Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pet Problems

We currently have 2 dogs and 2 cats. It seems that each pet has an issue that comes with it.

Jasmine is our oldest pet. She is a small terrier mix who thinks she's a much bigger dog. She also loves to dig. She recently dug a hole next to the sidewalk that was almost double as deep as she is tall. The hole also started to go under the sidewalk. I guess it's time to get some more chili powder to sprinkle in her most hazardous digging areas. Our other dog, Chance, is a Lab/Husky/Shepard Mix. He is a good dog that love attention. He likes to try to jump on you to get this attention, but will settle pretty quick, at least for me. The main issue with him is that he can spring straight up and clear the fence. I think he's actually part kangaroo. When I say that he spring up, I mean he literally will jump straight up with all fours at the same level which is higher than our chain link fence. As a result of his jumping bean tendencies, he has to be on a chain unless we are out there with him focusing all attention on him.

The cats are a whole other story. Mittens is my cat. I believe she is a Main Coon. She has all of the physical traits: hair that repels water, extra tufts of fur on on paws, the M shape on her head, etc. She is a bizarre cat in the fact that she LOVES water. When she hears someone starting the shower, she will run to the bathroom door and want to be let in. Most of the time when the girls are showering you will find Mittens on the edge of the tub between the cloth shower curtain and the vinyl liner. Once she jumped into the tub with Makenzie. Our only problem with Mittens is that she is becoming a fat cat and when she doesn't want to be messed with she will let you know by growling or hissing. This is not a bad thing in my eyes. She is communicating her wants in the only way that she knows how. Jordan on the other hand thinks that she is evil for doing this. She has also nipped him a time or two, but that's because he didn't listen when she warned him to leave her alone. She sometimes will bat at you with a paw, but since she was declawed it is not an effective deterrent for Jordan. He laughs and keeps bothering her until she hits the breaking point and nips at him. She has never drawn blood. It is only hard enough to let you know that she seriously wants to be left alone.

Molly is our other cat. She is a 6 month old Calico. She is a wild thing!!! Mittens like to play when she was a kitten, but Molly is just nuts sometimes. She will run through the house and jump off the couch to the dining room chair. Once she ran through, got up on the bench we have by the window, and then climbed up the mini blind. I was about to kill her, figuratively speaking of course. At first I thought she was a good fit for Mittens and the family, but she just is not working out. She is causing Brian to have itchy eyes whenever he pets her and she is attacking Mittens (I think it's probably all in play) when she really wants to be left alone. Hopefully we have a solution to this situation though. I have a lady coming to meet Molly on Saturday. I hope that she will take her and give her a good home. It sounds like she will get lots of love there. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Clutter Control

I have been on a mission this week: Clutter Control. I admit that I am a pack rat. My husband jokes that he needs to call on of those shows that deals with hoarders. I am not that bad, but I do have a hard time getting rid of something that I might use or that I can put in a yard sale.

Yard sales are alot of work, but I have done well in the past. This is why I keep things with the intention of selling them. I was not able to have a yard sale this year. The weather was not very cooperative this year. It seemed to either rain or be way too hot to be outside on Saturdays, my normal yard sale day. I have decided that I have too much stuff to be able to have it ready or enough tables to sell everything that I have. As a result I have been boxing and bagging things for donation. I have 2 full bags of clothes & 2 boxes for donation, a bag of clothes for my mom to go through, a small bag of clothes has been delivered to day care, and I have a trash bag for my friend's boys. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now that I have items ready for donation I need to decide which place to drop them off at. The top two contenders are Goodwill and the resale shop that benefits a local no kill animal shelter. Maybe I'll take the first load to one and the next load to the other. There the decision has been made. :0)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday

Did you brave the stores today? I did, but I was not one of the people waiting in line for the sales to start. My normal Black Friday shopping starts around 9 or 10 in the morning. This year with most of the stores starting their sales at midnight I got to the store at about 8. I was SHOCKED to still find some of the great electronics deals that they were offering. My local supercenter still had palates of Wii's, Blu-ray players, & TV's. DVD's, games, and CD's. This trip was also a success. I found almost everything that I was looking for except the sets of glass bowls that I wanted. I guess the saying "You snooze you loose." applies for this item.

Today's experience was very different in many ways. I not only started out earlier, but I also did not shop alone. My husband decided that he wanted to tag along, which was nice. I was able to leave him with the cart and get into crowded isles to find the bargain items that I was looking for. I was also able to send him after things that I missed. On the other hand, if I had gone alone I think I would have spent less money. That's OK though, it is rare that he helps with Christmas (or Birthday) shopping. I am hoping that by helping out it will help to put him in a better frame of mind when it comes to Christmas. He is ofter a bit of a scrooge about the holidays.

Now the rest of the fun begins: putting up and decorating the tree, decorating the house, and wrapping presents.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sammy Is Thankful For....

The thing that Sammy is most thankful for this year is that she no longer has to wear her arm/wrist brace. I sprung her from it a few days early much to her delight. The doctor recommended keeping it on until Thanksgiving, but I let her take it off today. Had she needed to go back for a 4 week follow up appointment, she would be seeing the doctor tomorrow. Looking at it that way, it was only one day early.

I really hope that she does not hurt herself anytime soon. Makenzie on the other hand is wishing that she will break her arm so that she can have a cast and extra attention. I keep telling her that she and I are special because we have NOT broken a bone.

As We Prepare To Celebrate Thanksgiving...

Preparations for Thanksgiving will keep us busy this week. Among all the hustle and bustle I wanted to stop for a moment to reflect on what I am thankful for.

First of all I am thankful for my family. Not just my immediate family (kids, parents, etc.) but also all of my extended family. I am excite to see alot of my aunts, uncles & cousins on Thursday when we celebrate Thanksgiving at my Aunt Theresa's house.

I am thankful that my husband found a great job last December just weeks after I was informed I was being laid off. In addition, I am thankful for my husband who works so hard and many long days (12 hour days for the last month with no end in sight) to support the family financially.

I am thankful for all of my great friends. They may not be large in number, but they are the ones that I know I can turn to for anything at anytime.

I am thankful that we have our freedom. Thanks to all those who have served in the military, including my dad.

I am thankful that we have a home to live in & food to eat.

I am thankful for the wonderful teachers & support staff at my children's schools.

I am thankful for having access to medical care.

There are many more things that I am thankful for, but I have kids asking for help with homework, laundry calling my name and dinner to cook. So I will stop my list there.

May you all have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. For those of you who will be doing Black Friday shopping, by safe and I hope you are able to find all of the items on your list.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Baby Is Growing Up

My baby is growing up and I am having mixed emotions about it. Sammy decided this week that I no longer need to walk her to her line and wait with her until the teacher comes out to collect the class.

At her school the kids line up on the playground and wait for the teacher to come out and escort the class into the building. When Makenzie was in Kindergarten I think I walk her to her line for maybe the first month, if it was even that long. When I did walk her to the line I was able to just walk her over, get my hug and kiss, and then I was able to leave. After that point I was able to just pull up to the drop off area and let her out and she would walk herself to her line.

I am glad that Sammy is now comfortable with going to school without me, but on the other hand I am sad that she no longer needs me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sick Of Being Sick

I spent all last week sick. I finally called the doctor last Thursday and received a prescription for antibiotics. Although I did not actually see the doctor to get an exact diagnosis, I suspect that I had pneumonia. Finally, today I think my energy level has returned to normal. I have also pretty much gotten rid of the lingering cough. I had gotten to a point that I was sick of being sick.

I was not getting anything done that needed to be done. This was partly due to not having any energy and getting winded pretty fast. Needless to say the house looks terrible. I was hoping to spend quite a bit of time this weekend cleaning and organizing, but I have too many other things going on that will keep my away from the house. Oh well, it will get done at some point.

Cookies, Cookies, & More Cookies

That is what my life is all about right now - COOKIES. Well, Girl Scout Cookies to be more precise. On Monday I went to pick up our troop's cookie order. It consisted of 48 cases (576 boxes) of cookies. Now that might sound like alot, but there were troop leaders that were at the pick up location that had 30+ cases of one variety of cookie alone. One troop needed 3 minivans packed FULL to get all of their cookies. That is one reason that I like having a small troop. 48 cases was more than enough to have to load, unload, sort, reload, deliver to parents at meeting location, and manage the money. I also had my girls' orders to sort & deliver. I also have the extra boxes that we had to order to fill out a case of each type, as well as the cookies from our troop door to door sales. It falls on me to deliver this last batch of cookies as well. Everyone else is busy this Saturday and cannot help me. My girls are spending the night at my parents' house tonight, so they will not be there to help either.

I am getting to a point that I do not want to see another box of Girl Scout Cookies again for a very long time. That will not happen because I have about 30 extra boxes at my house that we need to get sold ASAP. As a troop we will have to pay for any unsold boxes, which cuts into the amount of money that we have to spend on fun activities with the girls. If you want any cookies, please let me know.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

I know that today is officially Halloween, but our celebrations are over. We went camping last weekend and the girls went trick-or-treating at the campground. They ended up with quite a bit of candy from that. Friday at school they had their fall parties which was smart on the school's part. It was an early dismissal day and a Friday. They didn't have to deal with a bunch of sugared up kids for the day. Last night I took the girls out trick-or-treating around the house. There were not as many houses with lights on this year. Even so the girls brought home lots of goodies. Most of the candy is the good stuff. They also got a can of soda from one house and a koolaid type drink from another. We never got things like that went we were kids.

Makenzie was Dorothy complete with Toto in her candy basket. Sammy wanted to be a witch so I got her a black witch costume. After I had it she told me that she wanted to be the good witch. I was not able to make any changes for her first night out so she told someone thT she was the good witch pretending go be the bad witch. What an imagination that girl has. On Monday we had our Girl Scout Halloween party and my friend gave Sammy a Cinderella costume. That was the end of her being a witch! She has practically lived in that costume ever since.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sammy's Arm

Well, I took Sammy to the doctor on Wed. for her 4 week follow up appointment. She had her cast removed and her arm x-rayed. The bones are healing well enough for the cast to remain off. She was given a brace that the doctor wants her to wear until Thanksgiving. She has 2 more weeks of no PE. Now most kids would like this idea, but not Sammy. She is very disappointed. She was hoping to play the "very fun" game that is planned for Monday. My guess is that it is a Halloween themed game.

Now that she is basically healed, let's hope that we do not need to visit the orthopedic doctor any time in the near future.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

September and October

I feel so bad that I do not post frequently enough. I tell myself that I need to do this at least once a week, but time seems to fly by and it's months later without a post.

September was a busy month for us. I took the plunge and became a Girl Scout leader. I had training, unit meetings, parent meetings and our first cookie sales. We had Cookie Caravan, which is essentially a booth set up to sell cookies. It was a full weekend of selling cookies.

In addition to Girl Scouts I spent time running Samantha to the ER and orthopedic doctor. She fell at school and broke her right wrist. The damn monkey bars struck again. Jordan fell off the monkey bars in 1st grade, but he broke his arm closer to the elbow and it was a bad break. Samantha's was a minor break in the wrist. One of the teachers who witnessed it said that she fell with all of her weight on that arm. It happened at her last recess that occurs just prior to dismissal time. I was not able to get her into the orthopedic that afternoon so we took her to the ER to get her x-rayed. Prior to our ER visit I made an appointment with the doctor for the following morning to get her cast. I just knew that the arm was broken. She goes back on the 26th to get an x-ray and hopefully get the cast off.

This weekend we finally we able to go camping again and the kids had a great time. The campground had their trick-or-treating night on Saturday. The girls sure made a haul. I have my large Tupperware bowl FULL of candy. They will be getting alot more too, I'm sure when we go trick-or-treating around town on Sunday night. We trick-or-treat on the evening before Halloween because there is a big parade in a neighboring city on Halloween night.

There is the condensed version of what has been happening. Hopefully I will be able to update more frequently in the coming months.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School 2011


My girls had their first day of school on last Tuesday. It was a good day with a minimal amount of tears.

They only went for half a day and the parents were allowed to walk the Kindergarteners into the classroom. This was the first and last time that the teachers allowed it.

Sammy lined up outside at her class' designated spot and was all smiles. She was eager to start the day. At first she did not want me to go in with her and take pictures. Of course I had to take pictures of her first day.



After the pictures were taken she figuratively pushed me out of the classroom. She did not shed a single tear. I cannot say the same for myself. It is an emotional day for any mom when her baby starts Kindergarten.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kindergarten Open House

I received a letter in the mail on Wednesday that the school was having Kindergarten Open House on Thursday at 6pm. It's a good thing that I did not have any plans with the amount of notice that they gave.

It was an opportunity for the kids and parents to meet the principal, meet the teachers, bring in supplies, take a tour of the school, and receive information that is needed for the upcoming school year. They did it a little different from the way it was done 2 years ago when I was there with Makenzie. This year school staff took the kids for a tour and snack while the parents stayed in the classroom with the teacher. It was great. Samantha's class has only 16 kids. She will have the regular classroom teacher as well as a Special Ed teacher or her assistant in the classroom at all times. Sammy does not require special ed services. They began having the Sp Ed teacher in the regular classroom instead of pulling students out when Jordan was in 4th grade (2005), which is much better in my opinion.

Having 2 teachers will be helpful with Samantha's separation issues and crying if they occur at school like they have at day care. It also benefits the regular ed kiddos having an extra person available to assist them if needed too.

School officially starts on Tuesday with a half day. On that day the parents are welcome to walk the kids to class and help get them settled. On Wednesday, which is the first full day of school, the teachers have said that the parents are not allowed to enter the building. They want the kids to leave the parents, not the other way around. They feel that this method is easier on the kids. I have to admit that I agree with them.

I am hoping for no tears from Sammy on Tuesday, but I can guarantee that I will not be able to keep mine at bay.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sick Again -- UPDATED

I have been battling a sore throat for some time now, so when Makenzie complained this morning about a sore throat, I had to take a look. What I could see of her throat was red and swollen. So I got on the phone and called the pediatrician's office and they sent her for a throat culture at the lab.

It took longer for us to get Makenzie to cooperate for the swabbing of her throat than it took for the test to come back positive. So we took the note to the doctor and left with a script for antibiotics.

I guess it's now time for me to call my doctor and get an appointment too. :(


UPDATE: I went to the doctor and yes, I too have strep. I hope the rest of the family stays well.

The Countdown Has Begun

Samantha is so excited about starting Kindergarten next week that she asks every morning if this is the day that she goes to "big school". She has been attending a daycare/preschool since she was 18 months old so she refers to her sister's school as big school.

I am ready for the school year to begin and again I am not. The kids are getting bored and need the separation that going to school provides. This time away from each other makes the house so much more harmonious. There is less bickering during the school year with the exception of long breaks like Christmas and spring breaks. The reason that I am not ready should be obvious. I am not ready for my baby to be that old. It means that she is definitely a big kid.

Once the kids go back, so do I. I will be taking 2 online classes this fall. I decided that the class load that I carried during the spring semester was just too much, especially if I find a job. Yes, the job search still continues. There really are not many positions out there for my field of expertise. I spoke with one company that is hoping to have a position open up in the next 6 months that I am "perfect for". Their words, not mine. But in the mean time, I am still looking. I cannot bank on a hope.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer

After what seems like eons of 100 degree temps, I am ready for fall to get here NOW!!! Summer has never been my favorite season. As a kid I loved summer because it meant no school and lots of time at the pool. But even then, I did not like the summer heat.

At least this year we have a pool that we can go to basically whenever we want. It's a bit of a drive to get there, but it's free, which I like ALOT!!! The bad thing is I use about 4 gallons of gas for a round trip. The kids LOVE IT though so that makes it worth it.


Don't they look like they're having a great time?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time. I Need More Time!

It has been a very hectic week and will only get worse. I have a total of 20 assignments that are due between Thursday & Saturday, on of which is a reflection paper for my university class that is ending on Saturday.

I planned to spend all day Thursday while the kids were at school working on these assignments. Well, plans have changed AGAIN!!!

I have spent some time volunteering at Sammy's daycare when they are in a bind and need an extra hand. I did so on Monday and did not get enough study time for my test that was due that day. Tuesday I was so wiped out that I took a nap before going grocery shopping, picking the kids up from school, and then babysitting for a friend while she went to the dentist.

Today I volunteered at daycare again. I then had to go to a workshop at the unemployment office. Sammy had gone to a friend's house for a play day, so I pick her up on my way home. Grandma picked Makenzie up from school, so they were waiting for me when I got home. Makenzie told me that she had a BIG headache. I felt her head and decided that I needed to take her temp. Sure enough, she had a fever of 102. I guess we will be taking a trick to the doctor's office tomorrow morning.

This is yet another wrench that was thrown into my schedule. Makenzie is usually pretty easy to take care of when she's sick. She'll lay around and watch TV most of the day. So I should be able to get at least the assignment done that are due on Thursday & Friday. That just leaves 17 others to get done by Saturday. Oh, did I mention that I have a family party to go to Saturday late afternoon/evening? So I need to have everything done by about 1:00 Saturday afternoon. Not sure it that will happen.

So, if you have any time to spare, I really could use it! Thank goodness the kids are spending the weekend with their grandparents. Hopefully that will make it possible to get everything accomplished by my 1pm deadline.

School Update

I have reached the mid-point of the semester at the comm. college. That means that I have 2 new classes that just started. The one class that I am taking through the university is ending this week. (THANK GOD!!!)

That one class had me questioning my decision to continue my education. Thankfully the university offers a coach. Steve, my coach, has been great. If I did not have that resource available to me, I probably would have made a mistake by quiting school. I was very discouraged at one point and by taking to Steve & getting some insight to the workings of the university & the experiences of other students to get things into perspective. Steve told me yesterday that he also found inspiration from me. I thought, "Wow. What did I do to inspire this guy? There's nothing special about me." He told me it was my determination (a nice word for being STUBBORN), my ability to handle so many things (school, family, etc.) and my ability to essentially take lemons and make lemonade.

I have tried to be as positive as possible, but there are times that it is very hard. I feel like I have so little time to focus on all the things that need to get done.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

School

School has become a bit of a challenge for me. It's not that I am struggling with understanding the work, it's just that I have had a hard time getting into the groove. I have a test that needs to be completed by tomorrow night and one by Monday night. The one for Monday I have not prepared at all for. My third class began this week so I now have several assignments a week for it. Brian said he's ok with me going back to school, but he complains whenever I say that I sent time working on school work. With taking everything on-line, I have to spend more time than the average person does on school work while at home. He just has not grasped that concept yet.

I guess instead of blogging I should really be studying. I better stop now and update after I have finished studying.

Crazy Winter Weather Part 2

It is February 17th in the St. Louis metro area and I have the windows OPEN!!! We are expecting a high in the mid to upper 70's today. How crazy is that????

Please understand that I am not complaining in any way about the beautiful warm day that we are having. I was so ready for winter to be over. This taste of spring is wonderful. I am just afraid of what is still to come.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Crazy Winter Weather

It has been an unusual winter for us in the St. Louis area this year. By this I mean that it is outside of the norm for the last decade or so. The kids have had 9 snow/weather days so far this school year. That does not include the 2 emergency days that Jordan's school took in November due to water main work outside of the high school.

We have been hit by 5 winter storms so far that have caused the kids to miss school. The last one that hit this week was originally being compared to the Blizzard of 1982 when the had about 2 feet of snow and at least 4 foot snow drifts. It pretty much crippled the area. Well, the storm that we got in 2011 was not as bad, at least in my area. We started with rain on Monday that froze to everything. We then got several inched of sleet. They were predicting about 10-16 inches of snow for our area, but since much of the precipitation came in the form of sleet we only received a few inches of snow. And as per the norm this winter the day after the snow arrives we had a day with subzero wind chills, which caused school to be cancelled again. Thank goodness they will be back in school today!

Not only did I have the kids home for 3 days this week, I also had Brian home most of the day on Monday and all day on Tuesday. To make things worse I was suffering with a severe sore throat and headache all week. I finally made it to the doctor yesterday to be informed that I indeed have strep throat. Joy, Joy, Joy. I took my first dose of antibiotics and began to feel somewhat better within a few hours.

I CANNOT Believe It's February!!!!

I have been neglecting my blog AGAIN. I cannot believe that it is February already!! So much has been happening.

Christmas was good - better than I had thought it would be. Our family was blessed by some terrific secret Santas that we cannot thank enough!!! They each received a bike, clothes and some toys.

My job lasted into the 2nd week of January. Brian got a new job right before Christmas that has GREAT benefits & pays MUCH better than his old one. It has been going well so far. Please pray that it continues that way. I applied for unemployment and began school. I have 2 classes going right now, another starts in about a week and 2 others start is March.

The kids have been home more than they have been in school since Christmas break. Our winter has actually been a winter this year. They have had 9 snow days so far. I cannot wait for better weather!!!