Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Glitter, Pink Eye and Birthdays

Well, my oldest is twelve today. Wow, it doesn't seem like twelve years ago we gave birth to a beautiful, sweet girl. She was such a sweet, happy, loving baby, and has turned into a sweet, happy, loving preteen! :)
She had her friends over for a sleepover...and while making their craft, a little sprinkle of glitter on one friend turned into a glitter fight, thrown all about my house. What stuck to their clothes, later stuck to my furniture and carpet, and then the dogs...it was virtually everywhere. My birthday girl and her little sis cleaned and cleaned while others played. Mine did their best, but still, there is glitter in every crack and crevice of my kitchen-between each and every hard wood plank. After all their cleaning, they shook the tablecloth out...on my back porch steps and each time the dogs went out and came back in, they brought the glitter back... :) We also carried on our usual sleepover traditions, as mentioned in an earlier post: the ordering of pizza, trail mix during a Garfield movie, and the trip through the drive through in our pjs!
All in all, our oldest had a good time. Although, after the first friend arrived, our daughter took her up to see the three year old hamster (which is old for a hamster) and found it had passed away. Our daughter was quite sad. What a time to find him that way! The next guest promptly heard, "I just found out my hamster died!" when she walked through our door, but then, after I had cleaned everything up and my husband had buried him (elephant was his name) in our shade garden, she seemed better. Then yesterday when all had died down, she said to me "I don't think Elephant's death has sunk in yet." and cried. It was "just a hamster", but she's a very caring girl and she's sad. Poor dear, the death of pets always made me sad, also.
At 2am on the sleepover night, my youngest called me into the bathroom because she had a bloody nose. My focus was to stop it and then she said, "I feel like a have a piece of glitter in my eye." I hadn't noticed her eye, and she referred to big sister's throwing of glitter earlier. I checked her eye and found...pink eye. Here I inform, as I haven't much lately: pink eye is an infection in the eye that causes it to swell, itch, burn, redden, and have drainage. It is very contagious! Conjunctivitis is its less common name: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/eye/conjunctivitis.html
So, I took her to the dr. first thing the next morning and she came in, promptly looked in our daughter's ear! I was thinking...her eye? Then the doc. said, "does your ear hurt?" And my daughter said no...but the doctor said she had "quite an ear infection" in her ear!! She said that pink eye can show itself as a symptom after an upper respiratory infection or illness. Although, our daughter had no symptoms of ear problems, stuffy or runny nose, or anything like that, she did get an ear infection and then it presented itself as pink eye, too! So, for a child who rarely gets ear infections-I think her last was three years ago!-she got two antibiotics! And I've warned all the children we've come in contact with, as it can be spread easily. We are all thoroughly washing hands here, more than usual! And hoping my twelve year old doesn't come down with it on her birthday! :) The youngest is home for the day, which will be "fun" until about lunchtime, but can't go to school until she's been on antibiotics for 24hrs. I have a craft box all set up so she can "create" whatever she likes...so we'll see what she comes up with! :)
We got up a little early today so we could start our oldest's special day by having her open her gifts from us. Then tonight we will head out to a restaurant that serves breakfast, because that's her favorite. Then, this weekend, we will have her birthday party with family.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sleepover Guests

Since Thursday, I have had two little children in my house. They are family friends. Their dad won a trip to Hawaii through his work, all expenses paid. So, the couple couldn't pass it up. We volunteered to keep the kids, ages two and four, until today. Our oldest turns twelve this week, so she's having a sleepover tonight, so we couldn't keep them the whole time their parents were away. They don't have school tomorrow, thus the Sunday sleepover. I had planned to do it Friday, but rearranged to keep the little ones. They were really very good. I didn't sleep well, for worry that they'd need something in the night, which was always the case when my girls were little. Speaking of my girls, they were a tremendous help. I would play with the little ones and entertain them, and then my girls would take over while I got dinner ready and help keep them happy at bedtime, as well. I had forgotten how exhausting little ones can be, :) and was ready for bed each night! Their parents don't get back until Wednesday, we passed them onto other friends this morning, and then they head home, but with their grandparents tomorrow, for the last two days.
Tonight, my oldest is having four friends over-a "sleepover"...how ironic, because not much sleep is had by the girls, nor the parents! :) We usually get the guests a "goody bag" to take home, but this year we got some letters (the first letter of each guests' name) and scrapbook paper, embellishments and stickers, to decoupage on the letters. So, that is what they will "create" after dinner (ordered pizza) and take home instead of goody bags.
We have traditions for sleepovers: order pizza for dinner, and have "trail mix" in the evening while they watch movies. For breakfast, we all troop to the local donut shop drive through in our pjs. :) And then naps in the afternoon after the guests have all gone home, or the girls here will be too cranky! :)
I haven't ran in a while, again. Which makes me feel so bad-I've been eating as though I will be hibernating soon!
I finished two books since I blogged last: the Treasures of the Weatherbys, which was fine. I also finished the scrapbooking mystery: Motif for Murder. That was good. Went by very fast, as do all her scrapbooking mysteries. This one was still in hardback, so I doubt she has any new ones coming out soon. I have begun to read my husband's last purchase: the Life of Pi and I think I will restart the tea shop mysteries, that my mom liked so well, by the author of the scrapbooking mysteries.
I have not yet begun to knit anything...I have the supplies...and know the basic knit stitch, but that is all although, on the crafty front, I have finished a project that I started a while back. I created scrapbooks for my daughters that have pictures of all the furniture, quilts, blankets, etc. that have been handmade by family. My dad made the girls each a bed and dresser from oak, my grandpa made each girl a baby cradle for their dolls, finishing the one for my youngest daughter the day he died, and we have other items from family members, as well. I wanted them to know my memories of the pieces, and why they were important to the family. I made one for my oldest that is 8 x 8 and I've finished the layouts, and journaling, but am still putting the finishing touches on one for my younger daughters 6 x 6 album. I hope the books, and more importantly, the pieces, become important to them as they grow.
It has finally begun to snow here and we will even get some accumulation!! Yeah!
Well, time for church.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bugs and Glitches

I have had a few little bugs and glitches in the last few days.
  • I lost my keys (turns out I set them on my purse and they fell into the rarely used back pouch...) I searched the other pockets and shook the purse, but they were a tight fit so they didn't jingle. I had checked coat pockets, and the pockets of the purse I normally put them. Luckily, I had a spare from when the hubby had lost them when we were visiting my parents... and then I thought I'd check the pouch, just in case. So, a day and a half later, I found them.
  • My laptop, yes, the new one I bought Oct 1, is slower than slow. It's been giving me trouble, little by little, then more and slower, and then my husband spent a bit of time in front of it-remember he's a computer guy. He checked some things and saw error messages indicating my drive is corrupted and the only thing I can do about that is to send it back to it's originating company and have them replace the drive (losing all my data in the process) and send it back in TWO WEEKS!! UGh. So, today I am searching for any data I need so that I won't be sad when I can't recover it. A long, painful process, as slow as this thing is: I am struggling to type this without frustration. On the bright side, my husband has a computer upstairs that I can borrow, if he lets me, to check email and ebay sales, subbing assignments etc. :)
  • Our phones, the landline, cordless, said "out of range" on the display all day yesterday. We didn't realize it was out until the husband went out and tried to call me. Apparently, someone tripped over the cord and unplugged it, or something. However, we didn't know this and I was thinking our phones went out again: we have bad luck with cordless phones. Positively, that is all fixed!
  • The biggest, most expensive glitch this week, was my minivan with automatic side doors had issues. It was cold and the doors froze shut on Monday: it is normally in the garage, however, some Christmas decorations, that had been taken down but still wet, were put on my side of the garage, leaving my car out in the cold. Anyway, we tried opening the doors, but there was ice in it, causing the automatic door motor to run, but the door to not go anywhere. I tried a few times, thinking the ice would break free, but I think it burnt the motor on the door behind the driver. So, you have to put the auto doors on "off" drag that door open and then closed, which is super heavy, and if you want to use the other side, turn the auto control to "on" and it works normally. However, you can't leave it on "on" while it's in drive, it beeps. Continuously... because it thinks the door is open. Argh. It's annoying. Both girls have to wait until I open the door from the outside if they want to get out the driver's side as they can't open it! I'm sure it would cost a ton to get it fixed, and it's 6 years old, so the husband is in the mood for a new one. :) So, I am saying we just live with it for a while.
  • Our garbage disposal has a crack in it, as well, so it drips little puddles of water down under the sink. It is letting water into the electrical wires under it, too. So, when/if we call the plumber to come fix that, I'm thinking the disposal will have to be totally replaced, costing me an arm or a leg.
Other than those things, the week has gone well. I subbed Tues and Thurs. Both classes were extremely good! The Thurs class was a kindergarten and some of them were a little wound up, but they weren't too bad. Subbing jobs are few and far between right now, with Mondays off for Martin Luther King, Jr, President's day, just getting back from winter break, etc. I am figuring it will pick up again in Feb and March (spring break isn't until April). We finally got the blast of cold air, and the wind continued, so, no I haven't ran. Three days in a row. woo hoo. I'm not feeling too positive about that. Last week I ate pretty well and kept track of all my calories, intake and output, via a gmail spreadsheet. However, I fell off on that, too.
I have a busy next few weeks ahead: Thursday we are receiving our friends' two children, who are 4 1/2 and 2, I think. A boy and a girl. The husband won a trip to Hawaii through work and neither of their parents could keep the kids. So, we have them Thursday through Sunday, when another of their friends takes them because we have our oldest daughter's sleepover for her twelfth. Then the next week we're having family over for her birthday, for her favorite meal: brunch. :)
I have picked up my knitting again. I ran out last night to the local craft store and grabbed a few pairs of new needles for something new to try. Now I just need to branch out from my normal knit stitch/scarf. I need to try something new. :) I haven't knitted in a while, though, so I think I will pick up the simple scarf I had previously started and work on that. My oldest daughter got a "speed knitting" book for Christmas, so I may pick that up and browse, as well. I bought a couple groups of inexpensive yarn on ebay, too.
I've been reading the Treasures of Weatherby and it's pretty good so far. Not a quick read, so wonderful that I devoured it in one sitting, but that could be time constraints, too. I have read over a quarter of it and find it a good read, for youth, as I previously mentioned. And, in the vein of reading, I also have kept up with my New Testament reading (a chapter a day on weekdays) with a group from our church's circle. Two weeks and counting. :)
I just recently finished my scrapbook of our trip this past summer, but I still have to journal in it-write the captions as to what's happening in the picture. I'm planning on working on that today. We are also headed to a children's theater today with some other friends and then out to dinner, this afternoon. So, hopefully no more bugs or glitches for a while? And they're all minimal things; we all still have our faith, health and positivity, so we're pretty darn lucky! :) Have a great weekend, reader!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Quotes and Goals in Type

I found some of these while surfing other blogs, from blog to blog: see running blog column!
  • "Life is a journey not a destination. Enjoy the journey. It will be over way too soon."
  • "You can either live your life like a daring adventure or live your life safe but sorry you missed it."
  • "The race is not always to the swift, but those who keep on running!"
  • "I don't generally like running. I believe in training by rising gently up and down from the bench." Satchel Paige :)
  • "Aiming for the marathon is a task of sorts which can include terrific highs and lows." -Bill Rodgers
  • "Being a runner means you are now "free" to win and lose and live life to its fullest." -Bill Rodgers
I am committing myself to running most everyday, holding myself accountable by putting the "carrot" at the end of the proverbial stick by blogging my running goals. Goal: I am going to run another marathon: in 2007 and break the four hour mark. But....

I've been scared to commit to another marathon because, well, for starters it is hard work. Second, I am afraid I'll get a teaching job in the fall (which means all kinds of overwhelming changes for this household and me!!!) and not have time to train as I like. Also, the hubby will support any goals and decisions I make, it's just that he's a realist and brings me back to earth. :) It's time consuming for sure; weekend long runs can be two hours. And I know it might not work out... but I love running, once I get into a regular routine. I will think on it more, but this is a goal I hope to accomplish.

I did run again today-in incredible wind. It was great, even sunny for the first 5 minutes of my run...but then the wind kicked in and I'd swear I was in Chicago (the windy city! :)) I didn't wear anything on my ears, because of the sun at the start, so my ears hurt a bit, as well as the runner's cough setting in already. But I bettered my time: 4 miles in 29:24, wind and all. :) When I got home the sky was black. There's no "prediction for rain or showers" but the sky says otherwise... I feel great!! Three days...and counting! :)


Recent reading:
  • I have given up the Gideon book, for now, as I recently realized it is the first of a trilogy that doesn't have the second book coming until next fall. I just couldn't get into it after that, plus the minute bits of time I were reading was spent on my Bible readings. Yes, I read all five chapters "assigned" for this past week.
  • I went to the bookstore and got a few books: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, book one (which I've read; I've read them all, but had borrowed from the library). My youngest is into fairies, magic, etc. and I thought she'd like us to read it together.
  • Also, I purchased Motif for Murder, the fourth scrapbooking mystery by Laura Childs, who also writes the Tea Shop Mysteries, which are also very good! My mother has read them/devoured them, and passed them along. I was in the mood for a good mystery, anyway.
  • I purchased The Treasures of Weatherby by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, as well, which is another book for youth, but will be a fast read that the kids can read after and I can put in a future classroom! :) Always looking for future reads! :) It's "children's fiction" for ages 9-12. My reading choices lately have definitely varied. From fiction for 8 year olds and up, to nonfiction (the 2007 Wine Report I received as a gift for Christmas) to adult mysteries!
  • We all got gift cards to our favorite book store, which is why all the purchases. My husband also got a book I'd like to borrow when he's finished: Life of Pi, which sounds very interesting. Even the author sounds intriguing. :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Today's Run

I ran again, today. Two days in a row! :) Today I only ran three miles and ran them in 23 minutes. My legs were sore from yesterday and rather tight muscles. The weather was nasty, thus the three instead of four miles. It was pouring and very windy. It was raining and blowing so hard that I couldn't hear my mp3 player via the headphones in my ears. :) But, I felt good afterward; even the soreness felt good, like my muscles were getting fit again. :)
My husband and I have been keeping track of our exercise and calorie/food intake on a spreadsheet. I found this site: http://www.healthstatus.com/cbc.html
that helps to tell you approximately how many calories you burn during each activity. I found it pretty interesting, and must inform on my blog. :)
Tonight my hubby and I are off on a date. My youngest daughter is off to a friend's slumber party and my oldest is off to a school dance! Wow, I can't believe she's old enough to attend dances. Although, she will be twelve this month! So, we have about two hours of date time. Hopefully we can get in dinner and the bookstore (for which some wonderful family members got us gift cards for Christmas! :))

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Running Again

I just feel so much better about myself when I am running. I feel less stressed, I feel fit, I feel good. Well, I started again. My goal is another marathon, if I can fit it in the schedule when the long runs get tough. Although, I just need to make it a priority. So, my current plan is to run everyday that I don't substitute teach. On those days I will yoga 30-50 minutes. I have a good video that gives some cardio, as well as the flexibility poses. This morning I ran for my first day in a while... I ran almost four miles in 30:18. When I start and it's this windy (today it is very windy!) I usually get a "runner's cough" for a few hours. My knees are also sore. Probably because I haven't ran in a while and I started with four miles! :) That's what I like, though. Two miles isn't enough for me anymore. It feels like I'm just getting started! :) Well, that is my current goal/achievement.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Goals and Resolutions

I have begun: some women in my circle group from church have embarked upon a challenge to read the entire New Testament of the Bible throughout the year. There is a weekly schedule that is a chapter per day excluding weekends. To hold ourselves accountable, we are also emailing/having an "online discussion" about what we've read. So, I have read the first two chapters in Matthew's Gospel. I have read parts and pieces many times, but some I haven't read at all. So, this will be good for me and give me a goal every day. Our oldest daughter leaves school in the morning at an earlier hour than our youngest. As I sit in the front room and watch her walk to the bus, I read my daily devotional and now I can also include my chapters. :) It gives me a goal and a good feeling to start the day.

We have begun family meetings, also. We decided to start them and have done one almost every week since December started. Tonight we have one, and I'm in charge of planning (first the husband planned and I was the "recorder", then oldest daughter was the "recorder" while younger daughter planned; we even had one in Chicago). We are making a "time capsule" and the girls, when we spoke of this, decided it should become an annual tradition. Anyway, we bought a cardboard tube of sorts at a craft store, a few strips of paper (for example, one that says baby girl and other pink sentiments, to show we've had two nieces/cousins this past year.) We will cover the container and fill it with items that provide memories of 2006. Then we will do one again next year. I also found a snack (we don't normally do snacks for the meetings; they only last about fifteen minutes...) that is a sugar ice cream cone dipped in melted chocolate and tipped upside down to resemble a new year's party hat. We'll have that and a scoop of ice cream. We'll also look over last year's resolutions and create new ones for next year.

We had a wonderful time visiting my family in my home state, although, as always, it flies by and we never see everyone who wants us to call. I always feel bad for not pleasing everyone, even though I know logically that's not possible. :) My sis in law has wanted to begin scrapbooking, so we sat down together for a bit on New Year's Eve and got her started; sorting pictures, putting them into the book in their chronological order, and starting her first four pages. Now she has an idea of how to tackle it on her own and is excited to do so. I was thinking while we did it, that I'm lucky my husband thinks it is a good hobby. He's supportive of it, compliments it when I'm finished and tells me how much more it will mean in ten years.

I have most of the gifts from this latest trip put away, just a few last things to go. I took the tree down the day after Christmas: we cut a live tree so it was beginning to drop needles and with our trip this past weekend, I didn't want to deal with it when we got back. So, it's been down for a week, and my snowmen collection is out. I love snowmen. Too bad we won't be getting enough snow to play in this year, so the reports go. Unless an unusual snowstorm appears and drops several inches on us.....ahhh, a snowday and reading in front of the fireplace, sledding and hot cocoa, tea or coffee with cookies afterward....a dream. :)

Speaking of cookies, my goals for this year are as usual: eat better, get back into marathon shape because I like the way my body looks and feels after such training, be more patient with kids and husband, back to daily Bible reading, update my resume and take my classes to renew my teaching certificate before they expire this summer.

I think that is all for today's post, and my dryer's buzzing that another load is ready to be folded.