him the attention and devotion he deserves.  He really felt ok about all of it, but was, of course, sad. He and I had a really nice talk about his plans before Eric got home, and it continued with Eric prior to dinner as well.  Basically we both feel good about where Patrick is at right now, and we support his fledgling steps into independent adulthood.  He is doing ok!

Skye is walking everywhere now. She looks like a little primate with her hands up as she toddles and wobbles, but she goes and goes and goes!  It amazes me it's almost been a year already that she has been a part of our lives.  Despite some of the work, she is such a blessing, and she is truly a child of my heart. Friday night she was having a really hard time staying asleep, and Brie was getting frustrated and overtired as well, so after I hung up with Liisa I sat in the rocking chair in the living room with Skye, and hummed hymns to her, prayed, and shed my tears--for Liisa, for Jesse and his family, over memories of the past...  It was comforting and catharctic, and when Skye finally fell asleep around midnight, I too was ready for bed.

We are still no closer to figuring out what we are going to do about transportation issues in the coming weeks. Aurora has a sports physical and team pictures on Monday, then her practices start for cross country, with school classes beginning the following week.  Brie's classes too begin that week, and of course no-one's schedule matches up well...  Eric has been riding the motorcycle when the weather permits so we have the pilot as a back up vehicle, and next week is his "short" work week, so we have a little breathing space to coordinate things. I am confident we will figure things out. 

My coffee cup is empty, so I think I will refill it, then move on to the next item on my agenda. Please keep Jesse's family in your prayers as they move through the grieving process, and my Liisa too.  She still is unemployed, and while she is managing, it's rough. Winning the lottery sounds like a wonderful option to me, as unrealistic as it is....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August doldrums!

The month of August started with a bang of activity, but as of today, hopefully will be slowing down a little bit. Our 3rd anniversary was on the 2nd, and it was a nice day.  We didn't do a lot of anything in particular, other than go out for breakfast, but it was nice to go out. 

Liisa came down on the 4th, flying in from MN early in the morning, and I took her to the train station for 5 tonight, only to find out that her flight has been delayed until 8:30 tonight (to Chicago, where she has a connecting flight she is gonna need to run to).  Poor kid is just sitting at the airport with her book and bags, waiting to go home.  We spent much of the weekend at our local park for Homecoming, enjoying the rides, concessions, and live bands. We danced, drank beer, and socialized with friends. We also ran errands, shopped on base at the BX, swam at the pool, and enjoyed being together.  It's so sad to see her go home.  I wish my kids and I were closer locale-wise.  I know we talk on the phone all the time, but it isn't the same as face to face contact.

Eric is putting in some overtime this week. He has security detail for some big-shot from the VA who is in town, and it's been a nice change for him. He has only a few more weeks of school left and his term is done. Aurora starts her cross country training next week, and the bowling practices are not too far behind. Her actual classes start the third week.  Brie will be starting classes the end of August too.  In a huge change of pace, Rei won't be starting classes this year until after Labor day, and the school year is running thru mid June of next year (normally they start the third week of August and get out mid May). He will be in the brand new school, starting his Junior year.  Classes for me won't start til October, so I am safe for a little while yet.

We are still in need of at least one more car for the family.  I am at a loss as to how we are going to manage Aurora, Brie, and Eric's schedules of work and school needs on a daily basis starting next week...  Eric can take the motorcycle, but that is strictly weather dependent. And it means my wings are effectively clipped until someone is home.  I know we will work it out and I am fine with being flexible. I really don't go many places during the day anyhow; it just means I need to be careful in how I schedule appointments and such. And we have braces to worry about too...  Haven't scheduled the start of those as yet, but that needs to happen in the near future.

Patrick just got hired at the pizza place in town as a cook, and starts next week.  He had (in his words) the worst birthday ever: he got a girlfriend over the weekend who broke things off on his birthday, then got dumped by his oldest friend.  We called him on his birthday (assuming his girlfriend/friends would be helping him to celebrate) and no one planned anything.  It made/makes me sad. We are going to be doing an outing for/with him probably next weekend when Eric is off again.  This week is too full and confusing.

My brain feels fried right now.  I am stressed out and sad and weary.  Too much to think about with regard to juggling the future. It's better to focus on the here and now instead.  Anyhow, that is what's new around here! I am hoping things start to settle into some sort of routine, and I am glad we still have most of a month to get organized, even if things are coming up quickly!