Brrrrrr!  Sure, 17F would be a brisk fall day in Kiruna, but here in the DC area it feels like death. Probably because we don't have approrpiate clothes for this weather.  I took the kids to Chuck E. Cheeses and we were only in the cold for about 3 minutes total from outside our door to into the car, then out of the car and into the restaurant, but of course the car was cold.  That was two hours ago and I'm still frozen in my bones.

I am mainly concerned about what this means for January 21.  I'm headed to the Women's March and am hoping it will have warmed up by then.  I saw that they are predicting rain for inauguration day and a sunny, 50F day for the Women's March, so let's cross our fingers and hope that doesn't change.  I am going down with a group of women and who knows what will happen.  We all assume it will be a long day of peaceful protesting, but we are also prepared for it to turn into a really ugly situation since Trump is batshit crazy.  I briefly thought about taking the kids to this historic march, but decided that A) it is going to be really boring from a child's perspective and I can't deal with listening to them be bored and B) I don't want to put them in harm's way if it gets crazy.  When my friend and I decided to go, we decided that we would only let people known for making smart decisions and who were able to handle themselves go with us.  The last thing we need is to go with someone who doesn't know how to act.  We've got a good group going, so fingers crossed it is peaceful and impactful.

I had a panic attack on Friday when I realized that the science fair is this coming Friday.  The kids don't want to participate, but this is one area that I'm a stickler in. They will participate, gosh darn it. They may not like it, but they will learn science.  I found a great resource for finding a project, http://www.sciencebuddies.org/ and used their suggestion wizard to figure out some ideas for the kids.  Erik is going to see what material blocks wi-fi the best. I guess we'll do that tomorrow night.  Elsa made plastic out of milk and vinegar.  Crazy stuff!  I had no idea this was even possible, but it worked.  We finished the project just fine, but unfortunately we did not work with the plastic quickly enough to actually shape and mold it.  It cooled down too much and it became extremely crumbly.  I may play with it a little while the kids are at school to see if I can actually make a piece of moldable plastic.  It is super simple.  Heat milk to at least 49C (we did 53C), then add one cup of milk to 1 T. of vinegar.  Our test was to see if we would get a higher yield if we added more vinegar so we did six runs--1 through 6 T. of vinegar.  Turns out that that 1 T. made the same amount as the 6 T.  For a child who whined and complained about not wanting to do a science project, Elsa sure did have a lot of fun.
Another day, another post!

If we’re Facebook friends, you know another reason I am so busy I can barely breathe some days.  I am finishing out my second year as PTA president.  Thank the lords of Kobol there’s a two-year term limit on PTA board positions so I can’t get sucked back in.  I’m almost freeeeeeeeee!

My time with the PTA has been pretty rocky.  For years I thought the main PTA people hated me because of where I lived.  I don’t live in the McMansion neighborhood surrounding the school; I live quite a ways away in a townhouse community.

Last night I discovered that they don’t hate me because of where I live.  They hate everyone who is not in their little clique.  Most of the clique moved on to middle school last year, which has been great this year.  No more tension!  There’s just one of them left and she pulled quite a number at our last PTA meeting—tried to tell us that we had to pay $1,100 for a fifth grade field trip that the PTA has never paid for before and is not in our budget.  We had an emergency board meeting last night and I found out that all the other people on the board have also been victims of this clique. And all those people live in the “right” neighborhood. I don’t know whether to be happy it’s not just me or sad that people are so immature and catty.

Honestly, I am ready to move far, far away from this school and this neighborhood.  It was a cute little place when we moved in, but right now there are six cop cars sitting outside my house while the cops are doing who knows what inside one of my neighbor’s houses.  My kids get nothing at school because the teachers are so busy trying to deal with the seriously bad behaviors of some of the other students. I am tired of it all.  I always said I loved this town and how family friendly it is, but people are being stabbed in the Safeway and robbed outside the library.  Now that my kids are both in school I barely see my friends.  I think it is time to move on.  To where, I don’t know.  Hopefully by this time next year we’ll have a good game plan for both Mike and myself, employment wise.
carrieb: (tiaragreen)
Wow, it really has been forever since I posted.  I even let my paid account expire and now I don't have all my icons.  I never even knew I cared that much about my icons, but now they are gone and I care deeply!

Between the PTA and grad school, life has been keeping me busy.  Erik has one more week of school and I have one more PTA newsletter to write, then it will be me and the kids alone all summer.  I only have Erik signed up for one camp.  I don't have Elsa signed up for any because she is a homebody who doesn't like new places.  I hope I'm not making a huge mistake.  In about three weeks I'll be begging someone, anyone, to take these kids off my hands for a few hours so I can get my homework done.

I got a Fit Bit a couple of weeks ago and it has increased my movement because I am super competitive.  I didn't want to get one because I was afraid it would publically show what a fat, lazy person I am.  I was quite shocked to see that I am more active than a lot of the skinny people I know!  My problem has never been excercise.  It's always been food intake.  I love food.  Yum yum.

Erik bought a FitBit with his allowance and it arrived this afternoon.  He's going nuts with it--he's had it for two hours and has already hit the goal of 10,000 steps.  I think it will be good for him to have this to get him a little more active, though I am sure the shine will wear off sooner rather than later.

Erik has been playing goalie for the last couple of seasons.  Mike put him in goalie clinics all winter so he's actually pretty decent at it!  His team had 7 wins, 1 loss for the season.  The games are often not even that fun because his team totally annihalates the other team. They usually outscore the other team by at least 6 points.  The worst was 13-0.  It's fun to win, but hard to watch the other team get thumped so hard.

Elsa has been taking her incoming kindergarten summer homework very seriously.  It's amazing!  I am use to endless, hours-long fights about homework.  If Erik touches pencil to paper I call it a win, nevermind the quality.  Elsa, on the other hand, wants her work to be perfect and spent almost an hour doing her homework tonight: "draw a picture of something you did today."  She was very upset because she had no idea how to draw her little friend's black braids. She was not pleased with my solution (Do the best you can) and wanted to learn real technique.  I can barely draw a stick figure so I'm not the person to ask.

We went to a birthday party yesterday that was a total fiasco.  I think I need to write a birthday party handbook and widely distribute it.  No one would read it or listen to my advice.  No one cares.  But I know everything and could help everyone acheive cosmic perfection.  I'm such an INTJ. 

Ok, gotta get Erik to bed.  Maybe I'll write more later.  I miss LJ!
Long time, no post. Sorry about that! Thank you for the nudge, 3beards. Things are ok here. We had a delightful Christmas Eve in the Swedish style. Sort of. We had Swedish meatballs and boiled potatoes, but skipped the zillions of kinds of pickled herring. Our good friends that we celebrate holidays with don't eat pork, so we skipped sharing in Christmas Eve festivities with them. I am so very glad I've come to terms with never being with family at Christmas. I used to feel such guilt, but it is sooooooooo nice to have a drama free Christmas. I really enjoy my little family and the traditions we've created.

Christmas was also really nice. Santa delivered gifts, then we went over to our friends' for a big Christmas dinner and our traditional "dice game" Christmas swap. Not too many tears were shed.

The only problem was that Elsa started coughing yesterday. I am sensitive to sound and it is driving me insane.

Today was a lovely day, weather wise (no coats needed!), so we met the friends at a park for awhile, but then the kids started melting down. I should have known something was up when Elsa said she wanted to go take a nap in the van.

We ended up back at our friends' house, eating cheese and letting the kids run wild. Except Elsa crawled in her friend's bed and the friend played "nurse."

Finally got home and Elsa had a 103 degree fever. I win mother of the year!

Mike told me just now that he is starting to cough, so I told him I'm going to a hotel for the night. I can't take the noise. I know it is not the cougher's fault, but it seriously makes me insane. Guess I won't really go to a hotel, though.

Got through another grad school class. Whoo-hooo! There was no group work, so I was quite happy and I did learn a lot. I don't think I really said that this program is through a Christian college, the one I did my undergrad at. I was very, very, very Christian from age 2-24. Now I'm an atheist and believe me, I have my reasons. I probably should not have done this program because the Christian aspect irritates me, but I chose this and I can't complain about it. I choose this program b/c it was basically a complete fluke. I asked Mike what he thought and was sure he'd say it wouldn't work financially, but it did work. It is very low-priced compared to other programs that are out there. Plus, the admissions process was super easy since I am an alumni from the school. It's just really tough to answer some of the weekly spiritual life questions. I may not be a Christian, but I have read the Bible cover to cover. I can always find a verse to support my premise. This last week we had to write about the role money should play in a Christian's life and a couple of the people were soooooooo confused about Christians and money, saying that God would bless the truly Christian and make them wealthy. Christians deserve an "exquisite" lifestyle. I tore those posts apart. I was very curious what the actual pastors would say about the remarks (we have two pastors in our program), but neither of them chimed in. The funny thing is, the two people who believe this wealth non-sense are both struggling to make ends meet. I don't understand their thought process. I guess it is something like magical thinking and believing that eventually they'll be good enough Christians to be rich? Not saying all Christians should live in poverty, but the Bible makes it pretty clear that wealth is a stumbling block when it comes to getting into heaven.

In other news, I hope things will be better with Erik at school after the new year. The principal seems to understand him and believes he's a really smart kid and a typical male. He hasn't said this in so many words, but he has implied that he understand Erik doesn't respond well to someone yammering at him and being on his case constantly. The principal is going to have the reading/writing specialist work with Erik once a week to get his writing up to speed.

The counselor really irritates me, so I was glad to have a meeting with the principal. I met with the counselor one on one and couldn't get a word in edgewise. The principal is excellent at managing a meeting and didn't let her dominate. She really irritated me when she told me she was concerned about Erik's empathy. The kid may be stubborn and disagreeable, but he is very compassionate and generous. She had him in a group with some other kids and had them all go around and role play. The scenario was that her cat had just died and they were supposed to say something. Erik said "don't worry, cats have nine lives." She took that as mean, but after I talked to him he honestly believed that cats have nine lives, so he thinks if a cat dies it comes back a few days later. So his response was very nice! Just not to an adult who lives in reality. I don't want to be one of those parents who believes her kid can do no wrong, but in this case I really don't see what the problem is.

Anyway, guess it is time to go get Erik in bed. I am luxuriating in my two weeks off from school. Let's clean all the bathrooms! And purge all the toys! And read all the books! And paint all the rooms! And maybe lose all the pounds! Oh god, do I need to lose all the pounds. I don't even want to think about the extreme diet I'm planning on going on in Jan.
Los Angeles Needlework is selling FREE PATTERNS stolen from Fandom In Stitches as well as other indie designers.

On behalf of the huge community of independent designers that both share their patterns for free online and sell patterns via various means to help support themselves and their families, please share this message, comment on the website and ask them to please TAKE DOWN ALL PATTERNS THAT HAVE BEEN POSTED FOR SALE WITHOUT PERMISSION!


I'm here!

Aug. 10th, 2011 01:41 pm
I don't imagine I'll be using this account, but I wanted to snag it just in case LJ goes away forever.

Updates

Jul. 2nd, 2011 12:56 pm
If you see this:


The tick



See the black dot on her shoulder? We didn't know if that was a tick or mole.

Then you see this:


The Rash



Things aren't good.

Sorry for the poor quality pic, but she refused to stand still and let me take a picture. Looking at the pictures and knowing what I know now, duh. Why did I hesitate to take her in? Thoough I didn't hesitate long. I took her in the same day I suspected Lyme's, but I felt dumb since it was not a traditional bulls eye rash. I found a google pic of a lady with the exact rash in the exact spot, and she also had Lyme's. Maybe the way the shoulder is shaped makes it go oval instead of round? I don't know.

Getting the medicine down her has not been easy, but it has not been impossible either. She screams, fights, and blows raspberries the whole time, but if we just squirt it in .5 ml at a time, she will swallow if we blow in her face. I'm so glad someone on FB gave me that tip a few months ago. She is not puking it back up, thank dog.

The rash is almost completely gone and she seems to be feeling a lot better. I must admit I sort of had a major internal freakout when I found out she has Lyme's. I've always heard such terrible things about the disease, but I think most of the problems come when you are not diagnosed early and you just kind of linger in poor health for months before someone figures out what it is.

In other news, I got the DVD that the funeral home made for my dad and they didn't include a single picture I had sent them. First, I sent them links to a flickr album and they couldn't work that (I didn't realize I just needed to go through and change the permissions) so I e-mailed a shit load of pics. The girl told me to just e-mail them all in one e-mail and didn't have a f---- clue why that might crash her e-mail. I split them up and got some bounce messages, so split them up further until I wasn't getting any bounce messages. I guess they never received any of the e-mails, including the e-mail which didn't include a single attachment but rather informed them that I was sending the e-mails. The only e-mail I got back said "this is the right e-mail" so I figured they were getting things. I knew they were idiots (they put the wrong date on the death certificate, which has caused my mom no end of hassle) but I assumed they must have the pictures because they KNEW the pictures were coming and they had my e-mail address. My sister repeatedly told them I was sending pictures. I know she's a big flake (she just had her IUD removed. I can't even. . . ), but this was really important to her and I am know she was trying to make sure everything was right.

I sent a very hotly worded e-mail to the funeral home and didn't get back an apology. Apparently it is my mom's fault because she approved the slide show (she had no way to know what pictures I had sent). Then it was my fault for not sending them correctly. Then it was my fault for not making sure they got my e-mail. They are adding the pictures to the end of the slide show and will fed-x me a new copy, but the funeral director is an asshole. And it's not his fault, because he was out of town. Don't you think the least they could do is say "sorry for the misunderstanding?" I mean, my God. We are the grieving family. We're allowed to be crazy.

It is too late to really "fix" since the funeral is over and I don't anticipate watching this thing very many times. It is too sad. I was already feeling guilty about missing the funeral, but then there were no pictures of me or my family in the slideshow. So what do people think? That we were estranged? That I wasn't a part of his life? That I was a giant bitch? I don't know. It pisses me off more than I would have imagined. You should see this string of e-mails between the funeral director and myself. Usually I am fairly passive (honestly! I am! I talk a mean game in my journal, but I'm meek and mild sometimes), but I am putting this guy through the wringer and refusing to accept his blame. I am forcing him to come up with solutions.

Anyway, I need to think of something else.

We've been cat sitting this week for my friend. I am allergic to cats, but I can be in a house with them for awhile. Some cats make my eyes swell up, some cats make me sneeze and some cats have no effect. I've never had a cat make my hands burn.

Holy heck. This cat wants to be petted because he misses his family and he makes my hands burn like fire. I've never had that reaction before. I hope I never have it again. We only had to go over there three times, so I'm glad it is over. I just felt bad that I couldn't pet him as much as he wanted to be petted.

Three day weekend! We have nothing planned, but I want to go to Home Depot and get some dirt and plants. Our yard looks awful and our deck planters are full of weeds. I don't want to plant tomatoes because the squirrels eat them all (oh how I love fresh tomatoes), but weeds are annoying me. Flowers will be a lot nicer to look at, if we can motivate ourselves.

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carrieb

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