A Day in the Life of Mel

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A Day in the Life of Mel

Don't mind me. This is going to be my forum for whining!

I am dead dog tired. Bone tired. Hair falling out tired. (Yes, my hair IS actually falling out)

Today I got up
Started load of laundry
Made kids breakfast
Cleaned up breakfast
Helped dh get up
Dressed & cleaned up kids
Made dh breakfast & brought to him
Cleaned up again
More laundry
Made dd unload her sheets and make bed
Prodded children till they finally picked up bedrooms
Swept floor
Mopped jelly off floor
Out of milk...ran to store
Made kids lunch, made dh lunch
Cleaned up lunch mess
Wolfed a quick sandwich
Drained giant blow up pool
Cleaned up yard toys with help of kids (sort of)
Mowed entire lawn
Showered off lawn grass and dust
Ran to store to get lemonade stand supplies
Shopped for the end of Carson's b/d presents
Came home and baked cookies and simultaneously cooked dinner
Helped set up stand
Fed kids dinner
Fed dh dinner
More laundry
Mess is STILL in the kitchen. GRRR.
Dh is napping.
Catching some internet time.

I do not know how long I can keep this up. Today was probably less work than some of the previous days. In addition to my list I have spent the day fetching and picking up things for dh that he can not reach, and listening to him bark orders at the kids from the reclining chair. I just want to yell SHUT UP at him, he can't make them behave from the chair, and I don't want to listen to him too!

I feel really petty and disgusted at myself for being resentful of him, but I am NOT cut out for being a nurse, I can tell you that.

I am so tired I cannot sleep at night. I am also having to sleep in Carson's room so dh can rest without the bed moving and Carson is keeping me awake half the night with his tossing around. THEN the cat wakes me up at five AM.

*********

Neighbor just knocks on the door and wants me to watch her dd who has been hanging around outside for HOURS. Why can't I just say no?

Off to do some more chores!

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Well, the grandmother of the child I was babysitting showed up 40 minutes LATE! I knew this would happen. I really wanted to get a run in before dark, but she was here by 9:10 and it was already dark! The little girl's mom is a single mom, and she lives with HER mom, mother is gone all the time (college student) and grandmother does most of the watching. Or, NOT watching, I suppose I should say. The little girl has been over here EVERY day since summer has started, except when they were on vacation. It gets a little annoying...even my dd's sometimes want me to make excuses. Sometimes I have to flat out tell her to go home! Nobody checks on her for hours. I feel kind of sorry for her because nobody takes her for walks, bike rides, swimming...she's just alone a lot. I think it will be very lonely for her after we move....A is the only one close to her age in the neighborhood, and our buyer is a single male.

Oh well, in general they are good neighbors, I just felt a bit taken advantage of! The mom said she would watch our 3 when we are ready to pack, but actually with dh out of commission we may be hiring packers to do the work.

I got Carson the neatest thing today with the end of his birthday money. PLAN system roadway, it integrates with his Brio rails. I got a couple of semi trucks and it came with a few little wooden volkswagen bugs, ROFL. I may add to it and get him the garage, firehouse, etc. If I do I think I will sell the Little Tikes stuff, as it would sort of be a repeat of all that...he is much more interested in the wooden sets. New toys are so much fun! I can't wait till we move, he can really spread out his things in the basement, and we can leave them set up so they can play any time and not worry about having to re-do the tracks each time.

I'm a little worried about getting everything done in order to go on our vacation. Hope dh will be able to take care of himself. The doc said he thought he'd be able to drive in 2 weeks after the surgery, and it will be 2 1/2 weeks post by the time we leave. The other scary thing is the house inspection. What if there are some repairs that need to be done that dh cannot do? I won't be here to do them, and I won't be returning till right before closing. AARGH. I can't see anything that needs to be done, except possibly having a new storm made for one window...we'd have that done anyway. The fridge needs a new seal and we ordered that today.

Couple little things don't work great...like the stopper in the tub...it has never worked, we just use a rubber plug! Also the floor is a little spongy around the tub...I'm sure that will come out on the list. That's not something we can replace, we already did the toilet & sink and there simply wasn't enough time for the shower! Dh's back got too bad. If I were the new owner I would completely replace the tub/shower anyway, and the flooring & floor could be replaced then. It is a 100 year old house, and he looked at it three times, so I am sure he saw things that will need a little TLC.

I gotta say though it was a good investment. We were leery of buying a place that had been a rental for so long, but it turned out to be quite sound...and increased in value $40,000 in 4 years! Nice amount for a house like ours...it just needed some TLC. If we didn't have kids, I really would consider another fixer-upper. In fact we *almost* put an offer on a giant of a home. It also was about 100 years old, HUGE double lot, needed paint, partly restored. It was the old parsonage for the church at the end of the block, six bedrooms, pocket doors.....OOOOH it could have been a great home! The problem was all the work it needed to make it what we wanted. Dh wanted a garage with electricity...didn't have power out there. Only 1 1/2 baths. The immediate neighborhood was not nice...all rentals. There were a lot of great old homes being restored, but nothing closeby that looked like it was even restorable, lol. I finally told dh that if we had to DRIVE that distance to the house, I had to come home to something that I really loved right away. If it were close by to work and school and the kids didn't have to change, then I'd be willing to fix up, kwim? A 15/20 minute drive everyday to come home to a house that needed lots of work just didn't appeal.

Oh well, we got the best of both with the new place...only a 10 minute drive, nice community, and everything we wanted in our house! I am still nervous something will spoil it at this point. NO, I can't think that way....our buyer has 30% cash to put down so his finances must be OK...and I don't know how our own deal could fall through. MUST THINK POSITIVELY! LOL.

Worried about how the kids will handle the school change. I don't think it really has sunk in yet. I am worried most about Allison. She had such a hard time making friends. I am going to have to make a real effort to let her invite a buddy over each week. That's hard for me, too, though...I am still a shy person at heart.

Next year's work is STILL up in the air for me. They know I am available...haven't heard much yet. I am not going begging for classes...so if they want me, fine, if not....fine. I am going to be SOOO busy driving the girls to their rehearsals this fall, sometimes we have to be at the studio 4x a week. I'm still not sure how I'm going to work this out. The little girl's grandmother was in the faculty meeting tonight, where they were deciding to try what to do to fill these positions temporarily. They are in a real hurt, I am sure. I know she probably will advocate for me, she's the one who asked me to apply originally. I kind of did it as a favor...and it really isn't even in my area of study! I wouldn't mind a class or two to teach.

I guess what I am most worried about is not that I will get no teaching at all, BUT that they might ask me to teach full time as a 1 year temp position. That's one rumor right now. What will I do then? I really have enjoyed being a SAHM with Carson. I don't know about child care on such short notice, but I definitely would not take "anything". Campus daycare or maybe the Montessori daycare near our new place. Plus if it did happen I'd want the option to be working at home when I want. UGH so much to consider, and I shouldn't even be worrying about it...I don't have the slightest idea what will happen. Usually the way it happens though is you will find out *last minute* and you'll have all new preps and very little time to prepare. Like last year! Well...I know I did a good job. I had students asking me if I was teaching the nutrition course again b/c they had friends who wanted to take it from "someone who knew her stuff" LOL. That made me feel good. Plus in my other class I got a ton of nice comments by email when they turned in their finals. Of course the people who will ask me to teach don't know any of this, cause as an ad hoc professor I didn't get evaluated formally by the students. Likely they would only hear negative feedback, if I had a disgruntled student or something! Frustrating.

Oh yes, I did get my run tonight. My own health and fitness and peace of mind has really taken a back seat with everything going on. I hate that I miss out doing the one thing I know is good for me. I ran about 3/4 mile last night and a mile tonight, then about 20 minutes fast walk afterwards. Having frustration right now with my weight; I don't know what is going on. I'd lost a few lbs and then they bounce right back on...like within 2 days. I seem stuck at a weight I've never been at for an extended time before, even when I seriously cut calories. I am wondering if I might have a thyroid problem, since virtually all the women in my family do. Maybe I can schedule bloodwork when I get home from vacation...my hair is also falling out! I hate that it is so thin, I have always had nice THICK hair. If anything else about it wasn't great, at least I had a lot. Not anymore. If this is not a thyroid issue, then ROGAINE, here I come. LOL.

Gosh it's a pity I type so fast...this must be a giant post. Well, till tomorrow.

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Today started off JUST great. I'm getting the kids up and dressed, laundry started, breakfast, house picked up so that I can take off and grocery shop. Wednesdays is the day I make a menu and do the major shop for the week. Allison got up on the wrong side of the bed. When this child is having a bad day...LOOK OUT. Anyway I didn't want to take any children at all but dh whined so I said I'd take A to cut down on the kids' fighting while I was gone. Like I don't have to listen to it every freakin' day of the year while dh is at work or on road trips.

So we are getting ready when I hear dh going off at Cait upstairs because the closet doors are off the track again. HELLO...they are cheap doors and dh installed them himself. Please. I had the same damn sliding doors as a kid and they were off the tracks constantly. They come off the tracks when I try to open them.

Cait came downstairs upset because he was just laying into her and following her around and she didn't even do it. Carson most likely did it, he gets into their closets and plays. I told him to knock it off, they were crappy doors anyway and it was no big deal. Of course he went into a total tirade and started yelling and said why don't you take ALL the kids. So I grabbed them all and we left.

Did the grocery shopping which was a total PITA. Made the kids carry in groceries...I spent all that time putting away when dh is perfectly capable of moving things from the counter to the cupboards. That really pissed me off too. So I left a note saying we'd be back at dark. GRRRR.

We took off and went to Whitewater State Park for the day. They have a great sand beach on the WW river, no bugs Smile and swimming. Spent about 3 hours there just playing in the sand and wading. Who did we run into but our old next-door neighbors, Maggie & Siobhan?? LOL. Siobhan was born about 8 mos before Allison, the girls grew up together. Great news...THEY are now moving and Allison and Siobhan may be in the same class! Oh, I was so excited, this would be GREAT for her to know someone right away. Great for both of them actually. We didn't get to chat long as they were just heading home from a 3 day camping trip but we are getting together later this week.

Around 5 we drove into St. Charles for pizza. Allison was acting up again. That child REALLY knows how to push my buttons. She is SO cute and that is what she wants to be, the cute, coddled little baby. The real Allison disappeared when Carson was born and we are still waiting for her to come back. We get little glimpses now and then, but not often.

After pizza, back to WW State Park again for some hiking. It is a great State Park, not a lot know about it. You come right down off rolling farmland into a steep canyon-like area that was missed by glaciation during the last ice age...there are some rare tree groves to the area that are holdover groves from before the last ice age. Anyway it is just beautiful. We chose the Coyote Point Trail, which is straight UP. Marked difficult and very rocky with rocks & roots...slow climb. After about a mile it levels out on top and there is a large meadow covered in prairie flowers. We took our time on top and everything was in bloom...butterflies everywhere. It would have been fun to wait till dusk but I didn't want to risk it with little kids. They all had jackets too and I did not! Most of the climb up was great, the way down stunk because the kids got wild and started goofing off...Carson fell twice on rocks b/c he would not hold my hand AND got stung by nettles. I ended up yelling.

Anyway I had to have SILENCE for the drive home, and they actually were pretty good. Felt bad, Allison said that I didn't like them. I tried to explain my frustration when I asked them to calm down and they do not. Someone gets hurt. Things went better after that.

Got home and dh was apologetic, somewhat. I really haven't felt much like talking. Just tired of it all.

Neighborhood kids were waiting for us wondering why the lemonade stand was not back up...rofl. The kids took out fudgesicles for everyone and played till dark (just about 15 min) and then everyone is into bath and bed. UGH I have sand everywhere! Still need to clean out the car but that will have to wait till tomorrow.

All in all it was a good day except for dh's attitude. Wish the kids didn't get so wild and I didn't lose it and yell. They just get so out of control with the hyperness sometimes. When Allison is so tired she starts this giggling thing, and Cait, who is *usually* the instigator, but was not this time, just lets herself get sucked in. Carson, well, he's three, of course he takes cues from them. UG. How can I change what I am doing to get them to be more calm? Maybe I am expecting too much.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot...another 3 year old decked Carson at the beach! He did deserve it. She was trying to come out of the water and get to her parents and he stepped in front of her blocking her way. She moved to the right, so did he. She moved to the left, so did he. It was intimidating/bullying-like and surprised me so much I didn't make a move right away. I started to yell out to him and the little girl PUNCHED him right in the nose! The girl's mother was mortified and so was I. She made the girl apologize (the little girl was almost 4) and Carson was crying and could not say anything but I apologized for him, and told the mom I thought he probably deserved the decking! Wow, what a shot. I don't know what he was thinking, but it looked like some of the games he plays with his older sisters. Really he needs more contact with kids his own age. I told the mother he had just turned 3 and she thought he was 4/5 so she understood more about the age thing after that as she also has a 3yo, lol. We agreed it should be the terrible THREES and not twos. Maybe I need to get Carson into a playgroup or preschool after all to have interaction with some younger kids. Sigh.

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Tell me why I *ever* quit exercising? It is such a good stress reliever. Tonight I didn't get out till late, dh was sleeping AGAIN. Well I think he was sleeping but when I carried laundry upstairs after 2 1/2 hours he was watching TV. He is having a hard time bouncing back from surgery OR is sandbagging, not sure which. Anyway I couldn't go until he got up. It was dark but at least I got out and got in about a mile and a half. When I came in dh was already upstairs putting Carson to bed (translation: laying down with him) So the girls are up and I don't know whether to send them up or not. Crap, 10:15 and I have to get them up early tomorrow; should be a fun day.

Well tomorrow a.m. is the big house inspection. I am nervous, don't know if I'm gonna be able to sleep tonight or not. This is the last big hurdle, and at this point with dh out of commission we really are not going to be able to do any repairs or whatever might be needed, and I am going to be GONE. I sure hope there isn't much. I spent today caulking and replacing a refrigerator seal (fun, fun) and trying to water our very very dry lawn to keep it from going brown.

Ah, that reminds me, I need to go move the sprinkler.

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Ah, what a day. House inspectors came at 8:10...not supposed to be here till 8:30. We weren't ready anyway b/c my alarm did not go off! Had to wake 3 cranky children and prod them to make their beds and eat. Not a happy morning!

To top it off I was trying to clean up in the kitchen when the buyers showed up! I wish they'd have told us the buyers were coming. GRR, so we had 3 people traipsing around the house for FOUR HOURS. Pretty much shot the morning. I wanted to finally go do some shopping or catch a few minutes alone doing nothing important, but of course by the time everyone left dh was so tired he went upstairs and napped for three hours. THEN it was time to fix dinner. The whole day was gone! Seems like summer is just slipping through my fingers.

After dinner I told dh I HAD to get out for a while. He said sure, you can go anytime. Um, yes, but I have to work it around his naps...not easy, rofl!

Went out and shopped for a portable dvd for the plane trip. I found a little one on sale for $199 but it is only a 5" screen and I think it will just be too small. I'm gonna see if any of the 7" screens come on sale this weekend and snatch one up if it does! Anything to keep these kids occupied during our 12+ hours of travel, lol. The Best Buy guy pointed out to me that I could just buy a screen for our PS2 and take the PS2 along and then the kids could play games. HMMM, it is pretty bulky and they really don't play games on it yet anyhoo. I could also take the laptop to play DVD's, but same issue there...it's too bulky if I'm trying to move thru the airports alone with 3 kids!

Speaking of travel, I'm getting a little nervous about the flights. Three connections is unusual for us, and we have to leave VERY early in the morning. Hope Carson doesn't have a meltdown! I'm also debating the whole stroller thing....last time it was somewhat of a pain, but then again if he is really really tired, I might need it. SIGH.

Got a nice run in tonight. I was feeling kinda good, kept wanting to stride out, but the ol' heart/lungs said SLOW DOWN, you aren't in shape yet. Sad I've been doing so well, I have GOT to keep this up. I MUST run every night when I'm back in Oregon somehow. I wish the kids had bikes so they could pedal along with me. It's going to be hard to coordinate my run with a shower and getting all 3 of them to bed. I've just got to be determined though!

Maggie called today and is picking up the girls for swimming tomorrow. Whew, a break! I feel like I've been in charge here for so long alone...weird when dh has been here, but he's been sleeping so much or just plain out of it that it's more like being a single parent to three kids PLUS an invalid. It is so much more work than when I am here alone with the kids, I can't believe it! All the extra laundry, dishes, cooking....I am actually looking forward to travelling alone with the kids, usually I dread it because it is a lot of work.

Got an email from my sis. My niece Shayla has set her wedding date. I can't believe she has a daughter that is getting married! I am going to try to make it out to the wedding somehow, it is in April. OOOOH I hope I can make it!

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Totally missed my entry yesterday! Went for a little run and then logged into chat...and stayed up WAAAY too late. It was fun though. After chat I was wide awake...just pondering some of the more serious topics we all talked about. Feeling a little sad about that.

Dh is starting to look a little better today THANK GOODNESS as he is gonna have to fend for himself pretty soon here. This morning he had a lot of pain down his leg that he was worried about, but it has eased up tonight. I think there is probably just swelling left over from surgery, pressing on those nerves. At least I hope. It would be awful to go through surgery like that and not get relief.

Didn't accomplish a whole lot today. Realized the car tags are both expiring at the end of the month and I'm gonna be gone. PLUS why would I want to pay this state's tags when we will only live here 18 days? Soooo....we called the other state DMV and they require the title to both vehicles, but we can register early, she said just to provide the new address and not really say anything. That will help us avoid paying twice. BUT. We cannot find the title to the van! WTH could it be?? GRRR. So I guess if we don't find it quickly we will be getting a replacement one. What else can go wrong?

I keep laying in bed at night thinking of all the things I need to do. Dh wonders what to do about the bills. I said I'd pay em before I leave....he wonders if they'll all be here. HELLO...just pay them as they come in, you will be picking up the mail! WTH? Weird. I am also gonna have to stock him up on frozen dinners I guess, and mow the lawn UGH one more time. Get all 4 of us packed up. Haven't even got the kid's school records transferred...but I'm pretty sure nobody is around at the schools right now anyway.

Dh was talking about needing to buy boxes. Another weird statement. I said I am quite sure we can FIND boxes at the store. He is insistent we cannot! Well, I came home with an entire van full of boxes tonight...and they have them at our grocery store every other evening and are QUITE happy to be relieved of them. LOL.

When I get home from vacation it is going to be quite insane. 4 days to pack. Going to 2 house closings. Cleaning this house. Oooh I am not really looking forward to this part. Hope it all goes smoothly.

What else? I intended to run tonight. Haven't missed a night since I started back up. I think I am going to pass though, it is still 90 degrees at 10pm and SO humid. It makes me feel like I can't even get a breath, or that I am breathing underwater. I really really hate that kind of weather. I blew it, should've gone for a bike ride earlier!

Now Oregonians will have a hot day in the summer...even in the 100's and complain about how terribly humid it is. LOL! They have no idea! It is SOO comfortable there at 105 compared to 90 here! I suppose in Louisiana they would laugh at us up here in the upper midwest when we complain about the wet. Oh well, it's all what you're used to, but I gotta say I have never been a fan of humidity. Plus, it wreaks havoc with your hairdo. I look like some sort of escaped mental patient tonight.

Just had to take a peek at Kelli's journal tonight! Looks like things might be happening for her. Good labor vibes, Kel!

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It has been weeks since I have written! Went on vacation out to Oregon, and could not sign in on my brother's computer. I think some of the special software he has messes up some of the settings.

Anyway, here I am, home again! I have spent the last 4 days unpacking everything from our trip, and packing, packing, packing, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, packing....WHEW. Dh still isn't able to help much, so that part sucks. He is doing much better though...but still cannot bend or lift more than 10 lbs. SO, the brunt of the work is falling to me, as will all the cleanup.

When I got home from vacation, he had bought flowers, and cake and icecream for the kids, and there was a card with a hotel confirmation # and cash for dinner! LOL. I am spending a night alone in a jacuzzi king suite. I'd much rather spend it with dh...but I REALLY need to sleep. I am kind of looking forward to it! I might schedule a manicure or something like that, do a little bookstore browsing, and then head to the hotel as soon as I can check in with a new book or maybe videos, and just enjoy the SILENCE. It has been months since I have felt like I could really unwind. Summer is usually the time I can count on dh to give ME some much needed time, or for a family vacation, but with the whole house readying, house selling, house buying, surgery...well it hasn't been much of a summer!

I did get some very good coupons from NW in the mail the other day. I can fly out west for $248. Haven't told dh yet, but I would like to figure out a way to visit my sis.

Cait has spent the last 2 days with the little girl of the people whose house we are purchasing (does that make sense?) She spent the night there and slept in her room-to-be. She makes friends so easily, and here she already has a friend in her grade before school starts! Yesterday they went to the fair together (the girl does 4H and had a rabbit project). We got this excited phone call about the mini-lop bunnies that were for sale for $10 this morning. Of course we ended up letting her get one. I am TOO much of a softie...letting her get a new pet this close to moving! Well, they already had it litter-trained to a teeny pan of litter in it's cage. LOL. I guess it will be easier to clean the cage that way. We put a lock on it so Carson cannot get the rabbit out. She named it Marshmallow, and it is quite cute, I have to admit, and won't get much bigger. At least maybe this will take some of the pressure of the poor kitten.

I am bummed out that we may be a week without internet service. We are switching to cable modem, and I won't be able to hook up my puter to the phone lines b/c we aren't going to turn the phones on...going wireless. I suppose I can sneak down to dh's work to read the boards and check my own email. UGH, I wish we could have just switched the name and kept the same service, but oh well...I will be busy unpacking and getting the kids settled in the new school and all that, anyway. Sad The thing is, the J2K's are my therapy, and I might really NEED it next week.

I should get to packing. I am so stinking TIRED and tired of packing, too. Can't wait till this move is all over and we are settled in!

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Ah, my journal. A nice place to retreat to when I am feeling overwhelmed.

Basically, it's been a rotten week. These issues with Allison are killing me. Tuesday was the big blow up, and things really aren't back to normal yet...the child is 7 and can hold a grudge, I guess. What is wrong here? How did she go from being so sweet to really seeming like she is unhappy a lot of the time?

Last night was OK. I thought today after school would be fine. The girls ran up to the van smiling...a good sign. Alli opened the door and said, "Stupid Carson. I hate you."

Why would she say such a thing, and what is the motivation behind it? I truly don't understand, though I know she has always had trouble accepting she is no longer the baby. I've passed it off as growing pains, etc. But to say something so venomous? WHere is this coming from? I asked her why she'd say such a thing. She says because he is mean. Not true!

Anyway I informed her until he had an apology she was not leaving the van, and if she didn't feel she could make a sincere apology then she was going to spend time alone. She did apologize, and ended up kissing him on the forehead. Tried to have a talk in the van but I'm not sure how well I got my point across. I told her if this behavior doesn't stop soon I am calling a meeting with her teacher, the principal and the school psychologist! I think she did take that seriously.

Well, we will see what tomorrow brings. Tonight are dance lessons, and she really needs a good night of sleep. I think she also has been sick and now *I* have it as well. I guess she hasn't been feeling great because whatever this is..it is nasty. I feel like I have swelling and pain way down in my larynx (not so much my throat) and I feel a little feverish and headachey. Having several cups of hot tea which has helped a little.

Back on my diet. I have lost 7 lbs, which I feel good about. I am hoping to finally push below that point I've been stuck at. My body fat measurement did drop 2%, so there is progress there too...that can only help!

Well, Alli wants me to read a book, so it's a break for now. Smile

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Whew. What an evening. Well, I started dinner early for the kids, since I have to take Alli to dance class at 5:30. At 4:30 I go to call them in to get changed and then cleaned up for dinner when I hear screeching. They have taken the freakin' cat outside AGAIN and over to the neighbor's yard behind our home. She has this ENORMOUS tree in her backyard and our kitten is at the top. The girls have the ladder out which does not even reach to the first branch. So I spend maybe 10 minutes calling the cat and trying to coax her out. Finally Alli hits on the idea of tuna fish. I have to admit, a good idea...it worked.

Now I am really running late. Send the girls upstairs to get Alli's dance stuff on. They all come downstairs with about 5 min to eat...Carson is undressed from the waist down...no idea why, other than every time he uses the bathroom he thinks he must take everything off. Alli has her tights on OUTSIDE her leotard. OMG. And, she can't find her ballet slippers. Did I tell her to put the slippers in the top drawer with her dance gear last time? Yes I did! But, amazingly, they are gone. Everyone eats. Alli spills honey bbq sauce on her tights and leotard..no time to change. She won't wear her skirt over the leotard because she wants the "new" skirt. Obviously the skirt has run off with the slippers!

Walking by the computer to look for the slippers I see my IM flashing. Dh. I tell him what is going on, he goes out to look in the car, and the slippers and skirt are with him! He agrees to meet us in 15 at the dance studio.

Get Carson dressed and we are off....ALMOST. Cait comes running in crying, Allison knocked her off the table on the patio. Why the hell is she ON the table? Don't know. No time to think about it!

Talk to dh as we are driving. Could we switch cars and he take Carson home, and I take Cait to the store during Alli's dance to get some jeans? Her only pair that currently fit just got a hole in the knee. OK..he agrees.

We made it to the dance studio by 5:30...dh nowhere in sight and we only have 1 hour to shop! He calls...stuck in traffic. We agree to meet at the dept. store instead and do the old car-switcheroo.

The closest spot is Target, so we RAN thru the girls dept looking for jeans. Every pair she liked came in a size 12 or 16...why are there no 14's? Finally we found a pair of jeans plus a pair of cords and khakis. I am going to kick myself for buying at Target, I have TERRIBLE luck with their children's clothing. Oh well, I am saving my receipt and if these clothes come apart after the 2nd washing they are going right back! RAN to the car and got back to pick up Alli right on time.

By this time I am starving. I'm hoping dh was kind enough to fix dinner for the 2 of us as the kids have already eaten. But did he? NO. He was waiting for me to get home to cook for HIM. That really burned my butt. He went to Home Depot instead with Carson! Oh well, SNAFU as usual. So, I had to fix dinner as he's quizzing Alli on spelling and making sure she does her homework. Then the girls wanted to play Operation, so I told them if they took a quick shower they could. I ended up playing a couple games...that is really mind numbing. Can't wait till they can play something better like Scrabble. The only problem there though is everyone refuses to play me, except my mom and brother and grandmother...dh says I make him feel too stupid. LOL. I guess I need a computer scrabble game. Cait can play Yahtzee so maybe I will get her that for Christmas!

Anyway, that was my night. One night in a long long string of hectic nights. Carson started running from me at pajama time, which really ticked me off, because he can go for a LONG ways in this house. It really feels undignified to have to sprint through your own home after a 3 year old. He did stop at the basement stairs tonight when I told him the consequence was no story!

Dh just went for a walk to bring home some NyQuil for me. That stuff is nasty but I really need some SLEEP. Last night was pretty miserable. He says he is sick, too, with a stuffy nose, etc. I thought maybe so because he was snoring for the first time in a long while. Oh well, hopefully tomorrow we will all be feeling better. I drank a lot of hot tea...and coincidentally I read today that tea boosts your immune system. I knew there was a reason for drinking tea when sick! LOL. Wish I had a nice cup of chamomile right now...I think I do have peppermint though...OK, off for some tea!

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My cold is much improved today! I'm happy about this, I thought for sure it would move up to my nose and head. I guess I shouldn't tempt fate by writing about it so soon, LOL. I think I will wait one more day till I am feeling 100% before I hit the pavement for another run. Last thing I need is pneumonia.

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I DID TEMPT FATE! I've got a head cold! Doesn't it figure. I just sneezed about 15 times in a row...I am a serial sneezer! Also 2 chancre sores...haven't had one of those in a looong time. I'm thinking I need a trip to the store to buy some OJ. Sad

Today was actually a pretty good day. Alli got up early and got her own cereal, came in and woke Carson and they played for a while. Cait is getting more and more like an almost-teen all the time...she likes to sleep late. Best thing of all...they let me sleep in! Well...they were kinda noisy so I was dozing between the noise and the cartoons, but still, I didn't have to get up! Hehe.

I swear though these children are bottomless pits. They made their own breakfasts (cereal & milk, granola bars....how happy am I that they can do this?? Very.) Around noon they are STARVING and asked for hashbrowns, eggs and pancakes, so I figured, hey, what the heck? I had some pancake mix that made a huge amount of pancakes, and mixed it up thinking there is no way they can eat this. I only had ONE, they ate all the rest! They also finished off a big bag of hashbrowns and had eggs too. Not two hours later they are asking to eat again! They all had icecream cones...and then they are asking for dinner!!

We had these fake turkey-meat bbq riblets...never tried them but they were pretty good really. Made mashed potato and gravy for a special treat for Alli. Being the near vegetarian she is, she would not touch the meat, but at least she did eat the mashed potatoes. Carson insisted he liked the Massed Tatato's but didn't like the mustard on them. ????? Can you tell we don't eat gravy often?? LOL. Cait polished off 2 servings of meat and ate off the other kids' plates. She says she thinks she's growing. NO KIDDING. LOL.

We had a 30 minute cleanup where everyone pitched in. Correction....Carson did not help. I'm hoping he gets the idea soon, though. We got both the girls bedrooms vaccummed, the basement steps, the upstairs steps and hallway, the master bed, the living room, swept the rest of the house, mopped the floors, picked up all the toys, put away all the laundry, cleaned Cait's closet...unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen...wow, if I could just convince them to help like this 15 or 20 minutes each day and REALLY help, I'd have it made. Guess I just need to keep working on it.

The other thing we accomplished is switching the winter clothes with the summer things. Wow, what a big job. I've been dreading and putting it off for a while. (I did Carson's closets the other day so I am just doing the girls' stuff). I thought for sure Alli would be graduating to a size 7...nope. Is this child ever going to grow? Good thing...she has enough size 6x for 3 children. Poor Cait..I am going to have to take her shopping again. I suppose she could actually raid my closet now for some of my smaller shirts....

All in all it was a pretty good day. Allison didn't have any big freakouts, just a few minor things. Nobody else had any blowouts. I made them a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies and they only saved one for me. Sad

Dh is back and tomorrow our goal is to move a huge shelving unit in the basement and unbox and reorganize all the toys, so the kids know where things go. Not looking forward to it, but I'll be glad when it's done! I would like to set up their play area with a nice area rug and some comfy chairs for watching TV...maybe some chairs adults could use too. Should be plenty of room for all the toy/play area plus TV area as well.

Talked to my mom tonight and ended up being depressed. Seems like I have to be the sounding board about complaints about her sister. Grandma's 90th is tomorrow...apparently my aunt said she's going to let everyone ask a question...and she is going to ask who the favorite child is. It's an ongoing jealousy thing between 60 and 50 year old women! Unbelievable. She had her pain clinic appointment and the doctor wants her to do a 12 week program where she sees a psychiatrist, an occupational therapist, and the pain doctor. 9 hours a week. Well, she was upset b/c either she really doesn't want to do it or doesn't know HOW she can do it. I say if she really wants to do it they ought to find a way to get to the appointments. Of course psychological trauma can cause physical pain. I SOOO wish she would talk to a therapist or psychiatrist about all these issues. I mean it is clear as day to me that 100% of my mom's health issues began when my sister first contacted her. I mean it happened within days, and since the initial gallbladder surgery it's been the heart attack and broken bones...I KNOW it is related...WHY can't anyone else see it? She won't even talk about my sister for more than a few minutes. She'll bring her up and then rapidly change the subject. Obviously this is a major issue. *I* don't really have anyone to share the joy with of having a sister because my mom can't even accept it. My poor sister...I KNOW she wants to meet my mom. Mom is not ready. Somedays I fear she won't live to meet her unless she can get all these health issues and emotional trauma sorted out. But, like I tell dh, I can't be the therapist. It's hurtful to have to listen to all the old stuff dredged up. I will never do this to my kids! Their grandparents can remain heroes, forever and always in their eyes. Grandparents should be perfect to their grandchildren.

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Today was a quiet day. The weather has really turned and it's quite cool! I have to say I'm pretty happy so far with the energy efficiency in our new place...in the past day I have turned on the furnace only once for about 15 minutes each day to take off the chill, and it is holding the heat all day! No drafts like our 100 year old home with original windows and stone foundation, lol. I'm hoping this means our energy bills can be reduced, since it seems our car insurance has increased by 50% and we may have to pay health insurance. AARGH. I'm a little nervous...what if something happens and we can't make the bills? I am only teaching one class this semester as opposed to 5 credits last semester...and now these added expenses. What a headache. Well, I am thankful for dh's job...times are tough. My girlfriends dh just lost his job of many years, and they have 3 kids, no idea what they are going to do. She cannot work (hasn't worked for years) because of a bad injury she suffered in a car accident.

Oh well...I guess we'll make it somehow even if I have to moonlight.

My cold is worse. Used up my last peppermint tea and couldn't convince dh to go to the store. Smile I am now drinking spiced apple cider. I'm going to try to make it an early night.

Gosh, we got about 7 boxes emptied out today..that felt great. Moved a bookcase to Carson's room with his very own books...he felt important! We need to get shelves up in his room. We moved a giant shelf/cubby to the basement room that is the kids TV/Music/Video/Play space. I had 2 extra huge clear bins for stuffed animals that I'd emptied those winter clothes out of. They fit perfectly in the cubby spaces. If I can just get the appropriate toys to the appropriate rooms and throw away some junk, we will be set! It's so much easier for the kids to put away stuff...and relatively fast with the bin system. I mark each spot on the shelf with corresponding bin, and they can carry the bin around on the floor and put in all the TRAINS/CARS/ANIMALS/DOLLS or whatever goes in that particular bin, and then find the "home". I may in fact be able to get rid of the toybox, which ends up being a catch-all and junk collector. Smile

Unfortunately there are about 30 boxes still unpacked. Sad I wish I'd been able to get rid of some of these things before the move. All Carson's crib bedding, Cait's old toddler bed which we only used for her, TWO crib mattresses...the list goes on. Maybe a huge garage sale next year? I hate to hang on to this stuff that long. Oh well, I'm going to try to chip away at it all this week.

If only I could get dh to get rid of his CRAP. I think 80% is his CRAP that he won't even unbox. One is marked "army clothes". For pity's sake, he was in the army in 1969! That means the stuff in the box is 33 years old! It stinks like mildew and I wish it didn't exist. Could he at least take it out and have it dry cleaned if he really wants to save it? I am not a "keeper" and I don't get too sentimental about things. I say if you don't look at it for 33 years, get rid of it!

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Oh yeah...one more mini vent about dh's stuff in the basement. He actually has a box of CHANGE packed up. Hello, could he not turn this in at the bank BEFORE the move? It will be there for years unless I cash it in. Hmm, maybe I WILL cash it in and buy something for the house. He will never do it.

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I HATE MONDAYS. OK I just had to get that out. I teach lab on Mondays, not a big deal, but I really feel rough today. It was an easy one, the students did a hand-grip test, figured out 50% of their maximum, and then tried to see how many reps they could do. Then they repeated the exercise with a blood pressure cuff on, limiting blood flow to the muscle. We got through it very quick, but it isn't that pleasant to have to wear a bp cuff while trying to squeeze out a bunch of repetitions, LOL. Next week we split the group and do VO2max tests on the cycle ergometers. I am SO not ready for that one, I am going to have to go observe another instructor who has been through it. Tons of equipment to set up and readings to take...UGH.

Anyway, after lab I fly home to help the girls with their new paper route. The first week was really frustrating...out of 102 houses, we could not find 20! It seemed like the addresses did not exist. I looked them up today...about 15 REALLY do not exist. LOL. So next week I will simply scratch those off. The streets are all crazy...some places the addresses go up one side and back down the other rather than odd/even on opposite sides, getting higher or lower. Then some addresses have a particular street in the name but are actually on a completely different street. WEIRD. Thank goodness for internet mapping. I think the town is just growing so quickly, there is just no rhyme or reason for addressing...many of the post boxes and houses have no numbers! Anyhoo. Next week will be faster.

I was reading one of the book threads on the J2K board and picked up a few of the recommended readings. Nanny Diaries...had never read that one, I read it all in one sitting last night! LOL. Tonight I am on Patricia Cornwell's "Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed" It is actually quite good, I am 3/4 of the way done! Then I had read Girl with a Pearl Earring and enjoyed, so I picked up the other Tracy Chevalier novel, "Fallen Angels" and then one more, "The Blue Bear" a true survival story in the Alaskan wilderness. That one looks good...but at this rate I'll be back to the library by Thursday! Oh well. Cooler weather is here so it is definitely time to catch up on the reading.

Tomorrow should be a bit more laid back. Today I've been running around here trying to catch up on laundry and general pick-up. How is it that we cleaned Saturday and the place is trashed already? GRR. I've also come to the sad realization that laundry is harder here, as we have 2 first floor bedrooms and 2 second floor bedrooms, and laundry room in the basement! GRR. I really need a laundry chute and dumbwaiter. Lazy I guess.

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What a day. I'm glad Tuesdays are pretty relaxed, I have to rest from Monday and gear up for the rest of the week! LOL.

Getting these nasty headaches every night. I think I have had a headache every night for a week...what is going on here? Weird.

Tomorrow is picture day. It was a scramble getting the girls bathed/blow dried/trimmed/clothes picked out. Dd is pouting because she wanted to wear this black lycra skirt (long) and I said no. #1, she has no top to wear with it. #2, no nylons #3 it is supposed to be 32 degrees in the morning, #4, only the top inch of your shirt shows anyway!!! I have no idea what she actually picked out to wear. Sometimes I think she must be a teenager, she can be SOO difficult. I suppose this is only a taste of things to come. At least this year she doesn't have a zit on her forehead...last year picture day was pretty traumatic, lol.

Another mini rant...the picture package prices are expensive for the crappy quality. We've had to have retakes almost every year, and my kids are pretty darned photogenic...we ALWAYS get great shots at the regular studios. Oh well, hope we won't have to do retakes this year.

WOW. I must say I am pleasantly surprised by Cait's school work coming home. It seems like they are doing a lot more traditional-type schoolwork like I did in school...and the repetition is really sinking in better with her. She is learning it. They are doing it IN the classroom, versus doing all this esoteric stuff and then getting a packet sent home that takes 4 hours to complete. Yes, the 4 hour packets DID happen last year; I talked to several other very unhappy parents! They actually get to study their spelling as vocabulary words IN SCHOOL. Hallejulah. The grading system is different, 0 through 4, and she is bringing home most papers with a 4 and a few 3's. I am so happy. She seems calmer and more focused (most of the time).

Now, Allison. She is an enigma. How can a child who reads much BETTER than her sister at the same age, seems to learn and grasp concepts quicker, be almost unable to perform in the classroom? We are having some major issues. A spelling test she can complete with 100% accuracy at home in 90 seconds...she'll go to school and maybe get 5 of 12 words...we are really at a loss for what is happening. But, if she can't learn in a traditional setting, they are going to pull her out individually. When she is working one on one she gets it the first time! How can I impress on this child that this is important? I have observed her a couple times on educational field trips and *I* can tell by the look on her face that her mind is just elsewhere. Where does she go? She tested last year with a pretty high IQ. I guess only time will tell...the good thing is that she seems to be getting along better socially. She has a new best buddy in her class, Heather, a cute little kid...the other "tiny" one like Alli in class. I truly think that her extreme shyness is interfering with learning in a classroom setting. They are taking these stupid standardized tests this week on the computer, and she is very stressed out to the point that she can't perform BECAUSE...get this...if you answer right, the questions get progressively harder, if you answer wrong, the computer BEEPS, and she believes everyone in the class is listening to her computer beeping! She was just worked into a lather about the whole thing, even though we and the teacher explained that the questions are supposed to get so hard that you will not know the answers. Poor kid.

Carson. I was worried for a few weeks because it seemed his only interest was to watch "Piglet's Big Movie" about ten thousand times. The last few days though he has been coloring and drawing with me and steadily improving. Making little potato-people, lol, and starting to color in the lines. I write his name and he reads the letters after me. I need to get him some new finger paints and supplies for during the day because our stuff is packed and I still can't find it! You can always use more paints. Smile I think I'm going to get one of those little wicker-drawer carts for the dining room and hide their paper, crayons, paints, etc. in it...we can use the dining table more for crafts now because he is eating lunch in the kitchen with me instead of the table. It should be fun...we can spread out the projects a bit!

Well, I need to go out and cover my flowers...it's supposed to be 28 tonight. Goodbye raspberries. Goodbye tomatoes. Goodbye cukes. Goodbye zucchinis. Goodbye grapes. Goodbye roses. SIGH. Till next year!

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Well, Carson is happily munching away on his lunch so I will take a few minutes to update!

I have had 6 days of headache! Wonder if this is a sinus infection or just a bad cold. It MUST be related to my cold because when I blow my nose I feel better. LOL. I hate going to sleep AND waking up with headache.

Spent the morning driving into the college to observe one of the physiology labs. The other lab instructors are a class ahead of me so that my GA can go through the routine and let me know about any bumps in the road. This particular lab will be a 2 week (4 hours) lab and is real complicated...students are measuring volume of expiration and heart rate changes over set workloads. Tons of apparatus to set up and use...stopwatches, ergometers, head pieces, mouth pieces, valves, bags to collect the air, metronome to keep pace, heart rate monitors.....AAAARGGHHH! I hope I can pull it off. I know what to do; just going through the teaching sequence for the first time so students can understand it is a challenge. Dr. F. was great, let me observe his entire lab. He says the students will pretty much screw up the data on the first subject anyway and that's OK. The hard part for me is not having the time to get hands-on and USE the equipment, adjust the valves, etc. SOOOO...Monday, here we come! I can do it. Next semester will be a breeze. Dr. F. is so knowledgeable, wish he'd been here when I was a grad student! He worked a a biomechanics specialist with the last winter olympics team...worked with the speedskaters. Something like that is a DREAM for me...and biomechanics is more my "bag" than exercise physiology...but I am enjoying the lab teaching anyway.

Yesterday was a strange day where I popped on/off line a lot. Even so I accomplished a lot! Feeling lousy so we didn't even go out. I did manage to make us a Halibut steak dinner with baked potato and salad..yummy! We are trying to eat fish twice a week. Not easy because fish is actually the one thing that C despises, A will tolerate SOME types, and little C will take a bite or two. Growing up relatively near the coast and having a dad as an avid fisherman...we had fish all the time! I blew it by not feeding the kids much fish as babies, I guess. They are all quite fond of clam chowder though...esp. Mo's world famous chowder, when we are out in Oregon. Wonder if I could order that on line? They do eat my homemade chowder, but you can't REALLY count that as fish, lol.

Got 4 whole loads of laundry washed, dried and folded, more boxes unpacked, bathrooms cleaned yesterday too. Managed to get Cait to dance class on time, took A shopping by herself, played dominoes with C, homework with A, and art with little C. Pretty productive day all in all. It's amazing how I have lowered my productivity standards with 3 children. I guess you have to look at all the time spent cooking for them and wiping noses as "productivity"...just a different type as in the past.

Was pleased with dh this morning. While I was gone he started a couple loads of laundry, folded some and brought some upstairs! I think laundry is the bane of my existence. Dh ought to do it more often cause he is fairly good at it, but he new garage has been a distraction. LMAO! Anyway he also picked up the house and returned toys to the basement playroom. Hate to let him know that 10 minutes ago Carson came up the stairs carrying 2 full mini-suitcases full his toys to play with up here...probably the same ones dh took down! He also asked for the garage to be carried up. LOL. Living room looks just like it did last night. Oh well.

Little man is done with lunch...we are going to go out and tackle the leaves now.