The fact that it is already summer break just astounds me. It feels like it was only yesterday that it was Mother’s Day.
May went by in a flurry of tornado warnings, band concerts and banquets, color guard contests, kids’ auditions or testing for various activities, and all the sayings of “goodbye” to people and places we’ve loved spending time with.
I started helping out the worship team at my local UU church, both developing services and speaking during services. I also agreed to serve as vice president of the church board next year.
My eldest child acquired a car, passing his old one to his younger brother, who just started driving solo, and just like that *snap* life changed overnight. I no longer have to drive anyone anywhere unless there’s an emergency.
I spent a couple weeks preparing for a speaking engagement for the Open Door Writing Group at the Tyler Public Library about writing lyrically. I read or re-read so many books on writing poetry. Two didn’t arrive on time, so I still have those to look forward to.
Unfortunately, all that activity sent my diseases into overdrive. I got a sinus infection, then my joints flared up and I spent the last half of the month in too much pain to think, let alone set down words. It took me an entire month to finish a short story that I’d had outlined and ready to go. *sigh*
Last week my father was in town, so we spent time indulging in watching “Only Murders in the Building” (while I did cross stitch, since my hands had finally returned to normal) and taking time to look over his house here and make lists of future maintenance needs.
He went back to his primary residence yesterday afternoon and now I am back at my writing desk today, updating all the social media things, preparing for my two speaking engagements that are coming up later this month, and trying to sneak in a few new words in my next novel. Hope all of y’all are having a wonderful start to your summer! Let me know in the comments if you plan to join me at any of my events this month.
AKA: How I managed to spend a whole week NOT writing
This was a hard week for me. As I’ve mentioned before, my half-brother Ray passed away last month. Last Thursday I drove to DFW and dropped my car off at Katherine’s and she drove me to the airport. I hopped on a flight to California in order to help out Ray’s widow, Susan, and kids getting reading for the memorial service. I’d brought my writing stuff with me, hoping to get to spend some of my free time writing, but there honestly wasn’t any minutes to spare.
I got to their house after a long day of driving and flying and with a negative time change, I was so very tired and it was only 8pm. I tried to stay up and talk with everyone, but it was no use – I was in bed by 9:30pm PST.
The next day I woke up at 4:45am, but managed to coax myself back to sleep until about 6:30am. I went to make coffee, but my nephew ran out and shooed me away, telling me that his dad always got up and said “Make the coffee, Joe,” and he was determined to keep on making the coffee, even without his dad around to remind him. Just like that, I could hear my brother in my little nephew’s voice and see him in his every movement. I had to shoo myself away before I cried all over the little guy.
We spent the rest of the day taking kids to and from school, organizing, then cleaning rooms of the house and the patio so it could be all ready for the memorial service the next day.
The next day I was again awake at 4:45am, but this time I got up, made my own coffee, and spent some time taking photos of photos in my birthmom’s room (which was where I was staying). Her walls are absolutely covered in photos, many of which I’ve never seen before. I stood up on a stool and angled myself this way and that to get the best photos possible. Once the other’s were up, I started decorating the house with photos of my brother and his family, and then put out the tablecloths, and washed up all the dishes and platters I thought we might need. An hour before people were due to arrive, the first visitor showed up. He was the ex-husband of my brother’s housemate and since he was early, we put him to work carting drinks into the house, setting up the coolers, and re-installing the door to the garage that Joe had taken off a few weeks ago (and was unable to put back up alone).
After that, everyone else started arriving and over the course of the day I manned the buffet table, meeting many members of the housemate’s family and Susan’s family. There were even some little kids there. Everyone brought fruit. It was fruitopia. The day spun by so very quickly. We were unable to have the main part of the memorial service, due to some clerical errors that kept Susan from being able to get Ray’s death certificate (and therefore also his remains), so the little tree she was going to plant in his honor remained on her front porch. A few of us spoke about Ray, even his little son Jeff, and we all cried. It was nice to meet so many people that loved my brother and sister-in-law.
Because it was also the busiest day of the band year back home, I skipped out on the early evening’s visitor (who had come late due to his work schedule). I went back to my room and watched the livestream of my kids marching at UIL Contest and then looked for photos of them from the Rose Parade earlier in the day. I texted with them, congratulating them on their Sweepstakes win. And then I went back out and joined the conversation.
The next morning I did not get up early. We all got up a little later and then moseyed over to church, which was part Southern Baptist-part rock band church-part surfer dude speak. Everyone there was really nice and no one bugged me about my mask. After church was lunch and after lunch my best friend from high school came and scooped me up and we ran off to Starbucks for a while. I was sad to leave her when our time was up, but I love how easily we slipped back into that friendship for a couple hours.
After that, Susan and I loaded up the kids and went to the beach. We didn’t stay long, just long enough for Joe and I to get thoroughly soaked from the waist down and for Jeff to lecture us on the improbability of us turning into merpeople and Susan to get creeped out by some weirdo. A couple hundred beach pictures in ten minutes, really. But it was good. I always feel better at the beach.
Susan dropped us back at the house and stayed just long enough to say hi to the chair lady. Then she drove back out to pick up Angela. I made my “famous” chicken spaghetti and “Aunt Mandy’s” green beans for a late “fancy” dinner. I laughed at that. Chicken spaghetti is the easiest thing ever. I taught Joe my secret sauce, just in case they liked it. Oh boy, did they! Jeff said I took him to “Flavor Town” and “Delicious Land.” I’m so happy it was well-receieved.
We went to bed very late that night, in some part due to a conversation that needed to take place out of the earshot of the children. We had to wait for Joe to fall asleep. In the end, an agreement was reached about what would happen with the kids if something happened to Susan. It was a hard conversation, but necessary. I was really glad to be included.
The next morning we all got up at the crack of dawn so Susan could drop me off at the airport and then take the kids straight to school. I waited in the longest TSA line I’ve ever seen, but made it to my gate all right. The flight itself was mostly okay, but there was a medical emergency towards the end in first class, so we ended up spending quite a while at the gate waiting for that to get sorted out. Then Katherine picked me back up and we had a late lunch and then went to rest at her house for a while before I drove home. I was feeling so foggy and out of it, I was worried about driving home. I did end up making it home okay, but I had to stop for a while halfway home and walk around for a bit to get my brain back online. So I didn’t get home until about 7:30pm (I’d expected to be home by 5pm).
Tuesday I spent cleaning my entire house. Being away from home on a super busy weekend makes the mess so much worse. But I was also still feeling so groggy and weird that it was hard to get anything done. I started to worry that I was coming down with a cold or something. I attended my Spiritual Practices group, but I absorbed none of the conversation, alas.
Wednesday morning was my pill box refill day. I couldn’t find the pills I needed to fill the box. I finally realized that the reason I was so out of it was that I had picked up my medicine at the pharmacy before I left on the trip, but had forgotten to put that one in the box I took with me. So I’d skipped it for a couple days by accident. (And now I know just how essential it is to my health and well being.)
I taught a lesson at the Wednesday Whatchamacalit group that day and it went well. That is detailed in an earlier post. Later. I spent the rest of the day resting/spending time with my younger kids because I knew that the next day I had some more big cleaning to do.
Thursday I went over to the David House and helped him get it cleaned up because my dad was coming to visit. David was supposed to have finished moving rooms before my dad came to town and he had not finished. Plus there was resetting the room he’d moved out of and resetting the closet of the room that stored the stuff that used to be in that room and putting stuff from the room he was moving to into that closet. If it sounds circuitous, it really was.
After that was the recycling. I don’t think anyone has taken the recycling out of the house since January. I filled my entire Jeep up from top to bottom and back to front. It was only about 2/3 of the total recycling. I had other errands to run, though, so I did that and never got back to check on the David House.
This morning I got up and realized that I’d never gotten around to doing the critiques for the Pineywoods Critique Group, which was just as well because I hadn’t sent anything in over the last weekend, either. So the spouse and I went and got haircuts, which we have literally never done at the same time before. Then we ran a couple errands and ate lunch. One of the errands was picking up all the boxes of history for the ETWG Historian position before the current Historian moved and took them with her.
This was the last thing on my To Do list for the day besides feeding and chaperoning the band. It’s also the first real writing I’ve done all week. I’m not sure I’ll have time during the weekend to write, unless I am very careful with my time. We have the game tonight, my dad in town, an afternoon church party tomorrow, dinner at my dad’s and games, then church Sunday morning, and an ETYO concert Sunday afternoon. I may not get anything sent in to the critique group this weekend either. Chapter Nine of CQ needs re-drafting. Maybe I’ll send them some more poetry.
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!
“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.”
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. 🙂
This last week was our spring break from school. I’ve already told you about Monday and Tuesday, so I’ll start today’s story with Wednesday. We didn’t make any big plans for Wednesday, since that was the day that we were swapping out D for B at Nana & Pa’s house, but it turned out to be a big day anyway. My parents came up to town and told us that they’d decided not to make us wait for a month to get our new van (which is their old one), they were going to sign it over to us right now. 🙂 And so we began our day long journey to get the car retitled, re-registered, and in all ways made our own. We ended up visiting the registry twice, once with just me and my dad and once with both of us, my mom, and two of the kids as well. By the end of the day we’d gotten it done. G and I spent the rest of the afternoon emptying out our old van, then vacuuming it out, scrubbing it down inside and out, then cleaning all the windows we could reach, all so Nick could start driving it as soon as he came home. (D spent the afternoon catching up on three days worth of Animal Crossing.)
Thursday morning we visited with my parents a bit, then went home very quickly for D’s early playdate with his best friend C. They had a great time playing video games, riding bikes & skates, and wrestling on the trampoline. While the kids were playing, I once again worked on some jewelry (a post on all of that coming soon). That afternoon my mom watched the kids so my dad and I could also go out and check out a netbook at Best Buy, which they did not have in stock, and to buy a camera, which they did have. We spent some time updating his regular laptop and getting it set up with the camera software and then learning the new cameras ways before going home for the evening. B came home just before dinner, bearing sundaes from McDonald’s. My in-laws got a tour of the new van and all it’s shininess before they left.
Friday morning B’s friend A came over for a playdate. I made some more jewelry. They spent quite a bit of time playing the Wii, but we also had a picnic in the backyard, since the weather was beautiful for it. We experimented with playing baseball/tee ball in the yard.
After he went home, Nick and the kids and I went out to the bookstore to get the kids their celebration books for having great report cards (and we may have picked up a couple things for ourselves as well. maybe. possibly. what? we never ever do! Leviathon & Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld and Good Eats: the Middle Years.). D got the second Percy Jackson book, B got three Magic Treehouse books (#20, #21, and a research guide about Knights and Castles), and G got two Barbie books (one 3 Musketeers and one Fairies) and an audio book about the movie Toy Story. Then we headed out to tour the big new exciting store in town: our local markets version of Whole Foods. It’s called “Fresh” and wow, was it packed with people. It’s a beautiful store, filled with lots of things our regular stores don’t carry: lots of organic, whole grain products and a huge array of cheeses, meats, and ready-to-eat foods (for which there is a balcony seating area outside). We amazingly managed not to lose any children, nor to knock down any displays, though we did pick up a lot of stuff that was knocked down by the little old lady near us, as she had a large purse and was trying not to hit my kids with it, and since we were behind her in the herd (seriously, it was so packed that you pretty much followed the same people all through the store) we did the picking up. We eventually made it back home and Nick and the kids tidied up there while I went over to help my dad with his new netbook, which he’d picked up that morning. I did all my computer magic over the course of a couple hours and got him hooked up with all his software and file needs and headed back home to start reading my book. Bwahaha. Nick went over and spent the evening hanging out with my dad.
Saturday we hung out with my parents again in the morning before we left for church. The kids climbed ropes and played on the swings. Nick and D and Dad played chess. It was a good morning. We went to church, listened to our new pastor (who was a fabulous speaker, lots of discussion of Greek words, loved it), and then kids had snacks while my m-i-l and I practiced our duet on the big piano (which has keys that are very hard to press compared to my piano at home). We headed home, I changed clothes, and headed out for Girls Night Out. Nick and the kids stayed home and did whatever boys do when their mama is away (hung from the ceiling? shot themselves out into space in rockets? who knows! It was Boys Night In!). I had a lovely time with my lady friends and this time we managed to get a photo of all of us together (something we’ve never managed in the two years we’ve been meeting). Came home and couldn’t sleep, as I am always excited after a night out, so I stayed up late finishing the book I was reading (the second Percy Jackson book; trying to keep up with D), never realizing that the clocks hadn’t already been set ahead for daylights savings time.
Yesterday we all got up unreasonably early. The day turned out to be one of those ones were everything goes wrong. G ran into my room yelling that D was throwing up from atop his bunk bed, B was asleep below, mercifully, or there’d have been extra mess. I got up, cleaned up the mess, got the boy into the bathroom, then looked at the clock: 5:45am. My husband, who was mysteriously in the kitchen and not at work (he’s been working a lot of overtime lately), hugged me and told me he’d reset all the clocks already so I didn’t have to. I tried to go back to bed, but couldn’t since I had a snuggly, wiggly boy (G) in there with me. So we all got up, ate breakfast, then sat around reading until it was time to leave for the last basketball practice of the season. David and I stayed home because of his icky tummy. He played more Wii and I wandered here and there doing chores and trying to finish up another necklace. The laundry that I thought was clean was mysteriously dirty, the necklace that I “finished” I turned out to have left a bead out of.
After the other kids came back home, we tried to go to the zoo and got verbally assaulted by the director of said zoo for bringing in a check that wasn’t signed by me — it was a gift membership from my in-laws, which I had filled out paperwork for and brought in with me, but he refused to listen one word I said, no matter how polite I was. It was a disaster all around, so I decided to take my children elsewhere. We got to the frozen custard place and discovered that my two-for-one coupons had been left in the hallway when we were swapping stuff around between the vans earlier in the week, but by then I decided to just make the best of it and we paid full price. The custard was perfect and by the time I’d finished venting to my husband, my best friend, and finally to my mother-in-law (who is going up to talk to the zoo about their communication skills today) I was feeling much better. We had a movie night with the kids, watching an old Valerie Bertinelli movie about a robot dog, which they loved. The movie ran late, so the kids ran late getting into baths and storytime, so it was nearly 9:45pm before they went to bed. I made their lunches last night and set out clothes for them so they could sleep in this morning and it’s just now time to get them up so that’s the end of this post.
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!
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.
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.