Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The funny things they say...

"Baby farted! Webbody (read: everybody) say Eeeeewwwwww!!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

1st Grade

We have officially started our 1st grade homeschool work. We're starting our 3rd week of it actually. This year, I decided to go with a curriculum instead of trying to come up with lots of fun educational things myself. As much as I'd like to think of myself as someone that can do this, the reality is that I am someone that drowns in dirty dishes and laundry instead. I found that after doing all the daily home maintence-type stuff plus just the regular kid-care stuff, there just wasn't the energy to come up with educational things.
I decided to go with Oak Meadow. It's very imaginative/activity based. No worksheets involved, which is good, since I'm pretty sure Dillon would not learn well that way. There is a weekly plan with a lot of leeway as to how to implement it. 2 weeks into it, it's going pretty well. She likes the stories and activites, and we are both doing better with the structure it adds to our days. Corryn participates sometimes, sometimes she does her best to derail us :) My hope is that having consistency will help us with the up-in-the-airness that is our life right now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Still here...

Just thought I'd try to stop neglecting the blog and post some recent pictures. We have a teeny, tiny little zoo here that has a petting area. There are several pygmy goats that just had babies. We've made several visits and the girls are just loving it. On top of it, the county fair was this week, so there were more goats to be loved upon there. I'm seeing goats in my future. Little ones :) They are really lovey, though they do chew on everything.

As for life here, there are still changes coming. I still can't say what. After what feels like the longest year ever, I've started reaching out to friends more, so that's helping. I've had more headaches here than I've had my entire life. Recently, after the umpteenth one, with me telling the girls that I couldn't take them to the petting zoo right them because my head hurt too badly, I promised myself that no matter what else was going on, I was going to start managing my own stress. I've gotten a massage, visited a chiropractor (during which I swear every single vertebrae in my back popped!), have been exercising and have been listening to a relaxation CD. What a difference! I can't say I'm all relaxed all the time, but I'm significantly better. We actually spent 3 hours at the fair yesterday & I enjoyed all of it. Up to now my ability to manage 2 young kids alone in public places was more like 1 1/2-2 hours. They loved it, too.

So, one step at a time. As I've started relaxing, I feel much better able to handle everything else. I wish I had done this earlier.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A follow up picture

Here's our Robin babies about 10 seconds before they flew for the first time. They scared the mess out of us! Peaches immediately ran over to one on the ground, but I stopped her before she hurt it. One of them hung out in the yard in various spots for the rest of the day, trying to figure out how to fly. By the next morning, it had figured it out and was gone, too.

It was so fun watching them and we've really missed them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Changes are coming

I can't say what right now because I don't know exactly what. Dave & I are fine, stressed, but banded together as we always have been. The job is still far, far too many hours with little hope of becoming better. He recently worked over 170 hours in a 2 week period. His stress level is through the roof. The difficult, stressful parts of the job are really outweighing the positive. While I don't dislike it here, there are some disappointments. Dillon-super social Dillon- has had trouble really finding friends. She has a few, but it isn't coming together for her like it did in NH, and we see her lonliness in the behavior difficulties we've had since moving here. She will still, out of the blue, say she wants to go back to NH.

So, we're trying to figure out what's next. We've made amazing progress on bills and will have all credit card and bank loans (thought not student loans) paid off within the next 4-5 months. There's money going to retirement funds and we have money in savings again.

We've been struggling with this for a long time and it's steadily becoming clearer that the current situation isn't working for us. So, changes are coming- we just have to figure out what they are.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our babies

We've been watching this Robin's nest for about 3 weeks. It's on our electric box outside. We've watching the momma incubating the eggs, then had the fun of discovering the chicks on Mother's Day! Dillon thought it was so funny that the newly hatched chicks all sat there with their eyes closed and the mouths open waiting for someone to drop something in. We even rescued one when it fell out of the nest just a few days after being born. The parents weren't there when it happened, so it must've just gotten too wiggly. It was so fragile-looking! I put gloves on, then carefully picked it up and put it back in the nest. We weren't sure how it was going to do, but couldn't just leave it. It has done fine

We knew there were four eggs in there, but are only three chicks. I knew eventually we'd see the other egg kicked out of the nest as the babies got bigger. Sure enough, there it was on the ground this morning. We picked it up and brought it in to look at. 5 minutes later, Corryn dropped and broke it releasing the most awful rotten egg smell.

Homeschooling at it's best. We now fully know what a rotten Robin's egg smells like.

Pretty soon the chicks will start learning to fly, so I have to figure out how to keep Peaches away from there. The dog eating a baby bird would be a heck of a lot more traumatic than the rotten egg!

Monday, May 04, 2009

If she weren't so cute...

Last night I was getting Corryn to sleep. She was laying in my lap, looked up at me and said with the sweetest little sleepy voice
"Momma nose"
W: "Momma nose" (because if you don't repeat what she says she says it again. Over and over and over.)
C: "Momma eyes"
W: "Momma eyes"
C: "Momma booger"

Monday, April 27, 2009

She's home!

Peaches came home today. A friend picked her up for me since I haven't been able to take care of getting my car licensure stuff taken care of yet. She looks good, still a little wobbly from the medicine she's on, but doing well. She's sticking pretty close to me, much to Dillon's chagrin since she'd like her close to her. Turns out it was something she ate out of the compost bin. We had been messing around with it, looking at the worms and compost. You know, homeschooling kind of stuff. She ate some that made it out of the bin- no more than a couple of bites, but that's all it took. She started having tremors within a half hour of doing so that progressed to full blown grand mal seizures. But since we got her to the vet's pretty quickly and got her taken care of, all seems to be pretty well now. She's going to be on anti-seizure meds for a month or so, but should be able to wean off.

So I'm feeling better. Now I just need my car title to arrive from NH so I can take care of getting IN plates.

Oh, and here's a couple of picture from my class:

Friday, April 24, 2009

I can't even think tonight

Let's see.... I started my photography class I've been waiting for for a year. It is awesome. I love it! I'm learning a ton. I even got the "opportunity" to get in some extra practice after my computer erased all the photos on my camera card.

It was 82 degrees today. We found a robin's nest with 3 beautiful little blue eggs in it. In our backyard, no less!

But we spent the afternoon at the vet's office, then the vetrinary ICU with our very sick dog. She suddenly started having severe seizures this afternoon with no apparent cause. I love this dog dearly and have spent the afternoon crying. She's still in the ICU and doing better, but we can't find a cause. Most all the obvious things are ruled out.

I got pulled over on Wednesday, didn't have my driver's license with me and had expired plates. I now can't drive anywhere until I change the plates, which I can't do until we find the title, which we can't find. A duplicate is on the way from NH. Thank goodness Dave was available to take the poor dog to the vet today.

Corryn didn't nap today. So, I'm exhausted and a little numb tonight. Yay for a Magic Schoolbus movie to keep Dillon occupied at the moment. I need sleep.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hanging out

Ah, the exciting life we lead- sitting here on a Saturday night, listening to the pouring rain out. The rain that is going to turn into snow tomorrow. Dave and Dillon are playing a board game- or at least some version of it. Corryn's asleep and I'm taking care of very important computer business (haha). Really, it's good, especially in light of all the recent should-we-stay-or-should-we-go turmoil.

The job still seems to be going in a positive direction. We're thinking we're going to buy the house we're renting. I feel really conflicted about it now- 'cause you know it would be too easy to not feel conflicted about something. It's a nice house, but it just isn't our dream. I want to look out and see trees. Instead, I look out and see houses and concrete and cars. The area is ugly- lots of railroad tracks, big industrial plants. But, from a financial standpoint, it's truly a gift to be able to stay here, finish paying off bills (oh, those painfully large bills), and save for the dream house. And given how difficult the transition has been for Dillon, it just doesn't feel like the right thing to do to discombobulate her world all over again by packing everything up.

Maybe 3 more years of being here and we can have a sizable chunk of money for the dream house. The girls will be old enough to handle moving to a new house a little better. Some land, woods, a place for a real garden. A place without pink carpet since between the old house and this one we'll have had 8 years of it by then!

I'm going to make the best of it and grow a little container garden in the meantime. And oh yeah, on Monday, finally get to start the online photography class I've been waiting a year for. I am super excited about it!

So overall feeling a little more settled, though settling is a slow process for me. New Hampshire was a hard place to live up to, I have to admit.

The view from the upstairs back of the house-

Monday, March 16, 2009

Yay for vacations

We relaxed, we got a chance to talk about the whole job situation, and now we're feeling a little better about things. The sum of it all is that the job has a great deal positive going for it, as does the city. There are some major negatives to the job, but they are unlikely to be permanent. Dave agrees that he desperately needs to put some stress management in place and stop relying on home to be a stress-free place. He has made some big changes to his schedule arrangement that should decrease his hours. He had some really positive meetings upon his return.

So, all things considered, we are feeling more solidly positive about being here. Spring seems to be here, things are turning green, we're getting outside more. I'm follwing up on some of the people we've met and exchanged contact information with to try to get together.

So, we're getting there.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Birthday party

We had Dillon's birthday party at the barn where she (and I!) take lessons. It was the week after her birthday and in spite of less than nice weather we had a really good time. So good we're thinking of doing it again, just without birthday cake :)

It was a small group, which is my kind of birthday party. There were 2 ponies and one regular sized horse for everyone-including any interested adults- to ride. There were also older kids there that lead the party guests around on the horses. We bought pizza for everyone, then cake after the riding was over. Even the kids that were a bit apprehensive had a ball.

Pictures are a bit dark- that little point and shoot flash just doesn't reach far, but enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

More agonizing

Just a quick update. Things continue to be up, then down, then up and down again. Still working too many hours with some really great aspects to the job, but some major not great aspects to the job. 6 months into this and it's still so up in the air. Don't get too settled, we may not stay. Help Dillon get adjusted, then pick up and start all over again. Therapy seems to be helping her some, though it's slow going at best. Seems like no matter what we decide, someone's going to be unhappy.

Much worrying, try as I might not to. Thank goodness for an upcoming vacation. A break from the worry would help.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And now she is 6

Wow. You're 6. Sometimes I look at you and marvel at how you aren't such a little kid anymore. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, you still are, but when I see you around your sister or around your younger friends, you really aren't so little. And when I see you leading and riding a horse you look both really little and really big at the very same time. I sometimes shake my head in disbelief.

Homeschooling fits you well. You ask many questions a day and are so eager to learn- if it interests you. You are incredibly creative and can turn anything into a toy. You utter the phrase "let's pretend that..." 50 times a day.

You love all things horses and were recently excited to be able to clean out stalls (much to my complete shock!). You love your riding lessons and ask regularly when you can have a horse of your own.

A recent foray into girliness has taken us by surprise. You've suddenly decided that dresses are really cool, especially the twirly ones. Privacy is required when changing clothes and you've asked to let your hair grow long. It's shaken your daddy up a little, I must tell you. He's having fears of you dating someday.

I love watching you grow and learn, figuring out who you are along the way. I hold onto the fleeting bits of little kidness you have left and celebrate the steps into big kidness with you.

Happy Birthday, sweetie!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

30 days of pictures- January 2009

I alluded to this in my last post. I've had such a hard time consistently picking up my camera since the move. It just requires so much energy, this adjusting to a new place. I needed a project to get me going again and knew I'd found it when I stumbled across someone else's 30 days project. I just wanted to show little bits of life around here. I plan to do again this summer. It'll be interesting to see how they differ.

So, here it is- enjoy! The individual pictures are on Flickr; just click on the links below & it'll take you there.

1. Corryn reading, 2. Helping cook, 3. Toy barn assembly, 4. Such a toddler, 5. Drawing a family, 6. Blocks, 7. Toy car pile-up, 8. A little snowy walk, 9. Reading, 10. Feeding a friend, 11. Stripeysaurus, 12. Help me, 13. Sunglasses, 14. 2nd birthday, 15. Big sister teaches, 16. A sunny spot, 17. Dressing herself, 18. Relaxation, 19. Dave's normal location, 20. New sled, 21. Snuggling with Daddy, 22. Snow, 23. Playroom, 24. Twirling sisters, 25. A casualty of the snow, 26. Dillon's tree, still up, 27. Muddy boots, 28. SIgns of winter, 29. Creating, 30. Camera girl in front of the camera

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Making good on a promise

Not really being one for New Year's resolutions, I still like to look forward to the new year and make plans for things I'd like to accomplish. Not "organize the pantry" or, really anything related to cleaning- more like personal goals.

This year, I made it a goal to do something for myself each day. It had been lost in the midst of the difficult transition we've been undergoing. I'd find myself, at 4:00 in the afternoon, just spent, wondering how on earth I'd find the energy to make dinner and get kids to bed. So, I just did it. Sometimes only 10 minutes, sometimes more. I've been knitting. I got my sewing machine out, only to have it promptly stop working. I've been reading a bit. I started a photo project that I'll post here soon.

And the big one- I found an excellent babysitter and have started horseback riding lessons. What an incredible stress reliever!

The best part of all- life feels less stressful. I'm more patient with the girls. I'm not struggling through the evening trying to make it to bedtime.
Why is it that when life gets the most difficult, we tend to put aside the activities that make those difficulties more manageable?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

That's my girl!

Dillon asked Dave a question and got a, shall we say, somewhat sarcastic answer. Not at all being what she was looking for, she responded, quite seriously, with

"Let's ask mom- she's the really smart one."

You betcha kiddo! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And now she is 2

Two years old. Wow. How you've changed, my little one. You've gone from, shall we say, a bit of a grumpy baby to this happy, funny, giggly, mischievous (OK, that hasn't changed at all!) toddler. You have an ability to get into things that is mind-boggling. Given the number of times on any given day that you throw yourself into some activity that makes me want to sweep you up and wrap you tightly in some type of padding, you actually hurt yourself remarkably seldom. Which isn't the same thing as never, mind you- there was the trip to the ER the other night to check out the thumb that you slammed in the sliding door.

I find myself laughing at the silly things you do many times a day. I marvel at your willingness to let your sister dress you up in crazy outfits, so that you can present them to me proudly "Dilla dress!" I didn't think you'd ever talk, but sure enough, you are. Loudly and emphatically sometimes, as if you saved it all up for when you really had something to say. You are no longer scared of everyone other than immediate family- thank goodness. I have to admit that was a little tough.

Your birthday was simple and fun. Our homeschool group presented handmade cards, gifts and Happy Birthdays! From family, there were presents to open and test out-

Party clothes to wear-

And an extra big chocolate chip cookie (albeit a bit crumbly) to enjoy-

Happy 2nd Birthday, my little one!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This will be brief, I have a sick baby asleep on my chest. Stupid GI bug.

The meeting friday went well. They seem to be amenable to his requests. So, things are looking up on that front. It was also a relief to learn that there are more efficient and effective ways of dealing with a couple of issues that were huge consumers of time.

On a different note, Corryn and I were in the paper today for an article on cloth diapering. Hopefully the link will work: http://www.jconline.com/article/20090111/LIFE/901110314/-1/LIVING&referrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL

Thank you, my friends for checking on me. It's going to be OK.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Meeting in progress

Dave meeting with his boss now. We'll see what happens.

Been talking with friends and am feeling a little more positive about things here.

Breathe in, breathe out. It's going to be OK.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Starting to wonder...

Did we make the right decision to come here? It reflects my silence as of late, but now it's keeping me up at night, so I need to quit keeping it in.

In some ways, Dave's job is great- the opportunity to build an ICU to mimic the cutting edge manner in which he trained. Except that there are many here that liked it just fine that way it was thankyouverymuch. There's a feeling of there being not nearly enough support there. We estimated yesterday that he's working 100-120 hours per week. That's 2 1/2-3 full time jobs. I miss my husband. My kids miss their dad and are just grafted to him when he's home. Unfortunately, some of his admin work is done from home, so there's a necessary, but dissappointing pushing away of the kids in the name of getting more work done.

It is not how we wanted it be at this point.

There's an upcoming meeting with bosses to discuss these issues. Something has to improve or this is not a viable situation.

Many questions are being raised. We all miss NH so much. Is it because it is still freshest in our memory? Dillon tells us she'd happily move back there- without even being asked. Did we make a mistake leaving there? Admittedly, I don't love winter and there was a lot of it there. Was there something I could've done differently to make the winters more manageable for myself? Am I just thinking of it idyllically since we left at my favorite time of year?

Maybe we haven't given this a fair chance. While our house is fine, it's just outside a few industrial areas, meaning that we frequently drive through those areas. It's a hard change to go from looking at trees all the time to looking at a corn processing plant. Maybe if we didn't live in this particular area- afterall, the entire city isn't industrial & parts of it are hilly with trees- it would feel different. We've made some friends and found activities that we enjoy. I know I can't expect it to be the same as friends that I had 5 years to get to know.

On the other hand, I love that we are closer to family now, making it significantly easier to travel to see them. Dillon loves that she's closer to her cousins & can't wait to do more sleepovers. For a host of reasons, it simply feels easier being closer.

Dillon has gone to her second session with the play therapist. I know they played something called unicorn land, but nothing else. She hasn't offered to share more than that and I'm not pushing her to do so. The therapist is supposed to email me this week with her thoughts. Do I share this newest agonizing monkey wrench into Dillon's already difficult adjustment? Maybe I should go see her myself!

It's entirely feasible that things will be worked out at the hospital and we'll ultimately decide that this is a good place for us. Indecision is so difficult.

Anyone have a spare crystal ball I can borrow?