Saturday, October 31, 2009

We're welcoming November once more

It's that time of year once again. NaBloPoMo!!!!

Who knows if I'll be able to do what I did last year?

Let's see what I come up with!!!!

Like Manna from Heaven

Oh no. Not really manna. But we've definitely got stuff dropping from the sky. Or better yet, one of the trees in our front yard.

Say what?

Yes. We've got little things dropping from the tree onto the sidewalk in front of our house.

What pray tell are these little things that are dropping from the tree? Leaves? No. Nuts? No. Seed pods?  No. Bees. Bees! BEES!

Yes. We again had a bunch of bees at our house. Ay-yay-yay!

The Hubs was outside this afternoon trimming our bushes when he heard some buzzing. He looked up the street and saw a swamp moving down our street. He got into the garage and noticed that there were a bunch of bees out on our driveway. He bolted inside for a little while.

After about 5 minutes, he went out the front door and saw that the swarm nestled itself onto a branch on our big tree. A branch that overhangs the sidewalk.

Rather than take a chance of the bees deciding to make a home in our tree, he immediately called the bee guys that we used the last time. Fortunately? They were able to send one of their guys out in a half hour (their office apparently is a hop-skip-and-a-jump near our house).

The guy that came buy actually keeps bees. So instead of fully foaming the swarm? He actually scooped them into a bucket. And he is going to put them into a happy little beehive on his property. Yeah!

But man! There were a TON of bees. There are still a bunch that are hanging out in the front of our house. According to the bee guy, when the queen bee landed in our tree and the rest of the group nestled around her...a bunch of bees then ventured out inside the neighborhood. And those are the bees that we are seeing return to the last place they saw their "mama". The bee guy said he put some bee poison in our tree, so the bees that return to the branches will get the poison and drop soon after.

But we're seeing are the returning bees falling dead onto the sidewalk. It's sad. But thankfully about 90% of the bees have been taken away to a new & safe location.

Here is the bee guy making sure his safety stuff is on properly:

Here's a shot of the bees!

Look at ALL THE BEES around him!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tired from a morning with the Bear

The Bear and I had a wonderful time together today.

We went to the ZOO!

No. He didn't play hookey. It was a treat for the K-3rd graders for getting a specific number of reading hours for the 1st quarter.

I have to tell you that this is one of the most fun outings. The kids love seeing the animals. They love having lunch at the park next to the zoo. AND they love being able to play in the park with all their school friends. For us parents? We end up taking home pretty tired kids. T-I-R-E-D. Right now the Bear is laying on the couch watching an old movie.

The Princess is actually still at school. Still at school? Yes. The 4th-8th graders stayed at school and their reading hours earned them play time on games. Parents brought in Wii's and PlayStations for the kids to play on. So even though they were at school? The "older" kids were able to play video games.

The Bear and I will be headed out to pick up the Princess in another 15 minutes or so. But I have to say it's been a nice day.

I leave you with photos of my "little cowboy"...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The cold weather transition is upon us

It was a COLD day today.

No. It's not snowing like it is up in Colorado & Wyoming. But yesterday's high here was 87*. Today's high? 60*. A twenty-seven degree drop. In ONE day!


And tomorrow morning is going to be even colder! It's supposed to drop into the 30's overnight and then climb up to the low 60's during the day. Brrr...

I pretty much stayed inside all day. I could have taken a run but I did that yesterday. Plus I'm still trying to get over this little icky sickness that I've got. A sinus infection? Headache. Dry cough. Dry nasal passage. Until in the evening when I get nasal drip and sneeze. I've had it since Friday night, so I'm trying to take it easy.

Of course since it's cold, I sent my kids off in jackets and long-sleeve shirts. On other kind of chilly mornings, I typically send my son off to school in a short-sleeve shirt under a long-sleeve shirt. Why? Because he's like me. He gets hot easily. So I wanted him to have the option to remove the long-sleeve shirt and have a short-sleeve under. Good idea right? But in the car coming home from school...

Me: So did you have a good day buddy?

Bear: Yes. But I got hot in my classroom.

Me: Then why didn't you take your long-sleeve shirt off?

Bear: [gasping] Then I'd be naked!

Me: What???

Bear: I'd be NAKED!

Me: But what about your short-sleeve shirt?

Bear: I didn't have one today.

Last night the Hubs was in charge of getting the Bear's school outfit squared away. And he didn't make sure that the Bear grabbed a short-sleeve shirt. Oy!

But you should have heard us howling with laughter in my car about the sight of my son walking around in his class with his jeans and no shirt on. Ha!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Score ONE for the Little Guy

My daughter's class had a test on their class reading book today.

For me? This meant that I needed to go out and purchase the next book on the reading list, which they'll start tomorrow. Nothing like being last minute. Again. When I dropped off the Princess, I let her know that I'd get her next book while she was at school so she could start reading for her next assignment.

After working about 6 hours today, I logged off my computer and headed out the door to Barnes&Noble. I headed up the escalator to the kids' section. And I wandered aimlessly. I could not find the darn book. I ended up calling the Hubs to get the author's name. And when I went in alphabetical order and found the area where that author's books were? I saw other books that the author had written. But they didn't have even one copy of the book I needed.

Heartbroken, I left Barnes&Noble empty handed. Nothing. Nada. I had picked up another of the Princess' books that was on her reading list. But I put it back on the shelf when I couldn't find THE book that I came there for. I mean, it's a big bookstore. And they didn't have the book!

Strike one.

I drove down the street to the Target. Another big store. I walked to the back of the store to the video/DVD/book section and wandered up and down the aisles. Can you believe it? They didn't have even one book by this author on their shelves.

Strike two.

So I contemplated what to do as I sat in my car. I decided half-heartedly to drop by the used book store that was across the street from the Target. It's a local used bookstore chain that is very successful here in town.

Wouldn't you know it? I found the book that I needed to buy. I also found 4 other books on my daughter's book list on the shelves. What was even more fantastic than finding the books? Is that I was able to purchase FIVE books for LESS than $11.50. Normally each of the books runs between $5 - $8 a piece. But at the used bookstore? I was able to pick them up for between $1.50 - $2.50 a piece.

So instead of striking out totally? I got a home run. Thanks to the used bookstore.


So instead of running to your local big box store? Maybe try to go to a large used bookstore the next time you're looking for a good read. Help the local economy. Help the smaller stores stay in business.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Feeling super tired

Good gosh people.

I feel tired.

Yesterday the Hubs took the kids up to see his family. He'd volunteered (AGAIN) to help with a move. This time? My BIL and his family were moving into a new rental. They've now officially moved back "home" after being in two different states in the last 3 years. Funny though that my SIL (who lives in town) didn't stop by to help at all. Hmmm....

So I spent most of Saturday by myself. I only took a short run, since I took a longer run on Friday. I dusted off all our windows and wood shutters [achoo-achoo!] along with a couple big wood pieces. I swept the downstairs and vacuumed all the carpets. Cleaned the toilets and wiped down all the bathroom counters. While I was working, I tackled 6 loads of laundry and even put everything away. Whew!

I think I'm just plain worn out from yesterday. But I could also be a little under the weather. My throat felt dry on Friday after my run. Then last night my nose felt so dry, I put a little Vaseline in. Maybe my allergies are starting to flair up?


I just feel yucky. Not sick. Just tired.

I seriously don't like it when I'm not feeling myself.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waiting until the last minute

Guess who finally finished a task that should have been done about a month ago?

Yes. Me. Call me slacker!

But dang it all, the task was just something I don't quite enjoy doing. It involved ironing and possibly some sewing. Ugh.

What was my task?

Yes. My daughter's Girl Scout vest. She bridged up this year from Brownie level so her brand new vest needed the initial patches. And there are a bunch that need to be added first thing.

Here's what I was able to add onto the vest yesterday before the Princess' meeting.
  • The flag #21
  • The Girl Scout identifier patches #20
  • The Troop Numbers #18
  • The Bridging patch #13
  • The Brownie Wings #1
People? I may have added those initial patches, but I've still got to add about 7 more. And the seven? Are not iron-on. They'll require a bit of sewing. Sewing. HAND SEWING!

Since the Hubs is going to be helping his brother move this weekend and the kids will be going with him, I'll have the time and quiet I need to sew those darn ole patches on.
Oh fun for me! Maybe a bottle of wine to go with?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When to push and when not to

Sometimes it's hard to know yourself. Your body. There are moments when we all push ourselves too hard. And then? We end up paying for it.

Today I decided to push myself. I felt ready. I knew I needed a challenge. I needed to get myself to the next level.

What did I do?

Rather than do my typical 2-mile run, I decided to run my typical 3-mile walk route. I wasn't sure how I'd do so I brought some water with me. My mouth tends to get dry right before I start to peeter out. So bringing water along tends to rejuvenate me so I can continue.

And how'd I do? I was able to run the majority of it. I did walk a little bit. But I let myself walk for about 50 yards to drink some water and then resumed running. Let me say that it felt good to challenge myself. And to run another route was motivating as well.

I actually feel lighter right now. Like my shoulders don't have any weight on them. The relaxed feeling that overtakes your body, you know?  [sigh] I think that's one of the reasons I'm enjoying my work-outs, which are miniscule compared to what many of you athletes do every day. But my small workouts are my gradual attempt to building a healthier me. And a healthier me makes me stronger and have the stamina to keep up with my kids.

What're you doing for you to be able to take care of your family?

But one thing I need to do? I do need to look into getting some new running shoes. Any recommendations? 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Melting or better yet trying NOT to melt

While I was glad that the party yesterday was not in an enclosed room, the party being outside did become a little bit of a challenge.

You see, it was 99* when we started our drive up. And it was 102* by the time we arrived at the park. Yes. ONE. HUNDRED. TWO. DEGREES. for an outside party. Thank goodness that they'd reserved a ramada in the largest and oldest section of the park. Therefore, there were trees surrounding the ramada which made it cooler. Yeah. Cooler than 102*.

The kids had a good time. The Hubs got to catch up with his family. I tried to stay out of the frakus as much as possible. My excuse to move around? I took photos of everyone. I didn't take photos the entire time. I did take a break and play with the kiddos. I played catch with the Bear and the Princess ran around us like she was running bases.

My BIL's wife "SC" did a great job organizing the event. She had a few games for the kids. They played a ball toss game. A pin-the-tail game. And there was a GIANT pinata of Elmo that the kids got to beat upon. Giant? Yes. GIANT! There was a big stick to accompany the Elmo. It reminded me of the Spirit Stick in Bring It On because it was all decorated.

But one thing I'm glad about? Is that the Hubs took my camera from me and got photos of the kids with me. Yup. Me and the kids!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Forced social event day

Today is my nephew's first birthday. Normally I'd be excited to get together with family and catch up. But this is my nephew on my husband's side of the family.


While I'll be happy to see my BIL's wife and my nephew? I am not so excited to spend time with my MIL and SIL. It's just not something that warms my heart and makes me happy. I like to avoid situations that don't make me happy, but this? I can't avoid. It's a forced social event that I MUST attend. [sigh]

It'll be an all afternoon event. We have to drive up (1.5 hours), attend the party (2 hours), and drive back home (1.5 hours). So it eats up our entire afternoon.

Since the party will be held at a park, I won't be stuck in one room. I'll happily go off and play with my kiddos. I'm putting in a football, a frisbee, and our baseball gloves & balls into my car before we leave. This way I'll be able to do something other than sit on my kiester having to make small talk.

Hopefully I'll be able to capture some nice photos of the kiddos. I'll post them later if I'm not too tired.

Have a great day all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Take a little fluid here and there

Last night, I ended up eating a hearty dinner. Crock pot boneless pork ribs, scalloped potatoes, spinach salad with mozzarella cheese & Italian dressing. It was yummy in my tummy. But I have to tell you that by 9pm I was actually hungry. HUNGRY! Even though dinner was delicious, I did not overindulge. I ate about a palm-sized portion of that tender, juicy pork along with a palm-sized portion of potatoes and a much larger portion of salad. One serving.

I guess my body heard from my brain about the fasting blood-draw that would happen today at 9:30am. Meaning no breakfast. No juice. Nothing but water. My body must have also heard from my brain that I had an additional fasting test scheduled at 11:15am this morning. I got a call yesterday afternoon about getting an ultrasound on my kidneys. Since it was a fasting test and they had an opening late in the morning that wouldn't conflict with the blood draw, I immediately said YES to that 11:15am available timeframe. Who wants to do 12-hours of fasting twice in a week? No. Not me!

An ultrasound on my kidneys? Yes. One of the issues with the meds I'm taking is that they need to monitor the effect on my kidneys. So this was a check to make sure that the flow to my kidneys was not being compromised. What sucked about the test? Is that one hour before my scheduled time, they said I had to consume 32 ounces of water. Yup. I had to drink it all in an hour and I couldn't urinate until after my ultrasound. Oy! But since I've been pregnant twice, this wasn't a strange request. I took it in stride. I think that in the end I actually had about 40 ounces of water because all the ice I'd put into my water had melted.

For both my appointments, I was in and out pretty quick. No dilly-dallying on their part. I was even able to squeeze in getting an unscheduled flu shot at the clinic where I had my blood drawn. I was able to get up to a small shopping mall as well and take some leisurely shots.

My internist will get the results from the kidney ultrasound tomorrow. I'm not sure how long the blood work will take. But things are going well. I feel fine. Hopefully we're still on the road to getting me off the meds. We'll see!

Monday, October 12, 2009

And the verdict so far?

At the end of September, I wrote about a little bump in my life.

Today I met my new doctor, "Dr. B", who is an internist. I did have a family practitioner as my main doctor, but if things are wrong with me on the inside? I want someone who specializes on the insides. So when I was in the cardiac unit of the hospital, I asked a doc for any recommendations as I was going to be looking for a new doc to handle this health issue. He gave me a practice that's about 5 miles from my kids' school. I called that office the day after I got out of the hospital and TODAY was my appointment.

I still did go see my regular doc 2 weeks ago to get my normal "yearly" checkup. When my birthday comes around, I like to get all the "yearly" stuff taken care of. This way I don't have to remember what month my last set of tests/exams were done. It's kind of like how people recommend that we change out the batteries in our smoke detectors when we change our clocks for daylight savings. You know?

When the medical assistant brought me back, I was faced with the dreaded weigh-in. And this time? I was pleasantly surprised to find that I'd lost about 10 pounds since I started running in August. I'm at my self-imposed target weight. What's nice to know is that not only did I lose some significant fat but I also gained some muscle. The muscle can be seen in my legs. O-yeah! No more jiggly-wiggly in my thighs. Makes me very happy! Even better was that my blood pressure was normal -- 110/82. Back to where it should be.

Dr. B ordered some blood work for me. Unfortunately, they couldn't draw the blood today because it has to be a fasting blood draw. I've got that scheduled for this Wednesday. He want them to check for a bunch of anomalies since there's no glaring issues that seem to have caused my hypertensive event in September.

Dr. B then said if the blood work all looks good, he'll do another test on me. I'll have to wear a blood pressure monitor for an entire day. The machine will monitor my pressure throughout the day and record it. Then Dr. B will be able to see how my pressure fluctuates throughout the day. He said the only things I am forbidden to do (if I end up with the device) is swim, shower, and have sex. He-he-he! That totally made me laugh. What I was concerned about is if I happened to want to take a run. He said that it would be great if I could take a run with it. Then he could see how my pressure handled things when I exercised and how it reacted afterwards when I was cooling down.

If the 24-hour blood pressure monitoring looked good? Then he'd take me off the meds I'm currently taking. He definitely DOES NOT want to just take me off the meds without first getting another set of blood tests run AND doing the 24-hour monitoring. He doesn't want to have another incident.

But things are looking good on the health front. I'm glad. I'm so relieved. Things are looking up!

Knowing a bit of history

I'm not a history buff like my husband is. He'd watch the History Channel all the time if we'd let him. He also is one who doesn't mind reading history books. Yes. He's very interested in that kind of stuff. Me? Not so much. We're definitely opposites in that regard. But I do know about the big events in our history. I think that all adult Americans should know the basics of our history. Right?

I just finished watching last night's episode of The Amazing Race and I was shocked. Shocked? Yes. Flabbergasted that only TWO contestants recognized a famous American in a photo. I mean all the contestants are older than 20, so they should have known who this person was. She was an American fashion icon. She was a former First Lady. She in the tabloids when she was alive.

Who pray tell was this person the Amazing Race contestants didn't recognize?

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Other guesses?
  • A Cambodian Princess
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Someone of Cambodian descent

Now if it had been Beavis & Butthead in the photo? I'm sure everyone would have known who they were. But Jackie O? Oy!

Additionally, I have to say that I can't stand Lance - the Lawyer. I'm not sure that this show has been a good image booster for him. I wouldn't want him as my attorney because he flies off the handle all the time. He can't seem to contain himself. Very annoying. Reminds me of my neighbor-across-the-street (NATS). Blah!

But I continue to watch the show because I love to see everywhere they go. I like to see who handles the pressure and who doesn't. It's fun to watch the contestants' relationships evolve. Love it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And he runs and jumps and does well

This is the Bear's 2nd season in baseball.

He didn't start with T-ball. We didn't get him in that early. He started with "coach pitch" last spring. We're currently in the "Fall Ball" instructional league. The kids get instruction on "how" to play. How to stand in the batter's box properly. How to throw the ball where it needs to go. Which base to throw the ball to when there are runners on or not. I must say that the Bear is really grasping the game. AND he's playing with enthusiasm.

Today? He hit the ball really well and got on base all 5 times he was at bat. He fielded the ball well and threw it to the proper base, when necessary. He was a good team player.

Here's the kids doing their warm-ups.

Here's the Bear getting the GAME BALL!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not winning any "Stellar Mom" awards any time soon

About 3 weeks ago when it was still about 110*, I ordered the Bear a new winter jacket. Yes. I'm crazy like that. I had to get THE jacket I saw. It was on sale and I totally liked it because it was all boy. Deep green but in a soft material that would stand the "test" of time.

The jacket arrived on our doorstep a week later. I didn't open it until that Saturday. Had the Bear try it on and he was swimming in it. SWIMMING. It was way too big on him. I'd ordered a Little Kids' Large, so it should have fit just fine. I was totally confused but didn't think much of it. Until today.

So I grabbed the jacket off my dresser and really looked at it. Ha! It was a size 14-16! Dang it all! No wonder the Bear was swimming in it. They'd shipped a BIG Kids' Large instead of a LITTLE Kids' Large.

I called the customer service department just a bit ago. Luckily, they still had the size I needed in the color I wanted for the Bear. So now? The right size jacket is going to be shipped later on tonight. I'll be taking the wrong size jacket to the post office on Monday to be returned.

I still can't believe that I was oblivious to the error in shipping until today. Three weeks after I'd received the darn jacket! THREE. WHOLE. WEEKS. Observation skills? Fail. I'm definitely not one in the running for a Stellar Mommy award.

Have YOU never noticed when a wrong size is shipped to you?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Keeping Up

There's a lot of great things about the kids growing up. I found out today a new thing I can do with them.

You know how I've been walking/running since the kids started school in August? Well, I typically run after I drop them off. On the weekends, I run when the Hubs is home.

This week the kids are on fall break so that put a bump into my normal routine. My entire days are thrown off, but that's okay. The biggest thing that I wondered if I could fit in was my morning run/walk.

So the kids? I told them we'd be heading down to the neighborhood coffee shop. I threw on my typical outfit and my running shoes, while the kids put on their tennies and their helmets. Yes. Their helmets. Because they were going to take their scooters while I ran.

The combination of the kids on scooters while I ran worked wonderfully. Before when I walked to the coffee shop they'd have to wait for me at the corner. But since I ran? We kept pace with each other.

The trip was fun for them and I felt like I got a little run into my day. Win-win for all of us. Yeah!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Talent has nothing to do with age

A friend shared this video with me recently. Thought I'd share it with you all.

It's an example of small packages giving us a BIG BANG!

Here's an amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at a Texas Tech University basketball game. The two on the right are 6, the 2 middle are 7, and the one on the left is 8. Can you believe it?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time away from school? Wha--???

In their ingenious planning of the school term, the powers-that-be have decided that this week is FALL BREAK. Meaning? The kids are home from school. All. Week.


This is what I say to myself EVERY.DARN.YEAR.

For some gosh-darn reason, in the many years since I graduated from elementary school they've decided that the kids need a BREAK between quarters. What genius came up with THIS gameplan? I'd like to take out there knees, thank you very much.

Granted, the kids have worked have their first quarter. I've already got the Princess' official grades for the quarter and am still awaiting the Bear's scores.

But when we were kids we had a 4-day Thanksgiving weekend, a 2-week Christmas break, Lincoln's Day & Washington's Day in February, Memorial Day and a week for Spring Break. They've added Civil Rights Day into the mix and combined Lincoln/Washington to President's Day. But my kids don't celebrate President's Day in February because they get a 4-day weekend for Rodeo Days (go figure?). Then there's Good Friday now too. It's a juggling act for sure!

Thankfully I work from home so I can easily watch my kids with all these days off. But what do parents who work full-time do when they're kids are off? Burn their vacation days? Send their kids to daycare? Find any spare babysitter or stay-at-home parent?

My kids are both relaxing right now watching Spy Kids. Yes. That movie. Again. But we've got plans to hit the park, walk to the coffee shop, hit Target to get Halloween costumes, and some other errands. They won't be bored. I think....But these days-off do take a toll on me. I end up having to be referee more than I want to. I have to juggle time on the computer with time on the couch with them.

So I may or may not have the time to write anything this week. Depends on if they end up realizing they've got time to get on Webkinz and Poptropica....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Making Mommy Laugh

Every morning I help the Bear put the final touches on getting ready for school.

He has total bedhead every morning. Probably because he likes to twirl his hair as he goes to sleep. You know how he loves to play with hair.

Anyway, every school day I'll spray his hair and brush it down for him. He likes to have it all nice and neat so he "looks like Daddy."

This morning, he went to the half bath and looked like this.

He's reading a book out loud with a Superman cape on.

Can you see how poufy his hair is?