Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Officially Old (and Poor)

I went with Nikki to the optometrist today. She needed new glasses. Again. Of course. ($400) The twist: I needed them, too. For reading. That makes me officially old, I think.($100)

On the bright side, Caleb also was fitted for his ear molds today. And we have a date for the hearing aids-August 22! Did you know that hearing aids cost $2000? EACH?? (insurance covers half and the ear molds cost $200, which we paid for today)

AND the car needed new tires before our upcoming vacation. ($400) I told my friend Mich that today cost us over $1000! There are 31 days in July. We could spend $31,000 in one month and have nothing fun to show for it.

And the really BAD part about summer vacation is NO PAYCHECK. For a family of teachers, that's NO PAYCHECK X 2!! But we'll be able to see, hear, and travel. I know-priceless. But I'm really glad that, for everything else, there's MasterCard!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Caleb Update

Here's something I haven't talked about in awhile: Caleb's hearing. Or lack thereof.

We had his new, official audiogram today (the one where he doesn't have fluid in his ears) and yep, sure enough, he has a hearing loss (which we pretty much already knew). I was so impressed by how poised he was. He sat there listening for beeps, many of which he couldn't hear, completely concentrating on whether or not it was a beep, and putting pegs in a peg board each time he heard one. This went on for a good twenty minutes, and he cooperated the entire time. If we ever had concerns about his ability to attend for long periods, today put them to rest!

The audiologist, who was VERY nice, explained all of our hearing aid options and scheduled an appointment to have molds taken on Wed. We order the aids when the molds come (usually three weeks later). I found out our insurance will cover the entire expense ($2,000 to be exact). NICE! But best of all, Caleb will be able to hear by the time school starts!!

I can't wait to see his little face light up when he is able to really hear for the first time. So exciting!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

You Get What You Get

Have I mentioned that we were supposed to spend this summer in Europe? We had no idea how we would afford it, but that was the plan. Until Feb. Then our travel buddies bought a house and the exchange rate for the Euro is brutal, so we decided on the more economical Costa Rica, where our money is GOOD! Then we began to research airfare, etc., but by May we realized that we couldn't even afford Costa Rica. Which is sad, because I wanted to do SOMETHING to celebrate finishing school! AND summer, of course! So finally, we decided we would go to Lake Tahoe, which sounds VERY FUN. Not exotic, but fun nonetheless. Yeah!

In the meantime, we have had a very quiet summer. Days consist of rising around 7:00 (normally the time we would have to be at work), eating a leisurely breakfast and doing chores, greeting my cousin's son around 9:00 when he arrives to spend the morning with us, and then a fun activity (usually involving water) until lunch. After lunch, we often have some social gathering, or go to the library, or just hang out and play. The evenings have consisted of trips to Sea World, the pool, and visits with friends. I admit that there HAS been some work going on, sprinkled between trips to the pool and visits with friends, but it's been relaxed (even though our school is falling apart-but that's a story for another day).

The moral? We plan; God laughs. And today, as we enjoyed the whole day with Scott's brother and his family, we reflected on how differently the summer has turned out, and what a blessing that has been. How nice that we're not REALLY in charge. We could have ruined a perfectly wonderful summer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cute Caleb Quote of the Day

Scott: Okay Caleb, let's go to the store.
Caleb: Ohay. Bye, Mommy!
Me: Bye, Boo!
Caleb: (walking downstairs to leave) Bye Mommy!
Scott: Say, "See ya later, alligator."
Caleb: See... Hey! She not a alligator. What you talkin' 'bout, Dad?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Alphabet Obsession

Caleb is obsessed with the letter O.

Nikki: C-A-L-E-B. That spells Caleb!
Caleb: NO!
Nikki: Yes. That's your name. C-A-L-E-B. Caleb.
Caleb: No! O-O-O.
Nikki: There's no O in your name.
Caleb: Yes!! I have a O!
Nikki: blink, blink

We have a similar experience when the "super letters" appear in "Super Why" (his new favorite show. Thank goodness, no more "Curious George!").

Wyatt (character on show): Can you find the Super Letters? (as they float around in front of him)
Me: F-L-P
Caleb: O-O-O
Wyatt: That's right! F, L, and P!
Caleb: NO!! O!
Me: sigh

So if anybody can think of a creative spelling of Caleb that involves an "O," he'd really appreciate it if you'd post it here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

12-Year-Old Bliss

Have I mentioned that I'm Nikki's Girl Scout leader? Well, I am. By default, really. If I hadn't taken over the troop 18 months ago, it would have dissolved. But I'm not really qualified or GOOD at being a leader, so sometimes I wonder what the girls think.

Last night, we had our SECOND back yard camp out. I mention that it's our SECOND because I really thought we'd just do one (which we did, last year), and then we'd move on to places, well, not on our property. So I mentioned to the girls that I am now OUTDOOR CERTIFIED and we can camp wherever we want, but they wanted another campout in my back yard. So that's what we did.

Because we didn't have time to have a planning meeting between the girls' camps and vacations, and because I felt like it was time for them to push themselves a little, I called my good friend Richard and told him we were ready for another hike. After joining us for dinner al fresco, he took us on a BEAUTIFUL hike by moonlight. We got back around 10:00, made s'mores in my wonderful neighbor's fire pit (THANKS, TAMI!), and the girls finally pooped out around midnight. This morning, we cooked on the camp stove on the deck (french toast, bagels, bacon) and tie died shirts. Breakfast was great, but the shirts started out beautiful and then faded when we washed them. I'll be researching tie-dying tips before our next meeting (and if you have any, please post them!).

Before the girls left, I asked them do do a "Plus-Delta," where they talk about what they liked and what they would change about their experience.

Pluses: s'mores, hiking, playing "dare or dare" (a modified version of truth or dare), cooking on the camp stove, setting up the tent

Deltas: not getting up at 2:00 am so they could jump on the trampoline in their underwear (???)

In my self-centered brain, I really though that whether or not they had fun had something to do with me. Clearly, that's not the case. So I guess they're not ready to fire me yet. Yeah! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We now return you to your regularly scheduled, uh, blogging?

It's been TEN DAYS since I last blogged! Wow! Why? We've had a little chaos going on around here!

Apparently, some bugs decided to move in and start eating our house. The nice man who came out and found them (LOTS of them) informed us that the only way we could get rid of them was to tent our house. So we did.

Let me just say that if you have a CHOICE and you can either tent your house or move, you should MOVE. Sadly, we didn't have that choice. So this past week was spent moving all of the food out of the house to a shed that wouldn't be tented. Then we packed up the rest of the food that couldn't stay in the shed and drove ourselves and our three pets to our WONDERFUL friends' house where we stayed for two days.

We really enjoy these friends, and they were so tolerant of our digging dog, hissing cat, and screaming preschooler. They had a GREAT room that housed all of us for our two nights in exile. We went to the beach, played games, went to a cool garden, and the kids jumped and swam themselves to exhaustion. It was a great preview to our vacation in August, when we'll be traveling with this family to Lake Tahoe. What a blessing to have friends who would put up with all of us descending on their house!

But today we returned to our smelly house where we proceeded to move all the food BACK to the cupboards and refrigerator, clean the dirty floors and counters (dust and dirty footprints from the fans and termite people), wash every possible item because I am terrified that my kids will get sick, and wash the dishes for the same reason. Oh, and we had to wait for the gas company to come back and light the pilot, so we had no hot water.

So now we are settling back into our termite-free house (which is hosting a variety of flies that got in while we were trying to air it out) and trying to resume our lives. This should happen quickly since we're hosting Nikki's Girl Scout troop tomorrow for back yard campout and Scott has to report for a summer league football game. *sigh*

Oh, the dryer is stopping. Time to get back to work!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nostalgia? Overrated!

I mentioned in my last post that we would be watching the original Pink Panther cartoons. In case that sounded like a good idea to you, DON'T DO IT!!!

While Caleb loved the music and found them to be hysterically funny, I was disturbed for several reasons.

One: The Pink Panther smokes. The opening credits show a picture of him with a cigarette and he partakes in this particular vice in almost every cartoon.

Two: In every cartoon the little man eventually tries to solve the conflict by pulling out his shotgun.

Three: In every other episode, the little man gets drunk.

Not the wholesome family viewing I remembered. AND the DVD lasted 2 HOURS and 40 MINUTES! We eventually figured out that we'd better just turn it off and go to bed.

So much for nostalgia!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Making lemonade.

Not literally. That would require some domestic talent and effort.

No, figuratively.

Nikki asked what we were doing today, and Caleb replied, "We going Sea World!" We all looked at each other with "yes" written all over our faces. So Nikki called some friends, we packed up the car, the kids dressed in swim suits under their clothes, and we headed for cooler ground.

When we got there, we saw a sign announcing that it was a "blackout day" for our particular type of passes. NOT GOOD. Not only were our children going to be VERY disappointed, but so were the other two who DIDN'T belong to us.

Luckily, only a few minutes away, there is an old-fashioned, boardwalk-type area right on the beach. We went over and let the kids ride the roller coaster and Tilt-and-Hurl (Caleb opted for the boats and carousel instead) and then took them over to play at the beach.

Tonight, it's original Pink Panther cartoons before bed (thanks to Netflix and the interest piqued by Scott's continuous playing of the instrumental on his iPod).

So we didn't make it to Sea World, but we had a good time anyway.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What were we thinking??

Scott and I had an anniversary this weekend, and so we conspired to have a date. At first, we were going to go on Saturday night (our anniversary was Sunday), but Scott told Nikki our plans (which involved her spending the night at Grammy's) and she burst into tears at the thought of not getting to spend one of her two nights with us. I concurred (although I didn't actually cry), and so my mom was kind enough to reschedule for Tuesday night, when Nikki was away at camp.

Yesterday afternoon, I took Caleb to my mom's where he walked in the door, turned around and said, "Bye Mom." I actually walked in, greeted my parents, and dropped off his stuff before I left, but he clearly wasn't upset about it.

We went out, had a delicious dinner at Ruth's Chris, and had a great time just the two of us. We slept intermittently until 9:30 (note-this NEVER happens) this morning. I say intermittently because we still had the animals (mainly Nikki's cat) waking us up frequently, but we just fell right back to sleep. As soon as we got up, the phone rang. It was my mom. I'm not clear on the details, but she sounded like Caleb had had an accident every hour since he got there. I dropped everything, got in the car, and got him.

Since he's been home, he's been dry and used the potty on his own.

So instead of having a romantic sushi lunch, we're eating leftovers with Caleb. And so it goes.