Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just what's not to love about this?  The white dane is blind.  The merle is his seeing-eye-dog. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Random Things in Photo Form

I like flowers.  These were a nice addition to brighten the kitchen in the post surgery window.
And, bonus!  They are still alive!  

Lids.  One of the smartest things I have EVER done in  my career as a mother is let my children collect trash.  Well, not all trash.  Lids, specifically.  We have hundreds of lids in cool bins and they use them for everything from horse tanks to animal fishtanks.  They make great manipulatives for teaching math, awesome paint reservoirs, perfect little pallets for painting itty-bitty projects.  Collecting lids was a really, really good idea. 

Middle is happy.  Well, happi-ER.  She got clearance this week to swing bars, so she gets to DO something at the gym . . . other than endless time on the elliptical, stretching & strength.  I picked her up on Tuesday and she was swinging giants (thank the Gods, she hadn't lost it).  On top of it, John Orozco was at the gym.  He's in town with the Kellogg's Tour of Champions and he stopped by to make some dreams come true.  He signed her sweatshirt and she was on cloud nine. 

Mimi wore Little's underwear to school on Wednesday.
Long. Awkward.  Pause. While you think about that. 

Dear Costco, If you fill the kiddie area up with stuff, my child has to either (1) stay with you in the store or (2) ride on the end like you keep telling me NOT to do.  I like her on the end.  She think the rumble strip is fun.  This is pre-surgery, by the way.  I'm not lifting.  I swear, I'm not.  

Isn't this spider cool?  This is Charlotte.  She got the bomb-diggity spot in our yard.  She comes down every night to chomp what's in the net, and spends the rest of the day up under the eve of our kitchen bay window.  The net is gonna look so cool with the first frost.  It's right outside the kitchen and we've had so much fun watching this spider! 

Inquiring minds want to know.  I want to know, but I really can't find the answer.
Why do some trees (this one is our Maple in the front yard) have a single branch that turns color long before the rest of the tree?   Someone please comment and tell me. 

It's official . . . .

. . . . I'm the mother of a teenager.  Note to self:  sending her a Dora card on her birthday every year did not work to keep her little and young.  Oh, no.  She's a teen.  But not a terrible teen.  She's a terrific teen.  Terrific, for sure . . . .

Drumroll, please. 
Here she is . . Big.  Now Thirteen. 
Oh, yea, welcome to the wonderful world of orthodontics. 
I'm pro-ortho all the way, especially in kids where you can use the growth of their jaw and mouth to prevent costly and lengthy adult oral appliances later.  

We're 6 weeks in to ortho with Big.  She's broken two brackets already. 
Awesome.  But that's another blog.  This is her birthday, for Pete's sake. 

Look, I'm sidetracked already.
Check out this awesome french fishtail that I wind into a conch shell looking bun.
It holds all day and all night and looks perfectly messy.
I should have been a beautician. 

Happy birthday breakfast muffin.
We're cool like that. 

Ooh.  I let the little siblings go ape shit in her room with birthday banners,
streamers & a portable helium tank.  Here's what they did in only 40 minutes. 

Happy birthday to you . . .
Happy birthday to you  . . .
Happy birthday dear Big Kid,
Happy birthday to you! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday, Monday, la la lalalah.

Or perhaps it should be blah-la, blah-la-la.

So.  It's Monday.  And I have some massive catching up to do.  Massive catching up.  My in-basket is full to the brim.  Overflowing.  Over-friggin'-flowing.  But I'm blogging instead.  As is my style when I have a scattered brain, I shall make a list.  Here are the things rattling around in the forefront of my mind.

1.  Anyone remember my rants about FlexSpending last year?  Yeah. I'm STILL trying to sort that shit out.  Bad word.  Bad word.  It's definitely been more of a pain in the ass than it's been worth this year.  And now, with Middle's fractured back and bills beginning to arrive for medical miscellany including a $580 MRI, I could really use that flex money that we so wisely set aside.  Ah, if only it were available and hadn't been taken from the wrong calendar year.  Grrr.  Hiss.
2.  Surgery.  I had surgery on Thursday.  It went well.   I think.  Obviously, I was out cold, but it really hasn't been that bad.  Yes, there is pain, but in my most honest moments, it's just a different kind of pain -- not really any worse than the every day pain I was experiencing before.   I had a partial hysterectomy.  My awesome doctor was able to salvage both of my ovaries.  He's awesome like that, plus he didn't want to pay for laser hair removal of my Mexican-teenage-boy-moustache if he had to take both ovaries, too.  Saving the ovaries was a miracle since they were infested (yes, infested) with ginormous cysts.  So, I'm on to a life with no uterus .  . .
3.  Middle's back is still broken.  Yes, it's been a full month.  We've been through the waiting game.  She is climbing the walls.  Meets are truly torturous hell.  She desperately wants to go and be part of it all, but not being in her competition leo and taking part in everything is a very painful reminder of all the things she cannot do.  I am doing my level best to embrace the life lesson.  Still, I have to admit, "this sucks."
4.  Big turns 13 this week.  Officially.  Thirteen.  Really?  Am I that old?  I guess I'm old enough to have no uterus, so that's old enough to have a teenager.  Still, ee-gads.
5.  Fall festival at school is still consuming me.  I have a lot  (A LOT) of work to do for it.  I'll start again today.  I needed a few days of nothingness post surgery.
6.  Meals.  Friends are bringing meals.  That is really, really helpful.  It's one of those things that I didn't really realize the value of until . . . . and now every chance I get to participate in an "I'll bring you a meal" program, I jump on it . . . cause it sure is nice!
7.  Hospital water pitchers are cool.
8.  Middle.  Room make-over for her birthday.  Start thinking.  Go.
9.  Holy cow . . it's almost October.  That means Christmas is right around the corner.  Panic is nearly setting in.
10.  The time goes so fast.  I have to go pick up Mimi.  Yes, I'm safe to drive.  Fear not.  I'd walk, but it's kind of far .  . . and I'm actually not sure I can make it there and back.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm falling to pieces . . . .

. . . something happened when I turned 33.  I know it was thirty-three.  I just remember the year.  Suddenly, I felt achy and old and tired.  Not me.  I thought I had a thyroid problem.  But no.  It was nothing medical, just a redefined new normal for me.

And now, I think it's happening again.

Partly.  And probably, I'm just a little unsettled right now.

I'm having surgery tomorrow.  I really don't want to, however, I know it's necessary and I keep clinging to the silver lining and the "things will be better when it's over" line.  Still . . .  the simple truth remains. I don't want to do a bowel prep.  I don't want to have parts ripped from me, regardless of whether or not I really need them anymore.  I don't want to feel groggy and in pain.  I just don't want to.

To add insult to injury, I tweaked my back on Monday.  The kind of thing that just hurts . . . all over achy, difficult to change positions, can't get comfortable, and it makes me kind of cranky.  Damn.  And because I'm having surgery tomorrow, I can't take ibuprofen or naproxyn to help with pain.  So, I'm hobbling around trying to make it through the day with no pain meds or something left on board from the night before.  Ick.  Yuck.  Blah.

Suffice it to say, I'll be glad when it's over.

Planning this ginormous Fall Festival at school is on my plate and there is A LOT to it.  Like, holy crap, A LOT.  It's consuming me

Work . . . . heavy sigh.  Just a heavy sign.  It's so good and so bad all at the same time.  That's all I can say.  And give another heavy, long, sign.

Kids are great . . . kids are great . . . kids are great . . . . I think they are keeping me from truly falling to pieces right now.  Thank God for the direction and tasks and busyness that they provide.  Just thank God.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Last Thing . . .

Last Family Vacation . . . . We did Orlando, Florida in mid-June.  Disney, Universal Studios & the whole 9-yards.  It's good to have checked that box, but it wasn't our cup of tea and we likely won't opt for a Disney-type vacation again.

Last Thing I Cooked . . .  Well, there's a lasagna in the oven right now, but I didn't cook it.  I just unwrapped it.  I am making the breadsticks that are going with it, though.  Cooking and baking are different to me.

Last Game I Played  . . . Mimi is wild about card games right now, so every day, I play at least 100 games of Go Fish, Old Maid or War.  She's gonna be great at poker and I've started teaching her basics.

Last Time I Took Public Transportation . . .  Uh, the light rail.  Denver.  Probably two years ago.

Last Splurge . . . We've been on a complete spending freeze, so my last splurge was probably during that family vacation to Orlando.  I guess I splurged on school supplies, but I really thought Mimi needed a new box of crayons, too.  They were 24 cents, and I hardly call that a splurge.

The Last Ball Game . . .

Finally!! A picture with Sox.  The kids have practically been stalking him all season . . . wanting pictures and autographs.  Middle wanted to do a handstand on the dugout for a free t-shirt.  He is so fun to watch and has one bodacious bootie wiggle!  Check out Mimi's panicked get-me-away-from-him look!

The last ball game of the summer is sort-of a sad event for me.  I really like ball games.  Is that weird for a chick?  Anyway, over Labor Day weekend, we had tickets for two . . . the last night game where the Avengers were assembling and the last day game, on Labor Day. 

The night game was awesome.  Super fun.  I was bummed that Tulo and Giambi weren't playing, but we still had a really good time and the fireworks were Ahhh-mazing.  Absolutely amazing.

The last day game was HOT.  Holy hot.  The kind of hot that makes the air get stuck in your throat.  It was almost a two-snow-cone game for me and the kids.  Which means it was much, much more than a two beer game for daddy.  Combine beer with ball game and daddy and "happy daddy" made an appearance.  Happy, tipsy, borderline drunk daddy was hilarious and one of the kids even said, "was daddy like this when you guys were dating?"  Funny.

Anyhoo . . . . after the game, all the spectators are allowed on the field, which I think is SO stinkin' cool.  Just to stand in the batter's box or go all the way out to centerfield and look IN toward the stadium is such awesome perspective.  So we did . . .

Hot, hot, hot.  We all look a mess, but it was super-fun!! 

It's a long way from way out here!! That's one heck of an arm . . . 

Big planking in the middle of centerfield.  Nice. 

Oh Boy . . .

Could life get any crazier?  Be any busier?

I'm working on coordinating the main fundraiser at the elementary school.  It's absolutely crazy . . . lots of little things that I'm just hoping and praying come together for a perfect autumn night.  Hoping.  Praying.  Work is absolutely nutty right now.  Busy, busy, busy.

Big broke another bracket.  Seriously.  I think our orthodontist needs better glue.  Second one.  Already.  The girl has only had braces for a month.  And it's not like she's munching down on hard candy, carmel corn & gummy bears.  It's salad, for the love of Pete.

Middle.  Ah, Middle.  Broken back.  To be continued.

Little.  Thank Heavens for stability and predictability.  It's him, through and through.

Mimi.  Started school.   She's all kinds of big now.  Very independent.  Very full of herself.  Very worldly and knowledgable.  She'll be over-preaperd when kindergarten time rolls around next year.  She just will be.

I've been (cough, cough) sick again.  Allergies.  Then a head cold.  Then a chest cold.  It's hanging around.

MOTH.  Hurt his back.  He's been hobbling around, complaining very little but silently suffering in a very visible way.  Poor guy.  Three bad backs in one house.  It's a sad month around here.

I have pictures to post from this summer, when I have time to sit and catch up.  Right now, I just want to keep my head above water.  Ten days until surgery.  I'm getting a bit nervous.

Two hours until I pick up kids today -- early because they all have dentist appointments.  Two hours.  And I still need a shower and a workout.  Might not get it all done today.  Sad, sad, sad.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Granny Square Washcloth, to Crochet

Random.  I know.  But I really like this pattern and I'm afraid I'm gonna lose it if I don't put it somewhere safe.

Blogging has become so much more than it used to be.  It's also my gigantic digital filing cabinet.


5 mm; size 8 or size needed for gauge

Gauge:  13 dc and 6 1/2 rows = 4 inches

Ch 5. Join with sl st to form a ring.
1st rnd:  ch 3 (counts as dc). {3 dc. [ch 2. 4 dc]} 3 times in the ring.  ch 2.  join with sl st to top of ch 3.  2nd rnd:  ch 3 (counts as dc)  1 dc in each of next 3 dc {2 dc.  ch 2.  2 dc} in next ch-2 space.  * 1 dc in each of next 4 dc {2 dc ch 2. 2 dc} in each ch-2 space.  repeat from * twice more.  join with sl st to top of ch 3.
3rd to 8th rnd: ch 3 (counts as dc) * 1 dc in each dc to next ch-2 space. {2 dc.  ch 2.  2 dc} in each ch-2 space.  repeat from * three times. 1 dc in each dc to end of rnd.  Join with sl st to top of ch 3.
9th rnd:  ch 1.  1 sc in each dc around, having 3 sc in corner ch-2 spaces.  join with sl st to 1st sc.  finish off.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

A green belt . . . with a black stripe . . .

My son thinks he can be a black belt by the time he's in 6th grade, if he tests every cycle between now and then.  And guess what?  He's totally right.  Here he is at last testing . . . . my goodness, he looks little.