Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ten on Tuesday 8/26/15

  1. I replaced a bike inner tube for the first time ever yesterday. I felt very accomplished.
  2. My 5 year old has gotten in trouble about 40% of the days so far this school year. He can't stop talking! I never really thought about it, but when he's with the rest of the family, he talks constantly! But then there are times he needs his quiet time and he's silently playing by himself for hours. 
  3. Curtis and I are both leaders in Zachary's Cub Scout Pack. It's so much fun being a part of the leadership team! A different experience from being the Mission Friends Director - the Pack Committee is a team, whereas the Director is
  4. Our cat is still having trouble; she doesn't use the litter box for #2, and doesn't keep her fur clean. I need to take her in again, as soon as I feel like dropping $200 just to hear that they don't know what's wrong with her, but if I want to spend another $200 they'll do xrays and more diagnostics. Ugh.
  5. I'm very seriously considering doing something a little crazy with my hair. I'll give you a hint: teal.
  6. Tomorrow is the Boosterthon Fun Run at the elementary school. Last year I sat with Zachary while he called extended family members and asked them to pledge him. They all did. This year, however, we want to sell boy scout popcorn, so Z and D have only their parents' pledge for the fun run. 
  7. Eli is extremely competent at turning on Netflix to watch his favorite shows. He's found a little loophole though. He'll get partway through an episode (or if he's watching something that has two parts, he'll get through the first part) and then claim "that was the wrong one!" and switch to another episode. "Time to turn it off!" I'll say. "But I haven't finished it yet!" he'll say, after starting two or three different things without finishing anything.
  8. Speaking of Eli, I finally got him in to see Mrs. Becky and she's accepted him for speech therapy. It'll still be a couple weeks before we start regular sessions, but at least the ball's out of my court now.
  9. I've taken on a freelance translation job, translating marine engine jargon from English to French. It's slow going, because I simply don't know all the vocabulary, but it's fun. The hardest part is keeping Eli occupied while I work.
  10. It's put a kink into my routine that Sam's Club has suspended their online photo system, due to a third party's database being compromised. I appreciate the concern for safety, but it's still a little frustrating that it's been over a week and still not back up. This means switching to a different system to print pictures this month for Mission Friends. At Sam's, they'll print 2-up wallets for 40¢ or something like that, so we put one pic in the kids' "passport" and the teachers can use the other pic for something else or send it home. But Walgreens (my alternative since it's close to my house) prints wallets 4-up for 99¢. So it costs more, and we're left with 3 extra photos no one knows what to do with. Hoping Sam's will have their system back up soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

  1. Julia has been amazing to post at least something every day. I'm not making any promises, but I like the idea.
  2. This morning, the 2nd-grader played on the iPad while waiting for the bus, and the Kindergartener played on my phone, so I jumped on the computer while the three-year-old whined about watching tv. We're nothing if not a digital family. (The bus has been and gone, but I'm still on the computer, and the three-year-old happily got his way once his older brothers were safely on their way. He's currently into "Daniel Tiger". It's cute and he can watch it, but I can't watch too many episodes in a row.)
  3. What I can watch many episodes in a row of is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Curtis and I have been working through season 5 after the kids go to bed. It means taking a break from Magnum: P.I., but we'll go back to Hawaii once we know Equestria is safe.
  4. Today is Toilet Tuesday - that means cleaning all the bathrooms. Not my favorite chore, but it is finite (unlike laundry. O.M.G.), and if I don't do it this week, it's harder next week.
  5. Turns out, Curtis did NOT want to pick whatever he wanted to do over his birthday weekend! He wanted ME to plan it all out and just tell him what was going on. I thought I was loving on him by constantly insisting that he got to decide everything. Of course this doesn't all come out until 10pm Monday night. Sigh.
  6. I heard one bad story about Daniel's teacher (before I knew which class he was going to be in), and I didn't get a great impression of her at Open House, and now every time something happens (he had a potty accident at school one day (twice in the same day), and he got in trouble for talking too much another day), I spend the rest of the day imagining all the worst-case scenarios of having a conversation with her and it going very, very poorly.  I'm trying not to dislike her. I need to get in that classroom and help out or something so I can form a better opinion of her!
  7. I finally got the paperwork started to have Eli evaluated for speech therapy with Mrs. Becky. We had him tested for Early Intervention, but they combine the understanding part with the expressive (talking) part, and he understood EVERYTHING so well that that half of his score pulled the other half up, so he didn't qualify. He's been qualified to be evaluated by Mrs. Becky since he turned three last September, but I guess because he was speaking better than Daniel did at that point, I didn't worry about it. But he's got some major articulation problems, so he needs some help. A year ago I asked Mrs. Becky if she thought he might qualify and she indicated that he absolutely would. 
  8. If Eli goes to see Mrs. Becky, maybe I can use that time to help out in Daniel's class, just like I helped out in Zachary's K class while D was with Mrs. Becky. 
  9. Daniel has impeccable articulation now, btw. He speaks so clearly and carefully. He's careful in almost everything he does, placing items just so, or putting together the perfect outfit (to be a bunny, for example), I suppose it's not surprising. Every once in a while, beyond just listening and responding to him, I find myself really listening to how he says everything, and marveling that this was the kid who couldn't pronounce initial consonants. We love Mrs. Becky.
  10. Number 10 already? This was easy this week. I guess because it had been so long, I have lots of things to share. Those two sentences don't count as a number though, do they? Okay, I'm embarrassed to admit that I had to get two fillings last week. TWO! Of the 14 times a week that we're supposed to brush our teeth, I've probably been averaging 8-10 over the last few years. Then all of a sudden, the (new) dentist found two little spots. She called them pinpoints and wasn't too worried, but we went ahead and scheduled the fillings for the following week. Turned out, the "pinpoints" went straight down deeper than she had thought, and one of them had almost gotten to the nerve. The whole experience was incredibly miserable and I am extremely motivated that no one in our family is ever getting another filling EVER. Here's the kicker though: I skipped a few brushings here and there, but Curtis skipped brushing for AN ENTIRE SEMESTER in college and all he got were yellow teeth (easily fixed) and a scolding. The man has never had a cavity in his life (baby teeth OR adult teeth). He was very sweet to me though and never made a judgmental comment. I think he decided that the misery I experienced in the dentist's chair was punishment enough, and he was pleased at my resolution to prevent anyone else from having to go through that.
    10.5: I had one filling about 10 years ago, and I don't remember it being nearly as bad as these two were. I don't know if it's because this time the decay was so deep, or if this (new) dentist is just not as...what's the word for someone who's competent, but not as skilled at reducing discomfort for their patients. That. Whatever that is. The tech tore up my gums at my cleaning too. Doesn't have anything to do with the filling, but she did. And she didn't floss. Don't they usually floss after polishing your teeth? She didn't, which I was supremely grateful for, as I'm sure it would have been terribly painful. And she forgot to mark down that I had two spots of decay. The dentist was filling the one (actually she was still in the drilling phase, because it was so deep it took longer) and at one point when I actually had only my tongue in my mouth, I asked didn't she see another spot? and she looked and sure enough there it was. Wow, this got long. Sorry. Eli has started another episode of Daniel Tiger "I'm going to watch another one, okay?" he announces without waiting for a response, so I better go.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Surprise! Bet you thought I was never coming back, didn't you? It's been 2 years since I said I was going to try to be more consistent. That's ridiculous. So, no promises this time, okay?

Rereading that update post (below the 10 on Tuesday) was so much fun! I'm going to do another one.

Zachary is almost 8, and he's slowly morphing in an amazing young man. He's doing better about jumping up when we ask him to, taking care of his own things, helping out without being asked... He started second grade last week and so far seems to enjoy it. It's hard to get much out of him. He loves tabletop games, and is thoroughly enjoying playing Civilization on the computer. He's not as enamored with reading as I would like to see, but he's been enjoying Magic Treehouse, and can't get enough Harry Potter (though I have to read that one to him. We're almost done with the first book and he can't wait to see the movie). As for extra-curricular, he's got: piano lessons, baseball, dance (two classes this year), AWANA, RAs (Royal Ambassadors), and Cub Scouts. The second dance class is at the same time as the church choir, so he had to make a choice on that one.

Daniel will be 6 in November and is...unique. He marches to his own beat. His favorite color is purple, and he loves cats. Over the weekend he wanted to dress up like a bunny, so found a shirt as close to white as he could (it said "Nashville Country Music" across the front, but that didn't matter), a pair of shorts with the tag on the outside, so that was his tail, and white socks with his purple flipflops. And of course the bunny ears that I'm forbidden from putting up with the rest of the Easter stuff because they play with them all.the.time. So we wore this outfit when we went out to lunch for Curtis' birthday. He looked ridiculous and adorable all at once. He has this knack of working his way into the hearts of everyone who gets to know him, and it's amazing to watch. He's probably the most introverted of our three, yet everyone knows him. This year he started Kindergarten, and I still can't believe he's old enough. He had the most wonderful year in PreK with Mrs. Martha, and he's totally ready for Kindergarten. He's not sure about his teacher though. Daniel is also in AWANA (starting Sparks this year), and his last year of Mission Friends; baseball, but we couldn't talk him into dance classes; he wants to take piano lessons (yay!), and we told him he needs to be able to read better (which is true). He'll get to join Cub Scouts next year, but in the meantime our entire family goes on most of the outings so the only difference is that he's not earning ranks yet.

Eli will be 4 next month, and he continues to be the sweetest little cuddle-bug ever. He has a heart of gold and would absolutely give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it. He's okay saying no to his brothers though (ha!). In the last couple months he's starting experimenting with defiance, but he shapes up pretty quickly with a little "encouragement". Eli is my little extrovert, following me around all day and talking all.the.time. He'll greet anyone who makes eye contact. (This introverted mother may not survive raising this chatty little thing to adult-hood.) He's almost the same size as Daniel, and the two are frequently confused for twins. People are astonished when I explain that they are actually two years apart. Eli is now in the 3's class at MMO, which is upstairs. He vacillates between being upset that his brothers are going to school and he's not, and being upset he IS going to school instead of staying home with me. It's a little wearisome. He's not quite old enough for piano or baseball or Cub Scouts, but this year he's excited to start AWANA (Cubbies!), and he's taking a dance class; and of course he's in Mission Friends.

Last year I agreed to take over the director position for Mission Friends, and am doing it again this year. I find it suits me much, much better than teaching little ones every week. I haven't taught Sunday School the last two years, and that suits me too. I'm glad to be back in adult SS, especially since I can't me in a Zgroup (discipleship class) on Sunday nights due to AWANA and Wednesday nights due to Mission Friends. In addition, last spring I agreed to be the secretary for the Cub Scout Pack, so once a month we get a sitter for 4 hours on a Thursday evening and have a little date night and then go to the leader meeting (did I mention that Curtis is the den leader for Z's den? He is, and that means he goes to the leader meetings too. He's been going to them for a year before I joined the committee, so this sitter once a month is new for us this year.) What else do I have going on...Oh! I resigned from AuPairCare at the end of last year. I held the position for 5 years, and it was time to hand it over to someone else. I don't miss it. Thought I would, at least a little, but I don't, so I know I made the right choice. I'm now working on Curtis' pet project, TedChef. I'll have to tell you more about it another time. I'm also working as a freelance translator, translating software manuals from English to French. It's new to me this week, so I don't have much to say about it at the moment.

Other updates....Last fall, Curtis' brother and family moved from Boise, Idaho to Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is less than 2 hours from here. It's been amazing to be so close to family! I've never experienced this before (except in Nashville, when those two were also going to Vanderbilt, but no one had any money, or time, and things didn't go so well). It's been so much fun to get together on weekends and seeing the cousins get to know each other. Titus is 10 weeks younger than Daniel and his brother Luke will be 3 at the end of this month. Titus gets along with Zachary and/or Daniel just great (the and/or is because it depends on the activity and whether certain introverts need time alone). Eli and Zachary enjoy doting on Luke since he's the youngest, and Luke loves Thomas the Train. This summer we tried out "Cousins Camp" and it was a smashing success (my kids spent a week in Chattanooga with their cousins, and the following week I had the whole brood here, minus the 2-year-old who wasn't ready to be away for that long). As of earlier this year there are now six cousins, as Curtis' sister had her little boy, Casimer, on February 2nd. She's looking at using some frequent flier miles to come visit for Labor Day, and we're really hoping it works out (her hubby will be traveling for work, so we're disappointed to miss seeing him, but any excuse to see her and that sweet baby will work for us!) ("We" refers not only to Curtis and me, but to Ben and Meaghan in Chattanooga as well, as we were already planning on spending Labor Day with them and celebrating Luke's 3rd birthday.)

I'm supposed to mow the lawn today (Curtis found out earlier this year that he's allergic to grass pollen. Great), and I have mountains of laundry, so I better wrap this up. Sorry for the lack of pictures. Two things work against me there: I'm working on the desktop that for some reason cannot access the shared harddrive (where all the pictures are), and I cannot remember my Shutterfly password. Sorry.

Oh, and we lost our cat. Beau disappeared in early June and we found no trace of him. There are tales of a coyote in the area - one neighbor actually saw it with a cat in its mouth - so we realize we'll never see him again. I miss him. The other one is sick and has turned disgusting: she poops all over the house (though she tinkles in the box just fine) and won't clean her fur. Curtis and I disagree on the best way to go forward (let's just say that his solutions usually leave us cat-less).

Okay, I think that's all for now. Maybe I'll see you again soon!