Sunday, January 29, 2006

Slush gush, ring thing.

Poof! The weekend disappeared! Someone please bring it back!

Scientific factoid of the day: if you accidentally poke your straw through the side of your styrofoam cup, which is very full of cherry slush, said slush will gush out of the resulting hole at a rate much, much faster than you might expect. Factoid brought to you by Matthew and the Sonic at the mall.

The shopping trip today also included looking for Mark’s shoes (out of his size) and work pants (found, and on sale!), a trip to the used book store for new (well, new to us) books for the kids, and a stop by the jewelry repair shop for three new watch batteries, a watch band, and work on my rings.

So now I’m trying to adjust to this alien thing on my finger. I used to wear my wedding and engagement rings pretty much 24/7… up until I was about six months pregnant with Matthew. I had gained weight before, but since I always had the rings on, I had a nice little dent where they fit comfortably. Once the pregnancy weight hit though, they had to go. Most of that pregnancy weight came off fairly quickly after Matthew was born, but my dent was gone, so I still couldn’t wear the rings.

Well, I don’t know exactly when, but sometime here in the last year or so, I got back down to a size where I could get the rings on again, but they’d taken quite a beating when I was working on telephone switching equipment. The band of the wedding ring was bent, and one of the prongs on the setting on the engagement ring was badly bent, so I decided not to wear them and risk losing the stone until I could get them fixed. When Mark mentioned that he needed to get his watch fixed, I remembered them, so I dug my way back through my closet, moving enough boxes and various assorted junk to be able to lean over and open the top of my jewelry box, and retrieved them from their little velvet groove. (Have I mentioned I need to clean out my closet?)

So, for the first time in over seven years, here I sit, with my shiny, delicate rings on that finger, and I am so very totally aware of them. I’m sure I’ll be used to them again soon, but it makes me smile to look at them, and reminds me of the great guy I’m married to and that sunny spring day nearly 15 years ago when I became his wife. And I’m happy.

Plus, now I can go out dancing with my moms’ group and not feel guilty about being out with a naked ring finger... ;-)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sometimes no news is just no news.

Still no lab results for Matthew. The nurse called late yesterday afternoon and said they hadn’t realized that the test had to be sent off to California to be done. In the mean time, she asked if we could start keeping a log of when Matthew is having seizures. I don’t know if they’ll be able to keep one at school or not, but in the mean time, I jotted down the ones he had here at home. He had three today that we noticed. And, of course, he could be having a lot more, since if we aren’t directly interacting with him at the time, we wouldn’t know. :(

Not too much going on. I finished up my February Mega Kit contribution yesterday. I have a bunch of layouts I need to do, but I decided I need to take some time and clean up my hard drives and back up some files first. I was down to less than 1 GB of free space on each of my two primary drives. These drives hold 117 GB… each. Since the layouts and kits I create are high-resolution files, often with lots of layers, the space gets eaten up quickly. Not to mention all the kits I have that I’ve downloaded. I’d estimate I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200 kits! (That doesn’t even include all the stand-alone elements.) The really sad part is that it’s probably being very generous to say that I’ve actually used 150-200 of them. Anyway, I’ve spent the better part of the day working on organizing and getting rid of duplicate files, and I’m nowhere near done. Very tedious. I haven’t even gotten close to the backing up stage yet. I’ve made a very small dent and freed up about 10 GB so far. I may have to do this in stages, since I have other things I need to work on.

Did I mention that on top of everything else, Mark volunteered me to put together the layouts for the talent section of the program for TAOM? A creative genius’ work is never done. ;-)

I feel so sticky!

This quiz is going around a lot of scrapper blogs. Thought it was fun. :)

What scrapbooking item are you?

Glue
You are GLUE!
You are the adhesive that keeps things together.
You go through life helping others. You stick
to people and try to keep people together.
You like it best when you are surrounded by
people and able to help them. But Glue Beware
- in your efforts to keep everyone together
and with you, you sometimes overlook yourself
and find it hard to keep yourself together.
Don't neglect personal time in your
overwhelming need to socialize and help
others.

What scrapbooking item are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fender follow-up, and monitor news.

When I bend a fender, I really do it right. :-b  Mark took the car in for an estimate on Monday.  It’s going to take four days to fix and cost $1300. Fortunately, our insurance covers bonehead things like this, and we will only be out $250 plus a little bit of the rental car cost above what we’re covered for.  Hopefully, our insurance rates won’t go up.

In my nearly 22 years of driving (boy does that make me feel old), I think this is only the second time I’ve done damage to a car where it was my fault.  The other time was about 12 years ago.  It involved a rental car and a parking garage and a ginormous truck that had a winch hook sticking out of the front end of it. I was backing up that time too. :-b

I took Matthew in for his blood draw yesterday morning.  He was a little nervous, but did great, just like last time.  Hopefully, he’ll remember next time that it wasn’t so bad and won’t worry himself so much.  I’m not sure when we’ll get the results back.

I finally got my replacement monitor!  Woo hoo!  They actually tried to deliver it Monday morning while I was out picking up Kaylee from school.  We get deliveries all the time, and I don’t think they’ve ever come that early before.  So I called and made sure they would come later on Tuesday.  I got it at about 2:30 that afternoon.  It’s all set up, and the old one is boxed up and ready to go to UPS.  

I had actually gotten used to my small monitor, and am amazed and how “dingy” the display looks now compared to the LCD.  But since I don’t need the higher res on the CRT monitor anymore, I was able to bump it back down, and between that and the large LCD, I’m no longer squinting and straining to try to read!  I can feel my eyes saying “aaaaaaaaah”. :-)

I left Kaylee playing and watching TV in the family room while I was in Mark’s office boxing up the old monitor this morning.  I noticed when I came back to the kitchen, that a package with a few leftover cookies I’d left open on the counter was now mysteriously empty.  Seems we have a 3½-foot tall, 38-pound mouse. ;-)

I finally knocked out that kit.  I picked a vintage fruit crate label from one of my Dover books and used that as a starting point.  As is almost always the case, it ended up being a bigger kit than I originally intended, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.  And I’m running a ridiculously easy challenge to give it away, so lots of people will get it. :-)

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way and the birthday madness is over (other than helping Matthew write thank you notes), I’m feeling much more relaxed. Now I just need to get onto my sponsor layouts, and my mega kit contribution, and work on my web site, and do some housework, and work on updating our account records, and do some filing, and fill out some overdue insurance paperwork, and… ;-)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The party's over.

Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now… I totally have this song running through my head now. (It’s by Soul II Soul if that’s going to drive you nuts wondering like it did me.)

I woke up at 5:18 this morning, totally alert, too stressed to go back to sleep. After a while I gave up trying and just got up. It was actually nice to be up a for a bit while the house was still quiet.

Matthew’s Chuck E. Cheese party was this afternoon. It was a rainy, miserable day. I’m so glad we didn’t plan anything weather-dependant. We had 10 kids (not counting ours) RSVP and 10 showed up, although one who RSVP’ed didn’t show (his sister was sick), and one who didn’t RSVP came. So it was all good. It was the usual games/pizza/Chuckie/cake/gifts/games frenzy. One little girl gave Matthew his gift out in the game area and never made it to the table. I went and found her when it was time for pizza, and again before cake, but she didn’t want anything. She just wanted to play. By not coming to the table, she never even got her cup of tokens. Her dad must have left her well-stocked. LOL I barely had time to eat anything, and I’m not sure how many decent pictures I got, since it was crowded and hard to get around, but the kids had a blast, so I guess that’s all that matters. :-)

I was planning to take Matthew in for his blood draw to check his med level tomorrow morning, but he’s still having seizures, and I didn’t think to ask whether that made a difference. So I’m going to hold off a day and check with the doctor first to see what he says.

I’m more or less over the car thing (I think), but I’m still completely on edge right now. I feel like I’ve had about 18 pots of coffee (not that I drink coffee), instead of one measly soda. I feel like my arms are shaking, but they’re not. I hate feeling this way.

I’m going to go take another whack at this kit I haven’t really started yet that I need to have done in a couple of days. Eeek. Wish me luck!

Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now…

Saturday, January 21, 2006

No use crying over...

…bent fenders. Ugh. As I was backing the car out of the garage last night, headed out to have dinner with some friends, I was looking left to make sure I was clearing our SUV, and I caught the right front fender on the frame of the garage door. Hard. I got out and checked it and didn’t see any damage to the car, just a little to the wood on the house, so I went on my merry way. When I got back home, I decided to look again. It was dark and I hadn’t looked far enough forward the first time. There is paint all over a large area, the end of the front bottom panel is torn loose from the body, and there is a dent above the wheel. :-(

I feel like such a complete idiot. The look on Mark’s face when he saw it made me want to sink right through the floor. He got over it fairly quickly, but it’s 24 hours later and I still feel like total crap about it. :-(

I did manage to get my mind off it some today. I took Matthew to a classmate’s birthday party this morning. It was slot car racing. About 25 six- and seven-year-old boys, ginormous 8-lane track, assigned teams, rotating stations, taking turns (not always willingly). Basically, organized chaos. But Matthew had fun, and only got a bit pouty when another boy on his team insisted on changing the rotation order, so that he could have a turn going first instead of Matthew every time. It was against the instructions the organizer had given, so the first time the kid tried to go first, I made him go back to the assigned order, but when he (obnoxiously) insisted again later, I gave up and had Matthew switch with him. All the kids got the same number of turns regardless of the order, so it shouldn’t have made a difference anyway. Thanks goodness the third boy on their team was completely laid back about the whole thing and didn’t seem to care when he got his turn.

This afternoon, I took the kids to run a quick errand, then over to get Matthew’s haircut at Cool Cuts 4 Kids (videos/games for the kids while they get their cuts). I’d had Mark make an appointment for Matthew, but not Kaylee, even though she was way overdue for a trim herself. I’d had her hair cut there once before, about a year ago, and she’d cried through the whole thing. When she found out where we were going though, she insisted that she wanted her hair cut too, so I signed her up as a walk-in. I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to fit her in, especially given there were walk-ins there who’d already been there an hour. But when the gal got ready to start Matthew, and I told her we’d just see how much of a wait there was as to whether we actually did Kaylee today, she said she’d do her right after Matthew, so it worked out.

Matthew did fine with the cut, as he always does now, and was reasonably gracious when the game he wanted wouldn’t function on any of the available stations. Kaylee did great as well. She barely looked at the video she picked, just mostly watched in the mirror, with a big grin when the gal sectioned her hair off, twisting the sides into little pigtails and clipping up the front on top of her head. The only time she had a bit of a problem was at the end when the gal pulled out the blow dryer (on cool). Kaylee was a bit scared of it and tried to lean way far away from it. Once I got down to her level and kidded with her about that silly thing blowing on her, she was fine. I’d considered having her hair cut above her shoulders, but decided to just have the bangs cut, the back evened up, and the front trimmed up a bit, so it’s not a major transformation, but does look a whole lot neater. I was just relieved that she didn’t have a meltdown.

I still haven’t come up with anything I like at all for my kit for the challenge I’m doing this coming week. I’m completely blocked. I think that’s a first for me since I started doing kits. Blech.

Matthew’s party is tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, all will go fine with that, and then I can get back to my normal routine (or lack thereof).

Thursday, January 19, 2006

He's seven!

Well, Matthew’s officially 7 now. :)  

What a morning.  We raced over to the school for Matthew’s conference at 7am, cupcakes in hand.  We were a few minutes late, but so was his teacher, so it didn’t matter.  Conference went well.  Matthew’s kicking butt in math, and his reading is improving steadily.  His issues with not focusing and being a bit disruptive have improved a lot too. :)

Because we got started late, the conference ran seven minutes over, and Kaylee ended up being late for school for the first time ever.  I had to walk her to class, and since she changed classes mid-year, I hadn’t been to her new room, so she was an extra 5 minutes late while we wandered around looking for it.  The classrooms are “double-stacked”, meaning you have to go through another classroom to get to hers and there is no sign in the hallway indicating her room is back there.  And Kaylee is apparently so used to just being led, that she didn’t know where to go either.  We finally found someone to show us where it was.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Planar Dave had escalated my case last night, and while I was at Matthew’s conference this morning, Planar Sal called to follow up.  I called back and missed him, and then he finally caught me late this morning.  After I (calmly and pleasantly) explained what had been going on, he arranged to have a new monitor sent out today, and assured me that I will have it on Monday.  I’m cautiously optimistic. :)  Perhaps flipping out and making an idiot of myself in my blog will end up paying off. LOL

The afternoon was, thankfully, uneventful. Matthew excitedly opened his few family gifts this evening before supper, and we sang Happy Birthday had the leftover cupcakes for dessert.  He got phone calls from all the grandparents today, with the last ones being during our bedtime stories.  He just barely managed to stay awake through the book we read, and I’m sure was completely zonked out by the time I got two steps out the door.  Happy birthday, my amazing boy.  Sweet dreams. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Another day, another dental visit

Ack.  Someone remind me next year to not schedule any non-critical appointments in the days leading up to Matthew’s birthday!  We flew over the dentist’s office after school in order to make it on time, and ended up having to wait a half hour anyway.  The place was a zoo – a totally different atmosphere than my previous two visits there which were summer, and fall during school hours.

While we were waiting, Matthew and Kaylee starting playing some fictional board game on the little Lego-ish block table, with Matthew making up all the rules.  A while later two other kids showed up and joined in, playing along as if it made perfect sense (NOT!).  It was the funniest thing to watch.  Kaylee was sitting in a little mesh chair and was also apparently pretending she was on the beach.  She alternated between dramatically saying “oh, I’m hot” and stretching her legs out in front of her, saying “ah, this is the life”! LOL

As far as the actual cleaning, Matthew did great.  They were really impressed by all the questions he asked.  He had no cavities, but does need to brush a little better.  We need to schedule another appointment so that he can have a couple of his molars sealed.

On the way home, we stopped at Albertson’s, so that Matthew could pick out a cake to order for his party.  He chose one with a Darth Vader voice toy thing on it.  

By the time we got home it was 5:30, and we still had to do Matthew’s homework.  Fortunately, he didn’t have much tonight.  Since it was getting late (the kids go to bed pretty early), Mark stopped for McD’s on the way home, so that makes two meals from there in two days.  Oh, well.

Then after all that, I still hadn’t made the cupcakes for tomorrow, so I started those at about 8:15 after the kids were asleep.  I had to run back over to WalMart to get some foil cake pans to carry them in, because, of course, I hadn’t remembered them when I was there picking up a few things this morning, nor when we were at Albertson’s this afternoon.  Anyway, those are done now.

Tomorrow morning will be the most frenzied out of all of this, so I’ll be glad when that is over with.  Now if I could just figure out when the heck I’m going to be able to squeeze in time for the haircut I so desperately need.  (No, I still don’t know how I want it cut either.)

Oh, by the way… still no monitor.  Called this morning, still out of stock.  Got a follow-up email from Planar Dave tonight.  Hopefully, I’ll know soon at least when the darn thing is coming!

Alright, allergies are totally killing me.  I need to get to bed!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Doctor visit, a little sur-prize

Made it through another day in this crazy week.

I picked Matthew up from school at 10:15, then we headed over to get Kaylee, and then on to the doctor’s office.  We ended up having to wait about a half hour past our appointment time to get in.  Anyway, doc thinks Matthew has outgrown his dosage on his med and that’s why he’s started having seizures again.  So we’re to increase his dose by 1 ml and go back to the lab Monday morning for another blood draw.  Hopefully, it will work.  Matthew had five very distinct seizures this afternoon – the most I’ve seen since he went on medication.

As far as Kaylee’s sniffles, he confirmed that, yes, it’s a cold.  She does have some fluid in one ear, but it apparently was not cause for concern.  He did suggest, based on her size, that we up the dosage on the prescription cold med we’ve been giving her, and confirmed that we could give it to her along with her Singulair. (I couldn’t remember back to December when we got the stuff whether it was ok to mix them, since they both contain antihistamines.) Kaylee had some major sniffling and sneezing going on at bedtime, as did Matthew and I, so either we’re coming down with her cold, or there’s some major allergy stuff going on.  She’s sleeping well now.  Hopefully, she’ll have a good night.

After that, by the time we got out of the doctor’s office and got back across town and got something to eat, it was nearly 2:00, so I let Matthew skip his last 45 minutes of school and we got an early start on his homework.

Then this evening, as I started getting the kids ready for bed, I noticed that Matthew did not have enough of his medicine left for his morning dose.  I had dropped the prescription off on the way home this afternoon, but had not gone back to pick it up.  So I loaded the kids into the truck (Mark was out for the evening) and ran over to the pharmacy drive-through.  The lane by the window was full, so I used the secondary lane.  It was fine except that when the carriage came back with the medicine, the little door automatically swung open (which it’s supposed to) and viciously spat the medicine onto the ground (which it’s not supposed to).  No harm done, but a bit startling! LOL

Oh, amidst all my chaos this morning, I noticed that DDE had the new Quirky Question up, so I grabbed my Designing With Digital book and found the answer and sent it in… and I won!!! :-)  I got to pick any kit I wanted from the store.  I have all 3 of Gina’s CD’s but not so many of her individual kits, so it was a tough choice.  I ended up going with Neutron.  Such great colors, and I loved every single layout in the sample gallery.  Can’t wait to get the kit! You know the Weird Al Yankovic song that goes “I lost on Jeopardy, baby, ooo-ooo-ooo-oooh”?  Now I’ve got that running through my head… “I won on DDE, baby, ooo-ooo-ooo-oooh”. :-b

Tag - I'm it! The 4's

I’ve been tagged for the 4s – my first tag! Woo hoo! Thanks, Tania!

Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
retirement center kitchen aide (makes me sound like a mixer)
library media center clerk
telecommunications test engineer
stay-at-home mom

Four movies you would watch over and over:
As Good As It Gets
True Lies
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (I’ve never yet seen this all the way through, but catch pieces of it often when dh has it on.)
Knotting Hill
(Can you tell I haven’t been to the movies in quite a long time?)

Four places you have lived:
Plano, Texas
Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Macomb, Illinois
Various hotels and motels all over the US (and a few in Canada) for my first four years as a test engineer

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Desperate Housewives
All My Children
That’s it for my regular viewing, but I sometimes flip on any of the various HGTV or TLC home-oriented shows.

Four places you have been on vacation:
Bahamas (cruise)
Caribbean (cruise)
Texas Hill Country/Austin
Daytona Beach, Florida/Disney World

Four websites you visit daily:
RAKScraps
January 1999 Moms
Half a dozen blogs (2 dozen more if I have time)
A dozen or so photo blogs (if I have time)

Four of your favorite foods:
Chicken enchiladas
Amaretto cheesecake
Cheeseburgers
Chocolate chip cookies

Four places you would rather be right now:
Any great, sunny beach
Vacationing in Italy, or pretty much anywhere in Europe (never been out of North America)
On that note, visiting Fransie in the Netherlands
When I started writing this morning, my last answer would have been “in bed”, but I’m more awake now! LOL


Four bloggers you are tagging:
I am having a terrible time finding bloggers I “know” who haven’t been tagged already! :-p
Fransie
Tracy B.
3 & 4 to be filled in if I find more victims! LOL

That was fun, thanks!

Monday, January 16, 2006

A magical guest

Did you ever notice that the more you clean, the more dirt and disorder you find? I spent a good 6-8 hours cleaning this weekend and found that once I cleaned up the really blatantly awful areas, the stuff that had only been moderately messy before, which had been disguised by the bigger messes, then appeared glaringly obvious. Every time I’d think I was close to being done, I’d add something else to my list.  Finally, I just ran out of time.  But I got the main stuff done, and our guest either didn’t notice the rest or was too polite to say so. :-b

Speaking of our guest (magician Shawn Farquhar), he was a really great guy – engaging, funny, and more than a bit talkative. ;-)  He and Mark got in after the kids were in bed last night, but they took an instant liking to him this morning, and he enthusiastically talked to and entertained them for almost the entire two hours before he had to leave. I think the kids showed him just about all their toys.  He even knew all about all of Kaylee’s princess stuff, since he has a 5 year old daughter of his own. I was really impressed. Oh, and he did some cool magic too. :-)  Mark shot some video of Matthew getting his second ever magic lesson from a world-class professional magician.  Priceless.

It’s going to be a busy week.  I really think Matthew is still having occasional seizures, so I have a doctor’s appointment for him tomorrow.  While we’re there, we’re also going to get Kaylee’s wicked case of sniffles checked out.  Wednesday afternoon is Matthew’s dental check-up.  Thursday is Matthew’s birthday, which means I have to have cupcakes ready to send to school that morning.  It also just happens to be teacher conference day, and we’ve got the first slot in the morning, so Matthew and I will have to haul our cupcakes over to the school at 7am, and then I’ll have to rush back home to take Kaylee to school.  Friday night my moms’ group is having a night out.  Saturday morning one of Matthew’s classmates is having a birthday party.  Sunday afternoon is Matthew’s party.

Then on to my creative team stuff.  I need to post my three layouts that were in the newsletter that came out yesterday.  I’ve got a challenge starting on the 25th (I think - need to double-check and see what day I signed up for) and the kit I’m working on for it is just not “flowing”.  I may end up trashing it and starting over.  I’ve got sponsor kits out the wazoo just waiting for me to download.  I haven’t even had time to do that yet, let alone think about layouts to create with them.  Luckily, there’s still plenty of time for that, as well as starting work on next month’s mega kit.

But right now, since the kids go back to school tomorrow, I need to wrap this up and start getting ready for bed!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Life is like a box of dominos.

How do you make time slow down? The days all run together like a long curvy line of dominos standing on end and falling in that big noisy rushing cascade. I seem to remember having days in the past that felt long, or that just dragged on, or where I at least felt I had plenty of time to do what I wanted/needed to do. That never happens anymore. I could use a few of those days right now.

Still no monitor. I called on Monday when it didn’t show up, and it turns out they were out of stock, so he said to call back if I don’t get it by today. I’m beginning to get a bit more used to this monitor at this resolution, but still have trouble reading some things, so it’s probably going back to low-res once the other arrives. It will also be nice not to have to look at everything with this slight greenish cast that this monitor has, although I’m getting more used to that too.

We got Matthew’s birthday party booked for next Sunday and the invitations sent out, so I think now all that’s left is to get a cake and goodie bags. Oh, and presents from us and stuff to make cupcakes for school for his actual birthday.

We have an overnight guest coming this Sunday night – a magician who is giving a lecture for the club that day. The guy who was running lectures in the area retired from doing it, so the club took it over, and Mark is one of the ones in charge, so this is likely to be a fairly common occurrence in the future. Fun for Mark, more cleaning for me. :-b Ok, yes, Mark is going to be cleaning too, but he is completely focused on getting his magic area presentable and doesn’t seem to be the least bit concerned about the rest of the house. Yes, it would be nice for all of us if the rest of the house were clean anyway, but still, there are other things I would rather be doing today/this weekend. Like sleeping. Stop shaking your head at me. ;-)

I went to the dentist yesterday. Good news: no cavities. Bad news: my gums are so bad that they can’t just do a regular cleaning. The have to do a “scaling and root planing” (or something like that). Two hour-and-a-half to two-hour sessions where they numb me up to do it. Sounds very pleasant, huh. The first time they could fit me in while Kaylee’s at school is in February, so I have that to look forward to. Oh, boy. One of these days I will learn to just take better care of myself. :-b

I am desperately in need of a haircut. It’s way too long all over. I normally cut my bangs myself between cuts, but haven’t in months, because I’ve been meaning to go in. Now they’re so long that I could fairly easily grow them out if I wanted to. I have no idea what I want to do with it. I’d love to have something with a bit more actual style to it, but I know I won’t take the time to mess with fixing it every day. Decisions, decisions. This is why I only get my hair cut once or twice a year – I can never make up my mind what to do with it.

It was cold here again this morning. Had to take both kids out to the bus stop, because Mark had to be in to work early. As is often the case these days, we were the only ones at our stop. As I was standing out there, freezing, the kids were chasing each other up and down the sidewalk, pretending to be giant chickens. Silly kids. :-D

Monday, January 09, 2006

Just another manic Monday

I can’t believe it’s Monday again already. I ended up staying in Friday night. I was in bed and zonked out as soon as I got Kaylee to bed. I guess I just can’t run on 5-6 hours of sleep per night indefinitely.

Saturday Mark helped me take the tree down and we got all the Christmas stuff put up in the attic. Sunday he and I cleaned out the corner of the guest room to make room for the dresser I pulled out of Kaylee’s room. It didn’t take nearly as long as I expected it to, mainly because Mark finally decided to junk a lot of the old computer equipment he’d been hanging onto. One of these days it would also be nice to get the closet in that room to a point where guests could actually use at least part of it, but that project is pretty far down the list (especially considering my own closet is currently a total disaster area – the worst it’s ever been since we’ve lived here).

Other than that, the weekend consisted mostly of playing with the kids – board games, Matthew’s electronic project set, and Mark taught Matthew a few tricks from his new set. Matthew then put on a little mini-show for us. He slips into this very odd voice when presenting the tricks. It’s too funny!

I did also manage to get my sponsor reviews done and a kit made, although I’m curious to see what it looks like on my LCD monitor whenever it gets here (hopefully today), since I made the whole thing using my ancient little CRT. :-b

This morning I worked on my shopping list for tonight after TOPS and ran errands while Kaylee was at school, and then did some more errands after I picked her up. I was hoping to get my regular shopping done this morning, so that I could make the Gallery Opening Mixer chat tonight, but I just wasn’t organized enough. I probably wouldn’t have had time anyway, since I think this is going to be a pretty major shopping trip. Our fridge is nearly bare and I have a lot of non-food stuff to pick up too.

After running around this morning, I’m feeling all edgy, like I shouldn’t be sitting down because I have too much to do. I do need to go do dishes, and after Matthew gets home from school, I need to sort out with him what we’re going to as far as a guest list for his party, so we can get the invites sorted out. I probably should also do some more laundry… and filing… and general picking up/decluttering. Guess I’ll go work on some of that stuff. Maybe I’ll be able to relax a bit once I get some of it out of the way.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy Matthew, sleepy mommy

I am soooooo sleepy today, and don’t really know why. I wasn’t up any later than usual last night. Maybe just the fact that my “usual” has gotten to be much later than it should be, and it’s caught up to me. I’ve even doubled my caffeine intake, which hasn’t helped. I just cannot focus on anything. I’ve basically been sitting at my computer all day poking around here and there and accomplishing nothing. I have not touched the sponsor reviews I need to write, have not worked any more on the kits I need to make (and am not sure I’m happy with the direction I had started out in before), didn’t do anymore filing or laundry or even empty the dishwasher. The bare Christmas tree is still just standing there in the middle of the floor next to my desk, and I’m beginning to think maybe it would make a nice foresty permanent room divider. :-b I’m supposed to go play Bunco tonight, and Mark just told me he’s well enough that I can go, and I just don’t know if I’m up to it. Crawling into bed and just zonking out for the night sounds much more tempting right now.

I did get nice follow-up emails from Planar Dave investigating what happened to my original unanswered support request (never received – most likely user error on my part :-b) and calming my fears regarding the whole warranty process. I feel much better about it now. Thanks, Dave! :-)

RAKScraps is back up and positively flying! Our new web admin goddess is just working on cleaning up a few loose ends. Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of the mysterious site-crippling slowdowns!

Matthew got some awesome news at school today. He was selected to be star student for next week! He was SO excited! He basically gets to be the center of attention for the week and gets a few extra privileges. He’s been working so hard to improve at school. I couldn’t be happier that he got this, especially since just this morning he was SO down that he’d never been chosen to be star student.

On a final note, why is it that the spell checker in Word is so clueless? It finds my errors, but almost never has any guesses as to what I was trying to spell. Not a big deal if it was just a typo, but very frustrating if I can’t remember how to spell the word correctly in the first place. Granted, I’m using an old version of Word, but I can put the same text into Outlook (also an old version), and it knows exactly what I was trying to say. I have tried publishing via email, but the line breaks always came out all wonky, so I had to go in and edit afterwards. Then I found out about this Word publishing option, which works much more smoothly for me, but the spell check is just pathetic. I may just give up spell checking and let my imperfekshun shine through. :-b

Thursday, January 05, 2006

This 'n that, yet more on the monitor

So I called Planar this morning, and they said it sounds like something in the monitor went out at the board level.  They gave me the option of having them send an advance replacement or me sending mine in first for them to repair or replace.  I finally decided to take the advance replacement, but now I’m a bit nervous about it, and wishing I’d sent mine in.  If it does turn out that for some weird reason, my monitor is not covered under the warranty, they’ll charge me for the new one. If I understood correctly, I can return the replacement and get refunded (minus some fee, I’m sure), but still…  I’m just hoping all goes smoothly, and I’m worrying for nothing.

I’ve been moderately productive today and gotten some filing and dishes and one more load of laundry done, but my enthusiasm is definitely not where it was yesterday.  

The kids started back to school today, so we’ll be getting back into that routine now.  With Mark getting sick a few days after Christmas (turned out to be strep throat, and he’s still quite run down from it), we didn’t end up actually doing much of anything other than hanging out here.  The break seemed long, and yet flew by at the same time.  How does that happen?

RAKScraps has been having major speed issues off and on for the past couple of months, and it’s now finally down for a server move.  I’m so excited for the new server and for things to get zipping along the way they should be.

Matthew’s birthday is in two weeks.  He wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s, but keeps waffling as to whether he wants it to be just the four of us, or if he wants to invite friends.  I tried to get through to him today that he needs to make up his mind so we can get arrangements made if he wants to invite people.  He seems to have settled on the friends thing.  Hopefully, it will “stick”.

Ok, just as I was about to post this, I noticed that I had a comment on yesterday’s entry, so I look at it, and it’s from someone at PLANAR! ROTFL!!!!  I love that they somehow found this little episode on my blog and are following up, but man do I feel even more like an idiot over my little flipout now! How embarrassing! LOL

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

More ambition than energy

Today I got into a very unusual mood for me… the mood to do (gasp) housework!!!  Ok, some of it had to be done today, but I went well beyond the minimum.   I took out most of the trash, undecorated the Christmas tree and the mantle and put all that stuff back in the boxes in the garage so that it can be put back up in the attic, did two loads of dishes and 5 (yes FIVE) large or extra-large loads of laundry (with about 5 more waiting to be done).  In between all that, I picked up a lot of the kids’ toys, but didn’t get as much of that done as I’d have liked.  I decided that trying to get their toys put away while they are here and awake is like trying to use a teaspoon to bail out a boat that’s still leaking. :-b

In the process of doing all this, I discovered that I am reeeeally out of shape.  (Ok, actually, I knew that already.) If I’d had more energy and hadn’t had to take so many breaks, I would have liked to have also disassembled the Christmas tree, finished up the trash, cleaned out the refrigerator, cleaned the stovetop, decluttered the kitchen, and done some filing.  What do you think the odds are that I’ll still be in this mood tomorrow and not completely wiped out from what I did today? ;-)

And what, you may be wondering, about the monitor I had the complete meltdown over yesterday?  I basically ignored it today.  Mark did call Dell and get them to send a duplicate invoice, so we have that now, and my panic attack was all for naught.  I will call Planar tomorrow and try to find out if this thing’s going to be covered.  In the mean time, Mark suggested that we switch out his larger CRT monitor onto my desk, since he’s mainly using his new laptop now.  I’ll probably wait until the Christmas tree is down to tackle that though, since it’s right by my desk, and I’d be more comfortable moving the monitors around if I didn’t have to be climbing around it. (Good motivation for me to get that tree down tomorrow.) Hopefully, an old small extra monitor we have will work with Mark’s desktop, so that I can at least still have two monitors.  I know, I’m spoiled. :-b

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

LCD Monitor Drama

Ok, I’m going psycho over my LCD monitor, which I mentioned before has been acting up.  Last night, Mark got out his laptop and we hooked the monitor up to it.  Worked fine.  Blew some air into the port on my pc and reconnected the monitor to it.  Worked fine. Figured it was going to be fine now. Used it the rest of the evening with no problems.

Turn my pc on this morning.  LCD monitor is back to its blinking on for a split second before going black. AAARGH!!!! >:-|

To make matters worse, since I hadn’t expected there to be a problem today, I hadn’t set up my little old CRT to be the primary monitor before shutting down.  I cannot get the LCD to stay on at all.  So by using my tablet and watching where the properties display has come up when I turn the monitor off and on and get that split-second to look, and by doing a whole lot of guessing, I finally am able to drag the properties box over to the CRT so that I can see what I’m doing.  I go to click the box that tells it to make the CRT my primary monitor and accidentally uncheck the one that tells it to use the CRT at all.  So now I have NO WORKING MONITOR AT ALL.  AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!

So I have to drag the pc out of the desk yet again, hook the CRT up to the DVI port using an adapter, reboot, configure it to use both monitors again, but because I cannot hook the LCD monitor up to the DVI port, I cannot tell it to switch the primary, so once I switch all the cables back, I have to go through all the guess and drag routine AGAIN!  And after all this, I still cannot get the blasted LCD monitor display to stay on!!!

I still have not heard anything from the email I sent customer support a week ago.  I don’t know if they haven’t gotten to it or the response got spam filtered.  I found a phone number to call in the warranty documentation online, but noticed in there that it says you must also have the original proof-of purchase.  I check my file with all our computer receipts. Not there.  Not surprising given the fact that I am so far behind on filing stuff it’s not even funny.  So I go through the two huge bundles of papers I have that are waiting to be filed AGAIN.  Not there. (A few nights ago I did find the invoice that has the entire rest of the computer on it EXCEPT the monitor, which we ordered at the same time, but for some reason I can’t remember, was shipped separately.) I go look in some various spots around the house where I think it might be.  Not there.

At this point, I begin to panic.  This is a ridiculously expensive monitor.  I absolutely love this monitor.  We should not realistically be spending money on another one anywhere near this price range right now.  I explode at Mark when I show him the receipts for the other stuff that I did find, and he tells me yet again that it’s because it’s on a separate receipt.  DUH!  I ALREADY KNOW THAT!  I am over the edge. I start crying.  

So I finally calm down enough to go sort through the receipts and papers and such yet again in a more organized fashion.  I still did not find it. I really will be extremely shocked at this point if it does turn up.  Mark said if we don’t find it, he’ll try talking to Dell to see if they can give us a duplicate receipt.  We have the order number from an email, and we financed it through them, so hopefully, they can give us something.  I’m really not even sure after reading the eight million disclaimers and exceptions in the warranty if it’s even going to be covered.

Not. a. good. day.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Top 25 Kim stories of 2005

Saw this on Robin’s blog, and thought it was a cool idea. So here are the top 25 “stories” of my 2005, in no particular order.
  1. Discovering that Matthew was having absence seizures. This was a biggie and a very scary thing to accept, but he’s doing very well with his medication, and I’m trying to remain hopeful that he will outgrow them. My suspicions were reinforced this past week though that excessive X-Box time seems to aggravate the seizures. :-(

  2. Joining the RAKScraps team as a Moderator and then Creative Team member. I love this site and all the people there, and have so much fun “working” there.

  3. Related to the above – beginning to create my own digital scrapping kits. I have no idea whether I’ll ever end up trying to sell them, and really don’t even particularly care if people actually use them. I just have so much fun creating them. :-)

  4. Matthew losing his first tooth during our aquarium visit.

  5. Matthew losing his second tooth during our lunch break at Wendy’s while shopping for back-to-school stuff.

  6. Officially shelving my business plans for Windows in Time. It was a business I never wanted, and it’s a relief to not have to have it sitting in the back of my mind anymore.

  7. Moving to my fun new domain at Kim, Etc.

  8. Dealing with major allergies. For the first time since I’ve lived in this area, I had to go in for prescription allergy meds.

  9. Kaylee switching from in-home speech/communication therapy to her classes at the school. She’s really grown a lot this year, and seeing her improving so much at understanding us and expressing herself is so totally great… well, most of the time. :-p

  10. Having approximately 10 hours/week of free time all to myself while Kaylee’s in class and Matthew’s at school. Too bad school isn’t year round. ;-p

  11. Matthew beginning to read. He finished Kindergarten without a “reading level”, but has come a long way in this first half of 1st grade. He still struggles with it, but it’s so cool to see him making progress and all that stuff starting to click.

  12. Finally learning to use my Wacom Graphire3 tablet after having it two years. This actually was more or less forced upon me, since the mouse I have loved so long started to wear out. I never found a replacement I liked, and I ended up learning my pen/tablet well enough that I now only reach for the mouse in certain situations where I can’t right-click properly with the pen. RIP beloved Logitech Mouseman Wheel. (And I’m adding the new Intuos3 6x11 tablet to my wish list. Would be perfect for my dual monitors.)

  13. Winning “last Bunco” (the biggest prize) at my first two games with my moms’ group, gaining the reputation of “Bunco Queen”. Winning absolutely nothing since then. :-p

  14. Dancing, talking, and laughing for hours at moms’ nights out with my moms’ group.

  15. Losing another 10 pounds towards my goal… and then putting it right back on again. Argh. I’m going to try a heck of a lot harder to do better with that this year.

  16. Getting a new car. Our 1994 Acura Integra got to the point that the repair bills were adding up, and it just didn’t make sense to keep it anymore. The plan was to begin researching and figuring out what we wanted, so that next time a repair came up, we would be prepared to buy instead, but within a week or so we had a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid (a decision greatly impacted by ridiculous and climbing gas prices at the time). So we now have a car payment again. This purchase, by the way, was all Mark. He tends to really push ahead with things, a total man of action. It drives him nuts when I say I want something, and it takes me forever to get around to getting it. Like the new camera I’ve been saying for months that I want, but haven’t even researched or gone to look at yet to try to decide which one I want. I mean, it’s not like I need a new camera; the old one still works ok. I just want a better one, and I’ll get one… eventually.

  17. Another scrapping one (ok, maybe scrapping is too big a part of my life LOL) – switching from gearing my layouts for web to gearing them for print. I did printed albums for the grandparents for Christmas, and it was really cool to see all the layouts on paper.

  18. Matthew’s 6th birthday party at the cool bounce place.

  19. Kaylee entering the age of defiance, accompanied by a marked increase in stubbornness.

  20. Kaylee entering the age of the frequent spontaneous “I love you”.

  21. Mark’s trip to London (magic convention). It was a little scary to have him over there so soon after the major bombings, and there was a smaller one while he was there, but he made it home safe and sound.

  22. Finally completing the redesign of Mark’s website.

  23. Getting the kids up in the middle of the night to take Mark to the emergency room for severe abdominal pain.

  24. A thousand little moments of mommy frustration.

  25. A million little moments of love and laughter. :-)