Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Family togetherness

I love my family. Really I do.

But this winter is giving me the urge to run away for a vacation all by myself.

We're on snow day 5 or 6 for the school year and Brian and I are both trying to work from home, while refereeing fights between JD and Nikki.  The amount of snow on the ground is so much that I can't even send the kids outside to play -- we might lose the 3-year-old in the snow.

Thankfully today is going a bit better than yesterday -- we're breaking many rules about time on the Wii or watching movies, but it's survival of the fittest around here at the moment.  Hopefully we don't lose power because then we might be in trouble.

Monday, January 24, 2011

woo hoo

I finally remembered my password!!  The email I originally signed up with is no longer valid, so I couldn't easily recover it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Accidental day out

So Thomas the Tank Engine was visiting Essex Steam Train this past weekend. Brian and I thought that James especially would love to see Thomas, so we decided to drive down on Sunday.

Now when we left we didn't realize you wouldn't be allowed into the train yard without a ticket, our plan had been to let the kids see Thomas and do some of the activities but skip the actual train ride.

Part of this was financial -- Day out with Thomas tickets are $18 a piece -- and part of it was practical. The last time I stopped at Essex Steam Train, just the sight of the steam engine freaked Nikki out. Once you added the noise of it to the equation, she was crying and I was carrying her (and on that stop I just wanted to see if the gift shop had something for James' first birthday). In the past she's also had issues with being in large crowds and costumed characters. So we try to avoid paying for something we might have to bail out of in 20 minutes or less and stick to free events and increase her exposure that way.

Well we got to the gate and learned to enter you needed a ticket. By that time the kids had already seen Thomas and there was no going back. I have to say it was worth every penny that we spent (James was free so yay a price break there).  The kids went on the little midway rides, they got their faces painted, their picture taken with Thomas and we even rode the train without incident.

Nikki even got within 3 feet of Sir Topham Hatt -- she wouldn't get closer but it's probably the closest she's ever been to a costumed character and there was no crying or freaking out over it. I think she got closer than JD did (in his defense it was well past nap time).

The kids had a fantastic day, JD keeps asking when he can go visit Thomas again and if Thomas can come live at our house.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Putting my unemployed time to good use

So other than looking for a job I've spent a fair amount of time working on two other things. I think I can say I've been mostly successful with both.

James is well on the path to being potty trained. I just bit the bullet and put him in underwear and he's done great. He doesn't always tell me when he has to go, but if I tell him it's time to sit on the potty he'll sit, do his thing and goes on his merry way.

The other project was teaching myself to crochet. My great-grandmother tried to teach me several times when I was a pre-teen. But I'm left-handed and it just didn't work. I learned to knit instead. But lately I keep having to bypass knitting patterns that I love -- because they call for crocheted edging.

So I took a book out from the library and sat down to teach myself. First thing I did was give up trying to crochet left handed. Over the years I've become slightly ambidextrous out of necessity, so I figured I'd give right-handed a try.

I'm still struggling a bit, crocheting the first row on the foundation chain is a bit of bitch, but once I get past that row I've been doing pretty well. I'm slow, but if I ever gain speed they'll be certain things that crochet would be great for -- dishtowels and washclothes among them. They make great gifts and I have a feeling I'd be able to crochet them in a fraction of the time it would take me to knit them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

need to make a plan

I really need a plan to make Christmas happen. Really.

I'm lacking motivation lately and it's horrible. I know I have projects I have to get done, but I just can't make myself get going.

My biggest problem, I keep hoping that I'll get a job and then we can have a "normal" Christmas and I won't need to make so many gifts.

What I need to tackle:
Sew James' cape
Sew James' blanket
Sew the quilt for my niece
Sew the quilt for my nephew
Knit Nikki's sweater
Knit scarf for Brian
Knit hat for Brian
Have kids do paintings for grandparents and great-grandparents
Build Nikki's dollhouse.

None of these projects by themselves is all that overwhelming (maybe I should except the dollhouse from that statement lol). It's just a matter of making sure I make time to tackle them all.

hmm -- if I make and finish the projects than maybe I'll have some pretty art to post.

Anyone want to make me a schedule?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The old lightbulb joke

Or why living in an old house keeps things interesting.

My house was built in 1820. We've come to expect that any renovation project will likely be interesting, require more than one trip to Home Depot or Lowes and will likely cost us more than the average home owner. In fact, when we start a project my husband and I generally place a bet as to how many Home Depot runs we'll have to do.

Today's project takes the cake.

Our porch has two lights, each with 3 lightbulbs -- the little 40W kind with the tiny bases.  In each of the lights two of the lightbulbs were out so Brian decided to change the lightbulbs before it started to get bitter cold. He went to Home Depot yesterday and came home with the wrong sized lightbulbs - the ones he bought had regular sized bases.

He went back today to exchange them. When he went to put them in he couldn't get the old bulbs out. They just kept spinning in the sockets. So it was out to Lowes we went. We picked out two new porch lights. Sadly the one Lowes had on clearance for $4.99 was sold out.

The first light took Brian about an hour to change out -- the screws didn't quite line-up. The second took 15 minutes.

So at our house it take 3 hours and $75 to change a lightbulb.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

31 for 21

I just wanted to explain that little button over to the right. 31 for 21 is an effort (that I've already failed at) for bloggers who love someone with Down syndrome to write a blog post every day during the month of October. The post doesn't have to be about Down syndrome, just about life.

And life these days with Nikki is good. I had to take her into the pediatrician last night (I thought she might have strep or pneumonia again) and we saw one of the doctors in the practice whom we haven't seen in years. I joked that I thought the last time she saw him she was still a newborn with a feeding tube.

It brought back some memories of those days. It doesn't seem possible that it was really six years ago. She was so tiny and it was so scary to be her mother. At 6 weeks Nikki has a NG feeding tube inserted because she was declared failure to thrive. Four weeks later she had open-heart surgery to repair her complete AV canal defect.

She was one very sick little baby -- but the changes after her surgery were almost immediate. She became rosy-cheeked rather than grey, active and feisty instead of lethergic - it was amazing.

Today, she gets sick a little bit quicker than other children and it lingers a bit longer but she has more in common with her peers than she has that differentiates her from them. Nikki can read on a first grade level, she actually enjoys doing her homework and schoolwork, she's trying to teacher James his colors, shapes and ABCs.

So who is the person you love with Down syndrome?