Monday, November 28, 2011

What I'm Thankful For - #24-28

Yes, I took the weekend off. Whoops!!

And here goes:

24. I'm SO glad that the pies all turned out FINE ... though, the apple was REALLY lemony (since I had not only lemon juice, but lemon ZEST in there as well. Still, the caramel topping was sweet enough, regardless.
And both Michael's brother, C, AND Mom C made sure to compliment me on my pecan pie (It's all from ... just make sure to cook it fully. It can take a while. 80 minutes in my case.)

25. Michael and I took the kids out rather late (after 9 AM) on Black Friday to drive up to the next big town and pick up a Shop-Vac.
We wanted the one on special -- $29 instead of $79.99. ... But, by the time we got up there, that model had sold out. :(
But Lowe's was really awesome and substituted another model ... one that regularly would cost $99.99 ... and they sold it to us for the same Black Friday price!!
So ... I'm very thankful to have saved $70 (instead of $50) by sleeping in! ^_^

26. I'm thankful for GPS on my phone, since we didn't really know how to get to all the stores in that town. :P
Which also implies that I'm VERY THANKFUL for my husband for getting me an unlimited data plan back when they were still available. ^_^ (Seriously, this last billing period? I've used over 100 MB of data. That could have been REALLY EXPENSIVE!!)

27. I'm grateful for naps. I was so tired on Sunday. Exhausted.
And Michael drove me home after we took the kids to Primary, dropped me off so I could crawl into bed (where I was dead to the world for nearly two hours), and he went back to church (in case he had to teach the lesson ... but, thankfully, the teacher DID have a substitute lined up), and brought the kids home ... AND he let me have quiet time while he fed the kids and kept them entertained.
(Which means that I'm THISCLOSE to finishing a book. Which I will do after the kids go to school.)

28. I'm grateful that we have our Christmas tree up and decorated. And that we've started listening to Christmas music (Michael's a purist who wants to wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to start the Christmas season. And I understand that. Even though sometimes I get antsy and all "We Need a Little Christmas" before Thanksgiving Day.) ... Even though I'm all hormonal and started CRYING while singing Christmas carols Friday morning. No, really.
And Michael had to explain to the kiddos that "Mommy just really loves Christmas" as I surreptitiously wipe my eyes and grab Kleenex to blow my dripping nose. ... Yay, pregnancy hormones ... you make it THAT much harder to get through the holidays without being all blotchy and moist.

28.1 - BONUS: I'm grateful that, although it's gotten pretty cold outside, I was able to listen to birdsong on my (short) walk back from taking the kids to the bus. It made me happy.
And it was cute to see Freyja-cat observing the birds flittering about as she peeked through the curtains.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not a whole lot going on ...

We took Freyja in for her Feline Upper Respiratory booster.

Both the assistant and the vet commented on what a pretty and sweet girl she is.
(Yup, I'm totally bragging about what a sweet, sweet, gorgeous kitty I have. She's amazing.)

She also got a flea treatment, just in case.

I'll do another one when the weather starts to warm up.

And, as much as she hates being in the cat carrier, she willingly got in it between her weighing and after her flea treatment.

No complaints when she got her shot. ... Which I'm HOLDING OVER THE KIDS, especially after their last flu shot. Bucket nearly deafened me in one ear on that one. *rolls eyes*

And she snuggled with me while I napped. Which was very sweet.

Besides that, I painted Bucket's nails, snuggled with Bruise, read some more of my library book (until my eyes blurred), took a nap, and ate a couple Pumpkin Spice bagels (YUM!)

I also had a shower and a bowl of cereal earlier.

And I filled the gas tank.

And I need to go to the library.

.... Can I get another nap? I still feel fuzzy-headed and want to crawl under the blankets where it's all nice and toasty.

I'm avoiding doing dishes, since I did two loads yesterday ... but, after making pies, I still have another load ready for loading into the dishwasher. *sigh*

Time to get on shoes ... and pick up my hold.
Then to figure out something for dinner. *sigh* :P

Things I'm Thankful For #22-23

22. I'm thankful that I had a productive baking day yesterday.
I didn't curse as I rolled out the dratted pie dough into the pans.
The pans didn't stick together in the freezer.
The pecan pie set.
The pumpkin pie looks good.
I managed an apple pie as well,
And I had leftover no-bake cheesecake filling that Michael and I will treat ourselves to tonight. Yum!

23. I'm thankful for the fact that my kids let me nap.
Even though I had WEIRD nap-dreams.
The strangest part was getting a free slushie ... in the flavor named "Quiet Librarian."
It was hazelnut flavored and bad enough that I, in my dream, tracked down the kids so that I could pass it on to them ... so I wouldn't have to finish it.
AND I woke up with a queasy-ish tummy and a sour-tasting mouth. Ew.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Random Brain Dump

  • Why is it whenever I blog that my nausea is going away that it rears its ugly head again?
    So, obvs, I'm still taking my generic Zofran.
  • I rolled out three pie crusts this morning.
    I managed not to curse sore cursings at them. Though I DID give that dough a SEVERE talking-to.
    My dining room table, where I rolled out the dough, looks like a bag of flour exploded.
    I should clean it.
  • I'm working at getting the energy to make the pie fillings -- pecan, apple, and pumpkin.
    And then two no-bake cheesecakes. Which I can practically make in my sleep ... if I don't forget to add the 1 tsp. Vanilla. Which has happened.
    Didn't ruin the recipe, though. Which is kinda amazing, since (besides the crust) there are only four ingredients. Unless you add a topping. (Cherry pie filling is my fave.)
  • I'm already exhausted.
    And I still need a shower, to run to Target and the bread store, make those dang pies, and maybe get a nap before our LONG rehearsal tonight.
    I think I might pop half a Unisom tonight. Since I have to be up to take Freyja in tomorrow (with kids in tow, no school!) for her booster shot.
  • I have library books. That I want to read. And I haven't had the energy to do that. Ugh.
  • I had a glass of egg nog (the lite kind) for breakfast. BEST BREAKFAST EVER.
  • I have pie crust dough under my fingernails. Well, under the ones that haven't broken off.
    (I lost TWO yesterday.)
  • I worked at cleaning our bedroom a bit this morning. It's STARTING to look better. There's still a LOT of stuff that needs cleaning.
  • I have beading supplies in the bedroom. It'd be nice to make something with them.
  • Should I make a hat for this nicknameless girlie? Or attempt to make a blanket?
    If I make a blanket, I need to run to the craft store for a bigger loom.
  • Everything costs money. Why??????
  • I really want a nap.
    But I REALLY, REALLY want to have my pies taken care of ... so I should get off my duff and DO THAT.
    Then get a shower and run errands. Even if the kids have to come with me. 
Okay, getting off the blogging now. Pies ... at least the pecan, shower, and Target.
I can do this.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful #21

I'm thankful for ...

Well, lots of things are going through my mind right now.

  • I'm thankful that it's not even 11 and I've gotten some laundry done. And most of the dishes are done, too.
    ... Now to put all the folded laundry away. And to fold what hasn't been folded yet. *sigh* :P
  • That we were able to find Bucket's shoes this morning
    (They were SUPPOSED to be put away in her closet.
    ONE was under the dining room table. The other was just outside the kitchen.)
  • That Bruise comes to snuggle with me in the morning. And we get to chat.
  • How cute it is that Bruise and Bucket are AMAZED when I KNOW about something they've just learned about at school.
    (This morning, Bruise was SHOCKED that his mommy actually KNEW about food groups.
    They were learning about those on their class field trip last Friday.)
  • That I get to feel the kicks and flutters of this little in-utero girl (who still needs a blog-name).
  • Deodorant ... I had put on an antiperspirant after my shower ... but, ugh. So I added deodorant.
    Now I can stand to be around myself again.
    (Michael assures me that I don't stink as much as I THINK that I do. ... However, I refuse to take any chances. You should be happy that I'm thinking of you THAT much. ^_^)
  • That Freyja-cat is starting to sleep next to my chest at night, instead of on my legs ... so now I can turn over in the night without waking up as much. ^_^
  • How much Michael loves the new TV and blu-ray player. I'm glad that he made a great purchase. It's good to have a happy husband. ^_^
  • That I haven't thrown up today. Always a plus. And that the nausea is tapering off. Always a good thing.
Okay ... now to get motivated and make pie crust dough. For Thanksgiving. I can do this. ^_^
(But if I can't, I'm thankful that Dad told me that Marie Calendar-brand crusts are good, too.)

Then I need to get more laundry folded and put away, get the kids from the bus, and have them do their homework. Then, some grocery shopping would not be amiss.
And figure our something for dinner. *sigh*

And I should eat something today. Besides my handful of gummi vitamins, that is.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And another look into my life ...

So, yesterday, as Bri and I were preparing to get into our costumes for rehearsal, I couldn't find mine.

I had been assured that my costume had been sewed ... and it wasn't where it SHOULD be (with my nametag on the clothes rack) ... so Bri and I were joking around as we were about to track down the gal in charge of costumes.

"Well," I drawled, "I guess I'm just gonna have to go on stage in my NUDIE-PANTS!"

"Just make sure you have a head covering," Bri rejoined.

"Yeah," I agreed. "Because if I didn't have on my head covering, I'd totally look like a HARLOT."
(Since this is Ancient Israel, we're talking about.)

Then I realized that President C (our Stake President ... he's in charge of the wards/congregations in our immediate geographical area) was in the room ... and that I had said ALL OF THIS, not thinking, while he had been in here the WHOLE TIME.

And I sheepishly grimaced, "I probably should have said that in front of our STAKE PRESIDENT."

And he just came over and patted my arm.

Yeah, I think he's been around me enough to not be shocked.
That and he's our county District Attorney ... so it probably takes a lot to really faze him.

Maybe this means that I won't have to worry about any Stake callings (responsibilities) coming my way.
... Or else it means that I really DO need to worry about a future Stake calling. Since they already know exactly what they're getting into.
Oh, gosh, I'm going to be the female J. Golden Kimball of the Stake ...

Well, it's not like I haven't brought this upon myself. :P

Besides, Bri and I have already made jokes about her character (Mary) taking the ceremonial drink like a shot of liquor. (Heh, good jokes there.) OR about how if I DIDN'T wear my head covering (a veil) onstage, since ALL my appearances are when menfolk are around, I'd be stoned as a harlot.
(And, when talking about this, I always look down to my swollen abdomen and gasp, "WHO TOLD?!?" Since I never appear with a husband in this production, you know.)

"Yeah, Mary, take THAT as an object lesson of what'll happen to you if you don't behave!"
And Bri, Trish, and I snicker.

OR, in mentioning the fact that we're all supposed to have backstories about our character (especially those of us who are NOT Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, or Zecharias) ... So I came up with one.

So, our family comes from Tiberius (which I can remember the name of thanks to James T. Kirk. [Trekkie reference! Even though I am better at following Star Wars!]), which is along the Sea of Galilee.
My husband (WORKAHOLIC) is a trader of gems and metalworks. And we've started a speculative freshwater pearl market on the side. (Since I REALLY HAVE NO IDEA if there are pearls in the Galilean Sea. At all.)
And I just am left my my own devices in Nazareth (or Jerusalem, depending on the scene) while he's off making those boucoup bucks to support me and our developing child in the manner to which I'm accustomed.

But, IF anyone isn't happy with THAT story, Michael and I have a theory that my character was abandoned in Ancient Israel by the 16th Doctor, after I missed reuniting with the TARDIS. My own fault.
So, while I'm stuck there, I got married and knocked up. AND THERE'S A SPECULATIVE FRESHWATER PEARL MARKET ... because, dude, that is GOLDEN right there. I'm so proud of myself for coming up with that one.

Also, since I have a piece of rope as part of my costume, Bri votes that I find a sundial (a BIG ONE) to hang from that rope belt ... so I can be an Ancient Israelite version of Flava Flav.
Now, where'd I put mah GRILLZ??

But, yeah, somehow I don't see our costume gal being in favor of that.
But, well, YOU'LL know that I secretly a geeked-out, trapped in another time, Ancient Israelite gangsteeeeeeeeeeeeer. Yeah, boiiyz. Fo' sho'.

And here's what else has gone on ...

So, as I've mentioned, I've resigned from my volunteer position at the library.
Which is a bummer. But ... well, if it's too hard for my body right now, I kinda need to listen to that darn body of mine.

And it gives me a little more time/energy to spend on my family and house.

So there's a balance there.

(Now, I just need to FINALLY get in the habit of personal prayer and scripture study. Any hints/tips/tricks? TOTALLY APPRECIATED.)

Let's see ... what else has gone on lately?

  • I got my results back from my blood glucose test. NO GESTATIONAL DIABETES! YAY!!!!
    This has made me feel a LOT better/less stressed.
  • Mom and my stepdad were sealed last weekend in the temple for time and all eternity.
    This is something that Mom's been looking forward to for a LONG time. And, with my stepdad's health being a bit touchy lately (he's not getting any younger, it's true), it's a HUGE RELIEF that this happened.
    (Although, with the terrible rush-hour traffic on the way back, he now has NO. DESIRE. EVER. to go to Portland ever again. Oh well. Good thing their temple district is the Medford temple. ^_^)
  • Rehearsals are going well for SOTW (Savior of the World). I have a costume ... and it fits with some extra room, since we still have just under a month until performances conclude. (December 6-10th, if you're interested! Just let me know!)
  • I got to go swimming with the kids and my mom on Friday. She and C (stepdad) had got a hotel room with a 24-hour pool. Good times. Even though, since I usually DON'T exercise at all, my hips were TOTALLY feeling it later. But it was so nice to be weightless and graceful and speedy. Yeah, someday, when I had a bazillion dollars, I'll have my own indoor pool. And hot tub.
  • We got a new TV and a blu-ray player (with new speakers). And, WOW ... let's just say that now we know what we've been missing. Michael's in love with it, I think. ... And it's very nice.
    We (meaning Michael) were able to dismantle the old entertainment center (which was broken in places anyway) ... and we got a little cubby-type table thing where we fit DVDs (in front of rows of VHS tapes along the back) and a fabric drawer that's filled with old Playstation 1 supplies, my Sega Genesis and supplies (but not the games. I need to find a place for those), and a collection of wires and such. We also brought in a bookcase and loaded it up with DVDs and VHS tapes ... and our blu-ray player, VCR, Wii, phone, and some speakers sit on the top of the cubby-thing. ... So I can be (mostly) organized with a clean-ish living room again.
    AND we were able to get the Wii AND the VCR to display correctly (after we bought the correct component wires for the Wii).
    The kids are enjoying it, too. They're watching Harry Potter (and the Order of the Phoenix) right now.
  • I totally look pregnant now.
  • I've been absolutely exhausted.
  • I thought that I might have broken the washing machine.
    Nope, just had a REALLY unbalanced load that wouldn't spin most of the water out of it. The white load in there (MUCH LIGHTER than a load of mostly jeans, sweaters, and some towels) is practically half-dry already ... just SITTING in the washer. That dark load that preceded it is ALMOST dry in the dryer. Then I can tackle the REST of the laundry lying in the laundry room ... and then, HOPEFULLY, get a start on cleaning our bedroom, the bathrooms, and the kitchen (again).
    Then I need to read a crapload of library books. And figure out Christmas presents. And what to do for the kids' upcoming birthday, and where this baby girl will sleep when she's outside of the womb (right now, it's not an issue).
    And I need to make pie crusts today or tomorrow. And then make the pies/cheesecakes Tuesday ... just to make sure that they're all ready for Thursday. Yay for Thanksgiving!!!
    ... Honestly? I don't like making pie crusts. BUT, well, store-bought crusts are icky in comparison ... and I LOVE my family (this is Michael's side that we'll be with this year. But I'd do it for my side, too!), so they're worth it.
    Just pray that, when I'm rolling out the stupid crusts, that I don't say any bad words. Rolling out crusts? THE WORST PART. Everything else is GRAVY, baby.
I think that's most everything ... Now you're all caught up!

Things I'm thankful for #15-20

Yes, I fall behind. Often. But that's what I do. :P

So, time to get caught up. Again. ^_^

15 - I am thankful for the fact that my OB and I can be friendly.
I honestly didn't care for her a whole ton the first time around.
But now? I like her very, very much.
She and I talk about shoes and joke about work. We discuss our pets and families.
And it's nice to have someone who isn't fazed by any questions I could ask.

16 - I am thankful that my children live close enough to their grandparents (all six of them!) and two of their great-grandmothers that they are able to build a relationship with them.
I loved living close to my dad's parents and to my mom's mom and stepdad (well, really, her mom. Her stepdad was a little ... intense, per se). I also loved going to my Nana's (Dad's mom's) folks house to visit.
And it makes me very, very happy to see Bruise and Bucket so excited to spend time with their grandparents.
(This is one reason why I can't ever really contemplate moving very far away ... or overseas. Though, with Skype and things, it wouldn't be AS horrible as it would have been even five years ago).

17 - I love my homestate. Oregon is beautiful.
I love that if we drive about an hour west, we're at the ocean. If we drive east? We can visit the desert.
We have an aquarium, a zoo, science museums ... And TREES. Lots and lots of trees.
We have cozy rainy days, warm enough weather for swimming in the summer, a chance of snow in the winter. We have SEASONS with changing leaves ... even though I've developed hay fever, living in the Willamette Valley ... Oregon makes me happy. (For the most part. We won't talk about our state government at this point in time. But, really, if they expect US to keep a budget, THEY'D better set an example. Just sayin'.)

18 - I'm grateful that I do NOT have gestational diabetes!
I called into the clinic on Friday ... and they were glad to report that my bloodwork is fine!
So, I celebrated by having a couple handfuls of peanut butter M&Ms. Yum!

19 - I'm grateful that my mom and stepdad had the opportunity to be sealed for time and all eternity in the temple this Friday. It was wonderful seeing my mother so happy. And it was excellent to be able to BE THERE with her, my stepdad, and Michael (who was able to be a witness).
The temple always makes me happy ... and I'm grateful for the blessings that I and my family have gained through our being worthy of temple recommends. I love knowing that, as long as we honor the covenants we have made, our families are forever families. It's very empowering to know that we can overcome death and the separation that it may entail. And it makes me KNOW that my Heavenly Father loves me (and all His children. No matter what).

20 - I'm grateful (again) for my husband. It's a lovely feeling to blear awake and finding yourself held by a man who loves you, despite all your (well, MY) myriad faults and idiosyncrasies. I am so grateful that he loves me so, even though I really don't deserve it.
It's nice that he enjoys slumming with me.
And that he humors my geekiness ... as we joke about backstories for my character in our production of Savior of the World. Heh. I'll share that one later.
Since the kids and I need to rush out to church NOW. ^_^

Monday, November 14, 2011

Facebook Alert

Just so you know, I posted a note on Facebook with the big name reveal.

I did it as a note, so that you wouldn't have to search through the stream for it days and days later.
I'm so nice.

AND it explains WHY we chose the name we did.

So ... yeah.

And if you don't have me on Facebook ... well, I guess you could always ask. ^_^
Unless you're a creeper. :P

Things I'm Thankful For - #13-14

Yes, yes, I didn't blog yesterday ... oh well.
Obviously we all survived, regardless. ^_^

Okay, let's see ....

13. I am thankful for the fact that my kiddos are learning, bit by bit, to be quieter (and, hopefully, more reverent) at church. Bruise was happily coloring away during most of Sacrament Meeting (like Communion, for you who aren't so fluent in Latter-day Saint Church-speak).
I'm also glad that their Sunday School teacher mentioned to me how much she loves and enjoys her class.
(Bruise and Bucket love her and enjoy their class, too.)

14. I'm grateful for the fact that we are able to pay our bills.
There have been times when money has been tight enough that we've had to work to squeeze water from a rock. But, thankfully, we've never had our electricity or water or phone/internet turned off (It has been by the skin of our teeth before). We, once, almost had our garbage cans removed (and, truly, since we've had those close calls, I DO still get a little nervous when I see the power company, water company, or garbage company trucks in the neighborhood.
Yes, this is a little more information than I usually do share ... but, in full disclosure, how can I not mention it? Without your being aware of those CLOSE CALLS, how can I fully express how many times (and how much) we have been blessed financially?
Even though we're a bit more solvent, I still don't feel like we have wads of cash to throw around.
Which is a reason why I don't do political donations (well, that AND the fact that I'm pretty disillusioned/jaded at present by politics) ... BUT that I STRIVE to donate (and get GIDDY when I CAN) to Heifer International or do a loan ... and, oh, I will be donating to the General Temple Patron Assistance Fund this year.
I don't often do a lot of monetary donations, unless I really, REALLY feel strongly about something.
And these are all causes that I can get behind. Heifer International and Kiva both are groups that work to help others become self-sufficient (AND to help others. Either by passing on the gift [Heifer -- once your animal/garden/whatever is established, you pass on offspring/seeds/a hive/etc to someone else ... and it keeps going] or you pay back the loan(s) [Kiva - which enables donors to assist OTHERS to start small businesses all over the world]). And, with the General Temple Patron Assistance Fund, I can help a person/family to attend the temple ... something that they would not be able to afford on their own. Since not everyone lives in close proximity to a temple.

I also want to donate to the Perpetual Education Fund, which goes with the goals of helping people to be self-reliant. This fund helps individuals to be able to afford education/training so they can be employable and support themselves and their families.

So, as a bonus thing I'm thankful for ...

14.5 - I'm thankful for the opportunity that I have to be able to donate of our finances to help others to become self-reliant and to have opportunities they never have without assistance.
If I had unlimited income, I would very much LOVE to be a philanthropist.
I mean, yes, I'd want to buy books and a house with room for all of us, linen closets, a guest room (or more, since ... as an only child, I will probably be responsible for the care of my parents in their old age ... and, well, let's face it, my folks are not very comfortable around each other. They'd need VERY separate quarters.), a library/den ...
But ... really ... the ability to help?
I LOVE that. And I don't know if it's because I just like to be able to FIX things and make people feel better ... or what ... but it'd be very awesome to be able to write out checks for donations. Especially anonymous donations (or donations in behalf of friends, family, organizations ... I mean, wouldn't that be a cool surprise?).

But, yes, I'm looking forward to when Michael gets his bonus at Christmastime. Then I can pick out a few things from the Heifer International catalog. And maybe finance another Kiva loan. And write out a slip for donations to the General Temple Patron Assistance Fund and the PEF.

Because, really, why else are we all here on earth ... with our different situations and abilities ... if not to be able to help each other?
(And, really, sometimes a smile or a kind word or a hug is just as helpful, if not more so, than a financial contribution. So don't feel like you CAN'T help just because you're not financially flush. Because you totally CAN. Just think outside the donation box. ^_^)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Things I'm Thankful For (#1-12)

Since I've not blogged for a bit, I'm TOTES behind on this.

So here goes ...

Since cultivating an attitude of gratitude always helps me feel chipper-er/more chipper (What IS the comparative form, anyways???).

I am grateful for:

  1. My religion.
    I know that The Church of Latter-Day Saints gets a lot of flack in the news (especially recently) for being a supposed cult or full of weirdos (since, according to the media, there aren't a lot of folks in the world who don't drink, smoke, have pre-/extramarital intercourse, don't wear tank tops or short shorts/skirts) ... But I can testify that I am so glad that I'm a member of this church.
    It centers me. It helps me put things in perspective. It helps me to love those around me more. It helps me to direct my behaviors and attitude in ways that will best ensure my future happiness and that of those around me.
    And, really, what else can one ask of a religion?
    My religion makes me happy. It brings me joy and peace. It helps me make sense of the world. (Not that I understand everything. Nor will I for a looooooooong time ... but it helps.)
  2. My family.
    I am grateful for my family. I'm glad I've been sealed to my husband so that our marriage will not be terminated at death. I'm glad that my children are mine for forever (even though they sometimes drive me barmy).
    I'm so very glad to have a good relationship with my in-laws. I hear horrible stories about people whose in-laws are mean or crazy or something ... but I seriously lucked out with mine! My in-laws are wonderful!
    I'm really glad that my mom is one of my best friends. It's great to have her as a sounding board and a support ... especially since she knows me so well. ^_^
    I'm glad that I've gotten a better relationship with my dad. I don't know that he and I will ever be as close as Mom and I are ... but he's a good guy. And I love him. And I know that he loves me.
    I'm grateful for my cousins and extended family. I'm grateful for my brothers- and sisters-in-law. And my nieces and nephew.
    I'm always grateful for Michael. He really is everything that I've ever needed (and everything that I've wanted). He's a wonderful, supportive husband. He's an excellent father. And he's one of my best friends ever. Even after spending nearly everyday (or at least every evening/night) together for the last decade, I truly can't ever think of anyone else that I'd rather have by my side for eternity.
  3. I'm grateful for modern healthcare. I'm glad to be able to see and hear my children (albeit blurrily and in black and white) before they are born. I'm grateful for pain relievers (especially when it's my loved ones in pain. Toothaches in the middle of the night? We can help!) and vitamins. And, I am seriously thankful for epidurals. ^_^
  4. I'm grateful for Freyja ... and all the other pets that we've had. I'm a strong believer that a cat is the visible soul of a home. And we've been blessed to have wonderful cats (even though, sometimes, their choice of bathroom spots hasn't been the best. :S) and fish, hedgehogs, and a frog.
    Freyja is a balm to my soul when Michael can't be around. And she's good entertainment to boot.
  5. I'm grateful for our home. Not everyone has one. But I'm glad for ours. Even though it is a little small ... and not as modern as I sometimes wish it was. But it's a good home with good memories.
  6. I'm grateful for my children's teachers ... at school, swimming or dance lessons, and at church. They've always been blessed with wonderful people who have worked to teach them AND show their love and appreciation for my children. As an education major, I really appreciate them all.
  7. I'm grateful for the internet ... I love having knowledge and entertainment with just a key keystrokes or clicks. I can look up an address, phone number, book summary, encyclopedia entry ... or watch and read blogs and videos at any time.
  8. Which is one reason why I'm grateful for my smartphone (which Michael bought for me). I can read my scriptures, text or call my friends, check my email, or surf the internet ... or play games. Which is VERY helpful when I'm waiting for my or the kids' doctor and dental visits.
  9. I'm grateful for trees. (Western) Oregon wouldn't be at all the same without them. Even when the birch and aspen trees make me a little miserable, they're all gorgeous and make my home state my favorite place.
  10. I'm grateful for my car. I appreciate having the freedom and ability to drive us to the doctors' offices, to the dentist, to go grocery shopping. I'm glad to have a car that fits our family. And I'm especially grateful that, though it may not be the most stylish ride, it works.
  11. I'm grateful for the servicemen and women who serve our country to ensure our continued freedoms. I'm grateful for the sacrifices that they and their families have made so that we can enjoy the benefits that we do, living in this country.
  12. I'm grateful for our ward family. I love our ward (congregation) at church. People are so kind. Just like at my home ward, where I grew up ... where I truly feel that I have extra grandparents and uncles/aunts. I'm glad that I have such wonderful friends in our ward. And in the neighboring wards, too. We live in a wonderful area.
Okay ... I'm going to finish eating and continue to blink. VERY. HARD. and NOT sniff like a sniffly-sniffler.

Because I SHOULD post ...

Okay, it's been over two weeks ... and I just haven't had a lot to post about, I guess.

So, about the Bucket's lunch situation, I got to talk to the principal on the phone. She was rather shocked that a lunchroom helper took it upon herself to make a judgement call that should NOT have occurred at all. (It's school practice to CALL the family with lunch-related questions). And the principal was supernice. I adore her already. ... Sometimes you can just tell by the voice and its mannerisms. But, yeah, I like her very much and she made a bad situation SO MUCH LESS stressful.  Lovely.

Okay ... let's see what else has happened since I last blogged? (I had to check my Cozi calendar ... how pitiful is it that I really can't recall what's gone on?)

  • We got a new (to us) couch. This one's tall enough that my mom can actually sit on it comfortably. (Our older couch and the matching loveseat ... the loveseat is no longer part of our household, bee tee wubs ... are so low that they are a little, um, challenging to get out of. Especially if you have a bad back, hip, or if your center of balance is changing due to pregnancy. Just sayin'.)
  • Michael took a bunch of stuff to the dump -- our old (broken-ish) screen door from the back, old lawn furniture that's seen better days, a window that doesn't fit ANY window around our house, the loveseat, the old (rusted) BBQ, a dented file cabinet ... Just stuff that we really don't use and won't ever miss.
  • We went to OMSI. We were going to go though the Body Worlds exhibit (since we have a membership, all the traveling exhibits have been included in the price ... but this one is NOT) ... but we decided to wait (indefinitely at present), since we didn't want to spend $56 for the four of us. (If we didn't have a membership, it'd have run us $84 ... seriously, our 5-year-olds would be $17 EACH. WHAT????).
    We may just end up buying the book and DVD set about the exhibit ($40) or just the book ($30) and call it good.
    Because that's SPENCY!!!!
    I could just about get a membership for the Oregon Coast Aquarium for what we'd pay to go ONCE through that exhibit.
    That is just insane.  (I could see around $10/person admission. TOPS. This is OMSI, not a four-star restaurant!) ... Unless I get valet parking, a spa day, AND a plasticized corpse as a souvenir included in that price, well, I am NOT IMPRESSED.
  • Oh! I should tell you about Halloween!
    So, Bruise was Captain America and Bucket was Princess Aurora (her last day with long hair).
    They didn't have school on Halloween (which is just as well, since their school doesn't do Halloween, which is a little sad. Oh well.), so we were going to do Trick-or-Treating in the next town over and go to a party at the library there ... but I was so, so tired. So, we took it easy during the day and just went Trick-or-Treating at the mall in the evening. Then at a neighbor's house. And, after Michael came home, we went to Izzy's for dinner, since they offered free kids' meals AND a little treat bag for the holiday.
    We also had gone to HOWL-oween at the zoo and then to dinner with Mom and Dad C and to Uncle D's haunted apartment during the weekend. The kids had plenty of treats to eat.
    Bruise's toothache came back for a little, but he was doing better ... and has been for most of the rest of the time.
  • Now, with how expensive the Body Worlds exhibit was, I had griped to my friends on Facebook. And one of my friends (an editor at a local paper who I went to high school with) let me know that there was a small portion of the exhibit traveling to our towns (And another friend did see it in the paper and let me know. I have AWESOME FRIENDS, let me tell you!) ... so I took the kids.
    It all fit on one table, that's how small it was. There were two sets of lungs (one healthy, one smoker), a couple spleens, a kidney, a small portion of the large intestines, about four transparent body slices (like CAT scans, cross-sections of the abdomen, taken at different locations), a couple livers (one fatty, but overall okay; the other was so swollen from cirrhosis that it had indentations where it had pushed against the ribcage), a plasticized arm, a cross-section of an arm of a VERY sedentary person ... and an iPad that played a video preview of what the exhibit looks like. I THINK that's everything.
    So, yeah, it was a dinky display overall ... but it was free and local. So I can't really complain.
  • Besides that, I've been keeping busy with Savior of the World rehearsals, cleaning up the house (including REWASHING some clean clothes that Freyja decided to .... baptize by sprinkling, per se, on the couch. Ugh.), and reading library books.
  • I've resigned from my volunteer position at the library. Which is sad. But I've gotten big enough that I am not as able to bend and shelve those lower shelves very easily. And I get light-headed a bit. Which isn't the best thing. ... And, sadly, with budget cuts, I no longer am exempt from fines (I paid almost FIVE DOLLARS in fines. Ouch!) ... and, once my library card expires next Halloween, even if I AM a volunteer, I don't get a free library card. ... It'd cost $120/year. *sigh*
    So I'll be limited to the closer library. ... Maybe it'd be worth it to sign up for PaperbackBookSwap at that point.
    Does anyone have experience using it? Would it be worth it?
  • The kiddos got to go to the pediatric dentist. We'll be back after Christmas for some work on cavities. Bucket had the four cavities. Bruise has six. One of his molars will have to be pulled (the one that's causing his toothaches) and a spacer will be put in. They'll file down the cavities on the back of his front teeth ... those will be coming out within the year anyways, so it's not worth putting fillings or caps on those.
    Bucket lost her first tooth last weekend. Her other bottom tooth is loose already. And Dr. F, the dentist, said that her front teeth aren't very far behind.
    Bruise's teeth haven't been very loose ... but ONE of his bottom teeth is FINALLY getting loose ... which made him feel a WHOLE LOT BETTER.
    I was the one to pull out Bucket's loose tooth. Michael was trying, but Bucket's moist mouth meant that the floss kept sliding off. So I grabbed BOTH ends of the floss, like when you're threading eyebrows? And it popped right out! ... Bucket was most disturbed at the blood. (I had warned her there would be a little!) But she was thrilled to get four quarters from the tooth fairy in the morning.
  • We took the missionaries out to dinner last night. We spent a bit of the conversation talking about what I learned (about a decade ago. Oy!) in my Asian History class in college. ... Yup, an Ed major. And my emphasis areas are unique ... like me. Children's Theatre and Asian History. (I love theatre ... and Asian History was only three sequential classes ... and I knew that I'd be learning something new ... so ... why not?)
  • I've been having strange dreams. Last night, I woke up thinking that I was going to be late for Seminary.
    (Seminary is a religion class for LDS high-schoolers ... around here, it's an early-morning extra-curricular, usually not earning any school credit. I haven't been in Seminary since, oh, June 1999. No one in our house is enrolled. Not for another nine years or so.)
    I also had a stupid dream while I napped the other day. The stupid pugs down the road had started yapping (in real life), and that got into my dream.
    They were chasing a badger around the broken fence that was here BEFORE our new neighbor moved in. Then Bruise and Bucket invited a friend over. And I didn't know this boy or where he lived, so I couldn't drive him home. And then this HUGE, ANGRY DOG was barking at our front door and trying to get in as I'm STRIVING to lock the deadbolt and keep him out.
I've started to feel huge. Not that I really LOOK huge. I'm only 25 weeks now. But there are days that I've been so tired and don't feel like doing, well, ANYTHING.
But the kids are out to the bus on time. I get them from the bus on time. They take lunches to school. They get their homework done ... I may not be the most fun or exciting parent, but they're doing okay.

Bruise got moved up to a more advanced reading group. Phew.
Looks like there were some other kids that needed to be moved up, too. So it's good that I shared my concerns. I just didn't want him to regress. And he's been reading a lot more ... especially signs as we drive.

The one (not great) thing about having children who read is that I have to be a little more careful about what I'm reading online. Since I don't mind READING profanity (I don't like saying it or HEARING it ... but reading it ... I can edit it as I read pretty easily ... unless I have little readers nearby. I do NOT want to hear them ask what "bite-ch" is or anything, iykwim. Aityd.)

We went to the Veterans' Day parade yesterday. We left shortly before it ended. And it took us nearly a half hour or so to make the ten minute drive back home. Ugh. I hate traffic.
And I could tell that I'm hormonal when I about burst into tears seeing the Patriot Guard (motorcycles) driving by at the start of the parade.
Bruise got a balloon sword from a family that had bought one too many ... and Bucket was crying and pouting. Good thing that same family ended up with an extra bracelet that was passed out from one float. *sigh*  .... I really wish that Michael didn't have to work on Veterans' Day. It's much easier to take the kids to the parade when there's another adult. But we survived.
And then he had me take a nap (since he was home by the time we got home, since Friday's his short day) when we got home. Since I was snapping at the kids.

I'm finding it hard to make myself eat this pregnancy. I don't really have any cravings (which has been normal for my pregnancies thus far). But, after all the morning sickness (which appears to be MOSTLY passed. Thank goodness), I don't eat as much. And ... I'm not motivated to expend all the energy to make something for myself to eat (and, heck, when the kids won't eat much of what I DO make for them, that's not much motivation either. At least Michael likes what I cook.) ... and, usually, nothing really sounds good.
And I'm a little worried that I'll end up failing the blood glucose test next week. Since TWO of the pregnant gals that I know have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes ... and I really ....
Well, is it REALLY asking too much for a pregnancy with NO complications?
I've been low-risk so far, which has been a nice change ... can't I keep it up?
After having preeclampsia, which stretched out my skin (even MORE than carrying around two healthy kiddos simultaneously) ... especially in areas that shouldn't have been stretched like that ... is it really too much to ask to just have a perfect little pregnancy?
(Of course, with all the puking that I've done, it's not like it's been completely perfect ... but this girl (still haven't come up with a blog name -- do I keep up with this "b" trend? I don't know ...) is healthy. I mean, what else do I really want? ... Besides more energy, no major surgeries, a better attitude ... *sigh*)

We found out yesterday that my sister-from-another-mister (as we like to call each other) is also having a girl. Which follows the old-wives-lore about morning sickness (as have I).
These little girls are going to be besties. WHETHER THEY LIKE IT OR NOT. HA.

So ... yeah. I've been a little ... off. I need to read my scriptures and pray more. Since I've not been doing a great job at that habit. And I need to start that "Things I'm Thankful For" list. ... Which I'll start (and get caught up on.) Stat.

Counting ...

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