Thursday, January 11, 2018

New year... not starting out so well

As 2018 rolls in we are starting out on a rough path.  Sara has been diagnosed with Mono.  She went to the doctors twice the week before Christmas with a cough, and sore throat.  I assumed she had strep throat since she is extremely prone to is.  She complained on and off during Christmas and also complained on and off that her stomach hurt.  She went to Gymnastics a few days before Christmas and when I picked her up she was crying.  She told me she cried the entire class and didn't know why she was crying.  The crying and emotions increased during break.   She became very clingy and wanted dozens of hugs and kisses before bed.  She then became very anxious when it was time to return to school last Wednesday.  She told me she didn't feel herself and was an emotional wreck.  I chalked it up to the change in routine.  Well it only became worse.  So bad that I had read about PANDAS online and was convinced she had it.

I finally called a friend that is a child psychologist and she suggested the possibility of Mono.  Well I took her in Monday afternoon and she tested positive.  Since she didn't feel that bad I sent her to school Tuesday and I guess that was a mistake.  She was exhausted.  She hasn't napped at all but has laid around all week and doesn't have much of an appetite.  Her tonsils are huge and very red and now are starting to become covered in white spots.  Today is the first day that I thought she perked up.  When I ask her she says she doesn't feel any better.

She has managed to keep up with her homework.  Her teacher sent all her work for the rest of the week.  Thank goodness that Monday is a holiday so that will extend the rest period.

Last Friday we had a day off for the cold temperatures and today I was running around in a sweatshirt.  This weather is crazy.  I did manage to take down and store all the outside lights at 8am this morning!  Last week I made the kids clean the basement and we have a giant box of toys to sell and donate.  I packed away all the Legos, dollhouse, and sorted through tons of books.  Surprisingly Sara let me get rid of all the play dough.  Now she has progressed to the slime obsession.  Our one tip on slime is to combine glue with sta-flo starch.  It is much easier than any other recipe.

Our exciting news of the day is Marc's sister is getting married.  She had told Sara a long time ago she could be a flower girl.  Sara is thrilled, although no wedding plans have been made yet.  We will have another trip to Charleston at some point for the wedding.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Great Wolf Lodge

We just returned from Great Wolf Lodge and had a very quick, fun trip.  Evan's friend Dominic joined us and their were 10 other families from school.  On Thursday night, Evan mentioned his friend Josh was going.  Josh has a little sister Alyssa that Sara adores.  We were both surprised to not have know the other was going.  I love Josh's parents and they were lots of fun to spend the evening with.

The kids had a great time in the water park for 5 hours straight.  Food was surprisingly reasonable.  Dinner was $20 Canadian for 8 chicken strips, 3 orders of fresh cut fries, and 2 sodas. So about $16 American.  We let the kids each spend $10 in the Arcade after the waterpark closed.  Sara accidently spend more than she thought on a game that wasn't working.  I had $5 Canadian in coin and when I went to cash it in, the attendant looked at her and said tell me when to stop.  She was puzzled and didn't understand what he was doing, well he kept sliding her game card over and over until she had about $60 worth of credits.  The kids had a blast with that and cashed in their "prize points".  Sara was thrilled to purchase a Kinder-egg.  Since these are illegal in the US they are always a favorite in Canada.  As long as we unpackaged it, its legal.  Such a silly law.  They are chocolate eggs with a plastic egg inside (Easter egg size) with a prize inside.

The kids played basketball, did the obstacle courses, wave pool, and hot tub.  Sara did a few waterslides but the boys were more timid.  She played with Alyssa and then transitioned to a boy from her class Carson.  I think Carson has a crush on Sara but they had a great time together.  Floating in the lazy river in the double tube, riding waterslides, and doing the obstacle.  Its so nice to know all the families.  The kids were on their own for a good amount of time at the park.  They would check in periodically and I would check on them.  We had a rule to stay with a buddy and not to use the bathrooms without an adult, and not to leave the park.  My kids are super easy with things like this and haven't pushed the limits yet.

We had breakfast there since the kids didn't have much for dinner and were very overtired.  The Buffet was not cheap but I figured if we had a big breakfast we could have a light lunch.  Sara tried pea meal bacon and loved it.  Evan had 6 small waffles and some fruit.  I just wanted coffee and the waitress forgot me and so brought me a tog o cup that was very welcomed!  The kids decided not to return to the park and wanted to play put-put golf.  Well, after searching the resort for it, we found it was outside.  Today was 21 degrees, so that idea went out the window.  We decided to check out and head to 7-11 for slurpies and a few more Kinder Eggs before crossing the border.  The Whirlpool bridge was backed up a bit but since Dominics mom gave me his original birth certificate and a note we didn't have any issues.

When we came home I ran to JCP to use some coupons I had 3 spend $10 save $10 coupons, and 1 $15 reward.  I picked up some sneakers for Marc, he doesn't like them, I will be heading back.  Two outfits for Christmas gifts, and some slippers for my mom.  It was so busy there today.  I also went to TJ Max to return something but the line was crazy.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

We can breathe again...

We have officially survived September and October.  I started using the calendar app on my iPhone last year and it puts a dot on each day you have an event scheduled.  Well, there was one day without a dot in September and October.  The schedule hasn't lessened up that much but enough that we can breathe, catch up and relax a little bit.

Sara is doing dance 2 nights a week, and gymnastics one night a week.  Evan is only doing Basketball on Saturday afternoon.  Previously we had 2 dance nights, 2 soccer practices, 1 gymnastic, 1 flag foot ball practice, and 3 games on Saturday.  Evan had a football game in the AM and a soccer in the PM.  Sara had a game every Saturday AM.  Unfortunately Marc works many Saturday mornings so it was a circus getting everyone prepared.  I also had Sophomore class advisor duties of concession stands for Football games on Thursday nights, homecoming weekend game and dance, and our church does an Octoberfest.  For Octoberfest I was selling tickets after mass each week, either on Saturday or Sunday and finally I spent a Sunday working the event. The bonus was after purchasing a ticket for the past 6 years we finally won $100.   In between all of this are the playdates, shopping, cleaning, birthday parties, and attempting to take care of our cottage and home.

Phew... I thought today would be our first Saturday off.  Instead we had a fundraiser at school that I had to attend from 11-2 and then return to school for basketball from 3-4:30.  My only saving grace is I can drop the kids off and run an errand or run home.  2 weeks ago we started car pooling to dance with a girl that Sara has danced with for 2 years.  This makes my life so much easier and we found out she lives close so hopefully we will have a new friend for playdates.

School has been going well for the kids.  They both have at least 30 minutes of homework per night.  Some nights its a challenge.  Evan is my more academic child and Sara is more of a social butterfly.  She can make friends with anyone while Evan prefers a few close friends.

Last weekend our fridge started freezing.  Of course we discovered it on Friday night.  Marc called Saturday and they couldn't make it out until Monday.  Well after some research Marc decided he would try to fix it (its 5 years old).  He had me order 2 parts from Amazon for $80 and they finally arrived on Thursday.  In the meantime we were turning the breaker on and off - enough to keep the fridge cold but turning it off to keep it from freezing.  Thankfully he chose the correct parts and its working.  That saved us from the $150 service call, plus parts and labor.

I think we are slowly getting ready for colder weather.  I still need to get Sara a coat to play outside in and Evan some new boots.  I have ordered some from LL Bean and Lands End and can't seem to get the correct fit.  We still have a few pieces of furniture to store for the winter and one more trip to our cottage to quickly clean up and we should be ready.

I am proud to say I ordered our Christmas cards.  I usually take a picture in November or have a picture taken and this year I cheated and used a beach picture from our trip to Florida.

This week we are heading to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.  We are off from school on Friday so Marc can't go, so crazy me is allowing Evan to take a friend.  There are 10 families from the kids school going so I know Sara will have plenty of friends.  I was nervous to ask our friends if there son wanted to go.  I know we will need his birth certificate and a note to cross the border.  He is such a great kid and so easy going that I know he will be fine.  We have never been there and we have a great group rate so hopefully it will be a success.

I am so thankful that I had success ordering from Ikea this week.  I have been procrastinating ordering a sideboard for our cottage since last winter.  I was hoping we could at some point find time for an overnight in Pittsburgh so I could pick it up or we could purchase it in Canada for a bit more.  Well last week I received a free shipping email that would save me $49.  I tried to order it and it could only be picked up in the store.  I tried the next day and the price dropped $120!  It dropped in price to $239.  Now we need to purchase an inexpensive TV and our cottage will be a bit more livable.  Marc spent many hours this summer replacing and building a tile corner shower.  Hopefully next summer we can spend some more time there and spend the night.  The shower has leaked the past few years so we always drive the 40 minutes home.

Funny Sara story - last week I told Evan that my belly used to be as firm and hard as his.  Sara lifts up her shirt and says in disgust "I have Dads belly!"  Sara has always been softer than Evan he is so thin.  I laughed so hard.  I still love when they say something out of the blue that is pure honesty!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Flying by..... again

Wow its Mid- May already.  This year has been such a great year at school.  I have such great students.  I have nicknamed my one class the angel class.  They are juniors and  are in my accounting class.  Its May and I have never been annoyed or upset with anyone in the class!  They are fantastic and so respectful.  I hope my kids turn out this way.

Evan and Sara have had great years at school.  They both did soccer in the fall, Evan is participating in track now.  Evan has taken piano lessons since Christmas with his music teacher.  They both have participated in multiple STREAM academies.  Sara is currently in a Arcade academy that they engineer and build their own games.

Sara is still busy with Gymnastics (her favorite) and Ballet.  We are gearing up for the dance recital and the gymnastics show in June.

Evan started orthodontics in November and it was a rough start.  He had an expander put in on a Monday and had it removed by Friday.  Between being sick, his aversions, and stubbornness, we were on the verge of dehydration.  By Friday he was to weak to walk down the stairs, it was awful.  Well after giving it a rest for a few weeks our orthodontist made a special retainer expander for Evan.  Evan has been amazing with it.  I was convinced he wouldn't keep it in his mouth or he would loose it.  Well he has proven me wrong.  He is so dedicated to keeping it in.  He was even told a few weeks ago he doesn't have to wear it to school anymore.  Well, we still wear it except for when he is eating.
Sara starts her process in June and will have to get head gear.  At this point she is excited about it but when she has to wear it 12 hours a day it may not be as excited. A friend was in NYC this week and I had her pick up the American Girl braces set.  So hopefully that will make it a little more bearable.  She is still a huge American Girl fan.

We survived driving to Charleston (14 hours) over Easter and the kids loved seeing their Grandma and Aunt.  We enjoyed a bit of beach time and some sunshine.  Sara's car sickness wasn't to bad.  She did get sick twice on the way home during the twists and turns of  West Virginia.

Evan made his First Communion last weekend.  He was super cute.  I am not crazy about the way our church does the Communion but it was special regardless.  He whispered to me before Communion that he was going to try the wine.  Evan is so finicky I wasn't sure this was a good idea.  I warned him I didn't have a bottle of water and he couldn't spit it out.  He was determined to do it and I went up after him.  The woman who gave it to him whispered " you should have seen his face!", I can imagine.

Sara is still my good eater and easier child.  Evan is very detailed and the better student.  That may be a result of him being the older student in his grade and Sara being the youngest.  Although she is the youngest she is still one of the top students in her class.  Evan will seldom ask to try anything new.
His meals include, roast beef, steak, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, chicken wings & fingers, pork chops, hot dogs, pizza, chicken soup, a grill cheese  and turkey.  He will eat only cooked corn, peas, and broccoli.  Fruits are much easier.  He prefers pretzels as a snack.  He usually chooses a snack and sticks with it for months and then gets tired of it, it will eventually return.  He also eats mashed potatoes, rice, and french fries.  Breakfast he will eat toast, dry cereal, a milkshake (he is still in the 17% ), scrambled eggs and bacon.  Lunch at school is embarrassing he eats a pretzel roll (from Wegmans only), fruit, chips, and a few cookies.

Sara will eat or try any fruit or vegetable.  She prefers most vegetables raw.  She isn't a huge meat eater except for tacos, hamburgers, steak, turkey, ham and hot dogs.  She does not like rice or mashed potatoes.  She likes crackers and cheese, will bring and make her own ham sub for lunch.  She eats yogurt, cereal with milk, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, hash browns.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

One month down...

Is it bad that I am excited that September is over?   It is always such a crazy month.  There have been weeks where I have had something every night.  The kids are playing on two different soccer teams that practice on different nights and have games on either Saturday or Sunday.  Sara has Ballet on Tuesdays and Gymnastics on Wednesdays.  Thursdays I have had to the concession stands at the JV Football games.  We have had our Academy of Finance kickoff barbeque, open house, and the kids meet the teacher night.

My poor hanging baskets haven't been watered once this week, and I don't care.  We started out the month with our front load washing machine gasket tearing in half.  The washer is 5 years old and has been a nightmare since it passed the warranty phase.  So Labor day I shopped for a new machine.  I bought a top load and its nice but very deep and I am not that tall. 

At the end of August I had planned to have the carpets cleaned at our cottage.  Our new neighbors mentioned they have a commercial carpet cleaner for the pharmacy they own.  It was a great machine and a huge savings to do it ourselves.  The down point was I was moving a table and forgot there was a large piece of coral (5 lbs or more) and it fell on my foot.  My toes were sore and gashed but it was in the middle of the shampooing so I ignored it.  Once school started the pain increased and I went to an Emergency Care center.  They took x-rays and said they thought it was a bruised bone and told me to see my Dr. if it continued.  I ended up seeing my Dr. since I have only been wearing one pair of tight shoes that make if bearable.  I am seeing an orthopedic Dr. tomorrow.  It was the first appointment I could get.  The good news is its feeling much better. 

The Sunday after Labor Day my brother who lives with my mom called me.  He NEVER calls me.  I thought it was about my kids and he said I think Mom needs to talk to you.  Well I called her back on the home phone and she said something was wrong she couldn't remember anything.  I rushed to her house and she said something isn't right I don't remember anything I did today. We had went to church that morning and she couldn't even remember what day it was.  I said lets go get in the car.  As I drove about a mile I called a friend who is the head trauma nurse at a hospital in Buffalo.  She told me to call 911 it could be a stroke.  Well after hours and hours at the hospital she was diagnosed with Global Transient Amnesia  .  She was released and everything thankfully has been ok since then.  Just a completely crazy night.  We made it home at 2:45 am and I had to be at school for my first class at 8:10.... and exhausting week.

I am now trying to get my class officers ready for homecoming.  October 14th we will spend the day building a float and the 15th will be homecoming dance.  The 15th is also my Birthday.  Being the Sophomore class advisor is a very stressful September and October  but it pays very well and the rest of the year is very easy. 

I am debating taking Sara and Evan to NYC for Veterans day.  Sara is dying to go the American Girl store for her birthday.  As expensive as they are they are beautiful dolls and she plays with them every day.  Seeing that we haven't taken them to Disney yet I can somewhat justify this.  I am still on the fence.  I would also take them to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Marc has zero interest in going to NY.  This is the first year I haven't had to take my students to Chicago or NY. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Goals Accomplished!

I am a few weeks behind I wrote this at the end of August and never posted!

We are reaching the end of summer.  Two weeks from today I will return to school.  The kids and I have enjoyed are time off and we have completed most of our summer goals.

1. Both kids are successfully riding bikes.  I was hesitant this would happen.  Evan had zero interest in learning to ride.  After 3 practice sessions with Marc in a parking lot he is riding like a pro.  Sara has been riding on a bike that tows behind my bike and attempting on her own a bit.  Well she became determined this weekend to ride and by yesterday she was doing laps around the neighborhood with me and Evan.  Its so nice to exercise with them.

2. Sara is finally falling asleep without watching any electronics.  As a baby she did this and it was difficult to get them both down at the same time.  Marc started to let Sara fall asleep on the couch and that was our downfall.  To keep Evan in his bed he would fall asleep watching a DVD and eventually Sara started the same bad habit.  Well now Sara is begging to go to bed so she can read.  She is on her 7th Heidi Heckelbeck book and loves them.  Evan is starting to get back in the habit and read and entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid book between last night and this morning.  He is also reading the Stranded series and loves it.

3. We completed all of their summer assignments including Evan's first book report.  I will post a picture.

4. We rode the waterslides at Darien Lake.  Our kids are not big on amusement parks and knowing this makes me feel ok that we haven't taken them to Disney yet.  They love water parks but could care less about regular rides.

5.  I painted our cottage.  The inside has not been painted in almost 20 years.  My Dad gutted it and put new drywall up and painted it white.  I had painted the large family room and put a wall paper border up years ago.  Well I have been slowly stripping the border and I finally repainted the room a pale gray and painted the kitchen a creamy pale yellow.  Now we need to rip out the shower (it was leaking behind the wall) and install a new shower.  Luckily the plumbing is good but we are going to attempt to put a tiled shower in rather than the vinyl one that has to be recaulked every few years. 

6. Sara is diving last night we went night swimming at the neighbors and she started with a few sitting and kneeling dives and quickly mastered the standing dive.

7.  As I write we have an AC tech here.  Our AC died back in the fall and we had it charged and then again at the end of August we needed it charged again.  We called another company to find the leak so I am praying it is an inexpensive fix.

8. My last project for the summer is to tag all the clothes and toys for the consignment sale.  Each year I tell myself not to buy them as many clothes.  Its easier not to buy for Evan since his outfit of choice is a NFL Jersey and jeans.  Sara seems to need more dress up clothes and special outfits.  Evan is so easy he didn't even want a new backpack or lunchbox. 

9.  We purchased all of our back to school supplies, uniforms, and shoes.  Sara is wearing a 13 in NIKE (which run small) and Evan is wearing a 3.  I would like to clean up last years soccer spikes and some ice skates in my basement to trade in at a sporting goods store that sells used equipment.  Sara insisted on a Vera Bradly backpack.  I debated but gave in figuring its her only chance to have something her own at school.  Plaid skirts, navy pants, plaid jumpers, and white shirts are pretty boring. 

10.   Evan had his haircut today and Sara is scheduled for Monday.  I am dreading the crazy schedule of back to school.  Sara has Ballet on Tuesday, Gymnastics on Wednesday.  For September and October there will be a soccer practice each week and a game on Saturday.  I will also have my Sophomore class advisor duties of 3 JV Football game concession stands and homecoming the weekend of my Birthday.  Luckily it will all end 10/15.  After that I will be hosting Trunk or Treat at the kids school.  I will be very happy after Halloween!

11.  We have managed to keep the house much neater this summer.  The kids have really kept the basement clean, their bedrooms manageable, and have kept all messes out of the family room.  I hoping they are getting older and can continue to help more.  I have kept up with vacuuming a few times each week.  I bought a Shark vacuum in the fall and love it.  I actually like to vacuum with it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What a week...

Its been one heck of week.  Last Tuesday night Sara asked to go across the street to play with the 5th grader Lisa.  Evan piped up that he wanted to go so I told him to cross Sara.   I checked a few minutes later and she had brought her scooter across but did not have shoes on.  I made her put some sturdy shoes on and went down to the basement.  Evan came screaming in the house Sara is hurt and she wants you Mom.  Of course I ran down the yard and a neighbor was carrying Sara and she was crying hysterically.  Marc tried to comfort her and she said I just want Mommy.  Well a few seconds later she stormed up the yard on her own. I didn't see any blood and she said her arm hurt.  A bit later a neighbor called and invited everyone swimming so Sara said she wanted to go.  We went over and she was very guarded of her arm, but still went down the waterslide and jumped in.  The kids played tag and Evan bumped Sara's arm and a big fight broke out.  At that point it was time to head home.  I gave her some Motrin for her arm and figured she would be fine in the morning.

Wednesday morning Evan had day 3 of his football camp.  I called my Mom and she said Sara had hung out in a chair all morning but didn't complain.  When I arrived home she said it really hurt to move and refused to straighten it.  So I thought we better be safe and  I ran her to the Peds.  They sent us for x-rays and put Sara's arm in a sling.  We went to a new facility for the x-rays and were told  our Ped would call us with the results.  Our Dr. called and said that it was dislocated at the elbow and they would set us up with an Orthopedic by 9am.  Well 8:58 the next morning they called and said we had to head to Children's hospital where they would sedate Sara and reset it and probably cast it for 3 weeks.  We went and they wanted to re x-ray Sara and they did very quickly and told us that it wasn't broken or dislocated and come back for a follow up  in 2 weeks if she still has pain.  She slowly seems to be improving. Wow I feel like we dodged a bullet!  All the kids in the waiting rooms had casts above their elbows. 

We did 4 days of football camp at my High School last week and Evan loved it.  It was very well run and only 1.5 hours a day.  It was very hot though close to 90 each day and it was 11am -12:30.  This week Evan attended a Sammy Watkins camp and had fun but not as much as the high school program.  This was double the cost and was held at a community college from 9-12:30.  It was a long time to sit in the bleachers and the kids were only given water or SunnyD during the camp.  He was starving by the end of the morning.  Sammy did a great job and interacted with each group of kids.  I was amazed at how far kids traveled for this camp.  Some kids from Florida, South Carolina, traveled to Orchard Park to participate.  Most of the families around me drove over an hour or two to attend.  I am not sure I would do that. 

Last night Sara did a paint night with some friends from school.  She can't wait to do another class.  On the way home she was getting grumpy and arguing about playing with the kids in the neighborhood.  She finally asked for help strapping in her booster seat.  This is where it became ugly.  I went to strap her in and didn't realize she had the strap in her teeth.  She had been doing it with one hand and holding it in her teeth to compensate for her left hand.  Well instantly she lost her top front tooth and there was blood everywhere.  Her teeth were loose but probably had a few weeks to go.  She came downstairs at 10pm and told me her tooth was just hanging and I burst into tears. The tooth fairy left $10 for this tragedy the most they have ever left at our house.  She woke up the next morning with her other tooth.  So a short ride on a scooter has been an expensive time consuming trip.

We are done with camps and vacation now its time for some daytrips and playgrounds.  I would love to take the kids on the Maid of the Mist next week and to the Genesee County Museum - Mumford for Laura Ingalls Wilder Days - the actress who played Caroline will be there.  I also plan on taking Evan to Bills minicamp in Rochester in early August.  We have off until after labor day this year. The past few years we have returned the last week in August so this feels like an extra 2 weeks off. 

The Dance Competition
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