Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Just Thinking....

There are a lot of thoughts running around in my head right now, so that’s why I’ve been MIA. You’d think I’d actually be trying to get them all out.

We visited my grandfather over the weekend. He really misses my grandmother. He has a huge house all to himself, so it must be hard. In fact, it’s really hard for me to be there. So very many memories. He’s planning on selling the house. I figure by the end of the year, he’ll move. That’s almost harder for me to take than the loss of my grandmother. I know that sounds ridiculous – it’s just a house, and she was such a wonderful person, but it’s like losing that last little connection to her. It’s not that I blame him – it’s a huge house with a big yard, and he’s all alone with those memories and far too much to take care of by himself, but I hate to see the house sell. It’s in a great neighborhood in one of the best school districts in the area, so I know it will probably sell quickly.

It’s funny because not all of my memories are happy. I remember having my first panic attack there (or at least the first one that I recognized as a panic attack). I remember some of the nightmares I’ve had at that house too. One of them when I was very young, and one when I was in junior high. But, mostly, I remember the house full of people at Thanksgiving every year. That’s how it’s supposed to be. I remember sitting in one of the bedrooms with my cousin while my grandmother read us Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. In fact, there’s a certain brand of cigarette (and I don’t know what it is) that always takes me back to that time because my grandmother was a smoker for a majority of her life, and her breath smelled like those particular cigarettes. I remember the summer that my brother and I stayed there for 2 weeks going swimming everyday and staying up until 2 in the morning and sleeping in until 11 or noon. I remember the Christmas that I got a bike, my cousins and my brother got scooters, and it was snowing, so we had to ride our new toys in circles in the garage.

My mother and I cleaned out my grandmother’s closet for my grandfather. He doesn’t want to keep anything, so we cleaned out all the clothes. She has lots of jewelry that we left, of course, that I’m sure he’ll distribute as he sees fit. Or not. Maybe he’ll just wait and let everyone figure it out when he passes away. Of all the families who would not fight over things when he passes away, it’s my dad’s. The fight will be over sentimental things. My grandfather has a silk map of Borneo that he got in WWII. He was a belly gunner on a B-24 (I think it was a B-24, but I could be wrong). The map was in case they were shot down. He was going to throw the map away, but my grandmother wouldn’t let him. She had it framed, and it’s the only item in the house that I see a fight over when my grandfather dies.

It’s just sad to visit anymore. There’s not clear cut family reunion at Thanksgiving this year. There’s a planned family reunion in June, but I don’t think everyone will make it. My cousin is getting married in August, so that will get everyone together as well (including my brother who is flying down!).

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Miss Priss's Parent/Teacher Conference

I met with Miss Priss's teachers on Tuesday. I wasn't sure that I would be able to because my father-in-law was in the hospital Monday with chest pain (and he was there through Tuesday), so my regular child care (my mother-in-law) understandably had bigger things to worry about than whether or not I had someone to watch the girls while I met with Miss Priss's teachers. As it was, my sister-in-law kept an eye on the for me.

So, they started by going through their little assessment of Miss Priss. She is the youngest in the class (which I alrady suspected), so they weren't surprised that she's a typical 3 year old as far as social/emotional development go. When she started last fall, she would be really sleepy in the mornings (and would even lay down during circle time). However, she hasn't done that in months, so they figure she's just not a morning person. She is still a little hesitant in the morning, but by lunch, she's come around and is more talkative. They have 12 kids in the class: the four oldest are already 4 (I know Miss Priss got invited to a birthday party for the oldest in September) and most have big sisters, so they are advanced socially; then there are the 4 middle ones; and finally, the four youngest. Miss Priss falls into this category. And of the 12, how many does she play with? 1. Yep, just one. She will play with the others once in a while, but she primarily plays with one of the little girls in the class whose family is from Finland, so English is her second language. This explains why, on rare occasions, Miss Priss starts spitting out words that I've never heard -- they're not English or Spanish. I think she's cursing me in Finnish. LOL As it is, for some reason the two of the have bonded and play almost exclusively with each other. Looks like the social anxiety genes got passed on.

As far as her language development goes, she's right on track for a 3-year-old. That's good to know since I've been concerned about her speech. She seems to have trouble with the "j" sound (i.e. -- gelly sandwiches, gumping around, etc.). She also seems to have trouble with the "ch" sound. Her teachers showed me a chart that shows that "ch" is something most kids have down by age 7. So I have a few more years before I need to worry about that. They are impressed with Miss Priss's vocabulary (and I didn't inquire if they quizzed her on her knowledge of 4 letter words). Apparently, she can express herself very well if she chooses to do so. Her ability to use her words instead of lashing out is coming along. Again, it's the bad genetics. LOL

What they were most impressed with are her motor skills (especially fine motor skills). She is very good at cutting straight lines (I was impressed), and her drawing is improving. At the beginning of the year, they had them all draw a self-portrait, and Miss Priss's was somewhat human stick-figure form. A circle, some straight lines, etc. However, her recent stick figures have fingers, toes, eyes, hair, etc.

Her writing skills are some of the best in the class. Apparently, most of the class can kind of write their names, but most leave out a letter or two or get them in the wrong order. Miss Priss can write her name correctly and legibly (for a 3 year old). She can also write Baby Boo's name correctly and legibly. She actually drew me a picture of Baby Boo and then put Baby Boo's name at the top. I keep forgetting to bring it to work to hang on my bulletin board.

Overall, she's doing great, and I couldn't be prouder. She seems to be very smart, but lacks the social skills. She'll probably be the youngest in her class again next year, but I hope she branches out a little more. We'll have to make the big decision next year of whether or not she's ready for kindergarten, but I'm no longer worried about whether or not she'll be good to go academically. I think she'll be fine. The question will be her emotional/social behavior.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I've been blogging over 2 years now. That's strange to think about. LOL

I've been very busy, but I promise an update soon. :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ranting and Raving.....

First, I am trying to cancel an very well known ISP (who is also known for being hard to cancel). They won't even talk to me much less cancel my account because I wasn't the one who signed up for it. Hubby did. Well, they're in for a treat -- he's going to make someone's day bad because I cancelled it about 4 months ago (or thought I did anyway, but I don't have a cancellation number sadly), but it keeps showing up on the credit card bill. The fact that I wasn't the "owner" of the account is probably why it didn't actually cancel. I guess we'll see what happens.

Secondly, our deep freeze went out again! It went out a couple of months ago, and we lost almost everything in it. We threw out so much meat (steaks, chicken, you name it) along with popcicles and frozen pizza and such. We had gotten to where we trusted it to hold frozen pizzas and little frozen dinners and stuff, but our main freezer with our fridge is packed full of meat -- just in case. And that case showed up two nights ago. Hubby was already in an I-don't-want-to-deal-with-anything mood, and then I noticed stuff leaking out the bottom. I was hoping that it was just a spill near the bottom, but no such luck. So, now we have a huge paperweight taking up lots of room in our laundry room.

And we'll probably get a new one with tax return. Speaking of tax return, our e-file got rejected by the IRS. For some problem with a social security number not matching up on one of the forms. Whatever! The stupid program filled that part in for us. However, after a little time with the people over at
H&R Block's TaxCut (<--I will recommend since they solved my problem), I got it sorted out, and the IRS has already accepted my return. And, to further recommend TaxCut, I would like to say that I emailed them with a question. I got their auto-reply email about how they'll get back to me in 24 hours, etc, but it was within 10 minutes. Now, that's what I call a response time. And I used their online chat feature to get help as well. Very nice, and the best part, of course, is that my taxes are good to go. Now we are just waiting on the refund.

So, back to the deep freeze. We'll get a new one. We just freeze too much stuff not to have one. This time, though, we'll be smart and get a Kenmore. I'm full of shameless advertising today, aren't I? Actually, we should get an owner loyalty discount from Kenmore. We have a Kenmore, fridge, stove, washer, dryer, microwave, and now a vacuum (our most recent appliance purchase). So, they could easily knock off a good 10-20%, right? Surely. As it was, we owned all Kenmore appliances except for our vacuum and our deep freeze. And both have gone out within the past couple of weeks. The vacuum just wasn't cutting it for keeping up with two kids who make messes, and well, I've already given you the deep freeze story. So, we got a Kenmore vacuum; all we need is the deep freeze.

Monday, February 05, 2007

First, I want to say congratulations to Elise who had her baby girl over the weekend so that I wouldn't know about it until Monday. LOL Enjoy your time with your family of 4!

Second, I can now say that in my 5 months of riding the bus, I have now been on a bus that has broken down. I knew it was only a matter of time. With our hot summers, I thought it would be the hot weather that did it, but no. We were already running late and traffic was bad when we were stopped at a stoplight. Hubby called me to check on where I was, and I gave him the intersection. His response was, "That's it?!"

And I replied, "Yeah, and I think we might have a problem."


"Because the light is green and we're not moving."

We waited about half an hour before another bus came along to pick us up. I wonder how long the driver had to wait for the tow truck. That officially broke the record for the latest I've gotten home yet. 7:30. Well, 7:33 to be exact. It sucked. But, I pay $35/year for the bus pass, and I fill up my car with gas once a month, so taking the bus has saved me a lot of money (since parking passes are almost $200/year and I would have to fill up my gas guzzler at least once a week). So, I can't complain too much. Just a little.

Hope everyone is having a good day!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Go Red For Women Day!

Today is National Go Red For Women Day! Visit www.americanheart.org to learn more about heart disease and it's risk factors.

Heart disease often goes
undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in women, but it is the leading cause of death for women.

Please take a few minutes of the day to review your risk of heart disease especially if you, like I do, have heart disease running through many branches of your family tree.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

This is a downer post....

Please feel free to skip it.

I just love hormones. I can go from optimistic and happy to unhappy and crying. All within the span of a few hours.

Last night, I had a bad night. I wanted to just curl up in a little ball in a hole somewhere. It's an ongoing thing -- how to make time for everything that has to get done, and somewhere along the way, I've lost the ability to make it work. Or maybe this will all be better after my period is over.

I just feel like I'm stretched too thin. And, realistically, I'm smart enough to realize that I put all this pressure on myself.

At work, I try to make sure everything gets done, but there are times I just feel incompetent and like I don't know how to do the simplest tasks. No one at work has complained about any of my work, and in all reality, I do know how to do a lot of things--there's just a lot of things that I do in my job, so a lot of new things pop up periodically.

At home, I feel just as incompetent. I feel like I'm letting Hubby down when I don't get things done and he's cooking dinner every night (yes, I get dinner every night as soon as I get home -- just walk in and eat). He often cleans up and does the dishes and keeps the laundry going. I have to keep the laundry folded (he doesn't fold clothes for some reason, but I don't mind doing that part if I don't have to do the rest), but I know that I don't keep up with all my stuff sometimes. I know that he sees it for what it is -- he's in school 2 days a week and home 3 days a week, so he's got more time to do these things. Plus, he loves to cook. But, I feel like I should be able to keep up with it all. And I can't.

I'm having a horrible Mommy time too. Miss Priss is a typical 3-year-old who is into everything and makes messes and doesn't listen (that drives me up the wall). I feel like I expect too much out of her, that I do too much yelling and not enough fun positive attention things with her. I know these are all things that are my fault and things that I can change, but the feeling is still there of why can't I just relax a little bit?

Baby Boo gets a lot more leeway since she's the baby, but that is wrong in itself. I don't want her to get away with everything since she's the baby, but I can't remember when we started doing what with Miss Priss. Baby Boo has learned a lot from her sister, so she seems older than she is. And she is so stubborn! When she is mad or wants something, she will scream until she gets it. Too often, I give in and give her what she wants. After working all day, the last thing I want to come home to is screaming children.

But that's the case most of the time. They're asleep when I leave in the morning, and by the time I get home, it seems like I get cranky, whiny, tired kids.

I'm getting fat again, but instead of being motivated to fix the problem, I just leave it as oh, well, so what? I really don't care.

So, I'm still in a funk today. Hubby, God bless him, is trying to help. He wants me to decide what I want for dinner and he'll make it. And he's going to get something from the store for me and Miss Priss to do together. Just a fun little Mommy-Daughter activity. And I'm not supposed to worry about the house being clean or what-not. But, still. Just one of those weeks.