Monday, May 26, 2014

I haven't posted in nearly a year!

I want to write down a dream I had.


Violence, gore and magic are all in this dream.
It started out bad, but ended badass!

So, I was some sort of magic-user, who fought (mostly undead) witches and warlocks who used black magic. I had a whole group of supporters with me. We had followed some clues, used some magic and found our way to the evil-doers underground lair ["from whence there shall be no return!" except I have the background knowledge that I've already been there twice before and emerged victorious.] and the baddies also have a large group of followers. Various fights break out physically and magically. As the leader, I'm immune to most all of the magic attacks, but I'm pretty much my real self physically and thus scared $#!+less about actually being attacked. This is the bad part of the dream, along with some of the tense moments leading up as we tried to follow the clues and such to get here.
Then, I spot him: the warlock leader (though everyone, male and female, were "witches" in the dream) He looked like a big 19th century business man. Big in social stature, physical stature and girth. We are, apparently, immune to each others' magic, so when I catch his eye with my glare he laughs. Surely this little slip of a girl can't overcome his mass!
I attack. I jump and climb onto his shoulders and start strangling him. We grapple. I claw at him with my fingernails, and then I manage to get a punch in to his throat. I've managed to keep him mostly on the defensive and now he's fighting to breath. I continue to focus on his neck. I get him down to the floor and see a guy next to me who I assume is on my team. I offer to let him deal the death-blow. He smiles and holds out his fist, then dangles a charm that says "uninjured."
I curse. He's on the other team. He's threatening to heal his leader to the point that he's "uninjured." This could be the end of me. Do I risk removing my strangle-hold on the leader to fight off this guy? Or do I try to finish the leader before the charm can take effect?
I opt for a little of both. I was kind of sitting on the leader guy with my left hand pushing his chin up and the other right where his clavicles meet to expose his neck. I move my knee up where my right hand was and back-hand smack the charm out of the other guy's hand. I get lucky and it flies away and shatters. I bring my hand back in for the death blow and just keep going until the guy is beheaded. The other guy balks and flees at some point.
I stand and lift the head and look around. Fighting ceases.
A tall, skinny, hawkish woman who is(was) their second in command tells me something like "next time, you will not win!"
I've dropped the head and I practically dance over to her holding up my thumb and first two fingers, "Three! I'm three-for-three b!+@#! I AM victorious!" and I begin to leave with my followers.
This is where my hubby came in and woke me up to see why I was sleeping so late (I'd been up half the night for no discernible reason)and start his laundry. Back to the mundane.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Anniversary Weekend Part 2

Sunday, the 7th was our actual anniversary.
I failed at actually finishing this post in a timely manner...

After our rough night at the hotel, we skipped our original plan of me going to church with my friends Tammy & our sons. It worked out to give us plenty of time to have a leisurely breakfast (& even some lunch - our leftovers from Sat) & pack up for check-out. We didn't get our revised plans all hammered out before check-out, however. Paul & I left & went to Tammy's house a little before she originally expected to be getting home. She thought she had extra time & did some grocery shopping. So, we drove around the corner & shopped at a Walgreens & then headed back when Tammy said she was done.
We exchanged some gifts and visited at her house for a bit.

We were planning to go to the zoo, but it turns out it's closed on Sundays. We ended up going to Grant's Farm. The "Farm" is basically a zoo/wildlife refuge in itself! They have ELEPHANTS!
It was a lot hotter than forecasted, but the kids enjoyed it a lot and it was nice to visit.
The kids were enjoying their gifts on the way home after the farm.

They didn't do as well on the way home as on the way down. They both fell asleep after we stopped for our fancy anniversary dinner at Subway in East St. Louis... :P
Kevin ended up fussing & crying most of the rest of the way home. We stopped at my mom's place & he was happy to get out & visit grandma & grandpa, but he still cried most of the last hour home.
Amber slept through most of it. After she did wake up, I was able to keep her from freaking out by pointing out the lightning bugs outside. We had what could have been a rather magical moment admiring them - if it weren't for Kevin screaming through it. It was a rough drive, but we made it home without anything tragic happening.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Anniversary Weekend

My wonderful hubby & I shared our sixth anniversary yesterday.
Did you do the math? No? I wouldn't have either. We were married 7/7/07!
At the last minute practically, we made plans to go to St. Louis to visit my sister and a friend who's like a sister/aunt to me. I was originally planning a trip for me & the kids, but when our anniversary weekend ended up being the best weekend for everyone, hubby joined in too. I don't know what I was thinking when I thought I could have made that trip without him. It was hard enough with both of us and both kids!
Traveling down there was fine. Kevin slept about half the way & was surprisingly content the rest of the way. We made the whole trip in one shot! Even when traffic was slow in the city, we did pretty much keep moving & got there without any kiddo meltdowns.
We met up with my sister at her boyfriend's mom's house. She and her bf joined us & directed us to their favorite restaurant: Zia's. Amber was rather crabby at the restaurant, but the food & company were great. Thankfully, the lady sitting nearest Amber didn't seem too bothered by her antics. She kept telling me how cute she was. :)
Then, we went back to the house & hung out for a bit. Everyone but Amber was ready for a nap. Sis' boyfriend spent much of this time looking around his house for things that might entertain a 3yo. He had a good hit with crayons and paper, but that only lasted a few minutes.
He found a board game, but she wasn't old enough & just played with the pieces a bit. He found a soccer ball and they rolled it around a bit. Then we decided we were ready for the amazing cupcakes my sister had been talking about for the whole visit. We decided to drive separately. Paul & I had no idea that the place was Jilly's (a 2x winner on the TV show Cupcake Wars) nor that it was waaaay on the other side of town! At least Amber got a quick nap in on the way there. We went in and enjoyed some ginormous fancy cupcakes. They were pretty much dinner for us, and even then Paul & I could each only eat about half of ours with help from Amber!
After that, we said our goodbyes and headed off to the hotel. Kevin got tired of being in the carseat & became inconsolable. We stopped once & fed & changed him. After that, the GPS app Paul was using on his phone went crazy. It refused to recognize that we'd gotten back on the highway & kept giving us directions from nearby streets back to the highway. The map wouldn't update. It seemed to think we were driving backwards at times (It'd tell us to turn left at a street that was only on our right.)We barely avoided panicking, but we eventually got it sorted out & made it to our hotel.
Turns out, the hotel had some good points and some iffy features. They were pet-friendly. There were at least a couple different dogs in the hotel. This wouldn't be such a big deal if there weren't also some... people... setting off fireworks.
This was the first time all four of us had stayed together in a hotel. It wasn't a two-room suite like we like to get when traveling with the kids, just a room with two queen-sized beds & a crib. An actual crib: most places just have a Pack 'n' Play.
So, we haven't actually had Amber at a hotel in quiet a while. She's stayed with grandparents the last few times we stayed at a hotel. She's got her new "grown-up" bed at home; but it's a trundle bed she's sleeping on. No box springs, it's only about a foot off the floor, as was her toddler bed when converted from a crib. So, this was also the first time we'd attempted having her sleep on a tall bed.
It took her almost no time at all to fall out & hit her head on the night stand! We didn't even realize at first how bad it was. It sounded like she had gotten hurt, but we didn't see any bruises or anything. I got a washcloth wet with cool water and went to apply it to her forehead where I thought I saw a little bruise & she said (between sniffles) that her owwie wasn't there. She lifted her head off of Paul's chest then and then we saw the big goose-egg! Poor kiddo. At least she didn't show any signs of a concussion.
This picture is from later the next day, when the bruise wasn't so swollen.
We had her sleep between us the rest of the night. She did pretty well. Kevin woke up a few times and needed binky-retrieval services. Amber got up earlier than Paul or I was ready for and they kept alternating. She'd start to settle down again and he'd wake up and vice-versa.

With that, I think I'll pause for now, and finish my tale later. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Diaper Duty

Why didn't I think of this sooner?? I'm always trying to keep little hands out of diaper mess... & I figured out that I can just fold them up in the bottom of the onesie! It's a temporary fix, but lasts long enough for me to get the worst of it. ;)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Birthmark or What?

So, close to a month ago, an oddly-shaped red splotch showed up on Kevin's belly. I thought maybe we'd accidentally pinched him snapping a cloth diaper or something, but I watched the spot, put a little baby lotion on it & after two weeks, called his dr. She said to try putting Aquaphor on it for a few days & come in if it didn't clear up. I did, it didn't, so we went in & saw her. She deemed it something akin to a birthmark. Late-bloomer. It doesn't seem to bother him at all, so I felt relieved.
Then, he got these red lines on his legs that were clearly from the diapers... I later narrowed it down to the overnight diapers we were using.
So, we went to the cloth diaper store and showed them to the lady that owns it & got some new diapers to use overnight. After taking a few days to pre-wash them, we finally tried them. They're ginormous! It's so hard to get the covers over them! They're hemp & he can still soak them through. They're supposed to get more absorbent after more washings, and we can add inserts...
But, at any rate, the marks on his legs do seem to be getting better. The splotch on his belly, however, remains unchanged. *shrug*

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gardening, ducks, jewelry & more

Been busy here lately. Yesterday we hosted our big Gardening Party!
Yeah, not a fancy party in the garden, and down & dirty gathering to garden! I don't know how he did it, but my hubby actually convinced quite a few of our friends that pizza & fellowship were worth the back-breaking work of tilling and landscaping & tree-planting (other planting is yet to come) a roughly 35'x20' area of our yard on a dreary Saturday. I had to run & get some last-minute things we'd forgotten or put off buying until that day & it ended up taking me long enough that I missed out on all the fun outside. I made it back just in time to track one last set of muddy footprints into the house & fix up some fruit & salad to go with the pizza.
I'm so amazed at how nice everyone was to come & help us and what good, quick work they made of the project! I think it looks pretty great! I was hoping to get out there today and actually plant the seeds and sedum, but it's been raining again. At least it's washing the mud off our patio. ;)
That's my hubby showing me what all they had gotten done. See the little plum tree in the back? :D
There's a little mini-fence up now & we're going to run chicken-wire around the sides to try to keep the bunnies out. We're also planting marigolds outside the big fence. Apparently, bunnies don't like them & will steer clear.

So, backing up a bit, in preparation for yesterday, and just because it needed to be done, Paul was trying to mow Thursday night when I started to feel icky. No usual symptoms of being sick, I just had a massive headache and then I had chills, so I checked my temp. It was 102! I ran out & told Paul, but he wanted to get the mowing done since we had more prep to do on Friday. I tried to tough it out, but Kevin kept crying and crying. That's totally unlike him & it certainly wasn't helping the headache. When I tried to change his diaper I realized my hands were numb & I was having a hard time fumbling with the cloth diaper & concentrating... I tried to put the waterproof cover on without an actual cloth diaper on him! So, I grabbed a disposable and went back out & told Paul, the yard will have to wait, I can't handle the kids by myself. I called the on-call dr. and described my symptoms. He asked some questions & basically said, "that's weird. It sounds like something viral. Get some rest & come in in the morning."
Thankfully, I improved overnight & my temp was in the 99-100 range the next day (even without Tylenol) and I saw the dr. I had talked to. He said he wanted to make sure it wasn't meningitis, but he didn't want to sample spinal fluid unless it was really necessary. Since I was improving, he didn't think it was necessary. He said it was just some weird virus & I'd have to ride it out. My temp was back to normal Saturday, so I wasn't too worried, but it certainly was weird!
Friday, I hired the neighbor's 19yo daughter to mow the rest of the yard for us. Her grandpa ended up helping her and doing the trimming even!
When she came around the South side of the house with the mower, she startled & was startled by a duck who flew out from under our "chimney" vent! She looked & discovered the duck had a nest with at least a half-dozen eggs (we later counted at least 10!) under there!
We're quite surprised & baffled by our new resident. There aren't any ponds nearby! The only idea anyone had that she was out there was that I had heard some noises outside the fireplace (while I was sitting inside) that I'm guessing were from her.
While our friends were working, I peeked & found that mama duck had returned to her well-hidden nest and her eggs.
Oh, & for reference, this is what the nest is under: Can you see it under there?

Meanwhile, my wonderful mother has been hard at work photographing my jewelry & updating my facebook page! I still need to finish some of the descriptions, but I'm excited to be making progress with her help. :D
Most of these are pieces I have been meaning to post & am glad to be getting out there now! I have one more new piece to post soon.
Here's a crappy picture with my leg as a necklace stand! Pay no attention to my mess in the background please! Getting in on the whole ombré trend...

I also got some other art projects done & started with the kids, inspired by this:
Mine are just on paper so far & not so cool, but they're cuter (to me) because they're my kids' hand- & footprints! ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Feeling thoughtful

As in, full of thoughts!
I have lots on my mind this evening and I'm not sure where to start, but I do want to write more in general.
One thing I've been thinking about a lot, but not really acting on, is this blog post and all that it's talking about. I think we do a lot better than most Americans when it comes to expenses & finances in general. We don't have much debt; we buy, borrow & inherited lots of used things; we use coupons for grocery & other shopping & take advantage of deals where we can. We are gardening, using cloth diapers and I'm breastfeeding. All of those have financial and other benefits. They aren't without their costs, though. Mainly: time.
Sometimes I read things like the blog post linked above and I think of how much less we could be spending (money) on various things. My hubby points out the time trade-off for many of these things. The cloth diapers, for example, mean that diaper changes take a little longer and laundry takes a little longer. Since I'm a stay-at-home-mom, we decided the time investment was worth the financial pay-off. Hubby isn't all gung-ho for them, but is happy to be saving money.
That's where I am on a lot of things. There are few issues I take a very strong stance on, the rest of the time I'm trying to find a balance.
We're still doing many of the things we're doing rather selfishly, to save money, and not as good stewards of this nation or planet; though that is a happy side-effect of much of it. Sometimes I see or hear/read something that gets me really motivated to change in one way or another, like the blog post linked above, but I go back to wanting a moderate amount of little luxuries as well.
If this blog post seems a little wishy-washy and haphazard... that's just because that's the way my brain works... or doesn't, depending on your perspective. ;)