Thursday, December 29, 2005

And so this was Christmas...

So Christmas has come and gone. We had a very nice day. Matthew woke up at 6:13 a.m. (he informed me that was the exact time), but after I got him some water, he settled in to watch cartoons and let me go back to bed until Kaylee started stirring about half an hour later. The kids were very excited about all their gifts, and they actually managed to take turns opening them this year. Although it helped that the first thing of Kaylee’s we had her open was new vanity from my folks, so she would go sit at that and play in between her turns. Thank goodness Mark assembled it Christmas Eve. :-p

Let’s see if I can remember what everyone got…

Matthew
  • From Santa – Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 and a dance pad for his X-Box and a Yu-Gi-Oh GX Duel Disk. In his stocking were also Silly Putty, a glow draw pad, some sponge mystical creature capsules, a Yu-Gi-Oh deck, a couple of compressed holiday wash clothes, chocolate, and an apple.

  • From Kaylee – a Godzilla X-Box game.

  • From Mark and I – another X-Box game (name?), a checker set, and Darth Vader slippers.

  • From Grandpa Jim and Grandma Karyl – a large magic set.

  • From Uncle Todd – an electronic projects snap kit.

  • From Grandpa Archie and Grandma De – a Spiderman web blaster/mask set.

  • From Grandma Jan – Crossfire game.

  • From Great Grandpa – a SpongeBob play set.

Kaylee
  • From Santa – a Cinderella tea set and a Cinderella jewelry box. In her stocking were also a Barbie shapes card game, a playdoh roller toy, a necklace, Disney Princess lip balms, a couple of compressed holiday wash clothes, chocolate, and an apple.

  • From Matthew – a Cinderella doll that lights up.

  • From Mark and I – 2 Dora furniture sets (the bathroom and parents’ bedroom), a Disney Princess foam puzzle/play mat.

  • From Grandpa Jim and Grandma Karyl – the vanity.

  • From Uncle Todd – a Cinderella wedding dress, jewelry box, and “glass” slippers that light up when she moves.

  • From Grandpa Archie and Grandma De – a baby doll with stroller, diaper bag, etc.

  • From Grandma Jan – Disney Princess calendar.

  • From Great Grandpa – a SpongeBob play set.

Mark
  • In his stocking – 5 DVD’s of old movies, a box of chocolate, more chocolate, and an apple.

  • From Matthew – a Harry Potter magic card trick, a football figure.

  • From Kaylee – Mickey Mouse mini-cards, a pig magic book.

  • From me – a Cowboys sweatshirt, a magic video, a football figure.

  • Cash from all the grandparents.

Me
  • In my stocking – 2 scratch-off lottery tickets (one had zip, the other $20), 2 chocolate oranges, a Coldplay CD (X&Y), more chocolate, and an apple.

  • From Matthew – a set of 11 jigsaw puzzles.

  • From Kaylee – a light blue fleecy Eeyore shirt that says “Moody”.

  • From Mark – a subscription to “Scrapbook Answers” magazine, and “permission” to go get a new camera, since he couldn’t find the one he had picked out to get me.

  • From my parents – a watch, jeans, and a shirt.

  • Cash from the other grandparents.

Mark and I also got an ice cream spade from my parents, and we all got new pj’s Christmas Eve (basically from me LOL). Mark also got himself a new laptop last week, so he definitely wasn’t short-changed. I’m sure there’s more I’ve forgotten. :-p

It took us about 45 minutes or so to open all the gifts. The kids were thrilled. Matthew kept saying in amazement how everyone had read his mind. Then we spent most of the day playing with the kids – Mark mostly playing Godzilla with Matthew, and Kaylee and I playing in her room with her Dora house and vanity and having a tea party under her bed. She wore her Cinderella dress and shoes almost all day, and applied about 600 coats of lip balm. Kaylee kept calling the stockings “beanstalks”. LOL

The days since then have been a blur. Mark’s working from home this week, and is actually having to do a lot of work to prepare to teach classes when he goes back. Matthew’s been playing a lot of checkers and X-Box. Kaylee snuck her stocking into her room one day and ate all her chocolate in one sitting. I found the wrappers all over her floor. Yesterday I rearranged her room to make room for the vanity in there. I cleaned out her drawers and there was plenty of room to fit everything that was left into the tall 5-drawer unit. I pulled out the wider lower 3-drawer dresser, which is now sitting in the middle of Mark’s office, waiting for the corner of the guest room to be cleared out for it. (Which means the card table will be freed up, and I’ll actually have a place to do my new jigsaw puzzles.)

I’ve been getting caught up on my creative team assignments. I got five layouts done but still have two layouts to do, three reviews to write, and two kits to make. I’ve also been organizing all my scrap kits on my hard drive, which I got mostly done yesterday. I really need to burn some backups though.

I went to the scrapbook store this afternoon and picked up some more album refills and a “Designing With Digital” idea book that I’ve been wanting. I took Kaylee with me, and she zonked out in the truck on the way home. I had to make a quick stop at the grocery store and figured she’d wake up when we got out in the fresh air and got to walking around the store. Wrong. I carried her in, and then asked her if she could walk. She said yes, so I grabbed a cart and got started, with her holding my hand as we walked. She stumbled and fell every few steps. She was asleep on her feet! I ended up carrying her except when I had to stand her up to get something off a low shelf. When we got home, I put her on the couch and she stayed asleep all evening, even with all the normal ruckus going on. We moved her back to our room with Mark a while ago, so that she wouldn’t fall off the couch. At this point (it’s after 9pm) I just hope she sleeps through the night and doesn’t wake up at 3 o’clock and think it’s time to get up. Mark’s not feeling well himself today, so he thinks they’re both coming down with something. I sure hope he’s wrong!

On a slightly “scary” note, my big LCD monitor has been acting up. It takes several tries to get it to come on in the morning. I wrote to their customer support a couple of days ago, but haven’t heard back. The thing supposedly has a 3-year warranty, but I can’t tell if this would be covered under it. Ok, so that’s not scary to anyone but me. I just hate to think about my monitor dying and not being able to replace it.

Alright, I guess I should wrap up this ridiculously long post. :-p

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Nearly a month? Whoops.

Where does the time go?  Since my last post, I conquered some nasty spyware that had really bogged down my computer.  I was “this close” to reformatting my hard drive before I figured out the problem.  Turned out to be a combination between Apropos adware and a Windows security patch.  All hunky dorey since then, though.  

Kaylee’s been sick (allergies + strep throat), and I haven’t been feeling so hot myself.  Hopefully, we’re on the tail end of it now though.

Been very busy getting ready for Christmas.  Making some gifts, decorating, shopping, putting together our newsletter and sending out cards.

Doesn’t sound like much at all, so how come I’ve felt so swamped?  Where does the time go?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a great holiday! We had a pretty laid back day here. I worked on a layout while the kids watched TV and played. Mark slept in, then read the paper and watched football.

Being it was just the four of us, it wasn't too bad to get the meal ready other than that the 3 lb. turkey breast took more like an hour and half to cook, instead of the hour it was supposed to. But we did all quick, easy sides, so it was no big deal. Besides the turkey, we had mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, crescent rolls, broccoli in cheese sauce, and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip. Oh, and chocolate pudding - very important, since about four bowls of it is the only thing Kaylee ate. LOL

(Wow, I just discovered that Ctrl+S publishes the post instead of saving a draft of it. Have to be careful of that! LOL)

What else is going on? I'm running another challenge at RAKScraps for Thanksgiving. I got hit by adware yet again this week, so I bought Spy Sweeper (got a deal - free after rebate). I'm having other computer problems though - Windows Explorer is taking forever whenever it has to access the drive list. Very frustrating.

Kaylee didn't go to school this week. She just has a cold, but doc said to keep her home. At least it was only two days. Matthew did great at school last week, had one good day and one not-so-good day this week (talking too much). Mark and I got flu shots last weekend. Most painful shot I've ever had (at least that I remember), and I was quite sore the next day or two.

I'm sure there must have been other minorly noteworthy events over the last ten days, but I can't think of any, so I guess I might as well shut up now. :-)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Week of the million little things, Fifth Disease

I don't know where the week went. Seems like I was constantly busy with a lot of little things, but I don't feel like I accomplished a whole lot.

I did get Mark's new web design done, which took quite a bit of time. Now he "just" has to go plug the content in for all the pages. Piece of cake, right? ;-)

Last week was the RAKScraps RAK-a-bration 1st anniversary celebration, so I ran a challenge for that. I also created a new kit that will be a participation prize for another challenge I'm running at the end of the month. It's one of my favorite kits that I've created so far, not that I've done a ton of them. One of these days I'm going to set up a little gallery for them on my site.

We also worked last week on helping Matthew understand how his behaviors at school (talking, not paying attention, not getting his work done, bothering others) were causing problems. Between notes from his teacher and us discussing it with him, I think we got through to him, and he showed a lot of improvement. We also did a dollar a day reward for good reports, which was a good motivator for him to try harder. We're going to keep that up for a bit then phase it out once it's (hopefully) become more of a habit for him to behave appropriately.

What other little things were there? Let's see - a last minute gift for a fellow TOPS member who has reached her goal (although I had weeks to get it), the usual grocery shopping, a bit of laundry, figuring out our health care spending account contribution for next year so we could do the benefit enrollment (which we almost forgot to do), worked some on Christmas presents, the usual running the kids to the bus stop/school, helping Matthew with his homework ... it's all a blur.

Then Saturday night Kaylee started running a fever, not real high, but definitely a fever. She'd had the sniffles before that. She was tired and moody yesterday and still running the fever, so we knew she wasn't going to school today. Then this morning she woke up with no fever, but has a red rash on her cheeks and chin. I called our pediatrician's office. They said it's probably Fifth Disease. Sounds pretty ominous, and it is highly contagious, but it's basically just the fever and rash and is only dangerous to pregnant women because of a risk of birth defects. Once the rash appears, you're no longer contagious, so, basically, if Kaylee's fever stays down and she's feeling better, she can go back to school tomorrow.

Matthew was really tired last night, and was coughing a lot and complaining that his throat hurt and he didn't feel well this morning, so we kept him home today too. He's perked up enough though, that I think he's probably fine. Either that or it's just too soon to tell.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Halloween, flu shots

Gosh, I've been slacking about writing here again. Hard habit to get into.

Halloween was fun. The weather warmed back up a bit, but a storm came through that day. Fortunately, it was gone by around 5 pm, so it didn't interfere with trick-or-treating, although the kids had to wear coats over their costumes, since there was still a cold wind. That was a first - normally we're sweating on Halloween night. Anyway, Matthew was a ninja and Kaylee was a bride. Kaylee was tired and was walking slow when we left and got slower and slower as the night went on. It took us an hour and a half to go around our block! The kids had a great time though and, of course, got tons of candy.

We took the kids today to get their flu shots. Matthew has a major fear of shots. He gets so worked up worrying about them, that he upsets himself before we even get there - the anticipation is much worse than the shot itself. Mark managed to get it through to him that last time the shot was over before Matthew even realized what was happening, and although he was still nervous, Matthew (loudly) repeated that several times to the other kids in the waiting room. Both kids did great with the shot itself, and when they got to pick out prizes afterward, Matthew was actually proclaiming that he thought he liked shots. :-p

Monday, October 24, 2005

Brrrrrrrrr, stupid adware, still sick

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! A cold front moved through here yesterday, and when Matthew and I went out to the bus stop this morning it was only 40°F! Quite a change! Went from not even needing a jacket some mornings, to shivering in a winter coat. I'll be glad when Daylight Saving Time ends. At least then the sun will have had a bit more time to get up - for a week or two anyway until the days get that much shorter again. :-p

I spent most of the day today trying to clean some stupid adware off my pc. I have no idea where I picked it up. One day last week while I was eating lunch and not even AT my computer, my BHO Demon went nuts, but whatever set it off had "disappeared" by the time I went to check it. I've been getting these annoying pop-unders ever since then and Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy didn't take care of it (but I did find out in the process that although I was checking for new updates of those programs, there were actually whole new versions of both of them out that the little update checkers fail to tell you about - grrrrr). Anyway, after poking around and trying a lot of stuff, I finally found a recommendation in a forum on Geeks to Go to fix a similar problem using the trial version of Spy Sweeper, so I installed and ran that and I think it took care of it. I haven't had anymore since. Keeping my fingers crossed. Something I did today screwed up my message rules for Outlook though. Even though they're still there, they're not running. sigh.

I think I spoke too soon about getting over whatever bug this is that I have. For the last few days I've felt more or less fine for most of the day, and then late in the afternoon I just hit a wall - no energy, tired, achy, upset stomcah, sore throat... just basically want to crawl into bed and hide from the world. Not fun. In fact, I think I'm going to go crawl back into bed right now.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Birthday parties, illness, sleep deprivation

Bad blogger. Will get the hang of writing more often someday. Maybe.

The week was a blur. Took Matthew Sunday to the birthday party of the twin girls who live around the corner. The party was at Chuck E. Cheese. Fun. Not crowded at all. Matthew loved this snowmobile ride-on race video game. I knew one of the other moms, so I chatted with her some; I'd actually met her at a scrap night a month or so ago, so it was weird to run into her there.

We have another birthday party to go to tomorrow. Halloween theme at someone's house.

Mark was sick this week - some sort of stomach and aches thing. He got it Tuesday but managed to get through work, then stayed home Wednesday and Thursday. I got hit with it on Wednesday, but seemingly much milder as I was feeling a lot better already yesterday. I'm about 90% better today.

I am, however, limping around here like a complete invalid. I somehow screwed up my left Achilles tendon. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that my shoes are far beyond shot and have been for about a year.

Kaylee's been having sleep issues off and on. Three or four nights over the past week, she woke up in the middle of the night and did not want to go back to sleep. Which, of course, means that she kept us up as well. Not fun, especially when I'd already been way overtired and trying to catch up on my sleep.

That's about all the "exciting" news for right now. I've been entering a huge backlog (like 10 months' worth) of receipts into Quicken for our tax and account stuff and should get back to it now. Woo hoo. :-p

Friday, October 14, 2005

Crusts, caller ID, Nielsen

Sign of terminal mommy-ness: inadvertantly cutting the crusts off your own grilled cheese sandwich.

We have caller ID. I am not going to interrupt my lunch (or anything else for that matter) to answer an unidentified call. If you don't want to talk to my answering machine, don't bother calling.

We are a Nielsen family this week. I myself usually only watch my soap ("All My Children") and "Desperate Housewives" and sometimes whatever else dh happens to have on at night after I move back to the bedroom. Facing exactly how much tv I've been letting the kids, especially Kaylee, watch may be pretty unsettling though. :-o

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Blah week, eye exam

Well, I have been feeling oh so very blah this week. I've been tired a LOT, have been having headaches (have one right now), and just haven't felt like doing anything whatsoever. I did get a bit done for Mark on a new look we're working on for his website, and I've got one scrap layout mostly done, but that's been about it.

I had an eye exam today. The last time I went was in spring of 2001, before I got laid off. Surprisingly, my vision has not changed at all since then, which rules out what I was wondering as far as one possible cause for my headaches. Our eye doctor is really great; he takes his time to thoroughly go over everything and really listens. I got the Lutein lecture with a full explanation of why I should be taking it, but other than that (and being as incredibly nearsighted as ever), my eyes are fine. I did ask about the possibility of surgery. He said that my vision problems are exactly what Lasik was designed for. He spent a lot of time going over what was involved in the procedure and recovery, gave me more info to read, and did not try to "sell" the procedure at all. In fact, he said he thinks it's done too much. I loved his whole approach; it gave me a lot to think about. It's definitely not something we can afford right now, but maybe something to look at for next year. Hard to justify that much money on something that's really not necessary for me and would be mostly a matter of vanity though. :-p

Saturday, October 08, 2005

State Fair

We went to the state fair yesterday. It's only the second time we've been, and we've lived here nearly 15 years. The weather was not especially great (a bit chilly and cloudy and a possibility of rain), but Mark had arranged to take the day off, so we bundled up the kids and headed out anyway.

We didn't really have any kind of a plan as far as what we wanted to see, so we just started wandering. We came in through the Midway, with Matthew getting very excited about all of the games, but Mark told him he'd have to wait until the end of the day for that.

The first thing we did was watch the Top Flight K-9 show. I really wish I'd pulled out my camera and gotten some shots of the amazement on Matthew's face as he watched the dogs leaping high into the air and the delight in Kaylee's eyes as she clapped along with the crowd.

Next on the agenda was finding a place where we could sit down and have some lunch. We'd wandered the wrong direction away from the food court, so it took us a bit to make our way back down there. We went through the auto show, and stopped by a video game that was set up in a car on our way out (leave it to Matthew to find a video game at a fair). Once we found the food court, we filled up on pizza and hot dogs and gyros and soda and lemon shake-ups, and then it was back out to explore.

After a quick stop for Mark to try to change his luck by buying his lottery tickets there (it didn't work LOL), we let the kids play for a while on a big elephant statue outside the Natural History Museum.

Just a short way down from the museum were the swan paddle boats. The kids got sooooo excited when they saw those. Mark gave Matthew a choice between riding the boats or playing a game on the Midway, and Matthew chose the boats. I waited with the kids on a bench while Mark went to buy more coupons, and it was all I could do to keep Kaylee from running over to the dock. Mark got back, and we went and got the kids their life jackets and got in line. I was really afraid that Kaylee would change her mind and throw a fit and not want to get in, but she didn't. Matthew and Mark took one boat and Kaylee and I took another. We had a lot of fun out there paddling around. Kaylee spent much of the ride just staring at the pedals on her side of the boat going around and around. The only mishap was while handing the camera off to Mark, the umbrella fell out of my jacket pocket into the pond, but I managed to grab it before it sank.

After that, we headed back towards the Midway, stopping to watch the barker - an illusion whereby he was only the top half of a man stuck on a pole, which, of course, inspired all kinds of questions from Matthew. I don't think Kaylee knew what to think.

Even though Matthew had agreed to no game, he still wanted one of these ginormous inflatable hammers he had seen some other kids with, so Mark decided to have a guy try to guess his (Mark's) age. He looked back and forth from Mark to me and the kids several times and finally settled on 34, missing by a mere 11 years, so Matthew got his hammer. :-)

Last stop was to fill the one item on my request list - no trip to the fair would be complete without eating funnel cakes. They weren't the best I've had, but were still quite tasty.

Then we trudged back to the car and headed for home. We had been at the fair for only about four hours, but with two young kids and trying to keep track of them in the crowd, that was plenty, and we were all pretty tired. Kaylee zonked out in the car almost immediately, and Matthew followed later, leaning so far over the side of his seat that his head was almost in Kaylee's lap (and the darn camera was in the trunk). :-p

Overall an exhausting but fun day. :-)

So, here I am, etc.

Hi. I've set up this blog mainly for me, as a way to help hold onto some of those little moments that seem to be constantly slipping away, and also a way to easily share those moments with friends and family. I'm not expecting there to be anything controversial or earth-shattering or even especially deep here. Just little ol' me and a bit of my life.

So... why "Kim, Etc."? Well, I wanted a new domain for my site - something a bit more casual, personal, and fun - and all the ones I liked better were taken. So the "Kim" part will be about me, and the "etc." part allows me to throw in everything else. :-)