Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nearing Year's End

Well, I guess December hasn't been meant to be a blogging month for me.  I'd chalk it up to holiday craziness, except there really wasn't any.  I guess, like many this year, I just wasn't "feeling it" so much.  Anyhow, hopefully I'll have a more in depth look at the year and my thoughts on it tomorrow.  Today I just want to try and catch up on the goings on since Christmas, and there've been several.
Saturday after dropping Gak off at work, Boo and I traveled down to Ikea to meet up with Cybele.  The roads were kinda ick, it was raining and cold and gray.  But, Ikea was doing a free breakfast, so that's a plus!  The best part was getting to see Cybele for the first time in many years.  I'm not sure exactly when the last time we got together was, which is sad.  We sat and ate and talked and laughed for almost 2 hours.  Boo was a very good, very cute little boy through all of this.  No, I don't have any pictures. *sigh*.  Cybele is doing well and is about to head out on another adventure for work this spring/summer.  I'm sure it'll be interesting and she'll have a lot of fun, but it sounds like a lot of work too.  Hopefully after she gets back, maybe the end of September, we'll take the train down to DC for the day and hang out.  That way Gak will get a chance to meet her too.  Cybele really hasn't changed a whole lot over the years, she's still my speed-talking wonderful friend.
Sunday was a bit of a cranky day for Boo.  I'm not sure why, but he was just a little off.  I'm thinking the events of the past few days were still a bit overwhelming to him, and the lack of nap on Friday and Saturday was still looming.  (He didn't really nap Saturday either, only about 20-30 minutes in the car on the way home from Ikea...)  We eventually got him to nap a bit, which was good for everyone involved.
The best part of the day is the fact that Amma came up in the afternoon to watch Boo, since she was going to be spending the night and watching him all day Monday, so Gak and I could go to the movies and dinner.  My gift to Gak this year was $20 to the Rave movie theater.  We went and saw Avatar in 3D.  It was a wonderful movie.  I've since seen/read some comments saying how it's nothing but a tree-hugging, humans are evil, Bush and the Iraq war is evil plot to take over the minds of the youth.  Yeah, OK, so there were a few jabs at the former President.  Yeah, there's a very strong environmental message.  But seriously?  You can't see beyond the present to the deeper messages?  Like Gak said, and also one of the guys who works next door to him said, it's "Dances with Wolves meets Sci-fi."  The deepest message I got out of it was to know who you're dealing with, and that goes for all parties involved.  Don't assume that what "we" want is what "they" want.  Also, in this case, yeah, humans are the evil ones.  They were the "invaders".  I mean, lets's look at Independence Day or War of the Worlds or any other science fiction flick that involves aliens.  They come to Earth, try and take over and we kick their butts.  In this case, humans go to another world, try to take over and get out butts handed to us.  Does that make humans evil?  No.  Misguided maybe, egotistical, yes, but not evil.  Bah, enough of the soap box, that's not what I'm hear to do this morning.
The effects were spectacular.  The plot captivating.  The characters may have been a bit shallow and one-sided, but that's OK.  I would have loved to see some more "behind the scenes" story, but then the thing would have been about 10 hours long.  I'd love to see the "book" for this that can go into all the background and the inner struggles and flesh out the characters more.  I think movie characters, purely by the time limits placed on them, end up being shallow no matter what.  We don't have the luxury of spending several hundred pages reading their inner thoughts and seeing history through their eyes on the movie screen like we would with a book.  In short, this is one movie I would gladly pay to see in the theater again, and I don't say that very often at all.
Monday Boo played with Amma all day and yesterday he got to go over to Aunt Kat's and play with his cousins Zoe, Mel and Ant.  Kat had to work, but Grammy was there and so was Uncle Andy since his store is closed on Tuesdays.  Today is actually the only day that Boo will be in day care this week, since Gak has off tomorrow (I don't *sigh*).  This means that next week will be really tough for him.  I feel for the ladies, I really do.

Due to some things both at home and work I've been dealing with "I'm a failure" a lot the last several days.  I know you'll say I'm not because I've got a great husband and a terrific son and I've got my job and all that stuff.  But, I'm definitely far from the best I could be.  I mean, there's no such thing as perfect, but there is a lot closer then where I am right now.  I think a lot of it is that I'm feeling very overwhelmed by a lot of things.  I've never been a good house keeper, and I've more than let that get away from me.  We're winding down the year and heading towards annual reviews and I'm just having a hard time seeing the positives of my year at work.  I haven't been the best Momma I can be to my son (or at least I feel that way).  Maybe I'm just saying that because he's going through a "not eating anything" week.  Or at least not eating anything "good" other than fruit and milk.  I realize that I never make enough time for my wonderful and patient husband.  Everyone deserves better from me; work, my mom, my friends and most especially my son and husband... and myself.  I need to treat myself better too.  Will it happen in 2010?  Who knows.  All I know is that I can try and focus on one small thing at a time and not let this thing called life overwhelm me and make me shut down in general. It's going to be tough though, I'm too used to trying to be everything to everyone and failing miserably.

Ok, enough of the downer.  It's time for me to wrap this up, get my butt in gear and out the door.  2 more days this week and a mountain of work to get through before reporting month starts.  I'm so not looking forward to any of this.

Peace to all and may your weekends be good, your family wonderful and your hearts happy.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my friends that celebrate this holiday.  If you don't celebrate this one, or others as well, I hope those have been good as well.  (I've got friends all over the holiday spectrum, so it's easiest to just pick a day and wish everyone well....)
Anyhow, today was a good day.  Last night we went over to Kat's house.  There were only a few people there, including Uncle Joe and Aunt Eileen.  It was nice to have a low-key evening.  Zoe and Boo love each other and love playing together.  That's good, as Boo will be spending the day there on Tuesday since his day care is closed.  Anyhow, we left there pretty late (for me at any rate...) and Boo didn't fall asleep until we were about a block or two from the house, he'd been up and wired and playing hard with Zoe all night.
This means that he actually sleeps in this morning.  Of course, I didn't sleep well and was up by 7:30, but that's OK.  It gave me a little time to piddle around on the computer before Boo woke up.  Boo decided to join the land of the wakeful around 8:30 or so.
I think we got too many things for Boo, he was just so overwhelmed by the sheer number of presents to open.  By the end of the day he was delegating and handing things to people to open for him.  We got him about 6 or 7 different things and he got lots and lots of clothes and some books and toys from the Oklahoma half of the family.  We really love everything they sent us.  Thank you!!
Gak got me a new game for my DS, a small rice cooker we'd looked at and thought about a few times in the past. (We love rice, but it's such a pain to deal with on a week night.... I do wish this one had a delayed start, but it'll be great as it stands.)  Boo got me a book and a back massager thing, which will be nice once I get the batteries in it.  I got Gak a gift certificate to the movies, which we're actually going to use this coming weekend because Amma is coming up to watch Boo all day Monday anyhow.  I can't wait to actually have a date with my husband!  I think the last time was for his birthday..... and that was September and too long ago now.
Anyhow, after presents we had a nice breakfast of gingerbread pancakes (from an Archer Farm's mix I got at Target, super yummy!) and sausage.  Boo surprised the heck out of me and ate almost an entire pancake all by himself!  (He loves spice wafers and I can usually get him to eat a little pancake, so this was a hit.)  Then it was down to my parents' house.
We had a good day with my parents.  Amma and PopPop were thrilled as ever to see their grandson.  And he was very happy to see them as well.  We all exchanged a few more gifts, books from PopPop, book gift cards from Amma and some fun things from Jon and Becca.  I have to say, I think the present to Boo and I from Jon and Becca is my favorite of the season.  It is something I've wanted, but just couldn't afford to do for myself.  They gave me gift certificates to the Upper Bucks YMCA so I can sign Boo and I up for a baby and me swim class.  I only remember mentioning it once or twice as something I'd like to do, but apparently, they agreed it was a wonderful idea and gave me a way to make it happen.  Especially after Monday's fun in the pool, I think Boo is just about at the age to really get a lot out of this.  I have to figure out when the next sessions are and see if there are any openings in the Saturday morning class.  It'll be nice, not only to get some one-on-one time with my son, but to also meet some other parents of kiddos about the same age that are local.  Some days I feel a little adrift, since all my friends have kids that are older than Boo, most of them at least 7 years older (Nik is only 18 months older, but I don't see Ed of Buffie often.)  I really can't begin to thank Jon and Becca enough.  It is really touching.  Especially with the way everything is right now.  I'm so truly lucky to have the brother I do and he's really lucky to have found someone as wonderful as Becca.  I miss them both.
Anyhow, it was a good, low key day at Amma and PopPop's.  There are a few things that are lurking and nagging in the back ground, making their presence known throughout the day.  I don't feel like talking about them yet, but I'm sure I will at some point.  Boo didn't nap, but he fell asleep within a couple of miles of leaving for home.  Hopefully he'll sleep well tonight.
Tomorrow Gak has to head back to work (he had yesterday off, which was wonderful).  It's a normal Saturday, so that's not too bad.  Boo and I get to go on another adventure though.  One of my closest friends from jr/sr high school is back in town.  I haven't seen her since high school, or maybe college graduation.  So, tomorrow morning after dropping Gak off ant work, Boo and I are going to head down to Ikea to meet up with Cybele.  I've missed her and I can't wait to catch up.  It sounds like she's done a lot of amazing things the last several years and I can't wait to hear all about them.  My life has been pretty plain in comparison, but I'm happy with it more days than not.  Anyhow, I'm really looking forward to catching up, I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.
You'll have to make do with the one picture at the top of this post for now.  I have others to post to Flickr as well as some video, but the video isn't edited and I'm too tired to do anything with it tonight.  I'll try and get it up tomorrow at some point.

Peace to all and may your holidays be happy and your families (by blood or choice) be awesome.

Monday, December 21, 2009


One word can sum up this weekend, and that is snow.  We didn't get any where near the amount that my mom or Philadelphia did, but we got enough that it'll be around for a while.
Saturday by noon time I thought that the forecasters had blown it for this area again.  The 10-12 inches that they had been talking about the night before had yet to materialize, in fact, there was barely a coating down and it had stopped!
Of course, I open my big mouth too soon.  I had called mom and they already had a good 4 inches or more down on the table, and they weren't getting hit as hard as Philly was.  Shortly after talking with Mom, the skies opened up and the snow started falling.  And it fell all through the night and stopped by early morning some time.  I think we ended up somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8 inches.  That's plenty for me!
Saturday, figuring the snow was going to start early up here like they'd said on the news, Boo and I didn't go anywhere, even though Poppa had to go in to work.  It turns out we could have gone to do the laundry with ease after all, but that's hind-sight for you!  Poppa worked, Boo and I had a 'snow day' in our pajamas.
Sunday, in the middle of the afternoon, we were all getting a little itchy to go somewhere, or at least get the car dug out.  The amazing thing is that we really didn't have to do much to clear off the car.  It had all either blown away or had melted off by the time we got down there.
We ended up going over to Kat's for a bit.  Zoe spent a few minutes trying to teach Boo how to play in the snow and to get him into it.  He went along with it for a little bit, until he slipped and fell in face first.  That was the end of that, so we retreated into the warm house.
Today was another grand adventure.  Boo and I were supposed to head down yesterday evening to Amma's, but PopPop wasn't feeling very good, so we didn't.  Instead, we went down first thing this morning.  I think I hit every red light between here and there and all the drivers were going 25, even though the roads were all clear, some just a little damp.  You see, today was her water exercise group's Christmas breakfast.  Since I had off, Mom invited Boo and I down.  We decided to go swimming as well.  Unfortunately, I only got to take Boo into the water for about 20 minutes.  Which, is probably a good thing anyhow.  After a few minutes of not being happy, Boo quickly warmed up to the idea of the really huge bath tub and started splashing away.  He wouldn't dream of letting go, but that's OK, he doesn't need to yet.  After the pool time, breakfast was good.
The rest of the day was spent going to Trader Joe's and then hanging out with Amma and PopPop for a while.  PopPop was feeling much better by the time we got there around noon.  This is a good thing and the boys enjoyed their time together.
I just wish today had been a good eating day for the boy.  Here's what he ate today.  10 oz of milk, 2 or 3 "adult" sized bites of pancake, a strawberry fruit bar and most of a packet of Teddy Ghrams.  He had some cereal, some tortillia chip strips, a spice wafer, a little more milk some raisins and some mandarin oranges and about 1/12 of a grilled cheese sandwich at Amma's.  Tonight for dinner he had a container of yogurt, 2/3 of a chicken nugget, some more cheerios and  a Gerber chewy granola bar.  So, he got plenty of fruit and milk into him today, and even some grains, but not much other protein.... at all. *sigh*  I wish I could get him to eat something other than "snack" food.... Oh well.  Some days are better than others.

I think I'm done rambling.  I've got to get the trash together and then I'm going to head to bed shortly, after reading a few pages.  Gak has to be in to work by 10 this week, so not much "morning" for the boys.  Oh well.  I've got enough errands and stuff to keep me hopping.  Oh, and I re-learned the lesson that Boo cannot give up naps yet.  We'll just leave it at that.

Peace to all and may your days be fun, the pool be warm and the snow not too inconvenient.

P.S. About Friday's entry... I was feeling bitter and cranky.  I don't begrudge my co-worker her vacation time in the least.  The root of my grumpiness is the unpaid part of FMLA, that whole bill needs a good overhaul.  We don't need to go as overboard as some places like Canada and England, and we shouldn't just limit it to family leave either... there are all kinds of emergencies and very good reasons why a person would need to take 4 or 5 weeks off (or more) without fear of loosing their job or their house for not being able to pay... But that's a whole different soap box which I really don't want to get on right now, I'm too tired to make my argument and have it make any kind of sense.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Well, it's been another week and no posting from me.  Yes, it's been a fairly uneventful week at work.  Same stuff, different days.  I should be thankful for that.  But.... *shrug*  Just not motivated.
One thing that bothers me, and I didn't realize how much it bothered me until yesterday is how unfair maternity leave really is in my company.  And believe me, I would never want to be in my coworker's shoes, but....
Let me see if I can explain and have it make sense.  One of the women I work with has been going through some pretty horrible cancer treatment this past year.  This, I wouldn't envy her in the slightest.  She had started on chemo last fall and had surgery in January.  She only returned to work part time the beginning of November and full time just a week or two ago.  But... she got to keep ALL her vacation time and we've been trying to schedule it, as she works in parts.
I so totally don't want to feel bitter about this.  I mean, she's been through hell, she deserves her vacation time.  But, on the same hand, I had to use my vacation time in order to stay home with my son for more than 8 weeks if I wanted to get paid.  Sure, the government "allows" me to take off for up to 12 weeks without fear of the company firing me.  And I'm not saying that we shouldn't stand behind people like my friend who are fighting this beast but.... It's hard for me to be happy about her vacation time when I feel like I got shafted and had to come back to work at 10 weeks or not get paid.  I mean, I don't think she was getting her full pay check this past year, but still.
Am I a bad person to feel this bitter?  Am I a bad person not to be glad that she was able to come back and actually take her vacation?  I feel like I should be happy for her, but I just can't be.  I just get caught up in how unfair it is to new parents.  And I'm a lucky one!  I had vacation time to use.  I had "short term disability" coverage for 8 weeks!  (Only because I had a C-section though, only 6 weeks if he'd been born vaginally...)  I mean, I can understand companies, especially in today's economy, not wanting or able to pay a person leave and have to have a temp cover their position.  Thing is, there wasn't a temp covering my position (or my friend's... actually, that became me in June when I switched to my dual role....).  Of course, the mess that happened with my position and my department while I was on leave is a whole different kettle of fish.  I mean, as much as I'd love to have taken the entire first year of Boo's life off, or working part time, even if it meant getting paid less, I wouldn't have.  I would have liked to have taken 6 months maybe, or at least more than 10.5 weeks!
So, despite the fact that today is my last day of work for the week and I'm on vacation next week, I'm feeling a bit bitter and angered at "the way things work".  Not that I'd want a horrible illness like my friend had to go through, because I know it was much tougher on her than any work week ever will be, but I just can't help feeling cheated in some small way.

Well, I've got to get dressed and get my butt out the door.   Hopefully by 4 I'll be in a better mood.
Peace to all and may your world be "right" from time to time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Boring Week, Busy Weekend

OK... so it's been almost a week since I posted.  No, nothing tragic has happened to keep me away from the keyboard.  But, other than this weekend, not much great has happened either.  It's been just another ordinary week in this ordinary family.  Well, about as ordinary as ever.
Gak worked full days Thursday and Friday and let me tell you, Thursday when we dropped Boo off at day care in the morning, he so wasn't awake.  The poor boy was standing there with the most confused look on his face, even as the car pulled away.  He was fine later, but you could tell he wasn't awake yet.
Wednesday was a crapo day weather-wise.  It had started out as snow over night and then turned into rain.  When I left, was saying "light rain".  If that was "light rain" then Katrina was a mild hurricane.  I admit, I was leaving in the dark, and I hate driving in the dark in the rain, but, it was a very crappy drive in.  Other than that, it was a normal work week for both of us.  Gak's beginning to get to the hectic holiday shipping time, but that's a good thing.
This weekend was all the fun stuff.
Friday at lunch I ran down to the mall and ToysRUs and finished up the Christmas shopping for the boy and bought some Lands End pants that were on sale 40% off, or was it 50%?  Anyhow, they were $20 and they fit well enough.  I mean, they're not perfect, but since I'm in desperate need of pants for work and they were only $20, I call it "good enough".  It turns out that I'm going to return the "big" gift we got Boo.  One, he doesn't really need it and, two, it's kinda neat and he'd probably get some good use out of it, but it doesn't seem like it'll be that long-lived for $30.  So, we've spent about $70 on him for Christmas, which is a little more than twice what we've spent on any one else on average.  I have no problems with that, as there are "two" of us buying him gifts.  I've got 3 packages that I need to get ready and get into the mail.  One headed for California, one to Oklahoma and one to Canada!  I really hope they all enjoy their presents when they get there.  It was especially challenging this year with the budget restrictions.  I had fun with it though.  I still need to get Gak's gift(s), but I think I know what I'm going to get him... finally.  And to figure out something nice, but small, for mom and dad.  Yes mom, I know just having us come down for the day is more than enough, but... I don't get you things often, so let me?  Besides, if it really bothers you, think of it as a "thank you" for spending your Monday afternoons with my boy.  (Yes, I know you'd do it no matter what, but that doesn't mean I can't say Thanks!)
Anyhow, that was Friday... and I think I wandered off topic there for a bit, but I'm a little tired.
Last night, Amma came up here to watch Boo for the evening so Gak and I could go to my company's holiday party.  It was quite a bit of fun really.  I like most of the people I work with and most of those who I'm not so fond of weren't coming.  It was a "casino night" with poker, black jack, roulette and craps.  Instead of using real money, you were given $1000.00 Company Dollars to play with and you could turn the chips in for raffle tickets for prizes.  Gak and I managed to win the most without buying more chips, so we got a gift certificate for some free stuff from the business that ran the games at the party.  Overall it was quite an enjoyable weekend and both Gak and I enjoyed ourselves.
Today was a lot of running around.  This morning Boo woke up at 7 of course.  This is because his Momma didn't get to sleep until almost midnight.... and didn't sleep all that well either.  Anyhow, after a morning of fiddling around the house we finally get our act together and go over to the Q-mart for a little shopping and people watching, then to the grocery store.  What was nice at the grocery store is I ran into my Ex's mom.  I really do like her and enjoy catching up with her.  (I still like my Ex as a person, but we never hang out any more, and that's OK.  I miss my friends I had through him and enjoy catching up with them when I can.)  Then we came home and both boys took a nap while I fiddled around on the computer.
The real highlight of today was the fact that we were going down to PopPop and Amma's for Hanukkah tonight.  Tonight was the 3rd night.  I love lighting the candles and listening to the prayers.  Hanukkah is a wonderful holiday.  And Boo got his first present of the season.  He got the Leap Pad AlphaPet Explorer from his PopPop and Amma.  I had shown it to Amma a few weeks ago on a Target trip and had shown it to Boo Thanksgiving week.  He seemed to enjoy it.  He can work all the buttons, but he doesn't quite understand enough to "play" the games.  He loves hitting the buttons and making it do things and he will grow into this toy and it will be entertaining for quite some time, even after he masters the alphabet.
So, it was a normal, almost boring week with a fun filled weekend.
This week looks to be more of the same.  Next week I have vacation time!  I'm so excited about that.
Anyhow, I'd better get to bed if I want to make it in by 7 like I'm supposed to tomorrow.
Peace to all and may your holidays be happy and full of fun and laughter.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Lazy Weekend

OK, so it's been a bit since I posted.  I'd love to say that it's because we've been having grand adventures and I just didn't have time to post anything.  I'd be lying.
Friday was good in the fact that it was the end of the week.  I'm still fighting tooth and nail to find my job interesting and actually pay attention to it.  It is interesting, but there are so many non-work related things I'd rather be doing that I just don't care enough about work.  Oh well.  I've got to get over this and fast though.
Friday evening was the tree lighting at the little triangle "park" right near the house.  This meant traffic was all kinds of blocked off and crazy.  Therefore, instead of picking Gak up and coming home from dinner, I took the sheet of Friendly's coupons that just came in the mail and we went out for dinner.  Boo actually ate very well.  He ate about 3/4 of his grilled cheese sandwich, a few fries and about 1/3 of his ice cream.  Of course, I finished off his ice cream for him..... Gak would have but had a bigger sundae to begin with, one of their lava cake sundaes.  It looked yummy but way too much.
Anyhow, Saturday we got the first snow of the season.  Boo and I didn't leave our PJ's all day.  Nope, we snuggled and played and he napped and I played all day.  He did spend a good bit of time standing on the radiator (with me right behind him) watching the snow and the traffic and the people.  I now really need to wash the windows, I think he left about a quarter inch of boy fingerprints and spit on them.  It is so worth it though.
Friday evening he was feeling a bit off.  He was a little warm, but not a real fever.  I figure he's fighting a bit of a cold from school off, dealing with the H1N1 vaccine and is a little out of sorts due to the teeth coming in.  That's part of why we didn't go anywhere Saturday and made Gak drive himself.  Saturday night was a long night because Boo just didn't sleep well.  Twice in the middle of the night (well, 2 am and 6 am) he woke up not happy.  Both times I pulled him into our bed for a little bit and he spent 45 minutes to an hour just kicking me.  The second time Gak gave up and got up with him.  Luckily Boo took a nap fairly early and (amongst other things) I was able to get the laundry and grocery shopping done while he napped for at least part of the time.  It's kinda sad that going and doing laundry without my boy is seen as a relaxing, enjoyable thing.  Oh well.

So, that's what we've been up to.  Last night I crocheted a "mitten keeper" for Boo's mittens.  I'm more worried about me loosing his mittens than him loosing them!  It's also too cold for him not to have them right now.  I love fleece material.  I had bought him a new hat and mitten set (couldn't find any plain mittens that would be very warm without being too big) that are fleece.  He didn't really need the hat, but I figure having an extra around is never a bad idea.  And it was an ear-flap one that velcros at his chin, another good thing.  I'm sure everyone remembers either those little metal and ribbon clip things that we used to use on our mittens or gloves to keep them attached to our jackets or have seen mittens tied together with a long string.  Well, I decided to crochet one for Boo's mittens.  Because they're fleece, I was able to just make a small slit in the fabric, join my yarn with a couple of single crochets, chain a very long chain, make a few more single crochets at the other end and slip stitch back along the chain to the original end to make the thing a little stronger.  Yes, I made sure to measure before starting and the "rope" is more than long enough.  His jacket is one of those where you can unzip the lining and wear it separately.  So, to prevent getting tangled up with clothes and to avoid being too annoying, I threaded the mittens between the layers.  So now, if he decided to ditch his mittens for whatever reason, they won't go too far.

Well, I've been rambling on long enough.  I've got to start getting my butt ready and out the door.

Peace to all and may your weekends be comfortable and the season be merry.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Healthy Boy!

Well, today was Boo's 18-month doc visit (or as Charlie at work called it, his scheduled PM visit...).  It went fairly well, screaming aside.  It was kind of funny.  We get to the doctor's office and he happily watches the fish in the fish tank for a bit while we wait and is overall happy boy, if a little shy.  Then we get called back to the exam rooms.  As soon as we get to the door between the exam room and the waiting room, he just melts down.  I think he's still a little traumatized by the blood draw last week.  I don't really blame him.  That and almost every time we've been to the doctor in the last 18 months, he's gotten at least one shot.
Anyhow, he more or less screamed through the entire taking of his vital stats.  He's 32.5" tall and 24 lb, 6 oz.  That's a 2 lb gain over the last 3 months!  He's right around the 50% mark for both height and weight.  They measured his head, but I don't remember what the measurement was.  Oh well, it was right on track for him.  They also gave us a sheet of questions about what he is or is not doing to do an initial screen for autism.  Needless to say he does not have any of the "symptoms" of autism and is developing very well.  His doctor gave him a clean bill of health.  He got two shots today, the DTaP booster and the first of the two H1N1 vaccines.  I wasn't sure if we were going to do that one.  There's been so much debate back and forth about it.  But, they had it in stock and I figure with him being in day care, I'd rather be safe than sorry.  He'll have to go again in about a month for the second "dose".  They may or may not have it, but I figure half a dose is better than no protection.  (Of course I say this and I haven't received a flu shot in hmm.... 3 or 4 years now and for 2007 and 2008 I was technically in a "high risk" category being pregnant and caring for someone 6 months and under...)
Anyhow, I also noticed this morning that he's finally getting the next two bottom teeth in.  That could explain some of his general crankiness.
I was quite impressed.  I wasn't asked at all about his eating habits, other than reminded that he only needs 2 cups of milk a day (or else it could cause bowel issues/anemia) and that he doesn't need juice at all and only 4 oz at most.  Both of which I try to go by, but it's hard to limit the milk when it's one of the few protein sources I know I can get in him.... and he loves it.  The juice thing isn't so much of an issue at home, but they do give them juice in the afternoons with snack at this age.  No big deal really, just means I don't give him any at home.  He will drink water, but he prefers it at least partially juice.  At least I don't have a problem getting fruit into the boy.  He loves fruit more than almost anything, other than maybe milk.
But, of course his finickiness at eating is causing problems at day care now.  he's "transitioned" to being a "toddler" now.  Or at least, in the one lady's view he has since he willingly either sleeps or rests on his mat at nap time instead of a crib and can feed himself.  The problem is that he doesn't always like what they're serving.  The other problem is that the director can be a bit sticky on this one and her opinion is that "if he's hungry enough he'll just pick it up with his fingers".  Well, Boo is getting much better about touching slimy things, but overall, would prefer not to.  He eats well with a spoon, as evidenced by the below photo.

I took this today at breakfast.  Doesn't he look way older than 18 months in this picture?  Anyhow, there's a bit of a struggle that's going on and he may or may not eat much lunch some days at school.  I figure it's OK in the long run, maybe it means he'll actually be more willing to eat dinner for me.  That and he's done this to them before and still eats better for them than for me.  For example, he willingly ate macaroni and cheese today, when I can't even think about pasta or rice without him shaking his head and proclaiming "NO!".  I'm sure this will resolve itself in time.  Eventually he'll figure something out that works for him.  I try not to worry, but I do, and all things considered, I'd rather worry about food than have any of the millions of worse things that I could be worrying about.

Well, I think that about does it for the second installment of the 18-month update.  He's growing way too fast, but I'm enjoying every moment.  Well, maybe not every moment, but his cuteness offsets some of the trying things he does.....

I'm off to read a bit before bed.  I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday.

Peace to all and may your checkups go well and life continue to amaze you.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

18 Months!

Where in the world has the time gone??? 18 months ago (yesterday) my beautiful baby boy was born. See that picture over there to the left. Yep. That's when Boo was just hours old, being held by his Poppa. My but he was tiny! At least compared to my running, talking, fun and trouble making little guy I have now. Unfortunately, I didn't get dragon pictures yesterday. (Kat got stuck at work late, so Grammy dropped Zoe off at Gak's work on her way to work and we hung out there and then went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner... and by the time we got home it was bed time...)
There are days I miss the constant snuggling of a newborn. Then I remember that it was just a series of nurse, change, sleep repeat with very little awake time. And none of the fun games and beautiful smiles and heartwarming giggles and belly laughs we have now. These stages come and go so quickly, and I love them all. I wouldn't have missed the newborn stage for anything, nor would I trade this part of toddlerhood away either. (I'll probably say differently as he gets closer to 2 and starts throwing more fits because his language and his needs/wants don't match up and he doesn't want to hear "no" yet again.)
Tomorrow we have his 18-month appointment. It should be a fairly good one. I'm pretty sure he gets more shots, and we'll get the results of his bloodwork back. Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that last week. Back at his 12 month appointment they do a standard test for iron and for lead. Well, the led was fine (none), but the iron was low. We were encouraged to get him to eat more high-iron foods and see if that helped. By 14 months he'd stopped eating anything with beef in it and eating much in general if you remember. Since he'd lost weight and wasn't eating well at his 15 month appointment, we were given a new list of things to try and iron containing vitamins for the boy and a script to get bloodwork done before his 18 month appointment. So, last week while I was on vacation we got that done. Back in June it was just a finger prick to get a small vial of blood. Well, this time it was a full blown stick in his arm. Can I tell you how disturbing it was to see a tourniquet around the tiny little arm of my son? He did very well. He screamed when they stuck him, but he didn't try and twist away or anything, but just sat there crying. I was very impressed with him and the two flabotomists doing the draw. (With little ones the more people the faster and easier it goes.) Hopefully they'll say his iron is back where it should be, and he's gained a good chunk of weight, he's up near 25.5 lb or so, maybe closer to 26. He was 23 back in September.
Anyhow, Boo is thriving. I've lost count of the number of words he has, "ball" being a favorite of the moment, as is "mine". "Eat" will suffice for anything having to do with food... as does "mmmmmm" when he's eating something he enjoys. Most of his talk is still babble and a lot of his "words" probably only Gak and I really understand from context and hearing them all the time. But, at this stage it's not that he's speaking words perfectly that matters, but if he's using something approximating a word for something.
My boy can walk and run with ease. He can roll and throw a ball and even try and "kick" it. It's kinda cute, if he connects it's by pure luck, but it appears he understands the concept. He can climb onto the sofa and his rocking chair and has made a "space" for himself in the corner of the living room. He's formed bonds with people other than Gak, myself and the daycare ladies. He's decided that Zoe is great. He can feed himself with a fork or a spoon if he wants to, although we don't do anything too runny with the spoon, especially without a bib right now. He still only eats a handful of different things for me, but he will eat well at day care. As long as he's getting in one, good, solid meal a day, I'm pretty happy. He'll eat fruit until way after it's a problem, but has decided veggies are ick, unless they're in his soup. (I partially blame myself for that for after he went off the pureed baby food, I haven't been good about offering them again and again....) I really need to get him eating a wider variety, if only for my sanity. But, as my brother reminded me, we both survived (and so did Mom) and we weren't exactly the eaters of everything ourselves. I keep reminding myself that I was about 20 before I really had a variety in my diet and that I did just fine. (And it wasn't until around then that my weight really got out of control... I was a skinny mini until puberty hit and then when I went to college, all hell broke loose....)
I know there are a hundred other "developmental milestones" he's met or surpassed, but I can't think of them right now and it's almost time for me to head out the door. So, my boy is thriving and is in such a cute, fun and wonderful stage. I'm so glad I had last week off with him. Even though he gets trying at times, he's such a wonderful little guy and he just melts my heart with that smile of his or that wonderful belly laugh.

So, on that note, I must wrap this up. I do have a couple of belated birthdays, Ed's was on Saturday and Abi's was yesterday. I did remember to tell them happy birthday on the days.

Peace to all and may your life keep growing and changing.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend Fun

The last few days have been enjoyable. Friday, Boo and I spent all day at home together in our PJ's while Poppa worked from 9-3 and then got two new tires for the truck. Amazingly enough, including the "free" oil change, it came in at the first quote we got, which was about $30 less than the second quote for "if you want the oil change...". And Gak was in and out in very short order. I mean, I'm not thrilled at having to put almost $300 into the truck, but I needed to. This just means that I have no money to spend on my honey this holiday, but I'm sure he'll appreciate the truck being able to stop and not slide all over the road in icky weather. I know I will.
Saturday was a good day and a very good evening. Gak had to work his normal and then we had some friends over in the evening. I'm not sure who all was originally supposed to come over, but we had Kat and Scott and Zoe as well as Joan and Ant and Mel! Yep, Mel's out of the hospital. She got out Thanksgiving morning. Actually, I think I said that in my last post, but I'm too tired to look it up. Anyhow, she seems to be doing well and is very glad to be home again. She's not too happy with her meds, she says they're making her really tired. I can tell she's still worrying and stressing a lot, but I hope she realizes (and I think she just might) that these are big problems and that she can't tackle them all by herself and that there are lots of people who love her and want to help her. We'll see though. It ended up being quite a late (for me) evening, especially as I'd been up early and my sleeping has been worse than usual recently. (Can I tell you I'm so tired of waking up tired and cranky?? I know Gak's tired of it too....)
Anyhow, today Boo and I headed down to Am-ma's and PopPop's for the day. The goal was for Am-ma and I to make most, if not all, of the kids in the extended family's Christmas presents. No, I'm not going to tell you what they are this year, it's a surprise silly! Anyhow, we got 4 out of the 5 made and the 5th one is ready to go. I also got some work done on Michelle's present too. Other than a few more things on Boo's wishlist that we're going to get him and trying to figure out something cheap but wanted for my dear, sweet, wonderful husband, I think I've got things well in hand. Of course, I'm leaving his mom, brother and sister-in-law up to Gak. Oh, wait, I just remembered I have no clue what to do for my brother, Becca or my parents. Oh well. I'm sure I'll come up with something. I've got time. And if you're reading this, it won't be very expensive, but I hope you enjoy whatever I come up with. No, Becca, it probably won't be another scarf, even though you've enjoyed the last two, I think I need to find something a little more creative. *grin*
Anyhow, I just thought I'd ramble on and wrap up the vacation posts. I'm back to work tomorrow, bright and early. I really don't want to go back to work, but, in a way, I'm ready for vacation to be over. Don't get me wrong, I love my boy and love spending lots of time with him, but I either need to have enough time to have a regular routine of activities or whatever, or something part time to get me out of the house.
All I know is that on Tuesday when he goes back to day care, the wonderful ladies will be less than thrilled with his nap schedule. He's napped very well for me this past week, but usually either a short nap mid-morning and a long one in the afternoon, or a 2 to 2.5 hour one from about 11-1 or 1:30. Unfortunately, this will not work with his normal schedule. This isn't going to be pretty. At least he "graduates" into the "toddler" age group and the cost will go down by about $50 a week. That'll come in handy. He's not actually changing rooms yet, as there are only two actual "rooms" where he's at and the preschool age kids are in the upstairs room and the infants and toddlers are downstairs. There are only 2 babies at the moment, so most of the "infants" are soon to be "toddlers" so they're all staying together.
Ok. I'm totally rambling now. I'd better wrap this up and pour myself into bed so I can wake up in the morning.

Peace to all and may your vacations be good and the gatherings fun.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Well, my parents just left, the boy is in bed and the house is quiet. It was a very successful Thanksgiving here. There was a minor coordination, or lack there of, issue when getting the dinner onto the table. The turkey was done earlier than I wanted it to be, there was a minor snafu with the sweet potatoes and just some general chaos, but nothing too major. The food was all delicious and there was plenty of it.
I have no pictures though, I was too busy cooking and then talking with mom and eating, that well... the camera stayed in the living room and I wasn't.
Anyhow, I have so much to be thankful for this year. I have all the normal things like the fact that I still have a job, and one that pays fairly well even, a loving husband and a wonderful son who really rocks our world. I have the above average things like my group of close friends and a family who I love and is there for me when I need them. And, best of all, today Mel came home from the hospital. She's healed in body, but not in spirit. That'll take much, much more time. And a lot of work, by everyone. There is hope, there is love and most importantly, we still have our Mel-bell, my Little Bug (who's bigger than I am now...).
I do wish my brother and Becca could have been here, but I can understand why they're not coming out until this summer some time. I wish Kat had been feeling better and I could have headed over there for a bit after dinner. I wish that Gak's family didn't live so far away and could have joined us. I'm just glad that we had as good a day and as great a family as we do.
Anyhow, I'm off to put on the PJ's and possibly go do a little "hunting" in Norrath.
Peace to all and may your gatherings be happy, the food in plenty and spirits high.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Well, today is my birthday. Yep, another year older and deeper in debt. Well, maybe not deeper in debt, but definitely no less in debt. *sigh* Something to work harder on in the coming year. ...Actually, wait... I paid off my student loan and I haven't missed any truck payments, so there's less debt! Now, if only I could get ahead of the credit mess....
Anyhow, I wasn't going to ramble on about my debt issues... I was going to tell you, at least a little bit, about the day. It has been a good one.
The morning was fairly nice even though Boo woke at 7 instead of sleeping in. Oh well. I also think we'll need to find something else for his breakfasts... I think he's getting tired of yogurt, or at least the banana and vanilla flavors that have been the only ones in stock the last few weeks.
After breakfast we all got cleaned up and ready for our adventure. We were off to the Aquarium down in Camden. It wasn't too bad of a drive and I didn't take any wrong turns. Traffic came to a bit of a stop around Center City, but this is why we left at 9:30 instead of any earlier.
We had a wonderful time at the aquarium. Much better than back in May when it was sooooo packed. There was one or two classes of kids there and a bunch of families. It was quite nice. Boo was much more into the fish this time. I just wish it wasn't so expensive. Thankfully, he's still free until June. Boo also did very well with his puppy dog backpack/leash. Yes, I leashed my son, but it gave him plenty of freedom and let me know exactly where he was and keep him from wandering too far. He spent a good bit of time walking, but also wanted to be carried some and rode in his stroller some. Overall, a good combination.
After exploring the aquarium for a couple of hours, we decided we'd seen everything and it was time to head home.
We didn't head straight home though. We stopped in at IKEA, since it was on the way. They have lots of neat kid things there. We ended up picking up a couple of things for Boo for the holidays, and for cheaper than I'd seen at other places. We also ate lunch there, which was yummy as ever. And pretty cheep too.
Gak surprised me with a birthday cake when I sent him across the street for trash bags. It was quite yummy.
Anyhow, I've got to go log in, a group is forming... and I'd like to be a part of it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not the Way to Start Vacation

I don't know how to write this post, but I need to. I've got a lot of things buzzing around in my head and they need out.
I'm officially on vacation for the week.
Unfortunately, it didn't start off so well.
You see, I spent a good chunk of time in the ER with Joan on Friday night. I had just settled into my PJ's and had gotten Boo to bed a few minutes before when my phone rang. I didn't get it in time since it was halfway across the house, and since I never programmed Joan's new (2 years now) number into my phone, I didn't recognize it. Within about a minute the house phone rang and Gak made it there in time. It was Joan. She was distraught. And then she dropped the bomb shell of the century on me.
"I'm on my way to the ER, Mel tried to slit her wrists."
I honestly don't remember what I said. I remember babbling something about needing to get pants on and actually remembering to ask which hospital. (There are many in the area and she does live about 30 minutes from me.) I change back into my jeans, call Kat to make sure she knew what was up and I was out the door.
The good news is that her friend who lives around the corner has a dad who's a fire fighter/EMT type. The even better news is that it wasn't all that bad physically.
The hard part is that Mel has to be admitted for 72 hours, and the only one allowed to visit is her mom. Nope, even though I'm on the list of allowed visitors, I can't go see her, the only ones allowed are her parents, and that means Joan.
In some ways we should have seen this coming. In many ways, we never would have. She was happy and joking around with her brother and a friend 10 minutes before.
Mel has had to deal with so much in her short life time. Her parents had a very messy split back in 2004, when she was 7. Her dad was the center of her world. Then, back in 2007 early in the year her dad passed away from brain cancer. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it back then. He had remarried and she liked her "step mom", but still, he was her dad. Most girls have a special relationship with their dads.... Then for the past handful of years she's been having to deal with her grandmother's health issues. Joan's mom has been living with them since around the time Joan and George split. Her health has been plumiting steadily the whole time. What's worse is she would be doing so much better if she'd listen to the doctors. There's also a lot of drama involved with anything having to do with Joan's mom. Now, finally, Joan's mom is in an assisted living place, but it's only a handful of blocks away, so the drama continues. Oh, and I'm not sure exactly how much is true and how much is exaggerated, but apparently her school life has been one level of living hell or another.
Mel hates hospitals and doctors with a passion. But she needs them. She needs help to sort out, deal with and process all this drama and angst and betrayal she's been dealt. This is more than just your average teenage issues. It really is heart and soul deep. I knew she was having a tough time, but to talk with her you'd never know exactly how deep the hurt was. Unless it was around when her father passed. Or if you mentioned her grandmother she'd get this pained and exasperated look on her face. (The woman is on oxygen, but continues to smoke... much to Mel's dismay. She's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. She'll get yelled at by her grandmother if she won't like a smoke for her (don't get me started on that!) and yelled at by her mom if she does. She knows she shouldn't, and often wouldn't, but still... it's her grandmother.) If you mentioned school she'd mention a few friends maybe (and she does have a few close ones who are very upset and blaming themselves for some of this... but they shouldn't!) and says she's doing well, and her grades are very good overall (except math, she's struggling there...).
She's upset because she's missed too much school already. She's angry because she can't have her books. She's angry because she hates hospitals and wants to be anywhere else. She's chafing at the rules that have been and will be imposed. Part of her knows it's for her own safety and good, but she hates it none the less.
The only thing I can do is tell her I love her. I can tell her I'm here if she needs me, but I have to be careful not to say that too often or I'll sound like a nag and that I'm prying into her business. If there's one thing a pre-teen/teenager loves it is their privacy. Unfortunately, she won't get much for a while. The best thing I can do really is what I did Friday, and what I tried to do yesterday, be there for Joan. I know we've had our rough spots in the past and there are things we'll never, ever agree on. But that's not the issue. The issue is she's been my friend since I was only a few years older than Mel. And if you know me, you'll know that I will do anything at all for my friends, especially those who are in trouble or are hurting. I'd willingly go to the ends of the earth and back if it could make Mel stop hurting and heal the break in Joan's heart. I know I can't do that, but that doesn't mean I can't do something. Even if it's to just keep leaving little notes to them (and also Ant, who can't be left out of all this as he's lived through the same things and counted on the strength of his sister more than once. They're one of the few sibling pairs who have as close and strong a relationship as my brother and I do, or at least did.... unfortunately we don't talk as often any more.)
I have no idea if this post has made any sense or is well written. It's the junk that's been floating around in my head for the last few days and needs out. I'm angry, I'm hurt, I'm scared, I'm sad, I'm ready to fight, and I'm proud of my closest friends. I say that because of how many dropped what we were doing and came to the hospital, even if it was just to give Joan a hug, or spend a few minutes with Mel when we were allowed to. (She was asking for Scott especially, since they'd just been talking online about an hour or so previous. I think she knew that he was feeling a lot of guilt and anguish over it and wanted to reassure him it wasn't him.) We are Joan's family after all. I mean, her two sisters by blood didn't even bother to show up. Of course, her younger sister I'd never expect to in about a million years, but I had a hair of hope her older sister might. I guess I was right about her after all, I've never had a high opinion of either of them. Joan's the normal one in that family.

Anyhow, I think that's about all I have to say on that. Once I have more information that I can share, I will. Just please, if you're the praying type, please keep Joan, Mel and Ant in your prayers. They need all the help they can get and wouldn't turn it down.

After the shock and the sleep deprivation of Friday passed, I had a fairly good weekend. Well, as good as I could have with the thoughts and worries that were buzzing around in the back ground.
Yesterday I actually managed to get an hour or so worth of nap while Boo slept. I'll tell you, it did me good. The boy actually slept almost 3 hours! (And yes, he did manage to go to bed at an almost normal time too! I love my sleeping boy.) After Gak got off work, he absconded with our son and did some shopping. They went to Best Buy and I got replacement styli for my Nintendo DS (as Gak lost the last one on his trip to Vegas). They also got me the movie Up and the new TSO double CD. I haven't listened to the second one, but I love it. I love the story, which I have to finish reading, and the music is awesome as always. It's not Christmas music, but it seems to be a wonderful tale. Of course, I've got to finish reading it. That's part of the problem with TSO, they write musicals for lack of a better word, not just songs. Of course, this means it takes a few years between projects, but that's OK. I'll gladly wait for this kind of quality. I haven't watched the movie yet. I may try tomorrow, since it'll probably be a little too late to watch the whole thing when I get done here.
Today we were going to have people over, but with everything going on and Kat and Scott both not feeling so hot, we moved it to next Saturday. So, instead we went on a bit of an adventure. I would have preferred going to the park or something outside, but we still got out of the house. I had done the grocery shopping and some of the preliminary Thanksgiving Day shopping (I actually spent less than $100 at the new BJ's that just opened in town!). After everything was called off for people coming over, we piled into the Durrango and did the most American of past times. We went shopping. Mostly we went window shopping trying to figure out what we'd like to get Boo for Christmas. We picked up 2 PJ's for him at Carter's (the one part of his wardrobe that's the weakest is winter PJ's... he doesn't need the blanket sleepers, but something warmer than the summer weight shorts and short-sleeved shirts are needed. (He's in either 18-24 or 2T, when in doubt, get the 2T) We also had a nice "snack" at Panara because we hadn't had lunch. Or at least Gak and I hadn't, Boo did after his nap.

Tomorrow we're going to the Aquarium for my birthday. I have no idea when we're heading down there, but it'll be after 9 and before noon, I know that much. Other than that, we have no real plans. I'm just glad I have the entire week off. It'll be very nice. Oh, we are supposed to get new front tires for the truck on Friday and I'm supposed to bring Boo by work on Wednesday if I can.

That's it for now. As you can see, it's been a bit of a bizarre weekend, with part of it being so horrible and part of it being very nice. I will tell you I felt guilty for enjoying myself today, but I know that's stupid because there's not much more I could have done/been doing for Joan right this instant.

Peace to all and may your loved ones be safe and sound.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Look, It's Thursday!

Well, as you can see from the lack of words coming from my keyboard, that not much has happened this week. Boo continues to thrive. I continue to work. Gak continues to work. I'm just trying to get through until the weekend. I have all of next week off and there's some great things planned. Now, to get there. *sigh*
Today and tomorrow Gak has to work all day because his boss is doing some college hunting with his daughter. That'll make up for him not working next Thursday, so not bad over all.
In the not-so-great news, my brother's company got merged and he suffered a "reduction of force" notice... or at least that's what my company has been calling them. Yeah, he got laid off. But, he's much better with money than I am and has a bit tucked away (mostly earmarked for a house down payment, but there just in case) and got a nice enough package that he doesn't have to touch that next week. So... needless to say he and Becca won't be coming out at all this winter, which kinda bums me out. I wish we could go visit them, but we can't afford to either. Heck, we can't even afford to make it out to Oklahoma for the three of us. Ugh. Oh well.

Anyhow, I should probably get my butt moving. It's been hard motivating the last few weeks. Don't get me wrong, I'm still thrilled to have a job, but the job just doesn't thrill me. I think it might be partially change of season blues and partially that the challenging stuff just doesn't grab me that much any more. I'm just having a hard time motivating to get stuff done, and there are too many shiny things distracting me. My procrastination has come to the fore again and must be beaten into submission. It's going to take a lot of work, but it will happen... until the next shiny comes along. Aargh.

Anyhow, I'm off to get things together for the day and eventually get my son ready for the day too.
Peace to all and may your weeks be uneventful, but your motivation present.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Birthdays and Other Sundries

Today was my dad's birthday. Mine is in 8 days. So, we headed down to PopPop and Amma's house to celebrate. We were so very lucky that it was such a beautiful day. It got up to somewhere near 70 and was sunny and wonderful.
PopPop, Boo and I went to the playground in the park near their house after lunch. There were so many kids and parents. All of us were trying to make the most of what will probably be the last beautiful weekend day for quite some time. Boo had a pretty good time exploring the "new" playground. Yes, we'd been here a few times before, but he wasn't really walking yet. It was nice to get some time in with just me and my dad. I don't get enough of that, and he's not getting any younger.
We climbed, and slid and explored and swung and played with all kinds of things. Then when we were all done, we went back to the house and Boo took a nice long nap.
This was the best part of the weekend, getting a chance to spend some time with my family. Of course, if Jon and Becca were on the East Coast, that would be even better. They're not coming out east until maybe Christmas time. They got busy (with Jon's game being released on the 8th and Becca's been doing lots of work stuff too) and totally didn't get around to planning Thanksgiving. That's OK. We'll see them when they make it out here. I just wish we could afford (and had the vacation time) to visit all the family scattered across the country. I'd like to go see them for a change instead of everyone coming here. (Although, with a toddler it's definitely easier for people to come to me....)
Anyhow, I've got a boy who's trying (still) to not go to sleep in his bed, even though it's an hour after his bedtime. I was sure he was going to crash by the time we got to the turnpike, he was beginning to trip over himself, but nope, he's still going.
The rest of the weekend was just normal weekend stuff, and same with the end of the work week. I'm really not looking forward to going to work tomorrow, but that's just the insomnia catching up with me. Last night was really bad, but it wasn't my fault. The neighbors were playing their stereo loud enough for me to hear the base line until at least 1:00, if not 2. And I was tired to begin with. Oh well. I'm not going to complain, I think this is the second time in well over a year that they've done something like that. No use causing trouble over that. (I know there are many less tolerant souls out there, but... it really wasn't that big of an issue, since I didn't have to go to work today.)
At least I've got 5 days this week and then next week I'm off for the entire week. Which is good because I'll need the three days (well 2, because we're doing something fun on the 23rd) before Thanksgiving to get the house ready. Mom and Dad are coming up here for Thanksgiving. It'll be nice. It'll be really nice because Boo has his toys here and his bed here and it'll be easier to keep him out of trouble. Not that we don't enjoy visiting Amma and PopPop, but they haven't had to childproof the house in about 25 years or so (since my brother is over 30 now) and there are just too many things for Boo to get in to and his toys are all here and not there. Luckily Amma and PopPop are very tolerant when it comes to a little boy strewing DVD cases and plastic food containers all over the house.
Anyhow, there are some more pictures from today up on my Flickr. Enjoy. I'm going to go to bed now.

Peace to all and may your days and hearts be filled with sunshine and family.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This, That and Other

My poor neglected blog. I haven't touched this space since Sunday, and here it is Thursday morning already. I really haven't had much to say. Although, every time I say that a 7-mile long entry seems to take shape. We'll see what comes out this time. But, I really don't think there's a lot lurking under the surface this time. (That and my fingers can't seem to stop tripping over themselves this morning....)

Anyhow, yesterday was Veteran's day. Those who serve their country should get more than Memorial Day in the spring to remember the fallen and Veteran's day in the fall to thank those who have served. I'm sorry, but these men and women put so much on the line every stinking day. In this country, they don't have to do it. At least not currently, since there is no draft. (That's a whole different topic... in this day and age why do young men at age 18 have to register, but women don't? I thought we had an equal opportunity armed services... oh, wait... never mind.... I won't ask if you don't tell.....)
Anyhow, back closer to my topic. The people who willingly serve our country get little pay and even less thanks for doing it. That's just not right. I mean, we shouldn't turn into a military state where the military is king, but we should give these people a little more thanks, or at least tell them a little more often. I know I'm remiss in this myself. I take their service for granted.
I'm not even going to go into the whole Ft. Hood thing, other than to say that the one place on Earth our service men and women and their families should feel safe is on our own American soil. I don't have all the details (barely any really), but this was a horrible event and it saddens me.

So, with yesterday being Veteran's Day and working for a company that actively recruits vets and tries to treat them well, I had the day off yesterday. Well, off from work. You never get a day off from being Momma. And, I like it that way.
Unfortunately yesterday was a bit of a gray day, so Boo and I couldn't really go anywhere in the afternoon since I'm broke and the only good "free" things are outside. Yes, we could have gone to the library, but he's still in a bit of a book destroying phase, so I don't really want him destroying books I haven't payed for yet. Don't get me wrong, he loves being read to right now, but they're still pretty yummy and don't always bend the way he wants them to. But, Boo didn't mind a low key day at home. But having spent an entire day at home just me and the boy, I realize that this apartment really is way too small.
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of room in general. We've got two nice sized bedrooms, a good sized living room, a dining room, kitchen and bathroom. But, there is no space just for Boo, other than his bedroom, and that's not very big all things considered. And even then there are things in his room he needs to stay out of, like the diaper pail. The living room is very nice, but very narrow. Therefore, as soon as he spills his blocks (a favorite game currently) you can't walk anywhere. And forget it if someone else is home and on the couch or a computer, suddenly the room seems half the size.
It's also a good thing that Boo didn't mind a low key day because his momma is exhausted. I'm trying to remember the last night I slept close to "right" and I can't. It had to have been a month or more ago now. And it's not that I'm not tired. I'm very tired. It isn't that I've got a billion things chasing themselves in circles in my head, most of the time I don't because I'm too tired to keep thoughts there that long. And no, it's not because I'm pregnant. I told you months ago now, we're not going to be trying again any time soon, just because of finances. If and when we can get those under control and/or get raises again, we'll see. (Besides, trying would require energy I just can't seem to find, much to both Gak's and my disappointment....) I just have been sleeping worse than usual. Take last night. I went to bed around 9, read about 3 pages barely, couldn't keep my eyes open, so I turned off the light. I promptly lay there for the next 3 hours just on the edge of sleep, you know, that warm fuzzy area where you're not really awake and aware of the passage of time, but you know you're not asleep yet. Yep, I heard Gak get off the computer and come to bed and I thought it was way too early, but it was midnight. Then the tossing and turning resumed a bit and the sleeping for an hour or so and waking up started. No reason. I wasn't feeling anxious about anything or like I'd forgotten something or worried or anything like that. I didn't wake up wheezing or not breathing or coughing or anything physical either. Nope, just woke up like most people would in the morning when they don't have an alarm waking them.
And this wasn't the first night of this. I can deal with the occasional bad night. I can even deal with two or three of them in a row. But, I can't remember a night in recent history where I've slept more than 2 hours at a shot and haven't had a period where I've woken up every 10-15 minutes for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. It really is beginning to wear me down. Oh well. I've got a doctor's appointment next month (two actually, my semi-annual allergy/asthma/whatever's bothering me and my other, less fun annual appointment as well....). I'll add this to the things I want to talk to Dr. F. about. So far it's the fact that I haven't taken my allergy or asthma meds since the end of September and I really haven't noticed a difference, the sleep thing and something else that I'm forgetting... bah! I need a list. (I'm still not always 100% sold on the asthma label.... but, there are times I just can't breathe right, but it seems more upper respiratory than lower.... and it doesn't seem like wheezing more of an inability to get air to move.)
And, speaking of doctor's appointments, that reminds me that I have to do my annual enrollment at work. I actually have to do it this year. They're getting rid of our current plans and replacing our HMO like thing with a more "traditional" type of coverage. Or, to me, what feels more like car insurance than health insurance. Now, instead of knowing exactly what I have to pay when I go to the doctor (my nice $15 or $30 copay) I have no idea what the bill will be. And, supposedly, I won't have to pay at that point in time, but at a later date. Certain things are covered 100% from the beginning, like some tests, well child visits, annual checkups, most vaccines and the like. But, the rest we have to pay out of pocket (including meds...) until we reach a deductible for the year and then it goes to an 80/20 split (with me paying the 20) until an "out of pocket maximum" is reached, and then everything is covered 100%. There are three different levels of paycheck deduction and therefore max out of pocket expenses. I'm still not 100% sure which one to choose. I know not the lowest ones because we do actually have recurring health problems/issues. So, that leaves the two highest ones. Some years, like this year, we could do just fine with the middle level, but some years like 2008 when I was pregnant, we really need the higher coverage. I think what confuses me the most is that in the end, there is a $20 difference between the out of pocket expenses for the two. Oh well. I've been thinking I'll play it "safe" and choose the highest paycheck deductible one and spend the extra $20 a year. I have a 17-month old son, who knows what kind of trouble he's going to get into this year.

Well, it looks like I did have another novel waiting to be written. Oops. It's not as long as some though. But, it is just about time for me to hop in the shower and get my butt out the door to work. (Which has been it's own adventure lately, but I'm just going to keep most of that to myself.... I'm just thinking that this really isn't such a great fit any more and I need to find something else, but am too terrified to in this economy/with as long as I've been at this one job...)

So, peace to you all and may you sleep well and have fun days with your family.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Crafty Girl Update

Sorry all, this is just going to be a quick crafty girl update. No real boy news in this one. I finally got a few projects done, and I want to share.
First up, is the project that took the longest and the one I'm the most proud of. I started this sweater before I found out I was pregnant with Boo. I finished it a couple of weeks ago. If you want to see more than just this one picture, you'll have to go to my Flickr. I finally had the nerve, and the weather was cool enough, to wear this to work on Friday. I got several compliments on it. It's very warm and snuggly. I'm not sure how well it will wear though, it's beginning to pill a bit already. That's what I get for using acrylic yarn. But it was warm... and snuggly. I think this is the 2nd werable other than a hat that I've felt comfortable wearing outside the house. The other was a tank I made out of cotton yarn, but it got wider and shorter after a few washings, so didn't last. Much to my unhappiness. Oh well.

This is a hat that I made Boo from some of the left overs from the sweater. No, this isn't Boo wearing the hat, but Scout. She willingly modeled it for me after Boo ripped it off his head for the 5th time in a minute. Since the spring when he figured out how to take hats off his head, he's decided he doesn't want to wear them. Oh well. Maybe when it gets colder we'll be able to convince him.

This last project was another one for me. My fingers get really cold working on the computer all day at work. This probably won't help with the fingers so much, but will keep my hands warmer, which may keep my fingers warmer. Made from sock weight yarn that's 50% wool, 25% bamboo and 25% nylon. Warm and snuggly and pretty cool looking too.

Anyhow, I'm off. Just wanted to post a quick crafty girl update to prove that I still find the occasional 5 minutes now and again to have fun with yarn.

Peace to all and may you get some creative time in.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Odds and Ends

Well, I was hoping to have a lot to write and say today, but nope. Not much. I do have this adorable picture of Boo "reading" the insert from his Little Leapster (which we've never really used "right") while sitting on his dragon. He really loves this dragon and will sit, lay or bounce on him all the time.
My little guy is definitely getting more adventurous. He's an expert at climbing into and out of the rocking chair and the sofa and has added climbing onto the living room table as well. I really like the fact that he's exploring, but nope, no climbing on the living room table little man.
I also hope that my hard drive isn't dying. I thought it might be the fan, but now I'm not so sure. The other night I had to shut down the computer (something I'm notoriously bad about not doing most of the time) because something had crashed and I figured the whole thing needed a fresh start anyhow. Well, it came back up making a horrible racket. It sounded like the fan was out of balance or something. It kept this racket up the entire time I had it on. I shut down at the end of the evening and then yesterday when I booted it, it only made the noise for a little while and became my nice quiet beast again, so I left it on. Yes, I feel air flow, I'm just trying to figure out if it's the same or less than usual. I think this thing has 3 different fans in it. Anyhow, this morning when I nudged it out of power save mode, it started making the racket again, but has stopped. This has me thinking hard drive.
I so can't afford to replace a hard drive.
I so don't have a current backup. Luckily almost all of my edited photos are up on flickr and all the raw photos are still on the memory card and I have last year's photo backups. The only big thing I'd really loose would be my EQII settings and some bookmarks. I can live with that. I don't keep my finances on here, and my blog posts are kept on the blogger server once they're posted. There are a few that I wrote but never posted (thought better of it), so I'll back those up tonight. Ugh. I so don't need to rebuild a computer. I was just thinking that in another 2-3 years (this one is 3 years old already) that it would be time to upgrade. That way I'd miss Vista entirely and maybe by then 7 or whatever it is won't be hated by the computer using populace and there will be a decent PC OS. Sure, I'd love to switch to a Mac, but.... I love my EQII too much and I'm not sure I can afford a Mac. *sigh*

Anyhow, I'm now running late for work. I've been trying to keep my nose extra clean this week (and I'm not sure it's working) because well... I've been a slacker and it shows.... I have over 3 years of bad habits that set in because my former boss didn't care and wasn't involved, so I got lazy. Damn if this hasn't been a bitch to overcome. I'm no where near my old "fighting form" and it sucks. Being lazy is so much easier, but working your tail off is so much more rewarding.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween Undone

This is the best picture we have from Halloween, and it was taken Thursday evening. We ended up not going out Saturday because it rained all day, and most of the evening, and Zoe still wasn't feeling 100%. I don't feel bad because he's too young to remember last year (which he half slept through anyhow) and not old enough to feel hurt we didn't go. That, and I really don't need all that extra candy in the house, since he's never really had any and Gak and I would end up eating it all anyhow. (It's not that I've banned candy, it's more that I never keep it in the house, so it just hasn't been available for him to try....)
There was some good news from Friday though. And I had a nice big, happy post all written up in Word to copy and paste into Blogger, but closed it without saving at the end of the day. *Sigh* Oh well. That's life.
Anyhow, the good news is that my $20 (if you count the $11 flannel I wanted to buy anyhow), thrown together in 30 minutes scarecrow costume actually won the Halloween costume contest at work. Yes, pictures exist. No, I don't have them yet, neither DL nor T had them off their cameras by the time they left work. I had my camera with me, but didn't take any pictures. All I know is that to suddenly see your business manager appear right outside your cube wearing a costume that looked like Bride of Frankenstein ridding Frankenstein's monster piggy back is not a good thing when you're in the middle of a serious work conversation. I was trying to talk with a lady from New York about what all we needed to do to resubmit her data, and he appears right in the periphery of my vision. I had to apologize for bursting out laughing, because it was no laughing matter that we were talking about.
Anyhow, If I get some pictures, I'll share.
Reporting month ended like a bear and there's still a little cleanup yet this week. Hopefully it'll only be a few more days. Then I'll be able to switch to both parts and service again and "relax" a little until the January reporting month. Not like it'll be all that relaxing, but it'll be easier work for a little bit.

Two cool things from the weekend though. Boo turned 17 months old yesterday! (No new dragon pictures, we just didn't get there....) and Boo and I went to Mel and Ant's family birthday party. Yep, I officially have a teenager in the "family" now. Mel is 13 and Ant turned 9. Scary things. It was a good time and I always love the chance to see Mel and Ant and Joan. Hopefully we'll be able to get together again before Christmas. I mean, they don't live that far away, but during the school year, it's a bit tough.

Anyhow, I've got to get my butt in gear and out the door.

Peace to all and may your spooks be sweet.

Friday, October 30, 2009

One Second

Hey, no I haven't fallen off the planet. This week has been busy. I was going to post last night, but I got drafted into "helping" make Zoe's costume. She's going to be Dorothy. No, we didn't use a pattern. No, it's not an actual "dress", more of a skirt and smock. Yes, I cut lots of corners and with a little magic it looks pretty good. I wasn't too worried about getting it "perfect" because it's only a Halloween costume.
But, it got me out of the house, got me some time with Kat, got Boo some time with Zoe and was fun. I am amazed that I threw the thing together in just about an hour after we got started. It's a good thing this girl has no hips.... or waist... or anything other than toothpick. She'll be cute.
I also put the "finishing touches" on my scarecrow costume for work. It's cheep. It's a little cheezy, but it'll work. And I'm sure 80% of the people won't dress up, they never do. But it's fun.
Right now I'm having a few problems with Boo and his costume. He doesn't seem to like the dragon that Abi bought him last year and was too big. (I have pics of the one time I got it on him... but they're on the camera.) Last night we tried Zoe's old dragon on, and it was a little better, for about 5 minutes. We may not even be going out. It all depends on the weather and Zoe. I'm not taking Boo out myself, but if Zoe and family are going, we'll tag along.
Sunday is Mel and Ant's joint family birthday party. That should be fun. I miss those kids. And Joan too!
Anyhow, I'm running late for work but figured I'd better post something before all 3 of my readers give me up for dead :P

Oh, and Go Phills! Too bad they didn't take game 2, but from what I hear and looking at the score and recap (I didn't watch... I was afraid to) game 1 was a blast! 3 more guys, just 3 more wins and you can take some time off.

Peace to all and may your lives be full.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boo Update

Well, this weekend didn't turn out so bad. Saturday was rainy and icky, but yesterday was down right beautiful. The only thing marring yesterday was the fact that I needed to go into the office for a few hours. I didn't get any cases closed, but I responded to one guy who didn't read my original email explaining things, got another to a point where I need help and got a third to a point where I'll just have to follow up with the customer today and hopefully be able to close it. I'm still super disorganized, but eh..... that's nothing new.
I have the best husband in the world though.
Yep. I may grumble and growl and fuss, way too much some days, but he's the best.
I walk in from having gone to the office and to the grocery store to him taking a pan of brownies out of the oven. And not from a box either. He actually went online, found a recipe and made a pan of brownies from scratch. And they're yummy. (No, I'm not just saying that because I didn't have to make them, they really are yummy!)
We did get to go to the park yesterday and it was fun. We missed most of the parade because they turned about half a block before they got to our house, but that's OK. Boo really does enjoy climbing up and going down the slide. He still keeps trying to climb the slide, which is funny because he'll get partway up, slide down on his belly and giggle.
And speaking of Boo and climbing, I think I mentioned something about a milestone review a few days back. Well, I guess I should do that then.
Let's see here... we're still having big issues (at least in my book) about eating, or not eating as the case may be. He still loves strawberries, including the "fruit leather" from Gerber, which is a softer kind then what I get for me, and amazingly enough really is all fruit. Mandarin oranges are also a huge hit, so that's a good thing. This weekend was a horrible eating weekend, especially when it came to protein. He did drink his milk and eat cheese, but.... not much else. I'm getting so tired of making him chicken fingers or grilled cheese... and I don't like giving him the bowls for dinner because that's what he gets a lot for lunch at school. I've tried giving him pieces of whole chicken breast right off my plate after he's pointed to it, no dice. I tried giving him a bite of ribs from last night (just put it on his plate after offering it) again, no dice. I've tried macaroni and cheese (even the blue box like they make at school) or pasta or rice of any description, no go, just tears. I'm really getting tired of this battle, but there's no way other than forward.
But... on brighter, happier notes, I really have a full fledged toddler. He (usually) loves crawling up the stairs into our apartment. Saturday he had some issues, but his shoes were wet and the steps a little slippery and he was tired. He doesn't randomly fall over any more unless he's super tired and then I think it might be on purpose.
He'll "ask" for nap time if he wants one; or if you ask him if it's bed time, he'll go snuggle against his Poppa to get a hug and then walk over to his crib, looking back for me, and rattle the bars. If you ask him if he's hungry, he'll walk over to the gate and look back at you. If you either tell him he needs a bottom change or he decides before you that he needs one, he'll go over to the changing pad looking back for you. Some days he'll ask as soon as he's the slightest bit wet, other days he'll have a 2 lb wet diaper before he notices.... and dirty is really hit or miss, mostly miss. So, maybe in another 6 months or so we'll be ready to try the whole potty training thing, but I'm really not going to push it. I don't really want to try until he's a little more responsive to the "I'm wet" thing, and possibly has a few more words. That and since Gak's the one home with him in the mornings, I will wait until he's ready too. He'll ask for bath by walking towards the gate trying to pull his shirt over his head, and when we get there will use the word "bat".
As far as words go, I've started keeping a list (which is at work) of things he says all the time and words I've heard a few times. Momma and Poppa/Daddy are being used more and more often in the right context. Uh-oh, go and no are favorites. Although, right now "no" means both yes and no. Ball and Bath and Bed are all here, sounding somewhat similar, except that bath has a "t" sound on the end and bed definitely has more of an "e" sound even if the ending "d" is missing. There are a handful of others that come and go like down, more, up, shoes and I think I got an "all done" from him. I also think I got the sign for both "more" and "all done" last night, but I'm not really sure. I've been much more consistent about "all done" than "more" recently. If he's picked those two up, I'll try adding some more. I had given up hope on using signs with him since he seemed so resistant. But, he seems to be showing much more of a language desire these days, and maybe it's just time.
Boo likes to play with balls, he can roll them and toss them over hand (I'm not sure about underhand, I haven't tried to get him to do that myself...) He likes to sit and bounce on his big dragon. We haven't been stacking blocks so much recently, but I'm sure that'll come back. I think his record for stacking on his own with a little prompting was 7. He's really into books again, bringing us the same one about 5 or 6 times in a row to read. Then he'll go and "read" it himself. He may end up being an early reader like his Momma... but maybe not. He likes to color for about 10 seconds at a shot. I got him a huge tablet from Staples and put him, it and the crayons on the floor. He likes that a lot better than trying to stay on a little piece of paper that keeps moving (if I try and tape it down, he'll purposely tear is up and flip it over). I think I've heard him ask by name for the crayons, and crackers. He can climb into and out of the rocking chair in his room and has now been able to climb up onto the sofa a handful of times by himself. He's been able to get down off that for ages now. He likes to take the clean pants out of the basket in his closet and put them into the dirty hamper. (Which makes it challenging at the end of the week to find pants for the boy.)
So, overall Boo is coming along. He's had a real growth spurt as far as physical and verbal abilities since we went on vacation a month ago. (I can't believe it's been a month already!)
I think that's all the big things.

Well, I'd better get ready for work.

Peace to all and may your weekends be good, and your life full of little miracles.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Trip to the Theater

Well... ask and thou shalt receive.
Yesterday I was really feeling the ugh of not having gone and done anything in ages. Well, I forgot that back in September some time, Kat sent me a message about Mary (Andy's, Kat's Ex, baby sister) being in her college play and wanting everyone to come up. I said sure, figuring her mom could watch Boo for a few while Gak finished up at work.
Well, I totally forgot about it with the ick of reporting month.
Oh, and my phone just randomly died yesterday. (I'll have a replacement by Tuesday...)
So, no one could find me until they called Gak. After a panicked few phone calls, I grab Boo, run through the Burger King drive through and scarf my dinner while I wait for Kat and Andy to pick me up. Boo and Gak had a good evening at home and Kat, Andy and I drove 2 hours in driving rain to go see a play.
I would have enjoyed the evening even if the play had been horrible.
But the play wasn't horrible. I was very impressed by them. Especially considering how small a school Mary goes to. It was great to get out of the house without the boys. (Although, I do wish Gak had been able to go, he would have enjoyed it and theater is his "thing" after all...) It was great to see people I haven't seen in quite some time. I'm really beginning to enjoy Mary now that she's actually "grown up" a bit. I'll admit, when I met her when she was a very small child (2nd child of a 2nd marriage) I just wasn't into her much. She's grown up nicely though.
The play was The Women of Locherby and was a play dealing with grief and tragic events and how it affects people. It takes place 7 years after Pan Am 103 and focuses on an American couple who lost their 20-year-old son and 5 of the Locherby women and their various stories and healing, grief, faith, love and hate. It was very moving and very well done; I don't think there was a dry eye in the house by the time it was done. Of course, being a parent of a baby boy (yes, he will always be my baby) it was very moving... but I've always responded emotionally to things like this. Betty, Mary's mom, said she couldn't even help Mary read lines getting ready for the play. I think this one will haunt me, in a good way, for a while. It's been 2 years and 4 days now since Gak's father died. While not as tragic as the plane crash, it was still fairly sudden and unexpected. Some scenes were very difficult, but cathartic in a strange way. Of course, a lot of the scenes with the mother were hard for me to watch. I still have my son.... but sometimes, like then, the memory of what could have been with the miscarriage intrudes. (Although, if that one had gone to term, I wouldn't have Boo, but some other baby and that's a hard thought too....)
Anyhow, the boy is sleeping, and I should go at least veg out on the couch and possibly nap myself. We got home around 12:30 in the morning and I was up by 7:30, so I'm a little tired.

Peace to all and may your family be healthy, and your heart at peace.