Wow, this is one long-ass post. I felt like I disappeared off the face of the Earth for a while there. It feels so wrong that I don’t even know when I last blogged. I just went and looked and it was over a month and a half ago. Well, a lot has happened since then, obviously. Or maybe not obviously, but if not much had been going on, I’d probably have been here writing pointless drivel. But I wasn’t.
So, let’s start with updates from my most recent post.
Miss has been singing herself to sleep. She wrote a funny little song about corners: “Everywhere is a corner. Hundreds of corners. On everything. But not on circles. But on every other shape. A shape with three corners is a triangle.” She also told someone at the gym hi in the locker room. Then she said, “I said hi because I know you won’t steal me.”
She is also all about reading. I can’t believe the stuff she can figure out.
Mister told me the other day, in all seriousness and a bit incredulously, “Hey Mom? You know those fiction books? They. Are. PRETEND.”
They are also loving play dates. Mister has had a few with some classmates and he loves to play with G and AG as well. Miss enjoys AG and playing with S and we’re getting some classmate playdates set up for her as well. And Mister got a chance to Skype with his teacher from last year. It was pretty cute.
Mister has also been playing soccer. You’ll have to pop over here to see the pictures of him, but this made me laugh. You can’t see it very well, but the sign points toward Wembly Stadium and says 4356 miles.
They also had their first Fake Sleepover. AG came for pizza and stayed for a movie and popcorn in jammies and sleeping bags. It went pretty well. I might get brave and allow an all-nighter – with one extra kid only.
And swimming lessons. After weeks of having them on different days with different teachers and taking the wrong kid at least once and getting the time of day wrong at least once, I put them in semi private lessons together and they are both doing great – as am I. With only two kid things (swim lessons and soccer practice) going on during the week after school, I am much more sane. Plus, the teacher is hardcore. She qualified for the Olympics at one point in her life and she is just what Mister needs. She does not take any of his shit.
They are loving playing in the backyard on the play set. They have both been a little bummed that the new grass is keeping them out of the yard at the moment.
We also started a new discipline tactic at our house. It’s based on the clip-up system, if you know what that is. We’re currently using magnets and with all of the annoyances surrounding the dogs with the kids, I can often be heard sternly saying, “You go move your magnet down.” And, I’m paying for chores. Quarters. My children will do a lot for a quarter. It’s just all sorts of awesome. Then they can spend their money on whatever they want – like determining whether it’s worth it to feed the goats at Deanna Rose or if they want to save it and buy stuff from the Scholastic Book Order. By the way, I take no credit for this. All credit goes to JL because that’s what she was doing with her kids. I just stole it. I steal lots of my best ideas. I learned that in advertising.
We have been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Both kids have really enjoyed it.
And we did a massive overhaul on the closets and the clothes. Both kids needed new stuff and I spent a lot of time planning and purchasing. For those of you who don’t know me, I really don’t like to shop. But, I will say, with a solid list, a plan in place, and a shopping supervisor (my mother) it went pretty well! Now I just need to do my own closet!
Miss also had us doing fire drills early one morning for her homework and Mister had me teaching him how to open his window in his room for fire safety week. He also reminded me about Stop, drop, and roll. I totally remember doing the same things when I was a kid. It’s weird having them in school where some things haven’t changed!
We went to the Arboretum and they made all sorts of things out of “nature stuff.” We did avoid the hay ride as the line was too long. I did double up on claritin that day knowing that it was a possibility and I seem to have survived the hay bales unscathed. I still had my voice and did not have the itchy throat and the sneezing that usually accompanies my acquaintance with hay. All that nature prompted a later walk around the neighborhood one afternoon to gather leaves. The art project from that is forthcoming.
Mister shut the garage door on the van. I was not pleased. Neither was he. Poor kid. He no longer has garage door privileges, which is annoying because it’s actually helpful to have him do it.
Speaking of school, both kids are still enjoying walking to school in the mornings most days. I am too. It is nice that we can still do that here.
Went to back to school night for both kids. Wow, there’s a lot of stuff to do. Over the last month and a half we’ve kind of started to maybe get into a groove with homework and school stuff. It was a little rocky because Mister’s teacher’s father got sick and died and she was out for about two weeks. He is settling in, but it took longer than normal. And, I have to say, they did a good job with placement. Man, she has him nailed.
Miss is also settling in. There was one day that her teacher stuck her head in the van window at pick-up and said, “could you please talk to Miss about respect? She seems to think that she’s the teacher and she’s telling the kids other ways to do things, and – while her way is also right – it is confusing the other kids.” This did not come as any surprise to me. Miss turned 12 at some point a few weeks ago and suddenly my sweet little girl has attitude. My friends all tell me it’s a phase and this too shall pass – but that it is a taste of what the teen years will be like. I hope that I don’t maim her before it passes.
I’m one of the room parents for Miss’s class. I signed up to help the person who was already signed up. Turns out she got signed up by her husband and he thought he was signing her up to read in the classroom. So, between the two of us, neither of us really wanted to do it. But, it’s going to be ok. I’m putting in effort where I want to and that will just have to be good enough. I’m pretty good at getting things organized, but you don’t want me in charge of anything. So, I’m all over the party planning and making sure everyone knows what’s going on with that since people were already signed up and the other mom is going to manage the stuff that I don’t want to do. It’s going to be ok, I think. But who knows…ask me at the end of the year.
The dude has been working like mad. He works hard for the money. We did do a social event with some of the people from his office and that was fun. And we spent some time in Omaha with some other attorneys that he went to law school with one weekend for their 10 year reunion. You can read about that here.
We did finally finish Six Feet Under and he’s now trying to get me to watch Breaking Bad. That show stresses me out. I’m going to try to go read all about the episodes so that I can watch it and know what’s going to happen rather than feeling the intense anticipation. It’s a great show…I just can’t handle the suspense.
And, he’s currently back in London for a business trip. I’d be jealous, but the thought of making that trip right now just feels way too soon. Maybe I’ll go in the spring or later summer – certainly not in the winter. That would just be self punishment.
Damn Dogs (Ok, not really.)
Macey finally got rid of her scratched eye. It was a good four weeks of going to the vet and having it checked. I think she was re-scratching it. I have no doubt that playing with Aria and sneaking under the fence into the brush was not helping. But she’s healed now. I end up forgetting she’s out in the backyard because she messes around back there and then when she gets bored, she squeezes through the fence. Man, she does love running through the wooded green space, and I’m sure peeing and pooping in our neighbor’s lawn. Unimpressed. So, now I need to decide between chicken wire or radio fence. At least I do remember to put her collar on every time before she goes out and occasionally our fabulous neighbors down the street bring her home. Little turkey. And, we figured out that Benadryl for her totally zonks her out. Last time we had a thunderstorm, I gave her some and she barely looked at me. I just have to get it in her before the storms kick in. Maybe I’ll give it to her every day come April. The vet promises me it’s about the safest thing one can give a dog.
Aria’s coughing was evidently pneumonia and she’s finally, FINALLY on the mend. We’ve had her for about 6 weeks now now and about two weeks ago was the first night without coughing. When I took her in for like the third time for the coughing, the vet asked me if I wanted to try some new medication over the weekend since the 2.5 weeks of the other meds hadn’t worked, or if I wanted to do an x-ray to be sure there wasn’t anything wrong, I asked the price of the x-ray and decided that if $33.33 per night for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday made sure that there wasn’t anything wrong and meant that if there was there’d be the right meds so that I could sleep, it would be worth it. Glad we did it. She wasn’t looking so hot. But she’s well now.
However, because she was sick, we had to cancel her appointment to be spayed. This would have been ok if she hadn’t gone into heat the week that she finally started feeling better. I was not impressed. I did not sign up for this. But, three tries at diapers later, we have a size six child’s diaper that stays on most of the time, and when it falls off, she goes into her crate with her nasty rug that will be thrown away once being in heat is over. Evidently it can last up to a month.
It definitely made an impression on the kids. Miss made sure that everyone knew that Aria had “blood dripping out of her fa-china” so I’m sure everyone at school knows, along with the playdate we had that day who went home and told his mom what she had said. *cringe* That’s what I get for teaching proper anatomy.
But really, I’m about ready for all this stuff to just go back to normal. No bleeding. No coughing. No eye scratches. No freaking out about storms. No more weird stuff.
Overall though, we’re pretty happy with the addition to our family. She’s a cuddler.
And then there’s this one. “Don’t touch me or I’ll bring you a toy.”
What you can’t see in this picture is the toy that’s in front of her. She’s totally giving me the stare down.
But really, Aria is totally settling in.
And Macey can’t help but like her…she plays!
I can’t emphasize enough how fun it is to have friends so close again. I’ve been able to spend a little bit of time with a lot of people who get me and who make me laugh until I pee my pants. I love having J&A so close and I see them every weekday, which is awesome. We are back to seeing N&A on random nights and on planned ones, like when we went to the Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy match. N has some pretty amazing seats, so we were right at eye level.
I didn’t really watch too much of the match, but I did have fun chatting with A. And I did manage to yell at the appropriate times.
My main goal was to see David Beckham, and I did – both clothed,
and shirtless. He really needs to do something about that hair if you ask me. Unfortunately I did not see him bend it.
I also saw Landon Donovan. Of course, I had no idea who that was until the night of the match. Unfortunately, A did not get the video that I would liked for him to have gotten of Landon rolling around in the grass warming up, but we did have a nice view of him along the sidelines.
And, I had a great time having AL in town for the Law School Reunion. JL had us and over for the usual wine and cheese event after they’d been shopping at Better Cheddar. It was yummy! And it was wonderful to see RM and her kids too. Pics of the kids over here.
I’ve also had the chance to see two friends, one from high school and one from college, whom I haven’t seen in at least four years. It was so wonderful to catch up with them. Interestingly, they both have little ones these days. What a different life it is from my youngest being five.
I have a new Thursday friend, BS, who joined me last week at La Bodega, and we’re planning another outing to Blue Koi. We’re going to do up JoCo hardcore. And I still have my phone friends – they are just different friends now!
I can’t deny that I miss my England friends – or the ones I associate with England, anyway. That part is still hard.
But, ending on a good note, I am happy to say that Miss S had her surgery and is recovering well. You just don’t realize how much you can love someone else’s kids until something like this happens. I’ll try to detail it in another post.
My parents came for a visit one weekend to watch Mister play soccer. I didn’t realize that my dad hadn’t been here since we’d been back. I love having them closer and being able to talk to them and my sister on the phone in the same time zone. I really, really missed them while we were gone. Mom and Dad took the kids to the hotel they were staying at to swim and play and I think everyone had a great time. Both kids were so sad when they left. They also really enjoyed the shopping trip. Well, up until Mister was done and he was swinging two shirts on hangers, one on each hand, around and around and around. “I am so ready to go HOME, Mom!” They both did great.
It is also nice having A’s family to keep the kids when I need help, when we’re gone for a weekend, or when they want to keep them overnight just because. They all love it. And they love playing with their cousins.
There’s still a lot to do, but the list is getting pared down a bit. I’m just taking it a thing at a time as best I can. It can get totally overwhelming if I do anything but that. I found my list from when we first got back and I’d written out all there was to be done immediately. I am impressed at how many things are marked off that list, but it just keeps getting longer with other stuff that now needs to be done immediately. I just have to laugh. And I can’t believe how much keeping up a house and moving costs. I mean, I knew about the keeping up the house, but I had no idea we’d be spending so much money on random stuff. Lesson learned: Don’t get rid of anything next time if I move overseas. It’s not worth re-buying it upon return.
So, needless to say, I’ve been doing some sale shopping. It is exhausting for me to have to go look at different places, but it is worth it when I save the money. I got a good deal on a clearance patio table and put that together.
I was going to get rid of this one, but it’s actually kind of nice to have for the kids to use when we have people over. When it does go, it’ll go Freecycle. One of the arms is a little broken.
And, I’m still in the painting process. I painted the basement trim – or most of it anyway, and I painted the bar area. I had to do something to keep the kids and the dogs away from it. I am nothing if not resourceful.
It does look nice now, if I do say so myself.
I also had people out to give me estimates for the cabinets and the other trim. Then I decided that I’m cheap. I still haven’t decided what I can do myself and what I can’t. I did, however, decide that it’s a winter job and I don’t have to worry about it right now. Those painters will be looking for work this winter. And, I’ll probably have more time this winter as well. So we’ll see.
Incidentally, our roof isn’t going to be put on until mid-November now. So, we’re going to wait until Spring to paint the house.
And, I finally found a tile person, went and looked at the places he recommended, decided that Home Depot is better for what we’re doing with the big tiles, though I did find some interesting accent tile at the other place, and will be getting in touch with the tile guy so that we hopefully have tile in place by the end of November. Now I just have to figure out what shower head and shower doors. This is so not my thing.
I got a freezer! That made me very happy. Now I’m going to find a meat supplier and fill that thing up with cow. It’s going to be awesome. The freezer came with cosmetic damage and I got a $50 gift card out of the deal. I thought I was hot shit for talking them up from what they wanted to give me…until I realized that I have nothing else that I need to buy from Sears. Awesome, Heidi.
I went and looked at phones and phone plans. I can not wait until I have a phone that doesn’t require T9 for texting. I am going to be a texting fool. I will use capitalization and punctuation and I will be FAST! That phone is my holy grail, I swear.
I had to buy a new printer because while I can plug my UK printer in here in the US, it is nearly impossible to get ink for it. I would have had to buy ink and have it shipped from the UK. Who knew?
And I’ve done the basics of getting some shelves put up. Granted, the pictures that are up there now aren’t facing the right direction, but at least I can see what sizes of pictures I’ll need to find for them. That’s going to be a task all by itself. So many pictures, so many frames that need filling.
Aside from my job as mother, wife, bloody dog diaper changer, cleaner, cooker, bill payer, house keeper upper, service people organizer, personal shopper, taxi driver, and room mother, I’m still going to the gym a couple of times a week to do strength training and I’m walking and doing core work almost every other day that I don’t go to the gym. I’m definitely getting stronger. I had to increase my weights this week and misread one of the things I was supposed to be doing and overdid it. But, I’m getting the hang of it. I have actually gained some weight, but my goal was never to lose weight, so whatever. I really just want to be healthy, fit, and strong.
Speaking of keeping healthy, I am now doing some physical therapy and I went and had a mammogram. Wow is all I have to say about those two things.
I’ve been enjoying my mornings to a degree. I can get quite a bit done. But I also kept Miss S one morning and it was so fun to have a 20-month old in the house for a while. I guess that’s what grandparents feel like. We played and did some shopping and she was fantastic.
And, I’m doing lots of Al-Anon work. It takes up time, but it is helping me deal with some hard stuff.
Also, I got to do one of my most fave things…I got my new planner pages for next year. Yeah, I know, I’m ancient with the paper, but I lurve it!
Finally, I got my hair done by a woman who claimed to be a cross between a wizard and a ninja when it comes to hair. I know she thinks it is pretty crazy. I like the cut and I know I can get her to go wild with the color. In the meantime, it looks pretty good dark for a change!
And with that, I’m up to October 13th. I’m calling it good.