Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Peanut Butter Rant

This is the most random thing to write about EVER, but I'm SO MAD at Henry's for switching to that stupid "Sun Harvest" label. Why? Because their peanut butter sucks!!! Henry's used to have the ONLY non-stir peanut butter that didn't turn to an oily mess as soon as you took it out of the fridge. It had the same consistency as the peanut butter that has bad stuff in it, without the bad stuff. And since Caleb pretty much relies on peanut butter and dairy for protein, we NEED good peanut butter! So now we're back to the oily mess or Skippy "natural" which I'm sure is not natural at all and definitely has sugar in it.

The funny thing is that I was sharing this with a friend, and her cousin was just complaining about the same thing.

Henry's, why hast thou forsaken me??

Other than that, vacation is great. How's yours? =)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

I hope you had a merry Christmas! We did, even though it was rather different. My parents left to go on a cruise through the Panama Canal for our ENTIRE break, which I think is fabulous for them and rather lonely for us. Still, we had a great time. My aunt invited us over to her house for Christmas Day, so we got to spend time with all of the cousins (a rare occasion these days!) for a few hours after church. Then we came back and watched the Chargers WIN AGAIN!! =) Devon left after the game, so our wonderful neighbors came over and helped us sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and eat cake.

Caleb got Rock Band for Christmas and a great time was had by all pretending that we knew how to play instruments. I have to say, though, that we went out and bought Lego Rock Band because it received reviews saying it was more family-friendly. I'm grateful that my five-year-old no longer has to sing along with people with tattoos and piercings who are wearing skulls and ripped clothing. Unfortunately, Lego Rock Band doesn't come with instruments, so you're kind of stuck making a purchase rated "T." If you're going to buy it and you also are not a fan of skulls or piercings, I recommend the Beatles version!

Nikki has been reading, reading, reading, and reading. In between, she plays with her bunny and puts in a few songs on Rock Band. She is having quite the vacation, which ends tomorrow when she has to get to work on her science fair project and catch up on her chores. When she's done, she can go back to loafing around.

We are looking forward to visits from many different people this week and look forward to hanging out around the house. May your week be filled with friendship and fun. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Almost there...

We have two more days of school until Winter Break. HOORAY!!!! Because I have a LOT of things to get done during that break. Things like Christmas shopping, Christmas cards, Christmas baking, Christmas wrapping, Christmas decorating, and maybe even some Christmas fun?? That would be nice. We also still have a LOT of trim to paint and a LOT of pictures to put up on the wall and a LOT of organizing to do. I'm thinking I may not have time to do all of this, and what I'd really like to do is spend some quality time in my bathtub, but I fear this is unlikely. Oh well.

Emma is still with us and still wonderful. We actually went on a DATE on Friday, and nobody called to tell us that we needed to come home because Caleb was having a meltdown. It was fabulous. We'll miss her when she goes home for vacation.

Nikki is at a dance tonight. She is getting so grown-up. Where does the time go??

Caleb is still very unhappy with us that he still has to go to school and he still can't open his presents. I tried counting angels to show how many days are left but he got mad at me because I was counting 1, 2, 3, 4 when the angels said 15, 16, 17, 18. I felt a mathematical explanation was probably overkill so I just gave up. It's hard to be five.

Two more days, two more days, two more days...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Negotiations

Scott and I were trying to have a quiet moment together in the kitchen when Caleb marched up.

Caleb: Hey guys! Hey guys! Hey guys! Hey guys!
Scott: [Realizing that ignoring him wasn't going to make him stop] Give us five minutes.
Caleb: How about one?

And so it goes.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time for Christmas?

Caleb: Is it Christmastime yet?
Me: Well, sort of. It's time to get READY for Christmas.
Caleb: Blink, blink.
Me: I know, let's get out the angels (advent calendar). Do you want to do that?
Caleb: YEAH!!
Me: That way you'll know how many days you have until Christmas.
Caleb (scrunching up his face): I don't want DAYS until Christmas!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Greetings

I know this is going to shock you, but things have been busy around here. I know, I know, but it's true. The good news is that I'm all caught up with my grades (for now), today is the last soccer game of the season, and construction is pretty much over for now (although we still have no deck). We also have a new member of the family. Emma is staying with us for the rest of the school year, and can I just say that I should have brought home a seventeen-year-old girl YEARS AGO?! She reads, she plays Candy Land, she helps with dinner, she sits with Nikki and looks for differences in pictures in Nikki's puzzle book. SHE ROCKS!! And since she is currently sitting in a tent made of blankets with my children, I actually get to blog! Yippee!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Murphy's Law

Caleb's godparents came out to watch his game yesterday. The plan was to do that and then go to the pumpkin patch. City Farmers was having their fall festival, so we wanted to go support them and let the kids have some fun.

Godparents have new twin baby boys, so they didn't quite get a chance to eat lunch before they came to the game (which started at 1:00). When it was over, we went to the burger place to eat. By the time we were done, it was 3:30. The festival was supposed to be over by 4:00, but we figured we'd just hang out for a bit afterward. We dropped off one of the cars at our house and left for the nursery.

About a mile from our house, Caleb screamed.

Scott: What's wrong?
Caleb: [holding his nose] Ouch, ouch!
Scott: Let me see.
Caleb: [pulls his hands away to see they are covered in blood] Oh no!
Scott: Hold on!
Nikki: [general freaking out that triggers crying from Caleb]

Caleb had whacked himself in the face with his water bottle in precisely the spot that causes blood to spurt from the nose. I pulled over, we grabbed a towel from the back, and told Godparents we needed to go back to the house.

After we got things settled down back at the house, we had a hard time getting motivated to move. The boys went outside to check on construction. The five-year-olds went to ride bikes. The rest of us contemplated napping right along with the sleeping babies on our laps.

Finally, a decision had to be made. At first we talked about going to a pumpkin patch in Lakeside, but it closed at 7:00. We ultimately decided to go to the very commercial pumpkin patch off the 15 that we've gone to for the past five years. We got everyone loaded up, drove to Poway, and found the lot fenced off with nothing but some Con-Ex boxes on it.

Plan D wound up being Cold Stone on Pomerado Road. Fortunately, there was a Target right next door with, glory of glories, pumpkins in the garden center. So we got to enjoy ice cream with not only the godparents, but my parents as well. We were home by 7:30 and had the kids in bed by 8:30. And we have pumpkins. YAY!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Weekly Update?

So apparently I'm blogging once a week these days. This week was actually much better than last week (which looked a lot like last Saturday). Scott was the one with meetings this week, so I got to spend some time reconnecting with the kids.

Caleb has an IEP meeting next Wed. We will have to make a decision whether to put him in their early kindergarten program or keep him in preschool. There are benefits and drawbacks to both scenarios. Please pray for guidance. He's take another cognitive leap and is impressing us every day with new phrases and skills. Last night he put together a puzzle without any help!

Nikki is at yet another birthday party with one of her best friends. I'm grateful she's getting some time with some wonderful girls (Jaycie last week, Trina this week). She's been struggling with a "mean girl" at school, but seems to be handling it beautifully. Unfortunately, she has to depend on this girl to get to her zero-period Spanish class every day. I'm also praying for a solution to this problem. Ah, middle school. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways...

Crawford had its homecoming game yesterday. It was horrible. 70-0. Plus our quarterback broke his leg and one of my students broke his arm. He's just in a splint and is in a lot of pain, but he's going to Children's today to see an orthopedist.

So this morning we have chores (because my house has been sorely neglected) and then Boo's soccer game this afternoon. It should be a good day. Yeah, Saturday!!!! Hope yours is great, too!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday

  1. 6:00 am Crawford (picking up students)
  2. 7:30 am Mission Bay for Out of the Darkness walk
  3. 11:00 am Crawford (dropping off students)
  4. 11:30 am home for a shower
  5. 12:00 pm Caleb's soccer game
  6. 1:00 pm home for Nikki
  7. 1:15 pm Nikki to birthday party #2
  8. 1:45 pm Clairemont High for football game
  9. 4:00 pm Crawford (dropping off students)
  10. 4:30 pm crash and burn
  11. 8:00 pm laundry
  12. 10:00 pm pick up Nikki
But man, it's good to be home!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Going home!

I leave Ecuador tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to seeing my family, who I miss terribly, but am so grateful for this incredible experience.

Please pray for the team. Three have been stricken with the flu and we're all leaving in the next 24 hours. Please pray for a return to health for those who are sick and for continued health for those who are not. Also, prayers for safe travel would be greatly appreciated.

I can't wait to share stories when I get home. See you soon!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cold Feet

So I leave for Ecuador in just three days. THREE DAYS! And then I'll be away from my family for TEN DAYS!!! I've never been away from my kids that long. EVER. And the last time I left Scott for that long was before we were married. So I'm feeling a little, well, nauseous. I prayed for a long time about this decision, and it was really one of those things where God hit me over the head and said, "GO!" So I know I'm supposed to do this. But I'm really getting cold feet here. I'm going to miss them so much!

Another issue is my students. My colleagues have got me covered, but I'm going to be gone until the end of the grading period and I'm going to have to come back and do grades because they are due the NEXT DAY. ACK!!

So here I go with my final preparations. I probably won't be blogging much this week. Since I seem to have been designated "blogmaster" for the group, I probably will only be blogging on the other site while we are there. I imagine we will be busy working most of the time.

So for now, farewell! Please pray that our presence will be a blessing to the children at For His Children. And if you're in a position to take good care of my family, please do so!!

XOXO
Cindy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caleb Update

Caleb is having another cognitive quantum leap. He is suddenly discussing books that he read in school and telling us interesting facts he learned from them. He is remembering people's names. He wants to practice soccer all the time. These are all NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN behaviors!!

I wonder if there's a magic formula that causes this to happen one year after you can actually hear for the first time?? Something to ponder.

I never blogged about this because we were doing remodel chaos, but we decided to terminate Caleb's special day class services. Last year, he was bused to a SDC preschool twice a week, which he never complained about, but it had to be disruptive. For a variety of reasons, we chose not to continue these services. Now he gets to stay at his school with the same friends (who are NOT SDC students) all day, and he gets speech twice a week in the mornings. I suffered from a great deal of parental anxiety over this decision, but now I am so glad that we made this choice for him. He is just blossoming.

Go, Boo!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

REALLY tired...

I spent this weekend at camp with my Peer Helpers in Julian. We left after school on Friday and got back today at noon. Essentially, this means I got about eight hours of sleep all weekend. After dropping off one of the students (I still find it disturbing that I have the kids all weekend and their parents STILL don't come pick them up), we headed home. The rest of my day looked like this:

12:45 Arrive home, have a piece of Julian pie with the family.
1:10 Dress Caleb for soccer pictures.
1:30 Scott takes Caleb for pictures so I can unpack. Instead, I fall asleep watching the Chargers.
3:15 Wake up in a panic because I slept. Watch Chargers lose. :(
4:00 Bathe Gloria & put a load in the laundry.
4:30 Deep-clean former master bath since it is now for guest use.
5:15 Decide that we are having taco shop for dinner. Keep cleaning.
6:00 Eat, do dishes.
6:15 Still cleaning!
7:00 Kiss Caleb goodnight, switch laundry, PAINT!!
8:00 Kiss Nikki goodnight. STILL PAINTING.
9:00 Walking with Mich.
10:00 Laundry, vacuum.
10:30 Check E-mail.

So here I am at 11:30 blogging. I should really be getting my clothes for tomorrow out, showering, and getting my work stuff together.

I think it's going to be another long week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Good Part

The really good part about Nikki being a teenager (and also liking to cook) is that SHE is making dinner so that I can type this.

I hope there's some homemade pasta sauce in your future, too. Particularly homemade pasta sauce that YOU didn't have to make (at home, or elsewhere).

That is all.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mixed Messages

Caleb is playing soccer for the first time this fall. He could have played with four-year-olds last year, but the two attempts we made at enrolling him in structured activities deterred us from making another effort at that point. This fall, however, he's ready to listen and is VERY excited about being a "soccer teamer." He's been anxiously awaiting his first practice since we purchased his gear mid-August.

Last Tuesday was his first practice. I had to go run several errands for the house, so I was a little late getting there. When I got there, he was beaming as he passed the ball back and forth to his partner for the drill, and kept giving me the thumbs-up sign. Clearly, he was thrilled. Of course, he had no idea what he was doing (we registered him late and he missed a couple practices), so most of the time he sort of stumbled his way through. This was aggravated by the fact that he didn't have his hearing aids (Scott was worried about the sweat and took them off. We have now agreed that hearing is more important, and that's why Caleb has Ear Gear.) Even so, HE was eating it up!

Then the coach decided they should scrimmage, so she called the boys in and gave them different colored jerseys to put on over their clothes. ALSO VERY EXCITING! Then she gave them a ball and let them play. Caleb happily ran down the field toward the ball, got it, and then immediately started crying when another boy took it away. He came running back to us sobbing, "They mean to me! They take the ball away! That not sharing!!"

For five years, we have had to work HARD with Caleb to get him to share. We spent an ENTIRE WEEK this summer talking about how we take turns when we go bowling. And then we turned him loose in a game where the whole point is stealing the ball from somebody else, your friends even, and sort of forgot to mention that. Such hypocrisy!

This week, our conversations went like this:

Me: Caleb, what do we do when someone takes the ball away?
Caleb: We get it back!
Me: That's right. In soccer, we don't share during the game.
Caleb: Yeah!

Of course, none of this prevented another crying episode during this week's scrimmage.

Oh man. What are we doing here???

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Beginnings & Letting Go

The house is nearing a stage where it might once again be sane. We have a fully operational kitchen which I LOVE! We have been using it a LOT and I don't ever want to eat out again. Okay, well maybe someday, but not anytime soon.

Caleb started his final year of preschool last Monday and then started soccer on Tuesday. That's a funny story for another day.

Nikki started her final year of elementary school today. She's officially an eighth-grader (both of her schools have been K-8). Wow. Next year she will be starting high school. They played this song on K-LOVE as I was driving her to her Spanish class, and I had to change the station before I got too emotional. It makes me sad to know that we only have five years left with her. I know that five years is a long time, and that she won't really ever not be mine, but still...

CHAMPs has a new leader this year, and he's actually an old friend. We had a smooth start to our school year, and I'm optimistic that this year will be the push that we need to get back on track. We lost a lot of great teachers, including Scott, after last year. The new staff seems great, and the students have chosen "New Beginnings" for our theme this year. I certainly hope so.

Today was also my first day without my beloved Class of 2009 after four years of working together. My new students seem great, and I was actually fine once I got started, but the drive to work was a little teary as I contemplated all this change. I have trouble letting go. I need to get over it.

So that's where I am tonight. Feeling a little nostalgic, but very optimistic. It's going to be a great year!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Parenting Tip of the Day

Caleb: Mommy, I have a big surprise for you.
Me: [Half listening because I'm painting.] You do? What?
Caleb: I clean the toilet for you!
Me: [Paying attention now.] You what??
Caleb: [Beaming.] I clean the toilet for you! Come see!
Me: [Quickly putting down roller and following him up the stairs.] Why was the toilet dirty?
Caleb: [Leading me into our bathroom.] Ta-da!!

My first observation was that there was a very strong scent in the air and some soggy toilet paper shredded all over the toilet tank. Also, there were TWO bottles of air freshener instead of one.

Parenting Tip of the Day:
Do not leave bottles of Febreeze around where your five-year-old might find them and mistake them for scrubbing bubbles. Or you could just supervise your kids. That would work too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Looking up!

Today the doors were installed and Scott installed the towel racks and light in the guest bathroom. Tomorrow our kitchen cabinets come, they break ground on the patio, and the drywall is supposed to go up in the future kitchen. In the meantime, I will be painting, painting, painting.

Tomorrow is also a bonfire/reunion with the Peer Helpers, sort of a last hurrah before the '09 kids start college. I'm looking forward to seeing them and hearing all about their summers.

Caleb is excited to be back at school in the mornings. Both kids spent the morning at the zoo with Scott's mom today and had a great time.

Our new principal is AWESOME! He has taken on this HUGE mess that was handed to him and is running with it. I have complete confidence in his ability to lead our school. What a great thing!!

My parents are off having a grand time on an Alaskan cruise and Devon is thoroughly enjoying his new independence and work.

Yep, life is good. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Moving On

Devon will be moving out today. He's been with us for three months now. He has a job and a place to live that he can afford just a few blocks from where he works. He's excited about getting a pet corn snake, as are his roomies.

It's up to him now. I am praying very hard that he is able to continue his forward progress once he is on his own.

Congratulations, Dev. We love you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Conflicted

I had to go re-enroll Caleb in preschool today. This was the conversation on the way there:

Caleb: I don't want to go to school.
Me: We're just going for a visit. I'm not going to leave you there.
Caleb: I don't want to visit. I want to go home.
Me: I have to sign some papers. We'll just go for a little bit.
Caleb: But I don't want to go to school.
(Repeat fifteen or so times.)

When we got to school, nobody was there. They were still on their way back from a field trip.

Me: Your teacher's not here. We'll have to come back.
Caleb: But I want my school! I want to see my teacher.
Me: We'll just go to the bank and then we'll come back.
Caleb: We can't leave! I want my friends! I want my teacher!
(Repeat fifteen times or so.)

After the bank (and many more complaints), we went back. Caleb had a great reunion with his friends and most of his teachers. The boys all ran up and hugged him when they saw him. He loved every minute of it. I was inspired to sign him up for three half-days a week until his school starts up again (we need to get some work done in the house before going back to work).

On the way home:

Caleb: I can't leave. I have to go to school. I'm very upset. I can't go home.
Me: I'm sorry you're upset. You're not going to school today, but guess what? I signed you up for summer preschool, so you get to go next Monday!
Caleb: But I don't want to go to school.
Me: Well then it's a good thing we're going home.
Caleb: But I have to go to school.
Me: Yes, when I go back to work you have to go to school again.
Caleb: But it's not your school. It's just for children.
Me: No, I'll go to my school and you go to your school.
Caleb: But I want to go to school. I'm very upset.

So I have no idea whether or not he'll be excited on Monday, but at least we'll get our molding painted.

*sigh*

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's too hard!

Caleb is napping sporadically these days. On the days where nobody is pounding on the house, we like to at least give him the opportunity to take a nap. Today, WE really wanted to take a nap and he desperately needed the rest. Here's how it all went down.
  • 1:00 Read a story after lunch, give kisses, say goodnight.
  • 1:30 Listen to Nikki putting Caleb back in his room. Crying ensues.
  • 1:45 Listen to Nikki telling Caleb to go back in his room. Scott goes downstairs and tucks him back in. Crying ensues.
  • 2:00 Caleb appears at the top of the stairs (apparently, Nikki is done with her prison guard duty). I take him back to his room. He cries and tells me, "It's too hard to take a rest." We sing a song, he settles, I go back to bed.
  • 2:30 Caleb is up again. Scott takes him back to his room. Again, "It's too hard!!!"
  • 3:00 Repeat above scenario.
  • 3:30 We hear Caleb playing downstairs.
At this point, we gave up and decided to head to my mom's for dinner. About five minutes into the car ride, Caleb fell asleep. He didn't wake up when we got there. But it's too hard to take a nap.

*sigh*

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Our house is still destroyed. Our master bedroom is the only untouched room. Thanks to air conditioning adjustments, we now have to repaint Caleb's ceiling and at least one wall. Painting is at a standstill until they texture the patches. Tomorrow, we pack up our kitchen in preparation for its demolition on Saturday.

We had a good time with our niece. We went to Hollywood, Universal Studios, the beach, had a shopping day, and today the girls did a photo shoot in the new closet. Now we get to catch up on all the things we didn't do while she was here, like buy lights for the outside of the house and a faucet for our tub.

Don't be surprised if we turn up on your doorstep around breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

It's going to be REALLY NICE WHEN IT'S DONE!!! :P

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A laundry riddle for you...

How does one thirteen-year-old girl go through fourteen pair of underwear in one week? And then not even realize that she's worn fourteen pair of underwear so that she then is forced to clean and organize all her drawers and fish out luggage to search for said underwear?

If you come up with the answer, let me know.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Too Fried for Prose

Another busy week at the Page House! Because my brain isn't organized enough to link coherent thoughts, here is a list of the highlights.
  • Devon was diagnosed with shingles. He was quite miserable for most of the week, but thankfully is recovering well. Most of the lesions have scabbed over, and he appears to be on the mend.
  • We also thought that Nikki had come down with the chickenpox, as she had a red, bumpy rash all over her stomach. However, it never developed beyond that.
  • We finished painting the master bath and the dining room. The bathtub and vanity were delivered by our favorite contractor. We also have a door, but the one in the master bedroom won't be coming for another month. Pictures forthcoming soon.
  • Tomorrow we start Vacation Bible School, always a highlight. Today was spent decorating the Community Center like the Grand Canyon. Our camping gear was called back into service. We're looking forward to a fun week!
  • We have a new washing machine. Ours broke on the second load after returning from Yosemite. I'm still catching up on laundry, as it took a week for the new one to come.
  • The air conditioner has been repaired TWICE since our return from Yosemite. It's working hard to cool the bigger house, but is much more effective since the repairs. Also nice are the cooler evenings.
  • I got to see the new Harry Potter movie. :)
  • I finished Wuthering Heights and am back on literary fast-food with the next installment of the Outlander Series.
  • Our niece, Lauren, is coming to visit on Saturday. We're going to take the kids to Hollywood. It should be fun.
Hope you're having fun, too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Painting

We've been too busy painting to blog.

Boo LOVES to paint!

Teamwork!


Painting is messy business. :)

Painty toes.

Nikki's new room. She opted to splatter her paint. (???)

The girls are happy to be back in their own room after six weeks of being displaced.

Hmmmm....


Master Bedroom. We think it looks like a mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. It still needs the chair rail and molding, but at least it's painted!

And that's what we've been up to.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where to start?

We are back from Yosemite. In an answer to prayer, we have no bear stories to tell. I think this is in large part due to the fact that it is entirely too cold for anyone to survive a night where we were camping, so the bears intelligently moved to the valley. Regardless, I am grateful to have returned without incident.

Yosemite was BEAUTIFUL and we camped right on the Merced River. Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying that particular amenity.

I think my favorite day was spent in the valley at Happy Isles and Mirror Lake. Gorgeous.

Goddad rigged a solar shower, which made the trip bearable.

On Thursday, I even got to wash my hair in Curry Village. Unfortunately, we also ate in the cafeteria there, which resulted in Godmom and I puking all night. Did you know that it's very inconvenient to vomit while camping? First, zipping oneself out of sleeping bags and tents does not make it easy to vomit outside the company of others. Recognizing this, I moved into the van for the night, where the door just swings right open and provides easy access to bushes. I considered driving down to the bathroom, but that would have required entirely too much movement. Godmom, however, did make it to the bathroom, where she sat on a rock outside for about three hours. Did I mention it was COLD where we were? We're talking low 40's at night. When I found this out Friday morning, I felt quite guilty about not moving the van down there.

We came home Saturday to find that my wonderful mother had cleaned all of the bathrooms and washed our sheets. I am relishing my access to plumbing. :)

While we were gone, Scott accepted a position at Clairemont High School. For the first time in our married life, we will be working in different places. I'm sure it will be a great opportunity for growth.

We are currently painting the house. Last night, we spent about three hours priming. We're not done with the two rooms we started. It's going to be a long week.

We painted last night because during the day I had to go into school to interview a prospective English teacher. We were required to offer her the position. I tried to be as scary as possible. We'll see.

And right now I should be changing into painting clothes and getting started. Today my skin and hair will be green. Lovely, yes? It will be great when it's done, it will be great when it's done...

Hasta luego.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Update

The week started out on a low, but went uphill.

A member of our congregation died of stomach cancer on Sunday. She worked in the office and all three of her kids (who are in high school/first year of college) are very active in the church. She was only 45.

We also found out that the principal we thought would be ours will not, in fact, be ours. Instead, we have to hire a new one. In the meantime, we are losing more and more teachers, my husband being a prime candidate.

So on Tuesday I left town for San Francisco. I took a recently-graduated student up for her orientation, and we stayed with Jackie at her apartment. It was SO FUN and SO NICE to be away from all the turmoil of construction, grief, and indecision. I got home yesterday afternoon.

Today we ordered the cabinets for the kitchen and the vanity for the bathroom. We now have a very large credit balance with Home Depot. However, I am very excited about the new kitchen. It's going to be GREAT!

Nikki also came back from confirmation camp today. She had a great time.

I know this is not even remotely interesting or entertaining, but that's what we're up to. Just thought you'd like to know.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer

So we're one full week into summer now. Last week didn't count because my kids were still in school and I worked every day. But THIS week was VACATION!!

We camped Monday-Thursday at the beach with Caleb's godparents. FUN! S'MORES! TIDE POOLS! READING! It was awesome.

Friday I took the kids to do their work for a study (they're part of the control group and get paid $10/hour to take tests!). Then I came home to find the workers were done for the day and so we napped and watched "Return of the Jedi" on the wall for Friday Night Movie Night.

Today we went to the library's summer reading program kick-off at the park. Aside from the tragic loss of Caleb's balloon sword (he waited 15 minutes in line and it popped after 5 minutes), it was fun. Then another nap and dinner with Grammy and Grampy to celebrate their anniversary, which actually happened while we were camping.

So I'm sure I've put on some pounds, but I'm working on my THIRD book and I'm finally feeling like maybe it is vacation after all. YEAH!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The End of an Era

As a child of the eighties, I am shocked and saddened by Michael Jackson's sudden death.

I know there are lots of controversial things to say about Michael, but I'm not interested in those things. I remember the VERY cute Michael who sang and danced his way into everyone's hearts back in the seventies. I remember the EVEN MORE talented Michael who stunned teens like me by making amazing videos to songs like "Thriller" and "Beat It," which I watched ad nauseum when MTV was new and still showed videos. I still have the "Thriller Tour" t-shirt the people I babysat for bought me when they went to his concert. I still have the album in vinyl! I recently downloaded the album to iTunes because we needed to do some cultural background in American Lit (Vincent Price narrated "Thriller" AND starred in many movies written by Poe). For those of us who came of age in the eighties, he was our Elvis or Beatles.

It's so sad that he was so unhappy with his appearance that he destroyed his face and skin, and ultimately his body. I'm sorry that he was such a tortured soul. But he has left a huge impact on this world through his art.

Thank you, Michael, for your music. May you finally rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

DONE!

Schools out!!

It was a busy and wonderful final weekend with my seniors. Friday night we went out for pizza, rode on the rides at Belmont Park, and then cried our eyes out at a two-hour goodbye ceremony.

Saturday the Peer Helpers all came over for a pool party/potluck. They had a great time swimming, playing basketball and ladderball, and (oh yeah) throwing me in the pool. >(

Sunday they all had a bonfire at the beach, which I opted out of since I needed to do laundry. We also celebrated Mother's & Father's Days with Scott's parents/grandparents.

And yesterday was the big day! I had the honor of reading my kids' names for the final time as they received their diplomas. My favorite moment was when one of my students asked me to call her by my nickname for her as she walked across the stage. What a proud time for them. And since we did all our crying on Friday, I just had a blast taking pictures and loving being together one last time.

And now this year, which was so wonderful in every way that had to do with the students and so miserable in many ways that had to do with the staff, is over. Thanks be to God. It's summer!!! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nothing in Particular

There's a lot of hard stuff happening at work right now and it's making me sad. I don't like to blog about sad. So I'm not blogging much.

Oh, and I found out today from a co-worker (who is not also my husband) that my husband is applying for jobs at other schools. This is about the tenth time he has done this (made a major career move and I find out from a co-worker, or after the fact). Every time he does it, we have a big discussion about how I should be the first person to know these things, not the last. And then he turns around and does it again. I have checked and I am not the only one who finds this disturbing.

See, that's why I shouldn't be blogging right now. See you in a week.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The only constant...

Change is becoming my best friend, which is really ironic since I've always hated it.

Right now, the administrators and a few teachers are deciding on a proposal for the future of our school. I have no idea what this means for our small part of the school. Regardless, our board member wants to tear the school down in a year, which means we either save our small school by moving to another site or our staff and students will be dispersed to the four corners of SDUSD. So I guess we have some work to do.

Devon has been a wonderful addition to the household. He's great with the kids and is working hard to re-learn math so he can pass his proficiency exam for his diploma on June 20. He's eager to find a job and start earning some money, but he has to wait for his ID to come in the mail. He has an orientation for a job-skills program on Monday. He's doing all the right things. I'm very impressed.

And of course, the school year is racing to a close. I will be saying goodbye to my beloved Class of 2009. In the meantime, I am getting the Class of 2010 ready for senior year by working on personal statements.

Oh yeah, and every day our house looks different. I'll post pictures again tomorrow.

Yep, Change and I are great buddies these days.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Birthday Pictures

Here are some pictures from Boo's birthday party. Fun!!

The boys had a great time in the pool!
Caleb's goddad made a BEAUTIFUL "rocket ship!" Notice who's driving it! ;)

Band Concert




Last night was Nikki's first band concert. She got to play "Star Wars" with the high school band. She did so well!!

Dining Al Fresco

Nikki decided we should christen the new dining area today since they added railings. It was fun!
Eating dinner. Gloria found it quite tempting. ;)
The view from the new dining area.

Ice cream for dessert.
The back of the house.
The view from the master bedroom. It's getting exciting!!

Expanding and Shrinking

Yesterday, we came home to find the downstairs completely framed, and even covered. It is quite magical to leave in the morning and come home to find one's house looking COMPLETELY different than it did when one left eight hours earlier.

So the house is expanding. But in the meantime, our usable space is shrinking. Yesterday, our contractor told us that we needed to remove all of our fragile things from our shelving unit because they are going to be ripping the stucco off the back wall of the house today (!!). Devon was kind enough to assist me in this matter. We also took down pictures. But my house was already full, and now I have pictures and breakable things to store. And I imagine that this is going to get MUCH worse before it gets better!

Our school gets out in three weeks, but during the first week of summer vacation our kids both still have school. I think that is a great time to PURGE. We have GOT to get rid of the STUFF that fills our house (and mostly our garage)!! In the meantime, know that if you come visit me you will be escorted through a maze of piles strategically arranged throughout the house. Don't judge me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Why are we busy??

Devon arrived yesterday. We spent the evening rearranging the already-rearranged furniture to make a little space for him to call his own. He is so glad to be home, and we're SO glad to have him back!!

Caleb turned five today. Happy birthday, Boo!!

This morning, they began framing our house. We now have a bottom story. Yeah!

This afternoon, we went shopping because Devon needed clothes and Caleb needed to pick out the fun stuff for his birthday party.

Tonight we are going to prom #17.

Tomorrow is Caleb's birthday party!!

But I'm not complaining because it's all so GOOD!!!! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pictures of the Graduation

Here are the pictures!

Snipers ready to take us out...

Michelle Obama.

The REAL reason for all the hype. Stephanie graduated!!!!
Congratulations to Stephanie and UC Merced's inaugural class!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Road Trip

I'm writing this in Fresno. Yeah, I know. Here's why.

One of my alumni, Stephanie, is a member of the inaugural class at UC Merced. She graduated today! And Michelle Obama gave the keynote address! So Nikki and I took a road trip. FUN!

I'll post pictures tomorrow, when I have access to my card reader. In the meantime, I hope you'll take the time to read Michelle's speech. I found it to be VERY inspirational. That, and seeing Steph receive her degree, made sitting in the 105-degree heat for four hours worth it!

Now I'd better get some sleep. I have a LONG drive ahead of me tomorrow!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

We had a great one!

Breakfast in bed (please ignore folded laundry on dresser):


Presents with a Twilight theme:


And a great afternoon at the beach with my parents:







Hope yours was great, too!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

An introvert in an extraverted world.

I'm typing this while my AP Psych students are doing a practice FRQ, so I only have ten minutes to get this out!

We were just talking about introverts and extraverts and I think I know now why I am such a bad mom. I am an introvert, and both teaching and parenting require extraversion (is that a word???). So I deny my need to go hide in a corner and be alone all day and then come home and deny it while I'm with my kids, so that I have nothing left by the end of the day. Or maybe that makes me a bad wife? Or just dysfuntional?? And I'm pretty sure it explains why I never want to go anywhere on the weekend, even though I have fun once I get there. It definitely explains my fantasies of Scott taking the kids AND the pets somewhere for several days and leaving me all alone in my house.

Maybe I should call up Thoreau and see if his cabin is available...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Expanding, but temporarily!

I don't generally write about drama outside of my immediate family on here because it's not my place to put it out there, but if you know me well you know that my nephew has had a rough go of it.

Until a year ago, Devon was raised by my parents. He's now 19 and has spent the last year bouncing around in Texas trying to find a place to fit. He ultimately gave up and decided to come home. My parents are quite done raising children after two generations and have been enjoying their time together, just the two of them, as they should. However, this leaves Devon without a place to stay until he gets on his feet here in San Diego.

So next week, Devon is coming home. He wants to finish high school, get a job, and find a place to stay. All of these are admirable goals, and he seems to have learned some things while he was gone. So Scott and I talked, and he agreed that Devon could stay here until he gets settled.

I called Devon today to let him know. He had never even asked for this, but he was so grateful for the offer. He almost started crying in relief.

I am prayerful that this is the right choice for everyone. We are pretty good at establishing boundaries, and we intend to do so when he gets here. However, we do have young children and limited space, so there isn't much room for error on his part. He seems committed to making this fresh start work. So if you have some room on your prayer list, please add Devon to it. And us. This has to work.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It must be love...

Meet my new dishwasher. On Tuesday, I came home to find our favorite contractor (who is also Caleb's goddad) still here, just finishing up the installation. We were so excited, both to see him here and to see the dishwasher fully functional.

It's the best! The refrigerator is louder than the dishwasher now. It was worth the wait!! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sleepless

One of the many exciting aspects of the remodel is the stress it is creating for our pets. The rest of us are doing just fine, but the animals are, well, not.

Maggie, our 14-year-old golden retriever, is a compulsive digger. We have given up trying to do anything with the back yard other than grass, and she spends her days tunneling to her heart's content. However, she is now locked in the side yard all day because, shockingly, the contractor doesn't appreciate her help rearranging HIS tunnels. Since we started construction two weeks ago, she is noticeably stiffer in her arthritic old joints. I'm hoping that once the concrete is poured, she'll get more free time in the back yard. She is also baffled by the disappearance of our back slider, which was blocked off for construction, and can't figure out that she needs to go through the garage to get out to the back yard to go potty. She is deaf and partially blind, and it's so sad to see her try to go to the slider, hit the wall, and turn in confused circles until we are able to catch her and guide her in the proper direction.

Lydia, the cat, was immediately distraught when they demolished our deck. She's an inside cat and that was her only outside time. Now she is confined to the house. She growls at the workers the entire time they're here. She was already neurotic, but I'm certain that once they start messing with Nikki's bedroom, she's going to come unglued. She expresses this by using the carpet as her litter box. NOT pleasant, and not acceptable if we're going to be spending a lot of money on NEW carpet!

Gloria, our little mutt dog, is the least upset by the changes since she spends her days asleep under our bed. But yesterday we had our new dishwasher delivered (YAY!!!) and something happened. I noticed that she didn't come tearing down to greet me when I got home like she usually does, but I figured she thought I was someone else. By seven last night, it was clear that something was wrong with her. She was favoring her left front leg and was whimpering as she leaned on me while I sat on the couch. By 9:30, I was concerned. We went to bed and put her on the bed with us. At midnight, I woke to find her completely inconsolable. She would lay down, cry, get up, move to a new spot, lay down, cry, get up, etc. After 45 minutes of this, I took her to the emergency vet clinic. Two hours later, she acted perfectly normal while the vet examined her. When we got home at 3:00 am, it was a repeat performance. So we will be going back to her usual vet today for a cortisone shot so she can have some relief from the pain. The big question is what happened to her?? Did the delivery men step on her? Kick her??

I feel pretty confident that the rest of us can come through this unscathed, but I'm really worried about the animals...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hypothesis

When we met with Caleb's audiologist in December, I told her that I thought his hearing was better even without his hearing aids. She looked at me like I was off. I explained my hypothesis-that, perhaps, since the neurons that hadn't been stimulated for four years were now being stimulated, that they might be making some new connections, thereby improving his hearing. After all, young children's brains are very plastic. She wasn't buying it.

So today I feel vindicated. And, more importantly, thrilled for Caleb. Because now, his hearing loss is no longer classified as "mild to moderate." According to his audiogram today, his hearing has IMPROVED, and his hearing loss is now classified as merely "mild." The audiologist had to turn down his hearing aids. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Answers?

We're having a really hard time getting our school district to test Caleb for color-blindness. We told them last year when his IEP was initiated that he didn't know his colors and that his bio-grandpa is also color-blind. Still, nothing has been done. I spoke with a nurse today and she will be testing him at the end of May. So we wait.

In the meantime, I did some Googling. The main test for color-blindness has numbers, which Caleb ALSO doesn't know, but I found one that they use for kids and developmentally disabled people here. Tonight I told Caleb we would look at some pictures. For each one, he would see the yellow figure and identify it (a square, an "o", a star). And for the other picture? "Spots!"

I think we have our answer!

Getting out of the house...

Caleb: [panicking] I can't find it!
Me: What's wrong?
Caleb: I can't find Wall-E and Eve!!

Pertinent Background Info: These are little plastic "guys." The same ones he left at home when we went to VA. He was so distraught about them that we went to three different stores trying to find something that would fill the void. In the end, Scott saved the day by making replacements out of Legos. Eve, an oval-shaped robot, was a stretch, but the Wall-E was quite impressive!

Me: That's okay, we'll find them when you get home.
Caleb: [distraught] NO!! I need them NOW!!
Me: [panic rising] Uh...
Scott: Oh look! Here's your helicopter. Take that with you.
Caleb: [making helicopter noises as he flies it out to the car] Thanks, Dad!

I love my husband!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

To start or not to start...

That is the question!

Caleb's special day class (SDC) teacher called me today to see what we were thinking about Caleb starting kindergarten in the fall. She said that he is clearly not ready for kindergarten in the fall (which we realized and anticipated), so he could either go to a SDC kindergarten or stay another year in preschool with SDC preschool services two or three days a week. I told her we would keep him in preschool for another year, and that SDC kindergarten wasn't an option. Either he's ready, or he's not.

She then went on to make sure that I understood that when we reach this point next year, we won't have an option–Caleb will go to a special ed. kindergarten if he hasn't caught up.

I really feel like Caleb's delays are due to his inability to hear for four years. He's only had his aids since September, and then there was a month of adjusting to them. He's only really been receiving intensive services since January. I really don't feel like his delays are cognitive, but she kind of made me feel like I'm not seeing the real picture.

Here are things I attribute to Calebs delays: hearing loss, being young (he won't be five until the end of May), being a very active boy, being a second child, color-blindness (which still hasn't been formally established). Cognitive deficits don't even factor into this list.

Within the last couple of weeks, he's begun to be able to sit down and focus on a more academic book or go over his homework. These are new benchmarks for him, and his language explosion continues. I just feel like he needs more time to make up for four years of not being able to hear. Am I way off-base??

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Eating My Words

I told everyone that we would not be inviting anyone over until after the remodel.

And then my high school friend, who I found on Facebook and I have't seen for 22 (YIKES!) years came into town. So tomorrow he's coming over to our house. Our house with no kitchen floor, a big ugly wall covering half the downstairs, and with the port-a-potty in front. Yep.

Oh well. It will be really good to see him!

Random Thoughts

It's been 9 days since my last post. Here's why:
  • We went back to work. The transition was pretty smooth since Nik was still on Spring Break. She spent two days with my mom and three days cleaning. Which leads me to my next point.
  • We had a birthday party. Nikki and nine of her closest friends had a sleepover in our tent in the back yard. She had a GREAT time, and they were really very easy.
  • We spent the weekend getting ready for the remodel. We came home yesterday to a big wall where our family room used to be. They are also dismantling our deck today and breaking up our patio tomorrow.
And that pretty much brings you up to speed. I can't believe it's almost May. Where did 2009 go???

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Clearer on the Concept?

Caleb: Jesus bring me a Easter basket!
Nikki: No, the EASTER BUNNY brought you an Easter basket.
Caleb: HUH? What you talking about? It not a bunny. It JESUS!

Which actually makes a lot more sense than some rodent bringing candy, right??

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Here's something fun!

During my master's program, I contributed VERY minimally to an article co-authored by some of my fellow students and my professor. I guess they're up for an award! Check it out here.

Directions: Scroll ALL THE WAY to the bottom of the middle column under "Learned Article." It's the one about wildfires. I'm listed last for a reason. ;)

Vacation of Vomit

I believe I mentioned that Caleb had the flu last Saturday? And that Nikki came down with it while we were packing up to come home from our camping trip? Well, we had one day of healthy Pages and then I came down with it Thursday night. It was BAD! I spent all Good Friday in bed and missed services. Then, magically, 24 hours after the achiness set in, I felt not bad (good would be stretch).

The worst part about it, though, was looking at poor Scott and knowing that he was next. And sure enough, this morning at 1:00, he woke up and said, "My turn." I told him he had another four hours before the vomiting started, and sure enough he did. So today he will be in bed all day.

The good news is that, so far, his has been a milder case. And also that he will be well in time for Easter.

When Caleb made his daily early-morning migration to our bed yesterday, Scott took him back to bed (there was no resting in our room at that point) saying, "Mommy is sick." This morning, he was invited over to my side of the bed with the admonition, "Daddy is sick." Both times, he responded, "Yeah, I throw up." In spite of acknowledging his responsibility for this epidemic, he doesn't seem to feel the least bit guilty. It must be nice to be four.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The calm before the storm...

Camping was FUN! And WINDY! And COLD! We are planning to go camping for a week in Yosemite this summer, and we learned some things:
  1. There is not enough room in our van for everything we need for a week. Not quite sure what to do about that yet.
  2. Coleman makes a very cool space heater that runs on those little propane tanks. I want one.
  3. Costco no longer sells those little propane tanks. Where else does one purchase them in bulk? We NEED bulk!!
  4. We need a better way of organizing our stuff. This is really Scott's deal, but I back him 100%.
Nikki woke up the morning we were supposed to leave with all the symptoms of Caleb's flu bug. She was so considerate in waiting until we had to leave, anyway. She napped in the van while we packed, and politely waited until we were only five minutes from home to actually get sick (and was prepared with a lidded bowl). She was miserable for the rest of the day, but at least she got to be miserable in her house.

The contractor came by yesterday to tell us that they will be breaking ground next Wed. He will be constructing a wall in our current family room and tearing down our deck. It's going to be SO great when it's done!! YIKES!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A-camping we will go...

I was right; today was a better day.

We leave tomorrow for a short camping trip with Scott's family at a nearby campground. Scott says it's almost like we're camping anyway since we have to dishes by hand. Other than the running water, he's sort of right.

Farewell for awhile, bloggers!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Adding insult to injury...

Caleb is now puking. Since 5:30 this morning, actually. *sigh*

At least there's nothing wrong with the washing machine!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Grumpy

It's SPRING BREAK!!! I should be SO EXCITED! And yet, I'm not.

I was at work until 5:00 today doing grades. Have I mentioned that I hate grades?? Especially FINAL grades that go on transcripts?? Well, I do. Even though I only have a couple students failing (and they missed the better part of the semester, so there's not much I can do about that!).

Also annoying is the large, wet, floorless area in my kitchen where the dishwasher and flooring should be. Caleb's WONDERFUL Goddad came all the way out here today (he lives 45 minutes away!) to cut out the ruined flooring and remove the old dishwasher. He also was kind enough to cap something off so we have hot water (!!!). I got home at 5:30 so I could do dishes by hand for 90 minutes (apparently there were still A LOT of dirty dishes in the leaky dishwasher). Then we went out to dinner (again) and to Costco to get biodegradable paper plates (I know, they're not really going to biodegrade in a landfill, but I'm desperate!). Don't get me wrong, I could certainly deal with no dishwasher for a week or even two, but it's going to be FOUR MONTHS until we even START to put our kitchen back together.

I have to be at work at 10:00 tomorrow for a psych review. I may or may not have at least five students there. THEN I get to transport my Peer Helpers to a Dance-a-Thon. Since Saturday is already shot, it's fine. However, they also scheduled another meeting during Spring Break and informed me of this today. Since it's supposed to be in my classroom, I'm not sure how that's going to work for them. I will most certainly NOT be there!

So I am grumpy. I tried commiserating with a friend and she told me tonight that she doesn't like to talk to me when I'm being so negative. I told her to have a nice trip (she's leaving tomorrow for vacation) and hung up. My mom called to wish me a happy break and was surprised that I wasn't so very happy at all. I had to go eat dinner, but I didn't call her back. My husband slunk off to bed. So guess what, blog, YOU get to be the recipient of all my grumpy rantings!

Now, I'm going to kiss my kids goodnight (and yes, they're still awake!) and drown my sorrows in chocolate.

Tomorrow will be a better day. Okay, well, maybe Sunday will. Grrrr....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Decisions

My family really needs some BPA-free drinking bottles. I'm thinking about purchasing these. Opinions??

Oh, looky!

I finally figured out how to put an outside layout on my blog! So exciting!!

Two more days until Spring Break. I can SEE the light at the end of the tunnel!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Attack of the "Pokey Doctor" Part II and Dishwasher Nightmare

Today was Part II of the Attack of the Pokey Doctor. Caleb and Scott went back for more (yes more) labs. They spent about four hours waiting for labs and x-rays and residents (OH MY!). Good news: all is still well. Bad news: Part III is coming up in two weeks.

And last night we discovered that there is a good amount of bowing in the floor in front of the dishwasher and a large, brown stain along Nikki's ceiling right underneath the dishwasher. It is true that it was going to be replaced in four months, but that was four months from now!! I'm SO not excited about washing dishes by hand while working full time. My family is bad enough about getting dishes into the dishwasher. I envision piles of dirty dishes constantly in my sink. I am not happy. NOT happy!! AND, even better, there is most certainly damage and probably some mold to deal with as well.

Oh, and Girl Scout Cookie money is due and we're short by about $100.

Fortunately, we have some dark chocolate fudge we brought back from the Del and, of course, our nice, comfy bed. That's where I'll be until August. Just in case you need me.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Other 1%

Background before reading this post: You know that saying, "So this is how the other half lives?" Well, I might have called this post something along those lines. But since I am married to a social scientist, we did a little online research and found that 40% of the wealth in the US is controlled by 1% of the people. So really, that saying is way off.

This weekend, we got to see how the other 1% lives. We decided to take advantage of the bad economy (read reduced rates) and spend the weekend at the Hotel Del Coronado for Scott's 40th birthday. My wonderful mom picked up the kids on Friday, and we came down for a little alone time. We've had a wonderful weekend, including a play at Lamb's Players Theatre, sushi on Friday and dinner at Ruth's Chris last night, and some long walks on the beach. It was a BEAUTIFUL weekend on the coast (until this morning, when the gray stayed) and we even got to see the whale that's been hanging out in San Diego Bay while we watched the sun set yesterday.

That said, we're a little surprised at what rich people are willing to pay for not-so-great service. The Del is beautiful, for sure, and just the historic place to take a social scientist to celebrate his big day. However, the bed was like sleeping on a piece of plywood (my back is still trying to recover from last night-it takes about an hour), I was hung up on twice and misdirected twice while trying to check on boat rentals, and there was a huge party that went on for about 30 minutes before Scott called the front desk and they came to break it up at 1:30 this morning. The bathroom could be cleaner, too, but maybe I'm just a snob about that.

We've decided that it would be more budget-wise to just come hang out with the other 1%, and then go home and sleep in our own, very comfortable bed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For all of you growing your own food...

Mr. Tall is the father of three Crawford alumni. VERY cool!

Attack of the "Pokey Doctor"

Scott and Caleb were back at Children's early this morning for labwork to ensure that the infection is gone. GOOD NEWS!! All his counts are NORMAL! So now we are DONE with antibiotics and are just waiting for his spots to disappear.

Scott called me at 8:30 this morning to tell me that Caleb just may have superhuman strength, and that perhaps he should consider wrestling in high school.

When we got home from our site sale, the boys were in the front yard playing "golp." When Caleb came inside, he told me about his trip to the lab.

Caleb: Yeah, so I go to the hospital. It scary. I go the (mumble) doctor.
Me: The what doctor??
Caleb: The POKEY doctor!

I didn't tell him that the "pokey doctor" will be making a re-appearance on Monday when they go back for his follow-up visit (they have to make sure his labs are still normal). We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spots and Nostalgia

The spots are back. Caleb's teacher called me from school today to tell me his arm was itchy and spotty. I did notice that his back was quite mottled this morning, but I thought it was just the lighting (it's still dark when we leave now). SO the pediatrician's plan (and let me just say that trying to make all these phone calls while teaching is QUITE annoying!) is to take Caleb in tomorrow morning for labwork. IF his counts are all normal, we can stop pounding his body with allergens and be DONE! Since he's been on antibiotics for a total of 35 days, I'm thinking I LIKE this plan VERY MUCH!

Also tonight we had this conversation at dinner:
Me to Scott: How would you like to get gas in my car while you're out?
Scott: I'm tired. How about a nap instead?
Me: Sure-Nikki go bathe Caleb.
Nikki: Okay!
Scott: And go get gas when you're done. Just take a pillow so you look taller.
Nikki: You know, in two years, I WILL be able to drive.
Me: blink, blink
Scott: [under his breath] Oh sh*%!

As it turns out, I ran the errands (picked up GS cookies & a book from the library, went to Henry's, got gas) and while I was driving they played this song on the radio. I got quite teary thinking of how little time we have left with Nik, especially since the time we've already had has flown by. While I know that this is supposed to be how it works, that they're only on loan for 18 years, I can't help but feel a little sad about the fact that my baby girl is growing up so fast.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family and Friends

Now that everyone is healthy and rash-free, we are getting to be more social! We had a great weekend. Friday night the kids and I went up and had dinner with my mom and dad. Yesterday, we had a long, productive day cleaning the house and then went to Caleb's godsister's birthday party. Today, Nikki participated in our church's cookie bake-off and then we drove up to visit my cousin (the one we flaked on TWICE because we were sick!). It was SO WONDERFUL to see the people we love again!!

And next weekend, Scott and I will be at the Hotel Del Coronado celebrating his 40th birthday!!!

Things are definitely looking up. THANK YOU, LORD!!

Drum roll, please!

We paid the deposit on the remodel today. The contractor (also a friend and neighbor) came over while I was cleaning the house in my pajamas. I guess I'll have to get used to that if we're going to have strangers tromping through our house.

Certainly the knowledge that they are going to rip off the back half of my house gets me off the hook as far as spring cleaning is concerned. No need to dust those out-of-the-way corners now!

Here we go!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Supershopper

Because things have been a LITTLE crazy around here, we are out of EVERYTHING! So today, I went to Costco for the first time in about a month. I bought a printer (THAT would make a good blog story on a slow day!), ink, toilet paper, laundry and dishwasher detergent, eco-friendly dish soap and cleaner, two light fixtures for bathrooms, light bulbs, cat litter, food, and a bunch of clothes (none for me). Like I said, we were out of EVERYTHING! My original total was way over $600.

HOWEVER, it is coupon time at Costco, and I had a rebate check. So guess what? I got out of there for $450! How awesome is that?? And yes, it was an expensive trip, but since I haven't been for a month it's okay, no??

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting better every day!

Caleb's spots have almost completely faded away!

I woke up today and felt better for the SECOND DAY IN A ROW (I've been sick since we got home from the hospital. I've tried not to whine TOO much, but I felt LOUSY!)!

EVERYBODY went to school ON TIME today!

Mom was cleared today to go back to work!!

Could it be that things are finally getting back to normal???

Monday, March 16, 2009

13 years ago today...

Thirteen years ago, right now, I was in the middle of miserable, unproductive labor. But at 10:37, our baby girl finally made her way into the world. And now she is a teenager. I couldn't have imagined then the amazing young woman she would become. It's such a miracle to watch a child grow up. What a blessing.

Happy birthday, Noodle! I love you!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Improvement and Celebration

Caleb's rash is fading in the areas where it first appeared. I think we're finally onto something. We also figured out that, if we empty the capsule into a little smoothie and then squirt it into Caleb's mouth, he does MUCH better! Tomorrow he goes for his follow-up appointment with the orthopedist. We'll see what HE has to say.

But tomorrow, we have a big reason to celebrate. Nikki is turning thirteen!!! Yes, I will be the parent of a teenager. Tomorrow. Wow.

Scott, who will be turning 40 in two weeks, said that his big birthday doesn't make him feel old, but being the parent of a teenager does. Either way, there's no avoiding the fact that we're both getting up there.

Where DOES the time go??

Saturday, March 14, 2009

FRUSTRATION!

So Caleb's rash is WAY worse! It's all over his body, and I mean ALL OVER-everywhere but his scalp!! Yesterday, he went into the bathroom and said, "Uh oh, Mommy! I have spots in my underwear." Yeah, well, you have spots on the parts of you that go in your underwear...

Scott took him back to the doctor today and they decided he is having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. GREAT! So now he has to take another, far less tasty antibiotic. This one has to be mixed into applesauce or yogurt (or pudding!) because it comes in capsule form. He's already onto us, and he's only had one dose.

When I put him in the bath tonight, I was shocked to see how awful he looked. His cheeks are two big red spots, and he has bright red welts all over his body. His left calf is so bad that it is just a big red patch. I called nurse triage and they want him back in the office in the morning.

He's back on the prayer list at church, and I would sure appreciate it if he could be back on yours, as well. He's had just about enough.

Friday, March 13, 2009

STAR Student

Nikki received an award for Student of the Month today! Her entire school career, we've listened to all the neighbors talking about how their kids are students of the month EVERY YEAR, but Nikki's school didn't do that. Now that she's in a neighborhood school, she finally got to partake in this honor. I'll post pictures tomorrow, but in the meantime, GO NIKKI! WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Fun Never Ends

Scott went to get Caleb dressed this morning while I brushed my teeth. They came and found me, with Caleb still shirtless, to show me that his entire upper body is covered in red spots. Híjole.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good Teaching Day

I think I've mentioned that I recently turned my seniors, who I've worked with for four years, over to Scott and got a new batch of students-juniors. We are doing American Literature, and we have already progressed to the Romantic period. Yesterday, we read A Psalm of Life by Longfellow in the honors class. Nobody is really enjoying archaic English, so we spend a lot of time translating things into "regular English." The kids seemed engaged and also to understand it, so I guessed it had gone well.

Today V, who is new to our small school after transferring from another on our campus, stayed after class to tell me that this poem spoke to her. She has battled depression in the past, feels estranged from her faith, and has had some rough days recently. But she loved the message of living life each day, not worrying about the end but striving to make yourself a little better each day. She said the poem helped her put her life in perspective. WOW!

Definitely one of those moments of affirmation. I really thought the juniors were going to hate me for making them read dead white guys all year (okay, well mostly white and mostly guys, but definitely all dead). Who says inner-city kids can't appreciate classic literature?? NOT ME!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cookie Nightmare

I'm sick. Not so sick that I can't function, mind you. Just sick enough to make me feel crummy and not want to do anything. Yesterday, I indulged that preference. Today, however, was Cookie Day in Girl Scout Land.

Our pick-up time was 9:30 because I fully intended to be in Newport Beach by noon for my dear cousin's baby shower. I had to load cookies by myself because Scott was on a men's retreat. If you've never loaded 120 cases of cookies into a van while jumping on and off a loading dock, let me tell you-it's NOT the way you want to spend your morning when you already feel crummy. But I coughed and hacked and jumped and lifted and got back home before chaos ensued (Nikki was watching Caleb for me).

JUST as I drove in the driveway, Nikki came out and told me to call the cookie manager, who informed me that I had loaded the WRONG COOKIE ORDER. Apparently, in my virus-induced stupor, I failed to notice that I was loading the order NEXT TO MINE. So I had to drive all the way back to the warehouse (20-minute drive) and was told I would have to UNLOAD the boxes I had and RELOAD with my order. I was NOT happy. When I got there, however, Cookie Manager had done some math and figured out that I just needed to give back one case of cookies, and load twelve more. GOOD DEAL!

By the time I got back home, it was 11:30. Newport is about a two-hour drive from here and I was feeling miserable, so I called Cousin to tell her that I didn't think we were going to make it (probably just as well since she wouldn't have appreciated me hacking all over everything, but still sad!). We got cookies sorted, distributed, and mostly delivered. Then I took a nap.

And this, my friends, is why Girl Scout cookies only come once a year!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Moving On

Enough about infections and hospitals, and we're not even going to talk about my cold. Let's talk about Lent!

I got to go to Lenten services last night and, even though I can't actually sing, it was GREAT! And today I found this little tidbit about eco-friendly things I can give up during Lent. I've actually already done a lot of them. We have water delivered in re-usable jugs and each have our own bottles to take to school with us, we use cloth grocery bags (and I even found cool produce bags on Etsy!), we signed up at GreenDimes (now Tonic Mailstopper) a year ago and now rarely get a catalog, we use re-usable towels for cleaning and cloth napkins for eating, we don't dry clean at all (if it's not washable I don't buy it!), and if I could find recycled TP or paper towels, I would certainly buy them (we buy recycled notebook paper, if that counts, and no paper gets recycled without print on both sides).

But I find that I am almost to the bottom of an industrial-sized powdered Tide and I am once again considering trying a green laundry detergent. I know a few of you who actually read this blog are also doing your parts to save the Earth. Any recommendations? I need one that REALLY CLEANS!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recuperating

Caleb and I enjoyed a quiet day at home today! I kept thinking we were going to do things like, oh, grocery shopping (everything in the fridge was bad), making a trip to Costco. Caleb wasn't having it. He wanted to stay in his house, in his pajamas, and play with HIS toys! I was happy to oblige.

So instead, I called all of Caleb's teachers (three of them), did three loads of laundry, cleaned out the fridge, washed the fridge, washed all the containers that had decaying food that were in the fridge (can you tell my household has suffered from neglect since my mom's surgery?), and read. Oh, and I drank three doses of Airborne and sucked on zinc/echinacea lozenges all day because I am definitely NOT getting sick, in spite of what my body is hinting.

Tomorrow, we return to reality. It will probably be ugly since I've been out for a week. I don't care. Our boy is home, and walking, and getting better every day. It doesn't get much better than that!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Update

We are still in the hospital! I spent last night, which was much better with just us in the room. I imagine things will start getting crowded again tomorrow, but we hope to be out of there soon.

We are getting quite the education when it comes to labwork. Caleb's CRP was 2.5 when he was admitted and has decreased to 1.3 (normal is 0). Also, his ESR has declined from 18 to 15. These are both indicators that the antibiotics (Ancef, in case you're interested) are working. The biopsy is still out waiting to grow something, so we don't know which specific infection we're dealing with, but since the Ancef is working, it doesn't really matter. The attending orthopedist will be back tomorrow and will deliver the final verdict.

Scott is on night watch tonight so I can go to work tomorrow. We've had visits from our youth pastor and Caleb's godparents (both sets, actually). I'm home on shower break and will be heading back with Nikki to take dinner. Caleb is doing suprisingly well considering it's been nearly a week since he's played outside. He watches movies, punctuated by different activities (I am getting REALLY tired of Go Fish, but he's getting lots of practice with his sound-"Go fffffffpish!"). Children's has a great playroom, but it's closed most of the weekend. He and Scott are there right now playing air hockey, which has been a huge blessing since it allows him to be physical with his arms while he is off his feet.

Thank you for continued prayers for a speedy recovery so Caleb can come home!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Before heading back to the hospital...

Here are some of the things I am grateful for this morning:
  • Proper diagnosis for Caleb. It almost didn't happen and that most certainly would have made things far worse. This is definitely an answer to prayer.
  • My wonderful husband who let me come home and sleep for 8 1/2 glorious hours last night!
  • My wonderful mother who, less than three weeks after HER surgery, came to the hospital yesterday to sit through Caleb's procedure and then took Nikki and her class chinchilla home with her to spend the night.
  • Franck and Susan, who relived Caleb's hospitalization at five weeks last night when they came to visit, dinner in tow.
  • Ronnie, who also came to relive Caleb's hospitalization. ;)
  • Mich for walking with me when I got home at 9:30 last night. It felt GOOD to move and be outside!
  • All our wonderful friends and family who are, as one friend put it, sending up a "chorus of prayers" for Caleb. They're working!!
  • My clean bathroom. I know it seems petty, but I feel better. :)
  • That my child will be well in a few weeks, and that we are not one of those families with children so accustomed to IV poles that they use them as scooters. God likes to give me good doses of perspective. I feel very, very blessed.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Caleb Update with Details

I thought I'd add some more details here for those of you who have been kind enough to send love and prayers for Caleb.

Thursday morning we arrived in the ER at 9:00 am. We were seen within 5 minutes, but sent back out because they were busy. 15 minutes later, we went back in and they put us in a bed. They ordered x-rays and labs. The machine that analyzes labs was broken, so we sat there until 3:30 waiting for results, although x-rays came back negative right away. At 4:30, we were discharged and were walking out the door when we were stopped by the nurse. She said the attending orthopedist was alarmed by Caleb's slightly elevated white blood cell count and wanted him admitted for an MRI. Because Caleb had eaten at 5:00 (after starving all day), the MRI needed to wait until this morning. At 7:00, we were finally sent to a room.

This morning, Caleb had an MRI (which involves general anesthesia in children). When we got back to the room after Caleb woke up, the nurse came rushing in to tell us not to feed him-that he would be going into the OR. I called Scott and my mom. The orthopedist finally got out of surgery and told us they would only be aspirating fluid from the bone to find out what type of infection they were dealing with. This happened around 11:30 (also under general anesthesia). Caleb finally got to eat around 2:00 this afternoon.

Right now, we are waiting for the results of this afternoon's procedure, but in the meantime Caleb is on IV antibiotics and will be hospitalized at least until Sunday. Scott is spending the night with him tonight so I can get a good night's sleep. At Children's, they feel it is appropriate to stuff three families into one room with no bathroom (the one for the patients is down the hall, the one for parents is around the corner and WAY down the hall). Between the fussy baby in our room, the kid with the acute appendicitis who arrived at 11:00 pm, and Caleb awakening in pain, little sleep was had last night. Hopefully the boys will fare better tonight (they had the whole room to themselves when I left!).

So that's the whole story. Thanks for your prayers and good wishes. We are so fortunate that the orthopedist recognized what was going on. Otherwise, we would probably have had an abscessed bone to contend with. We have proper diagnosis-now we just need healing. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Update from Children's

We arrived in the ER at 9:00 am and finally got a room around 7:00 pm. The orthopedists cannot rule out osteomyelitis, so Caleb has to have an MRI tomorrow, which entails general anesthesia. Hopefully, we can get the test done, read, and be out of here by noon. Or maybe I'm just fooling myself.

On the bright side, Caleb is perky and happy as long as he's not walking.

Thanks for your prayers. Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not good

The pain in Caleb's leg got worse today. He is completely unable to walk and now has pain in both legs. He also has a fever. We debated over whether or not to go to the ER tonight and decided that we would watch for a spiking fever. Barring that, he can go first thing in the morning. I just think he'll do so much better if he's able to get some sleep first.

Please pray for proper diagnosis and healing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bizarre

Yesterday when I picked Caleb up from school, his teacher reported that he was complaining about something hurting his foot. Indeed, he was whining pitifully and gimped all the way to the car, crying out every minute or two. Scott got home a few minutes after us and started doing his first aid assessment. When Caleb couldn't flex his foot any further than 45° without crying out, Scott called Goddad, who is a nurse. Goddad said we should wait to take him to the doctor instead of waiting for six hours in the ER. Caleb spent the rest of the evening crawling around to get from place to place, but mostly holding still.

This morning, Caleb was hopping to get from place to place and still couldn't bear any weight on his foot, so Scott stayed home and took him to the doctor. By they time they got to the office (a forty-minute drive from our house), Caleb was gimping fairly well on his foot, and the doctor was unable to find any sign of a break. She said it was probably a sprain and to give it until Friday. Scott took him back to school, where he ran off to join his classmates on the playground. Annoyed, Scott made the twenty-minute trek school to relieve me (I was covering his class).

About ten minutes after Scott relieved me, we got another call from Caleb's school saying he was covered in an itchy body rash. Since I had a class the next period, Scott left as soon as lunch started to pick up Caleb and take him back to the doctor. By the time Scott got there, Caleb was asleep and the rash was gone. Rather than wake Caleb (who has pretty much decided that he's never again going to nap at home), Scott went home and told them to call him if the rash came back. It didn't.

So I am baffled. ???