Really? More snow?

photo-22

Yup. More snow today. Because we didn’t get enough over the weekend. Or last week. Or the week before. I try hard not to complain about the snow, but there was a reason I moved to Texas years ago, and it had to do with fluffy white stuff and the cold. I still have internal debates about which I dislike more, heat or cold. It’s a toss up.

Hufflepuff finished her time up in Maine this morning with another half day of downhill skiing. She really enjoyed it. Unfortunately they drove right into a snowstorm and spent 8 hours on the road. There was a big blow up there, too, and now Hufflepuff and my parents aren’t speaking. Yay. I’ve only heard one side of this story and it wasn’t good. I sent a thank you/apology to my cousin, and here’s hoping she wasn’t upset.

I’m finally starting to feel better, but 2 of my favorite authors had books come out today, so I didn’t get much done. The headache was on the edge of my brain, too. It kept starting to peak, then toning down. It was highly annoying. Hoping to actually be productive tomorrow. Really. I can’t spend an entire week in bed.

I’m trying to write this but I keep getting distracted by the girls. They’re all talking about that animé show Fairytale. Hufflepuff’s D&D group is playing their game set in the Fairytale world, and Gryffindor & Ravenclaw are obsessed with the show itself. So now they’ve been having a lively discussion for over an hour. It’s late, but they don’t have to get up early for school tomorrow. And seriously – they’re all having a good discussion with no name calling or anything negative at all! It’s hard for me to shut that down. I had always wished I had sisters growing up so I could have that sleepover-like atmosphere all the time. That’s what I wanted for my girls, and I’m a sucker when that’s happening. If they’re all happy and bonding as a group I am loathe to shut that down. Ever. It’s like how I hate to tell anyone to stop reading.

Well, I still have a bedtime, and now I’m up past it, so I will say goodnight.


Anger and Joy

ConversationToday had some highs and lows. And a boatload of snow. We didn’t have a snow day, but after school activities were cancelled due to the snow. My mom awesomely saved me by picking up my kids so I could finish working. Gryffindor was home because the private school had a snow day, which we found out on our way there. Whoops!

Today’s #cy365 prompt was conversation, so I tipped over our conversation hearts and took a picture of it. I liked the pic.

Work was work. No big stories there. But it was my full day. I stupidly wore flats rather than boots and ended up with very wet and cold feet after clearing off my car. Thankfully the big snow stopped at 3, and I left at 4:30.

photo 2I got home to find Hufflepuff playing Minecraft and having a Skype call with her friends. And the front steps and sidewalk weren’t shoveled. So I shipped her off to shovel while I tried to unfreeze my feet. I’ll admit that I came home feeling very irritable, but finding her sitting wasting time made me angry. She should’ve shoveled the steps before I came home (her sisters went with their dad early).

My book club debated having the meeting tonight or not because of the snow, but we ended up having it. It was lovely – it was 4 of us for a couple hours, and then a 5th person came. A lively discussion about a wonderful book, The Night Circus, which was wonderful. Highly recommended.

photo 3At the end of book club they presented me with this basket as a wedding gift! It was wonderful! Definitely a Harry Potter theme, for some odd reason, plus chocolate from my favorite chocolate place! They seriously know me! It’s so incredibly sweet! Love my book club – it’s the bestest book club ever, and I’m so glad I was able to get there tonight!

And then I got a call on my way home from Ravenclaw asking when I would be home (she and Gryffindor had been with their dad until 9pm). And that’s when I found out that the ONE THING I asked Hufflepuff to do she neglected to do. I asked her to have her sisters get into their jammies and get in bed to read. Did she do that? Nope. They were watching TV until after 10pm!  Grrrr! She had the gall to be asleep when I got home, but her younger sisters were not at all. So I woke her up to speak sharply to her. I’m incredibly disappointed. And it really makes me not want to do nice things for her. She’s going to Maine to ski tomorrow, and I’m supposed to get her long johns, warm socks, and warm gloves. So not what I want to be doing tomorrow after tonight. Bah.

Finally, to leave on a high note, I’ll leave you with Gryffindor’s homework assignment – she had to write a poem about the Holocaust. She chose free verse. A limerick or haiku would probably be inappropriate.

DESTINY

The young,

The old,

Scraps of who they were,

About to die.

Our demise draws nearer,

Our destiny is claimed.

Just another shoe in the mountains.

 

 

 


Snow Day

Front walkWell, this was one of the most needed snow days I’ve ever had. I had been exhausted for days, and it meant I could nap and just be slothful. It was lovely. Other than making meals for the girls, I did almost nothing other than read. Which was great. I’m getting really into our book club book (though somehow I was in the mood for a romance novel, so I’m rereading a couple I love), but I’m about halfway through the book club book, so I should be able to finish it without a problem in a week.

Unfortunately, the girls’ father is sick and didn’t take them tonight, so I suddenly had to make a meal I wasn’t expecting. Blerg. I noticed that I never get a sick day, but he’s taken several.

I am hoping that someday I can have The Chosen One make a meal or two for the girls. Or that the girls will start to cook for us, something that they do for their dad and grandparents. Or both. I have high hopes for once we’re living together. Low expectations, but high hopes.

The #cy365 prompt today was from the top, hence the picture of our front stoop taken from the warmth of my bedroom.

Today was supposed to be movie night, but M is sick, so that was a no go. Maybe next week.

After I shoveled the front walk I went out to shovel out my car, and our neighbors were walking past and helped me out! So nice! Out of the two times I’ve had to shovel out I’ve had someone snowplow for me, and now had three people help me shovel out! I don’t trust my luck though, I need to buy more shovels so the girls can help. I’ve got to utilize the teen energy in the house! However, we’ve had a bunch of illness battles in the house, so I didn’t want them out in the snow anyhow.

Overall a good day, other than the girls’ dad bailing on them. I’m glad I had some food in the house! I need to get some more food. Or money. Or both. I really wanted to buy pizza today. Maybe tomorrow.


Capturing my 365

CaringI haven’t taken many photos today, and most of the photos I took yesterday were blurry ones of Gryffindor’s performance, so I’m inserting my #cy365 photos into the post, despite them not really being relevant to much of my day. Yesterday’s was “Caring”, which I showed by petting our cat on top of a quilt made by my grandmother. Today’s prompt was “Vivid”, which was captured by taking a pic of some of the colors we’re considering for the house.

If you’re reading this and you’re LDS, you need to watch this video: General Authorities eat a Reese’s Cup.  One of the speakers today used this parody to open his talk, and it grabbed everyone’s attention. Especially my kids, who are seriously motivated by chocolate! :) I just watched the video, and the impressions are spot on. He did a few more, and it was perfect. Loved it! So perfectly captured the tone of these leaders.

Last night my friend S called to say that she and her husband were sick, and could I please take her daughter, ML, to church with us. I was so happy to say yes! S and her husband have done so many things for us, it was great to be able to help them! Plus, ML and Ravenclaw are BFFs, and we haven’t gotten them together much lately, so that was good. I offered to take her for the afternoon, too, so the two girls could hang out. As a bonus, it would keep Ravenclaw busy while I ran some boxes over to the new house.

My original plan was to have Hufflepuff help me move things over to the new house while Ravenclaw & ML played and Gryffindor was in her school play. That plan kinda fell apart. I got one load of my little car (4 tubs, 3 cardboard boxes) over to the house and got a basement window somewhat duct taped, but I didn’t get much more done. Why? Well…

VividIt’s really cold in a house with no heat in January in New England. My poor toes were frozen. My 7 year old Emus (Ugg knockoffs) finally gave out on me, and I didn’t have warm shoes on. Plus, Hufflepuff was sick, so she couldn’t help. Like actually stuck in bed with a cough and lost voice sick. She ended up vomiting later in the evening. Yay. I ended up taking a nap rather than making another really cold run. I’m hoping to make another run tomorrow, though.

Ravenclaw and I dropped ML off after her parents had a good 9 hours of sleeping/feeling crummy. I felt like I was really helpful for the first time in a while. Of course, now I worry that ML will catch whatever Hufflepuff has, but they weren’t even on the same floor, much less in the same room. She also wasn’t interacting with Gryffindor, who ended up spiking a fever after her play.

Gryffindor had texted me that the play was over and she was at the cast party and they were eating pizza and cake, and could she come home? Of course! It sucks to watch people eat some of your favorite foods and not be able to eat it because of being gluten-free! :( I ended up making pizzas for the family tonight (though Hufflepuff didn’t eat any) to help Gryffindor feel better after the cast party.

So, I’m surrounded by sick people. Ravenclaw is getting better, both older girls can’t go to school tomorrow, and The Chosen One was sick all weekend. Awesome. My headache was even manageable this weekend. I’m feeling pretty lucky. I don’t have time to be sick, but that doesn’t usually mean I won’t get sick. Oh, and the girls’ father was sick this weekend, too. He ended up not being able to go to the play, which really upset Gryffindor. :( Thankfully my parents were able to go, so she wasn’t performing without family in the audience.

Tonight is an early-to-bed night for everyone, including me, and then tomorrow is back to work, with Ravenclaw returning to school while the other two lay around feeling crummy.


We bought a house!!!

Squeeeeee!

Today was a snow day for the kids, so our timing for the walk through and the closing was later than originally expected. And then the snow was a lot less than expected. Ah, well. It meant we all got to sleep in.

New house

The Chosen One and I are now the proud owners of a lovely house! Ok, it’s not perfectly lovely now, but it’ll look better soon. First is getting heat. After heat is a new roof, and then we have to replace the deck. After we get the heat we can also paint inside (I don’t like green or orange, two favorite colors of the people who painted the house last). The outside is vinyl siding, so replacing that will have to happen a little later. Ditto for the crank windows. New toilets and one new vanity can be pretty soon, though. The downstairs vanity is truly horrible.

Paint is cheap and changes a room so quickly that it’s worth it. Absolutely. (and I’ll be learning how to paint via YouTube and my dear friend S who wants to help. Also hoping at least one or two other people want to help in exchange for pizza and soda. And cookies.) We have a few rooms completely planned, but a few still have some working room. Looking forward to a trip to Ikea for some other ideas and to get one kid a bed.

We met with a kitchen remodeling guy from Home Depot, and he was great. We have no heat, remember, so it was a very, very cold meeting. But we have an idea of the cost (ouch!) and know we can’t do it right away. We also have a much better idea of what we want and what we both like. Thankfully there’s enough overlap between us that we could create a gorgeous kitchen. For now, we’ll make do and feel lucky we don’t have the red counters my brother and sister-in-law are dealing with!

And now sleep – headache doctor in the morning.


Snowstorms and Family Trees

CrittersToday started pretty normally. Well, Hufflepuff had midterms today, so she was able to sleep in (no midterms today, no school today). Gryffindor and Ravenclaw weren’t thrilled with getting up while their sister slept in, to put it mildly.

They did get cute Chebe little animal breads, though. That made up for a little of the sadness.

I forgot to record last night’s smart-aleck replies:

Me: I’m at the end of my rope, girls

Gryffindor: Then climb back up.

later, when we repeated it,

Ravenclaw: If you can’t climb up, swing. Swinging is fun.

Yeah, they’re quotable.

Tomorrow is the closing (squeeee!), but we’re in the middle of a snowstorm, so the walk-through and the closing have been switched to afternoon rather than first thing in the morning. School has already been closed for tomorrow, and it’s unlikely I’ll get into work before The Chosen One and I go to the closing.

Family TreeGryffindor’s homework for this week is to make a list of all her living relatives. Including steps. I’m currently at 92. My side of the family is about 85% of that number, her dad’s is much smaller. I’m sure I’m forgetting a couple members of his family, too. She wants to get over 100. I say she marks The Chosen One as her step-dad, that could push her over. But she says that would be cheating, as he isn’t her step-dad yet. She has a point, I guess.

I’m tired, and the above paragraph could be much better with a little work, but one last quote:

Gryffindor: “Mommy, we’re out of Lemonheads. I need more Lemonheads. Go get me more Lemonheads. They aren’t pot, you should be happy.”

The fact that it’s snow storming outside isn’t a deterrent. I suggested she go get them herself, but she won’t go out in the snow in her pjs. Maybe The Chosen One can bring her a couple Lemon Drops from Honeydukes tomorrow.


Snow, Skates, and Shoveling

Skates & shovel

Today is a snow day. Snowstorm “Hercules” has brought well over a foot of snow in 24-36 hours. Yesterday was also a snow day for the girls, but I had a half day of work. I was very grateful to get home safely in the snow – I haven’t driven in the snow in years and years, and hate it.

Today’s photo prompt for the 365 photo challenge was “Winter Sports”. Yesterday Hufflepuff and her friend P went to our local pond to skate, but it was covered with snow. Rather than give up, they went to my mom’s house and borrowed a shovel to go clear the snow off the ice so they could skate. They were gone for a couple hours, and had a blast. They were disappointed in a mom and teen that came out to skate, and were rude to them saying “that’s not enough space to skate!” My daughter showed more restraint than me, as I would’ve said something like “if you want more cleared off, you shovel it!” Instead, she said “clearing the ice takes a long time.” Yeesh.

Parking roadI went out to get the house and car shoveled out, and there was probably a foot and a half of snow, plus the debris snow from the snowplows. The house has a very short area to shovel, and it went very quickly and easily.

My car is parked on an off-street parking road, and there was a lot to shovel. The snowplow debris was much heavier than the light snowfall I had shoveled off our steps and sidewalk. I felt very grateful when a young man offered to snowplow my car out, and that left very little for me to do. I was really lucky to have been there starting to shovel when he came by!

Snow table

To give a sense of the snowfall, before the storm, the table was clear. The picture at the left was at about 3pm. At right is this morning at 8am. That’s a lot of snow to fall in a short time!

Mailbox

I also love this pic of the mailbox with the snow on top. There was more snow on the ground, of course, but a lot piled up on the table, mailbox, window boxes, etc.

My headache that started two Mondays before Thanksgiving is still ongoing. I have a specialist appointment on 1/23, and that was the first available day. I have an appointment today at 3:45 to meet with my primary care doctor about ongoing pain management. I really don’t want to go out into the snow, but it’s better to go out in the snow and get pain meds than to stay inside and be in severe pain all weekend. That was my main reason for shoveling out my car. I’ll scrape it and start it up before I have to leave.

Later this afternoon I’ll take the train to go stay with The Chosen One for 24 hours or so while the younger two girls are with their father and Hufflepuff is with her grandparents. Here’s hoping the house closes soon so we can all live in the same town! I’m starting to get a little tired of the commute, though it does give me some alone time to read and listen to audiobooks and podcasts.


Shopping and snow

shopping bagsFor Christmas every year I give the girls 3 gifts – one to wear, one to read, one for fun. This year every girl got a gift card to a clothing shop and the opportunity to have a 1:1 shopping trip with me as their “to wear” gift, along with a pack of socks. I had already gone shopping with Ravenclaw (very fun, but tiring) and Gryffindor (a bit more draining), and I was, quite honestly, dreading shopping yesterday with Hufflepuff. She loves to shop. Loves it. To put it mildly, I don’t. She also loves to shop at a store with the loudest music ever. Ravenclaw had dragged me into Justice, which is plenty loud and crowded, and that had not been good for my month-long headache. G1′s gift card was to Forever 21, and that store is known for very, very loud music.

Well, it was loud. Not too crowded, thankfully, but very, very loud. And my wonderful, considerate, sweet daughter apologized for it. She was so empathetic and worried about my headache and the music. She also found some great stuff, and we left happy. I may have been happier to leave than she was, but it all went well. The shopping at Target, the store where they play no music at all, was made much more awesome by the Forever 21 stop.

mickeyMeanwhile, we are now in the midst of a snowstorm. It’s supposed to be a long, cold snowstorm with light, fluffy snow, but an awful lot of it. Last night they cancelled school before any snow fell, which continues to confuse me. I’ve become a total skeptic about snowstorms after several failed to materialize, so I wasn’t believing that the storm would come until the snow actually started falling. In the morning, shoveling the front steps and brushing off the car before driving to work, I completely agreed with the decision. Plus, it was nice not to be awoken at 5am to be told the kids got to sleep in. I left them snuggled in their beds with a note written in dry erase marker on the mirror telling them to call or text me when they wake up. Normally I have the day off if school is cancelled, but after a week and a half vacation from work I felt like I needed to show up.

I left at noon with my boss’s blessing, came home to shovel again, and saw that Mickey reported over 6″ of snow.  Hufflepuff is off skating with her friend, and the younger two are watching an animé tv show. Tomorrow’s school and work have already been called off, so we have a quiet day or two ahead.