Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh my goodness!!!

When I said in the last post that the night would be busy all night...I didn't suspect just how busy we'd be! Our stall was in a prime spot...just above where the wrestlers came into the arena. We opened at 5:30 and didn't stop until we closed up at 9:30. The lines were huge. I think we'd still be serving people if they hadn't decided to go back to the matches instead of waiting in line for food.

We ran out of ice twice. We went into intermission without popcorn (after 2 additional deliveries) or jumbo pretzels. Our supervisor and the beer pouring supervisor (beer station was at the end of our stall) ended up making 10 additional pizzas which were quickly snatched up. We had to ask for 2 additional deliveries of the WWE souvenir cups and sold every last one. I have NO idea why anyone would pay $6.50 for a 32oz cup of soft drink but most people didn't blink an eye at it. (btw...that's $2 more then the dome charges for their souvenir cups). Needless to say the Pepsi guy had to make an extra delivery too.

The thing is...we did great! At the end of the night I said....If this doesn't prove to the Dome that we can handle our own stand, nothing will. (now if only a stand would open up for us!) Other than trying to keep the stand from running out of things, our supervisor didn't have to step in too much. Yes, at first I missed checking the candy racks...they were sorely depleted and needed a refill. But it didn't happen again. In my defense, we'd never had so much candy sell so fast. Then again we never had anything sell so much. lol I think even the Dome was surprised at how much was purchased. (It's the first time they'd had a professional wrestling show there).

And then I went to church for our New Year's feast and had a great time. We had lots of good snacks throughout the night....

The kids jumped until they were red in the face in the bouncy house...

They played games (this was a scavenger hunt....the girls against the boys....camille and sean were playing their own game lol)

We saw a transmission from Norway and heard lots of encouragement for the upcoming year.

Sean liked playing with Jon's cars and motorcycle

Olivia thinks the best part about the whole thing is to hang out with her best friends/cousins

Olivia and Evenlyn

We pulled into the driveway shortly after 1am. I put the kids to bed and then sat up with my older kids talking and watching movies. It was after 4:30 before Tom and I climbed into bed. Sean was so overtired that after an initial deep sleep he slept really lightly...therefore so did mom. I think it was about 9 when I finally gave up and got up for the day.

My parents were talking about coming out today but my mom didn't feel well so they put it off until tomorrow afternoon. They'll come out after I get back from beer pouring at the Dome (have to be out the door by 8:30am tomorrow). It's probably a good thing because Sean decided today would be a good day to cry all day. My body decided it didn't want to move too fast and for some reason my knee is killing me. (which makes me really thankful tomorrow morning isn't a concession day!!)

My brain decided it just couldn't accept Allison's GPS cover like it was and that I needed to redo the whole thing. So I did, with completely different yarn. It's too dark in here for me to take pictures right now but I'm a lot happier with the 2nd attempt. Hopefully tomorrow or Sunday I can get some photos taken and put up. I still need to make 3 pair of hand/wrist warmers for Christmas presents. I also started digging out my squares for my version of the Midnight Brites Afghan I started in June or July.

With the kids being off of school all week and being at church yesterday, I'm all messed up day wise. I have to keep reminding myself it's FRIDAY! And a new year! Happy 2010! My next post might be about something crazy my kids did today. Have to wait to get to the pictures on the other computer.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A loooong night ahead

I've been taking it easy today. I have a long night ahead of me and I know it. We're doing a concession stand at a WWE Supershow at the Carrier Dome tonight. Attendence 12-20K. It looks like our stand won't be alittle out of the way overflow one either like our other ones have been. It'll be right smack dab in the middle of traffic. I'm expecting us to be pretty busy all night long. So today it was dishes, a load of laundry or two and some crocheting. I had to modify a GPS case I made for Allison for Christmas. Originally it wasn't deep enough, so I added a few more rows on and lengthened the top flap. The extras rows look a bit funky but ok since it's hidden by the flap. The flap, I actually like the additional rows to it. It adds another dimension to it (I think that's what I want to say).

Originally I was going to make it stay closed with velcro but that would require me to find a needle which have all magically disappeared (sewing, darning, tapestry, you name it, it's gone). So brilliant me crocheted a button and added a button loop onto the flap. ICK!!!

No matter how hard I tried to like it with the button, I just couldn't. It looked tacky. So off the button went and I'm back to looking for a sewing needle to sew on velcro again. And a few tail pieces that I have hanging all over now.

I was up all alone this morning. I couldn't really do anything because the little girls had a movie night with a campout on the livingroom floor. So I sat and watched crochet videos on youtube. This led to me grabbing a very convenient skein of sassy stripes yarn and my G hook. I made my first pair of socks!

With some modifications (not sure I can ever do a pattern as written) they fit Sean pretty well. I still see some improvements I'd like to make and I want to investigate gussets a bit more because I'm not totally pleased with how the heel came out.

Still, they were quick and easy! I could see me using a modified pattern of this to make bigger people slippers. I was thinking of doing an experiment on how yarn thickness, needle size and whatnot change the gauge of a pattern. But we'll see. I think I might've found an afghan I want to make for one of my upcoming weddings. Just not sure who it'll be for. Or when I'll get started on it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ah a day at home

Well technically I had to leave at 3:30 to take Michelle to work. But I didn't have to go anywhere else. Tom and I both drove Stine and Liz back to Newark to catch their plane to Norway. Tom convinced me that it was ok to leave after they entered security. There were no delays and we saw the crew go through the gate before the girls. I was just sure they'd need to be rescued after we left. Luckily I was wrong! They are home safe and sound in Norway.

And now it's Wednesday! GRRRRR How many times do I post with an And now added on. WHY can't I finish a post in one day!

I wanted to share pictures from Monday.

The day started early with some crying from Sean. He was mad that whomever was in the shower, wouldn't let him join them.

Luke and Jake discussing strategy for an Xbox game.

Oreo, the big stinky dog

Unlit Christmas tree. Extension cord broke...besides you can see the ornaments better.

Jake decided to make cookies for the neighbors. Sean decided Jake needed help. I decided to try to ignore it (wasn't successful) Unfortunately when he was traying up the second batch, the corelle bowl fell on the floor. It shattered into a zillion pieces, wasting over half a batch of cookie dough. Lucky for me the cookie dough helped keep some of the shards held together so the mess wasn't too bad to get control over.

Catching Carrie doing what she likes to do best...lay in bed and talk on the phone.

Livingroom floor after Sean is done with it.

Princess Sean upset over something one of the other princesses did to him. I didn't quite get the whole story.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

My supposed lazy day has been interesting. I was playing with my yarn winder when I got a phone call from a friend. It seems there was a miscommunication and the person I thought was going to drive Liz and Stine to Newark tomorrow doesn't have the room for them. Luckily I found out today and not tonight or tomorrow morning! So it looks like I'll be driving to Newark and back tomorrow. I'm not sure who, if anyone will be riding with me. I guess I'll have to reborrow my bestfriend....Allison's GPS lol.

Shortly after getting off the phone I was called to the bathroom to assist Danielle. After taking care of her I reached across the toilet to flush it. Midflush my reading glasses slipped off my face and landed in the bowl....stopping it up immediately. I had no choice but to fish them out...yay me! Luckily they aren't the pair I wear on a regular basis.

Everytime I get a new camera I swear no one is going to use it but me! I thought this camera would be THE camera since quite a few kids also received cameras or camcorders that can take still photos also. I didn't even get to say that no one was to touch my camera! While I was busy crocheting my mom's bookmark on Christmas morning my camera sat near the tv....or so I thought. Then I noticed that photos were on my camera....

Not sure how I missed the sneaky photographer since they took MY picture...

Liz showing off her new 80G zune (refurbished)...

Stine, our Norwegian visitor (Liz's roommate)

Luke and Jake playing their new Xbox game in their room. The Xbox was moved up there for Christmas Eve night. It has since been moved back into the livingroom where it belongs. Now maybe mom can get a turn at it. ;o)

We're just finishing up a very nice night. All the kids were here. I threw a turkey in the oven, sauteed some zucchini, yellow squash, green peppers, onions and baby corn...most of it from our garden. Pat made garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of cheese. He also made the gravy. Michelle broke out her container of cream puffs and one of Val's friends brought over a cheese cake for us to enjoy. Liz has finished packing although there are a few things she'd LIKE to pick up before hitting the road. We're picking Stine up at Della's house around us 6 hours to get there so they can checkin for their 6pm flight. As of right now I may be driving them by myself. Pat and Alex talked about taking them but then I found out Pat's back has been bothering him. I certainly don't need him hurting it more and missing work on Monday. Tom doesn't want to go. I'm hoping he'll decide it's best to go and come with me anyways.

And we did manage to get a family picture!!! Wouldn't you know, I'm the one who's not looking at the camera. Sean was about to cry because I wouldn't let him put his hand down my shirt. So I was trying to placate him.

Click on it to view it larger in another window.
Left to right...Top row...Pat, Tom, Luke, Michelle, Drew
Middle row...Sean, Me, Liz, Danielle, Val, Jake
Bottom row....Eileen, Olivia, Carrie

It's going to be a busy year!

Continuation of my last post...

Liz cut back on things she did on Wednesday. Both to rest her knee and to allow her to go pick up her new glasses. We dropped Michelle off at work, ran in and grabbed some food, picked up Liz's glasses and then hit the dollar store before heading home. I was now officially done with my Christmas shopping!!! With everyone helping we managed to wrap almost everything before leaving for BIL's house at 5 on Thursday (I had 3 things to do Thurs night). I was still working on some crochet and much to my chagrin there is not a single yarn needle to be found weaving in ends and doing the final finishing of projects is impossible. I'm sure I'll find about 20 of them now that Christmas is over. I took one of my projects with me to BIL's house and finished it up shortly after getting there.

Sitting on the livingroom floor crocheting and observing, I couldn't help but feel the void that's been left by Billy and my inlaws' passing. I just couldn't bring myself to buy pistachios this season, even with the kids begging me. They were one of the things I always got for Billy. I know it's silly and if I'd just gotten through that one thought/feeling, it might even have been enjoy something we know Billy really liked. Kinda like how I feel a connection to my MIL when I'm crocheting. Maybe I'll add it to next payday's grocery list. :o)

When Drew and Allison got to BIL's they announced their news...They're going to have a baby!!! I can finally freely talk about the other surprise now! Woohooo! In July, I'm going to be a GRANDMA!!!! They're planning on a late spring/early summer wedding. I tried to talk them into having the ceremony last week but they didn't believe me when I said I could throw a wedding together in 2 wks. It would've been a bit hard to explain to Allison's mom why she was getting married so quickly without spoiling her Christmas surprise, besides Allison wants an outdoor wedding.

We left BIL's at 9. Our Norwegian visitor Stine went to Della's house for a while. Drew and Allison wrapped up a few things at home and then got here with a few friends that stayed until almost midnight. The rest of the kids stuck around for a bit, had a snack then went to upstairs...boys in one room, girls in another. It was decided that everyone could get up at 6am.

Pat and Alex missed out on BIL's house because they had to work until 11pm. They left work, went home, cleaned up and opened their presents to each other before coming to our house at 1:30am. Tom and I were putting presents under the tree and finishing up stockings when they walked in. They had a surprise for us that engagement ring! They are thinking of a late November, early December wedding. I finally forced myself to stop talking and get into bed about 2:30.

Unfortunately my slumber didn't last long...Sean woke up and wanted me, then Danielle woke up and came in, finally Carrie came in crying....her left side hurt. If it'd been on her right side I think we'd have ended up in the Emergency Room. As it was I had her take some tylenol and climb into bed with me. She stayed until the pain subsided a bit and then went back upstairs. She never felt sick, just in pain. It hit her on and off all day Christmas. Before Christmas night ended Tom and I would understand how she felt since it hit us too. I'm assuming it's a weird virus. My back still feels like I hurt something on the left side. Luckily today is a "lazy" day. Mostly spending time with the kids and getting Liz packed to head back to Norway tomorrow. Right now she's at my sister's house with Carrie, Eileen and Olivia. Pat will bring them home this afternoon. I have a turkey in the oven and mozzarella sticks and poppers in the freezer waiting to be cooked. I think we'll have to make one last run to Walmart for her.

In the future this place should be a lot prettier...Michelle bought me a camera for Christmas! I can't use it too much right now because it's an Olympus and takes an xd memory card which I don't have (only have SD cards). My mom and dad bought me a new skirt (been wearing the one they bought me last year almost non stop), 3 new shirts, an electric yarn winder and a cool quilted wall hanging that you insert pictures into. I also received a flexible keyboard, a $25 restaurant gift card, and a $25 gift card to AC Moore which I'm sure will turn into yarn pretty quickly. Afterall, I now have baby blankets and wedding afghans to make. lol I might even attempt a sweater or romper for the baby (never did clothing before). My sister bought us an ice shaver, 200 sno cone cups and 2 lg bottles of flavoring....even though we said we weren't going to buy anything for each other.

Everyone was pretty exhausted by evening. We headed home about 9pm and all of us went directly to bed!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I like mornings like this

I haven't been sleeping well lately...there's too much to think about and do. Today I managed to be up and going around 5am. It's so serene well except the dog who wanted attention, then to be let out and of course he has to come in and then eat. I immediately went into the basement and threw in a load of laundry and folded 2.5 loads that someone didn't bother to do when they took them out of the dryer. grrrrr I then grabbed some boxes of presents and started wrapping. I put a pretty good dent into them. If I can do the same thing tomorrow, it should all be done. Of course even better would be that the big girls finish it up today.

On a boooo note I woke up this morning to see that the dog undid all the work I'd done on my mom's Christmas present. I fell asleep crocheting on the couch so when I went to bed I just set it aside and off I went. This morning there was a trail of thread all over. Luckily it was a small thing and I can quickly make it back up. But still, it's just something more to do.

And now it's Wednesday morning. While yesterday was busy, the productivity of it dropped compared to the early morning hours. I did manage to do some cleanup that I wasn't planning on doing until Wed night or Thursday day. It's looking pretty decent in here although laundry is up to my eyeballs again. Michelle and Val managed to do a fair bit of wrapping for me. Unfortunately I stayed up until 3am last night so no early morning wrapping session to finish things up. Hopefully I can do it tonight after everyone goes to bed.

Tom's pay did get deposited a day early! So Drew, Liz and Stine went with me and we hit the stores. We were out until after midnight but I managed to finish most of my shopping. After dropping Michelle off at work I'll run into her store and get a few things for Christmas Eve at BIL's house. Then a quick trip through the dollar store and maybe a drug store stop and I should be done enough (I know I can have a tendency to never feel like I have enough). I feel bad dragging the girls around shopping all night. I mean they're here for such a short time....and to spend it in the store. But Stine said she had a lot of fun and got a lot of things she needed. She also said that once she's home she won't be going shopping for quite a while. She quickly became spoiled by America's "cheap" prices. Things are quite expensive in Norway but then again their incomes are pretty decent too. One a bad note the time we were almost done at Walmart last night (last stop), Liz's knee was bothering her a good amount. I'm just hoping she didn't undo all the help the brace did. She has a pretty full calendar planned for today with a visit to 3 different families for lunch, dinner and then hot tubbing.

This has sat as a draft until today. So posting this partial post so I can update on how our Christmas was.

Monday, December 21, 2009 it's not Wednesday

I know I mentioned sharing my secret with you on Wednesday, and I started to...but I never finished and it sat as a draft to be forgotten. Then the weekend hit and I was running non stop! But back to the secret.... Liz came home for Christmas! My friend from church and I drove down to Newark to pick up her daughter Erica, Liz and their Norwegian friend Stina. They're here for 12 days and are heading home next Sunday. I'm thinking it might be harder to say good bye this time. I know what it's like to miss her and I'm not going to want all this to end. It's funny, it's like she never left. Danielle and Sean were all over her as soon as she came in the door. One morning I found her cleaning the kitchen of her own accord (she my major cleaner around here). And they've gotten into a few arguments/fights.

One of the first things we did was run to Walmart and buy her a stabilizing brace for her knee. She hurt it while working and has been on crutches and using a wheelchair since then. The brace seems to have helped a lot and the crutches have been forgotten. She says it doesn't feel on the verge of giving out with it on. I'm sure not walking on an incline all the time helps too. Where she lives and works in Norway are on a hillside. I was worried that they wouldn't want her to return to Norway due to the injury but it looks like it's healed enough where she can work, so she can return!

We've been going nonstop since shopping Wednesday. There was the Christmas concert on Thursday. The kids had their Activity club Christmas party on Friday. The youth kids had their Christmas parties on Saturday. (boys and girls had separate parties but at the same time) I had to go to the Syracuse Dome and pour beer during their basketball game. Sunday was our Christmas feast at church.

We also had some sadness. We had to say good bye to Delandie. He'd been living and working in the area for the summer. Now that the job is over and he hasn't found another job yet...he's returning to his family in Michigan. He'd been spending quite a bit of time at our house lately (we dubbed him our replacement Liz). I know Sean and Danielle are missing him already. When a car pulls in he asks....Londie here? I've been trying to figure out if there's a way we could free up a room for him. lol We're all hoping he gets offered a job in the area and is back here really soon.

Our Christmas feast was AWESOME!! It's great to see the young kids' talents blossoming. On more then one occassion I had goosebumps listening to them sing. As usual the meal was delicious! The youth kids played Santa Clause to the younger kids and it was a hit. Sean received a big fire engine with buttons that made noises and made it roll backwards or forwards. He just plunked down were he was and was lost in play. Danielle couldn't stop smiling after opening her present. It was a stuffed dog with it's own carrying cash, blanket and leash. She also got a pair of pink pjs with green frogs on them which she's wearing right now. It was all topped with a silver and blue tiara.

Our small group is growing quickly with couples getting married and having babies. I was inundated with family pictures to the point of almost crying. I vow to get my photo wall finished after Christmas so I can show them all off! We don't have a new family picture yet. I'm hoping we'll be able to get one done on Christmas. Otherwise it'll have to wait until next fall/winter after Liz comes home from Norway for good. Me being the big dreamer had major plans for my gift to everyone. I had bought 13 metal Christmas trays from AC Moore so I could make up a cookie/candy tray along with a smaller version of this crocheted wreath ornament (using napkin rings instead of shower curtain hooks)...

When I realized I wouldn't get to the cookies I figured I'd at least make up buckeyes (peanut butter balls) and the wreaths. Then I knew the buckeyes weren't going to be done but I could still get the wreaths made...they only take about 10 minutes each. I figured I'd do them Saturday after beer pouring and Sunday morning before leaving for church. I got home from beer pouring with Sean clamoring for me. I grabbed him and sat on the couch and that's the last thing I remembered until I woke up, still on the couch, Sunday morning. So everyone got just the tray! lol

I feel like I can relax a bit more now that this weekend is over. But then I remember that Christmas is THIS Thursday. I haven't gotten 7 projects done yet, have very little wrapped and still need to go Christmas shopping once Tom gets paid. My plan for today is to get in my room and confirm what I have, who it's for and what I still need to buy. Work on some projects. Ask Michelle and Val to wrap again. Tomorrow I'm hoping to work on projects and finish wrapping during the day. If we're lucky and deposit Tom's pay early like they did during Thanksgiving week then I can shop Tuesday night and wrap Wednesday day. If not, then it'll have to wait for Wednesday night with wrapping done on Thursday...along with whatever else I don't have done. Optimally I'll have everything done before going to my BIL's at 5 on Thursday. Then we can relax Thursday night after getting home from there.

Well enough rambling. Danielle and Sean are waiting for a bath and I need to call the propane company for a delivery or we won't be able to do too much of anything. I'm hoping to get back on here before Christmas. If I don't (I know myself too well) then Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's always something

Things have been motoring along pretty well here. I managed to get most of Mt Washme taken care of. Michelle had Friday off and decided she'd take care of the library/playroom. It wouldn't have been too long of a job if she'd just picked it up. But she doesn't work that way. She decided to move things around including the bed that's in there. It has storage under it and hadn't been moved in YEARS. To say that what was under there created a mess and half is an understatement. It's amazing what could fit into that little space.

I decided it would be a good time to jump into my room and try to get some control over things in there. I was doing pretty good although my allergies were leaving me feeling like my head was going to explode and my eyes would be lost behind my swollen eyelids forever. It was nice to get such a huge project underway. Although I was sad to see my almost empty hampers fill to overflowing again.

Saturday morning managed to find only Danielle and I up together. I was about to pick up some crocheting when I saw it....she had her hands on both sides of her head and was scratching furiously. OH NO!!! Tell me it isn't so!!! But it was...we have friends....teeny tiny unwanted friends. I just wanted to curl up into a ball and cry. Everything else got put on hold so I could do heads. And wouldn't you know it...Danielle with her extra fine hair happens to be infested the worst. The good thing that came of it was that it gave me the incentive to give Jake his much needed haircut (he was friend free).


During....I thought he should've kept the mullet ;o)


I also gave Sean his first haircut.... *sniff sniff*

Curly sweetness

Not very happy

My little man

This morning being super cute

I don't know if it's the holidays or just normal grieving but Billy not being here seems to be felt extra hard right now. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't mention him here. Surprisingly it's usually Danielle. Her memories and thoughts of him, Shellyroo (his dog) and his death amaze me. Yesterday her thought was that she wishes when we get older that we could die. I asked why. Her we can see Uncle Billy. Her and I had a talk about how Uncle Billy would want her grow up, what kind of life she might have and that eventually we all die and we'll get to see him. Last night she crawled up into my lap, gave me a hug and whispered in my ear...I miss Uncle Billy. The other day I spied Olivia writing something to him. She seemed to want to keep it private so I didn't let on I was aware of who she was writing to, let alone ask her to read it. Can't say that I'm not really curious about what she wrote though. I wish my mind would let him stay gone. There are some days that it lets me forget he's gone and think he's coming in the back door for a coffee...then reality hits and I realize it was the wind, cat, or whatnot. It's like getting hit in the gut.

Tomorrow I'm on the road all day and night. I can't say where I'm going or what I'm doing. I'll be able to share the details when I get home. All the kids know is that it's a secret. They think I'm getting them a Christmas present so I've played along and told them they're right....I'm going to pick up a pony! LOL I'm hoping that I'll have some time to work on some Christmas presents. Although first I have to decide what those presents will be and gather up what I need to make them.

Well sitting here isn't helping me get my mountains of work done. So I'll have to cut things short and get off my rear end. Hopefully I'll be able to get on here Wednesday with an update.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Still sick.....

Sean was still feverish this morning so going to the meeting in the morning was out of the question. I didn't mind since neither one of us slept soundly last night. Sean nursed literally all night long. Everytime I'd try to unlatch him, he'd wake up whining...nursie! To say I was a bit sore is an understatement. We decided to get out of bed about 7ish. There wasn't much to do since some kids had been up really late watching movies and were sleeping on the couch. After about an hour or so I decided to take Sean back to bed and dozed on and off. I finally was up for the day at 10:15. I can't remember the last time I stayed in bed that late before. Wish I could say I enjoyed or liked it, but neither is true. I felt like garbage when I got out of bed, was still sore from Sean nursing and the whole day was almost gone. Missing out on the meeting means I didn't hear how the bazaar went yesterday. It also means I have no idea what of mine sold and what I have left to do something with.

Sean seems to be feeling a bit more energetic although still warm. If he's feverish tomorrow I may take him in to be seen. It also depends on what John (Val's boyfriend) finds out from the tests he had done last week (if they do say anything at all) His dr mentioned mono and strep when he examined him.

Monday night now (will I ever finish a post in one sitting?) We had a much better night. Sean actually slept without being attached to me for short spurts. He doesn't seem to be feverish anymore. I had Luke, Carrie and Eileen home today. Eileen is still feeling pretty punky.

We did a major cleaning job around here and the place is looking nice. The kids insisted we get the tree from the basement and set it up. I just wanted to vegitate with my crocheting but decided I'd rather work then listen to them. lol We got as far as putting the inside white lights on it and putting on the branches before bed last night. This afternoon Luke finished putting the colored lights on it and the girls started hanging decorations while I made dinner. They're finishing up as I type, although I think we need some ornament hooks or substitute.

I have so much I want to do before Christmas...baking, crocheting, shopping and cleaning. Right now I'm in the middle of chopping down Mount Washme. Hopefully by tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest I'll have it tamed to a little anthill. I have to get into my closet and figure out exactly what is for who and what I have left to buy. I'm going to try and get a bunch of it done online with the help of billmelater (I LOVE that option!) Then catch up with it with tax return money. Otherwise there won't be any Christmas here.

I kills me. Tom is making more then he ever has and we should be sitting pretty...yet things are tight...REALLY tight. I think we've decided to skip redoing the mortgage. It's too much work to get it ready for an appraisal and we really don't want to prolong the mortgage any further then we have to. I need to make a phone call to the credit union and see if we can redo our home equity loan instead.

There's been talk of adding on again. It's always been a plan to build off the back, putting in a great room and dining area. That would make my present kitchen/dining area all kitchen. Or allow us to turn our living room into an L shaped room. We have enough equity that we could do it...I'm not holding my breath that we will do it though. My other brilliant idea is to build a big 2 car garage with a wide open upstairs on it. We'd have a bathroom up there along with a galley kitchen. The garage would be heated so the kids could play in there while we hang out upstairs. We could even put a deck on it (lol I'm still waiting for my back deck which was suppose to be built when we built this place in '89/90...Tom figures it's foolish to put it on if we're just going to replace it with an addition in the future).

Michelle is working holiday hours which means until 10pm most nights. Makes for a long day but the good thing is she hasn't worked a Friday or Saturday in months! Today was the first time I've driven with snow on the ground in a loooong time. Let me just say...I am NOT ready for this!!! I do NOT NOT NOT want to drive in this garbage! At least I lucked out and the snow disappeared as I got closer to home (which is the opposite of how it usually is)

Patrick had a birthday on the 1st. He turned 24 and according to getting old. Problem is, he was saying this to his GRANDMA! Sorry bud, wrong person to complain about getting old to. Needless to say he didn't garner much sympathy from anyone. We didn't do anything for his birthday since he had to work, just one of the downfalls of getting old. He's working at University hospital, setting up ORs or OR equiment...something of that sort. Right now he's working through a temp agency so no benefits. Rumor has it that he may be bidding on a job on the psych ward which will then make him a permanent employee and bring about benefits (it's a state job). Woohooo! Bad mommy me keeps wondering when something is going to come along and mess things up for him. Seems he's always gaining a foot up just to have it get knocked back down. I really do have hope that this is it for him. He seems to enjoy his job. He's a tough one to judge emotionally. He doesn't let too much out or in.

Well it's getting late and I have to get the kids ready for bed before I hit the road again and pick up Michelle. So I'll end things for now. Don't want this to go onto a third day.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The week on hold

I've been putting everything extra on hold until today. There was bazaar stuff to get done and it was pretty much all I could handle on top of the basic regular everyday stuff. I'm sure the kids were sick of hearing...after Saturday. But they survived. Sean decided he was too important to be put on hold though and decided to get sick again. He'd had a cold all week but yesterday started burning up. When he's feeling like that he doesn't allow me to do anything without a huge meltdown. I did manage to crochet a few more hats through his protests. Well one hat, the other is sitting here needing about a dozen more stitches in it. I also have three quarters of an angel ornament sitting here in pieces. I never waxed the gingerbread ornaments so they were sent out naked. Oh and I only made up two candy bouquet mugs since the second package of skewers was misplaced and I didn't have time to find them before Sean woke up last night. He's still feverish today and although we've been up since 6am, I never finished labeling and pricing things until 10:30 (bazaar started at 10). So things got there an hour late. Considering how things were going this morning though I'm just glad they got there at all. It's a small school bazaar in a lower income area so I'm not expecting much of my crochet stuff to get sold. There's always hope though. Whatever doesn't get sold will be used for Christmas presents and might go up on Ebay or in the Etsy shop we'll be opening soon. I haven't decided yet. I certainly could use them and anything else I can make in the next 3 weeks and still not have enough for Christmas. I REALLY wanted to take pictures of what I sent over but it's kind of impossible without a camera and Michelle's not here with her's. :o(

It's hard not being at the bazaar....seeing and talking with the people, looking at all the other cool stuff people are selling, hanging out with the girls for the day. But there wasn't enough room for me to be there. I guess with Sean being sick I'd have to consider it a good thing. Otherwise my pity party would be a super pity party and I'd melt into tears. Besides, Tom's on call this week so sticking home is a good thing...right? Yeah, whatever.

So on the agenda now is to get the living room and kitchen in order and rearranged so we can bring the tree up from the basement and start decorating it. I also have a ton of laundry to do. Then hopefully I can work in my room.

There's some exciting things happening here but I can't share anything for a while since I don't know who reads here. After Christmas I can share for sure. I just hope I can keep it all under wrap until then. Eeeeeeeek!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What day is it?

Oh my goodness! This weekend has been insane....and I didn't even cook a full Thanksgiving dinner. We went to my parents' house for dinner. I brought along pineapple salad, mashed and sweetened sweet potatoes (or were they yams...I always forget which is which), extra white potatoes (my mom thought 5lbs would be enough LOL!) and a few extra things. We ate a bit on the late side (5:00) which worked out well for Drew, Michelle and Val. They went to their boy/girlfriends' houses first. It also allowed my brother to come and get "real" food as he put it. Seems he's not too fond of Melissa's mom's culinary skills with a turkey and stuffing. My sister cooked for Ed's family. Her and the girls showed up later in the evening for pie. My dad had their picture christmas tree set up on the porch. It's a small fake tree which features pictures of individuals in our extended family. Amazingly Sean didn't touch one ornament. Go Sean! No one wanted to get a family picture done like we normally do. Seems they thought it wouldn't be right without Liz there. Unfortunately I'm thinking that having them all together at the same time is getting less and less likely each year. We stayed way too late and pulled into our driveway around 12:45am.

Once inside I hit the ads and wrote out a list of things I'd try to price match at Walmart. I jumped online quick to see if it was possible to order anything I wanted online. Most things I wanted were out of stock so no luck. I'll have to remember to do it during the early evening hours on Thanksgiving like I did last year. It was a little after 3 and I couldn't figure out whether I wanted to head to the store and try to get home as soon after 5am (when the sales started) as I could. Or go to bed and just meander into the store whenever I got there since there wasn't anything I REALLY wanted and was willing to fight anyone for. I decided to jump into bed and see what happened. I had a hard time falling asleep and almost got up. I had started to doze off just before Michelle walked into my room at 3:30 to ask if I was going shopping and what time did I want to leave. I said now and got up.

Walmart didn't seem nearly as busy as it had other years. I noticed they had instituted quite a few new tactics to control the crowd for the big ticket items so maybe that was it. Usually there's a deafening roar as it rings 5am and people rush to get the deals when the plastic wrap comes off the displays. This year they weren't keeping tabs on the 5am only displays so people were digging into them beforehand and the roar didn't happen. I'm wondering if that was on purpose or just lack of manpower to see that things stayed wrapped up. Anyways we got a few deals then headed to Big Lots for a couple things. Michelle wanted to stop into work and pick up her check so I naturally ran through there and got some deals too. Then we grabbed some breakfast and headed home. I was exhausted so immediately jumped into bed for a light 2.5 hour nap.

One of the reasons for the light nap was that I checked my email after getting home from my parents'. There was news that Gwen, our friend from church, had passed away that morning. It hit me hard even though I knew it was inevitable (she had cancer and wasn't seeking treatment). Then Val woke me to let me know that Janna had called looking for her to tell her that Janna's future FIL had died that morning. Also that John had gotten a call shortly after Janna's that his aunt was in a car accident. Val woke me later to let me know that John's aunt didn't survive. :o(

Needless to say I was still exhausted after my nap. I knew it was a bad idea to go shopping but I couldn't miss it. The really bad thing was that I still had to go to the Carrier Dome and do concessions for the Syracuse basketball game. It's funny though that as tired as I was, once I there and going...I felt fine. Now the ride home....that was a different story (and luckily I wasn't driving). Of course the exhaustion didn't stop my mouth from going a mile a minute all the way home....poor Mike.

Yesterday was a bit of the same...concessions at the dome but this time for the state high school championships. I was shown some mercy and given 2nd shift so didn't have to be in until 2pm. Even though I was awake early, I was moving VERY slowly and was a bit glad that I didn't have to be back out the door just yet. Although I admit...I like the setup part of concessions better then I like cleanup. By the time it's time to crunch figures at the end, my brain is a bit mushy.

UGH! Now it is Monday TUESDAY morning and my context (yesterday, today, etc) is all off...oh well not fixing it. Monday just flew by. I tried to get things done for the bazaar which is THIS Saturday but didn't manage to get anything accomplished.

I never got around to talking about Sunday. I went to the wake and a small service for Gwen. Although I know that she's in a much better place and finally out of a lifetime of physical pain. It's still hard to think that she won't be around anymore. I loved talking to her. She had amazing stories to tell of the places she's gone and lived, the things she's seen and experienced. She was an awesome lady and shining example.

Little side story here. As I was about to go out the door to Gwen's wake, Olivia yells out...Oh mom! Grandma called. Tom was in the kitchen and asked her...Which one? Olivia paused for a second, gave him a weird look and said...the one that's alive!?! He laughed and said, "DARN! I was hoping you'd say the other one. I could just see her calling and saying...GWEN IS HERE!" Gwen's DIL got a big kick out of that story and said it brought up a chuckle all day.

After the wake it was back home to pick up the kids and head to Michelle's work (had to pick her up anyways) for her Christmas party. It's in the backroom of their store with a nice buffet, a bouncy house set up and gifts for the kids 12 and under. We got there a little late and some of the food had already run out. While in line one of Michelle's bosses mentioned to missed the chicken fingers. I was so tempted to say...It wasn't my family! We just got here and this is my first plate! But I didn't. I hate that feeling. Like everyone thinks you're taking more then you are or deserve because there's so many of you. The eyes, the's a good thing it doesn't bother me....too much. lol

Monday, November 23, 2009

I can't help but think....

And now it starts.

I'm not one to get political on here but something has REALLY REALLY been bugging me and I have to get it off my chest. It has to do with healthcare bill. And before someone goes and thinks...well she has health insurance, she has the luxury of having this opinion. While I have insurance, my 4 oldest kids at the present time have NO insurance at all. I'm dealing with some decent size bills from tests we felt were necessary for Val. I live in fear that one of my kids is going to be sick and not get treatment because they can't afford it. I'm looking at Carrie's future knowing that with the way things are right now there's a very good possibility that she could be denied insurance coverage as an adult due to existing medical conditions. Meaning if her coverage ever lapses then no one has to insure her again, almost forcing her to attend college. Or possibly forcing her to take a job or not based solely on whether she can have medical coverage. It sucks!

My problem is that one of my fears has already started to surface. The government gets it's claws into the system and things start becoming unnecessary or elective or whatnot. With the healthcare bill being the closest it's ever been to being passed there suddenly is all these revisions on medical procedures coming out. Namely the US Preventative Services Task Force's new Mammogram recommendations. Funny how for 20yrs we were pushed and pushed to get our mammograms. Now that the government might be paying for most of them...oh it's not really necessary right now. It'll just freak you out and cause you stress because it might give false positive results. Sorry Charlie but I'd rather be freaked out for a little bit for good news then to stick my head in the sand because a government panel thinks it's unnecessary. Thus allowing cancer to grow longer then is necessary. Like until I can actually feel it myself. And that brings us to the other thing....

What really got me was that they were also suggesting that doctor's stop teaching women how to do breast self-examinations because it serves little benefit. HUH!?!?! Do they not realize how many women received EARLY treatment for breast cancer because they felt a lump. Do they realize it's the least invasive screening procedure out there for breast cancer. Do they realize that it doesn't cost a stinking penny to utilize!? Quite a few women I know who've been treated for breast cancer already suspected or knew they had it due to feeling lumps. Most of them under the age of 40 BTW. Yes, many women get scared because they feel a lump that most likely is a blocked milk duct or a benign cyst but can they say that it serves little benefit!?!?

For all I know, the task force could have tons of scientific data to back up it's stance for reduced use of mammograms. Looking up articles just now while writing this I see that many people are doubting the validity of the studies. Accusations of poor exacution and financing of the study. That technology involved with mammograms and followup procedures is greatly increased since the study started (the 70's). I'm sure I can find info out there to back up both parties, it's usually the case.

The timing just makes me go hmmmm. And to me it seems wrong to have those that will probably be paying for things to be making the recommendations and rules about the services it's paying for. And onto the slippery slope we go.

Oh and a question to the task force. What percentage level does make it worth recommending? Because a 14 percent reduction in breast cancer related deaths due to screening in the 40yo group seems pretty significant to me. Just wondering.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

WHY am I still up!

I have a busy day starting in about 5 hours or less and I need to sleep. So why am I sitting here wide awake doing laundry? I hate when I get on a kick like this. That I'm getting so much done I don't want to sleep. We've had a marathon of cleaning for the last few days. Eileen, Olivia and I went through all their drawers and totes of clothes and weeded things out. We unearthed their bedroom floor from the piles of clothes and I was up to my eyeballs in laundry. It didn't help that I was already behind in everyday stuff due to the flu, crocheting and just not getting my butt down into the basement on a regular basis. These last few days though, I have and I've done at least 16 loads of laundry with a ton more to go. Especially since I went into Carrie's room and helped her sort her clothes which almost doubled the laundry from the day before. The girl is what I call a clothes hound. She can't get rid of any clothing. It all stops in her room. She's agreed to aggressively weed things out and pass on some things to her younger sisters. But it has to be washed first. I'm hoping I don't burn out on this in the next few days because I'd love to get into my room next which we won't even describe. Let's just say it's the worse room in the house and I'll be doing a lot of laundry and sorting with a lot of decision to be made. I'll need to find some boxes or totes since there's handme downs of all different sizes in there, mostly for Sean, but some for Danielle.

Can someone tell me what I am suppose to do with my baby stuff? Theoretically I could start needing in the next year or so if someone were to get married, have a baby and make me a grandma. But what about reality? I don't know what to hang on to and for how long! Sometimes it hurts to see it sitting there at the foot of my bed getting dusty. Oh to have a new baby to snuggle, to kiss and sniff on. I feel blessed though that the twinges aren't too bad, nor do they stick around very long. Still it can be hard for me to visit the pregnancy board I used to be on. Even if I do want to go and check up on my friends. Even though I'm at peace and know our decisions were the right thing and the best for us. There's times when start doubting and wonder....was it really though?

Here I'm admitting to yearning another baby and yet I'm being driven crazy by Sean. Don't get me wrong, I love him to death and he's the cutest thing on the earth. And one smart smart cookie. BUT (and there's always a but huh) he's still nursing and nursing a lot. I know, I'm weak but it breaks my heart when all he wants is to snuggle up to mom and nurse and he starts crying when I try to deny him that. I'm such a pushover. He takes my rear end in the chair as a cue that it's snuggle time. If I'm busy he'll tell me....NO clean mama! Sit! Nurse! I've always looked at mother's nursing older kids who self serve (pulling up the shirt and getting out the goods) and thought....that kid is way beyond being ready to wean! Yet, here Sean is....insisting....ME DO IT! His newest favorite thing to do is to cocoon under my shirt. He climbs totally under my shirt, tucking it under his back. His legs are usually somewhere in my armpit or sleeves. And if I'm trying to type or crochet or drink my coffee and he doesn't want me to....he kicks my arm away from me. Grrrrrrrr! I keep reminding myself that it's only for a little bit longer. Olivia was 30mos when she weaned but it was brought on by me having gall bladder surgery. I refuse to have surgery to wean him. I keep joking that I need to go away for a week and see if that does the trick.

I haven't really crocheted anything in the last few days. I've woven some ends in thus finishing up some projects. i've started and frogged quite a bit of things I've started. And it's bugging me. I don't want to get them done for the Christmas bazaar so much it's Christmas presents. (although I have a few non crochet projects for the bazaar I want/need to get cracking on!) Things are tight this year so I need to make a fair amount of gifts. It doesn't help that some projects require additional supply purchases and that can't happen for almost a week or more.

Well Sean just woke up and is looking for nursies. Guess that's my cue that it's time to stop rambling and try to get some sleep.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Catchup #2

Darien Lake

We saw the Survivor Live show. The audience was divided into 4 tribes. Jake was picked to represent our tribe. And he won, thanks to his obnoxious big family who make a ruckus when it was time to vote. Here he is in the winner's headdress and with the leader of our tribe.

DL Jake Survivor

After swimming Tom and I decided to run to the van to drop off all the wet things and grab everyone's jackets. The kids stayed by a fountain and had some fun.

DL scary kids

One section of little kids rides only had one operator working it. So to be fair he'd run a ride 3 or 4 times and then move onto another ride. He was like the pied piper with a group of little ones following him. Sean was too small to go on anything but the motorcycles which he REALLY wanted to go on. Poor guy had to wait forever for it to happen. Do you think he thought the wait was worth it?

DL motorcycles

Michelle's Birthday

Michelle turned 22 on October 2nd. She decided she wanted to have a scavenger hunt for her birthday. Michelle made up a list of a LOT of things to try to find. The four oldest kids were the teams. They divided up the rest of the kids, grabbed a digital camera and jumped into their cars (or their boyfriend's cars). The pictures were hilarious. Unfortunately I only have access to Michelle's group pictures (Michelle, Cory, Eileen and Olivia)

Cory ready to GO!

SH toilet paper on shoe
Someone with toilet paper stuck to their foot

SH shopping cart
Team in a shopping cart

Team standing according to height

Team on the trampoline

The rest of the pictures

Oreo the cute fluff ball has turned into Oreo the big doofus

The big doofus

Danielle and Sean enjoying the disco party

disco party

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catchup #1

There are so many cool pictures from our visit to Robert H Treman park in August that it'll take a whole post to share them. So photo catchup will be done in 2 posts.

The day wasn't very warm which would make our hike more enjoyable. Unfortunately it meant that the swimming hole would be a bit hard to tolerate as the water is pretty chilly.

Jake, Val, Carrie and Luke

The swimming hole

After lunch and swimming we decided to take a hike along the upper trail. Unfortunately that meant hiking up a ton of stairs which I was sure was about to kill me. I literally thought I could have a heart attack at any second. And then Sean wanted to be carried!! Once we leveled off I was fine though.

RHT On the verge of dying
Me bringing up the rear and wondering what I got myself into

The scenery was BEAUTIFUL!

We took a break at the quarter mile mark (it's a 2+ mile hike) since Danielle's legs were about to fall off and Sean wanted to be carried more and more.

RHT resting

I decided it would be in everyone's best interest for me to take the little ones back. Olivia, Eileen and Val decided to go back with me which was nice since both Danielle and Sean wanted to be carried most of the way. We hung out at our picnic table and the swimming hole while the rest of the group hiked.

RHT resting
Carrie's new house

RHT Look up there!



After their hike we went back to the swimming hole before it closed. All the kids except Danielle and Sean conquered the high dive. While we waited for them to finish on the diving board, Sean decided we needed one less towel to bring home. He picked it up and threw it over the railing into the creek below us. At first it was like he threw it in at Niagara Falls and I thought it would go rushing down the creek. Then I really looked at the creek and realized it was a pretty lazy current, even with all the waterfalls. Luke, Carrie and Jake decided to run down the trail and climb into the water to retrieve it.


We had a snack, packed up, and hit the bathroom. The road to the campground area is really neat. The creek runs over it. Of course the kids wouldn't let us leave without checking it out. Danielle and Sean decided it'd be a good place to get all huggy.


On the way out of the park we came to the funnest playground in the world.


Who's enjoying the firetruck more? Cory or Sean?



We finally managed to pry everyone away, climbed back in the van and headed home. But not before stopping at Arby's for a late dinner.