Friday, May 28, 2010

Yet Another Bleary Friday

1. Miranda's been up before the sun 3 mornings this week and I was so frustrated with her at 4:15 this morning that I refused to let her get up and stayed in her bed until she fell back asleep, after 5. So I've been making up for my lack of night-time sleep with a series of naps that have just left me feeling vague. And my to do list is seriously suffering. Pesky girl.

2. We had our back-to-back IEP meetings Wednesday morning and they went really well. Miranda will be staying in the same program with the same teacher next year, where she has really flourished. So much so, she didn't qualify for summer school. Alex will have summer school in the building (Larchmont School) where he will start in a self-contained autistic class in the fall and, as appropriate, spend time in a mainstream 1st grade class. Academically, he's right on schedule, but his behaviors are keeping him back, which we did know and experience daily. It will be sad for me to have him leave Springville Elem, which has been such an awesome place for him, but I will still be in the building for Miranda. Of course, that means, in the fall, 2 buses, 2 buildings, 2 schedules. I think Alex will like having his own bus again, though. No more annoying little sister bugging him on the morning bus.

3. I was planning to sneak off after bedtime tonight to go see Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time by myself (rated as it is to be cinematic cotton candy, Marshall doesn't care to view it) but since I spent the morning sleeping instead of running errands, we'll have to see.

4, Marshall continues to work on his Super Beetle, but lots of unexpected problems have cropped up, so he might not make his deadline of tomorrow night to finish everything so he can take it the Manassas, VA, show on Sunday. :(

5. My irises are done, as of yesterday, but my beautiful pink calla lilies are just about to open. And I have red Asiatic lilies that are new this year that are gorgeous. And my butterfly bushes have recovered from the bad winter storms remarkably well and should have blooms in a week or two. I love my flowers!

6. I finally got back to stitching last night. I had strained my right arm last Friday and hadn't been able to stitch until yesterday. It still hurts, but it's much better. I'm sure it would have healed more quickly if I'd limited my activities more.

7. My cleaning lady called Monday night to say she had time for me Tuesday so that house was clean, for a few minutes, on Tuesday. Actually, everything but the living room still looks fine. That's why we call it the living room: we spend almost all of our time in here.

And here's Jen.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I really should just start numbering these Friday posts

like Jen does, instead of trying to come up with a silly, catchy title. Silly Sarah.

1. Spent all of Wednesday afternoon and evening reading two books. I was reading through the comments of a post on the Slactivist blog (see link on right) and somehow the conversation was talking about books and Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy by Jean Webster. I had read the former when I was a girl but never knew about the sequel. My library didn't have a copy of both of them, but Inter-Library Loan (one of my best friends!) is still operating (although it might disappear in a month due to budget cuts-ugh!) found it for me and so I spent my time with a book in my hand (instead of my usual laptop), following my children around as they played. Daddy Long Legs was just as good as I remembered (the film with Leslie Caron is actually not too bad) and Dear Enemy was excellent and ends with quite a bit of drama. I highly recommend both books, and not just for young adult readers.

2. Alex did not have a good week last week, biting a least 2 people and probably one of his friends at school as well. (Of course, given Miranda's behavior on Saturday, I'm really not surprised he bit her; I wanted to do the same.) So, in consultation with his doctor, we have raised his anti-depressant dose again. It seems to be helping so far. I love experimenting on my children with psychoactive drugs.

3. However, on a good note, Alex doesn't want to sleep in pull-ups anymore so we may spend the next week trying to go dry all night with him. That would be a wonderful thing! He made it through most of last night just fine.

4. Got ahead of the laundry this week, finally. And got back to walking, so it was a decent week for me, especially since bedtime with Miranda wasn't as traumatic as last week. Last Friday night, we had to lock Miranda in her room and let her cry herself to sleep. I really hate doing that. However, while I was waiting for her to fall asleep, we were in between storms and when I went out on the front porch, there was a beautiful rainbow, which I was able to share with Alex. Rainbows are very high on his list of favorite things.

5. Today was Field Day at Alex and Miranda's school and they both came home from school yesterday with notes asking me to send in frozen disposable water bottles because the weather today is hot. The problem is, we use reusable bottles so I actually had to go out and buy some last night.

6. I have 170 GB of videos and music on our server right now, and the video portion would give me enough to watch for almost 30 full days, 24 hours a day, and I still have been having trouble deciding at night what to watch while I stitch. I actually watched live TV several times this week, switching channels during the commercials (we don't watch commercials). I think I'm a little over-loaded with options. But then, I've never been terribly decisive. Part of my problem is, though, that most of our stuff belongs to the list of serious movies or series, with not a whole lot of fluff, or I've watched the fluff too many times (I'm talking about you, Speed Racer). (Somehow, 10 Things I Hate About You, one of my absolutely favorite movies, just isn't the same since Heath died.) And lately, I've really needed fluff to watch because I feel so strung out from trying to keep up with my kids. Marshall is down to the wire on his engine rebuild of our 1972 Super Beetle, so he's been working long hours in the garage after long hours at SIG. We just need to get through the next 2 weeks and life should get a little easier.

7. I realized this week that the reason I hated vacuuming was that I had a lousy vacuum. My new Oreck makes it so much more fun. I managed to pick up and vacuum more than half the house yesterday in about 90 minutes. Practically miraculous!

And here's Jen.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Finally Friday!

1. After fighting the zombie-like allergy feeling from taking my prescription allergy medicine for more than a week, I left it out of my morning regimen for 3 days, starting Tuesday. I was good until this morning, when I started coughing again. I substituted Sudafed today, but if that doesn't work, I'll have to be re-zombie-fied tomorrow.

2. My sister-in-law kindly followed me to the body shop on Tuesday to drop off our xB for repairs following its encounter with the flying tire tread last week. Marshall dropped me off there this morning to pick it up and it looks as good as new and it drives just fine. They even vacuumed. I like this shop, I just don't want to be there next spring as well.

3. Summer Movie Planning Update: here's the list I made in March, with some additions and comments.
March 12
Green Zone (never managed to see it-we were too sick to go out when my folks were visiting for Easter; waiting for video)
April 2
Clash of the Titans (poor reviews; may see it on video)
April 23
The Losers (saw it by myself and really liked it)
May 7
Iron Man 2 (loved it!)
May 14
Robin Hood (it has received poor reviews so we do not plan to see it)

Here's my up and coming list of movies to plan for:
June 11
The A-Team
June 18
Toy Story 3
July 16
November 19
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) (trailer should be out soon)
December 10
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
December 17
Tron: Legacy

I've looked through the list of coming attractions several times and haven't found anything else worthy of enlisting a babysitter for beyond these 6 movies.

4. Watched Terminator Salvation this week and don't quite know what to make of it. I wasn't crazy about the third movie but it was better for having Arnold in it. I'm also a fan of both Bale and Worthington and still don't know if I liked the movie or not. Hmmm.

5. I spent most mornings this week sleeping after putting the kids on the bus because Miranda's wake up time has been before sunrise almost every day this week. (It was 5:30 this morning, a slight improvement.) But the house is definitely the worse for my missing all those hours of work time. I would manage to clean up one room only for the children to have moved on to the next and trashed it. And nearly every time I've asked Miranda to help me pick up her mess, she's refused. When I tell her she needs to help or go to her room, she throws herself on the floor, so she ends up being carried to her room in tears. Pesky girl.

6. Alex slept with a drink box, somehow, and so woke up soaked and smelling like fruit punch. So all of his bedding had to be stripped and washed this morning. I'm sure it was time to do that anyway.

7. Costco had Oreck vacuum cleaners on sale this week so I have finally upgraded our household to a real vacuum cleaner (as opposed to the cheap, knock-off one we've had for 8 years that my cleaning lady took one look at and went back out to her truck to get her own). We kept saying we didn't need a new vacuum cleaner 'cause we were going to pull out most of the carpets but that hasn't happened as our energies were redirected into other remodeling efforts (like our bedroom, 18 months ago or the current rebuild of the engine on Marshall's 1972 Super Beetle) and I'd had enough. So, happy Mother's Day to me. :)

And here's Jen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Have You Met Shaun the Sheep?

Our new obsession (read: Alex's new obsession) is Shaun the Sheep. If you haven't met him, I highly recommend the videos, which we borrowed from the library. For the amount of times we've now watched them, I should probably just buy them. Since I can't figure out how to insert a You Tube Video, you'll just have to do with a link. Marshall and I have been a fan of Aardman Animations since we were given Wallace and Gromit VCR tapes as a wedding gift from good friends. What Alex probably likes best is there is little or no dialogue. Just the sheep flock and the dog interacting and pulling tricks on each other and the farmer. Lots of fun!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Clean Friday

As in, the house was cleaned yesterday, which always clears the decks for me for whatever comes next, which is:

1. Finally got my hair cut! I discovered recently that the salon around the corner I've been going to since right after Alex was born (he's now 6.5, remember) went out of business so my friend Robin who is a professional hair dresser was gracious enough to come to my house this morning and give me a great hair cut! I will look fabulous for Mother's Day.

2. A flying truck tire tread hit me on my way to MOPS on Tuesday morning (down 295 South at about 9 am) and did a significant amount of damage to the front of my car. After my haircut this morning, I went to the Allstate claims office for an evaluation and write up and this afternoon, after cheering Miranda with an hour of play at the local Chick Fil' A, took the write up to the shop we like and they can take it starting Tuesday. Dang.

3. I'm going out to breakfast with Marshall's mom and sister tomorrow morning to celebrate Mother's Day, just the 3 of us. Then we hope to go and walk around Maple Shade's Farmer's Market, if it's not pouring down rain, which is what is forecast.

4. Tomorrow night the great and wonderful Ashley the babysitter is coming to watch the kids so we can go out and see Iron Man 2. Woohoo!

5. For Mother's Day this year, in lieu of a gift, I've asked Marshall to help or otherwise complete a list of tasks around the house, like helping me move the sofas to see if Alex's missing Leapster cartridges are underneath, or shampooing the carpet in the living room, etc. Acts of service is definitely my love language.

6. My irises are in full bloom! Several of the stalks were so heavily with flowers they fell over and I had to cut them and put them on my dining room table. Darn.

7. Miranda got two huge bags of hand-me-downs from friends this week so I'm going to be spending the weekend sorting through clothes. Free clothes are always wonderful!

And here's Jen.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Golf Birdie or Animal Birdie? - UPDATED!

So, Alex spends a lot of time in the backyard by himself, arranging the toys in ways that make him happy. This is how he relaxes. So if anyone knows every inch of the backyard, it's him. And we have a big pine tree in the back corner that birds like to build nests in. So last week, Thursday and Friday were very windy days. And each afternoon, Alex found a nestling bird that had fallen out of a nest and brought it to me. This happened last year as well.

Now, we can explain to him that the little birdies have lost their momma's, that they fell out of the nest, but he doesn't quite understand that we can't just put them back in (like Diego) and that they are going to die. (The one he found Thursday was still breathing but Friday's bird was dead and I really hope it was the fall that broke it's neck and not Alex).

And I wish I could explain to him that they are dirty and we shouldn't touch them without gloves. So, both times I brought him and washed his hands and then went back out with gloves myself to deal with the corpses myself.

So, on Saturday evening, right before bed, when he was out playing by himself and called out "Birdie!" I sent Marshall out to make sure he was playing with his golf clubs and had just hit a good shot (like he does on Wii Sports) and hadn't found yet another small creature I would have to dispose to. Thankfully, he was in golf mode. Two birds is enough for this year. Those dang birds really need to build better nests, I tell you.

UPDATE: Now this is just ridiculous! So, an hour after I first posted, Miranda and I start to walk out the back door into the back yard to play on the swing but we have to stop and pick up another fledgling carcass which is waiting for us in front of the bottom step on the back patio. How it got there from the tree, which is quite a ways away, is a mystery to me.