Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hiding Out

It seems that everytime I check my email these days, I end up sitting at the computer for an hour. My inbox has now turned into my "To Do" box. I've also got these lists following me everywhere I go. The sad part is that they just keep getting longer because they are on going things that need to be constantly followed up on for this carnival.

So I've decided to be super duper productive today. I closed my binder, set aside my written out to do list and put the lap top away for a bit. (I hear the confusion in your heads.)

I needed a break and Chloe was still napping, so I got to work recovering our kitchen chairs. It's been a project long past due. Proudly, both of my kids have come home from school and noticed them right away. Ten bucks says it takes my husband a lot longer. Ha.

If I had known how easy of a project this would be, I would have done it a long time go. I like the way the lighter color looks better, but it was just impossible to keep clean with how many kids go through my house in the course of a day. So here you have it - as good as new.


And then I looked out the window and noticed that I had failed to notice it had been snowing for some time now. I guess we're in for 4-6 inches tonight and tomorrow. Oh Joy!

It's funny the things that you don't notice anymore when you're not outside smoking all the time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Am So Regretting That Nap

Earlier tonight, I wasn't feeling very well. All of a sudden I was just wiped out and really sick to my stomach. I hadn't taken my second Chantix yet, so I really didn't think it was that, even though it has been messing up my stomach again lately. I also skipped lunch and had my blood sugar take a dive in the middle of grocery shopping at Kroger late this afternoon. That's my best guess as to what happened.

I feel better now, but pretty much passed out on the couch while we were all just kind of hanging out watching TV. I was so cold that I couldn't warm up for anything and my body felt like it was being weighed down. The last thing I remembered was talking to my friend Teri on the phone and then waking up.

The problem now? I was passed out for 2 1/2 hours. Now I'm the furthest thing from tired and it's 11:15pm. I have to be up at 6am so I can shower and get Ashley to school for Volleyball practice in the morning - and then be functional enough to take care of two babies.

It may be a long night...

Bully Update

I've had a couple of people ask me how the situation with Ryan being bullied at school is going, so I thought I'd give a quick update.

We talked to the principal again yesterday to let her know that Ryan was still having problems with this boy at recess. She told me that all of the 1st and 2nd grade teachers have been told to watch the situation since this boy is in 2nd grade and they all take turns supervising recess. He's also been given a stern talking to by the principal.

Yesterday was the first day that Ryan came home and said that the boy hadn't been mean to him. In fact, the boy kept trying to tell Ryan jokes at recess yesterday and told him that he wanted to be his friend. Ryan was pretty confused and didn't really want to have anything to do with him. Could all of this be about not knowing how to make a friend? I'm stumped there.

I am a very forgiving person, and I've noticed that my kids are the same way, but if you mess with my kids the claws will come out. I admit that my first reaction is to get upset and vent about it, which is what I've done here and with other friends and family. Once I've calmed down I then address the situation.

While yesterday seemed to go well, I'm holding out on believing that this thing is resolved until some time passes. We shall see.

I have learned a few things about this boy and I'm willing to bet that his home life isn't very nurturing. I wouldn't be surprised if he receives at home what he dishes out at school. I may get some criticism for saying this, but I think the way your child acts and treats others is dependant on how you interact with them. You set the example and teach them the tools that they'll need to get through life. Some kids, sadly, don't ever get that.

I can't for a minute imagine either one of my kids being physically aggressive. It's just not in them. OK, Ryan may take out his frustration on an inanimate object that's upsetting him, but I honestly don't think that he (or Ashley) would ever intentionally do something that could hurt someone. They are way to compassionate for that.

So, we will wait and see how things progress this week. If need be, my next step is to involve the school counselor. She was a tremendous help when Ryan had such a difficult transition into Kindergarten.

We'll take it as it comes. Thanks to everyone for all of your support and offers to kick some "little punk a#*". I may be giving you a call...LoL.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bzzzzz

Someone was in desperate need for a buzzing.

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Weekend Review

This weekend flew by way too fast. (Yikes! Please don't look too closely at my house. Chloe will be going down for a nap soon and it will be getting cleaned today. The weekends are not pretty here.)
Ryan is now brushing his own teeth. It's so nice at bedtime to be able to say, "Go get on your Jammie's and brush your teeth, please." instead of having to help him do it every night. I love when kids become more independent. It shows us we're doing something right as parents. LoL.

Saturday was the big Pinewood Derby race for Cub Scouts. Ryan didn't win, but he had a good time and that's what matters. Most of our pictures from the Derby didn't turn out because the camera was on the wrong setting. (Bret!)

Ashley's best friend, Danielle spent the night Friday night and most of the day on Saturday with us. They got to work decorating the buckets for one of our Rock The House games. It's so nice when you can outsource all of your work to your children! They're didn't finish them yet, but it will just give them another excuse to get together again next weekend.

If they are both in one piece by then, that is.


Yesterday morning the kids sat side by side, each with a laptop (one was my mom's - they cried when it and her left.) playing online together. It was so nice to see them getting along and enjoying each other's company.

This is exactly the look that I get on my face when I'm deep in concentration on something. Poor, Ashley. Ha.

After getting layers put in her hair yesterday, Ashley was excited to get up early this morning and shower so that we could do her hair before school. I think it turned out really cute. I've never seen someone so excited to go to school before.

My babies aren't babies anymore, are they?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Should Be Embarrassed, But Instead I'm Just Laughing

This afternoon my mom, Ashley and I did some errand running. We stopped for bread at the grocery store and then for a healthy lunch at Subway. After eating, we stopped by the Hair Cuttery to get Ashley a quick trim. I figured while I was there I'd go ahead and get waxed. It's been way to long and my eyebrows were in desperate need of attention.

I lay back in the chair and the stylist asks what we're waxing today. I tell her, "Oh, my eyebrows. Upper lip. And without pausing a beat she asks me, "Chin, too?" Ouch.

Now I have a somewhat more naturally tanned complexion than some. I'm not fair skinned by any means and I get really dark, really fast in the summer. Too dark, really. So when winter comes and the tan has faded, it's not pretty.

And obviously much worse than I thought. It sucks to get older.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crazy Busy

This week really flew by way to fast. I've been so busy planning this school carnival for Ryan's school that I feel like it's all I do anymore. (Do you see my house nodding it's head in agreement?)

Yesterday was the big Kick Off Assembly at school and it was a huge success. Sadly, I wasn't able to run it since I had two babies here yesterday and it was scheduled for right smack in the middle of nap time. I hear it was a huge success and that the kids are getting really excited about all of the new games and activities we've planned for this year.

Four weeks from today, this carnival will hopefully be a huge success. As long as we make $50 more than last year's profit, I'll be happy. More would prove that I really know what I'm doing, but I'll just settle for $50.

My mom is coming down to visit this weekend, so all things carnival are being put on hold for the weekend - or at least until the next time I open up my email and have a million emails to respond to.

Moving on, I called Ryan's principal yesterday morning regarding the situation with "the little punk" and don't really feel as if I made much progress. While she agrees this problem needs to be taken care of, I got the sense that she was questioning what Ryan is saying. She said that she had a hard time believing that the recess monitors wouldn't see this kind of behavior. Obviously she hasn't seen that the monitors stand around in a corner talking while the kids run around unsupervised.

She also said that she talked to "the little punk" yesterday morning and, of course, he denies everything. She said she was pulling him from recess, but that maybe Ryan had him confused with another kid. Ryan has pointed the kid out in his yearbook, so that is unlikely. Then when I asked Ryan if he was at recess, he said yes and that this kid pushed him down again. What in the world is the problem over there?!

Bret emailed the principal himself yesterday afternoon, but he hasn't gotten a response yet. He basically asked if there was anything he could do and informed them that he could rearrange his lunch hour to help supervise recess if need be. He pretty much said what I wanted to scream at her, but with a little more tact.

So, we wait again. However, starting next Monday I'll be at school daily in the morning to collect school carnival stuff and copying newsletters, so you can bet I'll be arriving there right as recess is starting.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mommies, UNITE!

Some one needs to calm me down, because the mommy claws are coming out! You see, we've had an issue with a little boy at school who has been bullying Ryan and many other kids during recess. It ranges from unkind words to pushing Ryan out of line while he waits his turn to kick in kickball. Ryan or the other kids get pushed down, they fall down, they then have to go to the back of the line because this little punk hasn't gotten a taste of his own medicine yet. I say yet, because his day will come, I'm sure. (Ok, I pray.) (No one said I had to be nice, here.)

Bret and I have brought this up with the school principal and Ryan's teacher. We've been told that the school has a zero tolerance for bullying and that it will be taken care of in a delicate fashion that will not make the situation worse for the child that is being bullied. Basically, they want to catch the little punk in the act so that it doesn't look like some crazy mommy is out to protect her baby. Humph.

Two days ago I had to make a trip to school to talk Ryan into staying at school because he was upset and wanted to go home. He said his stomach hurt, but admitted that another kid had been mean to him. I didn't put two and two together until he told Bret that night that the kid was in fact, "the punk." Grrrrr.

Rest assured, they say they are taking care of it.

Case closed? No. Tonight I as I'm laying with Ryan in bed (a ritual Bret started - insert dirty look here) we are talking and I ask him if he's had anymore problems with "the punk". (We use his real name here at home, but that probably wouldn't be smart here and this is much nicer than the name that I would like to call him.) He tells me that yesterday during morning recess, "the punk" punched him in the face and Ryan fell and hit his head on the gym floor. He said he told on him, but didn't know if he got in trouble because Ryan had to go to the office to put ice on his head. The little shit punched my son in the face. I'm done being nice.

Why wasn't I called? Why is this kid still allowed around my son - or in recess for that matter?! If this kid breaks a $5,000.00 hearing aid, is his mother going to cough up the money to replace it? This obviously isn't being taken care of since it's still happening. The poor kid's lips are so chapped from nervously biting them that I'm scared to death they're going to get infected.

So I've emailed Ryan's teacher, with the purpose of explaining why he'll be glued to his Chapstick tomorrow and tactfully mentioned why I think Ryan is a bit stressed. As mad as I am and as demanding as I want to be right now - it won't get me or Ryan anywhere. So I will remain calm and nice when I call the school's principal tomorrow, but will insist that this kid be kept away from my precious little boy. Or else.

If that doesn't work they may get an unexpected visitor (plus two more in a double stroller) at recess everyday to help them out with supervision since there obviously is a lack of it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dilemma

I spent most of the afternoon dealing with The Lego Situation and feel like I made a good dent in it. I'll work more on it tomorrow while Chloe is napping and pray that I get closer to getting the overflow of Ryan's Lego's out of my living room.
While I worked, Ryan played. I'd hate to be on this flight. It looks as if the battle droid hijacked the plane. You can't see them, but there were 4 or 5 regular minifigs sitting in the seats while this droid guarded the cockpit. Quite an imagination my dear little boy has.


Bret and Scott worked all day today on the wiring for the new TV. (Thank you for letting us steal your husband this weekend, Teri.) They spent the first half of today at nine different stores trying to find all of the supplies needed to do the wiring. When they got back, they climbed up into the attic to check out where everything is at and found that it's going to be a lot harder than they thought to run the wires behind the wall. The wall where they need to put the outlet is an outside wall and is extremely hard to get to because of the fireplace and the way it's framed in.
They did get the electrical and cable outlets in behind the TV, but may have to rethink how they're going to get the rest of the wiring that goes to the cable box, DVD player and Wii, which are all sitting on top of one of our end tables next to the fireplace right now, done.

I did get to rearrange my furniture yesterday. (Anyone who knows me well, knows how excited this makes me.) I get bored quickly and end up doing this at least every couple of months. So now everything is angled around the fireplace/TV. The extra coffee table in front of the half wall that is holding Ryan's Lego's from Christmas will hopefully be put away soon.

Here's our dilemma, though. We may not be able to run the rest of the wiring behind the wall, which leaves us unsure as to what to do with the wires coming from the TV and the boxes sitting on the end table. We've thought of maybe putting a bookshelf or some kind of cabinet thingy there to put everything on and hide the wires behind, but I'm just not sure. I was really looking forward to having that wall open after 4 1/2 years of having a big black piece of furniture sitting there.

You guys were great the last time I needed help. Care to help again? I'd love to hear your suggestions! While you're at it - anyone need a messy, noisy love bird?

Day 48

I have been a nonsmoker for 48 days. That's 6 weeks and 6 days. Tomorrow will be the 7 week mark. I've saved $196 since quitting. Double that amount with Bret quitting, too. It's amazing, really. We knew we were spending a fortune on it, but we chose not to think about it too deeply. I also know that both of us successfully quitting at the same time has contributed to our success.


Never before did I think that it could be this easy. Anyone out there wanting to quit only has to give Chantix a try. It's the miracle drug we've all been waiting for. Sure, there are days when I have a tugging that feels somewhat strong, but it only takes some redirection and I'm past it.


My message today at getquit.com was to test myself. Their idea of testing myself is to put myself into a position where I am exposed to smoking in some way. While I'm pretty sure I could handle it, I've done that already. For Teri's birthday we went out to a bar where the smoke was so heavy that I found it offensive. When I got home, my clothes were in the washer and I was in the shower so fast that you would have missed it had you blinked.


So I'm going to test myself in a different way. I'm going into the deep abyss of Ryan's room to deal with the Lego situation. Ever since Christmas, his new Lego's have taken up residence in my living room. I'm going to dig my way through all of those Lego's in his room and make room for his new ones. Somehow I'll do it, but it will be no easy task!


See for yourselves... (My father in law will have a heart attack when he sees these, as he is the other Lego Collector in the family.)



So, this would be a project I've put off since well before Christmas. Mostly because of lack of time, put also because my patience level hasn't been that great, either. Today is the day it gets under control. Which means I'll be working on this all week. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Close Call


I'm not even a Giants fan, but man was this game a close one. I felt so bad for Tynes after he missed that second field goal and found myself holding my breath when he went for the third one to win to game.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Slowly Getting There

I'm not sure if this project is ever going to get done. My house is in a state of total disarray and there are wires everywhere.
This TV is a lot bigger than I thought it would be and not quite as decorative looking as a mirror or picture. I'm not sure if I'll even be able to fit my picture frames and Willow Tree statues back up on the mantle. Hopefully, we'll be able to get the wiring hidden behind the wall. Bret and Scott are out right now looking into different options for that.
The picture and sound on this thing are amazing and it's not even a top of the line TV. (More like best value for your buck kind of line.) Can you really go wrong when Tom Petty's involved, though?
As an afterthought, Bret brought some speakers up from the basement to see if the sound would come through them on the old TV - and it worked. Figures, so the old one found it's way to the downstairs family room for it's second chance at life.

So, the new TV is up, but far from finished. It needs to be centered, which is thankfully easy to do, or I'd probably lose my mind. My house looks awful right now and I'm dying to get it cleaned up - but the TV sure is pretty, isn't it?

Just think - if we hadn't quit smoking, we probably wouldn't have been able to afford this. Of course we've probably only saved a fraction of what this cost us in the two months (almost) of both of us being nonsmokers, but it sure did help!

Can you tell who has the remote right now?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go knock my children's heads together for they are driving me absolutely crazy with their fighting!

Bigger IS Better

Or so we've heard. It was time to replace our family room TV, so we bit the bullet and did it up right. We got a great deal at Sam's Club on the TV, warranty (5 years!), wall mount and cables. The plan is to hang it over our fireplace and hide the wires behind the wall. I'm excited about all the new furniture arranging possibilities!
Bret's excited about getting his big plasma TV. He's been wanting one for quite some time, but didn't see the sense in replacing a perfectly good TV until it went out.

We were up until midnight last night just trying to mount the wall bracket and ran into problems putting the brackets on the back of the new TV. For some reason the screws are too long. Hmm. Bret's Dad is over here this morning to help out and there will hopefully be a TV hanging over the fireplace soon. It's suppose to be negative 4 degrees today, so they may not make it to the attic to get all the hidden wiring taken care of.

The kids are having fun with the box, which Ryan can barely see over when he's up on his tippy toes.

We may have a new time out spot.

I'll be back later with an update.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Yippee!

I wasn't feeling too motivated this morning to take my butt to the gym. It was freezing cold outside and a bit icy, plus I was tired. It had been two days since I had been there for Body Pump and my right knee has been killing me - stupid lunges - so I was prepared to talk myself out of it, even though usually once I get there I end up enjoying it.

Then I got on the scale and saw that I have lost 7.5 pounds since I started working out 3 weeks ago. I'm not really eating differently, but I've cut back on the lattes and am trying to cook us meals at night so that we don't end up resorting to fast food at the last minute. I had been discouraged because I had put on nine pounds since quitting smoking and the number on the scale hasn't budged - until now.

Usually I would notice a 7.5 pound loss, but it seemed like it just went away overnight. Finally all my hard work in those hour long classes at the gym have started paying off.

So, 1.5 more to go until I'm back to what I was before quitting smoking - and then I can work on losing what needed to come off before then. Yippee.

It's Going To Be Okay

Thank you so much for all of your support and kind words on my previous post. Things went really well at our school meeting on Wednesday. We presented all of our concerns and were surprised to find out that they've already begun to take action.

Every day for 45 minutes (in addition to seeing the reading aid) he's being taken out of class and receiving additional help with reading and math from a teacher who happens to be a friend and neighbor of mine. Ryan loves her and seems to be enjoying the time working with her. We also found out that they've been doing a program called Ear Aerobics with him since November. (I wish we had been told!) My understanding is that this will help him strengthen his auditory processing.

So, while they have up to 60 days to perform all of the evaluations on him, (which we will then meet with everyone and come up with some answers and solutions) it seems they have already gotten started trying to catch him up. What a relief.

Here's my issue with all of this. We obviously don't want to find out that he has a learning disability, but to get the help he needs, that's what it takes. Otherwise they have to try and find other ways to justify giving him the help. I hate red tape.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Post I've Been Trying To Avoid


I've been trying to write this post for close to a week now, but every time I give it a go, I get too emotional and stop. Today is our meeting with the school principal and Ryan's teacher. Ryan has been having a hard time in school and we're not sure if it's a result of the hearing loss and speech delay, if there's a learning disability or what the case may be. His report card came home last Friday and we were surprised to see that he was failing Reading.

Back at the beginning of the school year we noticed that they went straight from kindergarten's "memorize these sight words" to 1st grade's "sound out these words and spell them". Ryan already has had to deal with 5 years of catching up on and relearning many letter sounds due to his hearing loss, but this was kind of a surprise to us. The first week of school they were already having spelling tests and to the best of our knowledge, phonics was never taught much last year.

We were pretty upset when he brought home spelling tests with only one or two words correct, but we worked with him nightly on them and he now only gets 1 or 2 wrong and has even once brought home a paper with all of them correct. He works hard at them and we're in return very proud of him.

Today's meeting is to go over any questions we have regarding a full case study evaluation they are going to do with him to see what is going on. Supposedly we will learn in what way his brain processes information that he learns, which will in turn tell us how to teach him things more effectively. That's pretty much all I understand, hence the importance of today's meeting - to find out more.

Bret and I also have a list of concerns written up to go over with them. Number one being that we are already half way through the school year and we are just now dealing with this? Also, why in the world did it take over a month to get the FM System in place that is suppose to be making it easier for him to hear his teacher? This could very well be a factor in why he is continuing to struggle - he got too far behind.

Another issue we have is as to why we weren't notified sooner that things had gotten so bad. We knew he was having some trouble, (and got him an after school tutor) but not to the point of failing a subject. This is suppose to be one of the best school districts in the state - the reason why we built our house where we did in time for him to start school here - and he's still having to work extra harder than his peers. No wonder he says he hates school. He's frustrated and most likely, upset with himself.

We always tell our children that it's not their grades that matter to us, it's how much they work at it. If we feel they've done their best, than we are proud of them for that. We love them no matter what and will always be proud of them. Ashley has always been a straight A student and learning just comes easier to her. She's just that smart and loves school. So when we have a child that doesn't want to go, it worries us.

Worries us. That's not strong enough. It tears at my heart because I want to help him so badly that I'd do anything. We tend to blame ourselves - that we're not working with him enough - but the truth is that we do work with him every night. I do homework with him and Bret studies with him as part of their night time ritual. We come up with all kinds of fun ways to approach it. We want to do more, but aren't sure just what more we can be doing. In our minds, we can never do enough.

Then you have the child's amazing memory. He can memorize anything. If you sat with him for an hour, you'd know everything there is to know about baseball and football. He can tell you the name of every team and what state they play for. He can tell you about various players, what team they play for or have played for. He has all this information up there and it amazes us, because it shows that he has the capacity to learn. Sometimes I feel like Bret could teach him anything. He makes learning so much fun that Ryan forgets he's learning. Maybe Bret should go with him to school everyday? Ha.

So, as this meeting approaches, I have my list ready and my brave mommy face on as I go into battle. Just kidding. It is what it is. But it's time to get to the bottom of this once and for all so that he can succeed.

I Tried

She wasn't expecting me when I came around the corner and caught her pretending with my purse.

And if she drops it and isn't touching it, then she's pretty sure she's not in trouble. LoL.

I actually made dinner last night. I was looking for some new ideas last night and found a Betty Crocker recipe and thought I'd give it a try. Bret and Ashley scoff at anything vegetable (and I knew not to even try with Ryan) so I figured they could just pick out the cheesy meatballs and be fine. When Bret came home, he requested that I just make a batch of meatballs in barbeque sauce for him. I was disappointed that he wouldn't even try it, but did as he asked anyway. We've had too many meals here where I've tried to make something new and they've not liked it because it had more than one ingrediant in it. (!!!!) So, like I said, I did as he asked. However, the only barbeque sauce we had on hand wasn't the sweet and tangy kind he was expecting. It was just plain ol' regular Open Pit and very strong and spicy. He forced it down, but admitted he liked the cheesey meatballs better. Ha.

The meal was pretty good (I love vegetables and cheese) but a little on the bland side. I also have yet to make a decent batch of minute rice. I know - who messes up minute rice?! Apparently, I do. It's just never as light and fluffy as it looks on the box.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hiding Out

I may be doing too well at this school carnival planning stuff. They want me to do it again next year. NO!!!! HELP!!!!
Went to Body Pump this morning...Lord, am I out of shape! I'll be soaking in the tub while Chloe naps is anyone needs me.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blame It On The Mojito

We had our monthly PTO meeting tonight and I sat down here to work on that, but Teri (my co-chair) took me out to Friday's for an Ulitmate Mojito (Man, is it going to take awhile to finish this with how slow I'm having to type.) and I'm probably not going to get much done....um....correctly?

I made myself go to Body Attack at Gold's this morning. All by myself with out my little gym buddies. I told myself that if I could get through the first half and make it to the running track that I'd let myself leave if I wanted to. Of course I didn't end up leaving. I pushed my way through it and let me tell you - there's a reason they call it Body Attack. By the time an hour was up and we had made it to the last track, I could barely lift my leg up to kick and forget the freaking knee repeaters. But I did it and have lived to tell about it.

I've made an unpleasant discovery, though. The shortness of breath and wheezing I get during that class weren't entirely smoking related. It was better this time as a nonsmoker, but I had to hit my inhaler half way through. Maybe that will get better over time, too. This class is tough - there were times I could feel my heart trying to jump out of my chest, but I just have to remember it was just as tough before and it got easier after a couple of weeks then, too.

So, if I'm still able to move in the morning, I'll be going back to body pump tomorrow to further torture myself. And on Friday? Body Step - yes it's step aerobics, but just as brutal in the cardio area as body attack and just as brutal as it sounds. Sounds fun, right? (I'm actually looking forward to it.)

Time to go sleep off the lingering effects of the mojito...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cleaning Is My Enemy

There's something about cleaning my house that brings on stronger than usual tuggings to smoke, which may be why I've let the chores slack lately. My house is now clean and I dare you to find a dust bunny anywhere, but man those tuggings. I'd have to sit down and regroup and remember that it's been 41 days now since I quit and that I didn't really want one. What I wanted was a break - an excuse to procrastinate. But I got through it and am still proud of myself for being strong.

Did you know that when one quits smoking, their dog becomes depressed? Poor Daisy lays around looking at us with sad, mopey eyes and wonders what the heck is wrong with us. She misses her frequent field trips out to the side of the garage where we would be stay at home busy bodies and take inventory on what was going on in the neighborhood. Now I never think to go outside and Daisy doesn't tell us when she has to go - she just holds it. Plus I don't get my daily dose of neighborhood gossip anymore. I have no desire to go outside where it's usually cold and windy this time of year and I no longer need to go out and pretend smoke my short stubby straw or hollowed out cigarette that Bret stuffed with pieces of paper towel that first week of my quit. (I do still have little straws in every sweatshirt, jacket and jeans pocket I own though.) So, poor Daisy gets let out in the morning when the kids go to school and then by 2 or 3pm I realize she hasn't been out in forever and end up feeling like the world's worst dog owner. Thank goodness Bret remembers to feed her in the morning or she'd probably starve to death.

Anyway, my house is clean and the dog got to go outside tonight (after Bret reminded me 3 times) so I'm heading off to bed - before midnight for a change.

Attack Of The Dust Bunnies

Since becoming all consumed by Rock The House planning for Ryan's school, I admit I've let a few things slide. Ok, more than a few. I spent the first half of today finishing up my volunteer list and then closed the laptop with a loud thud and pushed it away, determined to tackle the tornado that went through my house over the past few days. It's not pretty. Normally my house is so clean you'd have a hard time finding dust, but today it even makes me sick. The dust bunnies are in full force plotting their attack. Everytime I get one room clean, they seem to be making a united stand in the next room. It has to have something to do with the furnace and heat ducts because it's never like this in the warmer months.

So, now that mine and the four kids' bellies are full of pizza and they are blissfully glued to their Nintendo DS's, I must go finish the battle against the dust bunnies. Damn things!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Your Turn

Over the past few days, I've been stressed out and busy working on the planning for our big school fundraiser that is held next month. Everything else seems to have been dropped by the wayside. ("Yes, I hear you!" she says to the moaning pile of dirty laundry and dishes.) Yesterday I literally sat at the kitchen table for the better part of the day calling all of our volunteers to straighten out a mistake that was made early in the school year. You see, our school had mail in registration this year instead of the 'ol normal registration day where you go in and do things in person, and all parents were asked to fill out a volunteer form and check off which areas they were willing to help out in. For the school carnival, we had many parents check off more than one committee - some as much as seven. I knew we should have called each one of them to clarify where they wanted to help out at, but that's not what was done and they were put onto every single committee that they checked off. So, I had to call and do damage control because parents were complaining that they were getting too many phone calls. It was all just a simple mix up over how to handle the sign up sheets, but it almost got out of control. Luckily, it was able to be taken care of before more of our Committee Chair's started making their phone calls. Yikes.

Moving on. (Pause.) Who am I kidding? This is where I need some suggestions from the peanut gallery. Each game that we're doing will be giving out prizes such as small erasers, pencils, bite size candy, yadda yadda yadda. But we have one special game that we want to be a huge success. Bret is over at my co-chair's house right now helping her husband build us a shiny spanking brand new Plinko game. This too will have prizes, but I really want them to stand out compared to the other games since this is "our baby". We need to have 3-4 different prizes that start out cheap and small and build up to cool. All under this game's $50 budget. That can accomidate 400 some players. My brain is tired, so I'm asking you to lend me some of your creativity. Any ideas? Pretty, pretty please?

Friday, January 11, 2008

What? It's Friday? When Did That Happen?

What a week. I think I've been sitting at the computer for 3 days straight working on plans for this school carnival. We had our second meeting last night and ran into a glitch with our volunteer list and spent quite some time emailing back and forth with each other last night to come up with a solution. So I spent most of today making phone calls and sending out emails trying to get it all straightened out. I don't have much of a voice left. In fact, two phone calls ago I had to ask the mom if I could call her back because my voice was completely frogish like. Thank goodness it's Friday.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Losing My Mind

It's been a pretty busy day over here today. I got myself all riled up about smoking bans in my earlier post, been obsessed with this game that I heard about over at Busy Mom and working on plans for the school carnival. Let's just say I've been in computer mode. Bret asked me tonight if I still needed an item that I had on our shopping list and I told him, "No, you can delete that." He's still laughing at me.

Get Over It

It's been a lot of fun reading people's comments on the website for our local newspaper here in Peoria, but I do feel sorry for them.

"... My husband and I are both smokers and we have decided we will no longer patronize bars and restaurants due to this smoking ban. I find it hard to believe this will not impact the bars and restaurants in Illinois. ... it's just hard to believe this will not impact especially the smaller business owners. The other thing is I'm still waiting for a ban on stinky perfume. I have asthma, that is not triggered by my smoking, but perfume will send me into a attack instantly..."

Hmm, your cigarette smoke doesn't bother you, but perfume does? I too, have asthma that is mostly exercise and allergy induced and smoking was the dumbest thing I could do to myself. When I went to bed and laid there wheezing and coughing, I was in denial, too.

While I do feel that the Illinois Statewide Smoking Ban is going to hurt some businesses and cost the state a whole lot of tax dollars as more and more people quit, I think smokers need to get over it. Now 36 days into my quit, I find myself thinking of myself as a true ex-smoker. It's a nice feeling. As a smoker, I wasn't thrilled about the smoking ban but there's not a whole lot you can do about it. As an ex-smoker, I'm relieved by the ban, simply because that means less temptation for me and my husband to light up, less exposure for my children and a whole new set of places that we and other family members who are highly sensitive to second hand smoke can go back to for eating out. (I'm free for lunch anytime, Mom-In-Law...LOL.)

The biggest change in myself since quitting has been that I am open to admitting to the denial that I so frequently defended as a smoker. It was bad for me. It was making me sick. It made me smell awful. Even though I smoked outside and never in my minivan, the smell of it on me was not healthy for my kids and now that I've gotten whiffs of it on others here and there, I'm sorry that I ever made my kids smell it and didn't give them the choice.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Inventory

Body parts that hate me for making it to Body Pump at Gold's this morning: biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, abs, quads, calves, knees and even my rear end. I think every muscle group was put through torture at some point over the course of that hour. Does anyone have a handicap bar they can install in the bathroom for me? Tomorrow is probably going to feel worse. However, if you're going to do it, do it all the way. Right?

Tomorrow I have two babies here, so I may not be able to swing a visit to the gym in. If I'm still really sore, I may go in as soon as the kids are off to school to walk it out on a treadmill before baby Luke gets dropped off. Chloe did great in the daycare there again. There was another little girl around her age that she attached herself to when we walked in. She loves other kids, so this is perfect for her. (I still wiped her down with antibacterial wipes right before we left, though!)

During my two visits to the gym this week I noticed a difference since the last time I went when I was still smoking. I'm (hang on...have to go look it up...it's amazing how I don't really keep track lately) 35 days into my quit and already see a difference. Yesterday on the elliptical machine, my heart rate was lower than it use to be when I first started and I didn't tired as quickly as I expected myself to. Then during Body Pump this morning I definitely noticed having more energy. But the biggest change since quitting? No cough and no shortness of breath or wheezing while working out. That is huge! I may just plan on going back early tomorrow morning regardless of what the day holds.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Motivated

I kept my word and dragged my butt to the gym this morning, even after both of my gym buddies had to back out. It was torture, but I got through it. I wasn't brave enough to endure Body Attack by myself (who was going to laugh with me if I made a complete idiot of myself?) but I did do two miles on the elliptical machine. I burned 247 calories. Not bad for the first day.

Chloe amazed me today. She hasn't done well being left in the daycare there in the past. More times than not they've had to come get me because she's crying and they can't console her. Because of this I've not pushed her to go, which results in not pushing myself to go, either. However, today she walked right in and didn't even notice when I left to go work out. She didn't cry at all, played with the other kids there and didn't want to leave when I came back to pick her up 30 minutes later. I am so proud of her! Hopefully tomorrow will go as well since I'm planning on going back to do Body Pump.

The kids went back to school today and were actually excited about it. Chloe and I are off to make a run to the Post Office and then I'm going to try and reclaim my house (and the remote control) while she naps.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Labels

I've spent the last few days cleaning up my labels and assigning labels to the first year and a half of my blog. They are now listed in the sidebar. I do want to mention that before all of you tell me that Ashley is neglected and Ryan is the favored child - Ashley can read and won't let me tell her funny/embarrassing stories and Ryan will most likely never forgive me when he can read more than sight words. It's all good though, right?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Tuggings

I'ts been more than a week since I've had those little tuggings to smoke and they hit me a few times while I was working on planning this school fundraiser today. In fact, I had to backtrack through my blog to see when the last time I was having a rough patch was. While this wasn't really a "rough patch", I was getting frustrated and having a hard time concentrating. In her comment to my earlier post, MamaFlo helped put into words what I was feeling. (Thank you, MamaFlo.) It's so great to have people who know what you're going through. People who can put your feelings into words for you (without realizing that's what they're doing) so that you understand. In turn you recognize more quickly what you need to do to get past it. I haven't forgotten about you, either Jamie. Thanks, again for the card and the support. You made my day.

So to get my mind off of the little tuggings earlier, I made coffee. Or, um, I tried to make coffee. Three times. I've got to get off this Starbucks Peppermint Mocha thing, because I've gained 8 pounds since the holidays and quitting smoking began. (Yep, so much for that lost 5 pounds in the beginning thing - I gained that back, plus 3 more.) So now, not only do I need to get serious about losing some weight, I also need to learn how to make a decent cup of coffee that doesn't taste like wet coffee grinds. (Gag.) Can someone please teach me how to make a cup of coffee?

Running Away

After spending 2 1/2 hours last night and another 3 hours so far today on planning for the carnival at Ryan's school, I've decided that I'm going to run away and not come back until the thing is over and done with at the end of February. (She screams like a madwoman while pulling her hair out in front of the computer moniter.)

How in the world did you ever manage to get us sucked into chairing this thing, Teri?

Has anyone else taking Chantix had a harder time concentrating while talking this drug?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Trading Up


My daughter has her best friend spending the night tonight. Her friend is making Ashley's bed and dusting her furniture. I am so going to have to send the wrong kid home tomorrow!

Rough Night

The Chantix dreams and nausea are back in full form. The nausea is probably due to not remembering to take the Chantix right after I eat, but it's also making me a little dizzy. Not remembering to take it may be a sign that I'll be ready to go off it when 12 weeks is up - we'll see.

Bret came home from work early yesterday due to an ear infection. He went up to Prompt Care to get an antibiotic and the doctor told him something about the Chantix that I haven't heard yet. First off, he said that Chantix is the only drug he's seen that really does help people stop smoking and that's he really impressed with the success rates. But he also said that after 21 days, you don't really need it anymore because by then the receptors in your brain have returned to normal. You're basically taking the drug at that point for psychological assurance. I hadn't heard that before. Has anyone else heard this?

So, not only is the nausea back, but the wierd dreams and insomnia are, too. Last night was rough. It was freezing cold in our bedroom, Bret was snoring and kept poking me with his foot (which makes me jump a mile high) and I couldn't fall asleep for anything. And that was with ear plugs in. So I took my pillows and camped out on the couch with a sleeping bag and laid awake for another hour, wishing I hadn't taken the ear plugs out because our wall clocks wouldn't stop ticking. If I hadn't been so cold, I would have thrown them into the garage. Once I did fall asleep, I woke up a short time later due to some crazy dream that I can't even really remember now.

Life must go on, though. The kids and I have a lunch date at Mickey D's at 11am with Shawn, so I must run. We're going to motivate each other into going back to the gym. She's been better about it than I have and it should make going back more fun. Here's a little preview of what Monday will be like.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Peace Of Mind

Okay. I jumped the gun. I should have given him the benefit of the doubt. When I took the kids to see our new/old doctor today, he was much better. No double questions. Friendlier. Better sense of humor. Very attentive to what's been going on with the kids since he last saw them 3 years ago. Laughed at my jokes. He must have been having a bad day yesterday and mentioned to us today that he's fighting the nasty cold that's been going around. I was happy with the way things went today and all is forgiven. Everyone is entitled to an off day every once in awhile.

Mostly, I'm relieved that he seems to agree with our previous doctor's diagnosis in regards to the bruising that Ashley had biopsied on the back of her leg. He thinks it's nothing serious, but is waiting on her records to be transfered over so he can see the biopsy report before he decides what to do next. He may send her to a dermatologist just so that we can finally find out what it is and move on.

He seemed impressed with Ryan's progress in the last three years. Couldn't believe how much both kids have grown and laughed when I said that Ryan hadn't stopped talking since he got out of bed this morning. Three years ago Ryan didn't have but a handful of hard to understand words in his vocabulary due to his hearing loss. We were still trying to figure out what was going on with him at that point. (For more on that, click on the link in the sidebar for "Live Journal".) It's amazing what therapy can do for a kid.

So all is good. We're really going to miss our last doctor, but life has to go on.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go whoop my husband's butt on the Madden Football game that he got for Christmas on the Nintendo Wii.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cuties

Chloe is back and still cute as ever. Ryan was really excited to see her today.

Ashley is going to start taking offense if Chloe keeps doing this to her, though.

video

Must. Get. Warm.

Our power was only out for three hours this morning, but it has yet to warm up in here. The thermostat reads 69, but it lies! My toes are like ice and I'm just plain cold.
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I had my appointment to get re-established with our old doctor from 3 years ago and was rather disappointed. I don't find him good looking anymore. Stop laughing - that's not what I was really going to say. While he's not quite so eye candyish anymore, that's not really the problem.
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I was a bit put off by his not so great bedside manner. The kids and I loved him 3 years ago and were crushed when we had to change doctors. We thought he was great. But today he didn't seem very friendly. He seemed stressed out, unfriendly and kept asking me the same questions repeatedly. Isn't your doctor suppose to be smarter than you?! No, for the second time - I don't need any refills. And no, for the 3rd time - I'm not having any problems. (Or does he have me confused with a different patient with short term memory loss and chronic problems?) (Quiet now, Bret.) Anyway, I was disappointed.
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I kept trying to talk to him about how I quit smoking and am taking Chantix and he couldn't keep the number of days I have been quit straight either. He also told me that I can only take it for 12 weeks. When I asked him about weening off of it, he said that usually people just stop taking it. Um, that's not what I've heard. Sigh. I was really hoping to stay on it for a bit longer than 3 months, but we'll see. It was my OB/GYN that actually prescribed it and I have my yearly appointment (sorry, TMI) in two weeks, so I'll bring it up with her instead.
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So, is my new (actually old) doctor on drugs or maybe he was just not feeling well? He did seem a little congested. But, seriously? He wasn't even really laughing at my jokes and I'm funny. Really, I am.
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Both Ashley and Ryan have their appointments with him tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll get a better impression then. Maybe it's just me he doesn't like. Humph. My little innocent crush is so over.

Yaaawwwnnnn

Single digit temperatures + power outage at 4am = NO SLEEP.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008

So how many of us are going to have trouble remembering to write "08" instead of "07"?

Last night, we went over and stayed with Bret's Grandma while his parents went out for New Year's. It was a nice quiet night spent with family watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on TV. We watched the ball drop in New York at 11pm and then headed home. I'm sad to report that Ryan and I were in bed before the clock even struck midnight. But on the bright side, Bret and I have officially made it through to 2008 as nonsmokers.

Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day. After more days off than I can count, Bret goes back to work and Chloe returns. (For those of you new friends of mine, Chloe is one of the babies I watch during the week.) I have my "get reaquainted with my old doctor from three years ago" appointment tomorrow since the City of Peoria decided to up and change insurance providers on us. Three years ago we had to go through all of this when Bret went to work for the city. Now that we've gotten use to all new doctors, we have to change back again. (Secretly, I'm okay with this as I refer to my old doctor as eye-candy. It's ok, Bret knows about my little crush and is letting me go back to him anyway. LoL.)

We did finally manage to go see Alvin & The Chipmunks today. (We didn't make it last week.) The kids seemed to like it and I thought it was hilarious, but then again I grew up watching The Chipmunks every day. Bret spent most of the movie wishing he hadn't taken his iPod out of his coat pocket before we left.

Well, I better call it a night so I can drag myself out of bed before Chloe gets here in the morning. That's the bad thing about having a week and a half to sleep in - it throws your body completely out of whack!