Friday, March 30, 2007

So I hit the motherload

of pictures that is. To say we have a lot of pictures is an understatement. I've done really well with organizing them, getting them in albums and scrapping the ones we've taken since Charlie was born. Before that, not so much. And it turns out at one point I just shoved a ton of old pictures into a photo box and promptly forgot about it. I discovered it the other night, opened it and was just amazed... we have pictures! We did things before we had kids! Vacations to Napa and Cape Cod, our first puppy Kuma, silly candids from our wedding reception. And that was only in the first handful I took out. Can't wait to dive into the rest of the box. I'm wondering if we took any pictures when we lived in Chicago.

Busy busy busy. That's the mantra around here but it hasn't felt too bad. Earlier in the week I had to buckle down and collect the tax info and get it to our CPA. This ranks as one of my least favorite chores of the year. But I did it and they called 24 hours later to tell us it was done, e-filed and the refund will be deposited post-haste. Time well spent as it turns out. I need to do some tidying around here and then finish my homework for Ali Edward's class at CKU. I did great with the picture taking and not so great with the journaling. I hope I can remember it all. And tomorrow marks the first day of the spring soccer season and the annual town Easter Egg Hunt which is an event not to be missed. I'm hoping to sneak a picnic in between those two activities.

And finally, I am happy to say I have found some small success on my second round with weight watchers, having gained back every single pound I lost the first time. It's not been so easy this time around but after 3 weeks, I've lost 9.5 lbs and that's a decent start. Baby discussion to be continued...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The best day ever

Seriously, this might have been the most perfect spring day ever. It was the kind of day western Pennsylvania gives you to trick you into looking forward to summer... to imagining picnics in the yard, flowers blooming, kids running around squealing with delight. If history is any guide, we will have approximately 4 days like this before the official start of summer. Then the humidity and unbearably high temperatures will bring us back to reality. The other days in between will be cloudy/rainy/drizzly/unseasonably cool.
So we played outside and I weeded all the flower beds while Justin puttered in the yard. Charlie did an "experiment" with all manner of food, water and weeds and sticks and Gracie.... ah, my Gracie. While I weeded the flower beds (some of which, including the one above, hadn't been touched in 2 years), she gathered earthworms for Justin's fishing pail. Hundreds of earthworms. She petted them. She professed her undying love for them. She carried them in her hand around the yard so they could see the sights. She scolded them not to wormy away. She squealed with delight everytime she discovered another earthworm. This went on for hours.
And then, they went fishing while I prepared dinner and we finally settled in for the perfect spring meal... burgers on the grill, rosemary potatoes, mediterranean peppers and strawberry shortcake. Days just don't get any better than this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm going to take a moment for some self-indulgent whining

and it's not what you might expect.

I had a great day today! I was in a fabulous mood when I left work and then... Charlie poked in the locker room at karate. For 20 minutes. That put a dent in my mood. And then when we went to leave karate, we were blocked by a delivery truck for another 20 minutes. At this point, my mood definitely pointed south. We got home at 6:00 (!) where I had to start dinner and I promptly spilled the entire container of freshly grated parmesan cheese all over the floor. Then the kids called me to Grace's room where I discovered the cat had thrown up all over her bed. Not just a little. The really really gross soak through the sheets into the mattress kind. And after cleaning that up, I went into my bedroom to change my clothes and discovered the dog had chewed up my favorite shirt.

So by the time the nice gentleman with the Fraternal Order of Police called to ask me if I wanted to donate some money to the cause, I have to say I wasn't overly friendly. Not rude but definitely curt. I guess it wasn't his day either.

On a positive note, my husband is doing the dishes tonight for the first time in my memory and I am polishing off the remainder of the bottle of wine we didn't drink last night. It can only get better, right?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring fever

That must be what's wrong with me today. I've frittered the day away on I have absolutely no idea what. I intended to go grocery shopping after I picked Grace up from school but discovered I left my purse at home. We drove to my mom's to pick up a photo I wanted to copy, got home and I discovered that my scanner has sent it's scanner spirit to the big printer in the sky.
I intended to submit layouts today but can't do that without my scanner. So I decided to pay bills online and kept entering the wrong information. I sorted through Gracie's clothes and discovered that she apparently only has one pair of pants that fit her. And now I sit here wondering where the day has gone.
Actually, I know where the day has gone because I'm doing my homework for Ali's A Week in the Life class and I've been taking pictures all day (and all week.) As near as I can figure, I spend 300 hours in the car everyday.
And we're out of catfood because I still haven't made it to the grocery store and the cats are absolutely screaming at me. It's only my guilt that's going to get Gracie to gymnastics this afternoon instead of doing the 101 more pressing things. I don't think the cats are going to understand why they have to wait 2 more hours for their lunch.

Friday, March 9, 2007

From the mommy files

My little guy is such a sensitive little fellow. Good in many ways, it's a wonderful characteristic, I'm actually glad he feels so strongly and can empathize with other people but it has its definite downsides.

He really tends to get stressed and worry about everything. And when he worries, there is no talking him out of it. When he had pneumonia, he got the idea in his head that he was going to die because he couldn't breathe. He didn't tell his dad and I about it right away but we figured it out when I heard him crying late at night and went in to see what was going on. And ever since the pneumonia, his tic is back. Or rather, tics.

It was hardly noticeable at first but now he's got three or four different facial tics going on and when he's really worrying or really tired, his face is just one big motion after another. I caught him doing some repetitive body movements last week once too but I calmed him down and snuggled him tight and haven't noticed it since.

It's such a frustrating and painful thing for me to watch. (It doesn't bother him at all, he hardly notices he's doing it and he seems to like the release.) Why is he doing this? Why can't they give us answers? Is he really going to outgrow it? Why is it getting worse? Is it going to spread beyond his face? Will he get verbal tics? What can we do to help him?

I don't have the answers. Yesterday was a terrible day for him. He had a mix-up and forgot to ride the bus home and instead went down to the pick up area. He ran past the door monitor onto the playground to play with his best friend and nobody noticed him until 30 minutes later, until his friend's mother found him hiding behind a bush, crying because I wasn't there. Obviously, they took him right down to the principal's office to call me to come and get him. He cried for over an hour because he thought he'd never ever get sent to the principal's office. He wouldn't believe anyone that he wasn't in trouble. He holds so much stuff inside of him, he is so concerned with right and wrong and never getting in trouble - I'm so afraid he's in for a difficult time in the years ahead.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I just realized

that my creativity journal pages aren't showing up. Not sure why that is, I'll go try to fix it after this. So far I'm sticking to getting a page done every day this month.

I'm still kind of in a place of upheaval but absolutely the good kind - the, my stomach is growling because I'm on the second day of a diet kind of good, but good nonetheless. Do you have any cheese you could slip in my direction?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Ummm, wow.

Justin dropped a bombshell on me yesterday. Not the bad kind.

We were driving to drop him at a conference (on our way to our nephew's birthday party) and he brought up that we should probably send the kids to grandma's and have the final conversation about whether or not we were done and who needs to do what to make sure of that. I reacted by saying that no, I do not think we should have conversation because it will never go how either of us want it to and it's just one of those rare things in our marriage we should just avoid and never talk about (kind of joking of course.) I said, if we wait long enough to have the conversation, it will be too late to have to make a decision and that will be that.

He raised a few points about why it's a bad idea, why we shouldn't have anymore, I dropped him off at the conference and thought that was that.

And when we picked him up several hours later (did I mention this was a winemaker's conference with a lot of wine drinking?) he basically said he would is okay with having another baby if I can figure out the finances of the whole thing. My head is dizzy right now because this has been a "decision" I've been struggling to come to terms with for 3 1/2 years. We honestly never talk about it anymore, it is such a painful, touchy subject for both of us... he wants the financial independence that will come with me going back to work fulltime, he loves the flexibility that having older kids gives us, he is completely satisfied with the status quo.

My heart is pulling me in a 1000 different directions right now. And suddenly I realize how much this one issue has been paralyzing me in so many ways. So many related decisions I've just been putting off and putting off and not thinking about. Before we do anything else, I guess I need to go to the doctor and find out if it's even possible and get a more complete picture of the risks involved. It would be ridiculous to get excited or even start planning for it if it's not medically viable. So that will be my first step.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Creativity Journal

This is my project for March - a book of quotes about creativity. Love how it's turning out so far.

We're having a lowkey kind of day. Justin went out for early trout season, the kids have brought every block in the house into the middle of the living room and I'm just wandering around aimlessly. We're all off in different directions tomorrow for birthday parties and conferences and such so I need to get organized and do something productive soon. I've loaded the dishwasher twice - I'm pretty sure that doesn't count for much.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Hello to all the ships at sea...

I woke with a hangover this morning which is relevant only in that I did not have anything alcoholic to drink yesterday. I feel cruddy.
Today Charlie's school is celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday and they got to dress up as a character from a book - this is what we came up with at the last minute. It was a group effort, Justin drove all over the two county area trying to find blue hairspray after work. And then, while I was working on the costume last night, Charlie fell off the couch and conked his head on the ceramic tiles by the fireplace. Justin was very afraid he broke his nose so took him into the ER where he was checked out and pronounced "just fine." But the late night may have something to do with my hangover like symptoms. Maybe.

So I blew off all responsibility again this morning after dropping Gracie at school and drove up into the mountains to poke around. It's still brown and gray but spring was showing herself in the massive snowmelt and run-off resulting in whitewater conditions on the normally docile Loyalhanna stream. Even in the midst of late-winter muck and the dull colors of not quite yet spring, I think the area around Linn Run and the Rolling Rock Hunt Club has to count as one of the most beautiful places on earth. I don't have the photographic skills to ever capture it or do it justice but there is a reason the Mellons built their retreats in these mountains; 15 miles as the crow flies and you will come upon Fallingwater and discover that there is a reason Frank Lloyd Wright was so inspired by the beauty of this area that his masterpiece was born and created here. If I ever make my fortune, I will have a home here too, a little cottage tucked in the woods. Not anywhere near where Dick Cheney comes to hunt though.