Sunday, August 30, 2009

I've been to a Swedish wonderland and a circus today

No, really. I made my first trip to Ikea today. Oh my's a good thing that the closest one is an hour away. Seriously. I'm in love. I bought this, and this, and these among other things. I got some ideas for my updated craft area, and can't wait to take my husband there when he gets home. Oh, and the swedish meatballs meal was to die for. Yuuuuummmy, and cheap. 4.99 and I was full.

Then we headed over to watch Britney Spears Circus tour. As long as you remembered that it was a show, not a concert, it was really good. I have pictures to add, but they will have to wait until tomorrow. Now it's time for bed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Linky love and Random Thoughts...

  • I posted a new giveaway over at my review blog.  Seriously, you could win!  Odds are good!
  • I tweeted about a real estate agent carrying her dog while showing houses on House Hunters last night.  I now have around 10 new followers, all Real Estate Agents.  I'm not looking for a house...Seriously.
  • We're going to see Brittany Spears Saturday Sunday (we being my girls, my sil and I).  I'm not sure how I feel about this, other than thank goodness they were free tickets or we wouldn't be going.  We are also going to Ikea, which I have never been to.  I'm excited about that!
  • My husband is coming home in the next 60 days.  At last.  And we go to Disney just after that.  YAY!
  • I forgot to adjust my alarm for school time, then slept through it when it did go off.  That meant that I woke up as we were supposed to be leaving the house.  I still managed to get everyone to school on time, and I am showered and dressed appropriately.  I had to buy lunch, and I was 30 min late, but all in all I'm good.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's official, I will be losing my mind this school year

Today was the first day of school for PB and Monster, and tomorrow Bug begins.  What you, dear reader, may not realize right away, is the fact that I will now have a child in all three levels of school.  I have a first grader, sixth grader, and 11th grader.  My supply list runs the gamut from crayons and glue sticks, to binders and dividers, all the way through a drivers permit!
Monster has been so excited about first grade.  Mostly because of his lunch box, which we purchased last year.  This morning, he asked me how long it was until lunch.  When I asked what his favorite part of the day was, his answer was lunch, then recess, then music class.  He definitely has his priorities set.  Tomorrow is Art.  That will blow his mind, I'm sure.  It's amazing to me to see his sense of style evolving as well.
Because my little Monster was so resistant to learning how to read last year, he has been placed in the Literacy First class this year.  I choose to see this as a blessing.  He is smart, and I know that once the right key is turned, reading will become a fun and exciting subject for him.  And this class has the potential to do this for him.  It is a smaller class (only around 16 students) and they focus more attention on reading, writing and such.  However, I am unhappy with how the school year began.  In years past, the day before school you could go and meet your child's teacher during lunch time. This year, state employees (this would be me as well) had our pay cut by 2.5%.  To soften the blow, the Legislator gave us all 5 paid furlough days.  In order to reduce the cost burden, teachers lost in-service days to cover these days.  This means that teachers only had the day before to arrange their rooms and prepare for the first day, unless they wanted to do it on their own time.  That morning was spent in meetings, leaving them only a few hours to set up their rooms.  When we were invited in to find classrooms at 4 pm, most teachers had already gone home.  While I understand why, it's still frustrating.  I don't try to use that time as more than a few minutes of introduction, but a few minutes of understanding what this classroom entails would have been very helpful.  Instead, I will be emailing his teacher tomorrow to ask some questions.  This means she has to find the time to answer me during the school day, instead of having a few minutes the day before.
I'm also upset as I don't feel that he was given the Speech Therapy that he required last year, and this year I will be fighting early for this.  He pronounces his leading L's as Y's, and it's impeding his spelling/reading abilities.
PB began Middle School.  Yesterday we did get our time to travel her schedule and work her locker (a bunch of times.)  She briefly met her teacher, ad her classes are grouped together well.  One of her best friends has all but one class with her, she's getting gym out of the way first semester and it's the last class of the day, and she's excited. Basically, that is pretty much all we can ask.  She asked her sister about her outfit yesterday a bunch of times.  Bug told her that it was a lot of patterns, but she could pull it off.  And I think she did.
Come back tomorrow for an exciting announcement :) (no, I'm not pregnant.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When Politics land in your own backyard.

Loralee's post about her conversation with Valerie Jarrett regarding healthcare reform has won her space on the White House Page. This is amazing. How wonderful that a normal, ordinary American Citizen, has been given the chance to share her story.

Her post and the comments have really made my mind begin to tumble around. A post is coming. I've held back from posting anything that could be potentially controversial as it's not what I intended for this blog. But I feel a need to share. You've been warned.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Season of change

Back to school season always stirs up the winds of change, and this year it seems to be even stronger.  One child moves from half day K to all day 1st grade, another begins Middle School, and the third driver's ed.  Milestones beginning for each of my babies.

This past year has definitely been a year of change as well.  Of course my kids have grown up some, that is inevitable.  But I think that they have also grown stronger.  We were all forced to really look at ourselves, to see our lives through a different filter.  We had to re-evaluate our roles and our relationships.  We could break free of the patterns of the past and move forward without those shackles pulling us back. 

I see so many changes in my girls.  Bug has matured, has realized what so many people have been trying to tell her for so long.  She is a beautiful girl, with so much potential.  There is no need to be defensive, loud, brash, mean.  There is no reason for anger, at yourself or others, any longer. It is time to close that chapter and walk into the bright sunlight.  It is time to live a positive life, embracing the future and allowing the past to remain just that.  I see a child that has turned into a beautiful and smart young lady, with a great future ahead of her.

At one time or another, my husband and I have discussed her future.  We were both concerned with the rude awakening we saw heading her way.  "Someday, someone is going to break through that barrier...I pray that it isn't a catastrophe."  We talked, we shared, we prayed and we loved.  Finally, some of that good has seeped through, and that barrier is safely falling away.

PB has really grown this year as well.  The whines, the temper tantrums, they are still there, but I'm seeing them less often.  I see a witty girl, who is sweet and caring, and it's reflected in the way other children want to be her friend.  People flock to PB, they see her and smile and call her name.

Part of her charm is the way she completely lives in her own world.  She doesn't worry so much about what others think...if she is happy, that's all that matters to her.  She doesn't hear you when you say "that doesn't match," she puts it on and suddenly, it matches.  She is one of the few people I have ever met that can pull off a polka dotted shirt and plaid shorts and make it look cute.  For so many years, she has lived in the shadow of her sister.  She has been the younger sister, always trying to do what Bug did, have what Bug had.  No matter how many times and how many ways we tried to show them that life wasn't a competition between them, it was still there.  But this year, she wasn't so much the little sister every day.  She was the oldest.  She was allowed a little more freedom, and a little more responsibility.  There wasn't someone there to constantly compare herself to, and she blossomed.  Now I see a more mature relationship, a sharing of common interests as well as a protectiveness of each other.  There is still a competitive slant, but it is hushed now, toned down.

I hope this year has also taught my children how blessed our life is.  We may not live in a mansion with maid service and butlers, but we have a good life.  And even without the nice stuff, we have each other.  I'm going to try and remember those blessings every day, and count them, and hold them tight to me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Swaparooni update

I was uploading pictures of my most recent swaparooni loot, and realized I never posted the last one!

Here is my swap from swap partner was Karolienkie and she did such a great job.  The theme was Spring Flowers.  The colors are bright, and I'm using most of the stuff!

This month was another Local Swap, and divamom set me up! She is from Vermont, and I got some really yummy chocolate, including the Ben and Jerry's chocolate Cows....yummy!  There were also some office supply items, noteboks, and very pretty notecards.  It came on a day that I absolutely needed the pick me up, and it provided that!
And I haven't graced in a while, so that is my grace in small things. Packages that arrive when you most nee them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The newest Thespian in the house

Last year, PB performed in Robin Hood for the Missoula Children's Theater, and I blogged about it here.  Unfortunatly, she was not able to participate this year since she is away at camp.  But luckily for Monster, he is here and old enough to finally participate.He was cast as Seahorse #2.  OMG, isn't he just the cutest little seahorse you've ever seen?
I love this program, and I'm so happy Monster was able to participate this year.  It's such a positive and fun experience for all of the children that are a part of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My floor was slowly drowning

The first Sat in August was a busy day. We went to our local Peach festival and a minor league baseball game (more on that was exciting!). But what pushed me even closer to the edge was the ceiling tiles crumpled on the basement floor when I went down to throw in a load of the (never ending) laundry. Ceiling tiles belong on the ceiling, and these weren't just there, they were crumpled, broken, and upon further inspection, wet. Oh crap!

My mind began racing. Water was just trickling from the ceiling, not pouring through. What could be causing it? What's up above it? Grab some towels, pull aside the things I don't want to get wetter. Crap, I have to leave in an hour. Run upstairs, while resisting the urge to call my husbands name. Remembering that it won't do any good. Turn off the outside faucet that was left on earlier that day. Evaluate where that faucet is located in relation to the leak. Run back downstairs. Realize that isn't what's causing the leak. Run to the stairs and look up, back down, up, back down. Finally realize it's the dishwasher or sink.

I run up the stairs, lay down and pull the trim away, and find a soaking wet floor. I panic and my stops functioning correctly. I call my mom. She reminds me to turn off the water supply to the dishwasher. So I do. I call and make arrangements for someone to come look at it for me, and we leave for the ball game.

On the way home, my someone calls me and tells me it's definitely maybe the dishwasher, so I should get a repair man out there. Uh, thanks...but that wasn't really all that helpful.

Sunday morning, I started the process to contact the organization that's offered help for these situations. The organization that sat at an early FRG meeting and swore that they would help, that they had people that wanted to do this for us. I still haven't heard from them, almost two weeks later. I spent the day waiting for them, and dealing with Bug's expected and then cancelled arrival.

Monday, I realized I had to find someone, even if it cost a fortune. The water was still coming, but I couldn't cope with trying to figure out where. I was still dealing with trying to get Bug home, and I needed help. I started calling around. Thursday was the earliest someone could get out. ARGHhh...I finally realize I need to try and resolve this myself. I manage to pull the dishwasher out, and figure out what section it's leaking from, but not from where. I'm frustrated.

Finally, a friend reaches out. Reminds me that her husband is a repair tech. I call him Tues morning and he comes over Tuesday night, finds several PIN HOLE leaks in the tubing, and shuts the water off where it actually comes in. This means no water in the sink whatsoever...I'm still not sure what the other handle that I turned off was for. He comes back Wednesday night with new hoses and helps me put everything back. Yay, it's fixed.

But now I get to clean up the new set of wet towels, and do the extra 3 loads of laundry this has caused. And remove everything from the bookshelf in the basement and look for water damage and treat the carpet and the ceiling/floor joists and on and on and on.

Seriously, this deployment needs to end. I'm thankful for friends, but I'm tired of proving I'm capable.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I feel like all I do is tell you that I'm coming back.

But this week has been an EPIC FAIL so far, and I'm exhausted.  I have a post started (actually, several) and hopefully they'll get finished soon.  Stay with me...I swear it will get better!