Saturday, December 28, 2013

Oh, it's a jolly holiday ...

The fun thing about vacation is that I do tend to keep busy.

The even more fun thing (for me) is that Michael takes vacation time ... and we all get to hang out together.

This year was a little frantic ... He gets his bonus (which is partly used for Christmas shopping) just about a week before Christmas. And I get all OCD on what to buy for whom. (I like to get presents that people will like ... and I like to be able to spoil people if I can. Oh, for unlimited funds, right?)

And Bruise and Bucket's vacation started only a couple days before Christmas ... so I was booking it around town trying to get things done with pre-bonus funds so that I didn't have to schlep all THREE kids about.

And I wanted to get my Visiting Teaching taken care of.

And all sorts of things like that.

Our plans were to take off Sunday, after church, to visit family on the 22-25 (which, of course ALSO shortened the amount of time I had to get things done pre-Christmas). Our plans did end up changing a bit ... but it all worked out well.

So, I SHOULD start where I left off ... which was shortly before Christmas break started. ...

Let's see ... I cancelled my blood drive appointment so that I can donate at the one at church (a better time/closer place). Mom came up. I sent wrapped presents down with her for Christmas Eve/morning.
The school had rescheduled their Winter Celebration, so we didn't worry about that.
Michael had his company party (got his bonus! Yay!).
Bruise, Bucket, and Bubbles all had their dental check-ups. No signs of decay! YAY!! (I give a lot of credit to the Sonicare. I heart Sonicare.)

Taking Bruise and Bucket back to school after their trip to the dentist, we also dropped off cookies from Costco for their class party the next day. Bubbles, seeing the office staff TAKING AWAY THE COOKIES started to cry. But the principal saw and brought Bubbles and me (after Bruise and Bucket left for their classes) to the staff room to have a cookie from the array set out for the school employees. I also got to chat with the principal and Bruise and Bucket's teachers. Then Bubbles and I headed out to finish some errands.

Friday, Bruise and Bucket had their class party. Bubbles and I had a playdate in the morning ... and a change of plans for Christmas travel ... Michael and I ordered Thai takeaway for lunch as we finished wrapping presents and running errands before the kids came home.

Saturday, we cleaned house and prepared for Christmas travel. And ran last-minute errands.

Sunday, we had church ... and then drove down to visit my Nana, Uncle M, and Aunt I. The kids opened their presents (We broughr presents for Nana, M, I, and R, my cousin's son. And my great-aunt and her girls ... who had presents for our family).
We had a good visit and then headed down (with presents from M, I, and Nana ... and the ones we brought) to my Dad and L's to visit and spend the night.
In the morning, we opened presents and my Uncle S came over and was able to get his presents).
I worked on updating L's computers and helped her color her hair.
She gave me some nail polish and a tub of carnation-scented body butter (I LOVE the smell of carnations/carnation oil. Carnations from the florist, being kept cool, NEVER smell like a fresh carnation. So this body butter is a total treat).

Then, instead of heading over and spending a couple nights with Mom and C (my stepdad), we drove back home (They're working on fixing the well, a porch, my mom was getting better ... but wasn't up to clean the house. C hadn't ever brought in the Christmas decoration ... Mom was really bummed that they didn't even have a Christmas tree set up).

So, we had an evening to relax and get ready for Mom and C and maybe Aunt J to come.
It ended up being just Mom who came up for Christmas Eve, but it was a nice visit.
We got her the wireless keyboard she requested ... and a little Christmas tree. I found a little partly-decorated cypress tree (smelled very nice!) and we put some little red bead-string on it to make it look a tad more festive.

(While out getting that tiny tree and a few last-minute supplies, I ran into a sister from our ward. We had a nice chat. She told me something that simultaneously flattered and saddened me ... that I'm one of two sisters at church who stops and chats with her. She did say that the ward is really sweet ... but that the other gals are so busy. ... I really wanted to cry. Instead, I just gave her extra hugs in the middle of Safeway.)

The kids have been thoroughly spoiled by this point ... and it wasn't even Christmas morning.

Michael and I stayed up WAY too late (almost 2 AM), helping Santa set up the present he got our family. (Of course, he wasn't able to stay long. So many good boys and girls out there that he needed to deliver presents to ... so many stockings to fill. But he enjoyed the cake-batter cookies that the kids set out for him.)
After about four hours of sleep (for US, that is. The kids were asleep around 8:30 or so), the kids woke up and were ready for Christmas morning.

They enjoyed their gifts from us and each other ... and Santa brought them just what they wanted.
And a WiiU ... so Bruise settled in to play LEGO City:Undercover for a bit. Then I got to play Injustice (that and a tablet were my presents from Michael).

I went a little crazy in gifts for Michael ... he got a tablet, too, to replace his old one (cracked screen and all). But I also had a little too much fun over at ThinkGeek.com. The gift I was most excited about was a business card holder. It's Han Solo in carbonite. I know, I know. Totally geeky. But I love it.

After breakfast (a pastry-thing from Safeway ... see? I totally planned ahead!!), we got showered and dressed and headed up for Christmas dinner with Michael's side of the family.

Good times, good folk, good food.

Then we headed home to rest up ... since Boxing day was spent over at Michael's youngest brother's house, helping to renovate the garage into a bedroom.

Dad and J picked up Michael around 8AM or so. The kids and I got ready (played some Just Dance and they watched me play Injustice ... no, really, they requested it. Who was I to deny them?? ;P) and then headed out to J's town.
We first went to a children's museum (Bubbles LOVES the ball pit there) and then picked up drinks at a grocery store. (They didn't have the Rose Lemonade that I adore at this one ... but I tried a Cheerwine soda. Not bad. Tastes like Coke+Dr.Pepper) and a Watermelon Creme soda.

Then we headed to J's place. Due to some unforseen circumstances, the renovation is taking longer than it could. (Of course, I COULD say that it's because my husband, the engineer, wasn't asked to check the plans [no dimensions written on them. Sillies.] ... But, if Michael and C, his other brother, had been in charge, it would have been much further along. Oh well.)
Mom C and I helped to get things set up for when the rest of the family arrived for a late lunch. (Not much prep involved ... she had gotten Subway sandwiches. Just had to get things set out. No biggie at all.)

And we just kept the kids from getting hurt or wrecking J's house.
In related news, Bruise and Bucket can play on the trumpet.
This is nice, since Bruise has expressed an interest in playing the tuba when he's older. He also wants to play the violin.
Bucket has now asked for a trumpet. ... I don't know how the neighbors will feel about that. Because I'll be sending her outside to play that. Until we get a garage. And soundproof it.

Yesterday (Friday), we took the kids to his mom's (Dad C was still helping J on his garage renovation) and Michael and I went out for the day.

We did an endowment session at the temple. I'm not even going to guess at how long it's been since we've been to the temple. It's shameful.
But it was really very, very nice.

After that, we headed to OMSI for the Sherlock Holmes exhibit.
It was CRAZY CROWDED ... like, we had to park four blocks away from OMSI. And we waited in lines for about 45 minutes to GET into the exhibit. But we were behind a fun family ... They had all dressed up for the exhibit (They said that they like to dress up to go ANYWHERE). Now, it wasn't period-accurate (Yes, I'm a costuming geek. Once, I came back from a SOTW rehearsal when Michael was watching an episode of Doctor Who. I sat down, looked at the screen. "So, this is set in, what, the 1860s?" He looked at me and stated, "1864 (or 1865)." "I thought so." ... Yeah, I have a bit of an eye for this stuff. Too bad I don't sew with any confidence, huh?) ... Their outfits were a bit more steampunk inspired (corsets as bodices, gears, etc. One lady in their party had a Renaissance dress with a satin bustled section pinned onto the back. Turns out that one of the gals is a VERY good seamstress. They were really fun to talk to. It made the line seem to take less time.)

The exhibit was very good. It wasn't covered by the membership, but the discounted price was quite fair (unlike the Bodyworks prices. Those are pretty outrageous. Which is why I still haven't gone to one yet).

(There also was a trip to Deseret Book between the temple and OMSI. Some children will be getting some Baptism presents.)

The one not-so-great part of this last week is that we learned that barely any of Michael's family is able to attend Bruise and Bucket's baptism.
His parents will be out of the state with one of his sister's family.
One brother has to work that day.
His other sister's family is living in the midwest, so they probably won't be able to attend, either.

It's disappointing ... and I did cry about it.
We did offer the kids to move the date. Or to be confirmed (receive the gift of the Holy Ghost) the next day.
But both Bruise and Bucket were adamant that they wanted to be baptized as soon as they could and receive the Holy Ghost the same day.
Not that I can blame them.

I mean, when I was baptized, none of my three sets of grandparents were there. It was just Mom, Dad, and me ... and probably some folks from our ward. There were other wards with children being baptized, so it's not like I didn't have people there.

Michael only had one set of grandparents at his baptism.

And Bruise and Bucket understand what's going on.

It's a bummer, but it's not like they won't have some family there (My mom is coming. And probably my stepdad and aunt. Our SIL will bring our kids' couisins. Maybe J can come. Maybe their great-grandma can make it. I don't know if anyone from my dad's side of the family will make it ... but, well, I'm sure that other families that Bruise and Bucket want to invite might come.)

Well, I'd better close this up and finish getting ready ... and make plans for Bruise and Bucket's birthday party. *Oy* ... Seriously, I need naps. Lots of naps. And maybe chocolate. And some (medicinal) Cherry Coke. Good times, right? ^_^

Monday, December 16, 2013

End the Cricket Chorus!

Wow ... it's been a month and THREE DAYS since I last posted.

I promise that I haven't died ... This isn't my zombified, undead corpse posting.
(But how would you REALLY know? ... Well, I did shower, so I don't smell like rotting corpse-flesh, so that's in my favor, right?)

Um, let's see ... what all have I failed to tell you all since I last posted?
(A lot. I know.)

Freyja-cat got her shots all caught up. And I got a nifty little spray bottle of topical steroid, since my cat has issues and had over-groomed to the point that she's missing a LOT of fur around the base of her tail.
Good times.
Besides that, the vet and assistant remarked on her overall good health and good behavior.
Bucket was thrilled that we all got to go (Well, besides Michael), so that she, Bruise, and Bubbles could all pet the Sphynx cat at the vet's office. (Yes, my proclivity of adoring that breed is, apparently, hereditary. I don't see us owning one, since our heating bills would be WAY higher. But I do like them a lot.)

But I'm getting all out of order here ...

Let me sum up. There is too much. And it probably won't really be in order anyways.
I'd say sorry ... but we all know that I'm just too lazy to actually REMEMBER all the crap I've been up to.

But you know what? I'm gonna TRY. I have my calendar open. I'll check on Facebook to help fill in the blanks ... we'll see how it goes.

  • So, have I mentioned previously that I was able to get together with my friend, T, and her son (and my brood) to watch the local Veterans' Day Parade? Well, we did! And it was fun. And I got a decent parking spot and a decent sitting spot and we made it through the after-parade traffic easily enough. (PHEW!)
  • Our Stake (geographical group of wards/local congregations) had its "Super Saturday" ... I was pretty busy, so I only went to the candymaking demonstration. And it was very fun to get to chat with friends there. And I got to take candies home. And they were DELICIOUS.
    It was worth having to have Michael jump the van (a light had been left on in the van. D'oh!)
  • There was a Kids' Club activity last month at the mall where the kids got to make a little photo frame and placemats for Thanksgiving. Michael took Vesper to play in the mall's new play area. She approves. ^_^ (I since have also taken her to play there for a little. She loves it.)
  • We also picked up the kids (Bruise and Bucket's) ceramic stuff over at the local pottery-painting place. They turned out very well. Bucket painted an owl (and Bubbles will point to it and go "Whoo! Whoo!") and Bruise painted/drew (with a little help) a barn on a tile.
    I had the forethought to put their names and the year in puffy paint on them. It helped the owner to find them (and it'll help us to remember when they made them).
  • Bruise lost his front teeth. However, he refuses to sing about all he wants for Christmas is those teeth.
    But he looks ADORABLE. Especially with his new haircut.
  • Mom and I sent off a book order ... which arrived on Friday. I should wrap up those, huh?
  • Michael and I went and watched the new Thor movie. Very good.
    Now, we need to see "Catching Fire" and take the kids to "Frozen."
  • The weekend before Thanksgiving, Michael got a little ill. Then, when he was at home (from work, since he wasn't feeling well), he put out his back. Just turned the wrong way. Missed a week of work, really. (I took him to the office after a doctor's appointment on Thursday. That was after going to Urgent Care on Tuesday. Modern medicine is very nice.)
  • Bubbles and I went to a Duplo Party at Jenny's ... had a great time. It's nice to be social (even when I forget how. Ha ha ...). We even ran into Bri and her childREN (her son was only two weeks old).
    Bubbles said her first REAL sentence: "Iza BABY!"/It's a baby! ... I was impressed (BEHOLD THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP, amirite?). Good times. I've missed my ladies.
  • I got my flu shot ... made Bruise and Bucket watch me. AGAIN.
    They got theirs a few days later ... and it went SO MUCH BETTER.
    Michael's the only holdout now ... but he got his dTap, so I'll count that as success, right?
  • I made it to November's PTC (Parent-Teacher Committee) meeting.
    And Michael and I went to the arena-style Parent-Teacher conferences.
    (Summary: Bruise and Bucket are good students. They're both reading well. Bruise's Spanish skills are not as strong as his other skills. Also, he totally aced [100%] the math assessment. Bucket's scores are good, too. She's a bit stronger in reading [100% accuracy on a section in DIBELS] ... So, yeah, I guess I don't NEED to worry about that ... for now. We'll see how middle school goes, right?)
  • I went to Dawn's doTERRA party. And, well, I need to order myself some oils (After the last couple weeks, I wonder why I didn't do that right away. Oy.)
    Also, in related news, if you need a pumpkin roll or the most amazing apple dip ever? Go to Dawn.
    Just trust me on this, okay?
  • The kids were off for the week of Thanksgiving. We didn't do a whole lot, really. Mom came up Monday after the kids and I Visit Taught some friends. (And talked a LOT about Once Upon a Time (I'm still in early Season One. I know, my bad.) and books and things.)
  • Thanksgiving was at Mom and Dad C's house.
    After dinner, we worked on crafts (making ornaments and decorations for Christmas).
    It was really fun. Too bad that T2's family couldn't make it this year.
  • We braved a little of Black Friday ... and found that he had a flat (got it filled to see if it needed to be fixed or just due to the weather). I got my dang socks at Fred Meyer (it's TRADITION, okay??) and checked out a couple other stores ... but, goodness, it was crazy. I got my free cookbook at Costco and we headed home and put in a Kohl's order online (Michael needed a new suit. It arrived last week. It's REALLY NICE. The Anglophile in me wants to believe it's that nice JUST because those Brits know how to make and wear a suit. *nods*). ...With the Kohl's bucks that I earned, I got myself an enameled cast iron oven for just $5 out of pocket. *preens* It's GORGEOUS.
  • We took the kids to Home Depot the next day to one of the Kids' Workshops they have. They ended up making more than one type of kit ... so we have some boats and a picture frame and a pencil box and these lawn-mower-shaped pencil holders.
    Michael and I picked up a set of shelves (and then another set) so we have a matching-kind of entertainment center thing (Three sets of shelves ... the one in the middle is shorter, but they're all the same color and it looks SO much sharper. ... And I took the other shelf that didn't match (from my Nana) and put it in our bedroom ... more room for books! SCORE!
    But, yeah, with those new shelves and the newer bookshelves that we picked up in, um, maybe September? ... Our house is starting to look like a HOUSE, not just someplace designed with wedding gifts and Salvation Army in mind. :P
That brings us to December!
(No wonder I feel like we've been busy!)

Okay, so here's the rundown for December:
  • Bruise was assigned the Primary talk for December 1st. Of COURSE, the December issues of The Friend (the Church's children's magazine) wasn't delivered by then.
    So, we looked up the theme for the month and wrote a talk based on that. I made him tell me what he wanted in it and all.
    He got quite a few compliments (as did I) on how well he did. 
  • I put in my order for my friend, T's, Scentsy party (It's already arrived). My house smells so much better for that. ^_^
  • Bubbles and I headed up and visited my friend Roxy for her birthday (and also because she's not been in perfect health). We had a good time. Roxy and I rocked out, playing SongStar, to Queen (and some other songs ... but mostly Queen). And we ate DELICIOUS Thai food (She was impressed at Bubbles' advanced palate. ;P). Good times ... and I JUST made it back home before the kids got home from school. PHEW!!!!
  • Then the snow started ... and Friday, we were pretty much stuck at home. The roads and traffic were bad enough that Bruise and Bucket missed their friend's birthday party.
    To help alleviate the tears, Michael and Bruise walked to the store and picked up dinner (frozen Taquitos, soda, and ice cream) ... And we watched shows and read stories and played in the snow a little.
  • Those taquitos, though ... Oy. Friday night was the start of what I have taken to calling The Vomit Chronicles (or, in my lighter moments, "The Chronic-WHAT-cles of Nausea" ... yes, that's an SNL reference. You're welcome.)
    It started with Bucket throwing up ... lots. She ended up in bed with us ... and threw up on the floor in our room on her way to the bathroom. AFTER she threw up on the bath mats in THEIR bathroom.
    Between her ... and then Bubbles, throwing up in HER bed twice, we called it a night ... and we stopped trying to sleep in our bedrooms at 4:30 AM.
    It was a Saturday, we had a Netflix DVD that we'd like to get in the mail before 9 AM ... So, we woke Bruise up and we all huddled under blankets on the couch (kids and me) or the recliner (Michael and Bubbles) and watched Mortal Instruments:City of Bones (or, as Bruise and Bucket describe it "That movie with all the demons that we watched when [Bucket] puked seven times and it was REALLY EARLY in the morning? That movie.")
    Michael was nauseated. I threw up (foam. You're welcome. Yeah, you REALLY wanted to know that) ... partly from sympathy. Bruise was the only one untouched.
  • We were all feeling better and made it to the Ward (Congregation) Christmas party ... Michael was in charge of food ... so we didn't get to be together as a family for much of the evening. And, at the end, I was trying to help out in the kitchen and get things DONE so that we could go HOME (tired kids. Tired parents) and Bucket, running around after Bubbles, threw up in the hallways AND a classroom. (I kept hearing people for the next week, extending sympathy for Bubbles throwing up in the church. Nope. Wrong daughter. It was my older one.)
    SO, I got THAT cleaned up (apparently not well enough, since people could still smell it. JOY) and we were able to get back home to sleep.
  • We've had church choir RIGHT after church the last couple weeks. It's been a good thing, though. Even though Bubbles SORELY NEEDS a nap, we were able to more than DOUBLE the amount of people in ward choir. Phew! Because I was getting a little nervous about being the ONLY soprano (besides Dianne, our choir leader).
  • Monday, Michael took the last of the taquitos to work.
    Partly to TEST and see if that really WAS what caused The Vomit Chronicles.
    And partly because he just REALLY WANTED taquitos.
    The answer to the first sentence was YES. OH MY YES.
    He came home halfway through the day. It was NOT GOOD.
    In the morning, the kids and I went to a local used bookstore and got a present for their cousin's birthday. We were back by the time Michael came home.
    And, yes, I probably bought too much ... if such a thing is possible.
    I ditched the kids (still off from school) while Bubbles took a nap and drove around one of my Visiting Teaching sisters, since she doesn't have a car and it was SO cold and snowy outside.
    After I got back, we loaded up to go see the Nativity Festival ... but, it wasn't nearly as good of an experience as we had hoped.
    Gastronomical distress necessitated my running into a store and getting some MUCH needed supplies.
    We were going to go out for burgers afterwards ... the kids settled for grilled cheese at home (and a promise that we'd go out the NEXT evening).
    By the end of the night, I was about ready to cry.
  • Bubbles had been throwing up about every night/every other night in her bed. In other words, I got caught up on laundry.
  • Tuesday, we went to Storytime with Santa at the mall ... all the kids, since they were still off from school.
    In the evening, after Michael got back, we went to Red Robin for dinner.
    A MUCH BETTER evening than the one before (even though it was SO NICE to meet up with friends from past wards at the Nativity Festival).
  • Wednesday, my mom wasn't able to come up ... between being sick AND the roads being awful, it wasn't going to happen. We went to Storytime at the library instead. We got Bruce's hair cut. We let a friend take a shower at our place. And we cleaned the house a LITTLE (they cleaned their room!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!! AFTER MUCH THREATENING AND NAGGING!!!!!!!!) and read some books.
  • Thursday, we CLEANED THE HOUSE and I finished making dinner for the missionaries (they came over for dinner): Turkey enchiladas (gluten-free), spanish rice, salad, and apple-cherry juice.
    I took the kids out in the afternoon, though, for the promised doughnuts, if we had a snow day AND we got the house clean. They were delicious.
  • Starting Friday, there's been an end to The Vomit Chronicles (don't let me have jinxed that).
    The kids actually had school. Michael and I got some shopping done when he came home from work. Picked up the kids' book order (PRESENTS!!) ... Then we got them ready for a sleepover that evening, after Michael helped set up for a wedding at the church.
    And I borrowed my SIL(A)'s DVDs of Doctor Who.
    Michael, Bubbles, and I finished watching Series/Season 5 ... Now, to watch Season 6  (on Netflix), then to watch A's DVDs. And I'll be caught up ... for a little bit.
  • Saturday, we took Bubbles to Breakfast with Santa at the mall (She may have been the youngest one there!) ... It went well. We went home and relaxed, then headed up to the family party for our niece. Then we headed back for that wedding that Michael had started setting up for. (The food there was AMAZING.)
  • Sunday was busy. Michael had meetings in the morning.The kids and I took the van to church. We had choir right after church. Then we had Tithing Settlement ... Michael took the kids home after that and I gave a ride home to a friend. Of course, our Bishop had things come up, so there was some rearranging of appointments ... I called a friend to let her know she could get to her appointment early. Yeah, between the financial clerk and me, we got things taken care of. Yeah, I'm totally an unofficial secretary. *rolls eyes*
    We then delivered stuff for our day of the 12 Days of Christmas that our ward is doing.
    Went home and watched a Netflix DVD ... and headed back to the church for the Stake Fireside.
    Bubbles had to be held by Michael the whole time (no nap) ... so it wasn't as fun for him.
Aaaaaaaand that brings us to today ... where I am suffering some of the effects of less-than-optimal amounts of sleep. Apparently, my body decided that having the appropriate amounts of flora in my lady bits was SO last week. (Thrush! NOT YAY!) ... But since I caught it early, it's not as hideous and horrendous as it could be. Still, I hate it. So, yeah.

I should be cleaning up the kitchen and finishing up laundry. Instead, I got a shower, read "Gotham by Gaslight," got Bubbles down from being stuck in Bucket's bunk, and wrote this!
I should also go out and get some Christmas shopping done. And wrap presents! But I am feeling NOT AT ALL motivated.
(Maybe I'll run those errands AFTER the kids get home from school. They won't take long.
Then I can wrap presents NOW and do the dishes. Laundry is always ongoing, so that's okay. And I can make Bucket's bed AFTER Bubbles is done with her nap. That could work. We'll see.)

Okay. I think that's really everything that I NEED to share. And plenty that didn't need to be shared, just for good measure.

I can haz naptimez plz?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The 2013 Gratitude List Extravaganza

Okay, here's my Top 100 Things I'm thankful for THIS year:
(In no particular order ... for the most part)

  1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Without it, well, life would be just something to be endured, not ENJOYED.
    I'm glad that our God is a God of love ... and that He loves us so much that He knows that we are all worthwhile. And that we are able to have family relations that survive death.
    And that we're taught to love and respect everyone, regardless of how they choose to live their lives.
  2. Michael ... Because he chooses to put up with me and my craziness.
    He's an awesome father, my bestest friend, and possessor of an amazing sense of humor.
    He's not put off by my bookish nature ... and he's fun to geek out with.
    My greatest wish is that everyone could have a spouse that is so awesome (for them. Because I'm not sharing.)
  3. Bruise - Without my son, I'd not know how much fun it is to have boys.
    He's such a wonderful little man. And I'm so glad that he's such a wonderful namesake for two of his grandfathers. As much as I'd love to keep him around forever, I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of a man he turns out to be (Will he be a policeman? A LEGO MasterBuilder??).
  4. Bucket - Even though she's so much like me (which means that she drives me a little loony, bless her), she's such her own person. And she's growing up so fast! What is up with that?? She does give me a definite run for my money ... and she makes me laugh. Again, I'm very curious to find out what she's like as an adult (Is she going to be a veterinarian? A fashion designer? A painter?). 
  5. Bubbles - She's still such a wee, little thing now ... but full of personality. I'm looking forward to her starting to (consistently) use her words. Still, she's a fun little miss ... and being her mother is pretty fun.
  6. Freyja-cat ... Because, as Michael found out, I'm not my happiest/best self without a cat in the house.
    She is a cat with some issues (Kitty Prozac prescription? Check!), but she is a sweet and patient kitty. And very soft. I'm glad that she's in our house.
  7. My parents (and that includes Michael's folks, too) ... Seriously, what would I do without them?
    (I wouldn't be alive. I wouldn't be me. I wouldn't have an awesome Michael. ... I could go on.)
  8. My siblings ... my one complaint is that I didn't get them until I was older (I got my stepsiblings when I was 16. And they're all older than I am) and my siblings-in-law when I was almost 20. 
  9. I'm grateful for my body ... even though I gripe about it ... a lot. Overall, though, it can do lots of things. And I'm glad that it was in good enough shape when we went to Disneyland and LEGOland. If I had borked up my ankle six months earlier than I did, we'd have been hosed.
  10. I'm grateful for my kids' teachers. They've been very blessed to have good teachers that love them and teach them well. I'm glad that they kept their Spanish teacher from last year ... and not just because she adores Bubbles (It's really because she responds quickly to emails. And I appreciate that.)
  11. I'm glad that the kids have a good school with a principal who knows them (and us ... She can recognize us, even without Bruise and Bucket, at Costco. I was impressed!).
  12. I'm grateful that we have a house and it's in a neighborhood that's safe and quiet enough for the kids to play outside. And there are other kids close by.
  13. I'm grateful for electricity ... I would NOT make a good pioneer.
  14. I'm thankful for a working dishwasher ... and a husband that unloads it.
  15. I'm grateful for flannel sheets. Even though it makes getting OUT of bed a little bit harder.
  16. Hightop sneakers ... So I can feel like I'm making an effort AND I have JUST a little extra support for that ankle of mine.
  17. Netflix ... especially the streaming feature. Bubbles loves her some Daniel Tiger. ^_^
  18. Chocolate.
    I mean, do I need to elaborate?
  19. Ice cream.
    Again ... I don't think this needs any explanation.
  20. Books. As an only child, books were my first siblings and friends. And they never change. And, if you have your own copies, your favorites are always there for you. And new books are full of promise and possibilities.
  21. My phone ... I'm so lucky that Michael loves me enough to get me a smartphone. Because I need all the help I can get.
  22. The internet ... because information is always just a few clicks away.
    And I can never be bored anymore.
  23. That, even with how much I color it, my hair hasn't fallen out.
  24. That I have all my teeth ... and I don't get too many cavities.
  25. That I have great friends (Yes, you.) I appreciate that my friends help keep me aware that there are all types in the world. And they make me laugh. (Seriously, if you make me laugh, I already adore you. If you don't smile, I'm kind of intimidated/terrified. Please put me at ease and tell a joke. ^_^)
  26. The temple (well, all of the temples), but especially MY temple (Portland, Oregon).
    I love knowing that I have BEAT death and that I get my family for forever.
    Now I just have to behave myself and be good.
  27. Crayola crayons. The BIG box. You open that, take a whiff of the wax ... and you know that the world is your oyster. There's no limits to what you can color.
  28. My Cozi calendar ... keeping me on schedule for a few years now. I don't know what I'd do without it.
  29. Email/Facebook ... helping me stay in touch with people. I'm terrible at writing actual letters ... but I love email because I can send it any time and people can answer it at their leisure. Can you really do that with a phone call?
  30. Those looms ... because I can't really crochet or knit (can't knit at all), but with these things, suddenly I'm a crafty little wizard!
  31. Pool Noodles ... how else can one smack one's kids and not get in trouble?
  32. Rooibos tea. I know, TECHNICALLY, like all herbal "teas," it's a tisane ... But it's good and lets me get my chai fix AND keep the Word of Wisdom! And I love that the local tea shop has quite a few blends of Rooibos tea. And they're all really good.
  33. The fact that I live in a town with a tea shop and a movie theater and a Target. I didn't have that growing up. I hope that my kids realize how lucky they are. ^_^
  34. Living in Oregon. I love it. Living here in the valley, we're only around an hour away from most things (bigger cities, historical sites, go west to the Coast, go east to the desert ... we live in a temperate rain forest. There are mountains near enough for sledding or hiking. ... There's a reason I've never wanted to live anywhere else. Besides nearly all of my family is here/near.)
  35. Blogging. It's the best that I've done at keeping any kind of a diary/journal with any sort of regularity.
    I know that we're supposed to keep a journal/family history ... but I don't feel like an interesting person most of the time. I mean, I have my moments, don't get me wrong ... but JOURNALS are kind of intimidating. I don't think that my handwriting is THAT nice ... but blogging? Blogging is a little less pressure. Sure I've put all this out there for anyone to read (which is why there are nicknames and all), but ... well, it's just easier.
  36. I can't forget my cousins ... and it's sad that I don't get to see most of them anywhere near as often as I'd like. (But that's what Facebook is for, right?)
  37. Singing. It makes me happy ... even though I leave plenty of room for improvement.
  38. Dancing ... though I don't do it all that much right now. But I enjoy it. I'd love to learn the tango. But Swing and Lindy-hop are so fun. 
  39. Music in general (with a few exceptions. :P) ... I like music. It makes me happy.
  40. Bunnies. The world would be a much sadder place without bunnies.
  41. Aquariums. Because I like fish ... and I like watching fish.
  42. Petting zoos ... because I can't own ALL the animals. But I can sure as heck work to cuddle as many as possible!!
  43. Museums ... I really like museums. Especially OMSI. But I like learning and feeling like I'm NOT letting my brain atrophy.
  44. I'm grateful that we have a living prophet who gives us counsel. Because Heavenly Father loves us enough to want us to return to Him. It's pretty awesome.
  45. Cars. It's amazing that we don't have to walk or ride horses everywhere. And it doesn't take DAYS to drive across the state. 
  46. Computers. Actually technology in general. I'm always boggled at how much information is out there and what we can use it all for (Seriously, they've managed to alter the DNA in HIV to target certain kinds of cancer. In kids! I mean ... we've taken this killer virus and figured out a way to use it for good. If we can do that with HIV, just think about what other awful things out there we can use as tools to make them do good stuff! I mean, we can use knives to kill people or to hunt and feed people. Or as scalpels and save lives. Yeah, I'm shutting up now.)
  47. I'm glad that my kids aren't into Justin Bieber or Twilight or anything like that. YET.
  48. I'm grateful that they're still at the age that the idea of kissing kids their age is beyond gross.
    And I love the faces they make when considering the possibility.
  49. I'm often thankful that I still have a 12-year-old boy's sense of humor.
    Because the kids and I all think that poop jokes are HILARIOUS. It's a great bonding tool.
  50. I'm grateful that my allergies are mostly seasonal and don't involve food in a life-threatening way (just a hella-annoying way. I miss eating raw apples, peaches, and almonds without having an itchy mouth throat).
  51. Spellcheck.
  52. Spiral-bound notebooks ... so I can tuck a pen into the "binding."
  53. Inside jokes with friends ... It's always great to just be able to screech out a word or phrase and then burst out into gasping-for-breath-clutching-your-stomach laughter.
  54. Not having much of a filter. I work so that I don't say anything mean ... but being unable to lie convincingly makes it a lot easier to be honest. So that's nice.
    And people tell me that I'm funny ... when I'm really just being totally honest. I guess it's unexpected or something.
  55. Cherry Coke.
    Or Vanilla Coke.
  56. Cheesecake.
  57. Pictures of my kids ... and of my friends and family. And of places that I want to go.
    Seriously, cameras are really amazing when you think about it.
  58. And, really, think about a USB stick ... you have a little THING that carries tons of pictures, music, or other files THAT FITS IN A POCKET. And we just take it for granted.
  59. Lip gloss/balm. Because when my lips get chapped, I pick at them. And then they bleed and hurt. So I'm thankful for lip gloss.
  60. Washable markers. And crayons. And finger paints.
    I'm a mom. Art supplies that are washable are DA BOMB.COM
  61. Sharpies ... because I'm a mom, an Ed major, and the daughter of a teacher.
    Sharpies are a necessity.
  62. Tape ... duct tape, Scotch tape/sellotape, masking tape, painters tape, electrical tape, plumbers tape ... we use tape in various varieties and amounts in this house.
    (I should try washi tape.)
  63. Pinterest ... because I'd never think of half so many things to do.
    AND it lets me keep track of so many things on a webpage instead of having a million more bookmarks.
  64. Growing up in a home that valued reading and education. It made going to college much easier ... because I never really considered NOT going to college (there was a little bit, but that was VERY shortlived. Because I was being stupid over a boy. And he didn't deserve it anyways.)
  65. Online shopping ... so that I can find books that are out-of-print or shoes that aren't sold locally and I don't have to find a parking spot. Or get dressed.
  66. Our water cooler ... because making a cup of hot tea (tisane, I know) has never been easier.
  67. Online bill paying. Forgot to buy stamps? Not such a huge deal!
  68. Amazon Prime ... because two-day shipping is pretty snazzy.
  69. Scissors ... when used properly (not to give self-inflicted haircuts or cut my curtains), they're really great. Can you imagine wrapping a present using a knife?
  70. Naps.
    Naps are wonderful.
  71. Hot baths.
  72. Clean bathrooms.
  73. Bleach.
  74. My neti pot ... I don't know how I survived without it.
  75. Altoids.
  76. Trivia games.
  77. Washing machine and dryer.
  78. Microwave!!!
  79. Pizza delivery (or Chinese take-away that delivers)
  80. Yellow curry with chicken.
  81. French onion soup.
  82. Broccoli, because eating little trees is fun. (And you can prepare it lots of ways.)
  83. Paper towels ... how did people clean up vomit before they were invented??
  84. General Conference.
  85. Massages.
  86. Play-doh ... except when the kids get it in the carpet. Oy.
  87. Plumbing that works. Because it's BAD when it's not working.
  88. Modern sewer systems. Enough said.
  89. Clean water.
  90. Freedoms of speech, religion, to vote, to possess guns, etc. ... Yeah, I'm grateful to be an American (though I do adore Canada, England, and Japan ... and a lot of other countries, but I don't know ALL that much about them. Yup, room to improve ... I haz it.)
  91. That I was able to grow up close to most of my grandparents (I have a set in another state. And Grammy has passed, so I don't know her or Grampy as well as I could have. Or his second third wife ... she's better, though, with email, so that helps. ... My mom's folks divorced when she was young, so I grew up with THREE sets of grandfolks: Grandma (her mom) and Grandpa, Nana and Pop-pop (Dad's folks), and Grampy (Mom's dad) and Grammy.
    Since Grandma passed when I was 15, Christmas isn't quite the same ... We used to do Christmas Eve at Nana and Pop-pop's, then Christmas morning (or after church if it was a Sunday) with Grandma and Grandpa. Since Grandma (then Grandpa) and Pop-pop passed ... and Nana moved out of their old house, I REALLY miss my childhood Christmas traditions. ... I mean, yes, I'm married and have LOTS of stuff to do anyways ... but, well, I'm not the best with change, okay??
    But, AS I WAS SAYING in the first place, I have some great memories of visiting and hanging with my grandmothers and Pop-pop. I'd follow Pop-pop around in the garden. Or he'd let my cousins (S & D) or me "help" drive the tractor as we'd mow the lawn for a neighbor of theirs. I'd play with Nana (favorite little kid games were "Meghan and Sundance" [My Little Ponies], where I'd ride on her back and she'd complain that my mom's folks were younger ... why didn't they play that with me? :P and "Alvin's on the table" ... where I'd climb up on the kitchen table and yell that out and Nana'd call back, "Alvin! Get off the table!" ... Yeah, I was somewhat easy to amuse.
    Nana'd also, in the summer, fix me a bowl of strawberries from Pop-pop's garden, sprinkled with sugar and a splash of cream.
    At Grandma's house, I played outside by myself a bit. Watched the train go by or the neighbors' horses. She also had TONS of Disney story kits with a book and a cassette to listen to. I usually chose, to my best memory, Alice in Wonderland. There were also books and some stuffed animals to play with as well. When I grew older, she'd give me books -- especially as presents, since she was once a school librarian. Once, I helped her clean out her cupboards. She gave me one of the teacups that she collected (Sadly, tragically, it broke. I still am coming to grips with that).
    Because I treasure those memories of growing up and being able to visit (often) my grandfolks, I have been pretty adamant about living within driving distance of the kids' grandparents (and great-grands, when I can wing it ... Now, my Grampy still lives in another state, as does Michael's maternal grandmother ... but we try and visit Nana often. And Michael's paternal grandma lives with his folks a couple towns away).
  92. Deodorant ... because, well, I've gone through puberty. I'd prefer NOT the stink.
  93. Having a husband who can fix things. That's a really nice thing.
  94. Having children who are generally of a happy temperament. It's nice to hear them laugh. And I love that they'll play together (Bruise and Bucket are pretty patient with Bubbles).
  95. Egg Nog ... for it is delicious.
  96. Those drink machines where you can add the different flavors to the different sodas? THOSE ARE AMAZEBALLS. Cherry-vanilla Coke? Don't mind if I do! Thanks!
  97. That my kids get to ride the bus (Not dressed in the morning? As long as they're not in Kindergarten, no problem! Just send them out the door!)
  98. Disposable diapers ... especially with Bruise and Bucket as babies. I'd have been doing laundry ALL THE TIME. And we didn't get our own washer and dryer until they were almost one. Our house would have smelled HORRIBLE.
  99. Disney movies ... especially when I used to go into chat rooms and get bored, you could always start a Disney Sing-a-long. It was awesome. And they're something the kids and I can watch together.
  100. I'm thankful that I'm DONE with this list. (I know, I know, cop out. But still. It took a while!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm not dead. I swear!

Okay ... again (like usual), it's been a while since I last blogged.

Which just means that -- hey! -- there's stuff to blog about, right? ... Um ... yeah. Sure.

Okay, so Halloween. Let's start there.
Michael and I were not cool. We didn't dress up at all.
I HAD perused a couple stores to find a decent pirate-hat. No dice.
So, between THAT failure and my gimp ankle, I didn't have the energy or motivation or wherewithal to do anything.

The kids did dress up.
Bruise was a robot-ninja from Power Rangers (No, we don't watch the show. But the costume SPOKE to him. He wanted to be a gold or white ninja -- and we only had red or cobra ninja costumes -- SO.)
Sadly, the mask covered his adorably handsome face, so we think he didn't get AS much candy as previous years.

Bucket opted to be Skelita Calaveras (from Monster High). We did NOT invest in the official costume.
For less money, we got a "white skellington" costume (leggings, long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and wispy grey skirt) AND a pink animal-print skirt (that she can wear as a regular wardrobe item) and I sprayed her hair darker with orange-gel highlights (Instead of dropping another $20 on a wig). And I did her Dia de los Muertas makeup ... which turned out pretty darn well.
(In fact, in all humblebrag, the gal taking pictures at the mall said [and posted on facebook] that they should get me to do facepainting for them ... which kind of freaks me out. Because doing makeup for ONE girl is totally different than doing small bits on MULTIPLE children. Seriously, I got Bucket's hair-and-makeup down to about a half-hour [It'd have been less if I had a stage-type white base. Whenever I'd touch her face (to do eyeliner or anything, I'd have to redo where my finger had been, since the white creme base had rubbed completely off)] ... So, apparently, I need to practice face-painting so I'll have a marketable skill.)

Bubbles was an owl ... in the same costume as last year. And it fit MUCH better.
And she LOVED the trick-or-treating at the mall.
You could just about see her thought-pattern: "What are you telling me? You're saying that if I go up to those strangers with my bucket, they'll just GIVE ME CANDY? Seriously? BEST DAY EVER."
And, since she's a tiny thing, a lot of the folks giving out candy would just hold their bowls out to her and laugh as she grabbed HUGE (for her) handfuls.

So, Michael had come home early from work, which was WONDERFUL. As soon as I had Bucket's makeup done, we skedaddled to the mall. Then we went to a neighbor's house (she ALWAYS has great treats and personally asks us to come by). After that, Bruise and Bucket ran into the house to go through their loot.
We could have gone to a local high school's trunk-or-treat or to a shindig thrown by a local church ... but the kids were happy enough to just go through their candy and eat pizza rolls. So, we did that and watched the Disney version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (complete with bonus Bing Crosby).

Since, as I mentioned, I still have a bum ankle, I wasn't terribly heartbroken that I didn't have to gimp about for the rest of the night. (I'd have sent Michael out with the older ones. Bubbles and I would have just chillaxed and gone to bed early.)

After the kids went to bed, we watched an episode of BBC's Jekyll ... we're now about halfway through it (only six episodes). It's gotten better as it's gone along. (Still there's a bit of language. Which isn't THAT surprising, since it's British ... but, yeah, not for children. Definitely not.)

And that was Halloween.

The next day, Bubbles and I made it to the school assembly (for MOST of the assembly -- Bubbles was NOT HAVING ANY OF IT, cranky girl) to see Bucket receive a Student of the Month Award.
It was much nicer NOT being on crutches for this assembly (as opposed to last month's, where Bruise got a Reading award ... and I was in tears trying to get around. *sigh*).

This assembly was much better organized. (They opted to have the [noisy] Kindergarteners have their OWN assembly. And the 3rd-5th graders had their own assembly in the afternoon in the gym, which is much larger. There were LOTS more places for parents to sit. And the volume level was MUCH better.)

The kids cleaned their room. And they've worked VERY hard to keep it clean. They've made it a WHOLE WEEK. They need to tidy it up today ... but I'm very impressed.

Even though it's been chilly outside, I've been letting them play outside with some neighbor kids most days. Might as well, until it gets too cold, right?

Bubbles isn't very happy about that. I should take her to the play area at the mall, so she can get some wiggles out.

Last week was pretty low-key. We took the kids to a frozen yogurt shop for FHE (Family Home Evening) to celebrate/commemorate Bucket's Student-of-the-Month award (We like to celebrate with ice cream/frozen yogurt).
We cleaned up the house Tuesday. My mom came up Wednesday (and had to leave VERY early Thursday morning). Thursday, I was out late, since I went to a THRIVE (food storage/emergency preparedness supplies) party at a friend's house ... and stayed chatting with her and her friend (now a facebook friend) for about two hours. Good times.
(Seriously, I NEEEEEED to order a #10 can of those pomegranate yogurt bites. Yummmm. And the freeze-dried double chocolate swirl ice cream is rather amazeballs, too. Truly, I was pretty dang impressed with everything I tried. ... So I want to try the freeze-dried asparagus. FOR SCIENCE.)

Friday, Michael and I went out for a lunch date (with Bubbles). Yay for Red Robin (Bubbles LOVES their Sweet potato fries. I can't complain, either! I had the French Onion soup and BTLA (Ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado) Croissant. It's my usual. Michael had a craving for French Dip. So, that's what he got. And onion rings to share. (The bacon aioli sauce? Is pretty amazing. ... Yeah, I know. I could never keep Kosher.)

Saturday, the kids had their Primary Program rehearsal (well, not Bubbles, she's too little). We took Bubbles shopping with us. Michael needed new brown shoes (he's TOUGH on shoes. And clothes) and I was on a mission to find high-top Converse sneakers. Not just because they're awesome, but to support my gimp ankle.

We weren't finding anything good anywhere. Which made me pretty pissy for a bit.

We did (FINALLY) go out in the afternoon (after Bubbles' nap) to a local paint-your-own-pottery place to use Bucket's gift certificate she won this summer. And then we used Bruise's gift certificate to get dinner at a local pizza place (We only had to pay for drinks! Nice!)

After that, we headed back to the mall to check another store for high-tops ... and to get Michael's shoes. And I checked at Ross ... and there was ONE pair of Converse that fit and were $20 less than the others I was THINKING of maybe settling for. But I liked these better anyways. (And I now know what size I need, so I can always order a pair online, too. ^_^) So I have shoes that give me a little more confidence when I walk ... since I CANNOT handle being on crutches again anytime in the future.

The kids had their Primary Program on Sunday. Mom, my stepdad, Mom C, Grandma C, and Uncle D all came up (Dad C somehow hurt his foot/ankle. He had better get back on his feet, so I told Mom C, since there's only room in this family for ONE gimp. And I'm it.).
We impressed a brother in the ward, who noticed that we had four generations on one pew (Grandma C, her son [D, Dad C's brother], Michael, and the kids).
I had to introduce my mom in Relief Society (the women's class).
I, of course, did it with subtlety and restraint: " This is my mom, [Mom's name]. She's awesome. I get my awesomeness from her. It's totally hereditary."
It's a good thing that people at church are used to me.

While we were waiting for the High Priests (older men's group) to get done, Bubbles blew kisses to the brethren in there.
One of them mimed that her kisses hit him enough to bonk him against the door frame. And she (and Bruise and Bucket) laughed and laughed.
(For a nearly-two-year-old, she's got a rather sophisticated sense of humor.)

Mom and C (my stepdad) came over to visit and eat lunch before they had to head back home.
Michael and Bruise went and did some Home Teaching.
Then we had choir (and I sang the solo in practice ... and, oh, it was not my best at all. If you're in choir with me, please accept my abject apologies. Did I mention that I'm fighting the plague? It's not the best excuse ... but it's a legitimate one.) and I had a RS Board meeting afterwards ... and Kim (who was giving me a ride home) and I stopped by a friend's house to return her coat ... and help her put a bedskirt on. And then we chatted for a bit ... since that's what we do.

Yesterday was Veterans' Day. My friend, T, and I FINALLY got together. She brought her son, J, over and we all went to a local parade. She and I made Doctor Who jokes and admired the reenactment/vintage clothing. We ran into her sister-in-law (who had marched in the parade ... She's a drummer in my alma mater's band). It was really fun to get to catch up a bit.
Being a grown-up is haaaaard, since you have to work around work schedules (her), kids' schedules (us), and college classes (her). But it's worth it ... when we can make it happen. ^_^

Bruise-ism of the month:
He and I had sat down to read together (out of MY Childcraft books that I got when I was in first grade. And, OH, I love them. They're my precious and I read them a LOT when I was growing up).
I picked the one about "The World and Space."
And Bruise made the observation, "The planets are like islands, space is like the ocean, and the stars are the reflections on the water."

Yup, my boy is a poet.
He's definitely a boy -- loves video games, LEGO, swords, Star Wars ... but he is so tender-hearted and sweet.

Bucket is often a girly-girl -- She's more into dolls and art and fashion (She's a FASHIONISTA). She can be a bit shy, but she can definitely hold her own around boys. She does enjoy LEGO, but she's more into watching shows and reading. And she loves to laugh.

Bubbles is like Bruise in being a people-person. She LOVES music (one reason she loves to watch Daniel Tiger is that there's so much music.She also loves Baby Einstein. And, for a while, when Michael was watching Star Trek episodes, she'd RUN so she could watch/listen to the opening theme of TNG. And she'd be MAD if she didn't get to hear it.She also is our most adventurous eater. She is not deterred by spicy foods. She also KNOWS that she's adorable -- probably since everyone fawns over her.
And, like her mother and sister, she's very into shoes.
(As we were trick-or-treating, we came up to a display window for one of the shoe stores in the mall. And, as Michael had to point out, she was ENTRANCED. "She's YOUR daughter." ... Though, really, in temperament, she's very like her dad. He was a perfect baby. I was NOT.)

I should read through a ton of library books (a ton = maybe ten). And I should get laundry and dishes done. And the living room vacuumed again. And make that THRIVE order. And read my scriptures, say my prayers, plan my Visiting Teaching, plan dinners, go grocery shopping, stop complaining constantly about my stupid gimp ankle ... Yeah. And I should get a shower today. And take a nap, since that blasted cough kept me from sleeping much (and kept Michael from sleeping as well as he could. *sigh*)

I think that's about everything to report for now. Unless I lose 50 lbs in the next couple days or something. (Don't I wish! :P)

Monday, October 28, 2013

If I could come up with a clever title du jour, I'd do it ...

So, another week's gone by and I'm blogging again.

Let's see ... what's gone on?
  • My Nana's moved in with my uncle and step-aunt ... and they've managed to sell both her old house AND their current place. ... So they'll be moving again.
  • My dad and (for-all-purposes-and-if-our-state-had-common-law-it'd-be-official) stepmom are still working on getting their other house fixed up (Long story short: RIGHT before they got renters, the plumber TOTALLY screwed up and turned on water and left town for vacation without checking how tight the fittings were ... or, in this case, WEREN'T.
    They've had to pull up subflooring and gut the kitchen ... AROUND the renters. And the worst case is that their insurance is giving them such the run around. The plumber's insurance is a walk in the park in comparison. Still, it's very stressful for them).
  • Bubbles' tongue has healed up. Phew!
  • I'm able to walk without crutches or a cane. I still am learning to walk without a limp (and I have to make sure that my foot isn't turned out when I walk ... which makes me feel like I'm walking pigeon-toed on that side). I'm not back up to speed. And I don't feel at all graceful ... but it's much better than being on crutches.
  • The kids got their costumes: Bruise is a ninja robot (apparently from Power Rangers, not that we watch the show. But whatever makes him happy, right?), Bucket is a version of Skellita Calaveras (from Monster High) -- the Dia de los Muertos make-up is rather fun/challenging to do. Next time I'm going to need whiteface, though, I'm splurging on theater make-up. The white cream facepaint or Wet'n'Wild facepaints make it ... MORE CHALLENGING. Bubbles is wearing her owl costume again (since it still fits and is adorable).
  • Michael and I aren't dressing up ... he doesn't care. And I couldn't figure out anything I really wanted to be ... that, and being laid up for the first half of the month makes me feel like I've been in a coma (ala Captain America) and the world has passed me by without my knowing it.
    I did joke with my mom about going as something REALLY scary. I could print out a sign to wear that reads "Crippling Self-Doubt."
  • We fed the missionaries. One of the sisters is gluten-intolerant. And, in one dish, I put a seasoning that DID contain MSG ... so I was freaking out that I was going to poison her. Thankfully, she's not THAT sensitive. She just has to avoid BREAD and PASTA and things like that. A little MSG isn't going to kill her. (And, sometimes, she'll eat a burrito and darn the consequences!)
  • We carved pumpkins at Mom and Dad C's this weekend. That was fun.
    Bruise opted for a traditional-style Jack-o-Lantern. Bucket carved "Boo!" into hers (almost completely by herself!), Michael carved Jack Skellington's face into Bubbles' pumpkin. I carved a simplistic version of a sugar-skull face into mine.
  • At choir yesterday, the soloist for the number we were practising for didn't come ... so I ended up singing the solo. And our choir director said it was very nice ... and that she'll remember to feature me in the future. (Usually the solos go to the youth [those under 18] in the choir ... so I'm quite flattered. Even though you could TOTALLY tell in the first practice that I was nervous. My voice was very warbly and I had to REALLY work on my breathing. And squeaked a little on the highest note. *sigh*) ... So that was new.
  • Michael and I are ONE EPISODE AWAY from finishing watching Dollhouse (Joss Whedon) ... We had missed a LOT of Season Two, since FOX kept moving around the schedule. *ugh* ... So there were lots of things that we hadn't seen. And we have just one more episode ... Then we'll have to figure out what to watch on streaming next.
  • Also, a few days ago, Netflix had some issue. It was widespread, but not affecting EVERYONE. And we didn't have Streaming for a few hours.
    Did I freak out?
    ...
    Yes. A lot.
  • Through a garage sale page on Facebook, we now have an elliptical.
    Once my ankle's a bit stronger, I'll be able to work out ... and catch up on all the episodes of Supernatural on Netflix. And Downton Abbey on DVD. Then the original Upstairs Downstairs.
    And I'll look and feel better, right?
  • I'm still battling this crazy cough. It's started to go away. But I wish it was GONE.
    Especially when I cough enough that my gag reflex engages. Yuck. (TMI, I know)
  • It's nice to be able to stand enough to do my makeup. That's a nice change.
    I find it hard (aka PAINFUL) to kneel. I still have a bit to go before I'm all healed up. 
  • I have a HUGE sinkful of dishes to work on ... That's my goal for the day. That and MAYBE trying out the elliptical, but not doing anything crazy. (I'll wear my ankle brace).
Oh, also, the kids brought home their school pictures. Bruise's is a little wrinkled, since he stuffed it into his backpack. But it'll be fine.
They both look pretty good! Bucket's hair is in good shape, phew! ... Although, goodness, she's growing up too fast. She looks older than seven in her picture (and, with the Halloween makeup on ... Yeah, she almost looks like a teenager. *sigh*). Bruise has this funny, nearly-panicked smile in his.
They both look cute. So, thankfully, I don't have to fret about re-takes this time. PHEW.

I think that's really everything to share. I should get started on housework and get a shower and such.
(Even though, with the cold weather having come in, all I really want to do is curl up with some books, hot cocoa, a warm blanket, the cat, and maybe some period-piece dramas. I'll just have to save that for when the kids are all in school, right?)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Have a great fall! ... Oh, I did that.

So, you're probably wondering the reason for the blog hiatus THIS time.

And I actually rather have an excuse ... and it's a really decent one.

No, I didn't go on vacation or was hospitalized with ebola or was in prison or anything fun/exciting like that.

No ... nothing quite like that.

SO, here's how it started ... Sunday (Sept 29), there I am, getting everyone (except Michael, who's already at church in meetings) ready for church. We're running a couple minutes later than I'd like (which, by the by, is still early, because I'm a freak like that). I make sure to grab the sign-up sheet so that I can be sure to get rides for a sister in the ward. I hold that in one hand (so it won't get wrinkled, since we need to make copies), grab my purse (with my phone and keys), and follow the kids out the door to the van.

I lock the back door and then start to go down the three stairs to the carport floor so I can get Bubbles into her carseat. The kids have already unlocked the van earlier. Bruise is climing into his seat. Bucket is by Bubbles so Bubbles doesn't go running off into the road as is the wont of a nearly 19-month-old.

And ... I miss a step somewhere in there. I don't know if it was that top step or the middle ... but all I know is that I went down. When I'm next totally aware of what's going on, I know that I'm at the bottom of the steps, my purse is next to me, the sign-up sheet (eventually) is on the other side of the railing (slightly mangled), and I'm in a pile at the bottom of the stairs and I HURT.

I thought I heard some pops when I was in my (very short, very sudden) flight ... and I make sure to wiggle my toes. That's a good sign. I try to rotate my right foot ... OW OW FLIPPITYFLIPPITYOW.

I grapple to open my purse and dig out my phone and call Michael to come and get the kids, because I can't take them to church and I'vehurtmyselfandI'lltrytogetintothehouseandithurtsandI'msorry.

I have Bruise close up the car, Bucket take my keys and unlock the house. They usher Bubbles inside and I drag/crawl/hop into the house and get to my computer chair (closest place to sit) and put my foot up on the other computer chair and try not to cry.

Michael got home, got me moved over to the couch, elevated and iced my ankle, printed out a non-wrinkled copy of the sign-up sheet, ran back to the church to get some things done AFTER putting (cranky) Bubbles to nap and getting the kids settled building a LEGO version of Samuel the Lamanite and me into an Epsom salt bath (where I posted a picture of my ankle onto Facebook. ... I'm such a hussy. Those are the only nude pics that'll be online ... and you can only see from my knees down).

Michael got back home and got me to the other couch, so I could be more comfortable and watch TV. And ... well, for the couple weeks, that's what I did -- rested on the couch, keeping my ankle elevated and applying lots of ice and compression bandages.

One friend has lent me her family's pair of crutches. I've gotten decent at using them.

Monday, Michael stayed home and took care of me.
Tuesday, Mom C took Bubbles for the day, since the kids were at school and Michael was at work, so I could relax.
Wednesday, Mom came up and took care of Bubbles and me.
We took Bubbles to her 18-months check-up ... we made quite the parade: Mom, pushing Bubbles in her stroller and me, bringing up the rear on crutches.
Dr. R also took a look at my ankle and pronounced it a good sprain with very little chance of a fracture ... which is what Michael had told me (and he's had his share of sprained/rolled ankles).

Friday, Bruise was receiving an award at a school assembly for reading, so we went, in our same little parade. We had to park a couple blocks away ... and, with the crutches and everything, I was ready to cry by the time they announced that we could take pictures, in the hallway (on the OPPOSITE side of the cafeteria where the assembly was. By the time we got Bubbles, Mom and me HEADED to take pictures, the students were heading back to their seats. ... So I just had Bruise stand against the backdrop curtain hiding the cafeteria prep and took my damn pictures and Mom, Bubbles, and I headed back home.

Later, I took a Percocet (left over from my kidney stone almost two years ago) ... and I felt so good, I tried putting full weight on my ankle.
Bad idea.
Which required more ice, ibuprofen, elevation, and time. Grrr.

I've been really blessed in that the last couple of weeks have been easy, church-wise: We had General Conference (which you can watch/listen to at home), so I didn't have to get dressed up or leave the house at all. I was able to sit at my desk or the couch and take notes/listen/follow the Bloggernacle/TwitterStake.
And last week was our Stake Conference, where we go to church and have a two hour meeting where you don't have to move to any other classrooms (And Bruise and Bucket were pretty darn quiet!! I was pleasantly amazed).

Which brings us to last week:
  • Monday - I try to take Bubbles for the day. No go. I can't chase her on crutches.
    Thankfully, Michael's having a really slow day at work and comes home shortly after lunch.
  • Tuesday - Mom C comes and gets Bubbles again.
  • Wednesday and Thursday - My mom's up and takes care of us until the kids get home from school Thursday.
  • Friday - The kids don't have school, so we make do until Michael gets home from work (Friday is the early day) ... And we take the kids to the LEGO KidsFest ... and I get to trade in my crutches for a wheelchair.
The KidsFest was great. Even in a wheelchair.
We would have brought a carrier for Bubbles (who mostly sat on my lap or Michael carried her) and I'd have brought a smaller purse.
We also would have brought a bag for all the freebie swag that Bruise and Bucket got (totally cancelled out the price of their tickets) ... and it was totally worth the price, regardless.

But, yeah, now I know how to use crutches AND a wheelchair.

Saturday, Michael cleaned out the shop/storage shed. The kids lied about cleaning their room ... so they had to do that and are off of Netflix/DVDs/Wii for the week.
As the kids were "cleaning" their room, RIGHT AFTER Michael left for a meeting, Bubbles came out screaming ... and with a mouth full of blood.
Turns out that Bucket "accidentally threw" her into her bed.

My response: "How THE HELL does one 'accidentally throw' someone anywhere??"

So, as it REALLY turns out, Bubbles climbed up into Bucket's (top) bunk and, instead of enlisting Bruise to help Bubbles get down the ladder, Bucket just hung Bubbles over the edge of the bed and dropped her into her pack-n-play ... which resulted in Bubbles biting her tongue BAD.

I did some Google-fu (and called Michael) ... it wasn't bad enough to take her to the doctor's about ... even IF I could drive her there, or IF Michael came home. Seriously, the next day, her tongue only looked like there was a papercut on it. I don't even see any marks as of yesterday.

We had her suck on a wet rag with ice. She had some acetaminophen and a nap ... then popsicles.

But, yeah ... between THAT and her getting stitches a month or so ago (which you can barely see the scar) ... well, combining that with my ankle AND that I was JUST off  my cycle ... It's a wonder that I haven't had a heart attack ... like I ALMOST did when Michael came in Saturday morning and I was running a bath (ALL BY MYSELF) and was about to slide myself into it and then SUDDENLY, without my being able to hear him coming, there's SOMEONE in the room.

Seriously, my heart nearly skidded to a stop.
Then I started to breathe again.

This week, I've started sleeping in again a bit. I've been exhausted ... and it's not like I've been DOING stuff. Maybe folding some laundry. But getting up so early (so early = 5:50ish AM), not napping really, having a crap cough that doesn't let me sleep, plus waking up whenever I want to roll over in bed ... yeah, I'm not getting as much sleep.

So, I started not waking up that early (which I was so that Michael could help me in/out of the shower and get my clothes, help me out to the couch, make sure that I had a phone handset and my bag of stuff (stuff = cellphone, lip gloss, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Vicodin, Percocet [both leftover from that kidney stone incident of 2012 and appreciated during this time ... and I made sure not to take them if I was the only adult in the house, regardless of pain level. So, therefore, I think my future as a junkie is severely limited], Aspercreme,  ACE bandages, my ankle brace, a nail file, a book ... things like that.) ... so that I'd only really need to get up to go to the bathroom.

Eventually, we got me a couple of boxes of cereal bars so that I'd have something to eat during the day on days that my mom wasn't here (or if Mom C didn't bring me a doughnut), since -- on crutches -- I couldn't carry anything.

Bubbles likes to race-crawl me if I'm on the ground.

Yesterday, I managed to take care of Bubbles AND myself for the day. She demanded that I help her unload the dishwasher. I also started a load of laundry. And I overdid it by carrying her to nap ... since I wasn't using crutches for that. Just the ankle brace.
I started being able to walk on Sunday ... I first practiced between the couches in the living room. Then I managed to hobble from bed to the bathroom and back.

I moved with all the grace of a geriatric with a hip replacement post-surgery. And it's exhausting.
Mostly due to the sheer mind-numbing terror when I have to first figure out how exactly do I trust all my (considerable, let's be honest) weight onto an injured, still-swollen joint.

So, yeah, I was hurting again by yesterday afternoon.
Today, I've realized that I don't put on my ankle brace well. If Michael puts it on, that's fine. But when I put it on, I put it too tight or something against a bruised spot on my ankle (right against a bone, even) ... so that makes it HURT to walk.

I've babied it a bit today. BUT I was able to STEP (not HOP on my good foot but STEP), with my weight on my gimp foot, into the shower today. That hasn't happened since the 29th.

I also loaded up the washer, after moving clothes to the dryer. Loaded the dishwasher. Fed the cat and gave her water. My RS President (and friend -- same person) came over and filled my crockpot with a lasagna AND helped me fold (and put away) some clothes.

I am not good at getting myself food for breakfast and lunch. Here, it's nearly 4:30 and I still haven't eaten anything. I've had water. And cough syrup. Maybe I won't totally lose my voice from coughing like almost happened yesterday.

It's rather hard to relearn to walk. Mostly because it can hurt. And I really don't like pain.

In other news, Michael can tell when my drugs (Percocet or NyQuil) kick in.
On Percocent, I just am talking ... then I stop and announce, apropos to nothing, "I really like rosemary. But I can't grow it in this house. It's just too dim. ... Rosemary and firs have very distinctive shapes. They're a little similar ... but not the smell. Not at all."

Yes, I am just that special.
And I'm completely aware that I act strangely focused and quite nerdy when on drugs. 

Another example: I'm sitting on the couch, my foot is elevated on a pillow on Michael's lap. I'm working at rotating my ankle in as big of circles as possible to work on range of motion.

I'm staring at my foot/leg ... "It's no wonder that the Romans called muscles 'muscles.' It rather does look like there's something moving around in there. Might as well be mice. ... I'm glad it's not mice, though."

So, yeah ... that's most of the last two weeks done up in one LONG, rambling (but this is me. What else do you expect, really?) post.

Long story short - I busted up my ankle falling down a couple stairs on the way to church. It looked like a zombie leg, with all the swelling and bruising. It's getting better. I know now how to use crutches and I can navigate with a wheelchair. I'm learning to walk again. And I can actually take care of Bubbles by myself for a few hours at a time (the kids help A LOT when they're home).

I'm really ready to have a leg with NO swelling, bruises, or pain ... but I'm trying to be patient.
I suck at patience ... especially with myself, since usually I'm the one that people describe as "Oh, don't worry, she's stronger than she looks." But this ... this is not something that I can just cop an attitude and stubborn my way through. Or I'd have been walking last week. DEFINITELY.

In closing, here's a joke that Bucket made up:

Q: How does a hamburger fart?
A: WITH ITS BUNS!

You've got to admit, that is a golden joke.

... Does anyone know where to buy Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses? I kind of NEED to try them.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Back to ... as normal as I get.

So, yes ... I'm feeling better and back to normal.

Normal being rather lazy as a housekeeper. And abashed at being petty enough to feel jealous.
But, well, I'm sure that you don't love me because you think that I'm perfect.

(If that's the case, I am so, so, SO, so sorry to have betrayed you. Because I am so far from being perfect that, well, I can't even think of a proper metaphor to describe how far I am from being absolutely perfect.
But, I can attest that, thanks be to the grace of God, I'm perfect enough ... as long as I keep trying and keep my testimony. Since isn't that what the Atonement is all about?)

Well, since I have you here, let's figure out what I've been doing since last time ...

  • Mom came up. We talked and I drank a Cherry Pepsi (I know, I do prefer my Cherry Coke. ... But really it's the CHERRY that I like), and we watched a comedy special on Netflix (the guy was funny. Not too much of a potty-mouth. Still, it's weird watching a comic who drops an f-bomb while your mom's in the room. :P I think we're still Jim Gaffigan fans. Along with Bill Cosby and Brian Regan. ... But Mom and I do enjoy us some SNL. As in, if we sit together in Sunday School or RS, we will whisper Church Lady lines to each other. Good times). Also, Mom and I went out and got pedicures. I held Bubbles on my lap the whole time, so I wasn't QUITE as melted into the awesome massager-chair as I could have been. But it was fun.
  • Michael and I went to the kids' school's Curriculum Night for Bruise and Bubbles' grade. I jotted down notes, the kids played in the gym, and Michael took Bubbles on a walkabout after she got bored of snacks and the crayons I had stuffed in my bag.
  • Today was the kids' school pictures. I think everyone's hair looked good. Even when they came home. PHEW!
  • Since it was picture day, the kids had to take the e-receipts for their pictures (I preordered online) to school. I wrote reminders on the insides of their wrists. Bubbles saw me do it and demanded that I write on her wrists (YES, BOTH of them), too. So, Bruise and Bucket have "Picture Pass" scrawled on their wrists. And Bubbles is sporting twin smiley faces.
  • I got all caught up with watching Titli's Busy Garden online. Now I'm kind of at a loss for what to do. :P
  • I finished the scarf for Bubbles. Now to just use that loom for fun. 
  • I need to do dishes and laundry ... like usual. :P
  • Mom and I went to Target and shopped around. We got Bruise a puzzle (Star Wars, naturally) and we found (FINALLY) the little stuffed Fluttershy to complete Bucket's collection. (Bubbles got a set of Duplos, which she's loving) ... upon getting home, within five minutes of getting her pony, Bubbles had misplaced her. We said a prayer and looked and looked ... we found her again. BUT, in the meantime, there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. And I put myself in timeout so that I'd keep my cool in the midst of dealing with that. (And then Bruise and Bucket played with Bubbles' Duplos, which made them happy for the interim.) After Michael got home, though, we renewed the search ... and Fluttershy was found and reunited with the rest of the ponies. The elements of harmony are together again at last.
  • Finally watched The Great Gatsby. It was obvious, as we watched it, that it was Baz Luhrmann's work. And, as expected, the visual effects, soundtrack, and costuming were all excellent. I have to agree with Michael that the characters are all pretty tragically flawed ... but it was very pretty.
    (Very reminiscent of Moulin Rouge ... even bits of the score were SOCLOSE to the riff of "the greatest thing you'll ever learn" from Moulin Rouge.)
Besides all that, there's not a whole lot going on.
I don't remember enough of any of my recent dreams to give you any more Crazy Dream Chronicles™.
I printed out a "Read the Book of Mormon in 50 Days" reading chart. Which I need to use, instead of NOT use. 
I got rides for one sister at church for the next month ... which lets me concentrate on getting rides for November. Then December. THEN TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!
(Oh, that last bit was a joke. In case you were worried.)

I have the General RS Broadcast tomorrow. Our Stake is having some classes first. Michael will watch the kids so that I (and my cute toes -- pedicure, remember? I do!) can attend. And the kids will enjoy getting some more "Daddy time." So it's win-win either way. ^_^

I should start dinner so when Michael gets back from helping a gal in the ward move, it'll be ready.
Even though I'd rather just eat ice cream and take a nap (My favorite deadly sins = gluttony and sloth. Every time).

I still have no idea what to be for Halloween. Ugh.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hey jealousyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ...

So, I came to the realization that the reason why I was so down yesterday and why I'm taking this so hard is that ... well, that friend doesn't seem to be taking this distance that hard.

I know that she's busy and has every right to be happy and have her own friends and a life that doesn't depend upon my friendship being there.
(Only child problem #1: Realizing that it's NOT always all about YOU.)

But, dang it, it sucks for me. Because I have to realize that this isn't all about me.

And that -- as satisfying as it would be for her to look/sound as miserable as I feel -- isn't being at all realistic.

So ... I have to admit to myself that I had more invested into that relationship than maybe I should have.

Not that I've ever BTDT before. Oh no.
(Oh, yes. Like, nearly, EVERY crush I had before Michael. Ha ha ha. Bad habits die hard, right?)

So, yeah. I seem to have lost a sister-friend. And I'm just going to have to put on my (proverbial, not literal) big girl panties and DEAL with it.

Because, I have to face it: there are things in life that suck.
This, apparently, is one of them.

I have other friends who still love me. I have family that loves me. It's not like I'm some friendless orphan without any resources of my own or anything literarily tragic like that.

I can deal with this.
Apparently, it's going to take MONTHS and MONTHS to do it.

BUT. I'm just going to keep telling myself that "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and -- DOGGONE IT! -- people LIKE me!"
(Maybe more or less than I might deserve ... but I'll take it.)

In other news, I woke up feeling a lot better.
(Having a cry while actually ADDRESSING my FEELINGS and managing to put some stupid, tundra-esque storm into words with Michael, who sagely made Firefly-quote proclamations, did help. As did sleep. And prayer. ... I guess I just needed to find a reset button. Crazy body with  its brain full of FEELS.)

I should totally clean up the house. And I'll make an effort ... around a couple errands that NEED running today.
And I might paint Mom's and my toes. Something happy and bright and fun.
If I didn't have Bubbles, who isn't the best as sitting still for an hour or so, I'd take Mom to see Austenland ... if it's still at a local theater.

But ... yeah. I'm going to be okay.

And, obvs, I'm not immune to jealousy or the mean reds or all that.
As much as I'd like to be able to pretend that I'm totes all over that ... but it wouldn't be honest.
So ... yeah.

Today is another (hopefully better) day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blah dee dah ...

I know, I know. It's been forever and a day (or, honestly, two whole weeks) since I posted.

And, well, I'm having a rather mentally-crap day.

Don't get me wrong, lots of good stuff has happened. So I can't totally explain this ... not totally.

So, let's see what all has happened since I last posted ...
  • My stepdad's birthday. It's always good to have a birthday. Better than the alternative, right?
  • Michael helped another family in the ward [congregation in churchspeak] move ... so we didn't have a date-day a couple weeks ago.
  • We went to a local renaissance faire. Watched the joust. Ran into some extended family (a couple cousins on my side and one of Michael's great-uncles ... whose voice, it so happens, is VERY like Grandpa C's. So, Uncle B talk makes me REALLY, REALLY miss Grandpa C. A LOT.) and friends (some from church ... and one of my friends that I hadn't seen since he graduated, or thereabouts. But he looks just about the same. And I got to meet his wife and kids, which was very nice.
  • Bruise bought a new wooden sword and a shield. Bucket got a "Dragonpet," a plasticky dragon that you can wear like a bracelet, and a cloak. Bubbles was sleeping most of the time, so she didn't get any real souvenirs. Next year, probably.
  • I tried haggis.
    Hey, it was an option at the Ren Faire.
    And it wasn't in a "wee sheep's stomach." ... In fact, it was just pretty much ground lamb with brown gravy. Quite good. In fact, Bucket LOVED it.
    I think my Scottish ancestors would be proud.
    (My mom certainly wasn't. *lol* That's because she's not descended from that Scots stock. *nods*)
  • We went to some friends' wedding reception.
    One of Michael's past roommates and a friend from church choir years ago got married ... to each other!
    We also got to visit with another of Michael's friends/past roommates and his wife. It's good to see them not JUST on Facebook. ^_^
  • Then, after all that excitement, I came down with THE PLAGUE ... well, a sinus infection. I stayed home from church and used a bazillion tissues and rested all day. And I was better in a couple days.
  • Since I was still getting better, I missed a PTC (Parent-Teacher-Council) meeting ... and the second one, later that week, was conflicting with the RS (Relief Society) activity. So, yeah, I suck at making it to school stuff. 
  • There was a playdate on Thursday that the new Playgroup person (NOT ME) did. Bubbles and I had to leave early to meet another friend ... but it was very fun.
  • Earlier in the week, we had a friend over for dinner (She was delicious. KIDDING! We didn't eat her! No cannibalism on MY watch!!). After dinner (and once the kids were in bed), we watched my old VHS of Saturday's Warrior. OLD SKOOL, man. OLD SKOOL.
    It's so cheesy and not totally doctrinally-correct. But, oh, I have a soft spot in my heart for that show.
  • Friday, we fed the (sister) missionaries assigned to our ward. It was nice to get to know them. ... And to know that I CAN prepare a gluten-free meal. Go me, right?
  • Saturday was our ward's day of service ... Michael helped work on fixing the shed of a member's house. I took the kids over to help move things out of a friend (in the ward)'s garage, since she's moving. With Bruise and Bucket's help, we were able to reach a high shelf. And my friend gave old clothes and sheets and toys to the kids. Very sweet of her.
  • Sunday ... was Sunday. Michael takes Bubbles when she has a meltdown in Nursery ... so I got to spend the whole time in RS, which hasn't happened in ... I don't even remember how long.
    And it was nice to get to be able to listen to the lesson and sit by people without fretting that Bubbles is a huge distraction (probably more to me than to them ... but still).
    We didn't have choir, since our choir leader had something else that she needed to do.
  • I went to lunch with my friend and Bubbles yesterday. Bubbles didn't have a high chair, so she sat by me in the booth. One of the owners was there and he cooed, "I love you. I love you." to her ... and tried to set her up with his great-grandson. ^_^ Pretty cute.
  • I found out where all the weevils that have shown up in the kids' bathroom and the laundry room have come from ... a bag of wild bird seed. So THAT's out of the laundry room. Maybe with the cooler weather, they'll all die (the weevils, not the birds). I can only hope.
  • I need to make dinner before we go to curriculum night. I'm about caught up on the dishes. (Not the laundry. Not by a long shot. *sigh*)
I finished my scarf. And one for Michael. And one for Bucket. Working on Bubbles' scarf now. Then maybe a better one for Bucket.

Picture day is coming up. I have clothes set out for Bruise and Bucket. So that's good.

But ... for some reason, I keep coming back to what a friend (who I've had that falling out with ... and I've tried to reach out to her without being overbearing. And ... yeah) said. That I wasn't the kind of friend that she was looking for or needed... because, maybe, she hadn't allowed me to be. (She also said that she wasn't the kind of friend that I was looking for or needed ... so, there's that. But ... yeah.)

It's been a few months. And ... well, it still stings. And I still miss her.
And it makes me realize, a little too often, that I am kind of lonely.
I should make plans with my out-of-town friends. I should pick up the phone.

I know that this particular friend is busy. And I don't want to be overbearing ... she asked for time. And I'm doing my best to give her what she needs.

Still, I really did try to be the best type of friend and to be there when she needed me.
And I don't like feeling (still) that I just couldn't make the bar on that.

I did, a few weeks ago, message a friend out of the blue (he's busy, so we don't always touch bases a lot ... but we're still friends) to ask him if I was overly demanding or a crap friend in general. He did assure me that I'm fine and he's never felt that I had overly high expectations of him (or other friends ... since we have a lot of mutual friends. And he's practically my brother, without all the legal/bloodline stuff).

And Michael and my mom, who love me enough to tell me if I'm being a butthole, have told me that my feelings of frustration and all are not completely irrational ...

Still, it sucks.

It sucks because I can't fix it on my own.
It sucks because that's not the only crap thing going on.
But it is the one that affects me the most personally.
And, for whatever reason, it's the one most on my mind at present.

I have friends that are going through divorces.
I have friends that can't pay their bills.
I have friends that are going through crazy-bad situations ...

and ... I'm fixated on this failure of mine.
Which isn't nearly as terrible as it could be. ... But ... yeah.

But this feeling horrible-ness plus some of the other stuff going on ... it just makes me want to curl up in flannel jim-jams, in a cozy blanket, on my comfy couch with a mug of (rooibos) tea and watch Jane Austen novels-made-into-movies. Because nothing too terrible happens in Austen. There are (mostly) courtly manners and sweet flirtations and men in breeches and vests. There are (usually) some wonderful vistas of gorgeous English countrysides. And the strains from a pianoforte or a spinet. And beautiful dresses.

I mean, as much as I ADORE Jane Eyre, it's got much more suspense than an Austen novel (well, Northanger Abbey might give it a run for its money. I should read that one) ... so does BBC's Sherlock.
Doctor Who might be good escapism, though. ... I've gone off on another tangent. Sorry.

But, yeah, I just want a set time/place where I can just have a good cleansing cry, then coddle myself with Austen movies (or the Anne of Green Gables movies) and (rooibos) tea. Just escape the world and its responsibilities ... and, maybe -- just maybe, then I'll be able to brush myself off and stand on my own feet and handle my life and being social and maybe never repairing that friendship and fixing lunches for the kids and figuring out what to make for dinner everyday and getting caught up on laundry and making it to PTC meetings (which always seem to end up scheduled on the same evening as RS meetings) and cleaning my house and fighting weevils and ants and fleas, oh my.

Oh, in other news, I colored my hair again (medium brown). It took Bucket two days to notice.
Amusing.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This is where you make up an interesting title for me

So, let's see, where did we leave off last?

So, yeah, my emotional distress on Sunday. Because (1) I screwed up. And (2), yeah ... TMI, I'm sure, but about a week before my body does it's monthly betrayal, I go batcrap crazy.

In fact, I was emailing with a friend ... and she'd talked to the sister of the gal who I failed to get a ride for. The sister said that the gal had cried about it nearly all day.
If I had heard that LAST Sunday, I'd have had to drown myself in the toilet for shame and for being the biggest failure in the entire history of the world.

Whereas, I learned it yesterday. And, after calming down a bit, being reassured ad infinitum that it's okay (even by my RS President, who assured me that she wanted me to keep on keeping on in this responsibility and that, no, I wasn't going to be released because I've failed ONE TIME), when I read the email, I just responded, "Yeah, [the gal] wasn't the only one."

Because it was true. I was a wreck.
But I turned it into being a proactive wreck.
I ran it by my RS Prez, who approved my idea of having a sign-up calendar.
I did have to get someone for this last Sunday (thanks to a friend's suggestion, I found someone).
And, with the premiere of the calendar, I have a wonderful lady who's going to be providing transportation for the next two weeks.
I've already created the Calendar for the next month ... and I've asked our RS Secretary to include it in the binders passed to the RS sisters AND a blurb about it in the weekly RS newsletter email.
So, there's that.
And I don't feel like I need to test the edges of the kitchen knives for possible hari kari.
(Apparently, I am in touch with my inner samurai. Or something.)

Besides that, let's see what else has gone on ...

When Mom came up last week, we ran some errands and got bolts for the new kids' chairs that she got (their old chairs were falling apart). And we waited for the kids to come home.
And waited.
And waited.
And realized that, hey, there's not an early release day this (first) week of school.
*sigh*

But they got home safely and it was fine.
And there was a HUGE storm last Thursday. HUGE.
I thought the power might go out ... but, thankfully, it didn't. Or else we'd have eaten ramen with the hot water in our water dispenser. (I had my bases covered.)

Michael and I had a date (with Bubbles along). We went to our favorite little Thai restaurant. Then we went to Target. (Woooo!! We are WILD AND CRAZY GUYS!) We did find the new minifigs (LEGO) and I am the proud owner of the constable. Bucket got the gingerbread man that she really wanted. Bruise got the mountain climber. Michael got TWO -- The yeti and ... the warrior, I think.
Of course, with this bout of minifigs, between the four of us (Bubbles hasn't put in her two cents yet ... but she's more Duplo-sized), we want all the figures.

We also had the Ward (church congregation) social.
I had griped on Facebook about how I was irritated that the dishes were assigned (the SAME assignment ALL THE TIME) ... and that I was rebelling and I'd bring a SALAD.
And I brought a Snicker Salad (chopped up apples and Snickers, Cool Whip, vanilla pudding mix, milk, and some caramel topping). What?
IT'S A "SALAD." SAYS SO RIGHT IN THE NAME.

I think most people supported me just because they find my whining amusing.
But, also, there are some people in the other half of the alphabet who ARE tired of bringing desserts.
So, yeah.

Saturday was the drawing for the city's summer activity.
I assured the kids that, even though they might not win ANYTHING, we still had fun and we had other fun stuff to do.
I shouldn't have worried.
Although not every kid there won something, Bucket won a pack of cards (with scenic Oregon pictures on the back of the cards) AND a gift certificate to a local pottery shop (she can paint something and have it fired).
Bruise got a prize that he's excited about: a gift certificate to a pizza place downtown. (They have a fun little play area that the kids love.)
All in all, great prizes. And they had fun going around to places, too.

Then, after that, we dropped Bubbles off with the grandparents (to be spoiled, since she's too little for all but one ride) and took Bruise and Bucket to a local theme park.
Bruise went through the haunted house again. I let him hold my hand and chatted at him through the whole thing. (It's way creepier and darker than Disney's Haunted Mansion.)
Bucket refused. She said that she might do it again when she's eleven (so, in another four years).

Besides that, they went on all the rides ... most, more than once. Bucket and I went on the log ride a second time. Bruise waited with Michael.

It was fun to spend time with our bigger kids. I think they had a lot of fun, too.

Then we went back over to Michael's folks house. I chatted with Mom C a lot. She didn't know that my mom was from such a large family ... or that she's the older (surviving) sister.

Dad C talked us into staying and helping make dinner. (They liked my pasta sauce. Woot!)
I really am blessed to have married into a family that accepts me (because, face it, I'm kind of a weirdo. I know it) and loves me.
I hear and read about awful in-law relationships ... and I can't relate (which makes me 99 percent glad, but also a little guilty) at all.

Last Sunday, like I said, I DID have someone to bring the one gal ... so that went well.
We dropped Bubbles off in Nursery (the class for 18 months- 3 year-olds) and watched Bruise give a scripture in Primary. Then we got to go to Sunday School. And I went to Relief Society ... but I got pulled out halfway through, since Bubbles had a breakdown.

She was REALLY tired. She had conked out about ten minutes before Nursery started. And we woke her up for that. The Nursery leader told me that Bubbles would remember that Michael and I weren't there and go to the door ... but they were easily able to distract her again. Until a little boy pushed her.
Then she just wailed.
Enough so that I could hear her out in the hall.

So I grabbed my purse and took her to the Mother's Lounge to rock her until she was calm.
She ALMOST went back to Nursery. Then she wanted to go into Primary. Then she was mad that I wouldn't let her RUN into Relief Society ... so I just carried her around in the hall for a bit until church was over. Then I got the calendar sign-up sheet, collected Bruise and Bucket, and found Michael so we could all drive home (where we watched a Miyazaki film). Michael did some Home Teaching and, after that, we went to Choir.

Yesterday, I got caught up on the dishes (EXCITING! Next installment: Watch Allanna get caught up on the LAUNDRY! Whooo!!!! Then, watch Allanna clean the kids' room! Since OBVS they're not going to do it! Maybe Allanna will even clean HER room and the master bathroom, so it won't look like those rooms vomited the contents of all their cupboards/closets and then a hurricane blew through!!!) and the house looks a lot cleaner after the kids helped clean so that I could sweep and vacuum.

I also went out to lunch with a friend who's working in town. She and I talked books most of the time.
It's very lovely to talk books with someone who adores them as much as you do. ^_^
We have plans to meet up in a couple weeks and talk books again. ^_^

Today, I was able to get Bubbles's WIC appointment rescheduled to the morning, so we wouldn't be late after snatching the big kids JUST as they get off the bus and hightailing it over there. There had been a cancellation, so Bubbles and I had a much better time of it.
She's doing well ... a little low in iron (so I can work on that). Got her vouchers.
Then, I remembered that I needed to run by the craft store for something (which, of course, turns into "a few things").

But I got the iron-on fusing that I needed (because I like to be able to fix the puzzles so that I can, someday, hang them up -- We've got quite a collection now. And, of course, all of them have special finishes, so you can't just buy the puzzle glue and smear that over the fronts. Naturally.) and some needles and some white thread (what is the world coming to when I start to run out of white thread???) and some yarn for a scarf for Bucket (after I finish mine. I finished Bruise's ... and then I should make one for Bubbles).

Good times, good times.

But, yeah, the kids will come home in a couple hours ... and Bubbles is asleep. I want to work on my current puzzle while I have time.

Counting ...

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