Update February 14, 2020

Hi everyone. Hope you’re doing well. The week was eventful! On Friday evening, we were going to leave for Cub Scout Polar Camp but we had to wait until after I signed D up for theater camp. I was told to do it promptly at 7:30pm. I sat there for 5 minutes refreshing until the registration opened, took 8 minutes to fill out the form, and it sold out in that amount of time. 80 spots! So instead of the 5 week summer camp, I signed her up for a 1 week camp at the Children’s Theater.

After that, we still couldn’t leave for Polar Camp because I had to take a friend to the ER. Aaron hadn’t finished his portion of the packing, either, so we decided to wait till Saturday morning to leave.

Saturday, it was -2F out, so I couldn’t keep IL outside. How am I supposed to know when his little hands and feet were numb? So I spent all day either in the group cabin with the grubmaster,

or in the car for 2.5 hours with a sleeping IL,

with a short break for lunch with the kids (who were thoroughly enjoying themselves with outside activities).

That evening, we got our cabin all set up, and I put IL in the pack and play, and he immediately started wailing as if I’d jailed him. But I couldn’t let him wander because there was a wood stove made of iron. So I gave up and took IL home, leaving Aaron and the kids there.

The next morning, I was supposed to drive back and get them, but it was a snowstorm! And the camp, of course, was at the end of a long dirt road that surely wouldn’t be plowed. But I hauled myself and IL out there anyway, only to discover a car stuck in the entrance to the camp, with another car parked there to help push the first one out. I could have helped, I suppose, but I had another car on the road behind me, and wasn’t able to gracefully pull over. Besides, IL was in my car. So I drove into a nearby town and hunkered down for a few minutes before trying the entrance again.

However, we got home on time to get D to her audition (for a singing/dancing show the high school puts on…they have a kids’ ensemble), and get M to Code Ninjas and then swim lessons. We ended the day with a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings. We found out later in the week that D made the ensemble.

Tuesday, the family went out to dinner with my parents. It’s always nice for them to hang out with the kids. We also baked cupcakes for D’s girl scout troop, which we frosted on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday I was feeling unmotivated, so I went out to lunch with a friend. But I still managed to get through some laundry.

It’s not folded yet, but it’s all sorted into baskets by person. I plan to fold and put away today if I get the motivation.

(On a side note, this new WordPress editing format was confusing at first, but I’m getting the hang of it, I think!)

Also on Wednesday, my dad called me up at 2:30pm to say that mom was “unresponsive” and could I come over. I figured it was probably a seizure, so I took the time to call Aaron and ask him to come home so someone was there when the kids got off the bus. I then changed IL’s diaper. By that time, my dad called back and said she’d woken up. So I called Aaron to tell him not to come home after all. Apparently he was surprised, because he assumed “unresponsive” meant “dead!” πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

Finally, on Thursday as I sat for 2 hours waiting for mom’s temporary crown to be placed, I had a long conversation with my cousin, who was feeling a bit down. When I got back to my parents’ I found out my nephew J had run away from home earlier that day! Luckily, he was found safely at his friend’s house, and the police talked to him, then let him stay there.

After all that, we went to parent teacher conferences. M got 99th percentile in math and 96th percentile in reading in this year’s standardized testing. I don’t know why they give those tests at the beginning of the year when brains have cobwebs instead of the end of the year when they have been studying all school year? Anyway, it’s nice to see him testing well.

D is really blossoming. She has managed to move past her problems with writing – which we had thought were a learning disability. For the past two years, she has qualified for programs for students who were falling behind. This year, she qualified for the gifted and talented program.πŸ™‚

Tonight, Aaron and I plan on staying in (it’s -15F out…and who wants to go out in Valentine’s Day crowds, anyway?). We’ll be eating steak and watching Supernatural.

I managed to move ahead on my reading this week, even! I read a bit of Wolf Hall, and listened to a bit of Station Eleven. Yay for me! Someone on Dewey’s Readathon FB page has organized a reading sprint. We’re supposed to read at least 30 minutes in one sitting each day for one week. I think I can handle that much. I will certainly not be able to have my own readathon this weekend, despite really wanting to.

PS Sorry you can’t comment on this post. I think it was a glitch with the new editor, but I reset my settings, so you should be able to comment on future posts. ☺

Update February 6, 2020

Hi all! This was mostly a good week. The step-kids were with their mom over the weekend, so Aaron, IL, my friend Liz, and I had a lovely Saturday watching Doctor Who. A while back, we had to start all over again for Aaron’s sake, so we’re ALMOST to the 11th Doctor. Just two more episodes. Aaron and I also went to Buca that day, and got a ginormous brownie Sunday for his upcoming birthday (it’s not till the 19th, but we got a coupon from Buca and decided to go). Unfortunately, IL was screaming by the time the ice-cream came, so Aaron had to try to finish it on his own while I took IL out to the car.

Sunday, mom had a 12-minute seizure in church. We’re supposed to call an ambulance at 5 minutes, so of course she was hauled off by paramedics. We spent the next 4.5 hours in the ER, to discover nothing much interesting. I think it’s just the natural progression of her Alzheimer’s.

Yesterday, I had a long talk with the Creative Director of the theater camp we were planning on sending D to. The director suggested that if D has shut-downs due to corrections, that maybe this year isn’t the best time to start theater camp. She suggesting bringing D in for observation to see how other kids get corrections, and that it’s ok. Then sign her up next summer. When I told D that, she began to shut down. So I told her I’d be willing to work with her, if she’d be willing to work with me, and we had a real heart-to-heart about her triggers. I haven’t seen her this motivated to work on her anxiety since I met her 2 years ago! She must REALLY want to go to camp. So, I told her I would go ahead and put in the money to reserve her seat, and D would have to prove to me that she was willing to work on her anxiety over the rest of the school year.

Today is D’s (I think) last orthodontist appointment. Yay! Soon M’s orthodontist appointments will start though. Boo! This is M’s first day of Code Ninjas. He’s REALLY excited to learn to code. Has anyone else put their kids into Code Ninjas? Experiences?

This morning I found a mud race just for women called the Mudgirl. The proceeds benefit breast cancer research. It is apparently appropriate for all ages between 7 and 78. I’m not sure how they picked those ages. I’m thinking of taking D in it – if she’s willing to be covered in mud. I’ve always wanted to do a mud run!

This coming weekend should be fun. Aaron, IL, D, M, and I are going to Cub Scout Polar Camp. We’ll be spending the nights in cabins, of course. I’ll let you know how it went next week.

Again, no progress reading. 😦

Update January 30, 2019

Wow, what a week! I took D to her first mindfulness yoga class, and she hated it. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ Guess we won’t be doing that again. I thought maybe the mindfulness would help center her when she’s having an anxious moment. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

M drew a naughty, anatomically detailed picture on the fabric of a dining room chair, and I was torn between laughing and scolding him. We sent him to bed a half hour early (without night-night story), and luckily managed to get the markings off the chair. (It was in pencil.) He’s an excellent artist. Quite the attention to detail!

IL is walking around like a pro, climbing up on things, and has a slowly developing vocabulary.

Dad got his new hearing aid, and he is amazed at all the high pitched noises suddenly attacking his senses. Hopefully he’ll get used to it.

Mom is well, so are Aaron and I.

I FINALLY made a decision on the kids’ summer activities. D likes to stay busy, so (assuming she agrees to this) we will be sending her to 5 week theater day camp, 2 weeks of band session (since many soon-to-be 5th graders are picking up instruments for first time, they have a two week session in the summer to learn – she’s chosen the flute), and 1 week of Girl Scout resident camp. M will be potentially going to a week-long day camp at Code Ninjas. I have signed him up for a one day camp there in February to make sure he likes it first. He’s as excited about learning to code games as D is for all of her activities, which is rare for him. Maybe we’ve finally found an activity besides swim lessons that he’ll stick to? He’s only 7, though, so he has plenty of time to find interests.

My reading has been abysmal lately – nothing to mention there. And my weight loss has been excellent this week, despite not tracking my food. I’ve lost 9 pounds in the three weeks since I changed meds. I thought the med change would make a difference, but after more than a year of counting calories, I am shocked that I’m losing despite not making major changes in my habits. Yes, I joined Weight Watchers, but I’m still eating the same number of calories and exercising the same amount. I know the loss will plateau eventually and become hard work, but for now, I’m going to enjoy.

Update Jan 24, 2020

Hi All! Another good week here. On Friday night Aaron and I had a “date night” during which we relaxed and watched iZombie. Saturday, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting, only to discover it was canceled due to weather. That night Aaron and I watched Supernatural. Sunday, Malcolm had his first swim lesson at level 2. Yay!

My dad got Deirdre a mani pedi on Monday, after which she went to choir rehearsal. It was a hard rehearsal for her, and the whole week seems to have been upsetting, but we don’t know why. Maybe it’s the beginning of pubescent years. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ She did have her first book club, discussing The One and Only Ivan, on Tuesday. It went splendidly. The kids had a good time discussing the book, and then a good time playing afterwards.

Wednesday, I was supposed to have my first book club, but it was canceled due to weather. As you can see from my data table, I ate a lot for dinner. Oops. Those $5 margaritas were good.

Overall, though, I did a good job this week, and hope to do better next week.

Still reading the same old books – I am moving slowly on that goal right now.

Update January 17, 2020

(He’s so happy because his beet is now on the floor instead of his tray.)

This was a good week. On Saturday, I proved to D that eating ice cream straight out of the carton tastes better than in a bowl. The whole family, plus my friend Liz, ate Ben and Jerry’s while watching Sara Jane Adventures and Star Trek. We also played D&D. M (our 7 year old Wizard) decided to start using his short sword instead of his spells (which is a poor choice usually), but he rolled a 20 and lopped off the head of a goblin. We’ll never convince him to use a spell again.

Sunday, we did a great job of cleaning the house: the Christmas Tree is down, the kids’ rooms are clean, and I did a number on our own bedroom – clearing out even the pile of stuff on Aaron’s dresser which had been accumulating since 2017.

Monday, we had an appointment with mom’s neurologist, where we discussed her seizure on Christmas. We also did a memory test, which turned out better than the one from last year. Yay!

Also, D came home on Monday all excited to join band next year. We had to give her the choice between joining band or swim team. After much deliberation, I finally explained to her what a swim meet would be like (go to a pool that she is likely unfamiliar with and try to swim faster than other people). She decided that band was what she wanted to do. But she wants to stay in swim lessons so that she can become a life guard someday. πŸ™‚

Tuesday, I burnt some pepperoni on the bottom of the stove while preheating for dinner. The house filled with smoke, but the fire alarms didn’t go off. We decided to open a window and go to Olive Garden.

Wednesday, I decided to join Weight Watchers, as I’ve been counting calories for months now with no noteworthy change in weight. Figured I’d compare the WW point system to calorie counting. In theory, Weight Watchers lets you eat all the fruits and veggies you want as “zero point” foods, but it counts for a lot of points if you eat something fatty or sugary. I get 30 points…which apparently is the most points I can possibly get. Not sure why they’re so generous, but I’m thankful. lol. I will compare points to caloric intake on a daily basis to make sure I’m not dropping below 1,500 calories (since that was the minimum my nutritionist suggested). Here’s this week’s partial data:

Wednesday is totally messed up WW point-wise, since I had eaten most of my points before I joined. I think it’s notable that I ate more calories on Thursday (16th) than on Wednesday, but stayed within point range. This will definitely be a different experience!

Thursday I went on a mall walk with my dad at the Mall of America.

He bought IL a really soft Snuffy. He bought D and M a gigantic stuffed toy each:

Reading

Watching

Season 0 Sara Jane Adventures – Complete

The Good Place – Progress

Star Trek: The Original Series – Progress

 

Becoming Ms. Burton, by Susan Burton

In Becoming Ms. Burton, Ms. Burton describes her difficulties of being young in a poor black neighborhood. There was the ever-constant worry of someone being shot or addicted to drugs. Of children being killed by police (as hers was). Of the trials of being addicted to drugs and being in and out of prison. Then she had a turn-around. She went to rehab and AA, and got a wonderful sponsor. She learned how to live sober – away from the family and neighborhood where she had always lived. She then realized how hard it is to become a functional member of society while an ex-felon. It’s hard to find a home, a job, to be treated like a human being. So she started a home for people just coming out of prison. Despite her lack of education on the topic of business, her home thrived and she helped many people to reintegrate into society. It’s a sad story as well as an uplifting one. I really loved hearing about her story, and think everyone should read books like this to help them understand that felons aren’t inherently evil – people just view them that way.

 

5 snowflakes

Update Jan 10, 2020

Hi all! This was a good week. I got two books read:

Completed

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for my book club and BFG for M’s book club. I’ve now read all of January’s book club books!

I’m currently reading:

Currently Reading

Aaron and I hung out with my friend Liz on Saturday, and we were able to get through episode 2 of Earth Break, which is an internet-ordered escape-room-like scenario. Episode 2 was a bit more difficult than the first, especially since I think we may have been missing a piece??? (We decided we must be after reading the hint…That was a bit disappointing.)Β Sunday, the family played Pandemic and Clue, and watched some Star Trek (Original Series, Season 1).

Tuesday was M’s last occupational therapy. The therapist came out and said that his poor eating choices are psychological, rather than sensory. She said eating habits are a common way to control his environment when he feels things are out of control, and that it has now simply formed into a solid bad habit. 😦 We are going to back off of trying to get him to eat more variety, and focus on getting him to eat enough calories, which is hard enough. So, instead of saying he can only eat at specific given times (as the feeding psychologist suggested last year) we will let him eat whenever he pleases (within reason), but it has to be something healthier than goldfish or granola bars or Froot Loops.

Thursday, M got 3 cavities filled, and I get the impression he thinks it was rather fun. Which is frustrating, because we don’t have enough money to go filling 3 cavities every 6 months. It sounds awful, but Aaron and I were hoping he would have a less-than-enjoyable experience with the fillings and it would make him see reason in respect to dental care. Oh well. We’ll just continue to have to watch him brush his teeth twice a day to make sure he actually does it.

D is doing well. It is cookie season, and she’s thrilled to get out there and sell them. She’s still enjoying choir practice, though it’s quite exhausting for her. She will be happy to move on to other activities at the end of the season, I think.

I could have done a better job of exercising and dieting this week, but I didn’t gain any weight, which is nice.

Have a nice week!