Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!!!!

This is the first Halloween that the kids have been excited about, the first they picked out their own costumes, and the first that we're taking them trick-or-treating.  This morning at preschool we had a parade and went trick-or-treating to the offices across the street.  Tadpole was not really into it.  She refused to talk to anyone, refused to say "Trick-or-treat" and "Thank you", and in general just eyed everyone suspiciously.  Turtle was all about it.  He made up for Tadpole silence by shouting "TRICK OR TREAT!!!!!!" at the top of his lungs.  At one point, he got confused between "Happy Halloween" and "Trick or Treat", and starting saying "HAPPY TRICK OR TREAT!"  It was ridiculously cute.

Here are a few pics.  First up - one of the best close-ups I could get:

And a decent view of the costumes.  Here, Turtle is doing his signature "pull-up-his-pants" move, AND his signature "stick-out-his-tongue-while-concentrating" move.  He is constantly terrified his pants will fall down.  I'm thinking of getting him suspenders to stop him from hiking them up under his armpits.

Nice group pic!  But no one is smiling.

Fireman and fairy from the back.  Cuteness. 

 Turtle saying cheese, Tadpole doing what she did all morning- a suspicious sideways glance. 

Last, we went to the gym across the street where they take swim lessons, so here's a pic with their swim teacher, who they love more than anyone except maybe Mamma.

Well, Happy Halloween, everyone!  Here's to not overdosing on candy!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Still .... sick ....

Oops.  I wrote that last post and then never hit publish.  Sorry about that.

We have all settled into out nasty little cold, but the kids seem mostly over it.  Thank goodness.  As for me, it has settled in my sinuses, and is causing me terrible sinus pain.  I'm not sure at what point I should go to the doctor.  Last night I slept 10 hours, causing us all to sleep in (I'm the family alarm clock normally), resulting in a rushed, difficult morning.  And now I'm at home at a bit of a loss about what to do with myself, while the kids are in school, because I'm lethargic and leaning over hurts so bad that it's hard to do anything.  I'm not sure if I'll go to the gym, either.

Just found out that not only are my in-laws considering visiting us for Thanksgiving, but also possibly my husband's aunt and uncle, too, so we might have a house-full.  A fun house-full, though! Although we may not be able to invite all the local people I thought might be possibilities (most of whom are actually Italian) for lack of space but also to keep the English-speaking company a slightly larger minority.  I hope we can get a final head count pretty soon so I can order a turkey - I can't believe it's almost that time of year!

On other fronts - I haven't lost any weight (was hoping to lose 5 pounds by a trip we have coming up in 3 weeks, but I'm doubting it's going to happen), and with all this sickness, going to the gym is still hit or miss.  My garden is almost completely planted for fall/winter, finally.  Still need to get some broccoli and onion starts, and plant more turnips, beets, and carrots, but otherwise we are looking good!  I do have some stuff to get out of the ground, still, too but I am waiting for a day that I feel better and the weather is better.

I'm reading a fantastic book called The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.  I'm really enjoying it a lot, although I haven't finished it so I can't give a final thumbs up or down just yet.  But it is an intriguing, well-written book that is totally captivating my attention.

In the meantime, I have a hugely long to-do list of crafting projects, cleaning projects, and organizing projects, none of which ever seem to happen.  I'm doing a very loose-meal-planning theme in which we have a soup night, a pasta night, and a rice night every week.  Most of those include vegetables or salad, and the other nights, we might have meat or a variety of other vegetables.  Tonight we are having carrots sauteed with garlic and split pea soup, which is already smelling fantastic bubbling away on the stove.

I hope by the next time I write that I am feeling better and have things a bit more under control around here.  Maybe by Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sick and tired

Oh my goodness.  SEND HELP!!!  We are still sick.  It has been such a rough time.  Last Monday Turtle was diagnosed with croup and prescribed prednisolone syrup - friends, that is AWFUL stuff.  I couldn't get it down him without him gagging it back up.  Luckily the two doses I managed to get into his stomach seemed to help with the inflammation and his croupy cough went away.  The fever stayed for both kids, though, so we went back to the doctor on Wednesday, the fifth day of the fever.  The doctor was convinced it was viral, and asked me to check in on Friday if they were still sick.  By Friday, the fever was minimal, although a nice runny-nosed coughing cold had settled in for the weekend (and beyond!).

In the meantime, we enjoyed a fun time with friends at a huge local pumpkin patch, complete with mini-corn maze, hay bale maze, giant hay bale pyramid, a corn pit, and cool bikes, trikes, and quadricycles to ride around.  Neat.  On Monday, we went to ANOTHER pumpkin patch, Turtle LOVED all the tractors.  He spent the whole time climbing up and down on each tractor, trying out each lever and button and switch to see if he could get the tractor going so he could drive it, his tongue hanging absent-mindedly out of his mouth.  He tends to stick out his tongue when he's really concentrating, which is darn cute.  Tadpole spent most of the day crying.  OMG, she was cranky.  Sooooooo cranky.  She cried over every little thing, all day long.  I almost lost my mind.

Tuesday they went to preschool, still coughing and snotty but otherwise fine.  But at lunchtime today, the preschool called to say Tadpole had a fever.  Again.  After 6 days of fever last week.  Sigh.  They were sweet enough to let her take her nap there so I could get some stuff done before picking her up (thank goodness, after them being home all last week, I am WAY behind on housework), but when I showed up at 2:30, her fever was 104.  Not that you would know it, she was out in the yard running around with friends.

I called the doctor and managed to get in right away for an appointment, and what do you know.  Both ears look bad, despite her not complaining about any ear pain.  So finally, 12 days into this rotten experiment in illness, we have an antibiotic.  I am, like my doctor, not excited about using antibiotics unless they are necessary (and unlike my mother, who thinks an antibiotic is good for any and every minor cold that comes along).  But I think we've reached the point of needing it, and I am happy that it is an option.  Whew.

Well, since I also have caught this same nasty little bug, I am going to go take some nyquil and hit the hay.  Good night, blogland.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Hi friends.  We've had a couple sick kids here the last few days.  Tadpole's been managing quite well, but poor Turtle has a horrible cough and fever and his breathing sounds awful, so we're going to the pediatrician to see if he might have bronchitis or croup.

I am not going to finish all my October goals for sure, but I am feeling happy that I've managed to do a few of them!  It's good to have a list to look at, to keep me motivated.

I joined the gym and I've been swimming a few times.  I also took advantage of my free personal training appointment, and that backfired badly.  I was so sore for four or five days that I couldn't go to the gym, couldn't work in the garden, could barely walk.  It was a good wake-up call for how out of shape I am, but it was tough to lose so many days of productivity.  Now with the kids sick, I am probably not going to the gym for at least another two days, and I'm not sure I am ready to go for a jog yet (but maybe it's time to give it a try and see if the hip pain is gone), so it will be more than a week without working out.  So much for that goal!  I need to figure out how to challenge myself at weight-lifting without repeating the last week, because I was really non-functional, and as a very involved Mamma and keeper of my home and garden, I can't be physically incapacitated for days at a time.

I have been working on crafts, though!  It's been so much fun.  I made Tadpole a fairy skirt, and I made three magic wands (an extra for one of their friends).  I will post pictures at some point.  I've also been finally doing a bit of cooking.  Yesterday I made up a recipe for an absolutely delicious and easy savory pumpkin (or winter squash) soup.  I want to try making it again soon with a few additions.  Now that the weather is cold, I'm happy to eat soup every night.  I'm not sure my family agrees, though.

I sent off my substitute teaching permit application, but it looks like they are several months behind in processing, so I doubt I will be able to try teaching until after the New Year.  Which is fine, I've got a lot going on right now.  

I'm doing great not drinking coffee.  Weight loss is not going on at all, but I am getting a bit better at being more mindful of what I'm eating.  I'm not sure that losing those 5 pounds by the end of the month is realistic at this point, but I really need to make a much more serious effort.  My pants are just uncomfortably tight, and I don't want to buy a whole new wardrobe over 5-10 extra pounds.  We are going on a really expensive weekend vacation mid-November with a few friends, which will involve beautiful scenery, staying in a fancy tree-house at a resort (so excited!!!!), eating at exceptional restaurants, and perhaps enjoying hot tubs on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  I want my clothes to fit by then, and I want to feel better about myself, so I'm giving myself the next month to work really hard and have the vacation be my reward.

Speaking of weight loss - if anyone has read this far - how do you measure?  My home scale seems really inaccurate, and my weight fluctuates 3-5 pounds depending on the time of day and various other factors.  Just before lunch now I weigh 3 pounds less than I did yesterday afternoon, but I know I didn't lose 3 pounds in less than 24 hours.

Anyway, today, besides taking Turtle to the doctor, I need to clean up the house a bit, fold laundry, chop and freeze the last tomatoes from the garden, and make a nice dinner.  Doesn't sound too bad - hopefully I get it all done.  Which means it's time to get moving.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Goals

Well, I need to get this out there, somehow.  So here we go!

1. Bike more when the weather permits.  And my physical health.
2. Run - this one is temporarily on hold for a week because of hip pain and I'm experimenting to see if I can get it to go away.  But started next week, I hope to run 2-3 times per week
3. Go to the gym!  Any weekday that I don't exercise at home (i.e. run in the greenbelt).  I just joined this morning and I'm going this afternoon for a swim.  Yay!
4. Get the paperwork under control.  Clean out and organize the file drawers.
5. Get summer garden pulled out and fall/winter garden planted.  I've already gotten started, not too much more to do!
6. No St.arb.ucks.  Pee.ts once a week at most.  It's to be considered a treat.  Tea and coffee at home are fine.  I'm doing pretty well with this one so far.
7. I'm trying to lose 10 pounds by Thanksgiving, so 5 pounds during the month of October.  My husband lent our scale to a friend, so I will have to weigh myself at the gym today to get a starting weight.
8. Get to bed at 10, lights out at 10:30 on weeknights.  Exceptions on Sundays if we are hanging out with friends.
9. Get lunches packed for the kids at night.  No excuses.
10. Clean out my closet - not the clothes (although I might do that soon), but all the other random stuff stored in there.
11. Clean out the garage - this may go to November, because the garage is actually pretty clean, but I am storing a ton of stuff that I don't even know what it is and I can probably get rid of.  But sorting through it all is going to be slow work, not a half-day job, so I need to be realistic about it.
12. Get my substitute teaching application mailed off - still need to find my CBEST scores and get fingerprinted.
13. Start volunteering at our local Shriner's hospital for children - mailed the application today!
14. Combine this blog with my other blog and port it to a better site - working on it hopefully with my husband's help.
15. Hopefully work on some crafting.  A couple small projects at least.  This will probably require getting a bit more organized.
16. Practice piano once a week.
17. Get the kids' Halloween costumes together.  Tadpole wants to be a pink fairy, and Turtle wants to be a firefighter.  I think.  I'm not so sure about him.  He wants to be something red, because he likes fire trucks.  He's a bit wishy washy about what that actually means, though.

Whew, that's a lot!  And I've got exactly 4 weeks to get it done, so please wish me luck.

Do you have goals for October?