Now with Bonus Content!

I’m feeling list-y at the moment.  Some things I’ve done/am doing lately:

  • Finished the CD uploads to iTunes.  Put the CD’s in boxes.  Put the boxes in the garage. Nick is taking one to his mom and I’m taking the other to Goodwill.  Then I put all the little games into the newly emptied drawers and I’m not tripping over them any more.  Yay!
  • Finished reading the Albert Campion series and the extra short story books.  Now am looking for new things to read.  Nothing seems good enough.
  • Listening to The Dead Tossed Waves while I’m at the gym on the recumbent exercise bike.  I figured this would keep me going to the gym, but I am finding the narrator so annoying that I skipped a couple of gym days last week.  I’d borrow another audio book, but I’m awaiting email from the library telling me what’s gone wrong with my digital account that it tells me I’m no longer entitled to check-outs.  Oh well.  Back to the gym I go.  Must get in shape so I don’t die walking everywhere in Ireland in July.
  • Trying to put together my PTA board for next year.  Yes, I got talked into being President.  You may laugh now.  Only two people showed up to the meeting and one decided not to join us.  Yay.  I’m trying to be all Bright Side about it; we’ll have a kick-ass Parliamentarian. 🙂
  • Bought new pretty things for my backyard with money from sale of backyard things we no longer used: a new table umbrella, some pretty chimes, a cushion for my bench, pillows for the bench, vinyl tablecloths for the tables.  Also pretty things for the front yard: 3 spinny-flower-things and a set of tiny chimes and a new bright red watering-can.
  • Greg bought seeds, potting soil, tiny plastic pots, and some tiny fences and started planting a garden.  We need to transplant those little plants today.  Must Not Forget!!
  • We also put a bunch of those seeds in the front garden, but I can’t tell the little flowers from weeds at this point and don’t know what to pull up and what to leave.  We did a variety pack and I have no idea what those flowers look like as babies.
  • I worked at the kids old MDO last week.  Super fun!  Love being with the little kids.  Getting money is just bonus!
  • I’ve been watching the last season of Doctor Who over again as I fold laundry the last week or so.  Whee!
  • We did another Spring Recital at church. Nick MC’d, his mom and Ben and David all performed, and I made the programs and decided the playing order.  It went really well. 🙂  Ben played two beautiful piano pieces.  David played one march-type piano piece and another march-style trumpet piece.  They both did really well.
  • We also did a clothing exchange at church.  I gave away a couple of bags of our clothes and got more than a couple of bags of clothes back.  I’m passing some on to my sister-in-law who is similarly sized, but has different tastes in clothes than I do (colored pants freak me out and she seems to love them).  I also got a bunch of shoes!  Little cute flat shoes!  And one pair of platform sandals that are evenly platformed, if you know what I mean.  No slope.  I can wear them, look taller, and not fall.  Must find more of these kind of shoes.
  • Now I’m washing all these new-to-me clothes and watching videos on how to tailor some of them to fit me better.  I’ve never done that before.  Should be interesting.  If I’m not working tomorrow, it will be sewing day!  I haven’t been crafty in more than a week now, so it’s definitely time!
  • Photos will appear in the sidebar at some point today or tomorrow.  Apparently I haven’t updated them since February?!  Aie!

There we go: content unlocked.  🙂

Lisa
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A less dramatical cross-post

“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.”

.Anais Nin

 

Sorry for all the cross-posting lately if you are someone reading all the blogs, but this is the way things are right now.

Last week I hosted a girls game night with my little group of friends.  We never did actually get to the games, but we had a good time eating snacks, drinking wine, and catching up on things.  🙂  It’s a nice group of gals, most of us are some kind of writer or artist.  🙂  We’ll try an actual Gaming game night another time (soon, I hope).

The next night we had a Robert Burns Night with my parents where we read the poetry of Robert Burns (well, Nick did, but that’s because he had the best Scottish accent) and had some traditional Scottish foods (but not haggis).

Saturday I got the bad news about my friend and had a complete meltdown and stayed at home and cried and drank wine and watched movies all day.  So cathartic.

Sunday the kids practiced basketball while I  fixed up my desk area where the by-hand writing goes on.

It is tidier and makes the writing go better since I’m not scrambling for pens or notebooks.  I’ve tidied up my computer so I know where the files I’m currently using are and I’ve set up a profile for everyone else so I can have mine be whatever I want and don’t have to worry about boy eyes on my things and them getting confused by the voice control setup that I’ve been using.

I have been writing this week.  Lots of writing and writing related stuff going on.  Working on two novels and a few sad poems.  I’m enjoying flipping through old notebooks and files of writing from a couple years ago to see what I would’ve written had I not fallen off the writing track.  It’s fun putting stories together again and for that I am very  very happy with the universe.

Monday I got a call to work, but had stuff to do at home that desperately needed doing, so I said no and got all my stuff done.  Tuesday I also got a call, but had to say no because I was taking David to Dallas to have his X-rays done again and to see if he needed another shoe lift or what.  He doesn’t need a new shoe lift, he needs surgery.  Oh yay.  Probably next summer, but we’ll do another set of scans between now and then because it’s more data for the computer to look at and more data means more accuracy and more accuracy means a better outlook and that could mean putting the surgery off another year and another year could mean a stabilizing of the irregular growth, which could lead to no surgery.  So we’re waiting.

Wednesday I was all ready for the call to work.  I got up, made myself lunch, dressed in subbing clothes….and no call.  Of course.  So I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and let myself have 2 hours of lovely writing time.  It was glorious.

Yesterday was my friends funeral.  It was a good one, I think.  I sat with my friend Dana.  They had to add extra chairs on the sides to accomodate all the people.  The first person who spoke was a bit conflicted, but Shannon’s sister and dad and regular pastor got up and said some wonderful, understanding things about the nature of depression and the challenges of living with this disease.  It was all very heartening and uplifting.  I couldn’t stay to go to the graveside service, as I had a PTA meeting.  The meeting was very short, which was unusual for us this year. I spent the next couple hours doing work for the next months worth of activities and went to get the kids.

We’re trying out Choremonster.com for our chore rewards website right now.  It looked fun and came highly recommended and the kids are excited about it, but I’m finding it very trying.  I had to set up each kid separately with separate logins and separate jobs and separate rewards and I have to log back in every single time they finish something to approve it and it is constantly sending me emails telling me to “Hurry quickly!” like I don’t have anything better to do than use this clunky interface to approve each child’s chore.  AIE.  Plus there’s no calendar to look at or afix things to.  You have to just know when things are going to fall on (plus there’s only a few options for days and I need a “every third day” option since I have three people).

Today is finally a regular day.  Kids to school, library volunteering, lunch with Nick, an afternoon of chores and errands.  *sigh*  But I have two kids asleep on the couch and one asleep in my bed.  So where am I typing from?  Ben’s bed.  It’s comfy.  I have a dolphin pillow and my old comforter from college and extra blankies, too.  Mmm.  I might fall asleep here.  🙂

 A less dramatical cross-post

 

I write 750 words a morning; sometimes they’re for you.*

I got up this morning, wandered through the house, and thought to myself “How is it that it all gets THIS messy in just one day of me not tidying?”  Nick said that I do more than I think I do or than maybe he thinks I do around the house.  No, the house is never totally clean, but is anyones?  I mean, other than those live-alone (or just couples) neat freaks?    I really don’t think so.

We spent the morning yesterday playing outside before heading over to the DSP for a play date with Greg’s friend B.  DSP has changed themselves up with a lobby over in the front corner near the street while their real lobby is under construction.  They have opened up this room in the middle that I always though was a classroom so that we can all easily move between the rooms and I was so interested in that room.  At one end is a stage, a real stage with doors going out the sides for entries and such.  It had a nifty ceiling and places for projectors and lights.  They’d moved some of their displays in there, things that used to be in the hallway and out here, where you can see them, the kids were delighted with them.  In the hallway, where they were, you kind of just rushed past them on your way somewhere else.  There wasn’t enough light or room to back up and look at them (plus if you were trying to look at them, you were in the way of other people rushing through the hallway).

 

So anyway, we had a play date.  Greg & his friend B. played for a little while before B. had his screaming fit.  He screamed through three play areas before B’s mom dragged him out to the car for a time out.  I don’t think I’d have lasted that long with a kid screaming and pulling on me.  Greg put on a play for me in the theatre area (not the place with the stage, but the little house in the other room) about a mechanic with a dinosaur hat that didn’t fit.  It was pretty funny, especially since he was wearing a painter’s smock with cowgirls riding horses on it.   B’s mom and B. finally came back in once he’d calmed down.  By then Greg and I were in the play car, driving to the “saladbee” place.  We still don’t know what that word was supposed to be.  Greg’s response: “The place!  Where they have the saladbees!”  No idea.  We played in the ambulance for a while after that and then let the kids roam on their own in the big play area together while we talked about Bible studies and different views on various verses.  After that we had some lunch; or rather, the boys had some lunch while B’s mom tried to get B. not to wipe his hands on his clothes and I tried to get Greg to eat some carrots (we both failed in our attempts, sadly).  Then the kids played in the toddler area, jumping in and out of that little room until it was time to go.

Greg and I came home and I attempted to eat lunch, but the tomato soup we had was fancy and weird flavored, so Nick ate it.  We watched most of an episode of Hawaii 50 before he had to go back to work.  By then I was feeling pretty puny, so I sent Greg off to watch a video while I laid down on the couch to rest.  Eventually I took my temperature because I was freezing cold and the thermostat told me that the house was hot and it turned out that I had a fever.  I think it must have just been the arthritis related fever because I am feeling lots less achy and no fever this morning.  I bundled up in a blanket while Greg played outside before we went to get the big kids.

We picked them up, brought them home, and started them practicing their piano music and theory before moving on to David’s piano lesson.  Well, it was supposed to be David’s lesson, but the piano teacher had a mostly verbal lesson to give both kids, so she did a bit of David’s lesson, then called both kids over to tell them the story of how the piano came to be.  David will have a bit of a lesson this afternoon, as will Ben.  I liked how the piano teacher incorporated the Bible into her lesson, telling the kids that in Genesis 4:20, they tell of Jubal and his brother Jabal and how one of them was a master of string and organ.  That really got the kids interested.  🙂  I need to find them a map of Italy today so that they can see where the language of music comes from.  I’m sure there must be one somewhere on the internet that shows where all the major composers came from.

*ok, so this isn’t really 750 words.  It’s not always.  A lot of times it’s more than that, but I am trying for 750 words of something every day, just to keep up the habit of writing, if not always the fiction writing.  Some mornings, like this morning, my brain is a little too scrambled for fiction.  Those mornings are lucky for the blog because then I’ll ramble about daily life instead.  Woo hoo for scrambled brains!

Why does February always suck?

So hey, it’s February, and so therefore we have the Plague.  David has this on again off again stomach virus at least one day every week since the end of January.   Ben & Nick have been coughing, but seem okay for the most part. Greg has been snotty & feverish and coughing for a solid week now.  I got a sinus infection three weeks ago, spent two weeks literally writhing in pain before that started dying off, and am now living in the land of Am I Sick or Not?  (Which means one day of feeling good & productive followed by one day of deathly-sinus-headache followed by one day of chills/fever/but otherwise fine followed by one day of sore throat/sinus pain).  Greg and I have missed all our MOPS stuff & coffee dates & play dates.  It’s making me cranky.

I’ve pretty much watched every movie in the house that is safe to watch in front of Greg and am now starting to watch things like Pretty Woman and wonder why,oh,why anyone thought a movie about a prostitute was acceptable for young people to watch.  As a kid watching it, it was AWESOME, but as a mom watching it, I’m thinking about things like Vivienne getting tetanus from getting scratched on the fence and what kind of horrible germs are in that toilet that she just plunged her hand into and whoa, all the dirt!  Yeah.  I watched Legend & Total Recall last week (after kid hours) and was amazed at all the gore.  My brain, it is exploding.  I shouldn’t be allowed movies in this state.  No, no, no.

In other news, we’ve been on a science kick around the house.  David had to do a research paper & model & report on a natural disaster and he, naturally, chose a meteor shower.  So we did that.  We also made a tsunami, because a meteor strike in water can cause that.  Then we made a tornado in a jar.  One of the other class mom’s is a biologist of some sort & she brought a bunch of chemicals up to school & did a demonstration, so David wanted to know what kind of chemicals he had access to at home, so we tried to figure that out & then figure out what kind of experiments we could do from here without buying anything special.

Ben’s started doing math at school.  He got a 100 on his first paper (BEST IN CLASS, MAMA!!!) and has ever since been making his own math problems to work after school.  He’s also been learning about coins and passed that mania on to Greg, who has been playing pirate or shopkeeper, whichever one takes his fancy as long as he gets to count the money.  Ben’s been trying to teach him that each coin “costs” a different amount, but Greg just counts number of coins.  It’s very funny to watch them argue about it.

I finally got my writing notebook back in the mail, so worked on that a bit yesterday.  Progress notes to be posted at dreamwidth.

Nick is obsessed with the Olympics, which has been fun, I guess.  He’s the kind of person that will watch any event, so if the Olympics is on at any point, he turns the TV on.  I, on the other hand, am mainly just interested in the figure skating (so I went to bed way early last night).

I guess February doesn’t completely suck.  I just wish we all would get better finally.

“We started right here, in the ovary”

I hate giving subject lines for these posts, especially when I’m just updating about everything.  Maybe I should go back and retitle this “More of everything” Hmm.

David has been doing a lot of scouts stuff from his book, which means that all of us have been doing a lot of scouts stuff because you can’t have just one kid doing all the “fun” stuff.  The kids liked making family trees again (this time with phone calls to relatives to ascertain actual dates & real names) and finding the page in the phone book that has all the emergency info and calling different city officials to ask questions about how the city works and doing more of the recycling on their own (including picking out everything from their Happy Meals that could be recycled & taking that home to put in our bin rather than leaving it there with all the other trash “They waste SO MUCH, Mommy!  Why do they do that?”)

Ben is steadily growing stronger reading skills.  It’s been really hard getting him to read aloud to us at home.  He’s the second best reader in his class (behind Amy, whose mom is an elementary school teacher), but reading at home has just not been something he’s willing to do.  So now we just have him read a few pages out of each book we do at bedtime story time (in addition to whatever they send home as reading homework.)  Knowing that he only has a few pages and that we’ll fill in all the hard words seems to make it easier on him.  Ben has also taken to my old Cabbage Patch Kids lately.  He has a few that he especially likes and will dress up for certain occasions.  It’s pretty funny.

Greg is still climbing everything in sight.   He has ropes that he carries around with him nearly at all times and will tie to things.  He gets his brothers to help him tie them up higher than he can reach.  During the day when they’re not home to assist him he’ll do general kid stuff, but as soon as they get home, he’s back to finding new & better places to climb.  Oh, and when he paints stuff, he mixes all the colors & makes all his painting black.  He paints weird stuff, too.  like Oklahoma.

Nick continues to spend loads of time in Beaumont, but that will end on February 12th.  I can’t wait for him to be home for real, but you know what?  It’s going to be an adjustment.  I’ve gotten used to my weeknight schedule & I don’t know if I’ll transition back to Couple Time all-the-time very well. Currently I’ve been doing Monday nights as project nights, Tuesday nights as other-people-time, & Wednesday nights as TV time.  We’ll see if Nick likes that plan.

I’ve been writing, cleaning, etc.  When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.  (Writing updates continue to be at my dreamwidth journal)
Or fixing people’s computer woes.  Apparently word has spread that I have a way with computers, so I’ve gotten a few phone calls the past month or so requesting assistance.  Mostly over the phone “how do I?” stuff, but this weekend I went to someone’s house & set stuff up, then fielded calls/texts about it all across Saturday afternoon & Sunday morning.

Speaking of calls/texts, we’ve noticed an upswing in our phone usage in the last 6 months, not because Nick’s been gone (we actually talk less during the day, so the extra call at night just blends into the regular usage), but just, ya know, being friendlier or something.  I don’t know.  So we started running our usage stats, first through Sprint (who actually said our current plan suited us, despite our being $20-$50 over every month), then on our own.  We added in our wishlists of how we’d like to use our phones that we aren’t currently doing, looked up plan comparisons, phone reviews, etc, and found out that we’re better off staying with our current carrier (Sprint, which works well here all the way to CS) and getting smartphones with the unlimited family plan.  So once our refunds from last years medical expenses come in, we’ll be doing that.  We’re looking at the HTC Hero phone and the Samsung Moment (we haven’t actually played with them in store yet, but I’ll be doing that tomorrow if the sick kid goes back to school by then).

In other randomness, I’ve been drinking tons of tea lately, trying all different kinds from various places.  My favorite is the supergood ginger kind that my friends sister gave her from Teavana (more details once I’ve seen the canister again).  Republic of Tea’s Cinnamon Plum loose leaf tea is also very nice (but Blackberry Sage remains my favorite from them).  Lipton has a flavored green tea that’s orange, passionfruit, and jasmine that I like for afternoons.  I also have a new favorite otc bagel: Sara Lee’s Blueberry.  There’s something different about them now: they’re more lemon flavored than they used to be.  Mmm.

I have some news that I’m sitting on currently that I’m really excited about, but am awaiting more information before I can announce it.  Eeee.  I love having exciting news & I hate waiting to share it, but that’s the way it goes.

That’s it for this week’s update.  More later.  🙂
—————-
Now playing: Michael Mucklow – Pipe’s Canyon Sunset
via FoxyTunes

the rest of the day…

…was a bit less exciting, although it did involve making banana pudding from scratch (sugar, corn starch, egg yolks, cooking on the stove, etc), actually making it to the recycling center (toss! crash! toss! crash! toss! crash!), and me eventually leaving the house to go paint pottery with my friends mom’s group (cause mine was meeting the next night when I couldn’t make it).

Today was also a Study in Weird. Got up, shaved biggest kids head so he no longer looks like Zach or Cody (from the Disney channel), found another dollar so he could buy books at school, made three kid lunches, drove kid to school, checked voicemail and discovered some “new” 2 week old messages the system just left me, also checked regular mail (just arrived) and found letters dated February 22nd, drove other children to school, talked mdo into taking Greg even though it wasn’t his day (don’t tell the other moms, but they love greg best), went to my doctor’s office, get a call stating that ben is sick with a fever and headache, finally get in to see the doctor only to find out his computer system is down and he has no idea who I am or why I’m there, briefly consider lying to the doctor, recap my entire medical history in less than three minutes, leave without medicine of any kind (but with a promise that when my symptoms return—which they will— I can call for meds instead of making an appointment), pick up sick kid and baby, feed people, make husband change poopy baby (”He might be getting sick, too.”), hold cranky baby and attempt to fold laundry at same time for several hours while soothing middle child who is whimpering at the other end of the couch, pick up oldest kid who has note that we owe school 12 cents, attempt to feed children snacks, clean up large puddle of poop from new rug, change three wet-poopy diapers in a 9 minute period, clean up more wet-poop from elsewhere in house and on self and on child, convince middle child that he will not die of a headache because mommy hasn’t yet, convince husband that leaving work early to take oldest child to school program, get oldest child ready for the Waltz Across Texas program at his school, change more wet-poopy diapers, run yet another load of laundry (what? I didn’t mention the two earlier ones I ran and put away? *sigh*), empty/reload dishwasher, put away hand washed dishes (and wash more), snuggle baby who won’t stay out of dishwasher, call friend who wanted to go to Aggiecon to pretty much cancel trip, muse over the fact that despite Aggiecon’s changing dates year-to-year my children are always sick with a stomach virus on Aggiecon weekend (5 years running), talk children into eating dinner despite sickness, eat dinner with spouse while having real conversation while children do God-knows-what elsewhere, feed baby bottle while big kids get read to in another room (we watch Dr. Who), and then, of course, watch Scrubs with spouse until he leaves for bed, then read battles about bread on the internet until I realize I meant to post something, which leads us to here. Longest paragraph ever. Yay.
(at least I’m tired now)

Happy Easter!

IMG_0728_edited

More photos here.

We stayed in our town for Easter this year, which meant a bit of extra planning on my part to make the day something both predictable and unique.

We got up and had our baskets (filled with both toys & candy–in order to disguise the fact that they were light on candy). The kids got one piece apiece (the largest, naturally) and then we had breakfast. We were supposed to have both fruit & apple turnovers, but my thriftiness in the produce section this week killed that plan. The kids did not care in the slightest.

After breakfast we had the egg hunt, with a bit of a twist. I let Greg go first for three minutes, then Ben got to go, then David. I hid stuff at varying levels for each of them and hoped they’d find an even number of eggs. Which they didn’t. Even more strangely, they found more eggs than I’d hid. I still haven’t figured that out.

We went to church after that. It was…churchy. It didn’t really feel like a different service from the regular ones, other than the addition of extra people to the orchestra, which kind of made me sad.

Came home, had some casserole for lunch. Then the kids cleaned up their room (supposedly, I haven’t checked–but they’re looking for something specific, so you’d think they’d really feel like finishing). I managed to slip and fall on my way into the house at some point. I’ve got a bruised & swollen left knee, bruised left shin, swollen & scraped left foot, swollen toes on my right foot, and my right shoulder feels not-quite-right when I move it. Still, after a couple hours of rest, I’m feeling, if not great, then not too terribly bad. The pain relievers have helped greatly towards that, I’m sure.

Tonight we’re going to church for a live performance of The Last Supper, as envisioned by the men of the church. Half the men are from my Sunday School class. That should be interesting, at least. After the performance we’re coming home, where Nick should have dinner waiting (beef stroganoff–my mom’s recipe, zucchini, and Velvet Pear Salad–also my mom’s recipe). For dessert, I’m hoping we’ll have some homemade ice cream (Nick made it for the bbq, but it didn’t set up right, due to a lack of dasher situation at the time).

So we’ve had a pretty good day. Tell me about yours….