Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Help, I've fallen behind and I can't catch up!

At least that's how it feels. I have been wanting to post for what seems forever, but there just hasn't been a good time. Either that, or the body just wasn't willing. I'm fighting some kind of crud (I think I'm winning now) and also single-parenting this week. Brian is in Missouri visiting his mom and will be back after work on Friday.

I had to take Emily to the doctor yesterday. She called me from school and said she couldn't hear out of one ear and was dizzy. Turns out that ear had quite a bit of fluid build-up and was rather red as well. She's on high-dose Amoxil for 5 days (1 gram TID ... 3x a day for non-medical folks).

The kids and I went to see a free sneak preview of August Rush on Saturday. Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Arthur and the Invisibles) shows his stuff again... His character travels the gamut of emotions in this film and Freddie makes it believable. I am wondering what kind of roles he'll be getting once he gets out of the child actor years. The music in the film is wonderful. Robin Williams was scary.... he played a Fagin-esque (how's that for a new word?) character who collected street kids in an abandoned theater and had them playing music on street corners to earn him money. Once you suspend belief and get past the whole idea of a mystical kind of ESP/awareness, it is much easier to enjoy the whole premise of the movie (young boy looking for the parents who never knew he existed).

I've managed to work on that reading challenge list some more. Just one book left to read from my original list (Barefoot). I really enjoyed How Starbucks Saved My Life... it was an easy read and just made so much sense. (And if you've ever wondered what it was like to work as a barista, you'll get a firsthand account.) Other books I've managed to get through are Split Ends, by Kristin Billerbeck, and The Oak Leaves. On the nightstand: Alaska Twilight, by Colleen Coble. For the carpool lane: The Book of Jane, Anne Dayton.

Friday, November 09, 2007

It didn't hit the fan, but might as well have

Yet another crazy busy Friday evening... took Emily to pick up a friend and dropped them at the mall to see a movie, then grabbed the kids from home and got a quick bite to eat before heading to Celebrate Recovery. Brian is out of town (left yesterday and comes back tomorrow), so I was running PowerPoint for him. Left CR early so I could pick up Emily; got to her friend's house and she asked to spend the night. OK. Fine. I'll pick her up tomorrow after 1 or so.

Here's where the fun begins. To properly set the stage, I should explain that I got little sleep last night because I was letting Rory out every hour and a half or so... intestinal issues, to put it delicately. We left the dogs in their crates when we left the house a little after 5; got home around 8:30 or so. I need a HazMat team for the laundry room now. First ever episode of dirtying her crate and I know she had no control over it (no pun intended). I had to pull out her crate pad and try to hose off the solids out in the back yard (with no light to see by). Then I got her into the upstairs tub for a semi-shower... mostly to clean between her toes and clean her undersides. I used an old quilt for a towel. (I wonder what other Dane owners use to dry off their dogs after a bath?) I gave the laundry room floor a lick and a promise. The rest of the house looks like a cyclone hit it; no, a cyclone would have sucked up some of the crap.... I don't have a description for the rest of the house. My original plan was to spend some time working on it tonight, but I am ready to call it a night and just hit the bed with a book to read. The rest of the house will have to wait.

Yeah, I'll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A chance to win and reading challenge update

New meme seen at Jenni's... First 3 people to comment and leave this promise on their blog will win a little something from me sometime in the next few months. Kind of a "pay it forward" thing, it seems. You'll need to give me your contact info (mailing address) if you are one of the first 3 (I'll check to make sure you've posted your pledge before notifying you and asking for an address)... so if anonymity is important, this giveaway isn't for you!

In other news, here's an update on the reading challenge. First, my original list:

  1. Oceans Apart, Karen Kingsbury
  2. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe.
  3. The 5-Minute Face, Carmindy.
  4. When Faith Meets Fame, Guideposts.
  5. Blameless: A Novel, Thom Lemmons.
  6. Alpha Girls: Understanding the New American Girl and How She is Changing the World, Dan Kindlon. I actually gave up on this one. It was a total snoozer.
  7. Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin', Paula Deen.
  8. The Sleeping Doll, Jeffrey Deaver.
  9. Sunrise, Karen Kingsbury.
  10. Life's Healing Choices, John Baker.
  11. It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff, Peter Walsh.
  12. How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gill.
  13. Down River, John Hart.
  14. The Other Mother, Gwendolen Gross.
  15. Keeping the House, Ellen Baker.
  16. Barefoot, Elin Hildebrand.
  17. 74 Seaside Avenue, Debbie Macomber.
  18. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold.
  19. Still Summer, Jacquelyn Mitchard.
  20. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards.
Books I've read not on the original list:
  1. Abide With Me, Elizabeth Strout.
  2. A Family in Full, Vanessa Del Fabbro.
  3. Miss Invisible, Laura Jensen Walker.
  4. The Next Thing on My List, Jill Smolinski.
Loved the last 2 books... definite recommendation from me. I'm currently working my way through The Oak Leaves, by Maureen Lang. It's my carpool read, so it's taking a little longer to get through than others. I may wind up bringing it in the house this weekend, since I'll be finishing up everything I have in the house to read. Oh wait... I have 2 of the books left on the original list waiting for pickup (unless I ran out of time on one.. ack). Maybe I can get to the library today to pick them up. I also have one impromptu book ready as well; the last book from the original list is still pending (I am number 3 in the holds list). I guess I will get a lot of extra books read waiting for that one!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

More than just a laundry list

So tonight I actually have more to say than just a laundry list of the weekend's activities. Maybe not a whole lot more than that, but at least something more. We've had our usual share of activity, including Noah's flag football game Saturday afternoon. A little trip to the mall with Emily (thankfully she was spending *her* money, not ours!) and a whole lotta housework this afternoon.

Tonight Brian and I played a game with the younger kids called Kids Battle the Grown-Ups. We've been trying to find time to play it for a while now; Halle and Joel got this game as a birthday present from friends back in Omaha. Let me tell ya, it really was fun. The game is a virtual tug-o-war between the adults and the kids, with each side getting to pull the "rope" closer to its side of the board with each correct answer (or incorrect answer from the opposing team). There are cards designated kids/adults, containing 3 trivia questions on each. There are also "Who Knows?" cards that are opinion questions, giving everyone a chance to see how well they know the others in the family. Some of the "Who Knows?" questions we got tonight were: "What famous person can you imitate the best?", "Who was the best President of the United States?" and "Who is the hardest working person you know?" By the way, the kids beat us. I'll challenge them to a rematch soon.

I pulled 21 movies out of the kids' rooms this evening. They are forever taking movies upstairs to watch before bedtime, but for some reason, most never make it back down here. Latest favorite DVD is Meet the Robinsons. I keep finding myself humming Little Wonders, by Rob Thomas. I foresee an ITunes download in my future.

I caught the last half of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition tonight. What a gorgeous house! I love stone on a house... What really got me was the room they built for the dogs. A while back, I told Brian I thought when we built our house after settling down, it would be neat to build a dog-friendly room... a place the dogs would enjoy being in when we weren't at home, with access to the outside. Brian thought I was crazy. Well, maybe I am, but obviously I have company. That's exactly what the design team came up with for these folks. It was almost like they read my mind. (OK, I will admit I would never have thought to put in toilets for the dogs to drink from. But I guess you wouldn't have to worry about them running out of water, would you?)

Hoping the fact that the clocks went back an hour last night will mean the kids fall asleep faster tonight and wake up more rested in the morning. Maybe that will work for me, too.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November already?

Wow... hard to believe there are just 2 months left in the year. 2 more months and I will have a 16yo. Pass the Geritol.

The kids had a great time last night. I stayed home to hand out candy while Brian made the rounds with the boys and some of their friends. Halle went around with one of her friends and her mother. Amazingly enough, I had candy left over. There really weren't as many kids here as I expected there to be. I think a lot of kids go to their church "fall festivals". Our church had one, but the kids wanted to hang with their friends here, so we didn't go. Maybe next year. It really sounded like it was going to be a great time.

Favorite costume(s) of the night: a family who came as Shaggy, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby. (All they needed was Fred to make it complete.)

When I walked down the street to pick up Halle from her friend's house, I arrived just in time to meet her coming out the door in tears, headed to find me. She had gotten a new wire at the orthodontist yesterday (this time going all the way to the back teeth instead of just on the front 4) and popped it out chewing a tootsie roll. Her dad and I were able to get it put back into place, but I'll be calling the ortho this morning so he can check it out. She doesn't have braces on any teeth on bottom besides the front ones and the last molars, so these wires aren't attached anywhere else along the sides; makes them easier to pop out. She's finally going to have to place some limits on the types of foods she eats.

Flag football game tonight at 6.... I missed Noah's last game because of choir practice, so I'm looking forward to this.

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