Update November 26, 2022

News

Saturday, we decided to buy a Highlander to replace the totaled Outback. It is a 7-seater, so we can fit our whole family in one car now. Then we watched a couple episodes of Psych and She-Hulk.

Sunday was a relaxing day in which not much happened.

Monday I ramped up to about 75% of my usual productivity goal. I wasn’t able to exercise due to still being tired from my injury, but I started my physical therapy stretches. Additionally, IL3 got his COVID and flu shots.

Tuesday was excellent. My tailbone seems to be improving, and it didn’t exhaust me like it had been – I managed the whole day without a nap. I credit the physical therapy exercises with the improvement. I had an interview to replace the hours I lost recently, and I should find out next week if I got it.

Wednesday was uneventful. I tried taking IL3 to Occupational Therapy, but my tailbone hurt too much for the 45 minutes each way. IL3 had a parent-teacher conference at the daycare, which went really well. His social skills and coloring skills have really improved, and the teacher said he’s right where he should be. D12 and M10 left with biomom to see their grandpa for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was great. With IL3’s help, I cooked corn casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. I was pretty exhausted by the end of all that cooking, but we all enjoyed the feast.

Friday was fun. I created my character for Saturday’s D&D one-shot with a group of friends – a 12th level Owlin Warlock. Then I had another interview for a potential job. Finally, I went shopping with Aaron and IL3 before going to work. I almost made my 10k step goal without going for a separate exercise!

Wrote

  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania
  • 1 letter Any Marine Djibouti
  • 1 letter Maine Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter California Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Michigan Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Virginia Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter France

Week’s Photos

Wednesday morning, M10 discovered that what he thought was a baby gate was actually a marble slide. Completely randomly, he rolled a marble down it and exclaimed “Rachel! Look! Isn’t it cool that a marble will go all the way down?!” IL3 was rolling marbles down it all day (I’m not sure how he figured that out) when M10 was at his mom’s.
Stirring the corn casserole
Buttering the turkey

Media Partaken In

Episodes 3 – 9
Episodes 8 – 10
93% – 100%
12.5 –Β  9 hours left
Episodes 14 – 22
Lectures 11-12
Episode 1-2

Update November 19, 2022

News

Well, Friday was a mess. We started by getting up early to drop pink car off at the mechanic. On the way back in red car, some teenager turned left RIGHT in front of us. There was just enough time for Aaron to say “okay…” and hit the break before we slammed into them. Red car is almost certainly totalled and we are waiting for cerification of it’s death certificate before buying a nice big car that we can fit our whole household into. I wish pink car had bitten the dust, and the red car were in the mechanic, since we haven’t even paid off red car. 😱

I ended up with a banged up knee and for some unknown reason a painful tailbone. My head slapped hard into the side airbag, which almost certainly saved me from being brained. Aaron scraped his thumb. The doctor says that my knee would probably be ok in a couple of weeks, but not to be surprised if I were butt-hurt for a couple of months. It hurts to sit, and REALLY hurts during the act of standing up.

We were SO lucky…we had been going to take IL3 with us but D12 agreed to watch him while we went, because we’d get back before she went to school. So none of the kids were in the car. We called up dad, who relieved D12 of babysitting duties, so she went to school all worried about the accident, despite being told we were ok. The sad part, is Aaron was supposed to chaparone a field trip to the zoo for D12, and she had really been looking forward to it. But we decided not to have Aaron go because we didn’t know if he’d start feeling pain when the adrenaline wore off.

We couldn’t take IL3 to daycare without a car, so he stayed home for the day. Pink car was fine, though, and we got a new air filter. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

M10 left with his mom in the evening, and Aaron and I watched X-files with D12 after I cooked salmon for dinner.

Well, it’s been one week from the accident, and my first diary entry since then. My knee (which hit the dash when we crashed) is bruised, but fine. My tailbone (which is inexplicably hurt), is causing a lot of pain. Especially while driving.

Friday and Saturday night, I called out of work because I didn’t know if my knee could handle some of the tasks. However, I was able to return to work on Wednesday, and my tailbone didn’t impact it. Insurance is reimbursing 85% of the lost wages.

Tuesday, we had a minor snow storm, which our trucks were unprepared for, so the roads were horrendous. I had been supposed to drive M10 30 minutes to get a flu shot, because for some reason it is inexplicably hard to get a flu shot for someone under 12 this year. I decided not to do it, because it seemed dangerous, and now I don’t know where to get the shot. The clinic is booked out till mid-January, and none of the pharmacies close by will schedule it for someone under 12. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

On Wednesday, I had a virtual meeting with my doctor following up about my kidneys and pre-diabetes. Both are doing great. After that, I took M10 on a 30 minute drive to an appointment, and much to my horror it was horrendously painful to sit in the car that long. I subsequently cancelled all appointments for the rest of the week except the ones that were short distances. Then I broke down and bought an expensive donut pillow for my bum.

Wednesday, we had a talk with the doctor about IL3’s autism assessment. The conclusion was unsurprising: he does not have autism, but he does have a speech delay and seems to be well on his way to attention deficit with hyperactivity, though they can’t accurately diagnose that till he’s 5.

Also on Wednesday, I called up the rehab center to make a physical therapy appointment for my tailbone. I specifically asked for a pelvic floor specialist, but the referral from the day of the accident said “knee and tailbone,” so they put me in with a knee specialist. I was horrified on Thursday when I drove a painful 20 minutes for a waste-of-time appointment. The therapist told me I needed a pelvic floor specialist, which I knew, and I had to start all over with scheduling.

Also on Thursday, Aaron and I went to Toyota to test drive a Sienna. Despite calling in advance, they informed us upon arrival that we couldn’t test drive a Sienna but we could go on a 12-18 month waitlist to buy one, or buy used for an extra $15k above new price. Instead, we test drove their 7 seater SUV (I can’t remember which one, as I was distracted by my pain). That one only had a 2-month waitlist to buy at the new price, or we could buy used for a pretty penny. We left without making a decision.

Friday was a busy day, I worked till 8am, and of course Aaron had to pick me up because we have only one car. I took IL3 to speech therapy, then went shopping after dropping him off, followed by Thanksgiving lunch at his daycare (he asked me to snap a picture of him, said “cheese,” and looked away from the camera.) I then took D12 to an appointment, followed by a followup orthopedic appointment about my tailbone. I was in the car all day, and was exhausted by the pain by the end of the day.

The other major thing to happen had to do with D&D. Aaron has been feeling bullied by the DM, who is a guy I met on the internet. The guy also bullies M10, who cries every time we play. I asked the DM if he could be kinder to Aaron and M10, and he essentially answered that they deserve it. So I’m searching for a new DM. M10 needn’t be bullied by a grown-ass man.

Finally, I had a job I was looking into where they are going to pay me a week in advance as soon as I provide them with my bank account number. No interview necessary. Woo-hoo!

Wrote

  • 1 letter Nevada Department of Corrections

Week’s Photos

That’s my baby blanket. IL3 loves it. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

Media Partaken In

Episode 3

Update November 12, 2022

News

Saturday, Aaron and I played D&D with my adult group. Then, I went to the mall with IL3 to meet J18. We talked about the armed forces, and he decided he wanted to be an electrician in the Air Force or Navy. IL3 and I drove around on an angry bird motorcycle at the mall. He actually drove it himself, and got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Sunday was really productive! I got lots of cleaning, reading, and writing done. I also cooked a roast and some stuffing.

Monday, I took M10 in to the doctor to check his weight. He’s maintaining!

I totally rocked Tuesday. I even worked out for an hour on the treadmill! I would like to add weight lifting to that eventually – 1 day a week for each lower body, core, and upper body. But for now, I’ll start with the treadmill. D12 had an appointment in the morning, and M10 an appointment in the afternoon, and of course I voted. I am hoping things come out ok. 😱

Wednesday was another great day, with a few hitches. 45 minutes into my treadmill exercise, the daycare called me to say IL3 had missed his bus to special education. I had to drop everything and take him. I don’t know what they said to him, but he apologized over and over for missing the bus. ☹️ I told him it wasn’t his fault. When I picked him up, I took him to occupational therapy, which he loved.

In the evening M10 had his last baseball lesson, so I signed him up for a baseball clinic since he liked it so much. Go figure. He’s always hated sports. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ I wanted to sign IL3 up for T-ball, but, alas, there’s no T-ball league around here. Instead, I signed him up for wrestling, which he’ll start tomorrow. Hopefully he likes it.

Thursday was a low motivation day. My client had had a tough night, so I hadn’t gotten enough sleep and was coming up with excuses not to exercise. At first, I told myself that dad needed out of the house, so I took him on a bunch of errands. They were definitely things that needed to be done, but they were not in my plan for the day. Then I ran out of excuses, so I went on the treadmill for an hour. Then, I sat through a 2 hour appointment with D12 while Aaron and M10 took IL3 to wrestling. Which IL3 decided he didn’t like. ☹️

Wrote

  • 2 letters Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 2 letters Virginia Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania
  • 1 letter Tennessee
  • 1 letter Mississippi Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Florida
  • 1 letter Texas
  • 1 letter Washington
  • 1 letter Massachusetts
  • 1 letter Virginia

Week’s Photos

This is a picture my sister took of her kids J18, B8, L7
3 unicorns

Media Partaken In

Format: Audiobook, 58% – 93%
Episodes 5-6
Episodes 6 – 13
Lectures 8 – 11
Episodes 5 – 11
Format: ebook, 25% – 45%
Episodes 3 – 4
Episode 2

Update November 5, 2022

News

Tuesday I was busy with appointments and IL3’s swim lessons.

Wednesday, I had 6 appointments! IL3 started his occupational therapy, and we had 3 parent teacher conferences for two kids. M10 was grounded for the first time ever – he keeps taking his school iPad downstairs and staying up all night, and we’re having trouble remembering to confiscate it before bed. So Wednesday, he was grounded. He’s SO angry. On top of that, he slapped a kid at school Tuesday, and lied about it when he got home. I told him I wouldn’t punish him for the slap, but if I came home from conferences convinced he did it, his punishment would be worse. I am now convinced. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ He’s grounded until a week from Friday.

Thursday, I took IL3 in for his autism assessment. I was more worried about him at the time I made the appointment 6 months ago, now it was just a formality as his speech and social skills have exploded recently. Later, I took M10 to meet our state representative. M10 needed to meet with a government official and discuss an issue of community importance in order to meet a requirement for the Arrow of Light award in Cub Scouts. They had a good long talk about many things, most notably the representative told M10 that although he is a Democrat, he finds it important to consider the wellbeing and needs of Republicans whenever he votes.   Another important issue discussed was that (the representative said) in the US, he could grow up to be President, but that wasn’t true of many countries.

Totally bombed Friday. I had a crazy anxiety attack starting 10pm on Thursday and lasted till about 5pm Friday, when I was able to get hold of my psychiatrist who gave me excellent advice that calmed me down within 30 minutes.

On top of that, I had the Wordle down to the last 4 letters, which were incredibly distinctive, and still couldn’t get it because of my anxiety.

Also, I told M10 if he finished the book that he hadn’t started yet I would unground him for the day. He read for five and a half hours and finished the entire book in one day. He’s super motivated to not be grounded.

On top of that, I did some research trying to get my homeless nephew J18 a recruited to the military. He wants to be a sniper and “in on the action,” or “make bank” by being an electrician or mechanic. So far, I have contacted the Marines and the Air Force.

Wrote

  • 1 letter Canada
  • 1 letter North Dakota
  • 1 letter Michigan
  • 1 letter Maryland Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Djibouti (Any Marine)

Week’s Photos

I lost my pedometer for a while, but hopefully I’m still on track to finish my Conqueror Challenge of Ring Road
I’m 0% Native American πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ I was always told I was part native. Besides the Melanesian, the rest is pretty much to be expected.

Media Partaken In

Format: Podcast, Episodes Intro to the Patriarchs (2021)
Format: Audiobook, 49% – 57.9%
Format ebook: 5% – 6%
Format: Audio lectures, 3 – 4
Format: Audio lectures, 4 – 7

Games Played

This was a cute version of Pictionary, but it was veeery easy. It said 10+, but really as soon as a kid can read the prompts, it’s a doable game.

Update November 1, 2022

News

Saturday D12, IL3, Aaron and I went to the park for an hour. There was an incident where I lost my balance (through no fault of my own) and fell on top of IL3. I ended up with a nasty bruise and IL3 cried, but was fine.

After that, we watched a couple episodes of X-files and a couple episodes of Supernatural.

Sunday I went to a LGBTQ church with my friend Todd. It was a lovely service with a nice message about how loving oneself makes it easier to love others. Afterwards, Todd and I had lunch . Later that day, Aaron and I went to a friend’s house for a mini-party.

Monday, I took IL3 to his dentist appointment. He agreed to sit in the chair, which looks like a phlebotomist chair to him. Afterwards, I took a 3 hour nap, wrote two letters, and relaxed a bit. So…lazy day.

Tuesday was a hard day. M10 discovered some head lice. That meant we had to keep IL3 home from school, but the older kids could go because they’re less likely to touch heads with people. I looked at Loki, and he didn’t have any visible, so I’m sending him to school Wednesday and treating him tonight. (I couldn’t treat him alone because he needs to be vice gripped by two people to get his hair washed, and Aaron and Malcolm were at a party in the evening.)

On top of all that, I was let go from one of my jobs. My client wouldn’t let me work whenever I have a minor cold or the kids have head lice, which has been a lot lately. Guess she just got sick of telling me I couldn’t work. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ Now I have 36 weekly work hours to replace. But I can’t find another overnight asleep job, so the hours will subtract from family time. ☹️

Wednesday, I was feeling the unemployment blues. I applied to several jobs, went to the dentist, and dealt with an electrician.

Also on Wednesday, I came home with a skeletal frog decoration, and IL3 reached into the bag, picked it up, looked at it, yelled “ahhh!” And dropped it. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So…when my client laid me on Tuesday, she made the point in telling me that I was better off with another client because they could offer me more reliable hours. I didn’t bother telling her that she was saying that to make herself feel better, not me.

Thursday, she sent me a suuuuper long text stating her carefully thought out reasons for laying me off, and that she had no hard feelings. Maybe I would stay on the payroll to pick up if someone is sick? The text obviously made her feel better, but was supremely unhelpful to me. So I sent her this:

“First of all, there really aren’t that many overnight asleep jobs out there, (in fact, none as far as I can tell) so I’m going to have to take a day job and take the kids out of psychological therapy, feeding therapy, and speech therapy. So I really am not better off for having no job.

Second, I am applying for unemployment, though I’m skeptical I’ll get much since I still work for S—. I don’t know if I need to be off payroll to apply. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ So I guess we should probably take me off just in case?”

It felt mean, because I know she wanted to hear “It’s ok! No hard feelings!” And for the most part, there aren’t. But I honestly don’t want to listen to her console herself for what is my problem and not hers.

Friday, there was a trunk or treat at IL3’s preschool. All 3 kids and I attended.

Over the weekend, we carved pumpkins.

Monday, I chaperoned a Junior Achievement field trip. The kids had been preparing for weeks…learning about debit cards, checks, and jobs. JA has a mock town, where the kids held jobs and got paid and got to be consumers. I was working for Delta Airlines, where our poor CFO was overworked. M10 worked in City Hall, as the town treasurer.

After that, we all went trick or treating. We were out for about an hour, and IL3 was SO excited.

Lost 19lbs total!

Wrote

  • 1 letter Virginia Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Maine
  • 1 letter Maryland
  • 1 letter Oklahoma
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Week’s Photos

Books Read

Episodes: Day 2 -5 (2021)
Lecture 2
Format: Audiobook, 32% – 49%

Movies / shows watched

Season 13, Episode 4
Season 2, Episodes 1-2
Episodes 6-7
Episodes 1-8

Update October 22, 2022

News

Saturday I spent 4 hours playing D&D while simultaneously watching IL3. M10 and Aaron were camping, and D12 was at her mom’s. Dad, IL3, and I went out to Olive Garden for dinner. Good day!

Monday and Tuesday weren’t high motivation days. I was distracted by several things, including a cold, and the worrisome health of the kid’s grandfather. Also, IL3 refused to go to school. He struggled so much that we were unable to get him dressed. The first day, we thought it was a one off. Tuesday, I asked him what was bothering him, and he said that a monster had jumped out at him, and he was scared. With much negotiation, I managed to get him dressed and to the school. He couldn’t point out what was upsetting him, but he was clearly upset, even though I’d told him I wouldn’t leave him there.

Wednesday, I took him to school again with much negotiation, and he agreed to stay there for two hours. I was very proud of him, and he dealt well with his time there.

Thursday, IL3 refused to go to school again. I couldn’t get him there at all because they didn’t want me to take him in the afternoon, and I was too busy in the morning. I took hom to the park for 3 hours, and then played D&D with the kids for a couple of hours.

Friday, after speech therapy, I managed to convince him to stay at school all day if I took him back to the park on Saturday. Then Aaron, D12, IL3, and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate.

Wrote

  • 1 letter North Carolina
  • 1 letter Massachusetts
  • 1 letter Minnesota
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter Ohio
  • 1 letter Louisiana
  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Week’s Photos

Media Partaken in

Format: Podcast, Completed: Bonus episode 1 (2021), Start Here (2021), Day 1 (2021)
Format: Audiobook, Completed: Hour 4 – 13.
Format: ebook, Completed: 15% – 25%

New Books

Source: NetGalley, Format: ebook

Movies / shows watched

Supernatural Season 12, episodes 22-23
Supernatural Season 13, episodes 1-3

Update October 15, 2022

News

Saturday was a busier day than usual. My client’s other PCA has COVID, so I picked up a few extra shifts this week. That meant I spent a good chunk of the day working rather than playing D&D as I usually do. Apparently Aaron almost killed my character.

Sunday, I had bookclub lunch with my friend. We discussed Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas. Then Aaron, the kids, and I had a fire and s’mores, followed by another shift I’d picked up.

Monday, IL3 was sick with a 102F fever and a cough (negative for COVID, but I owe him ice cream because he let me swab his nose). Luckily, Aaron was home half the day, so I got to leave IL3 with Aaron, while I had a nice lunch with my friend Todd.

Tuesday, IL3 still had a fever, and I spent some relaxing time with him during the day. Based on my productivity stats, which quantify the number of “life,” “body,” “spirit,” and “mind” tasks I complete per day, it was my most productive day in a long time. So maybe I didn’t relax as much as I thought, lol.

Wednesday, I was again home with IL3, but I was drowsy and decided I didn’t need two productive days in a row. I did some reading. And I finally got that stupid heart monitor off, so I got to have a real bath for the first time in two weeks.

Thursday M10 had an appointment with his feeding therapist. He chose 3 foods to try next time: cheddar cheese on hard shell taco, vanilla ice cream, and processed American cheese product. To earn his reward, he needs to take 3 bites of each. D12 got her bivalent booster.

Friday, I found out IL3, who is still learning to speak, knows the name of a triceratops and a velociraptor, but thinks a brachiosaurus is a giraffe.

Wrote

  • 1 letter Texas
  • 1 letter Mexico
  • 1 letter France
  • 1 letter Washington
  • 1 letter Ohio Department of Corrections

Week’s Photos

Media In Progress

Format: audiobook, 2% – 32%
Format: ebook, 0% – 15%
Format: Podcast, Episode BONUS 1 (2021)
Format: Audio lectures, Lectures 1 – 3
Format: Audio lectures, Lecture 1

Posts

The Glow Show, Susi Schaefer

Quarterly goals

New books

Source: NetGalley, Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley, Format: audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Format: audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Format: audiobook

Quarterly Goals – October, November, December 2022

Health and Fitness

  • Achieve the 20lb weight loss goal
    • Current count = 10lbs
  • Reduce caffeine to zero by year end
  • Drink gallon of water in a day 60 times
    • Current count = 1
  • Work out 40 times
    • Current count = 0

Environment

  • Deep clean Loki’s room, Basement, bedroom
  • Maintain cars, bathrooms, kitchen, livingroom, and laundry

Education and Reading

  • Read Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Read Ancillary Justice
  • Complete Ranger’s Apprentice books
  • Catch up on NetGalley
  • Read Invisible Kingdom
  • Read HG Well omnibus
  • Read Mother’s Reckoning
  • Finish 20 books
    • Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas

Hobbies

  • Organize old pictures
  • Catch up on letters

For My Soul

  • Attend 10 religious services
    • Current count = 0
  • Complete 40 episodes of Bible in a Year podcast
    • Current count = 1

Life

  • Finish work courses

The Glow Show, by Susi Schaefer

#NetGalley Publication: May 2, 2023

In this adorable little book, Glow the squid enjoys impressing everyone with his bioluminescence. But he soon finds that having friends is better than impressing people.

The Glow Show, by Susie Schaefer, has fantastic, cute, colorful pictures. There are very few words per page, usually with a sentence description and some speech bubbles. I would say it’s appropriate to be read to kids with short attention spans for wordy books, as well as those that enjoy cute pictures. It’s also a good book for kids learning to read.

4*

Update October 8, 2022

News

It’s been a pause again, but here I am, back!

Sunday, we went to Olive Garden as a family.

Monday, M10 had his doctor appointment where we found that he’s been maintaining his weight at the minimum weight goal, which is nice. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing. We also went as a family to the Jack’o’lantern Spectacular at the Minnesota Zoo. It was quite amazing, and everyone loved it.

Tuesday, M10 treated me to a movie – we saw Avatar in 3D. I had seen it before, though not in 3D. M10 was amazed and awed. He loved the movie. During the day, IL3 had his occupational therapy intake. He was not qualified for fine motor skills, which he was in special education, but he qualified for feeding therapy. He doesn’t really eat a lot of solid food at home and wants the main portion of his calories to be from apple juice right now. He eats very little at daycare too.

Wednesday, D12 fainted in school, and we spent 3 hours in Urgent Care to be told there’s nothing wrong. Then we went out to dinner.

Thursday, I had a little extra time on my hands. D12 was supposed to have a procedure, but she ate something in the morning – we forgot to tell her not to. Now she has to wait till December! I’d like to say I accomplished a lot during my newfound free-time, but I relaxed. Which, I suppose, is an accomplishment in itself. The daycare teacher asked us to send IL3 in undies on Monday. That’s kind of her, because he purposely pees in corners at our house.

Friday was another calm day. I took a nap, then worked in the evening.

Wrote

  • 1 letter Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter California Department of Corrections
  • 1 letter to Belgium
  • 1 letter to New Mexico
  • 1 letter to Austria
  • 1 letter to Virginia
  • 1 letter Massachusetts

Week’s Photos

Books Read

Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas – last 1.5 hours (Audiobook)
The Quiet You Carry, by Nikki Barthelmess – first 26% (ebook)
Halt’s Peril, by John Flannagan – first 4 hours (audiobook)
Will Do Magic for Small Change, by Andrea Hairston – first 5.4% (audiobook)

New Books on my Shelf

Source: Netgalley, Format: Audio
Source: Library, Format: Audio
Source: NetGalley, Format: Audio
Source: NetGalley, Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley, Format: Audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Format: Audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Format: Ebook

Reviews Written

Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas

Movies / shows watched

Game of Thrones Season 2, episodes 3&4
Avatar in theaters (3D)
Labor Day
Scrubs Season 1, episode 5