Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crazy Weekends Edition

Wait... where did the week go?  Scratch that, where did the month go?  Anyhow, it's the last day of March.  And looking over on the right there, I realize I haven't been such a good blogger this month.  Oh well, it was bound to happen at least once this year.  Hopefully this will be the only "slow" month on the blog this year.  I'm not holding my breath, I know me.

So, here it is Saturday again and I never did write about our adventures last weekend, and here we are in the middle of a new weekend.  I guess we'll get the short version (haha) of two weekends in one post.

And no, I don't have any pictures off the camera.  Another thing I've been very lax with this year is getting what few pictures I've taken off the camera and onto the computer, and then even slower about posting them.  I assure you, you won't have to look at the Christmas photos on the sidebar for too much longer.  But, tomorrow is April, so I'm sure you'll have to bear with me a bit longer...

OK.  So, let's start with last Saturday.
But, in order to do that, we've got to back up to last Wednesday or Thursday.  I get a call from Kat and Steph asking what our plans were for Saturday night.  I said we didn't have any.  They informed me that Rachel would be watching a boy-child and that we were going to go see Seamus Kennedy at Beethoven Waldheim Saturday night.  $25 a head for a cash bar, a full evening of entertainment and a buffet dinner that's usually pretty good.
Ow, ow, ow... twist my arm.
So, Saturday we ended up changing our normal routine just a bit.  We ended up not catching up with everyone after laundry and instead ran a few errands and just the boy-o and I had lunch at Friendly's.  Then it was a bit of non-nap time for the boy-o while I got things together for Sunday.
After picking up Gak from work, we get cleaned up and ready to roll.  We head over to Kat's, drop Boo off with Rachel, Billy and Zoe and the 6 of us going to the show head out the door.

As always Seamus was amazing.  There was an older couple at our table with us who were really pretty cool and we enjoyed talking with throughout the evening.  I think they enjoyed our company as well.  (And yet again, we had to explain that Kat and I aren't sisters, and that Steph isn't related either, but we're all really good friends and family of the heart.  It always makes me giggle when people ask if we're sisters.)

We get home after picking up a boy-o at about 11:30.  Boo didn't fall asleep until almost midnight and he hadn't slept any at Kat's.  He promptly woke us up at 7:00 on Sunday morning.

Of course, that was fine because the second part of our jam-packed weekend was about to start.  We needed to leave the house between 8 and 8:30 because we were heading down to Baltimore.  Well, west of Baltimore, but close enough.  Aunt Beverly and Uncle Richard were in town visiting Ben and Jenny and the boys.  Sunday was my mom's birthday, Beverly and Richard's anniversary and Tuesday was Ethan's 2nd birthday.  So, we had a bit of a family gathering and party.  And, to add even more excitement to the day, Jenny and Daniel had tickets to the play "Clever Rachel" and got a pair for Seamus and I as well.  It was part of a children's theater series and in conjunction with a group that Jenny sometimes works with.  It was a little unusual because they don't normally do "Jewish specific" kinds of plays, but a little bit of everything.  Anyhow, it was neat because both the author or the play and the playwright were there to answer questions after.  Boo did very well for his first live-action play.  (We've been to the movies a few times, but never an actual play.)  I enjoyed it quite a bit too.

Eventually we wandered our way home and exhaustedly bid farewell to the weekend.

The work week was mostly uneventful.  I got a lot of work done.  Scouts wasn't one of the best meetings we've had, but not the worst either.  Potty training has been hit or miss all week, with a bit more miss than hit.  We'll have this but its a little annoying after such a good week.  The weather wasn't warm enough to get a bike ride in, even though Friday was gorgeous.  If it was a few degrees warmer, I might have brought the bike, but instead we just went over to the park for a little bit after work/daycare.

Now, we're on to this weekend, which is shaping up to be one full of adventures.  Or at least today has been.

Ever since Dominik's birthday back in November, Becky (his mom) and I have been playing email/note tag trying to find a time when we could get the boys together to play outside of school.  Originally we were going to have a picnic at the playground and let the boys run around and have fun.  Well, the weather didn't cooperate.  I think today was the coldest and wettest day of the week.  So, I suggested we take the boys to the bounce place where they had Dominik's birthday for a bit this morning and then do lunch.  Everyone liked the idea.  The boys had a lot of fun and I got to know Becky and Shawn a bit better.  We'd said hi several times in passing picking up the boys, but hadn't had much of a chance to talk.  We had a nice lunch at a diner and then headed home.

The boy-o took a very good nap, even if it was cut short by having to pick up a Poppa Bear.
Gak had asked if we could go down to Monkeyville to the Best Buy down there to look at computers.  I'd promised him a new one with part of my bonus money from work.  We'd picked one up a few weeks ago, but it just wasn't going to work since it was all but impossible to upgrade the video, and he really needed to for his games.  So, back that one went and we've been living with one computer for a bit.
Well,  looking at the ones available there, we decided that the biggest difference between mine and the one he was looking at was the RAM, and the $50 bigger price tag.

So, on a whim, we decide to go down to Microcenter and look at what they had.  Gak ended up buying the exact same computer as I got.  We're going to move the video card from this one into that one and if I can run EQII without the video card, we won't worry about upgrading my video.  If I need to upgrade the video, I will at some point.
Then, after buying the computer Boo announced he was hungry.  So, we call Amma to see how she was feeling and see if she wanted to join us at Panera Bread for dinner.  Of course she did!  We had a very nice bite to eat and some time together.  Boo insisted Amma sit next to him, which thrilled her to no end.  I know she's been missing her play dates with my son and is looking forward to being released from rehab so she can start coming up at least some Mondays.  After dinner Amma headed home and we did a quick trip over to B&N before heading home.

So, as you can see, this has been one very adventure filled Saturday already.  The boy-o is in bed and I'm not far behind.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get the pictures done.  Maybe not.  Thankfully the only things on the schedule are laundry, grocery shopping, some light cleaning around the apartment and Gak's playing Warhammer 40K with the guys in the evening.  Maybe I'll get some crafting in.  I've got two or three pairs of socks started and in various stages of being annoying/finished.  I've got an afghan that really is feeling neglected and is very beautiful and deserves to be finished, or at least worked on some more, I've got an idea for another shrug that I really want to get on paper and started.  And I've got fabric and a pattern for a dress.  I really want something else to add into the rotation of work clothes that looks good and isn't yet another pair of black, navy or khaki pants and a shirt.  Of course, half my shirts don't fit right anymore either and I should do something about that.  Oh, and I need a new pair of sneakers.  My low-cut boots are beginning to fall apart and riding my bike with my high-top hikers isn't very fun.  That and it might be nice to have sneakers to walk in at work.... and the boy needs shorts, lots of shorts.  He's got 2 or 3 pair that fit, everything else from last summer were 2T...
But, I digress and I'm rambling.
So, off to bed it is.

Peace to all and may your weekends be full of fun adventures and family and may your weeks be mostly harmless.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

So Close and Yet, So Far

Well, today was supposed to be the day that Boo finally went an entire week with telling people he needed to go potty, with only occasional accidents overnight or when sleeping.  That would mean tomorrow we would go to Target and pick up the new Muppets movie on DVD.

That's what we all were wanting.  But, not this week.  You see, After making it through 5 days, Boo had a miss or two on Sunday that could be mostly excused to sheer exhaustion.  So, instead of having yesterday (Monday) be day 7 we extended it until today.  Well, yesterday was a bit of a disaster.

I get to school and he was wearing the shorts out of his bucket (I'd forgotten to bring pants back after the last accident...) because he was soaked after nap.  Well, talking to Dianna it turns out that he was awake through nap time and if he'd said something to her about having to potty, she would have happily let him go.  Boo doesn't even sound surprised by this.  When we get home I was emptying the dirty diaper bucket and noticed a stinker pullup on top.  I asked him if he'd gone poopy in his pullup on purpose or if it was an accident.  He said on purpose.  (Apparently he'd told Gak it was an accident..)

So, between the not bothering to tell Dianna at nap time he needed to potty and blatantly pooping in his pullup that morning, Gak and I made the decision to restart the week counter.  The deal was he tell people when he had to potty for a week, and well, he decided not to yesterday.

Do I feel good about it?  No.  Not really.
Do I think we made the right decision?  Yes, not just from the bribing him to go potty standpoint either.  He also has to learn that there are consequences to his actions and that there is a time and a place for everything.  He wants the reward of the new movie, I'm not going to give it to him for being "close enough".  We had overlooked a couple of accidents that were suspect in my mind because he truly did seem to be caught off guard by them.  (There were a few obvious accidents, like overnight or at nap time or when he was distracted by the TV... but some were a little iffy to me... but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt...)

So, potty training is going forward.  A lot faster than it was, but there is still work to do on Boo's part.  I can understand him being a little more accident prone yesterday as we had a very full weekend and he was short on sleep.  I'm just disappointed that he just decided not to for the most part yesterday.  Of course, part of it could have to do with the fact that he was in big-boy underware all morning Saturday until nap time without a problem in the slightest.  That and he's been more than willing to poop on the potty for the past week.  Oh well.  He'll learn eventually that it's easier, and cleaner, to just use the potty.

I do have a lot of catching up to do about the weekend.  It was a lot of fun and very busy and full of lots of friends and family.  I'll try and catch up a bit tomorrow.

For now, I'm going to finish a little paperwork and head out.  (I didn't really take lunch today as I was working straight through on a problem, so I'm taking my "lunch" now.)

Peace to all and may your lessons be easier as opposed to harder.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Round and Round

Today I had my ENT appointment.  It was very brief.  Overall, I like the guy.  He's about my age, maybe a bit younger.  But, that's beside the point.  His opinion is that if I want to have my tonsils removed, he'll do it, but it's really my call.  The up side is that it's a quick surgery and that there's a 99% chance I'll never get strep again.  The downside?  About a 2 week and very painful recovery time. So, I can either deal with 15 days or so of a lot of pain and recovery and probably never get strep again, or take my chances and possibly have to deal with a sore throat, a few days of missed work and a round or two of antibiotics a winter.  Yeah, about six of one, a half dozen of the other.  I think I'm going to take his advice and wait and see what happens once Boo actually does start school.  If I have a couple of very miserable winters then I'll get them yanked, if not, I'll let them be.  If I was having problems snoring or with other sleep issues, that would be a different story.  But overall, everything is OK.  So, I'm going to let sleeping dogs lie for now.

The other part of this round and round post is that I signed Boo up for soccer this summer.  From May 5th through July 7th every Saturday Boo will be chasing a soccer ball around a field getting in the way of a bunch of other four and five year old kids.  It'll be chaos.  It'll be cute.  And hopefully it'll be fun for both me and the boy.  Yes, Boo doesn't turn four until the middle of the season, but I sent an email asking if I could sign him up, and they said it wouldn't be a problem.  I'd asked Boo if he wanted to play, and I got a very enthusiastic "Yes!" out of him.  So, we'll see if he likes it.  If he does, we'll see if he wants to keep playing.  If not, we'll let it go after this season and maybe see in a few years if he wants to try again.
I'll let him try just about anything, sports or classes or whatever, if he expresses a true interest.  My only stipulation is that he complete the season or class before calling it quits.  Especially if it requires expensive equipment.
I hope he has as much fun as I think he has.  I think this will be a good experience.  He'll get to meet some other kids.  He'll get exposed to having to listen to adults other than those at daycare and Gak and I and the thought that maybe, just maybe, he'll have to work with other kids to achieve a common goal.  But other than that, I think it'll just be fun.  And it'll be something just for him on Saturdays.

So, that's the most interesting things going on around this house right now.  The weekend is going to be very busy.  Saturday we're planning on going to see Seamus Kennedy with the other adults while Rachel watches Billy, Zoe and Boo.  Sunday we're heading down to the Maryland Sugerpeople to celebrate Mom's and Ethan's birthdays and Aunt Beverly and Uncle Richard's anniversary.  Daniel, Jenny, Boo and I have tickets to a children's theater production as well.  It'll be a packed weekend, but it should be a lot of fun.  Monday I'm probably going to be dragging, but I'll deal with that then.

Peace to all and may you get good advice and find fun things.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three In One

This is actually going to be three different posts in one.  I've got three things on my mind that are very different from each other but are all clamoring to be typed out.

So, we'll start with the great phone call I got this afternoon.  Boo and I were playing outside in the beautiful (pre)spring sunshine.  I was happily cleaning out the car (it really needed it) and Boo was playing in the car.  My phone started to ring.  I didn't recognize the number, but it looked kinda familiar, so I answered it.  Much to my surprise, it was Michelle!!  She was calling me all the way from Afghanistan while she was waiting for her laundry to finish.  It was around midnight for her and the middle of the afternoon for us.  It was a great chance to catch up.  I was pretty amazed that she had the chance to make a call home and she called us.  I mean, she could have called Eileen or her parents or other family members.  I guess they've probably gotten calls over the last few months.  She should be home by about the end of April.  I can't wait.  Hopefully we'll be able to get a chance to get some lunch or something.

On an unrelated note, other than it's vaguely noteworthy today, potty training Boo seems to be moving forward.  I think we've finally hit on a bribe or two, er, goal that he's willing to work towards.  We've changed the M&M bribe to only be 1 if he pees and 4 if he poops.  He's been doing very well with the pee and even the poop on occasion.  He'll have a day or two of great effort and then the rest of the week, not so much.  So, to encourage a longer good time, I decided to bribe him with the new Muppets movie if he manages to stay dry, including at school, for an entire week.  I'll accept an honest to goodness accident where he just doesn't make it in time and lets us or someone know, but if he does what he did this afternoon of purposefully using his pullup instead of the potty and not letting anyone know, the clock resets.  And as a final goal, once he's in big boy under pants all the time, he gets his own lightsaber.  (He's become obsessed with them while watching Gak play his Star Wars MMO.)  Boo's been doing very well on weekends and even some days, but he's gone from telling them at school he has to go but not at home to reversing that.  Unfortunately, he spends much more time at school.  Oh well, we seem to be making progress so maybe by his birthday he'll be in real underware.

Finally, the most brain churning topic that's been sloshing around.  I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games trilogy.  I just finished the last book this evening.  Very interesting.  Very well written.  And very thought provoking.

My friend Will posted on his Facebook wall that he was looking for a copy to borrow and this sparked a discussion.  One of his friends basically said it was a stupid premise and that it could/would never happen and it's hard to enjoy a book no matter how well written with such a dumb thought behind it.

Unfortunately, another friend of his brought up something that I hadn't really thought about, but once they said it I realize was nagging in the back of my head.  Sure, it could happen.  Ask the Jews in Germany.  Ask various tribes and groups in Africa, or the Native Tribes of our own Americas; north, south and central.

For those of you who haven't read the books, the general premise of the books is that there was a war, there is now just the capitol and then 12 districts.  The districts revolted at one point in the semi-recent past and now the capital makes each district send two tributes to a death match... these tributes are between the ages of 12 and 18.... yeah... kids.

So, is it feasible?  No.  Is it possible? Sure.  Just ask anyone who's been ruled by fear and persecuted.  So, yes, the one guy does have some valid points.  In this day and age, you'd think this "couldn't" happen here.  But, one of the last things said in the third book is a very astute observation about how at the end of every war, we say we'll never let it get like this again, that we'll never have war again, but we're all short-sighted and greedy in the long run.  And then eventually it happens again.  Something happens, a misunderstanding, someone gets greedy, manages to get someone and then another someone and then more someones to follow them.  Then someone else decides that they don't like it, that they're wrong and then things escalate and the next thing you know, there's full fledged war.

So, these books have stirred several things up in my brain.  They're all kinda mushy and unformed right now, all fighting for attention.  There's the thought of putting mere children through that hell.  There's the gut-wrenching fear as a parent of my own son having to face such a thing.  There's the question of if we're becoming a society of "bread and circuses" ourselves.

So, just based on my own mental jumble and the speed with which I devoured the, these are well written books well worth the reading.  Gak just asked me if the Hunger Games were over, or if there was room for a sequel.  There is always room for a sequel, but it couldn't happen with the generation of characters in the trilogy.  But, where I see an opening is for a prequel.  It could be an interesting story to see how the world got to where it is...

Anyhow, the movie opens this week.  I'm actually interested in seeing it.  From the things I've seen on IMDB, it looks like they've done a great job with casting.  Now to see how close they stick to the story.  I'm not sure if I'll try and see it in the theaters or wait.  I'm still not sure if I'll be able to get to the movies to see Lorax with my boys before it leaves the theater.

I'm mentally loosing steam and it's 9:00 already.  So, I'll wrap it up here without any real conclusions.  Actually, I'll wrap it up by saying if you haven't read the books, read them.  Or listen to them.  Some of it's a bit disturbing, but it's worth the read.

Peace to all and may your brain candy actually have a little substance to it as well, your life continue to grow in positive ways and may your friends be well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Missed Musings

Well, I have a handful of things I could have posted about over the last few days, but I missed them.  Even though their moment has passed, I'll highlight them anyhow.

*Sunday the weather became truly gorgeous.  Boo and I took a nice long walk in the afternoon.  We walked all the way to the park, stopping to talk for a moment to Michael from the Laundromat who was out for a ride on his bike.  We played on the playground a bit, and then Boo said he was thirsty.  The water fountain wasn't on yet, and the ice cream place a block or two away opens this weekend, not last weekend.  So, we start heading home.  We have to pass right by my friends Ali and Dave's house, so we decided to see if they were home.  They were along with the kids.  Boo had fun playing with the kids while Ali, Dave and I hung out for a few before finishing our walk home.

*Monday was a special day.  Monday was the actual 100th anniversary of the first Girl Scout meeting.  To celebrate I wore my membership pins to work.

*I also dug the bike out of the basement storage locker and got the tires pumped up.  (Boo had only been asking about the bike for a few weeks...)  Boo and I managed about a 10 or 15 minute short ride.  It was nice.  We came across Jen and John and stopped and talked with them for a few.

*Yesterday was mostly uneventful, we had our weekly Girl Scout meeting and it was fun.  We wrapped up a few things and talked about a few more things and overall had an enjoyable hour or so.

*Today is the first day this year that I was able to pick Boo up on the bike.  He was quite happy to see the bike.  We took a little ride and then ended up at the park again.  One of the girls from his daycare was there and they enjoyed playing together for about half an hour or so.  We then took a round about way home before picking up Gak from work.  Let me tell you, riding uses different leg muscles than swimming... I really feel it in my inner thighs and my knees were really feeling the pressure of peddling.  But, I really enjoyed it and I've missed my bike all winter.  I just hope the warm weather is here to stay.

Anyhow, that's the bullet item list of what's been going on the past few days.  Tomorrow I have a pot-luck lunch at work.  That should be yummy.  We've got errands to run after work and we'll see what's going on.  Friday I hopefully will be able to pick the boy-o up on the bike again.  I'm not really sure what's going on this weekend.  Gak and I thought about going out Saturday evening, but our babysitter has a bowling tournament all day Saturday.  Mom has her next doctor's appointment to follow up on her knee tomorrow and she hopes to be opening the business back up Friday or Saturday.  She probably won't start coming back up here on Mondays until April.  All I know is that Boo can't wait for that and I'm sure Amma can't either.

So, I'm going to wrap this up here and hope that I can do better with keeping up with this in the future.  I've got a few odds and ends bumping around in my brain, but nothing worth putting on to paper, virtual or otherwise.  You'll know if I ever get it sorted out.

Peace to all and may your lives be full.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Even Keel

Well, here it is, the 9th of March and I still haven't blogged since the last day of February.  Yep, slacking off again.

I would say it's because I've been busy having adventures, but that's not the case.
I would say it's because I've been sick, but that's thankfully not the case.
I would say it's because work's been a bear, which it has, but not enough of a bear to keep me from writing.

Nope, I just haven't bothered to write.  I've had ideas flitter and fly through my head but they've either all been too fast for me to catch them and hold them still long enough to explore them and write about them, or they taunt me when I'm not near my computer (like when I'm driving home) and then have abandoned me by the time I do get a chance to sit down and write.  Or, I'll be too tired or distracted or just not in the right mood to write.

I guess Ill write a few updates of what's going on in my little world lately.

You know about the car.  I'm just so thankful that it only cost us $80 to fix.  I can handle that.  I don't like it, but I can handle it.

I didn't write about the Girl Scout birthday party that my service unit held back on the 25th.  It was a lot of fun, a lot of chaos and a very long day.  Overall, I'd call it a good day.  There were some logistical issues, but I kinda expect that when there are 250+ girls and the assorted adults needed to run something like this.  My girls had fun over all though and it was a good day.  There are pictures up on Facebook posted by the Bucks County Free Press.  Some of my girls are in some of the pictures.

Girl Scout cookies is all but over for me and my girls.  I turn in the final paperwork to Loretta this evening when I pick up Boo from school.  (It's very convenient the fact that she's both the older girl coordinator and the SU cookie coordinator and runs my son's daycare... of course, that's how I ended up in this "mess" in the first place!)  We still have 26 boxes that we need to figure out what we're doing with.  We'll hang on to a few boxes for snacks for our upcoming trips.  We're trying to get the rest sold.  But, overall for my first year doing this I'll take 26 boxes.  (I traded in about 10 extra cases throughout the last part of the sale once I realized I'd picked up too many my third pickup...)

I do have another addition to my troop.  I just got a 7th grader who just didn't quite work with her other troop. She seems like she'll be a good fit with my girls though.  I'm sure we'll have fun.

We've got two trips coming up that will be a lot of fun.  I'll post more about those later.  I'm looking forward to the trips.  Not so much the planning, but the trips themselves.  I'm trying to get the girls involved, but it may actually make things a bit harder.  We shall see.  (I know I'll be making some executive decisions along the way... but that's my job as leader.  I get final say.)

Work has been work.  I'm mostly just muddling my way through the last few weeks.  I know it'll catch up to me in the long run, but I'm just trying to make it through at this point.

Boo continues to grow like a weed and be a very stubborn little boy.  Last Saturday we actually had an awesome potty training day.  He stayed dry until the evening when we were out and about.  So, I really can't complain.  Sunday, on the other hand, forget it.  He'll have a random great day where we think he's finally getting it and finally willing to play the game and then the next day he just doesn't care.  Even with peanut M&Ms as bribes!  (And trust me, this boy loves his chocolate as much as his daddy and I do...)  You'd think because we just don't keep candy in the house that being able to earn up to 4 peanut M&Ms at a shot just for using the potty would seem like an awesome thing.  Apparently only on some days.  *shrug*

On the other hand, Boo has become fascinated with lightsabers.  Gak's been playing the new Star Wars MMO and Boo's been watching.  It is cute to watch him brandish his toy spatula or ladle making the appropriate wzzt...zzzt sounds.  He will gladly tell you the blue and green are the good guys and red are bad guys.  (He usually has a green one, but red is actually his favorite color so that makes this tough...)  We finally got the DVDs from Mom last weekend and we watched Star Wars A New Hope with him Sunday.  We've also promised him his own lightsaber once he starts using the potty all the time.  It may work as this is the first bribe he's actually reminded me of... Again, we will see and I know it'll be on his terms. *sigh* I really wish this was as easy as just giving him a cup instead of a bottle... oh well.

Other than that, life is pretty much the same around here for the most part.  We go to work and school.  We hang out.  I go to Girl Scouts.  Gak and the guys try and figure out when they're going to get together to play Warhammer.  Wash, rinse and repeat.

But, speaking of work, I really should get back to it.

Peace to all and may your lives carry on more or less on an even keel.