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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Unfortunately there are about 30 boxes still unpacked. 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!
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.
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.
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. 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!
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.