Monday, April 30, 2012

Blog Issue

As many of you know, I wire all of my blog posts for the week at once. I sit down, get them all out, and schedule them to be published at specific times.

But lately, there's been an issue.

See, it's supposed to just automatically publish. I set something to be published at 6am on Monday, and at 6:01, when I view this blog, the new post should just appear.

But it does not. Instead, I have to go into the stupid post, as though I'm editing it, and click "publish" again, even though I have changed nothing, just to get the stupid thing to show up.

I'm sorry if this sounds like such a little thing. It sound like one, I know. But I never used to have to do this, until, of course, they updated the formatting and all that to make things "better" and now, even though I'm not supposed to have to, I still do if I want anything to publish.

Also, I'm tired and cranky this week, remember?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Punch Line

There's an old story I recently just came across again.

It's the one where the guy comes home from work at his usual time, and finds his two children playing outdoors in their Pajamas. They are digging in the flower beds, and are covered in mud and dirt from head to toe. The front door is wide open, and he immediately realized something is wrong. He dashes inside, tripping over a pile of coats and shoes. The living room is a wreck, cushions off the sofa, books and toys all over the floor.  The kitchen is also filthy, the sink full of dirty dishes, the table covered in scraps of food and sticky syrup. The frige door is wide open and the dog is licking the bottom shelf. Juice is spilled all over the floor. The bathroom sink is running,  toothpaste is all over the sink and the bathroom counter, and toilet paper is trailing down the hall. As he makes his way up the stairs he notices that there is dirty laundry and toys on each step, and all over the floor upstairs. Crayon scribbles mark up the walls. Now very worried, he bursts into the bedroom to find his wife in bed with a book.

"Honey!" He exclaims. "What happened?"

"Well," she replies," You know how you're always saying you wonder what I do all day? Today I didn't do it."

I have been so distracted this week, that this is what I feel like. I know it was April Vacation, and I was supposed to clean my whole house. How much did I get done? I cleaned half the kitchen.

Now, don't get me wrong. I cleaned half the kitchen Really Really well. I did such a good job that even now, days later, you can tell it was cleaned recently, if you know where to look. It's just that I got distracted.

I committed myself to doing a rather big project for the church. It'snot something I'm doing on my own. In fact, I feel that I'm doing less than everyone else. But still, it requires a lot of reading, and a lot of phone conversations, and many meetings, most of which take place after 7pm. I feel as though I'm stretched pretty thin. So thin, in fact, that I stopped working out this week - even the little weight lifting I was doing, just so I could sleep a little more. I didn't vacuum the house this week. I've done less laundry than usual. And I feel I've hardly been there to put the boys to bed.

The project is almost over. Almost. OK, it will be over in another week. That isn't that long. I can hang in there for one more week, really. When this is over I can start working out again. Carefully, so my ankle won't get hurt. I can get my regular routine back. I can get back onto this Spring Cleaning project. I will once again be Wonder Woman.

But for now, I'm just a lump of tired brain matter who is aways in need of a nap.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gardening

This spring I'm planting a vegetable garden again. Once again, I'm going to give it my best shot. I'm planting green beans, tomatoes, squash and zucchini, and this year I'm trying carrots and corn.

I'm really not sure about the corn.

I also got a blueberry, a raspberry, and a blackberry plant. I'm feeling ambivalent about these, and a little guilty. We used to have blackberries, but I pulled up the plants because they were so mixed in with the thorny brush near the trees. I figure that, now that I've got most of the thorny brush cleared, and now that I'm more familiar with what the thorny brush looks like, I can distinguish between desirable and undesirable.

Good luck to me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

T-Ball

This T-ball practice schedule is killing me.

I know it's seasonal, but you know what helps? A regular practice schedule. Every Wednesday at 5:30. Or every Saturday at noon. But no, they try to schedule practices so that different people can make different ones, so it's always different. One day at 8AM, then the next at 5:30. Then two days later at 6pm. Then a week later at noon.

It makes it impossible to anticipate, and extremely difficult to schedule around.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Calendar

I keep a date book.

It's an old-fashioned one. And by that I mean that it's paper, and I write in it with a pen. I keep everything I need to do in it - not only lists of weekly tasks, like "grocery shopping" or "laundry" but doctor's appointments, hair appointments, T-ball practices... everything.

I know there are more modern ways to keep calendars. For example, I have one on my computer. I've plugged a few things into it, just for kicks. Meetings I need to attend for church, parent / teacher conferences, etc. I also have one on my i-pad, which comes in handy if I happen to bring it with me. And I have one on my phone, which I use every once and awhile, but which is hard to use because the keyboard is small, and I have people-sized fingers.

The things is, these calendars don't speak to each other. Now, I have a mac. I have an iPhone. As far as I can tell, these calendars are the same. But no matter what I sync, no matter what settings I type in, none of the information ever carries over from one to the other.

Steve told me to google it, which I did. But I couldn't understand half of it. Aside from general computer terminology, many program names also happen to be regular words. Like "exchange." If you don't know this is a program instead of a verb or noun, you could get confused. And what I did understand didn't work.

Steve then told me I should use a different program, but I don't want to re-enter all the information I have already entered.

I beat my head against the counter and screamed and yelled and wondered why why WHY this had to be so HARD! There must be something, some way to make this easier....

And there is. It's called a pen and paper. My regular, old-fashioned journal.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dog?

The other day, as we were walking through a house, we met this little puppy.

I have mixed feelings about dogs like this. First of all, when someone says the word "Dog" I picture something closer to Gunther. Or to, you know, something dog-sized. Something bigger than my cat. This dog is four pounds.

Secondly, I can see putting a sweater or a rain coat or even booties on a dog to protect from cold or rain. I do not understand putting a dress on a dog so she can run about the house.

But then again... she is so cute.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Brothers


I've been trying to get the boys to get along more. All they seem to do is argue and fight. Even though I know from first hand experience that this is something siblings do, it is getting out of hand.

The thing is, they really do like each other. Maybe they've just reached the stage where they need some space from each other.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. 
Today, just for one day, do something nice for the planet. Walk instead of ride. Stay away from plastic bottles. Recycle something you usually don't. Reuse something you usually don't. Try turning off your lights, your devices, your TV's. Read a book or take a walk. 
Love the planet. It's the only one we've got.

I got this photo from FB's Green Renaissance page.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Break

This year we aren't going anywhere for April Vacation. We are staying home. I have some things I need to do at the church, and I plan on trying to get some Spring Cleaning done.

My Master Plan is to go room by room. That way the boys can't get in my way. They will only mess up the rooms I've already done. It's supposed to be chilly and rainy all week, so they probably won't be going outside...

Wish me luck.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Camera Issues

Sometimes my camera does this. It's kind of irritating. I'd say "get a new one" except that.... well... this camera IS my new one.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ankle

Quick update on my stupid ankle tendons.

I went and got fitted for orthopedic inserts. These are basically really expensive shoe inserts, like Dr. Scholl's, only they cost $60, and the nice lady who watched we walk around first fitted them to my foot using a really strong heat gun (like a hair dryer but stronger.)

I learned a few things. For one thing, she can feel the difference in my good and bad tendons without even reaching my famous lump. My left tendon is "ropey." Also, I have to start stretching now, even if the swelling hasn't gone down, or my tendon will bind to my bone and I'll hurt myself again as soon as I start running again.

Also, I learned that flip flops and sandals have no support (she sees an increase of people coming in with injuries in the summer) so stay away from the Old Navy $2 flips.

Finally, the biggest shocker for me... avoid going barefoot! Here I was thinking that I was fine as long as I kicked off the 1.5" heels as soon as I got home, but it turns out being barefoot, or wearing slippers, is just as bad. Sneakers with support are best, and mules are no good because they have no support in the back of the ankle.

Seriously? It's finally warming up and I'm going to have to wear sneakers all summer? I don't think so. No way. This thing better fix itself fast, because one of the many plus sides of summer is hardly wearing shoes. I'm not pulling on smelly sneakers every day! Not a chance!

Pooh on this stupid ankle injury. It's really become a pain in the you know.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Different School Photo


Clix Photography comes to Andy's school twice a year.

In the fall, they take traditional school pictures, and a few poses with pumpkins, or apples, or fall leaves. I really like the pictures they take. I think they look marvelous, and I want to drag all three boys in for a group shot one of these days.

But in the spring... well, they go a different way. They dress up. This is why we have one picture of nate in a boxing outfit, and one where he's dressed up as a knight.

But this spring they did "Fairies and Fishermen."




Please, feel free to comment and let me know what you think.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Problems with Pets

We have three pets. Gunther, the dog, Frank, the cat, and Puck, the diabetic cat.

Taking care of multiple pets takes some getting used to. They each have their own needs, and they each have their own habits.

We learned, for example, that we couldn't feed the cats on the floor, because GUnther would quickly stick his nose in and in three seconds the only thing left in the cat dishes would be a thin layer of dog spit.

So we adapted and started feeding the cats on the counter, a place they otherwise were not allowed.

This worked for two or three days. And then Gunther learned that, if we weren't looking, he could place his front paws on the counter and reach the bowls with his tongue.

After many months of yelling, bowls falling to the floor, and a few skipped meals for the cats, the vet told us Puck had a thyroid issue and needed medication. It was important that he get regular meals.

So I placed a baby gate to the pet hallway, moved the dog's food and the water bowl to the outside of the baby gate, and fed the cats on the inside of the "pet hallway." The "pat hallway" also happens to be where the coffee maker is, and this means that, in the morning, there was some hopping over baby gates involved, not to mention that when it was Andy's turn to feed the pets, he had to climb over one baby gate and then reach over a second - the one I had placed in front of the closet to keep Gunther or the cats from knocking the bin of food over. The gate comes up to Andy's armpits, so it means a lot more to him.

On top of the baby gates, I was giving puck pills twice a day.

And then... and then and then and THEEEENNNNN.... the vet told us Puck was diabetic. And now needed special food, special WET food, and also had to have injections.

So... the wet food meant that Frank got jealous and would try to eat Puck's food. And Puck, naturally, preferred Franks food. Again, I tried making them just get used to it, but they are cats. So after weeks of loudly yelling at Frank "THIS IS YOUR BOWL!" I finally broke. I started placing Puck's dish of food in the bathroom, far away from Frank.

But then Gunther the dog had new access to Puck's food.

So I had to shut the door.

By the way, I should note that Steve had long ago stopped trying to keep up with this whole thing. He now refers tot he downstairs bathroom as "Puck's private dining area" as though Puck were the one at fault. I tried pointing out that it's the other two pets that eat his food, but it does no good.

So now, twice a day, I place Franks food in the pet hallway as I give puck his pill, Gunther gets fed by one of the boys (it's easier, just a scoop of dry) on the outside of the baby gate, and the Puck's food gets placed inside the bathroom, with the door closed. As soon as he is finished, I give him an injection of insulin.

Except this is a busy place, and sometimes, just sometimes, things get forgotten.

The other night I forgot about Puck. Not only did he not get his injection, he was shut in the bathroom all night long. When I came down the net morning, he had turned over the trash bin and peed all over it. I mean, he had to pee somewhere, but really? Soggy cat-pee dryer lint was stuck all over the bathroom floor.

Also, he wasn't very excited about breakfast.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Rock Paper Scissors


The other day I cam upon the boys trying to solve a disagreement. Being children, they did what kids do and decided to solve their issue using Rock Paper Scissors. 

Just in case you don't know how this works (at a church board meeting it came out that one adult really didn't know how this decision making process worked, so this says something, although I guess it's mostly about how our church board makes decisions. But I digress...)

Just in case you don't know Rock Paper Scissors, I'll explain. Say two people want to resolve something, such as who gets to drive, hold the remote, has to clean up the cat puke, etc. They would face off and at the same time make one of three hand signals. Rock (a fist) Paper (a flat hand) or Scissors (two fingers extended to look like scissors). Each can beat one thing but gets beat by the other. Rock beats Scissors but Paper covers Rock. Scissors cut Paper, but get crushed by Rock. 

Unless, of course, you are playing todays game. This little scene took place after I butted in and declared that there is no GUN in Rock Paper Scissors. 

I also, as delicately as I could, tried to explain why doing Rock Paper Scissors with three people wouldn't work, especially three people who refused to change their minds about what they were going to shoot.
video

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

I don't take a lot of pictures at Easter because it's hard to capture a moving target, and most of the time the boys are either running around like maniacs, or stuffing their mouths with chocolate marshmallow jelly bean bunnies.

But sometimes, while waiting for an egg hunt to begin, a boy has to just rest. On his easter bucket.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Picture

Me: Hold your chocolate bunnies up and smile!

Boys:


Friday, April 13, 2012

Doctor's Orders

So the lump on my ankle came back.

Now, I'm a smart lady. I looked this thing up on the internet, and I diagnosed myself with Achilles Tendonitis, based on what it looked like and what my activities were. And when I stopped running during that long stretch between Christmas and February 1st, the lump went away.

And when I started running between February 1st and my boat vacation, the lump started coming back. I was hoping the extra week of not-running and being on a boat would give it a little extra time to heal, but alas, no. When I came back, ten pounds heavier, all activities led to this growing lump on my ankle.

This is a little lump, you see. It isn't huge. Not as big as it was before Christmas. On it's own, I might not notice it, but it was so painful before that I want to make sure I don't do anything too very stupid, like rip the tendon completely and not be able to run ever again.

So I mentioned it to my doctor. He agreed to give me a referral to an orthopedist, but there was some complication about insurance, so I had to actually find one through the insurance company.

And weeks later, I finally went to see a specialist. After some x-rays and pinching my ankle, he gave me his expert opinion: I have Achilles Tendonitis, and I need to stop running until it heals.

Go figure.

The thing is, the lump is just swelling. What's actually happening is that the tendon is ripping. Not in half, but fraying, like a rope. The lump is just the swelling around the sore spot. And if I keep running, eventually the rope will snap. Which would be VERY bad. I would be hobbled, basically.

So there's no running. In fact, now I have to go back to get a special insert made for my shoe. I have to stay away from anything with a negative heel or too high a heel. I can't run. I can't even walk. I have special exercises to do, like stretching. And then I have to go back to the orthopedist again, and he will decide if I need physical therapy. Which I don't want. Because quite frankly, I can hardly fit the doctor's appointments into my schedule without at least two small children tagging along.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Finding Comfort

This is the bin I put all of our mail and bills in, until I get the chance to pay them or file them away. It eliminates clutter.  Apparently, it's also a really good place to nap.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nick's Dancing

I couldn't get a video of this. After shouting at his to stop acrobatting in the house, I couldn't very well ask him to start again for the camera.... could I?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nathan's Egg


And I shall call him Eggy, and he shall be mine!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

 We segregate our eggs - ones for hiding, and ones for just looking at because they are not hard boiled and will make a huge mess if they break. Next year I'm going to try actually blowing the eggs out. The  psanky (decorated with wax) not the regular kid ones. I'm still not very good at it, and it does get rather tedious, especially when you're trying to help the boys, who need help with the wax and the open flame. But I just think they look so much better.




Regardless, Easter is not all about the eggs. It's also about chocolate and going to church in fancy hats and listening to that song they sing every year! Resurrection and religion aside, I also feel Easter is about the real beginning of Spring. A resurrection of nature, if you will.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Two Front Teeth

All my life I have encountered what I like to call "trouble words." These are words that, for whatever reason, I can't remember how to spell. Like "businesses." I usually end up avoiding these words, just so I won't misspell them. Todays post is a happy joining of two I always get confused.

Loose and lose.

It's about Nick's front teeth. They had been getting looser and looser, and on Monday, the first one came right out at school.


Almost as soon as it came out, the lonely one that was left hung slanted, as if it had been using it's twin for support. And it hung there for days. Every night I'd tell Nick it was his last night with his tooth, and it made a liar out of me at least three times.

Until last night, when Nick walked into my room at 4am to tell me his tooth had come out, and he had swallowed it. 



For the record, he didn't swallow it. I found it carefully placed on the railing of his bunk bed, right next to the lamp.

I just get a little sad because he's getting so big.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Nick Plays Piano



I tried to get a video, but each time he realized I was filming he would start staring at me and make mistakes. I have to get him by surprise.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Monday, April 02, 2012

Sunday, April 01, 2012