Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 12 of 12

I remembered this month!...and actually managed to take enough pictures!

If you don't know what the 12 of 12 deal is go check out Chad's site. OK, you get it? Good. Moving on.

Jeanne's Feburary 2009 12 of 12

7:15 am - Off to work with my cuppa joe

01ddcoffee by you.

7:15 am Starting odometer for the day (149.0)...and a balmy 38 degrees at home.

7:17 am Foggy morning - can't see the golf course across the street.

7:18 - The corn fields near our house.
Make note of this picture...there will be one later for comparison.

7:45 am - For the second time this month I ran out of windshield washer fluid. The roads are so nasty these days.

8:00am - Arriving at my first school destination for the day.

8:01 am - Odometer reading upon arrival (178.7) and a fair bit warmer when you get further south (46)!

11:45 am Arriving at my second school destination for the day.

11:45 am I obviously travel quite a bit for work some days. Odometer reading now at 214.2. And I have traveled back north to slightly cool temps at midday (44 degrees).

3:00 pm - Making a quick stop at the craft store for a birthday present for my soon-to-be 9-year-old!

3:20 pm - OK, remember the photo from the morning commute? Here is the comparison photo showing that it really was foggy this morning! (What? There are actually mountains over there?)

3:24 pm - The bus that my children are on is in the distance. It came a bit on the early side that day and I was not home to "catch" it! They do not let my kindergartner off the bus unless someone is standing right there. I ended up pulling up behind the bus and beeping but his engine is so loud he could not hear me and he was beeping his horn to let the non-existent person in the house know he was there. He finally realized what was going on and let my kids off the bus, thankfully! Drives me nuts when they get to my house early because I have a hard enough time as it is to get home by 3:30 on the days that I work!

Not a very exciting 12 of 12 - I know. I don't feel comfortable taking pictures while I'm at work (confidentiality for the kiddos and all that) so my work day 12 of 12 entries end up being not very compelling. Unfortunately, next month will also be a work day... Oh well, at least April 12th falls on a Sunday so maybe we'll be doing something more interesting that day!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Me again...

Yeah, I'm here. Still. I just don't seem to find the time to write about much anymore. Perhaps because I'm spending a lot more time writing other stuff (consults, progress notes, 10-page evaluations, etc...) over the course of the week.

This week's 'excitement' was the dreaded JURY DUTY...

Sorry if I just caused shivers down your spine.

I don't recall when exactly I was inflicted with the Jury Duty summons but at the time I had obviously decided that the date they wanted me to appear was not going to work out for me. So, I thought ahead and decided that icy, snowy January would be the perfect month! And I picked a Wednesday because I knew it would not be a work day for me since my girls only have a half-day of school each Wednesday. In November, I got the reminder that Jury Duty was fast approaching and I immediately called in the reinforcements to be sure I would have all my kids covered for the day.

All was under control.

That was, until I realized that since we are on a 1-day, 1-trial system I might actually be impaneled on a case that lasts more than just one day. Uh-oh. Thursday is our "evaluation" day at work and originally I had not been on the schedule to do an evaluation for this Thursday...however, we had some change of plans at last week's staff meeting and I offered to take on the evaluation. In doing so I had forgotten about that day's proximity to my Jury Duty day - and perhaps I just had my head in the sand refusing to believe that I could be unlucky enough to be impaneled, let alone be stuck dealing with trial that extended beyond the day I was asked to serve. So, I didn't even bother to worry my little head about it until Tuesday night when, in a sudden panic, I sent off an email to my coworkers telling them that I was hopeful that I would be able to do the evaluation but that I would be at the mercy of the courts on Wednesday. Eek!

I arrived at the courthouse at 8:00am to check-in and made it through the metal detectors without issue. I had decided it was the better part of valor to leave my knitting needles at home in case I were accused of bringing potential weapons into the courthouse. When I walked into the lobby I scanned the room to size up my potential fellow jurors and I couldn't believe my eyes! I actually recognized one of the people in the room - a former coworker from my days working as a secretary in the Psychology Department at UMass! Small world, indeed. Tom and I got caught up on each others' lives and I found out that he continues to work at the university (but in a different department) and that he still has co-ownership of a bunch of sheep, goats and bunnies. He and his friends raise the animals for their fiber and they spin their own yarn and use it for different kinds of fiber art. You can probably guess why Tom and I were good friend when we worked together! I still have a great little snowman he made for me one year for Christmas - it's body is made of raw wool, he has a little black felted wool hat and his 'coal' eyes and mouth and 'carrot' nose are made of polymer clay. I think of Tom every year when that snowman comes out of storage for the Christmas season. :-) (Side note: Tom informed me that my plan to leave my knitting at home was a good one - apparently, the last time he had jury duty they made him return his knitting needles to his car!)

Shortly after I arrived and started to chat with Tom a woman came into the courthouse and she and Tom seemed to know each other and she joined our conversation. We chatted for a while before I finally introduced myself and found out that she is actually the friend who owns the farm where Tom's menagerie lives! I had heard many things about her in the past but had never actually met her. Not knowing just how long we might be stuck in the small, windowless jury room, I was more than thrilled to have a friendly face (or two!) to suffer with. At least I wouldn't have to suffer in silence!

As it turns out we were in that small room for only about 25 minutes - and 15 of those minutes we got to watch the horrible, low-budget Jury Duty Service Informational Video. Once the video ended the bailiff and judge came into the room to give us some information about what the day looked like. The judge reported that there was a trial that was continued from yesterday and that there were also negotiations going on between lawyers and their clients which might result in scheduled cases not actually making it to the courtroom. She did not know if we were going to be needed at all but she wouldn't have more information until later in the morning so she allowed us to leave the building until 10:30. The bailiff released us with a warning not to loiter in the lobby or outside the building because, as he pointed out, "we don't want you mixing with the kinds of people that are out there...and I mean that in the best way possible." LOL That bailiff was actually pretty funny.

Tom, his friend Kathy, and I decided to hightail it to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts for a cup of coffee. We hung out and chatted for the next hour and a half. They filled me in on the latest happenings in their departments (Kathy actually works for the Linguistics department from which I received my undergrad degree) and it really just seems like not much changes when it comes to office politics and "The Way the University Operates" (or doesn't, as the case may be). They grumbled and groused about this and that encouraged me to "come back to UMass!" so I could join in the fun. ;-) I said "thanks, but no thanks" and told them that in many ways I work for an equally dysFUNctional company and had my share of office politics to try to avoid.

We headed back to the courthouse to settled ourselves back in that small, windowless room. I was tense and had called to give my coworker an update on the situation. I promised to let her know by 4:30 if I was going to be out of work on Thursday. She made some phone calls to let people know that the evaluation was "on hold" pending more information about my jury service.
I was really hoping that I wasn't going to have to cancel. The families who employ our services usually wait a good number of months for an evaluation date and I would not want to make them wait another few weeks or possibly a month or more!

About five minutes after we got back to the jury room the bailiff returned and gave us the status report. The case that was continued from yesterday was the "court case from hell" (His exact words! I told you he was funny.) and it was taking a lot longer than anticipated. Apparently, it related to a fight that broke out among some frat boys and there were approximately 15 witnesses who needed to give testimony. Boy, am I glad I didn't get impaneled for that case! In addition, there were a few cases that were negotiated outside of the courtroom (guess some of the parties got cold feet once they arrived and realized what might happen next?). Finally, the bailiff said "that's just my long way of telling you that you are free to go home and we thank you for your willingness to serve. And by the way, just a piece of information I'd like to pass along...the card that I told you about that you will be receiving in the mail and serves as proof of your service today? Well, let's just say that your employer will know what day you served but it will not state the time that you were released. For all intents and purposes you could have been here until 4:30pm. Ahem. So, that's all I want to say about that. Have a nice day." (see! funny AND nice!)

And there endeth my Jury Duty story for 2009.

Just for showing up today and being so 'willing' to serve (ha) I am relieved of any Jury Duty for the next three long as I keep the card that shows my proof of service. If I lose the card the bailiff was nice enough to point out that my "punishment" would be that I would have no choice but to serve if my name happened to randomly come up again within the next three years. Yeah, well...that precious piece of paper is going directly in my fire box as soon as it's in my hot little hands.

Oh, and all was well for the evaluation, thankfully. I was able to call my coworker back about 20 minutes after my first call to her to let her know that I was good to go. I did the evaluation with another coworker today and it all went well. Now, we just have to finish writing up the report!

Time for me to sign off and get Youngest girl to bed. It's been a long day and I still have some work to do before tomorrow. Not to mention lunches to pack and laundry to do - it never ends, does it?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The 12 of 12 that wasn't....

I only managed to take a total of 7 pictures on Monday. Not nearly enough to attempt to throw in one or two last boring end of day pictures to post and actually participate. Sigh...

Maybe next month. (And maybe someone other than Rick will actually read the blog again if I post a link on Chad's 12 of 12 site!)

I guess I was silent for so long that even my few "regulars" stopped checking in! Not that I blame them. It's been a very long draught around here.

Today is normally a "no-work" day for me but once a month I have a Wendesday meeting to attend. Today is that Wednesday. Blah. Youngest girl normally goes to daycare two days a week but on my meeting week she goes three days in a row. Although she is finally getting better about going to daycare she still has a tough time when she has her three day week. Her dropoff routine is to snuggle on the couch with me or Rick and then we let Lauri take over with the snuggling and she is fine. Today I sat with her for a few minutes and then, when she was seeming sullen, I asked "How are ya doing?" Her response: "I'm still not happy." And then she broke down in tears. Sigh.... She was not likely to 'be happy' unless I suddenly decided it was not a Lauri day and she could come home and hang with mom. I finally encouraged her bribed her to be good by promising to buy more M&M's today so she could have some this evening IF Lauri reports that she had a good day at daycare. Naughty mommy...I just have a hard time saying goodbye to tears.

This coming weekend we are headed down to my hometown to visit my family. We are also invited to a party at my good friend S's house. She was my next door neighbor growing up and she was a year behind me in school. I think that many of the invitees are alumni from our high school -- many of whom I may not know (or recognize!) because they were in her graduating class. But, I should know a few of them and I'm really looking forward to hanging out with everyone this weekend! Something that I find neat and kind of funny about the party - most of the invitations were sent out via Facebook! I have become a regular user of Facebook Fanatic. I check in with my Facebook 'gang' whenever I'm at home checking email or just wasting time on the computer. Facebook can be such a HUGE time waster! I had to laugh when I read this post over on Notes to Self about the FB experience. Although I don't have any pothead ex-boyfriend's, my mom is actually on FB and I find myself second-guessing myself before I post anything because I start to remember that not only can my MOM read it, but a former professor of mine, co-workers past and present, and even my nieces and nephews are my FB friends. I do love it though. I feel that my relationship with said nieces and nephews has been strengthened by FB because we can have these little inconsequential but fun conversations that would not have been possible, or likely to ever happen, otherwise! I'm also chatting with certain other people that I would not have made the time to call or to email. I notice they are online and I send a quick "hello" which is sometimes not much more than that and sometimes it turns into a lenghty catch-up conversation. I am proud to be a Facebook Addict. No need to send me information on a 12-step program. I'm good.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Time is whizzing by...

Tap, tap, tap...


Is this this still on? Can you hear me out there...?

Sorry I have been so silent around here.

What can I say? Life has been a tad BUSY.

Unoriginal? Yes.

The honest truth? Absolutely.

My "part-time" job often feels like a job and a half...perhaps because motherhood does constitute a full-time job and therefore I really AM doing a job and a half. Makes sense to me.

It makes me wonder where the happy medium exists. When I was home with the girls I felt, in a way, 'busy' - but a lot of it was just busy work (laundry, errands, preschool pickup/dropoff, etc...) and I did not feel like I was using even a small fraction of my brain most days. It was mundane and predictable and I had quite a bit of time in which to do all that mundane stuff. I could procrastinate on chores because after all, "tomorrow is another day."

Now, however, my brain is on overdrive as I learn all the new things I need to know for my job, I am rushing through my days and feeling like I don't have enough time in the day to do it all, and the faster I run the behinder I seem to get...not to mention the big behind that I AM getting because I have no time to actually "run" (or walk). I miss my morning walks with Lauri. We used to walk from 6-7am. I now leave for work by 7:15 three days a week and the other two days are jammed packed with all the things I used to spread out over the course of a whole week.

I honestly do not know how any mom with young children can work full time and still manage to stay sane. Each and every one of them deserve an award - one that includes lots of cash and yearly allowances of chocolate and wine!

So, what exactly has been going on in the Elastic Waistland? Let's see...

We had a lovely Christmas here at home. Rick's brother and nephew visited from Virginia and were here for about 5 days. Santa was very good to the girls and they loved their gifts. Eldest girl loved her crystal growing kit, her snake and manatee webkinz, and her new books. Middle girl's favorites were her new dollhouse (taller than she is), the seal webkinz, and her vet kit. And youngest girl seemed pleased with just about everything, but especially her Little Pet Shop virutal pet. Santa gave her that because she had been asking for a Tamagotchi for a while but this virtual pet seemed more age-appropriate (I'm just guessing as to Santa's rationale for not getting her the real thing, of course - what do I know?).

Just after Christmas I decided to get back on track with my exercise and try to get my weight back under control and did a treadmill workout. I figured I would be fine with an interval workout that included some hills. Boy, was I wrong. I ended up wrenching my back but good and was flat out for three days in bed and literally could not move without excruciating pain. I iced it, took plenty of Advil, and have been to my chiropractor three times in the last week. It is definitely getting better but it's still not quite right.

I'm now officially afraid to exercise. The pain was that bad. Being afraid to exercise is not good if I hope to get the weight off. Not good at all. I am going to wait for another while before I try to get on the treadmill again and I will NOT be doing any hills. Nice and flat and slow to begin. My back problems are making me feel old. Old, I tell ya!

During the week or so that I was incapacitated Rick took care of everything. He is amazing and I'm so blessed to call him mine! The poor guy was probably happy to head back to work after the New Year's holiday. Work probably seemed relaxing after the week he had at home taking care of everything.

Now that the holidays are over and it's the start of a New Year (how the heck did that happen?) we have already begun to look ahead to vacation planning. It's that time of year, after all. Time to think about summer vacation destinations and what we may be able to afford. I have been bringing in a good amount of money this year but, fortunately or unfortunately, most of it is paying for a new roof. Sexy, huh? Just what I always wanted to spend thousands of dollars on. A new roof! Yee. Haw. I am thankful that we will be able to just pay for it outright and not deal with a bank loan but it's just not all that gratifying to get a new roof, ya know? I mean, if it were leaking and causing problems already it would be a relief to have a new roof and it might make spending that kind of cash somewhat more palatable. But of course I don't want to wait for that to happen. It is much more sensible to plan ahead and take care of things before they become an issue. Sensible is never very exciting, is it?

So, vacation planning thus far is limited in my mind to an April vacation visit to Virginia to stay with Rick's brother and nephew for a few days and perhaps a long weekend or two to the Cape to stay with my parents. The Cape is nice enough, don't get me wrong, but when you grow up there it sort of loses it's "vacation" appeal. In fact, we prefer to visit there on the off-season when it's more peaceful and serene and the beaches are nearly empty.

Other than that - there is not a whole lot going on around here. Rick and I are both busy with work. My MIL is being a saint about taking the girls when we need her to based on my somewhat crazy schedule. In fact, she even offered to feed them dinner last night and put them to bed so Rick and I could go out on a long overdue date night. We happily took her up on the offer and went out to see Gran Torino (I would recommend it) and went out to a favorite local restaurant for dinner. It was lovely - a much needed break.

The girls are doing well all around. Eldest and Middle girl are doing well at school. Eldest has been making strides in her ability to talk in class. She did a book report recently where she had to present a poster she had made about the book and she also had to present some information with a classmate about Native American Pottery. Both presentations went very well according to Eldest girl. I was relieved to hear that she has been making such huge strides in this area! Middle girl is learning to read and for Christmas I bought her some My Little Pony beginning reader books. She is doing so well and impressed grandma last night by reading one of them to her before bed. Youngest girl is finally getting used to going to her godmother's daycare. It took most of the fall before she really started to feel comfortable and I was worried about going back after the break. Thankfully, she adjusted again very quickly to the old routine.

Due to Youngest girl's long adjustment period to daycare and my work schedule, we have opted not to send her off to our beloved little preschool next year. She is going to continue to go to daycare for at least one more year. I'm very sad about it but cannot fathom working out a sane schedule when I work three full days (Tu, Th, and Fr) and the preschool is only four half days (Monday through Thursday). It would be difficult and I am only hoping that we can manage to deal with it for a year so that she will have the experience of going to that same school that the older two attended. Time will tell.

Ok, I think I've babbled long enough and probably many of you tuned out long before this last paragraph. I will try to post more often so that I don't ramble like this again in the near future!

Monday, November 03, 2008

School Pictures are In!

Just got the girls school portraits today and had to share! :-) I think they both came out great (as their mother I can, of course, give an unbiased opinion on such matters...ahem).

My third grader

My kindergartener

OK, now that you have seen my cute kids you can get to bed so that tomorrow you can get up bright and early and GO VOTE! Polls open at 7am around here and I'm sure they are open early at a polling station near you. Just do it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Project: Rocker

When I was pregnant with Youngest girl we found a glider rocker very cheap at a tag sale. It was missing the original cushions and someone had thrown on some ugly throw pillows in their place . But, the price was right and I am handy with a sewing machine and a big bag of fiberfill so we bought it and put it in the nursery. I bought some fabric to match the nursery quilt and sewed up some cushions. That rocker served us very well through Youngest girl's babyhood. We spent many cozy hours rocking and nursing in that chair.


Once we put Youngest girl's toddler bed into the room there was not quite enough room to leave the rocker in there. So, we moved it to our living room and there it sat - for more time than I care to admit - clashing quite nicely with our living room furniture. In fact, we had not intended to just leave it there but it became a comfortable addition to the room. So, then I decided I would find time to recover the cushions and it could stay there. But, somehow I never made it to the fabric store for that purpose or if I did go there I forgot about buying fabric for that project.

A couple of weeks ago I had to go to JoAnn's fabrics on a Halloween-related errand and while I was there I remembered to actually buy some fabric! Yay! And this past week I finally made the time to get the project started. It took until today to finish it, but now it is done and looking quite lovely! (I'm so modest...but seriously...doesn't it look nice? And way more living room-ish? And I'm really liking the fabric which is such a buttery soft sueded something or other.)


So, there you have it. My latest sewing project. I have also been working on knitting a few pairs of baby socks to donate to the church craft fair which is coming up in November. I need to take some photos so I can share them here. They are so cute! (There I go again, being all modest and crap.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 12 of 12 (and Date Night!)

This month we had a great day for the 12 of 12 (see Chad's site for the 411 on 12 of 12). The weather was absolutely beautiful, the fall colors are at their peak, and it was a Sunday so we could spend the day (mostly) as we pleased.

Church - 10:30am
Some friends who had moved away were back visiting this weekend and we got to see them all at church. Middle girl is standing with her friend C who was born two days before her. Yes, they both turned 6 this month - even though Middle girl is nearly a head taller. LOL

Church - noon
Leaving church - isn't it a gorgeous day?

After lunch we decided that we would take the girls apple-picking in a local orchard.
Cold Spring Apple Orchard - 1:45pm
How do you like them apples?

So big that Middle girl can barely carry more than two.

Look, ma! It's as big as my face!

The apples of my eye.

There was a geocache (go to for the 411 on that!) not far from the orchard so we figured we try to find it.

On the trail - 1:50pm
Rebeca took this picture of me and Rick (and if you look between Rick's legs you can see Middle girl hiding behind him)

Off the beaten path - 2:00pm
Rick on the hunt for the cache.

Trailside - 2:10pm
Success! The girls got to choose a trinket and we left a few behind. And on the way out of the cache we met some fellow geocachers...a dad and daughter team who were out for their fourth find. It was the first time in all the years we've been caching that we actually met someone on the trail who was also out geocaching! We've been out before and suspected that another group or person on the trail was a geocacher but it seems verboten to yell out "hey, are you a geocacher"?

Date Night! To end the day off on a wonderful note Rick and I had managed to arrange for a date night. We were long overdue - or at least it felt that way. We dropped the girls off at Rick's parents' house and headed out for a late afternoon hike to enjoy the foliage and the views on the top of a nearby mountain. The weather was absolutely perfect, but the mosquitoes were a bit insane for this time of year. And the mountain itself was swarming with other like-minded individuals who wanted to enjoy the day to the fullest. I think we passed at least 30 other groups of hikers on our way up the mountain.
Mt. Norwottuck - 5:00pm
We made it to the top!

This picture does not do justice to the great colors we saw.

On the way down - 5:20pm
Artsy fartsy fall foliage snapshot. A nice way to end this 12 of 12.

After our hike we did get out to dinner and had a delicious meal with wine, dessert and even a Bailey's coffee for me. Yum. It was relaxing to just sit and chat with no interruptions and eat some really great food that we didn't have to prepare, serve or clean up after (and no need to cut someone else's food into bite sized pieces). The end of our date night was a romantic trip to Target. We had to get some essentials like TP and paper towels and we also got a few gifts for Youngest girl who will turn three on Sunday! (Seriously!) We resisted the urge to buy a fire pit even though that would have been a romantic thing to buy on date night. But, we just don't need it and we are trying to be more mindful of the stuff we buy.

It was a great 12th of the month and I'm so glad I remembered it was 12 of 12 so I could make a record of our day. Now I'm off to post this to Chad's site and to check out what other folks did on their 12 of 12!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cel-ah-brate good times...

I hope I'm not dating myself with that song for my title.

Middle girl celebrated her birthday in style on Sunday and Monday. Sunday was the friend party at the local gymnastics school where she has been taking classes for about 3 years. She had nine friends along with her two sisters as guests and they all had a ball with the "party people" Ann-Marie and her husband Bobbie.

Here are a few choice photos from the party:

A gaggle of girls ganging up on Bobbie.

The birthday girl waiting for instructions (along with friend M).

Eldest girl enjoying Ann-Marie's antics.

Youngest girl stuck close to me for the entire party with the exception of this short
stint on the trampoline - which she obviously enjoyed thoroughly!

Cake time! And for the record, I can no longer be called 'Martha on Crack' (right, K?). I forked over big bucks to let someone else run the party AND I bought the cake from the local bakery!

Present time - with help from mom and friend N.


On Monday she woke up at 6:30 and I was able to wish her a happy birthday on the exact moment of her birth - 6:53am. Hard to believe that this baby is now six!
mombeccaand by you.

(....and equally hard to believe that the other "baby" in the photo - who seemed soooo big at the time - is going to be 9 this winter).

At school she celebrated with all her classmates. Her sisters and I ate lunch with her in the classroom and then we handed out cupcakes (homemade but with canned frosting - see, K? No Martha living here no mo'). This teacher does such a nice job of making the child feel special on their birthday (and even the summer birthday kids get to celebrate before the end of the year). During circle time they do a special little birthday 'ceremony' and sing a special song. One child sits in a chair holding a small candle - this child is the "sun". The birthday child carries a globe and walks around the sun as many times as they are old to signify how many times the earth has been around the sun since they were born. The teacher also reads the A.A. Milne poem "When I am Six" to the child and the class then sings a second 'birthday song' which is not the traditional birthday song. I don't know the words to the songs but they are both very sweet. :-) Oh yeah, and a birthday story is also read to the class and the birthday child gets to take home a special book bag of birthday stories to read at home. I can't say enough how much I love Ms. W!!!

Here are a few pics from the school celebration:

Putting on her special crown.

Circling the 'sun'!

A special birthday poem.

Lunch with mom and sisters.

Happy Birthday!

Time for cupcakes!


And last but not least we celebrated with my in-laws by having them over for dinner that night! Middle girl requested chicken with spaghetti sauce over pasta and green beans. Nothing fancy so it was an easy relaxed dinner...and of course...more cake for dessert! :-)

All in all, a wonderful couple of days to celebrate the day we first met our very special Middle girl!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Expecting a Fair(l)y Small Visitor


The big news today in E.W. is that Middle girl lost her first tooth! And "lost" is a good way to put it because she literally lost it. She was eating an apple and accidentally swallowed it. I think we were all very surprised because she had not been complaining of a loose tooth and then bam! it was gone. She was upset at first but luckily Eldest girl had something similar happen not that long ago and a note explaining the situation sufficed in getting her due from the tooth fairy. So, she figured we could just write another note and hopefully she'd get a visit too. Eldest girl helped her write the note and they left it along with a 'form' for the tooth fairy to fill out! I'll scan it and post it once the fairy has gotten a chance to fill it out. I'm curious to know if she'll actually have time to do that while she is here. I guess it depends on how many houses she needs to get to before morning...

Without further ado - here's Middle girl with her adorable gap-toothed smile.


Monday she turns 6! Which is pretty hard to believe.
And it's picture day at school so I'm hoping she will show off her new smile. :-D

The Tooth Fairy did, indeed, make her visit last night. Middle girl was up very early this morning to check and found four quarters and a note in a little envelope from the tooth fairy. The note gave Congrats on losing her first tooth and condolences for swallowing it. She also wished Middle girl a happy birthday! She signed the note "Your Tooth Fairy, Starr". The girls assumed that the tooth fairy did not have time to fill in the little form they left for her but mom's sharp eyes noticed the teeny, tiny handwriting on the form! Not sure it will show up here - but you should be able to click on the picture to see it larger on Flickr. She wrote her name, the date she found it and her comment was "Sorry you swallowed it!"


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm Emailing Matt Damon!

Or in reality he is emailing me! I had to call a software company on behalf of one of my students today. The tech support guy was very kind and after our brief conversation he sent met an email with some instructions to download.

If I knew how to take a 'screen shot' I'd do that but since I don't I just grabbed my camera and took this grainy shot...

IMG_5935 by you.

Do you see what I saw when I opened my email. A message from Matt Damon to me! Me!

Ok, so his name is Damon Matt (poor guy) but it still gave me a little jolt to see his name at the top of my inbox. ;-)

It put a smile on my face today - and I needed that.
Thanks Matt, Damon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Project: Bath

People say that time flies. I think it's actually on supersonic mode right now.

I'm sitting here wondering how it got to be Monday again. Didn't I just post my Monday to-do list? (Have no fear, I won't bore you with the details of that list this week although it's nearly as long once again.)

Since I last posted I've worked three days, gone to a "back to school picnic", made it to knitting night, honed my techie skills by playing around with some software (Classroom Suite, for those educational types who might know what that is), bought a new tub, and watched Rick demolish half our bathroom.

This bathroom project is like any other home project in that its scope started out in the 'doable' range and has spread to the point that we need to bring in a plumber to deal with some issues that are impeding progress.

Initially, the plan was to rip out and replace the tiles around the tub. We were having some not insignificant leakage during showers and could not completely pinpoint or fix the issue. The tiles are nearly 40 years old and the grout was dry and crumbling so it really was time to just deal with it. Before we got started we had a number of discussions about how far we wanted to go. Did we want to replace the tub? Or not. If we pulled the tub, what about the floor? And if we have to replace the floor does it make sense to do the vanity and sink over at the same time... Project sprawl was threatening to overtake our best intentions. At one point we decided to just deal with the tiles and make a quick job of it. After the tiles were removed Rick noticed a few nicks in the porcelain tub and in the end we decided to just deal with the tub now rather than later. So, Rick got to work hammering out the tub.

And before we knew it we were at Home Depot picking out a new tub. We had looked into various options and initially I wanted to just get the same kind of tub. However, it turns out the tub I wanted was over 300 lbs and would be nearly impossible to maneuver into our tiny bathroom. It was obvious that the house had been built up around the tub. So, after a fair bit of debate we opted for a much lighter weight and relatively more portable acrylic tub (no more harsh abrasive cleaners!). One issue we knew about when purchasing the tub was that it was a bit deeper than our old tub and would thus require some 'simple' plumbing (is it ever truly simple?) to move the tub spout higher up. However, once Rick got into the nitty gritty of "how to install" the tub we realized that the drain was also going to be in the wrong spot. And of course moving the drain and the spout means it would no longer line up with the rest of the plumbing. Oh dear. What was that I said about project sprawl?

On the list for today is to call a plumber (or three) for estimates on dealing with our plumbing-related project woes. Rick is loathe to hire out for household projects because he can deal with 99 out of 100 home repair or remodel issues. It's true. He is the ultimate Mr. Handyman which has saved us boatloads of cash over the years. But, this is just one of those times that my gut tells me that professional assistance is warranted. I think Rick agrees (mostly). What can I say? He's a Taurus and they are known for their stubbornness...

So, between work and the bathroom remodeling I've been rather occupied. Not that I've been doing any of the remodel work myself, but the fretting about it has been keeping me busy enough. Since I'm a Virgo I'm prone to worrying...(and a bit of perfectionism to boot which is why the thought of installing a tub/shower with misaligned plumbing was making me cringe just a wee bit a fair bit).

Off to take a shower in the downstairs bathroom (luckily we have two bathrooms!) and get dressed for the day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not bad...

I think I did pretty well in checking off a lot of my to-do list for today!

TJ's shopping

make appointment with my hairdresser

pick out tile at home improvement store

*clean/organize for the week ahead
well - sort of. I did get some cleaning done and things are too bad around here but this is one of those to-do items that I never feel like I fully accomplish!

*laundry (get the piles folded and put away)
Another item that gets a "sort of" rating. I processed more laundry but still have my mountain to fold and put away. Key word when it comes to Jeanne vs. the laundry - procrastination.

*start another pair of baby socks
Nope. Didn't get started on this one. I had hoped to start it at the meeting tonight (see below) but I ended up chatting with the moms I knew there instead.

*find out the mailing addresses for the kids in Middle girl's classroom who will be invited to her party
One down - three more to go on this list!

attend the meeting at school this evening for Eldest girl's violin lessons
However, now Eldest girl has decided she is not at all excited about violin now that she has learned that there will be at home practicing going on and she also said it was "too hard to learn." Sigh... I told her she can't say that until she tried. She has to at least go to a few lessons but that I won't force her or argue with her about it if she doesn't want to do it. I just don't have it in me to force her to do something that is supposed to be 'fun'!

Took Youngest girl on a walk - we had intended to go to the farm to visit the sheep, llamas, and cows but she fell asleep within 10 minutes so I just walked the neighborhood for 45 minutes while she slept.

make into banana bread

* return bottles at the grocery store

Tally for the day:

6 full check marks
3 partial/sort of check marks
2 unchecked items

oh, and I can check an additional item off my list:

bore everyone to tears with my blog posts!