Hours and hours of driving

That’s the theme for today. Hours and hours of driving.

I took the day off work so we could bring Hufflepuff to a town an hour and a half away to meet her boyfriend. The boyfriend she Skypes constantly but hadn’t met in person yet.

She got dressed very carefully, and wore some cute flats my mom had given her. The flats were a good idea. The dress was cute, and modest (she didn’t want to look slutty for his parents).

We met up at my friend S’s house, and we drove down with her and her family. My friend S has a sister who lives in the town, so it worked out beautifully. Her kids got to see their aunt, Hufflepuff got to meet her boyfriend, Gryffindor got to spend the day with her BFF L (S’s oldest daughter), and I got to spend the day with my friend. It was all good. (Ravenclaw wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed home with The Chosen One, who was working from home).

Hufflepuff’s boyfriend comes up to her shoulder. It’s cute. His parents are about that height, too. They seemed very nice, for the short amount of time I spent talking with them. Hufflepuff said his whole family was nice.

S was truly awesome and drove us around to 3 comic book shops so Gryffindor could hunt for something (which she didn’t find, but she did find some other cool stuff). And then we all watched Frozen. Funnily enough Hufflepuff and her boyfriend watched Frozen, too, but they watched it alone rather than in a room with little kids.

Other than all the driving (which is annoying) it was a fun day. I’m glad we could make it happen. And I’m incredibly grateful that S was willing to drive!

Tuesdays are long

That’s just about it.

It was a beautiful day, and I was so happy to have the windows open and the screen door giving us a nice fresh breeze! I even sent Ravenclaw outside to play with her friend. It was Good.

However, we left the house at 4:45 and didn’t get home until 9:15. Tuesdays are long. Gryffindor had a sore gum as a result of her orthodontia, so we had to run her to the Ortho for an appointment. Then we picked up J, one of the Young Men from church, and gave him a ride to the activity.

The older girls had to be there early to set up for a dinner they had with some of the adults in the ward who don’t have kids in the Young Men/Young Women age range. It was a nice activity, and after I brought the gluten-free pasta they did serve it. Unfortunately they had a meat sauce, so it was good that I brought a small container of pasta sauce for our resident vegetarian. More unfortunately it was a moose meat sauce, so Hufflepuff wouldn’t try it, either. The salad was fine, and they skipped the garlic bread, of course.

The ice cream was a big hit, though. They had a toppings bar, which is always beloved.

Ravenclaw and I ran over to Sonic for dinner while the big girls were setting up, and then her age group had an Opening Day baseball game since the Red Sox Opening Day was yesterday. I thought Ravenclaw would complain, as she isn’t a huge baseball fan, but she had fun. Thank goodness.

When it was all over I yanked my kids and J and we left before the cleanup was done. I figured that we were there early (we were literally the first ones there), so the people who came later could do the clean up. I refuse to feel guilty for that. Especially since Gryffindor still had homework to finish. Ugh.

On a much lighter note, I loved the Think Geek April Fool’s Day jokes, but the best thing ever was the Google Pokemon Challenge! Gryffindor and I have been trying to catch them all. They say you have until 2pm Pacific tomorrow (that’s 5pm Eastern) to catch them all, then you can be entered to try to become a paid Pokemon Master at Google. And Gryffindor has a half day. You know what she’ll be doing! (btw – even if you don’t love Pokemon, watch the video. It’s awesome.)

And now to try to sleep. It’s time. There’s much to do tomorrow, too.

Old School Blogging

OSBimage125I just read on An Inch of Gray about a linkup with other bloggers answering the Old School blogging questions, get-to-know you questions that used to circulate a lot. I’m joining the linkup to answer the questions. Possibly in an attempt to procrastinate packing for a few minutes.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?  I have no idea. It must’ve been M*A*S*H* because we only get a few channels. Unless it was an episode of Psych I watched with The Chosen One before the move started.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing? Gryffindor and I went out to run an errand getting lunch and more boxes for packing.

photo-26What is on the walls of the room you are in? Nothing. Or, more accurately, a vinyl decal that reads “Families are Forever” and a bunch of picture hooks. We’re moving on Saturday.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? A larger house in my hometown, one a little closer to the water and less in need of work. And a house in Austin for winters. I’d also buy movers to pack and unpack for us. I’d probably also buy a Subaru for me to drive (desperately want all wheel drive). And I’d pay for Gryffindor’s tuition at the private school she wants to attend, but they haven’t given us any tuition assistance.

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know. I can’t come up with something most people don’t know. Well, I grew up going to AlaTeen, which is something I don’t advertise, but don’t hide, either. It’s a program like AlAnon, but for teens with relatives with addiction. It was wonderful for me, and it’s what I think got me through some tough times. I think that AlaTeen, plus the Church, helped me learn to forgive people. I may forgive too much, but I think that’s better than not forgiving enough.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone? My boss, saying that I should stay home and pack rather than come in for the afternoon as he had previously requested. An extra paid day off! Yay! Packing is less yay. I do love that this call came about 1 minute after I had arranged with The Chosen One to pick up Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff after school today, because it’s snowing and cold. (Gryffindor’s Charter School is off today and tomorrow)

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do? I’d redo the kitchen, somehow making it and the dining room larger. And I’d redo the bathrooms. Oh, and finish the attic. We will actually finish a room in the basement soonish – my uncle and aunt gave us a gift certificate for 2 days of home improvements, and as he’s an electrical engineer who is great at this stuff, we think we can knock it out (hopefully with new stairs, too) in 2 days. My stepdad and I would help, of course. And the fact that we have a subfloor in there along with it already being framed really helps make it do-able.

What was the last thing you bought? Sushi for me and Gryffindor for lunch from Whole Foods. And a San Pellegrino soda for each of us. She got avocado and cucumber sushi, some edamame, plus a blood orange soda. I got a shrimp California roll and lemon soda.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?  Sky diving! Can’t imagine bungee jumping! That feels too much just like jumping to your death. I’m looking forward to sky diving once my kids are over 18.

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? I think I would have to say Tina Fey. I’ve listened to Bossypants so much that I feel like I know her. I’d love to actually sit down and have not-coffee with her. There might be others, but I’m so not a celebrity-stalker that I can’t come up with any. I’d love to be able to have the younger 2 meet Taylor Swift and my oldest meet One Direction much more than I’d like to meet anyone myself.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Well, after last weekend, Ikea is in the lead, I guess. :) But I could easily do that anywhere – even Target is good. Or actually buying myself clothing somewhere… Oh – or Macy’s for furniture and clothing! I’m still lusting for a sectional for our new family room. And a classy-looking recliner for the library. And bookshelves for the library.

Is the glass half empty or half full? I’d say half-full. It’s rare that I really see everything in a pessimistic light, even when I’m feeling depressed.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been? Freiburg, Germany or Rome, Italy. I’m not quite sure which one is farther away after a quick glance at a map. The girls and I want to go to Japan, but methinks The Chosen One would prefer to go to China. Right now it’s all academic, we can’t afford anything other than the house.

What’s under your bed? Boxed up summer clothes. And probably some trash. Cleaning that out this afternoon or tomorrow.

What is your favorite time of the day? Afternoon. I love seeing the girls again after school, being done with work, and relaxing with them.

What Inspires You? Life. My family and friends. My Church. Our Lenten project is talking about what we are grateful for every day at nighttime prayers. It helps us all see the good around us.

Another vacation day

Not much to say. We didn’t do much. So here’s a q&a

50 Questions To Really Get To Know Someone

  1. Are you a morning or night person? Night. I’m becoming more of a morning person by necessity though.
  2. do you prefer, sweet or salty foods? Yes. My preferences change between sweet and salty
  3. Ninjas or pirates? Pirates
  4. Ninjas vs pirates, discuss… I like the Aarrgh and Pirate Day. But Ninjas are cool.
  5. Autobots or Decepticons? No clue
  6. What was your favorite childhood television program? The Jetsons
  7. Are you a collector of anything? Anything with a phoenix on it
  8. If you could be any animal, what would you be? a dolphin. And I still want to swim with them someday
  9. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Teleporting. If I couldn’t have that, then flying.
  10. What is usually your first thought when you wake up? What time is it?
  11. What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? I’m usually reading before I fall asleep, so thinking about whatever’s on the page
  12. What’s your favorite color? Purple
  13. What’s your favorite animal? real – dolphin, imaginary – phoenix
  14. Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets? Yes to both
  15. Do you believe in ghosts? I think they’re a possibility
  16. Ever been addicted to a video/computer game? Which one(s)? No. And I don’t allow games that don’t let you pause. My ex was addicted to World of Warcraft and Everquest and that was a big part of how our marriage started to fail.
  17. If you were given 1 million dollars, what do you spend it on? I’d pay off our mortgage, fix up our house, and take a vacation. Then I’d save for college for my kids.
  18. Have any bad habits? I try not to bite my nails, but I do. I fidget. And I procrastinate like cravy
  19. Which bad habits, if any, drive you crazy? bad grammar/spelling/improper apostrophes.
  20. List 3 of your best personality traits: I’d like to believe that I’m kind, funny, and like to help others
  21. List 3 of your worst personality traits: I have a temper, I can be irritable, and I can be sarcastic
  22. Have any celebrity crushes? Ish. I still love Rob Lowe, but John Cena is pretty awesome.
  23. List 1 thing you wish you could change about yourself: Just 1?? I want to change my body/head pains.
  24. Any tattoos or piercings? just my ears pierced. I had them pierced twice, but I only use one set. I think the second set has closed.
  25. What’s the first thing you notice in the opposite sex? Smile and sense of humor
  26. Whats your dream date? Nice dinner out and a walk along the beach
  27. What personality traits do you look for in a partner? A good sense of humor
  28. What personality traits do you dislike in other people? judgey attitude, condescending, that kind of thing
  29. Do you see yourself getting married in the next 5 years? Not again, no. I just got married a couple weeks ago!
  30. Are you mostly a clean or messy person? Fairly messy
  31. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? I’d have a winter home in Austin and a sumer home here.
  32. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? I’d take a tour around the world
  33. List 5 goals on your life’s to-do list: Move into the new house, get the kids through high school, get the kids through college, retire, enjoy grandchildren
  34. Name 1 regret you have: As much as I didn’t like my 1st marriage I don’t regret it because then I wouldn’t have had my kids
  35. Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid: not being responsible for the bills
  36. Name 1 thing you love about being an adult: I can be married to my sweetie!
  37. What’s your favorite song of the moment? “Let it Go” from Frozen
  38. What’s your favorite song of all time? No idea. Favorite to dance to has been Lola from the Kinks
  39. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night? Movies with the girls
  40. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon? nap!
  41. Have any hidden talents? I can touch my tongue to my nose. That’s about it.
  42. You’re about to walk the green mile, what do you have as your last meal? Lobster, artichokes, French bread, croissant, and something deep fried. I want ALL THE GLUTEN if I’m going to die anyhow
  43. What would be your dream job? SAHM that paid.
  44. Which would you rather have, 100 million dollars or true love? Love. for sure.
  45. If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be? world peace, end to world hunger, and for a couple million dollars
  46. Ever wish you were born the opposite sex? If so, why? Nope. I’ve really liked being a mom.
  47. Name 1 thing not many people know about you: I honestly can’t think of something not many people know about me. I’m pretty open.
  48. If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to? I’d change my last name to match my husband’s and I’ve always liked the name Sasha for a first name. Or Cecelia – that’s my one unused girl name
  49. Do you believe in the afterlife? Yes, absolutely. That’s a big part of my faith.
  50. How do you feel about cookies? I’m pro cookie. Especially home baked cookies. I don’t usually like store bought cookies other than lemon wafer cookies

I’m tired

I think that the blood pressure medicine I’m taking for the migraine is causing me to be more tired. (And possibly more agitated according to Gryffindor, who is reading this over my shoulder as I type). I’m having a hard time waking up after a long time of having no problem waking up at 6:15. And if anything I’m going to bed earlier.

I’m also a bit grouchy. Possibly because I’m tired (and longing for naps all day long), possibly because I’d really prefer to spend time with my husband now that I have one, and possibly because the girls are bickering and pushing each other’s buttons constantly.

On the plus side, we’re all singing the Frozen soundtrack. We really love those songs! Beautiful. I’ve been an Idina Menzel fan since the Wicked soundtrack first came out, and she does an amazing job in Frozen. Seriously, if you haven’t seen Frozen you should go. You could bring my kids, they’d all like to see it again. Me too. Or just buy the video. It comes out soon!

I’m worried about my friend M. She’s sick and not taking good care of herself. I haven’t seen her in far too long. :(

In other news I’m tired of supervising homework. Seriously. Gryffindor is annoying me with her homework. Grrrr… My head hurts and I want to go to sleep.

I totally get honeymoons now. That would’ve been nice.

Another day

photo-19Today started out lovely. It was so nice to wake up next to my husband! (wow, that feels weird to say) :) And then to get ready for work like a normal couple.

Sadly, because the house isn’t finished, I had to leave to go on the train to work while he stayed home to get ready for his work. And then after work I went to my house and he stayed at his. :( Have we done this for almost 5 years? Yes. Is it somehow different today? Yes. I didn’t feel any different after the wedding, but I do feel different now. Lots of “wish you were here” texts.

Today’s #cy365 prompt was soft. They suggested using a macro lens on flowers, and so this is a pic of some of the flowers from the wedding. I picked up cake, flowers, and a beautiful print from my parents when we stopped by their house this afternoon. The flowers feel very springy in comparison to the snow that fell today.

I also had a bad headache this afternoon and was grouchy and snippy when the girls were annoying. I also fell asleep by accident. Whoops. Dinner was a bit later than expected.

Gryffindor got into one of the two schools she had applied to! We were very excited by the acceptance email! Now to see about money and scholarships and financial aid. It would be a good fit for her. She has a 2 day shadowing at the other school coming up next week, too.

Gryffindor had more homework than she thought she had, so she collapsed in tears, and now after spending last night curled up with my husband (loving that word!) I’ve got a 13yo curled up in my bed tonight. It’s a radically different night.

I totally get the desire for a honeymoon now. I want to shut everyone else out. Feh.

Day by day

Today was a quiet day. All 3 girls were home sick with fevers.

I came home exhausted and headachy and took a nap.

I’ve spent time helping Gryffindor find images for her Powerpoint on the FDR memorial as well as helping her print out the list of 90 family members for her genetic trait project.

Otherwise I spent a bit of today looking for a Harry Potter wedding quote. Haven’t found it yet.

And now I’m ready for bed. It’s seriously been that quiet a day.

2/3 of the girls are going to school tomorrow, but Hufflepuff is still feverish, so it’s unlikely she’ll be going. It’s amazing how much quieter our home is when she’s sick and can’t talk (and can’t listen to music due to a headache).

Tomorrow will be more interesting.

Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to the headache doctor we go…

The Chosen One stayed over last night, so I “slept” on the couch. I don’t sleep very well on the couch, but I’m the deepest sleeper, so it effects me the least. It will be so much easier once we’re married!!!

Anyhow, the appointment was in Boston at 8:30, so I dropped Ravenclaw with my mom a little after 6, made sure Gryffindor was up and eating breakfast, and checked that Hufflepuff had her phone’s alarm set to wake her up for exams. And we were off at 6:30. Ideally we’re a 45 minute drive to Boston, but that’s without rush hour traffic. And that doesn’t work for all parts of Boston. Also, we dropped my car off at work so I could get home again (the commuter rail out of Boston has a station a block from my work).

We got to the doctor 15 minutes early, so my calculations were right on! Filled out the paperwork, and got everything all set up, and then we were seen. I was really impressed by the resident (I believe) who we saw. I should note that while she was a neurologist (my despised medical profession), this group of doctors focused exclusively on migraine and headache. She was very willing to discuss alternative therapies (acupuncture was a pro, no chiropractor due to my neck & back arthritis), supplements, exercise, etc. She also noted that there were several meds that no one had tried with me, so there were lots of options. (No Botox off the bat, have to fail multiple drug treatments to get that)

One symptom I have that has baffled other doctors was a numbness, or lessening of sensation, in the right side of my face. It feels about 40% of what I feel on the left side, and it feels heavy, weighted. The doc said she had seen this quite a few times, though it was rare. She did some trick with a tuning fork and showed that it was definitely migraine that had done this, it wasn’t a pinched nerve. That made me feel so much better. Everyone else has been convinced it was MS or that I’m crazy, and it was great to hear it’s just part of the headache.

I left feeling very optimistic. We have some good (non-narcotic) drugs to try now, and quite a few options if these don’t work, plus a referral for Biofeedback and for Physical Therapy, plus the acupuncture suggestion. The Chosen One was with me, and I think he also felt hopeful when we left. Except that he was getting a cold, and he felt wretched. Yay.

The rest of the day was pretty typical – I went back to work, finished up there, picked up Gryffindor from her play practice (my dad picked up Ravenclaw from hers), and after hearing that my ex was stuck in traffic for the foreseeable future, I made a quick dinner for the girls, they did their homework, and then after I made lunches for tomorrow we read scriptures and House of Hades, and now it’s time for bed. Thursdays pass very quickly!

photo 1Yesterday’s lunches were cute though – love the little penguins! The girls were really happy to have them. :) I’m so glad my big kids still enjoy cuteness!

An unplanned day

UpsetAs I’ve mentioned, we planned to go to the Aquarium today. But, no one wanted to wake up. As you can see to the left (for my CY365 prompt “upset”), Gryffindor didn’t want to wake up at all. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw wanted to wake up even less. I couldn’t fight it, and given my headache, I gave up.

However, the fact is that we’re still moving. And we’re still closing on Wednesday. So I still need to pretend to get things done.

That meant that Ravenclaw and I went out to Target to get bins. When we went over to look at bins, though, the two sets of bins on sale were all out of lids. I asked a sales person, and she found bigger bins in the back that were on clearance for less money! Score!

Cat in a bucketSo, I got 5 bins, figuring 1 each plus one to start. I figured they could sift through their stuffed animals – every stuffed animal they don’t sleep with must fit into the box. So, of course, Hufflepuff stuffed the kitty in the box. Yuki just looked around, she didn’t try to jump out, but she was soon released.

The bad part of my plan was forgetting that stuffed animals are pretty squish able. So there weren’t a lot of animals culled. More coming soon, though.

Ravenclaw has decided at 10 that she’s too old for Barbie. So she wants to give them all away. I asked if she wanted to keep them, y’know, for her own kids or something, and she is insistent that her kids would never get Barbies. Ummm, I was pretty insistent about that, too, but the world worked against me. I held the line on Bratz, though. I had wanted them to get into Monster High Dolls like Cassie, but they didn’t. :(

4 buckets

Anyhow, the stuffed animals are sorted into bins, and all of Ravenclaw’s American Girl Dolls are in a bin. The clothes are all in there, too, but Hufflepuff and Gryffindor’s dolls will have to go in a separate bin. I’m hoping to put up shelves in their rooms for those dolls, and use a better system for storing the clothes than a bin under the coffee table.

We did a nice Family Home Evening tonight on “Divine Nature” and being spirit children of our Heavenly Father. Last week we did “Faith”. Those who have spent time with the Young Women’s program of our Church may recognize that these are the first 2 of the 8 Young Women’s Values. We’re planning to go through all of them. It’s nice to have a theme planned out for when I’m exhausted and barely able to make Family Home Evening happen.

I got fed up with the girls today and told them I was at the end of my rope. Gryffindor’s comment was “well, then climb back up it!” She reminded me of that at the time for family prayer tonight, too, in the hopes that I will have a better day tomorrow, I think. And now it’s time for me to go to bed. Lunches are done, bread is out of the oven, and I’m wiped out.

Friday night’s alright

photo-10Today Gryffindor and I submitted her final private school application. She was asked to write an essay about a place that has had an impact on her. She ended up writing 2 pages on Children’s Island, the camp where she and I both attended. Hufflepuff went for a few years, then got tired of it. Ravenclaw has been there for 3 years, but Gryffindor has been there for 8 years and I was there for 10. The pic at right is the picture she submitted with her application. It shows her obsessions without looking overly crazy.

Unfortunately, my site has been up and down as my server has to redo the RAID array, server, and router. They are taking everything down tonight, and tomorrow should be fine. Thank goodness.

I’m really proud of the lunches I made yesterday. Totoro, especially, was really cool. I’m glad the post finally went through! Hufflepuff really enjoyed showing off my creation. :)

I’m now on the train to go to The Chosen One’s house. This is probably one of the last times I’ll be doing this, and there’s a mixture of sadness and joy. I’ll be nostalgic, but it’s nice to not have to do the commute every week.

I’m still feeling a little blah. I’m looking forward to quiet and downtime for tonight and tomorrow before returning to the crazy of my own house.

Monday is MLK day and we’re straying from our 3 year tradition of MFA on MLK and going to the carousel and the aquarium again in the hopes of visiting on a day that isn’t as crazy as it was during Winter Vacation. If it was warmer I’d say we should go to the zoo, but the weather is so changeable in January in New England that it’s best to go somewhere indoors.