Monday, March 02, 2015

I'd make up some clever title ...

Okay, so it's been over a month (JUST!) since I last blogged. Whoops!

Since then, what's gone on?

A lot of puking ... Bubbles and I were sick a couple weeks ago. Bad enough that Michael came home early on Wednesday (the day of the vomit) and my mom came up and stayed the night Thursday, to ensure that I wasn't going to over-do things (which I almost did, since I WAS going to go take notes at PTC - Parent-Teacher Club - that day ... but, well, when you get winded and sweaty JUST folding socks, it's probably a little bit over much to do).

Bubbles birthday is coming up (TOMORROW!) ... the party isn't until Saturday. It'll be just after the Elders Quorum (men's group) shooting activity ... which Michael is taking Bruise and Bucket to. They'll learn to shoot the rifle, which will be very good.

I got a Fitbit ... which lets me know HOW LAZY I am and how much I really overeat. (But, but, I just get SO FREAKING HUNGRY!) ... but, we'll see if it helps me get into better shape.

Today, I should be cleaning up the house. (Goals: Clean the kitchen. Vacuum the carpets. Clean up the kids' bathroom. Then make sure to take a meal to a family in the ward [congretation].) And I SHOULD also break out a Richard Simmons DVD to get some cardio going. Since, when Michael and I went to donate blood last week, he wasn't able due to a high pulse. Mine was also elevated, but not enough to disqualify. ... However, I did almost pass out this time. Fun, fun, right? Stupid low blood pressure. *rolls eyes*

What else has gone on in my life worth reporting?
Still haven't gotten the rest of the bathroom cabinet doors painted. Whoops. But I have ONE coat of primer on TWO of the four doors ... and a whole little cabinet to prime and paint. *sigh*

I made it to a Relief Society activity last week ... it was combined with the other ward that shares our church building. One sister gave a presentation on the power of positive thinking and positive affirmations. It was interesting. I had fun and got to visit with other grownups, which was LOVELY.

Bruise and Michael finished Bruise's Pinewood Derby car ... and Bruise even placed third in this Pinewood Derby, which would allow him to participate in Districts ... except for the fact that it's at the same time as Bubbles' birthday party. He's cool with it, though.

I got to volunteer at the kids' school (the day before I was tied to the toilet). Just escorting kids back and forth to/from dental screenings and their classes. We even finished before noon, so I was able to go out to lunch with Mom C (who was watching Bubbles for me).

Okay, now how's about I actually attempt to go in slightly chronological order and get caught up ...

End of January - last week:
  • Prepared for and attended Bruise's Blue and Gold (Cub Scout) Banquet.
    We bought his cake ... so, in other words, we paid a large donation to Cub Scouts and got a cake as a freebie. We were just glad it sold for more than last year's cake. ... Even though we didn't put as much effort into it (like baking cake from scratch and creating shapes out of melting chocolate and marzipan ... last year's cake was EXHAUSTING).
  • Bucket played violin (as part as an ensemble) for the local library's gala fundraiser ... This is pretty huge, since normally, she's a bit shy/psyches herself out about being in front of other people ... and she was EXCITED to do this from the start.
  • Michael and I got new phones.
  • We started using some InTune (Focus Blend) DoTERRA oil on Bruise. His teachers have noticed a difference! Not that he was horrible or anything, but he's better able to focus and pay attention. He likes it ... even though, at first, the bus driver and some teachers asked who was wearing cologne ... and I joke that (since it contains patchouli) he smells like "a clean hippie." (Which made his English-language teacher burst out laughing.)
  • I tried going from having medium-brown hair to platinum. ... Yeah, bad idea to do at home. So I spent a crapload of money to fix my orange-hair-with-white-roots. Just FYI: If you're thinking of making a HUGE change, do it at a salon. Color correction costs about TWICE as much as just going to the salon and NOT wrecking your hair color. (Seriously. TWICE AS MUCH, y'all. Thank goodness for a tax return!)
  • The kids' school had International Night. Their classes have been studying Brazil. We brought a Brazilian sweet cornbread cake (thanks, Google!). We also got to watch them do some Brazilian songs and dances. Then we RAN them over to what was left of their Cub Scouts/Activity Days activities.
  • For Valentine's Day, we went to an animal show at the local community college. Now, 3/5 of us want a pet chinchilla. 1/5 of us isn't wild about the idea. The other 1/5 is distracted by Daniel Tiger and Frozen, so hasn't weighed in with an opinion.
  • Then, we went down to the next big town south and went to an Asian Culture Festival and a Heritage Fair. It was CROWDED. So we came back to our town to eat lunch and watched videos at home.
  • My Nana had her 83rd birthday. We called and sang to her. Then she talked to me. I really don't think she could hear me at all for the most part. But, at least, she knows that we care enough to call, right?
  • After the vomit-and-poo situation of 2015 (alluded to earlier) ... TMI ALERT - It's really SAD when you're sitting on the toilet and CAN NOT get up for reasons best NOT baldly stated and you realize that you've left the bowl on the bed (that you then climb into after emptying your body's contents and shiver yourself to sleep ... AFTER you've shambled down the hall to help your youngest who is glazed out, watching Disney movies on repeat [Thank you, FastPlay. Best thing ever!] and will nearly-unfailingly puke about five minutes after you do) and you cannot, as I mentioned earlier, get up to grab said bowl OR move from the toilet ... so you end up grabbing a hand towel, folding it as fast as you can into fourths, throwing it to the ground, and vomiting the last swallows of water  you imbibed onto THAT, then throwing it into the shower stall until you have the strength and motivation to deal with it ... then you manage to get off the toilet (for another 30 minutes maybe?), rinse out your mouth, check on the child, take care of her while she vomits, get her settled back onto the couch with a few sips of water, and shumble back to bed to shiver until you fall asleep. GOOD TIMES, Y'ALL! GOOD TIMES! #SarcasmToTheNthDegree
  • So then, after sleeping nearly all day, I was feeling better ... just not well enough to, well, DO much without sweating and feeling woozy.
  • We've taken it pretty easy (which shows in the shoddy housework done) since then. We had a Game night for the EQ and their families. We had four families show up (one had to leave early).
    During the Game night, we played two games ... I changed Bubbles' diaper once. And then had to clean up after my OTHER daughter peed her pants (and on the carpet) ... I was NOT thrilled. (Neither was she ... but, dude, at 9 years old, even if your little sister is playing with the light switch and it gets dark, I fully expect that you can either hold it OR be aware of your body and go to the freaking bathroom just down the FULLY-LIT hallway. Just sayin', Lord love you, child.)
Today, the missionaries (sisters) are coming over to do laundry. Then I'm cleaning house and fixing up a meal for a family in the ward. At some point the big kids will either come home on the bus OR I'll go pick up Bucket from Girls On The Run practice, which either starts this week or next week.
Mom and C and Aunt J will come up tomorrow for Bubbles' birthday, so it'd be GOOD to have the house ALL cleaned.

So I should get a quick shower and get on all that, right? Or, at least, throw on a bra and get started. *sigh* Motivation, where are you?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Was ist los?

So, I was doing fine for a bit ... now I've gotten all prickly.

The kids are still grounded (well, the older two are, anyways).
They're supposed to alternate on chores -- One will be in charge of cleaning up the dining room and doing laundry; the other will be in charge of dishes and the living room. Nothing HUGE. Just keep the floor/furniture picked up, put books/toys away and load/unload the dishwasher or washer/dryer.
And they just put it all off for forever. So now instead of just being grounded off of their tablets and watching shows, they've proved that I have to make sure they finish their chores or they can't read/play with toys/go outside.

It's really annoying. Oh well. Whatever.

I'm terribly behind in my scripture reading ... but I've finally STARTED (just 21 chapters until I'm caught up for the day. But, hey, at least I'm IN Second Nephi now ... instead of now even having started).

I've gotten the cupboards base primed and with the first coat of color painted on. And one cabinet door is primed. Once it dries, I can start painting it. ... And the cabinets under the sink are all done. ... Once I get THIS cabinet done, Michael can take the little medicine cabinet off the wall ... and I can work on that. Since it's SO much smaller, I think that I'll manage to get it done in a LOT less time than this is going to take me. (And not JUST because there's ONLY two doors on that.)

But, yeah, something seems to be wrong with me ... and I don't know WHAT, exactly. Just that I am not as happy as usual.

Since I dreamt last night that I was asked to teach Gospel Principles (and accepted, since I was in a rush and not listening), then realized that I already have a calling during church so that I CAN'T teach toddlers AND adults at the same time (in different rooms) ... so I'm searching, in my dream, to find who asked me ... since I don't know what lesson anyways AND I have to tell her that NO, I couldn't teach ... and she needs to find someone who CAN ...

Mom says that it sounds like I'm stressed. But about what?
  • Maybe the fact that I've disassembled the bathroom cupboard to paint it ... and it won't be completed for at least a week?
  • Maybe the fact that I'm frustrated at needing to badger my children into doing regular chores?
  • Maybe that I have a lesson to teach  each Sunday this month? (Don't get me wrong ... I just don't always LOVE teaching.)
  • Maybe that I'm trying to come up with crafts for the Nursery kids for Valentine's, Mothers', AND Fathers' Days? (I already missed Christmas 2014. Whoops!)
  • Maybe it's because I'm attempting to get Silly Putty out of one of Bucket's pajama tops? And I need to sew on a badge onto Bruise's Cub Scout uniform?
  • Maybe it's to do with my latent self-loathing because I am not the size and shape that I was when I got married? (If so, I should really work on that.)
  • Maybe I'm just taking crazy pills ... 
But, regardless, it's a little irritating when I'm trying to do the right things, that I get all down and irritable. What's up with that?

But, yeah.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A bit of resolution ... not overall ... but mentally, I guess

I'm doing better.

I mean, yeah, I'm still disappointed about the whole date-that-mostly-fell-through-because-our-friend-wasn't-there ... but, you know, she has her life and she makes her own decisions.

I did find the original appointment card ... which states that if you can NOT make the appointment to contact her in advance. Nowhere did it say to contact her to confirm the appointment. So ... well, I do feel a bit justified. Since I was never asked to confirm.
Still, it's a bummer that, as Michael stated, she didn't place near the amount of importance on our appointment as I/we did. Oh well.
(Especially since if it had happened, I could have told lots of folks about it and how cool it was and what I learned ... but, well, now I can't. Sad.)

Vesper's picked up a cough again. She was coughing a TON yesterday evening. Enough so that I stayed home with her from Bruce and Zoë's concert (Michael and Mom and Dad C were there). Then, this morning (after coughing off and on through the night), she's FINE. Now, three hours without any coughing, she's coughing again. What's up with that?

Tomorrow, Michael and I are going to our first -con ... Up in P-Town, there's a comic-con this weekend. We got tickets through an online coupon site for about half-price. Pretty nice. This should make up for the date-that-didn't-happen.

But, yeah, between a fun date that's something we've always wanted to do and Aunt Flo vacating my life (until her next visit. Joy, oh joy! [she said dripping with sarcasm]), life is getting tons better (not that it wasn't good to begin with ... but it's better).

I've been going through my bookmarks ... so, if you're on Pinterest and wondering what the heck I'm posting a couple hundred pins the last few days ... well, be aware that now, instead of around 200 Crafting bookmarks, I'm down to less than ten (and those bookmarks are mostly stores that I mean to shop at sometime). And I've already gotten more than 150 of my cooking bookmarks over onto Pinterest. (Just another 140 or so to go! All my C, H, R, and S bookmarks left. Then I'll only have around a dozen that won't or don't get pinned left.)

And, since I'm on Pinterest, I might as well go through some of the boards that I've bookmarked to go through later ... and, since one of them (and then a second that I found THROUGH that first board) are church-related, then I have a couple dozen new pins there. #PinterestAddiction

However, I do have to say that going through those boards is really helpful. I just want to squeeze my kids and tell them that I love them, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love them ... that sort of thing.
I know it's really kind of silly that going through a few links seems to strengthen my testimony ... but, well, that's how it really is.
(Our leaders and general authorities give some wonderful quotes. I really love that they make sure to let all of us know about how much we are loved. And how precious we are to Heavenly Father and Jesus. It's ... awesome.)

So, yeah. That's most of what's gone on.

And, in other news, Bruise and Bucket are grounded AGAIN off electronics. Bruise snuck the Nintendo DS (which is MINE, by the by ... even though I let the kids use it more than I do) into their room. Then he and Bucket, after Michael told them NOT to get in each other's beds (Bucket and Bruise more often than not sleep in the same bunk. I warn them that this will need to stop soon, since they definitely need to be over this by the time they serve missions or go to college or whatever), were in Bucket's bunk, so she could watch Bruise play his new game ... and then, when Michael went in, Bruise lied and said that they were playing with Bucket's light brick (LEGO nightlight) ...

Yeah ... crazysauce and a half.

So, even though it hadn't even been two weeks since they LAST got in trouble (Bruise sneaking in his tablet into his bunk to watch Minecraft YouTube videos with Bucket in her bunk), they're grounded again. ...

But, in the meantime, the screen protector for Bucket's new tablet (for her birthday) and the cases for their tablets have come in. I've got everything all set up. They just need to get un-grounded, charge up the tech, and they can play again.

BUT I'm going to be a great big meanie ... they have to do their Duolingo (language study) before they can play. And that still counts EVEN if they have friends coming over after school.

It's a little irksome, though, since we had JUST been talking about obedience and stuff in our morning devotionals ... Well, apparently, I should have just been teaching them about repentance instead, right?

Still even with that, the kids do funny stuff. ... and stuff that can make me proud.

Yesterday, Bubbles picked out (as her movie to watch) The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Usually she watches The Lion King or Frozen or The LEGO Movie or Tinkerbell. So it warmed my cold, shriveled heart that she's branching out.)

Also yesterday, after Bucket got home from their concert, she came in and, seeing the cat sleeping on the couch, pronounced, "Freyja!! Did you miss me??"
"Desperately," I replied.
"She said sarcastically," rejoined Bucket.
Yes, I totally laughed. I was quite chuffed that she did that.

Bruise has been really sweet ... besides the lying episode, of course.
Without being prompted, as soon as he saw there were cookies set out after their concert, he announced that he needed to bring one home for Bubbles.
That and since, prior to grounding, he and I had watched some silly videos on YouTube (like Cedric the Entertainer's "Que Hora Es" skit), so Bruise will enter the room and announce, "QUE HORA ES?!?!?!!" It's pretty awesome.

I'm fighting off the last vestiges of that sinus infection. And an impending ear infection. And I'm a whole book behind in scripture reading. (My goal? Read the Book of Mormon [not for the first time, but for the first time this year] by my birthday.) ... I would guess that's related to pinning a couple hundred things on Pinterest and reading a book every couple of days (Working my way through my holds ... which means that I'm working my way through the THOUSANDS of books on my TBR list). ... I need to put my scriptures on a higher priority. And I really could get caught up in an hour or two. So I SHOULD do that. TODAY. Before I get behind any more.
... Then I should read ... Well, probably the New Testament all the way through again. Then I can tackle the Doctrine and Covenants next. I'll save the Old Testament for 2016, how's that?
I mean, I have read through all of these before ... but it's been ... almost two decades. That's really sad. (And it's why I really miss Seminary and Institute.)

And I should do more Family History. Dad and L say that Uncle S has a binder of new information that he got from his new friends (who lead the local Scottish Heritage group in their neck of the woods). I'd be good to find out for sure if Pop-pop's side is Scottish or actually German (since the great-great...-great grandfather who immigrated over came over with the Hessians and married his (first) wife in Prussia. If nothing else, I know that Nana's stock DOES come from bonny ol' Scotland ... In fact, Uncle M bears an uncanny resemblance to one of her uncles, who fought as part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It's really funny/interesting, seeing that picture of great-great-uncle David ... and seeing Uncle M dressed in the plaids.

And not just because Uncle M's middle name is David. Works out really well, doesn't it?
Just like, when Bruise was in the Veterans' Day Parade, his Cubmaster remarked to me how he looks just like one of the pictures (of veterans in our family) that we submitted for display on the float.
"Oh, yes. That's because that's a picture of [Pop-pop ... whom Bruise was named after, well, his first name]."
"But if couldn't be a picture of [Bruise]. It was a grown man."
"*lol* [Bruise] is named for [Pop-pop], my dad's dad. But, yes, I did see the resemblance when he was born. It assured me that, yes, I did name him correctly."

Yup, that's my life in a nutshell ... infuriating and infatuating.

Well, I should feed the munchkin and do laundry or something useful. And read scriptures. And finish painting a cupboard door.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In which I kvetch ...

First off, I'll admit that I'm in the middle of a certain lunar-monthly event, so you can take that with the grain of salt you should.

But, yesterday, Michael and I had a date-afternoon activity set up. We were going to a mutual friend's place so she could analyze our eyeballs (take a REALLYUPCLOSE picture, then look at variances in different areas of the iris and the white part [whatever it's called. I'm too lazy/irritated to look it up] and tell us what parts of our bodies are showing signs of issues) ... pretty cool, right?
And, since we signed up for it at a health expo a few months back at a good deal.

So, yeah, I was looking forward to it for the last couple months.

She emailed me paperwork to fill out (Michael and me seperately). Nearly ten pages of questions.
Which we did.

Here's the text of the email that she sent:

HI Allanna and Mike
I am reminding you of your Iris Analysis appointment for Jan 16 at 2pm.
I have attached the intake form for you to fill out prior to your appointment.  Please print one out for each of you.   It is important for you to fill it out as completely as possible to better help you gain control over your health.
If you have questions, please let me know. 

I'll admit that I had a bit of a busy time the last few weeks. Between recuperating from the plague, trying to get caught up on housework, Bruise and Bucket's concert rehearsal, reading books, painting in the bathroom, and all the other minutiae of my life, I did not send a reply ... mostly because I didn't have any questions to contact her with.

So... Friday comes, we've finished answering a bunch of questions and printed out all the paperwork to do so. We go over to the address listed on the email (even showing up five minutes early) ... we knock on the door ... we ring the doorbell ... we repeat. We call her cell (no answer) and I leave a message ... we wait until about a quarter after two.

At this point, I'm more than a little disappointed. I'd been looking forward to this appointment for a while. And ... we got stood up.

I emailed her after we got home (and Bubbles went down for a nap and Michael left to go shooting with Dad C and C, his brother).

I wrote:

We went to your place, but nobody was there. I also tried calling.
Sorry that we missed you. Hope that everything is okay. We were looking forward to seeing you.

And, a bit later, I got this reply:

Hi Allanna
I apologize for not being there. I never heard back from you so I didnt know you could make it.
When would you like to reschedule?
I am doing well.  Had a rough week though, so my husband and I went to the coast for the weekend.

Well, nowhere in the email that I originally received did it say that I needed to confirm. Or else I WOULD have sent confirmation. She never called either Michael or my phone (or the home phone) ... CallerID would have shown us that we missed a call from her. And we'd have called back (or answered the phone in the first place).

When I make an appointment with any other professional (or even just for Visiting Teaching or something social), I might send a reminder email or text or call ... and, unless I/they hear anything to the contrary, you are there for that appointment.

Michael's taking this a lot more easily than I am. "It's not professional behavior."
Whereas ... I'm blogging about this so that I can finally process it through my head so that I can let it freaking GO and figure out how to be happy and crap.

I mean, when my kids' dentist's office has an appointment scheduled, they'll leave a message on my answering machine if I'm not here to confirm in person. Then they are THERE at their office, even if they haven't heard back. (Now, I know that if they can't reach the person, they can and do schedule emergency appointments over that time. When we had to take Bucket in to repair her tooth, that's what happened. Turns out the non-confirming family DID show up ... so we waited around a little more, sure. But, still, EVERYONE was served.)

If you don't confirm with your Visiting Teacher, more often than not, she'll still come by. If the sister that YOU visit teach doesn't respond after you set up an appointment in person (to an email that doesn't say, "Hey, just checking ... we're still on for this appointment, right?"), you don't just blow it off.

I was thinking that, with [Name] not being there and not answering her phone, perhaps there was some serious family emergency. And that is understandable. It'd have been better if she shot off a text or something ... "Sorry I won't be there! Family emergency. Can we reschedule soon?" or the like.

Maybe I'm just so irritated because I know that she's running her own business. And I know that if stuff like this is happening with other customers (ones that might not love her so much), that she's really shooting herself in the foot.

And I really dislike her pushing the blame solely onto me about this. Yes, I could have responded. And I probably should have ... but sometimes I get a little literal. She did not request a confirmation. If she had, I most definitely would have sent her one. She just said to contact her with any questions. And I didn't have any ... because one usually doesn't think to ask "Will you even BE there when we show up?"

If she was in doubt about it, as a businessperson, she could have easily emailed again ("Just checking in since I haven't heard back from you. Are we still on?") or called Michael or me. Or sent either of us a message on Facebook, even. Instead, she made the decision to completely blow us off without any warning. (Even an email of, "Hey there. Since I haven't heard back from you and I've been having a crazy week, I've got another commitment [regardless of the fact that we planned this months ago ... and this makes me seem really flighty and undependable]" OR "I haven't heard back from you, so maybe I don't have the correct email. Let me know if you get this. If I don't hear back from you by tonight, I'll give a call to confirm plans" OR even "I've had a really awful week. Can we reschedule?" ... ANY of those would be okay. ... Note that I do not say that it's FINE. But, it'd be a darn sight better than waiting around, trying to keep our toddler from constantly banging on their door or ringing their doorbell).

If we knew that this wasn't happening, we would have cut our losses (menstrual-related-hormonal-craziness or not) and come up with something that we could have enjoyed just as much. I could have put Bubbles down for an earlier nap, let Michael head out earlier, and curled up with a new library book and Netflix. Or worked to finish painting another cabinet door. Or had Michael take Bubbles up to Mom and Dad's (to hang with Mom and Grandma) and I could run over and get my hair done ... we had tons of options. ... that couldn't happen, since we were honoring OUR commitment to this appointment.

And it just feels like it wasn't nearly as important to our friend to do the same.
And, well, it feels rather like a slap in the face that your business/money/presence/society is not worth even taking a chance that your customers are honoring their appointment.

Yes, I could have replied. But she didn't ASK for one in the first place. I figured that if she was in need of a confirmation, she'd have ASKED. Or called.

... And, though I was really looking forward to this and for so long, I really am torn. Because after receiving treatment like this from anyone, I don't really want to do business with that person. And it makes it a bit harder because we do know her and have that relationship.

But the hard fact is that I wouldn't choose to do business with a stranger/less-close friend who treated me/us with such disrespect. Why should I submit myself to this with someone who I thought was more professional/a friend?

I need to forgive her, YES. And I will.
But I'm rather SAD. And MAD. SMAD about the situation.

I'm mad at myself for not having the foresight to put myself into a situation where I could end up so disappointed/disillusioned. (And, golly, does anyone wonder why I've tended to go antisocial? Because, apparently, I can't handle relationships or living or anything ... It's reasons like this why restaurant menus can fill me with a mixture of joy and dread. "What do I order? Do I go with my usual? Do I try something new? But, if I try something new, what if I don't like it? What if I hate it? What if they stop carrying my favorite things???" ... And there's the fact that I had PLANNED on this. I am not great with change all the time. I TRY to roll with the punches, but I'm not always thrilled [at ALL] about it ...)

So, yeah. I'm smad that I tried something new. And that I was counting on it to happen. And it fell through. I'm smad that I feel that our friend shifted all responsibility onto us, when she shares in it ... and that it seems that she's got a bit of a flippant attitude about it. I'm smad that I'd consider putting myself through this a second time ... especially since I have no idea if we'd get the special price that we were going to get by signing up so fat in advance before. And I'm smad that I let this get to me. It shouldn't matter. It was just a maybe-scientific thing that could have been cool. ... It could have been a waste of money.

But, well, at least I've got this (hopefully all of it) out of my system. And I'm sure that, reflecting on this, there's some great lesson to learn (hopefully not "don't do business with friends" since I have some friends with great businesses/skills) ... and, since I've poured all this out, maybe I'll have gained the distance to look at this situation and learn from it.

I mean, if we choose to try this again, I think that I might find myself being a bit passive-aggressive about it. (After rescheduling, email: "Okay, just checking that you'll even be in town when our appointment is?" A couple days later: "Hey, just wanted to touch bases. We're still on for that eyeball-thing, right? You'll be there?" Repeat every few days. Ten minutes prior: "Oh, hey, something's come up. Gotta bail. Catch you some other time?" Five minutes later: "Crisis averted. On our way!" ... you know, something like that. ... But that'd be REALLY mean and unprofessional and, on the whole, a total jerk move. So I wouldn't do it. ... I might be quite tempted ... but I know better than to treat people like that.)

... Why is it that coming up with impossible scenarios makes me feel a little better?
Maybe it's because I'd really LIKE to be a criminal mastermind, but I can't due to my moral code? ... but that it's good to know that I have the capacity to do it, but that I can remind myself that I CHOOSE not to do it? (I do promise that if I ever DO decide to achieve that destiny, I will do my best to be a benevolent dictator. Pinkie-swears!)

Yeah, I do feel a bit better (in full disclosure, I originally mistyped that as "I feel a but better." Which would be a misspelling ... But admitting that I feel a "butt" better, knowing my current physique, would be saying that I feel LOTS better. And, since it involves the word "butt," my inner-ten-year-old is cracking up about that. Butts.

Yup, I'm Allanna. And I still appreciate potty-humor.
Some things never change.

However, I do feel like I can dissect this situation and analyze it ... and get over this stupid thing so that I don't walk about being all pissy about everything.

If our friend had said something more like, "Oh my gosh! I thought that since I didn't hear from you at all that this wasn't happening. I thought that I asked for you to confirm in the email I sent a week ago? Didn't I? I should have called, though, to get a definite answer. I'm so sorry! Can we reschedule? And I'll make sure to be more professional in the future!"
You know, something that made it sound like she cared a bit.

I'm sure that she does care. And not just about what we'd pay her for the analysis. Maybe it just didn't come through on that last email that she did send. Don't know.

But I think that I'll have Michael respond to her. He knows how to write professionally. And he can state that I'm rather disappointed about the whole situation. He might even affirm that he had expected her to act in a more professional manner ... he might not. Up to him.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Still alive! Promise!!

So, it's been over a month since I last posted. ... Um ... WHOOPS!

Life got super-busy there for a bit with Christmas plans and Bruise, Bucket, Bubbles, and me all getting sick. (Bruise actually stayed home for a day. That's pretty hardcore.) We all had what I like to call the plague/creeping crud.

Fevers were ran. Noses were blown (and blown and blown and blown). Coughs were coughed (incessantly). Naps were taken. Steamy showers were showered. Essential oils were used (In fact, I ran OUT of my doTERRA Breathe. Oy and vey on that.)

I ended up with a sinus infection, which caused me to spend most of the Christmas vacation without a sense of smell or taste. *sigh*

And I ended up spending a couple of days in bed during December as well.
Michael rounded up a friend from church and Bruise, Bubbles, and I all received a Priesthood blessing for healing (instead of just father's blessings for the kids and a couple of blessings of comfort for me) ... and I can definitely say that we really turned the corner after that.

I can also say that I have an even greater appreciation for essential oils now, too. Using a neti pot with (added to the saline solution) rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, Breathe (respiratory blend), and frankincense? AMAZING. Just twice a day for a couple days and my sinus infection ended. EOs + blessings = AWESOME.

And, since I used a few drops of basil around my ears every so often, I managed to escape coming down with an ear infection. Phew.

We're still coughing a bit. I think mine's a mix of allergies and heartburn. FUN! But at least my cough isn't rattling/crinkling in my chest any longer. Phew.

Christmas was good ... we did Christmas Eve here at our house. Mom and Aunt J came up (C, my stepdad, wasn't feeling well that day, so he stayed home). We ate a nice holiday dinner and opened presents.

Christmas morning was just our family. Lots of fun (with LEGO involved, fun is guaranteed, yes?). And then we had Christmas afternoon/evening with Michael's side of the family. (Minus T1 and her family, since she had JUST given birth to our newest nephew that morning.)

Since we didn't get Michael's bonus before Christmas (well, we have the check ... we just can't deposit it until another few things are paid to the company), we had to play as cheaply as we could. It made buying presents a little bit of an adventure ... but we made it.

We also ended up taking the kids to Astoria for the day. Bruise and I made it all the way up the Astoria Column (Bucket has a thing about heights -- gets it from her dad. She came with us up to the second landing inside ... and then we walked her back down to hang with Michael and Bubbles).
After all that, can you blame my left calf for being crazy sore? ... I ended up with a cramp in my calf that lasted for nearly a week. At least it went away before my sinus infection did, right?

But we had fun. We also took the kids to Fort Clatsop where they got to earn their Junior Rangers badges. (FUN program, by the by. Highly recommended!)

With vacation and everything, we've changed our morning devotionals for the time being. Instead of learning/singing a hymn (from either the hymnal or the children's songbook), then reading the scripture that goes with it, then reading about the history of that song ... well, we're doing more of a smorgasboard of simpler things.

We go through their next lesson for Sunday School (so they'll be a little more prepared ... they have a small class, so might as well help the teacher get some added participation, right?). Another day, we'll cover what will be talked about in Primary/Sharing Time. ... and we go on from there.
Since we haven't yet seen our Home Teacher this month (like I have any room to talk. I haven't done my Visiting Teaching yet, either), we read and discussed the Home Teaching message for the month. The next day, we talked about the Visiting Teaching lesson (and I thanked the kids for giving me an opportunity to prepare to discuss it with my VT sisters). Today, we read an article on 5 things that youth should know about fasting ... and we talked about why fasting is important and how it helps us and others. And we talked a little about testimonies.
(Really, what would I do without Pinterest??)

So, today Bubbles and I are doing housework (I've been reading a lot of library books before they're overdue, so I'm a little behind in things). Then, after school, I'm taking my kids and two of their friends that I'm watching (with parental permission) to the church so I can donate blood. THEN I'll be carting everyone over to the school (again) for PTC ... and Michael will pick up our brood. Their friends' mom or dad will swing by and pick up the friends.

Bruise and Bucket had their rehearsal for their Strings Concert last night ... they had to miss Cub Scouts and Activity Days (and, since their concert is next week, they'll miss those activities AGAIN. Oh well). But Bruise's new den leader is AMAZEBALLS, y'all. I let her know that he wouldn't be there for the next two weeks (yesterday and next week) ... and she emailed me a detailed report of what they're working on and what I can do to help him pass these things off, too ... It's awesome.
Compare this to his last den ... I'd email the couple in charge and ... I'd never hear from them at all.  Yeah, Sister M is pretty dang amazing. Not like I didn't already know that. It's just even more established now.

For the next term of Strings lessons, though, we'll move the kids into the afternoon class. This way they'll get some more sleep. Sure, I'll have to pick them up from school ... but it's late enough that it shouldn't interfere with Bubbles' nap or anything. We'll make it work.

Also, during vacation, we worked on Bruise's arrow points for Wolf. He'll be getting some silver arrows for me to sew onto his shirt next month. Good times.
Just in time for us to work on his Bear badge, right?

I know that I've left out about a bazillion things (that's what happens when one doesn't blog for over a month, right?) ... but I've got lots of stuff to do and not nearly enough time to get EVERYTHING I want to get done completed.

In related news, I painted the drawer fronts in the bathroom and reattached the (spray painted) handles. I have ONE (of four) of the sink cupboard doors painted and reattached. One door is being painted. I painted the door frame and the other end of the big cupboard (now to finish all the sink cupboard doors just to take off EIGHT cupboard doors for the big cupboard ... and paint the rest of the base of THAT, then all the doors ... and spray paint all the hardware for THAT) ... then, once we replace the fan and the light and clean up everything, we'll just have to install baseboards and crown molding ... and eventually replace the shower, toilet, and bathtub, right? Oh, and the over the mirror light fixtures. And touch up the blue paint again ... AND replace the door (we want to make it WAY better by having a door on the sliding barn-door hardware instead of one that really cuts into the room when you open it. If it weren't a load-bearing wall, Michael would have converted it to a pocket door YEARS ago.

Then to tape and texture and paint the hallway (and, if we're doing that, I would like to paint all the doors. Where's the bathroom? That's the green door in the hallway. Where's the garbage? Past the ___ door in the hallway-- just around the corner in there, by the litterbox ... You know, that sort of thing.) ... Then we can redo the kids' bathroom (tape/texture/paint, new light. Change the counter in there (so you can actually work on the toilet easily without a stupid counter in the way). Add some storage and make it a better guest bathroom.

We would like to build on ... turn the existing kids' room into a playroom and build two more bedrooms (one for Bruise, one for the girls). And it'd be nice to tape/texture/paint the kitchen ... maybe add a little backsplash. Reframe the lights ... Paint the cabinets. Redo the floor ... That sort of stuff. (DIY is kind of addictive. And a little spendy. I keep thinking, "Hmmm ... I could REALLY use a paint sprayer. Then I could paint ALL THE DOORS for the cabinets AT ONCE! ... Well, one SIDE of them, anyways.")

But, yeah. I have a house to clean, food to make, cabinet doors to paint, books to read, scriptures to read ... a blood drive to attend, kids to watch, a PTC meeting to take notes at (which involves skipping my Relief Society meeting ... I hope someone will take notes. I really am bummed at having to miss this one.) ... I'm swamped!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Another Week

Yesterday was kind of a crazy day ... well, the morning part, anyways, so I'll start there and then fill in the rest of the week.

Getting to church and Sacrament Meeting went well enough. I was running a little late (for me), but I manged to remember everything I needed to bring (i.e., snack for Nursery, lesson stuff for Nursery, my scriptures, my tablet and phone ...).
My partner in the littles side (those who won't turn three until 2015) wasn't there. And I didn't know she wasn't going to be there. ... And since T, with the older kids (those who are going into Sunbeams -- the 3-year-old class) had them in Junior Primary, I was on my own [responsibility-wise] that first hour. Snack time was ... interesting. We had two little girls that kept bickering. *sigh* And a lot of kids kept trying to eat while NOT at the table.

I was just glad that we had some visitors of the adult variety during that first hour. And, that T roped Brother McC in to help supervise while I taught a lesson and she took kids to go potty.

Let me just tell you that after church, I came home and collapsed on the foot of the bed.

But then I got up to watch The Best Christmas Pageant Ever with Michael and the kids.
Then we ate lunch and drove out to a friend's house, who was hosting a little Nativity display at her house (and Bubbles and Bucket got to pet some of her family's yaks. Bruise didn't care to).

And we scurried home for an impromptu dinner with the missionaries (Sister B is being transferred tomorrow. They needed to get laundry done ... and no one had signed up to have them come to dinner that night), so we fed them spaghetti and watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional together.

And my wedding band snapped. So I'll need to get that fixed. After payday, though. Poor ring. It's only almost 14 years old. But, like I joked to the missionaries, NOW I have an ADJUSTABLE wedding ring. (Not really.) I should call the jeweler's and get an estimate (I figure that it should cost about the same as having it resized ... we'll see, though).

Which leads us to today ... where I haven't even showered yet, since I was doing some housework (like ATTEMPTING [not succeeding, mind you] to get the bathroom counters back in order to free up the laundry baskets so that I can get THOSE out of the bathroom and start painting the bathroom cabinets and finish painting the cupboard in there. THEN, after touch-ups, the bathroom SHOULD be mostly done (for now. We're thinking of changing the door and we'll replace the fan and the lights ... but that'll all be done in the new year.

I've worked my way through most of the laundry, about half the dishes, and picking up the front rooms (should vacuum and do a million other things ... like clean my desk AGAIN)...

Okay, going BACK in time ... I watched T and L one day last week. Mom came up the next day. We took the kids out to McDonald's. Bubbles had one of her more epic tantrums before we headed out. She had hit both her siblings in the face and wouldn't say sorry. Once I got her to take some deep breaths, though, she calmed down enough to have a time-out. Bruise had a pack meeting (getting ready for Lock-Down in a month and the Blue and Gold and the Pinewood Derby). I have one more patch to sew on his shirt.

Bubbles and I got our new WIC vouchers (just waiting until they get it so that it's all on a card. That'd be nice). I worked on painting the frames of the mirrors in the bathroom and finishing caulking up around the window in there. Decided that I wasn't feeling up to social things and skipped the RS activity ... Not great, I know. But, well ...

Friday, Vesper and I went to the kids' school for their assembly. I knew that Bucket was being recognized for good behavior, but I didn't know (until I got there) that Bruise was ALSO being recognized, too. (So were a couple of their friends ... like T. I was able to send a picture of him to his mom, who had another appointment, so couldn't make it out that time.)
After that, I took Bubbles to the library to pick up my holds and to the Toddler Storytime. (I hadn't been taking her to storytime after the occasion where she wouldn't sit down enough for the librarian. I was told that Bubbles needed to either sit down or sit with me. ... And strong-willed daughter of mine, she didn't want to do either of those. So, I had to take her, SCREAMING, out of storytime. ... Times like that, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY miss one of the librarians who recently retired. Or the storytimes at the next town's library, which were REALLY geared for littles. ... Since then, they've started the toddler (and another one for babies) storytime.
Bubbles had a GREAT time. I know that we're going to have to make this a weekly/regular thing.

We missed the school's movie night fundraiser (the kids had already seen the movie, so they weren't TOTALLY bummed), since it was dependant upon them FINALLY getting their room clean.

Saturday, we took them to Home Depot for the kids' activity (building Christmas/Holiday-themed yard stakes -- Snowflake, Gingerbread person, and a snowman on them). Then we worked on the bathroom some more. Then we went to a baptism. After that, we headed out to a local Nativity Festival (over 300 nativities ... and there's also concerts and kids' activities. Good stuff.

Then, we went to look at our favorite lights display ... which had moved. We didn't remember at all, since we missed it last year (due to a taquitos-induced DISASTER), which was the first year it had been moved ... and we hadn't made it out to its new location.
Thank goodness for smartphones. We were able to look it up and get out there.

And it was totally worth it. With Bubbles being two now, she is TOTALLY INTO all of this.
"KISSMIS IIITES!!!" It's pretty adorable.

And, since I already told you about Sunday, that brings us current with everything.

And, golly, I'm tired. I'm sure Michael would tell you that it's due to my staying up too late.
I just haven't been sleeping all that well. I'm sure that I'll sleep better after my traffic ticket is taken care of. Ugh. And after this month of teaching in Nursery is done. And I'm done Christmas shopping. :P I know, I know, I'm getting caught up in the minutiae of life. But I also know that I'll feel a lot better once I have a pretty, organized bathroom again. (In related news to THAT, Bucket is getting a slew of new-to-her lip glosses. Lucky girl! And I've tossed out a shload of old makeup I never really used.

Well, I should get Bubbles some lunch (something besides THREE cuties/tangerines). And I should eat, too.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Well, I'm not dead ... Just busy and lazy ...

Wowzers ... it's been a while. Like a WHOLE MONTH (and some extra days).


Now to TRY and get caught up on what all has gone on around here ...

Let's see ...
We'll start with Halloween ...

Bruise was the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith). Bucket was her own version of Madeline/Maddie Hatter (from Ever After High). Bubbles opted to go as Princess Sofia the First (it was either that or Princess Anna from Frozen). We went to the mall for their trick-or-treating, then stopped by a neighbor's house, then went to a local Halloween party for all the kids. Bruise and Bucket ran into their friends (that sometimes come over after school so I can keep an eye on them since their folks are both working for a while).

We helped my dad and L move some of their big things (like my dad's shop contents) to their new house. It was a (busy) day trip. They had ME order the pizza for dinner ... and I got two of their addresses mixed up, so pizza took just a little longer to arrive. Whoops!
(That'll teach them, right?) ... But, on the bright side, Michael and I got the wifi password for their new place. So we're ready for spending the night in the future. (And Bruise and Bucket LOVE the cupboard under the [garage] stairs. They feel JUST like proper Muggles, I tell you!)

Freyja-cat got her shots. And Bubbles got to pet the office cat at the vet's.
Bruise, Bucket, and I have all joined Bubbles in getting OUR flu shots (Michael never gets one).

We had a gamut of disease going on in our house: Bruise came down with a case of pink-eye. He shared it with Bubbles (giving eye drops to a toddler? AWFUL). Bubbles got a double ear infection ... right as she was done battling a case of impetigo (on her leg and back). Bucket also came down with an ear infection (just the one, though).
And I STARTED to come down with a cold. But, thanks to my array of DoTERRA samples, I kept that puppy at bay. Phew. Since I didn't have time to be sick anyways.

Bruise got to be in his first Veterans Day parade ... in related news, I got my first traffic ticket for making a right turn without coming to a complete stop as I RUSHED to drop him off (and, of course, I shouldn't have stressed/rushed, since NO ONE WAS THERE FOR ME TO DROP HIM OFF WITH so that the girls and I could go downtown and get a spot for the parade. *SIGH*).
This is my life.

It appears that Freyja-cat has more special needs ... in this case, besides her standing prescription for "kitty-Prozac," she also is showing signs of a food allergy ... so the fact that she'd licked off most of the fur on her hindquarters was related to the fact that she's my SPESHUL BAYBEE and I need to get her some non-poultry/non-corn based food at the local feed store.

The kids have had a lot of time off school ... two days for Veterans Day ... and a whole week for Thanksgiving. It's been nice, getting to sleep in and all that. But they were missing school ... what will they do later this month when they have TWO WEEKS away from class?
(Answer: They'll finish their second-grade workbooks, drink lots of hot cocoa, clean their room, and visit family! That's what!)

Bruise's picture retakes came back. They're ... better.
But this is why I don't pay full price for them (online coupons!!) and why we get FAMILY portraits done ... so that I can MAKE SURE he looks decent and actually SMILES with his eyes and all.
(I love my son. But if he brings back home ONE more picture where he looks like a stoned juvenile, OY TO THE VEY, Y'ALL.)

We had parent-teacher conferences before Thanksgiving week.
The kids are doing well in everything ... they are being progress monitored for Spanish. But their teachers are sure that they'll reach the standards goal by the end of the year.
Also, Bruise has been falling asleep in class.
I think that for the next session of Strings lessons, we'll be moving to the afternoon class.

We got our house decorated for Christmas. The kids helped decorate the tree for FHE (Family Home Evening) last night. I got my nativities set up ... and my Charlie Brown Christmas tree. And my Linus-as-a-shepherd figurine. Michael got lights up on the house.
We have a star on our tree this year ... it's time to try something new, right?

The other thing to write about is that Michael and I have been working on our bathroom. Two weekends ago, we textured the walls (finally) and I started painting. I put white primer on the ceiling (it was NEEDED) and spray painted the fan cover with white spray paint (it looks TONS better). Then Michael and I painted the walls. They're now the slightest whisper of blue.

Today, I put primer on one side of our (huge) cupboard in there and primed the window sill and frame. In a bit, if it's dry, I'll start to paint that the other color we picked out -- the cabinets and cupboard and trim around the mirrors will be a dove grey. And I'll need to spray paint the trim around the shower and tub white ... and OF COURSE it's started freezing, so I'll need to figure out how/where to do that.

Michael also put up some shelves for me. Now I can get all my stuff off the counters, right?
He's also putting up some shelves above the toilet. And he got me a shelf-thing for the bathtub, which is awesome. Once I get that window painted and the trim back around the tub, I can load that up and the bathtub will look tons better.

We really didn't do much Black Friday shopping this year. Just went out in the afternoon to pick up some stuff for the bathroom ... and we hit Target for the DVDs. (Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrman version, for $4? Don't mind if I do!)

I also need to take the hardware off the cupboard doors so that I can spray paint it ... it'll either be white (to pop against the grey cabinets), brushed nickel (to coordinate with the tub shelving, our new toilet paper holder, and the towel rack we're going to buy ... and the new faucets we haven't bought yet), or oil-rubbed bronze (for added contrast). We'll see.
But, again, since the weather's turned, it's going to be a challenge to figure out how/where to spray them all.

Michael also put in a dimmer switch for the bathroom lights. And we'll be replacing the light fixtures (and the old fan) sometime.

It's really coming along, though. We've been in here for about seven years now. You'd hardly recognize the bathroom. And it's just getting better and better. (and it'll be amazing once I get stuff organized/get rid of a lot of junk ... HOARDER!!)

And I've been reading some library books lately.

One of our Christmas traditions is reading "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."
We finished it last night.
I cried. Like I ALWAYS do.
Every year, I think, "MAYBE I can get through it THIS year without crying."
And Michael says that he's glad for that. Apparently, my crying at the end of it is another of our Christmas traditions.
I'm also going to read the kids (again) "A Christmas Carol." ... And, if we can make it, "The Forgotten Carols," since I LOVE that story.

Since it'd been AGES since I last watched "While You Were Sleeping," (and technically, it's a holiday movie!) we watched it (again) last night. ... I'm still so very impressed with how awesome the writing is and how VERY well the casting is. Everyone plays their parts so darn well! And it's wonderfully quotable. Yeah, I adore it something fierce.

My Christmas present from my mom arrived -- She got me a DoTERRA kit. And I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Thanksgiving night, Bubbles was starting to HACK-cough. I got her home, slathered a few drops of Breathe and OnGuard on her ... she slept through the night without coughing at all. Pretty awesome. And I'm enjoying my diffuser. My DoTERRA gal came over to teach me about how to use my stuff and using the LRP (loyalty rewards points) for ordering and all that. AND to bring me some freebies and my bottle of Holiday Joy (Bucket's favorite. Bruise really likes Wild Orange. And Lemongrass).

I've only had them for about a week now, and they've come in VERY handy. So that's nice. And I'm saving a lot of the stuff for Christmas. Unless Michael needs me to get out the Deep Blue (muscle) Rub. But I'm looking forward to trying the OnGuard toothpaste and all.

Okay. Time to paint some more.

Counting ...

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