Saturday, September 12, 2009

We opened a field and we WON!

Not too bad for a Blackberry self taken photo of my friend, Kim and me at the new football stadium!

I won tickets through work for the opening day of the new stadium (a few of you know where I live and can pretty much figure out where it is at.) They won their opening game 41-0! Whew-who!

Had a great time!

Friday, September 11, 2009

My daughter read her first book to me.

That's right. In school for 2 weeks, public school no less (a bigger public school system that gets poo-poo'd on a little from time to time, but our district portion rates high), and my child read a whole entire book to me. It is a book called The Family, which is a Sails First Wave book (a beginner book with the focus words of I am a), but she read it all. Now, when she got to the word "grandpa" she said, "I am a old man." Truthful, but incorrect. I helped her out. She read by sight and by picture clues. I am so proud of her. The first book. Quite a milestone. We did give her a leg up by doing the reading class this summer. We've worked a little on sight words, but didn't do a huge concentration on it. Simple words that I tell her, I've been spelling to her (like good, fit, hungry . . . anything really generally 3-4 letters.)

Sorry. I had to be that mom. I had to give the kid back pats. But, I'm mommy and I'm allowed.

So, Rachael-darling, you were right. I think that Tuesday, the day of the said paper gone wrong was really a day in flux. More specifically, they came back after an exhaustingly long weekend where far too many hot dogs were consumed, there was much swimming, many layers of sunscreen, fires, late nights and whatnot. Also, we had voting and the kids had to eat in their rooms as opposed to the gym. The papers are back on track and I was worried for nothing. She just had a hiccup in her Kindergarten day, though Hubs and I stressed that it is important to do the work that is asked of her, to participate in class even though she may not want to (she did just fine in gym) and to make certain to use her words (for the boy who likes to tickle her sides and the girl who has a fascination with her long hair and likes to play with it.)

I had Hubs run a "Pick-a-chick" this evening. (AKA roasted chicken from Walmart with macaroni salad.) Y'all, I was feeling so bad this evening come 5 PM that I actually fell asleep for a short time on the couch. I never take a nap, except for when I'm ill. It was no match for Oscillococcinum. I had to go for the big boys. I took Advil Cold and Sinus again. Happily, it helped me to get back to normal, though I am beginning to sneeze my fool head off (I'm an obnoxiously loud sneezer-- thanks Mom.) I'm washing my hands excessively and all that. I'm hoping to score an appointment with my lovely doctor tomorrow so that if it is a sinus infection (the beginnings of I would be willing to bet), he can pass on some lovely drugs before it gets unbearable.

I was able to get the bathroom cleaned, carpets swept and all the laundry washed, line dried and put away. Apparently, another Carpenter bee came in the laundry, but it decided to hang out on the window screen. Hubs gathered it up in a hat, had me go ahead of him and open the door and it flew out to freedom.

Oh, I accidentally left my moon roof open last night and thank God it didn't rain.

On our way home, on family had pulled off into someone's yard and asked K- where her horse was. Apparently, now she has a reputation for trotting to school on her hobby horse! :)

Sadly, my grandmother's rehab compliance meeting didn't go very well. Her apartment was okay, but grandma's performance was less than wonderful. It was hard for my aunt and biological father to witness. Grandma wasn't able to figure out how to go to the kitchen, though it is an open main floor plan apartment and the kitchen was right in front of her. She was unable to operate the microwave, to the point that we unplugged it to assure that she would be safe. To be compliant, we also pulled the stove plug. She couldn't remember 9-1-1. She didn't remember my aunt's phone number, though she was home only a month ago. My aunt was answering questions for my grandmother and I sent my biological father in to have her shush. She didn't take it well, they ended up arguing and my aunt left. I found her in her apartment crying. I've never seen that. My biological father was in tears. It is hard for both of them to see their mother so cognitively declined. From the years that I spent working for a geriatric psychologist, I know what we are dealing with. I know the tasks that they were wanting my grandmother to perform-- on her own. My aunt just so wants grandma to be home. I can't blame her. I sat down and spoke with both my aunt and biological father separately and told them the same thing. They just want what is best for their mother, but to see her in a state where it is possible that she may not be able to come back home is very hard. In the end, I halted my aunt's bad mood behavior toward Bill with this. I asked her if Christ was standing right next to Bill (my biological father), would she say the things then that she would have before? It stopped my aunt dead in her tracks. She apologized profusely to me for being so upset. My aunt is a Christian. She is a strong Christian woman, but we are not perfect. She just needed that kick in the butt to turn her back around. Hurt feelings are hurt feelings. They are both hurting, not meaning to hurt each other but they just are so upset about their mother.

In the end, I had to break it to my aunt that Grandma will not be home tomorrow, but perhaps next week. I had to break it to my grandmother, too, but she took it far better than my aunt did. I also told Aunt Donna about moving the bed over and turning the nightstand so we were compliant with the rehab folks. She was mad about unplugging the microwave, but their home health aide backed me up on that and said I was just doing what was asked of me. I also had to break it to my aunt that perhaps grandma coming home is not a good thing. The rehab folks noted that her cognitive level is much altered from the time she had been home last. I don't know if that is necessarily completely correct, as grandma hit the cognitive skids about a year or so ago. I can tell you that for certain she would fail a Folstein Mini Mental State Exam, which is a basic, quick psychologist tool to help assess older adults with time and short term memory. It asks questions such as the year, president, where they are at, to remember 3 basic things and to repeat them back at the end of the test, spell the word "WORLD" backwards . . . In a million years, grandma would never pass.

So that leaves me to now. It is nearly 10 PM, I have cramps, a runny nose and I'm tired. I'll say that my smiles in my day are mixed in above.

Have a wonderful weekend!

* The biological father thing is probably hard for most to grasp. Though I disowned him at the age of 15 because he abandoned us for the greener pastures of Oregon (to get away from paying the thousands in child support that he owed, didn't notify us when he left or anything), I had a legal name change and was adopted by my stepfather, who has been more of a father figure to me that my biological father ever was. My biological father never had time for us and though he lived the next town over, he was never a see-you-on-the-weekend dad, no phone calls or anything. He saw us 4 times a year for approximately an hour each visit, once taking us to the local bar. The visitation situation was by his choice. So, though he thinks that it would be all sunshiny to "rekindle" a relationship with me, I choose to work with him in matters concerning my grandmother, but he knows that I've politely confirmed that I do not consider us family. And yes, at 15 it was a hard decision to make, but I did so with much thought and consideration. I do not regret it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In a weird place.

Everyone at work is sick. I feel a little bit of a sore throat, but think that the Oscillococcinum is kicking it. I have a touch of a runny nose, but again the homeopathic stuff seems to be dealing with it. The energy isn't what I would hope for, but we had a busy weekend and launched into the week full force.

K- brought home her school paper and one side was great, the otherside was notsomuch. She failed to color the plum purple and didn't finish the color fill-in section at the bottom of the page. It made me sad. It made me think that she is getting too busy worried about what everyone else is doing and what she might be missing. When asked about it, she said that there was snack and books and she didn't want to miss them. She is 5 and we don't want to be too hard on her, as again-- she did a great job on the one side of the paper. Her papers have consistently been great. The day previous, she missed one fill-in color spot, but that can happen.

She doesn't want to "buy" at school because of Mr. Gymsocks (I'm sure that isn't his name, but it is what she calls him and it is kind of funny) has a "loud voice and a very loud whistle." She also doesn't want to participate in gym tomorrow because of the same thing. I told her that it is okay to feel that way because some days there are things that I have to do that I don't want to. Sometimes it is tough to do at first, but you find it really wasn't that bad when you get into it or is downright fun.

She did great walking to school yesterday, but today we had her friend walking with us and she was a pistol again.

To get her up, dressed, fed and moving is sometimes a battle. It matters none how much sleep she has gotten. But then, Saturday morning she is up at the crack of 7 AM without problem so that she can "watch her kid shows."

On the bright side of behavior, she always stays "on green" and "her clip didn't get moved." Which basically means that she had great behavior. She is earning her "Kinderbucks" for good behavior and even took the sippy cup down to the office for the little boy that fell ill today that was going home.

There is an adjustment period, yes?

Her "poquito" bites aren't necessarily poquito per se, but they are markedly better. That is amazing since she itches them to bleeding.

K- had a child vomit in her classroom today. I'm just waiting to see when the "red phone" will ring. (A friend reference about the stomach flu. He said that it is like waiting on the presidential war phone, thus the reference stuck.)

I'm going to have to battle her at the doctor's office, since it is flu shot day tomorrow. Can we sing, "Oh, joy?!"

Have I mentioned that I've started the marble jar with K-? For each chore she does without complaint, trip to school she has without bad behavior, good morning of getting ready and so forth, she earns a marble for each thing. She was talking about wanting to make ice cream. I told her that she needed to earn 25 marbles to make homemade ice cream. Yesterday morning I would periodically hear "clink!" "But mommy, I put my shoes on without a fit." "But mommy, I brushed my hair without a fit!" Next she'll be plunking a marble in for each tooth she brushes!

We're coming up on the 1 year anniversary of my aunt's death. I'll do a post on her, but it has brought me to tears several times this week.

I have P*MS and it is ugly. I've eaten a full package of chocolate chip cookies.

My cousin had nasal reconstruction surgery today (she is a daughter of my aunt that I spoke of above) and confided in me about her concern of something going wrong and it maybe being the last time she would see her daughter. I brought a crockpot dinner for them and dropped it off this morning. I think that the visit is just what she needed, but I did finally have to excuse myself to go to work.

Hubs has been battling the same kind of ucky ick that I have been. When he battles, it throws his entire system off. Digestively, he is on a very delicate balance.

Though I was looking forward to the extra time on Thursday and Friday when K- is in school, but I've obligated myself to helping to make my grandmother's apartment rehab-compliant tomorrow. Hopefully that won't take long as it is a senior citizens building and I don't foresee big issues. Yesterday I received a frantic e-mail from the church secretary needing help with a funeral dinner (she is going on vacation tomorrow and is trying to cover it now), so I'm now making a crockpot of green beans and going to be at the church to serve from 10:30 AM - clean-up is over. I've been looking forward to deep cleaning the house so that I can get painting the kitchen before the cold hits.

On Labor Day, there was a post at a blog that I regularly visit asking since it was Labor Day, "How long were you in labor and what is the total sum weight of all the babies that you had?" Um, 32 hours and 14.6 oz. Yes. Not really the answer that they were looking for. What I did say that I was in and out of labor and delivery in an hour, required no removal of clothing and carried my bundle of bouncing baby girl out in the carrier with the nurse. I explained that not everyone goes through traditional childbirth, that I was an adoptive mother. It made me think of a few things, though. First, I hate to leave Bailey out. It gives an awkward pause in conversation and is like a solicitation for sympathy. It's not what I'm going for, so when people innocently ask how many children we have, I say, "One." Sometimes it is a stabby pain, though. Secondly, sometimes it just plainly makes me feel a little left out. So many assume that to be a mother means that you had to physically carry the child in your womb. I didn't. God carried her in the womb of another woman for us. For us, K-'s gestation was a faith thing. K-'s birth was completely a miracle from God. K-'s adoption was a blessing that had God's handies all over it. I just wish I didn't feel so less-than about it sometimes.

It took me two days to get a display done at work. I had a bag line called Baggallini and a bunch of Halloween merchandise that I opted to display together. Believe it or not, it actually looks really good. I have to admit something. Halloween just isn't my bag. Oh, I'm good with the pumpkin patch, the apple orchard, trick or treat and pumpkin carving, but I hate the scary, yucky, just down right frightening part of Halloween. I'm more of a happy pumpkin/celebrate harvest kind of girl. I wore my happy pumpkin shirt today to work to get into the mood. (It is just a simple black shirt with a 4" diameter jelly bead pumpkin face.) I even wore my Halloween socks. It worked. I got it done, but it was like pulling teeth. There is something to be said for fighting off a cold and battling P*MS on top of it.

So I'm in a funk. It'll go away soon.

Smiles in my day:
- K- coming home from my mother-in-law's house already bathed.
- Hubs asking his co-worker if she needed anything from the craft store. She actually sent a hete*rose*xual male into a craft store with a full list of VERY SPECIFIC items and had him so completely frightened that he needed to get everything that he stayed in the store for an hour and a half until he tackled the list. She asked for feathers of a particular fluff in specific colors. She wanted googly eyes of a certain size only. Oh heavens only knows what else she asked for. He got it all, though. That is dedication!
- It was the last day of work for the week. I worked 2 days and got one free. Not too bad!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Sidewalk Chalk Ideas

My daughter loves sidewalk chalk. One day about a month ago, she started drawing on her Step 2 wagon. You know what? It is a great chalk board. We drew some lovely pictures on the wagon and marched up and down the sidewalk with it like a float.

Don't worry. The neighbors talk. Believe me, we give them plenty to talk about. At least they know that we are out playing with our kid, right?

So sidewalk chalk. It is a no tech, cheap kids toy that is sometimes taken for granted. Drawing on the wagon? A great idea that also turns into another activity when the chalk becomes boring. Give the kids a hose and a bucket of soapy water with a rag. They'll be out for at least another hour! (The same for camp dishes, but not those in the sink at home.) Our "float." Making mooshy chalk stamp pads. Getting the hands good and chalky. Leaving our "paw prints" for the neighbors to see. Even mom. (I swear that my foot is only a 6 1/2 even though it looks much larger here.) Inspecting the work.Part 2. Washing the work.

Sidewalk chalk? Works for us! And when you soak it in water, it makes a great fizzing sound! Bonus fun!

To the man who was too busy to stop his car at the crosswalk,

Seriously. Your life can't possibly be that busy that you can't wait 1 extra minute while an old man with a stop sign in his hand stands in the middle of the street to make certain that it is safe for my daughter and me to cross. Thankfully, he hadn't given us the all clear. You rolled past, then realized your transgression and stopped about 20 feet ahead to catch a good glimpse of my dirty look, then you went on. It looked like you were busy doing something. Please, busy yourself with driving. My daughter and I could have been in the street. Thanks to Mr. Jim for keeping us safe.

Smiles in my day:
- Walking K- to school in the rain and conquering her fear that another bolt of lightning was going to strike while we were walking. (It happened on our last attempt to walk in the rain. We were fine, but even better when Daddy came and rescued us!)
- K- walked to school without complaint. Frankly, I think that she walks to school better when her friend doesn't go with us.
- Passing on some garage sale leftovers to someone in need. The rest is being picked up by Amvets.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My weekend needs a weekend.

I'm tired. Isn't that the way it always goes, though?

Friday I sat at my sister's, manned the garage sale-- again, and made the birthday gift for K- to give to her friend D- on Saturday. I ran out, got K- from school and we ran back. She ended up swimming with the kids while I hung out until 5 PM. We sold some more things, had more traffic than we had the week before when we ran an ad, but I fear that I still didn't make enough to justify the whole thing other than the stuff has left my house and will not be coming back in again.

Saturday was a cleaning festival kind of day. I was catching up on putting laundry away, doing laundry (changing sheets and so forth), and trying to liberate the house from some neglect that it suffered during the attempt at a garage sale. Hub's parents were coming over for my father-in-law's birthday and I wanted to tidy the house so it didn't look like we lived like pigs. (Not that we do, but you could eat off of my mother-in-law's floor. I wouldn't suggest you do the same with mine.) K- had a birthday party to attend at 4 PM, so we did that. She had decent behavior, a tad hyper, but decent. Unfortunately, she got nailed by mosquitoes in the mid afternoon and now has these giant red welts as a result.

The in-law's came over about 20 minutes after we arrived home, as I knew that I was cutting it short, but wouldn't let her miss the party. They came dragging in with a bag of corn that seemed perfect for our fire. I pulled some ears, got it soaking and Hubs got the fire roaring. Can I tell you that it was the best ever fire that Hubs has built? Seriously, quite a roaring (ba-dump) success! :) We had hot dogs over the fire, made s'more's for the FIL's birthday and had our roasted corn. We truly had a lovely time.

Sunday came with us hauling out at about 8:45 AM. We were making the 2 hour trip south to my parents riverfront property in Marietta. Generally, we camp a night over, but it just wasn't in the cards this year. Though I made good time (the foot is a hair heavy), it seemed as though it took a blasted forever due to the traffic on the roads, the number of police (I'm not complaining, just commenting) and folks who generally don't know how to utilize the fast lane. Within 15 minutes of arriving, my parents received an invitation to go out on the maiden leisure voyage of a sternwheeler. Now, this is actually a big deal since these things cost a blasted fortune. My dad asked if it was okay that we ride along and they said yes! All they requested was that K- bring her life jacket, as they didn't have children's sizes, but we already had that covered anyhow. We were all a little worried about K- as she was excessively a pain in the rear. In fact, I was surprised when I was correcting her crabby appleskins behavior that neither one of my parents chimed in with, "But she's only a little kid!" (They normally do.) Turns out, they were sweating out the crabbies right along with us. Turns out that K- pulled it around and did just fine. She did get a little overheated on the sternwheeler, but I ended up drizzling some water on her face, through her hair and under her arms and she cooled down.

Gwen and Tom, owners of "Gwendolyn," suffered the loss of their other sternwheeler Yo-Yo last year. They had been out, just got off and Yo-Yo burned down to the water. The base portion of the sternwheeler actually sunk. Turns out that their total loss was as a result of an electrical fire that they escaped without knowing that it was even going on. There was a fund set up and folks donated several thousand dollars to help them get another sternwheeler. Again, sternwheelers are incredibly expensive and they lucked into the one that they have now. They are rehabbing it and hopefully she will be as grand as Yo-Yo was when she took her last paddle. The ride that they took us on was to the riverfront in Marietta for the Sternwheeler Festival this coming week. It is quite an event and they are planning on participating in the boat races. They've invited my parents to come along. They've also invited us to come back and hang with them on Gwendolyn. How kind of them!

We hopped off, loaded back up in to my truck that we left behind as a transport vehicle and took their friend on back, too. We dropped him off and got set to go out on to my parents boat. They had promised to take K- swimming and wanted to take her to a nice, shallow swimming area off Buckley Island. That way, they can swim, Hubs could hop off and walk the island to fish and Mom and I can sit on the boat to consume large quantities of snack foods. Last year was Bugles. This year we brought cheese doodles (or curls depending upon where you live, I suppose) and sourdough pretzels. With every bite Mom announced that she shouldn't have the salt, but she kept shoving them in.

My dad ended up swimming with K-, as my mom said that the water was a hair chilly for her. As for me, I'm not a river or ocean swimmer. I can't see the bottom, I don't know how deep it is and I don't like things swimming with me. Y'all, they have snakes down there. I'm cool with them in a cage and all that, but not slithering over a foot. K-, on the other hand, would think it was the greatest! No thank you.

There was an interesting lot of folks at the swimming spot. Apparently, it is a children's designated swimming area, because of the shallowness, but we were less than impressed by the behavior of those visiting. Hubs called a few times. "Ame, um, I've heard the F Bomb a few times. 'You sure that you guys are staying around?" We really do not swear in our home. I was not in control of the boat. I was not in control of the people's behavior. (They were fine other than the excessive, very loud vulgar language.) When Hubs returned, he was asking about it and I told him that it got worse. I'll just say that it involved a horrible word that started with P- that I hoped that K- wouldn't ask about. [My parents called later to make sure we made it home. They had talked, said that they were mortified by the language and they will be taking no other children to that side of the island to swim again.] The kicker? They had a 6 year old out there with them as every other word that flowed freely from their lips was just awful. Argh. We returned back, had a lovely dinner on the grill and shuttled off towards home.

I admit that we slept in on Labor Day. K- came in at 8:30 AM to tell me that she would be going to watch some TV. We never sleep that late. We figured that we all needed the extra time, though. There was nothing particular on the agenda, other than the thrift store sale. We did score some lovely things, though. I was able to pick up some extra Christmas dishes for my set, which replaces the chipped bowl and gives me a few spares. Hubs found a $48.00 set of K'nex for $3.25 and I found a brand new Leap Pad board game that would have been $20.00 for $4.00. It is a grade 3-5 thing, so I'll be putting it up, but still. I picked up some turtle necks and a few belts, but in the end our total was $15.00. K- was so excited about her new building set that she wanted to go straight home. Hubs announced that I could haul off for a zipadeedodah (our code for an escape to shop by yourself) and I took him up on it. I had a gift card, free product card and a 20 % off card for Bath and Body Works. I shopped there first. I purchased two pair of their shea socks, a set of autumn votives, a cinnamon clove tart and a little sweet pea hand sanitizer. I got a Japanese Cherry Blossom bath wash for free. In the end, it only cost me $3.25 additional.

I had a couple of coupons for Joann Fabrics and had some weird notion that I could zip through, find a pattern to sew a dress when I don't know how to sew but have a friend that will help me, find fabric and do all I need to do. Yep. That didn't happen, but I did find some beads that I needed. I also got some stretch magic for the kid bracelets that I make. (They were buy two get one, which made them $1.67 each, as opposed to $2.49 each.) The sales weren't as great as I hoped. So sad.

I then hauled on over to DSW (all in the same strip, by the way) to get new tennis shoes. I had a $10.00 reward certificate and my tennis shoes are starting to fall apart. I did find a pair (we took a walk and I wore them this evening), so I was able to get my good Saucony shoes for $35.00. We're brand snobs when it comes to tennis shoes/running shoes and though they aren't the color I was hoping for (my last were silver and pink and these are navy and silver), they are as comfortable as the last ones.

I cruised down the road to Target to try to find some kicky shirts. No luck there, as everything I found kept being labeled "maternity" and since that is something I'll never need EVER, I decided that I was my cue to exit the clothing area. I did find a cute rug for in front of the kitchen sink, bit I'd love for it to go on sale. Instead, I used part of my gift card on some experimental hair products. I went with Wonder Waves from Garnier Fructis, along with some sort of frizz serum and a curl cream gel which I believe is the replacement to the soft curl cream that I currently use. For whatever it is worth, my hair is wonderfully soft. I will have to report back on the frizz factor.

That brought me back to the homefront. Hubs didn't even ask what I spent (I need to learn from him), but he did ask why I bought candles with certificate to a bath store. I told him that they smelled good and that I figured that since it was a gift certificate, why not buy something for myself that I typically wouldn't consider?

Hope all of you had a lovely weekend!

Smiles in my weekend:
- Hubs worked so hard. The shed is in place on a 5" deep level limestone pad that Hubs had to carve out and level out of our sloped backyard.
- Hubs painted the shed floor, touched up some of the white paint on the shed, touched up house paint, repainted the trim around the outside doors and painted the vine arbor. Have I ever mentioned that Hubs hates painting?
- Sleeping in.
- Sale shopping with little investment of money.
- Helping neighbors.
- Having other neighbors love on our kid and run around their front yard with her.
- Being thankful that on this Labor Day, Hubs and I both have jobs.
- Winning tickets to the opening day of the local university football stadium. I'll be going with my friend Kim, who is one of the professors. (Hubs has to work.) Thanks to my bosses for sharing their three pairs of tickets with us. (They did a basket of names of those interested. They pulled names on Friday.) Apparently, our tickets are pretty good. Nearly center and row 15. Not too far up. Not too far out. Whew-whoo!