Monday, October 29, 2007

Okay Joyce!

It's the former Famous Footwear/Footjoy store at the Miracle Mile in Monroeville. It is being changed to a Footlocker. Good luck!

I'm taking a short blog break. Lots of ugliness and craziness going on in the scrapbook world right now and since my opinion seems to be different from just about everyone else, I think it's best to keep my mouth shut until it blows over.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mars is in retrograde.

Ha! Little joke I have going with some friends. I heard on the radio last week that Mars is in retrograde which means that strange things happen. Although, when I googled it just now, it appears Mars doesn't actually go into retrograde until next week. And I don't even know what retrograde is. Or what kinds of strange things are supposed to happen. But it's a good explanation for strange stuff anyway.

Last soccer games of the year today and it was cold! Gracie scored her first goal in the very last second of the game. Big celebrations all around. Charlie has decreed that she is the queen.

And my quirky little man. This morning he announce that he has developed a new superpower and that this is the ability to see germs with his naked eye. Not surprisingly, this superpower causes me some mild concern. I am going to hope he forgets about it.

Harry (the dog) came down with an ear infection last night. He is still so sweet natured, I might never have realized anything was wrong but he kept flapping his ears all night and it drove me crazy. I took him to the vet in between games and he should be better soon.

So I am about as far from being a clothes horse as one can be. But one of the moms at soccer told me about a shoe store that is changing owners and they are clearancing the entire stock for ridiculous prices. And because they already switched the name, nobody realizes there is a clearance sale. So of course I had to go check it out. 8 pairs of shoes (Merrill, Kenneth Cole, and Eastlands) for $68. I'm still kind of in shock. Mars is in retrograde.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Homer Simpson and jonah days

The day started off innocently enough. I got up early with Justin (who worked a 16 hour day yesterday and left early again today) to make pumpkin bread. Yum.

Then I got the kids up and prepared their cereal bowls only to be rewarded with howls of protest from my son. He is reading a book about bugs and it apparently says that there are weevils in cereal. He can't eat cereal anymore. He is boycotting things made in China and won't eat cereal anymore. Sweet.

Thursday is also library day and he couldn't find his library book. I insisted it was in his room, he was convinced it was in the car. He went to check and in the process let the cat out.

After all of this commotion, we are now too late to make it to the bus on time. Which means I have to wait to drop him off at school, get Grace to school 1/2 hour late and to work 45 minutes late. I am already dreading work today because of an unpleasant appointment in the afternoon. My cell phone started ringing about this appointment exactly 5 seconds after I turned it on when I got in the car.

I had a brief moment of delight at this point in the day. The radio station ran a quiz called "Who Said It? Homer J. Simpson or George W. Bush." As you might expect, George did not come out looking the wiser. My favorite GWB quote... "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepeneur." You can't make this stuff up.

So I am cruising along finally with a smile on my face when a jet black cat ran right in front of my car. I didn't hit it but geez, it seems kind of ominous given the day and time of year.

I have appointments for the rest of the day and evening and I'm hoping I don't drop a mirror or walk under any ladders in the meantime.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I check my favorite blogs every day

but sometimes I am very bad about updating this one. Often there aren't enough hours in the day but just as often, I have nothing to say.

My friend Vivian issued a challenge to scrap as many new pages as possible for a current book call. So far I have two. Not a very impressive response to the challenge. Gonna work on that tonight.

Charlie developed a vocal tic while I was in Canada. And I have many different emotions about it but mostly, I am really struggling to keep my patience because truthfully, it's annoying. It doesn't change anything about his diagnosis (transient tic disorder) or move us any closer to a different diagnosis (he would have to have this one for a year) and his original neurosurgeon warned us this would probably happen. It's frustrating not to understand something or be able to do anything about it. Happily, he doesn't seem to even notice he's doing it so life continues as normal.

And on the normal front, after surveying the items I purchased for the fall party treat bag, he thinks I am a failure as the homeroom mom. He is convinced his friends will not see the coolness factor of a bag of teddy grahams and Charlie Brown fruit snacks. Kids.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend adventures

We had so much fun this weekend! We traveled to Raystown Lake which is a 27 mile lake created by the Army Corps of Engineers not too far from Penn State. It's an incredible resource and the area is stunningly beautiful. We hiked through the mountains, did scenic drives and tried to find the bald eagles. We had some funny moments as well that will be fodder for future scrapbook pages. Justin was offering some suggestions on the drive home. That might be a first.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This will be a scrapbook page

but I need to write it down before I forget about it.

I have night terrors. Not all that often and it's not a big deal. Except maybe for Justin who has to deal with my screams of terror and push me back into a sleeping position. But that's not the point of this story. I didn't think the kids knew about this, I'm still not sure that they do because it really isn't a huge thing in our daily lives.

Last night I went to bed early. Earlier than the kids in fact. I was laying in bed just drifting off when I heard the door open and some little feet pad their way over to me. In a tiny voice, I heard Gracie say, "here mommy, take this." "What is it honey?" "It's a telescope mommy. It will keep the bad dreams away." And she handed me her plastic Pirates of the Caribbean telescope complete with skull and crossbones.

Tis not the end of the story. She closed the door and went out. But was back in about 30 seconds. "Here mommy. You need this piggy too." And so, the stuffed pink piggy helped to keep the bad dreams away last night.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I love this picture!

Scrapbooking is a very good thing.

Today did not turn out as anticipated. I got to the doctor to discover that my appointment was really scheduled for the afternoon. Not really enough time to justify going home, plus Grace wanted none of that. So, we took off up the mountain and this time I took her to my secret, sacred place. She was not as impressed with the bog as I had hoped but she did seem kind of interested in the pitcher plants. And she did seem to understand there was something special about my hidden treasure. We were walking back out of the woods and came to a spot on the path where the sunlight shown through the trees in a beautiful circle and she said "now we're back to our regular world." I think that's 4 year old for "we've left the sacred place."

Then, the doctor did end up having to biopsy another area but he doesn't seem overly concerned. Just a precaution this time. No anxiety at all.

And I had promised Charlie we would go for a walk after school so we headed off to a different park and picked a trail. I really had no idea how many parks and trails our little town holds. It's really a delightful surprise. The leaves aren't changing this year though. I don't know if it's because it's too warm or just a cyclical thing but they are staying green and hanging in there. But then suddenly, overnight almost, one tree will turn brown and the leaves all fall off. So, no stunning fall pictures from today's walk. And that's okay.

I'll catch up with life later this week. As long as I have clean underwear to wear to work tomorrow.

Pictures to follow

as soon as I unpack my camera and have time to upload. We had some fun in Canada! It was delightful to meet my on-line friends in real life and make a couple of new friends too. It was almost like picking up a conversation in mid-stride. While eating only one cookie.

In other news, it appears my husband discovered my blog while I was away. Hi honey! It's a bit creepy that. Why is it okay if virtual strangers read this but now it feels like someone was peaking at my diary? Eh, he hasn't confessed yet.

And eh. I've been saying that a lot in the last two days. And I think I started picking up the Canadian accent. They speak in a very lyrical tone.

So shortly I am off for my skin cancer check up. And I am calm about it. Okay, a teensy bit anxious. But mostly calm. It will be only good news this time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Okay, so one more post before I go

because I'm much further ahead than expected. Did some serious multi-tasking yesterday and got all but one thing scratched off my list. Everything except for the car headlights/electrical issue that I WILL get to first thing today. Or second. Which I can do because Grace's pumpkin patch field trip was postponed due to the threat of inclement weather. That's some good timing.

The craziness factor is about to get bumped up a notch around here. (Or way down as soon as soccer is over. Three more weeks. Three more weeks.) Justin assumes his new role within his company in three and a half weeks. That is exactly two months earlier than expected. After six months of "transition" time, he is still waiting for some kind of transition plan. And while this is generally a good thing, he has also been informed that because he is so successful in his current position, they have decided he will keep that one too. I'm trying to figure out where the 9 other hours a day are supposed to come from. So yeah, a little bit of anxiety as he pretty much stopped sleeping when he got the memo on Tuesday.

And on that note, I really am signing off until next week. Time to get the kids out the door.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fall is coming, fall is coming!

I am sitting in front of a window in my office watching a torrential downpour. It hasn't rained for weeks and this storm heralds a cold front finally moving through that will take the blasted 90 degree temperatures away. I told the kids that today would probably be the last day of summer clothes this year - usually I lament how soon after school starts that we have to put the shorts away but this year, I am finally ready for sweaters and jeans.

I am going to Canada on Friday and I'm panicking a bit about the getting ready part. I have car issues that need to be dealt with - an oil change, some electrical issues from the recent repair and a deep clean before I can let anyone else ride in it. And then there are the personal issues - haircut, new shoes, etc. so that I can appear to be respectable instead of overgrown and threadbare. And of all weeks, this week Grace is the "Top Banana" at her school which means special snack, special show and tell, guest reader, etc. which results in most of my free time being spent at the school. Oh, and we are going on her pumpkin patch field trip on Thursday. I'm sure we'll squeeze it all in, I just wish I didn't have that frantic "what's next?" feeling going on. (Well, I don't have that feeling while I'm work right now waiting for a client but then again, I'm not shoe shopping either.)

So this will likely be the last blog update until next week when I hope to return with many funny stories and many beautiful photos of the vineyards along Lake Erie.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rites of passage

Today Charlie will be inducted into the Steeler nation. He is going to his first game this afternoon and woke up this morning saying he was "heaps" excited. He has an official jersey but it is a Hines Ward jersey and his favorite player is Big Ben. He set out this t-shirt last night and put it on within 3 seconds of waking up. It's got Ben's name on the back. Notice that the sleeping cats in the background of the picture do not share Charlie's excitement.

The thermometer on my car should not read 101 degrees in the month of October. What a relief when it cooled down and showed that the temperature outside was only 90. The forecast says we have 2 or 3 more days of this but strangely, this morning it is very cool and overcast outside. Perfect football weather!

I've put some thought into what Gracie and I will do while the boys are off on their adventure and I've decided I'm going to introduce her to scrapbooking. Charlie was doing it by this age so I feel bad I haven't thought of it before. It should be an interesting exercise - she has a very defined sense of style and color. And I think we'll bake some banana bread if the cool, overcast hangs around. When I told her we were going to have a special mommy and Gracie day, she asked if we could watch tv. I think maybe we may have cut back on the tv time a little bit too much!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

And that is how it is done...

Gracie has decided on her own to not continue with karate right now... she wants to go back to gymnastics. And that decision will free up two evenings. Yay!

And we have decided to take the kids for a weekend away in a couple weeks. We're going to do a leaf sightseeing cruise and rent a cabin in the mountains. And even better, Justin is going to take a few days off work to catch up on his winemaking and well, just not be at work. And the dog didn't pee on the door last night. Small victories!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The important thing to remember

when you have strep throat is to take your antibiotics. I'm not always so good at the remembering.

Tonight is Charlie's first ever open house. We are excited and nervous to actually meet with his teacher in person. He is excited to give us a tour of the school.

The school district adopted a new wellness policy that prohibits any sugary treats in the classroom, even for parties. Alas, no cupcakes. I was mad about it for awhile and the other homeroom mothers are forging a rebellion. But I've thought about it and come up with some satisfactory alternatives... banana bread, pumpkin and carrot muffins, cheese the kids can cut with mini cookie cutters. It doesn't sound quite as much fun as decorating cookies but far better than the vegetable tray the school board suggested.

I remember thinking things would settle down when school started and as far as my job goes, that is certainly true. But in complete honesty, our after-school schedule is out of control and needs some serious adjustment. My husband is at the end of his rope. We have some activity every single day of the week, including Sunday, and sometimes two or three activities a day. I don't know what we can change but we've got to come up with something.

To make matters worse (for my husband at least) our dog is being a real jerk. Last night he woke up in the middle of the night and just started going to the bathroom on the door. He didn't whine to go out, he didn't try to wake us up, he just went. Justin already dislikes the dog with deep intensity - he generally thinks animals are filthy creatures - but puts up with him (kind of) for the rest of us. But this episode really really made him mad and combine that with his general state of exhaustion from running to and fro every evening, ack, he needs a vacation. The fact that I am the one who is soon getting a weekend away is only going to compound the problem.

In the meantime, I am trying to make the house be as calm as possible, run as smoothly as possible... ha! Five minues after every one comes in, chaos reigns again. Such is life at this stage in our lives.

Monday, October 1, 2007