Monday, December 29, 2008

Yep. Still Sick

Yes, we are all still sick, but not quite so bad. Becca made it out of her house and onto the couch today. She watched about 12 hours of cartoons, so her brain is probably dead, but she is feeling better. I, however, stayed in bed most of the day. Mostly because I can't stand listening to more than about an hour of cartoons. So I plugged my laptop in next to my bed and camped out there for the day. I watched a couple of movies on Netflix (The Buccaneers mini series was great!) and redesigned my blog (as you can see) and caught up with friends on Facebook. I really never got the whole concept of Facebook until I tried it, and now I'm hopelessly hooked.

Kenzie spent her day playing with her IPOD Touch, entertaining the dog and drawing. tough life, huh? Hopefully tomorrow brings the return of our health and we can at least get out of the house for awhile!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Still Sick

Just an update, although there isn't much to report. Becca is still sick, sick, sick! Yesterday she started throwing up. Nasty. So that meant loads of laundry. Today she slept in her room until 5:pm. Yep. That's right. She didn't even come out to watch TV or anything. She just slept on and off all day. No music, no reading, just laid there. That's pretty bad.

McKenzie and I are still in the early stages. Bad cough, headache, low fever, lots of snot. I did find that Benadryl really helps. Of course Kendra + Benadryl = 3 Hour Nap, but that's not an entirely bad thing. Thank goodness Mike has been home to help take care of us.

As a side benefit, I had time to pull out my Cricut Expression and play around with it a little bit. It came with two cartridges. I ordered 4 more on the internet (Oh My Crafts has a deal where you could buy four cartridges for $100 and I had a coupon for 10% off so a really good bargain) and I bought the Cricut Design Studio so I can hook the Cricut up to my laptop and manipulate things around a bit. Loads of fun!

Other than that I've mostly been sleeping and surfing the net and McKenzie has been playing with Becca's new Nintendo DS (it's not like Becca is using it!). Kenzie has also been drawing a lot. I got her this fashion creator thing from Klutz and she's been messing around with that a lot. Becca, she's been sleeping. And the dog has been sleeping. And Mike? World of Warcraft of course!

Friday, December 26, 2008

But Santa, we didn't ask for that!

Well, Santa brought some pretty nasty germs with him and now three of us are fighting them off. Actually, the germs have been here, but they have gotten worse in the last 24 hours. Becca has been fighting off a cold for a week or better. She has had a cough, stuffy nose, low fever. . . in other words, your garden-variety cold. But starting Christmas morning, she said her ears hurt. Bad. Really bad. She even had a hard time eating the prime rib I made for dinner because it hurt to chew. Poor kid. Also, she sneezed while opening gifts (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) and this long string of greenish yellow snot came shooting out. It was truly impressive in a disgusting sort of way. And you would have been so proud of Becca and how fast she jumped off the couch, hurdled all the gifts and sidestepped the dog to get to the box of Kleenex.

So around two o'clock or so Kenzie and I both started coughing. Thanks for the Christmas present Becca. But you REALLY shouldn't have. Now we are fighting off the cold. (sniff. sniff.)

The kids climbed into bed around 10 or so and I checked in on Becca around 11:30 or so when I went to bed. She felt really hot so I took her temp: 102.6. Not good. I took Becca to the doctor this morning. Dr. Peck said that both of Becca's ears are definitely infected on top of a sinus and respiratory infection. Well, swell. . . so off ot Walmart to get the Rx. But they were swamped so we dropped off the Rx and came home. We got home around 11 and Becca went straight back to bed. That was over three hours ago and she has been out the whole time. I know she is very sick. It would take something serious to keep Becca away from the TV, computer and her new Nintendo DS voluntarily.

Other than that, we had a nice Christmas. We had our neighbors over for Christmas Eve. They have an 8 year old daughter and a two year old daughter. K is one day older than my niece Ellie. F is a total doll and is in love with Mike. When it was time to go, she said, "NO! I want him!" Well, sweetie, he's not for sale. Too cute. It's been a while since I've seen Mike play with a little girl. He is such a great dad. For dinner we had ham, cheese, and pesto roll ups, clam chowder and salad (with pecans, blue cheese and dried cranberries YUM!). Easy and very tasty.

Christmas morning the girls slept in until after 9. Being sick will do that I guess. Becca got a really cool scooter, a Nintendo DS, and a vanity mirror. Kenzie got a bow & arrow, an art easel and watercolor supplies, and an IPOD Touch. I got speakers for my laptop, but I think I may take them back and get cordless ones. The ones Mike got me sound fantastic but there are cords everywhere! One for power, one to the computer, cords between the speakers, etc. Not terribly convenient. Mike's big surprise was a pair of leather overstuffed drafting chairs for the office. They are very comfy, but they weren't packed very well and both have rips in the leather, so we are going to end up sending them back for replacements. Disappointing and a pain in the ass, because I looked around for a long time to find just the right ones.

Well, I'm off to Walmart to pick up Becca's Rx. And then back to do some cleaning up. WIth any luck, I'll get a few spare minutes for a nap as well!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not Much

Not much going on here the past couple of days. Becca has been laid low by a bad cold so we've been stuck home for the most part. She had a little cough on Friday, a low level fever and cough Saturday and by yesterday (Monday) she had a continuous cough and a fever of 101.1. Poor thing. She spend yesterday, the whole day, on the couch watching TV. She didn't even get up to play on the computer! That's when you know she seriously doesn't feel good. A day without checking in at Club Penguin and WebKinz World? Unheard of.

We've been giving Becca meds to bring down the fever and quiet her cough. The meds must be stronger than I thought. When Mike was putting Becca to bed on Sunday night she whacked her head hard on the headboard of her bed. He thought for sure that she was gonna cry, but she got a goofy smile on her face. Oh no, he thought, she knocked herself silly! So he asked her, "Becca, are you okay?" and she said, "Yeah. All that medicine made it not hurt at all." Oops. We may want to look into that.

The good news is that my house is pretty clean. Yesterday I had time to do my room, my bath and the kitchen from top to bottom. Kenzie took care of the main bath (also known as Sophie's bath since she is the only one who showers in there). Thanks Kenz! Today I need to finish wrappping so I can clean up the disaster of my dining room and tidy up the living room and I'll be all set. The office is a lost cause, but since I don't go in there except to retrieve the occasional print-out, I don't consider that my problem anymore. :) One of the best things about having a laptop with a wireless connection is that I don't have to sit in the God-awful uncomfortable chairs in our office anymore! Mike and Becca can stand it for hours, but my little hiney was not made for hard wooden seats. I like my soft leather sofa much better!

With Becca's bad cold and the horrific weather conditions in the northwest, I'm kind oof glad that my folks weren't able to make it for Christmas. Or that we didn't try to fly home. Somebody would be stranded in an airport somewhere, I'm quite sure. And Becca is better off resting and not contaminating more family members than she already has. This is the silver lining on that particular cloud. And my folks will be here in April and we will all go to Daytona Beach together. That sounds like it will be lots of fun! Kenzie is already planning a return trip to St Augustine to see the fort that we didn't get a chance to see last time.

I've had a fun time catching up with old friends on Facebook this past week. People that I didn't even know that I was missing until I talk to them again. And then I remember why we were friends in the first place! Moving around so much makes it very hard to keep in touch with friends scattered near and far. There are just some people that you will remain friends with no matter how much time passes.

On the tech front: my camera appears to be working once again (it was having problems detecting the memory card and wouldn't record pictures), my printer should be up and running again once the new printhead arrives this week, and I still don't have a cell phone.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Little Nerdlings

Have I ever mentioned that my children are brilliant? Not just the my mom thinks I'm brilliant kind of brilliant, but the I'm-headed-to-Harvard kind of brilliant. Progress Reports went home yesterday. On the teacher end I deal with many kids who look at me in disbelief when they take home that D or F. "What do you mean I got an F. I never do any work but that shouldn't affect my grade, right?"

On the parent end, progress report day is a great day! My kids each brought home straight As. Not just ordinary A's but the over 95 and even over 100 type of A's. I'm so proud. Bet you couldn't tell.

Speaking of nerdlings. . . we have a friend visiting tonight who is every bit as nerdy as my own two geeks. Becca and her friend were talking in the back seat about what they want to do when they grow up. Becca said that she wanted to be a famous writer (this is a new one), but didn't think it would really happen. Her friend's goal? To solve the mystery of the disappearance of Jamestown. When I asked if she wanted to be a researcher, she said, "No. I want to be a historian. Actually, a presidential historian." What eight-year-old spits out, "I want to be a presidential historian?" What happened to being a ballerina? It just goes to show that our little friend is probably headed to Harvard, too.

Big NerdlingLittle Nerdling

Honorary Nerdling

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, Monday. . .

Happy Monday! I've been in a great mood all day. Not sure why; it defies rationality. It's Monday, I have to work, I'm tired, and yet I've been smiley all day!

Maybe it's because I am finally feeling better. For about a week or so, starting on Thursday, Dec. 4, I ran a low grade fever. Never above 100 degrees, but it hovered around 99.5 for several days. No other symptoms except for a small headache and a few chills, just a slight fever. Needless to say, it sapped my strength. I ended up leaving work early on Dec 5 because I was really dizzy (my first sick day taken for me in 4 years) and I mostly stayed home last week and went to bed early. I stayed home on Wednesday but more because I was waiting for a Christmas package to be delivered that I had to sign for (Ivar's Clam Chowder!!! YUM!) than because I couldn't work. At any rate, I am feeling much better now.

Maybe I was so chipper because I'm finally feeling in the Christmas spirit. The tree is finally up and decorated and there are a few packages under it. Mike put the lights up outside yesterday and I put up a few other outside decorations. We have even started to get some Christmas cards in the mail! Some people obviously have too much time on their hands.

Maybe it is because it is 75 degrees outside in Port St Lucie and exceptionally cold everywhere else! it sounds like most of the northwest got covered in snow over the weekend and now it is frigid cold and windy. It's absolutely gorgeous here: warm and breezy with highs in the 70s and lows in the 60s. It doesn't get any better than this!

Or maybe it is because I spent the last two days on Facebook catching up with old friends. It's like a 24-hour reunion of Moses Lake grads at that place! It's been so much fun catching up with people I haven't seen in years! Of course my house is a total disaster, my fridge is empty and I haven't spoken to my kids or hubby in two days either. Talk about addicting! It's crazy. There are always friends to chat with and email, there are photos to browse and links to click. There are games to play and applications to look at. It's neve rending!! I even lost two pounds! I was so busy messing around online that I didn't even stop to eat! Okay, that's an exaggeration. . . but I definitely held off on the snacks. Hmmm. . . the Facebook diet. That's a novel idea.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Getting to Know Me Christmas-style!

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I have gift bags and I tend to think that they are more environmentally friendly, but there's really nothing like tearing into a Christmas present and ripping off the paper, is there? Plus I like to be creative and paper is more conducive to that.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, are you kidding? Have you seen the price of a real tree in Florida?? And I think it would be hard to keep it fresh in this kind of heat.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving, but we were gone this year. So Mike got it out last Sunday and finished putting it up Tuesday night. It is a pre-lit tree and several of the light strands were not working, so Mike took ALL of the lights off the tree. Each one had a clip that had to be snipped off and he had to unwind every strand from each and every branch, etc. It took approximately 1800 hours. Okay, only about 10, but you have to respect the guy's tenacity. If it was up to me? I would have gone to Sam's Club, bought a new tree and been back in under 20 minutes.

4. When do you take the tree down? I guess I don't have a tradition for that. I should start a new one. Wouldn't it be great to look forward to taking down the tree instead of dreading it more than a dentist appointment? I'll have to think about that one. . . I think it usually comes down the first weekend after New Year's.

5. Do you like eggnog? Revolting. Seriously, like milk that's been left on the counter for a couple of days.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Sadly, nothing specific comes to mind. Blame that on my poor memory, not on skinflint parents! My mom was so incredibly generous at Christmas that we always got tons of great stuff. I remember always getting a new babydoll every year, which I loved. My dad made me a rocking chair when I was 15 which I still have. It's in my classroom and I sit in it to read to my class each day.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Mike, definitely. He has very simple tastes. He usually buys the stuff he needs and there isn't really anything he wants. Becca, to a lesser extent. She always asks for impractical things, like a pony or a baby or something like that.

8. Do you have a nativity scene? Shockingly, no. You would think I would have one considering all of the angels in our house.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? I had photo cards made this year, but haven't mailed them yet. I will probably send an email to friends and family on Christmas Day, too.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmmm. . . probably something from Mike. I love him dearly, but he is definitely missing a gift-buying gene. Last year he bought me sheets for our bed. And they were light blue. Whut?????? And too small. He is, however, good at keeping receipts.

11. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas, with Bing Crosby. Ever before I was a Gonzaga alum, I loved that movie. More recent? Home Alone.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually around Labor Day or so, I start thinking about gifts and I pick up things here and there. This year I got a late start. I didn't buy anything until after Thanksgiving.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably once or twice, but not on a regular basis. But I don't think that there is anything wrong with regifting. A gift is a gift.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? As a kid, I remember having Chico's Pizza for Christmas Eve and usually ham for Christmas Day. Now we always broil a big, juicy steak for Christmas Dinner. Last year we had Christmas Eve with friends and had Cuban food. This year I ordered Ivar's Clam Chowder. They mail it to you frozen. How much does that cost you ask? Too much, but I ordered it anyway!

15. Lights on the tree? What kind of question is this??? Are there seriously people out there who do not put lights on their tree????? That's got to be against the law. And I prefer all white. Not that I find the colored ones offensive or anything. I just like the simplicity of all white and I think it makes my angels look better.

16. Favorite Christmas song? Do I have to pick just one?? I have about 500 in my ITunes Library. And yes, I know all the words. And yes I sing along. LOUDLY. Favorite traditional songs: O Come All Ye Faithful. O Come Emmanuel, The Holly and the Ivy Favorite contemporary? The River, I'm Just a Candy Maker, Let's Be Naughty and Save Santa the Trip.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? As a kid, we almost always stayed home (one trip to Bend, Oregon that I can remember). Since I got married: 1995-1997 (traveled from Utah to Moses Lake); 1998, Leavenworth; 1999, Moses lake at Brant and Penny's teeny-tiny house with my folks and Penny's whole family; 2000, Ogden Valley (prettiest Christmas EVER!); 2001, Hope, Idaho (butt-cold); 2002, Birch Bay, Washington; 2003, Austin, Texas; 2004, Arrow Point, Lake Couer d' Alene; 2005, Daytona Beach, Florida; 2006, Orlando, Florida; 2007-2008, Home in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Of course. . . You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Did you doubt me? I told you I know every word of every Christmas song.

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Given my penchant for angels, you would think an angel, but no, I don't like total predictability. Actually since the tree is covered with angels of every size, shape, and color, we crown our tree with a gold thingy. . .um. . . don't know if it has a real name. . . my vocabulary fails me. . . ugh! Okay, it's gold, about 14 inches high, has two vaguely spherical parts and is pointy on top. Please let me know what this type of thing is called. . . it's going to drive me crazy. [Note: Kenzie says it's a spire. . . but that still doesn't sound quite right.]

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? For the past couple of years the girls open one present a day, leading up to Christmas. This way they take the time to enjoy each gift instead of being so overwhelmed by everything. This has worked out very well for us. Mike and I open all of our presents on Christmas Day and the girls get their stockings, big Santa gift and gifts from each other.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Having to work! Eighth graders tend to be semi-insane all year long, but Christmas time is even worse. Plus, I really miss being a SAHM this time of the year. I loved having time before to make handmade gifts and bake treats and decorate the house, etc. I've had to make a lot of sacrifices since going back to work and scaling down Christmas has been one of them. Of course, with a paycheck I can afford to give way better gifts.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Angels of course. We have five trees in our house, each with a different them: The big tree in the living room is covered with angels and gold and silver ornaments. Kenzie's little tree is covered in seashells, blue, teal and green ornaments. Becca's is covered with hot pink, purple, and bright blue ornaments. Mike's tree is covered in baseball players (his mom sends him the Hallmark one each year) and red, white and blue ornaments. I also have a little tree that I keep in the kitchen that is covered in all of our homemade ornaments from over the years. It's probably the ugliest tree ever, but it is beautiful to me.

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Rib-eye steak. YUM! We get T-Bones, now, so that Sophie can have a special Christmas treat too. On the side, homemade rolls, mashed sweet potatoes, homemade chunky apple sauce, and grilled asparagus spears with Hollandaise sauce. Usually apple pie for dinner, although last year I made Key Lime Pie.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? I've already posted by Christmas wish list. Mostly I want some peace and quiet and time to enjoy my beautiful family.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kendra's Christmas Wish List

My Christmas List

In random order as I think of things:

Measuring spoons

These ones from Crate and Barrel seem especially nice. Really anything from Crate & Barrel.

A great, big prep bowl (for making Chex Mix, stuffing, caramel popcorn, etc), preferably stainless steel

New oven mitt and potholders (cream, red, orange or green).Not silicone, I'm an old-fashioned kind of girl.

Speakers for my laptop. I want to be able to use my laptop as a stereo so I can listen when I am cleaning.

ITunes gift certificates. I don't actually have an IPOD, but I use I Tunes to listen to music on my laptop.

New knives. Wusthof or Henckels (based on Consumer Reports tests). Mine are from my wedding (a looooooooooooong time ago) and I must admit that we haven't taken really good care of them.

Cookware (I'm not desperate, just greedy) I have one Calphalon pan and I absolutely love it!!

Mini deep fryer. Something pretty small, just big enough for a batch of sweet potato fries or a few chicken strips.

A book on HTML so I can figure out this whole blogging thing. I'd like to be able to tinker with the look of my blog a little bit more. Right now I just cut and paste from other people. That's kind of cheating, don't you think?

A new cell phone. Yeah, this should probably be at the top of the list. I lost mine in Orlando. I think it might have been at Downtown Disney. Oops. This is the same one I dropped in the toilet. Twice.
Apparently, I also need a new printer/scanner. According to the Canon website, Error 5200 is not good. It doesn't tell you what is wrong, only that you must take it in to an authorized repair shop. Closest one? Boca Raton. . . 87 miles away. Yeah, right. I'm thinking that it would be cheaper to get a new one from Santa Claus!

A Tree of Life Necklace.

I like this one from Walmart, but there are lots of really beautiful ones available on the internet

Good Quality Vanilla (I'm too cheap to buy it myself. I always get the imitation vanilla)

Salad spinner (I always buy bagged lettuce, but I could use the spinner for rinsing cilantro, which I am addicted to. . . is there a 12-step program for guacamole addicts?)

Kenzie's Christmas List


Nothing. McKenzie doesn't make Christmas lists. She is morally opposed to the idea. She likes to be surprised so she doesn't ever tell me what she wants. This is not a new thing. It's been this way since she was about 5. And it does make for some great WOW! moments on Christmas morning. But I know it makes it hard on loved ones to buy gifts. So my advice: Books are always good, craft items, clothes (Size Women XS on top, Size 0 on the bottom), tickets to movies, plays, performances, etc.

Becca's Christmas Wish List

Okay. . . not a traditional Dear Santa letter this year. I got handed a post-it the other day with the following items on it:

Nintendo Wii
Nintendo DS Lite
Bella Sara cards

That's it. What's a mom to do? The first two cost an arm and a leg! The Bella Sara cards are like $1.99 for a packet of 5 and a Webkinz is like $10 (she already has five I think). Not much help Becca.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Too Tired!

Sorry it's been a while since the last posting. We've been crazy busy.

Our family spent the Thanksgiving holiday scattered around. Becca stayed in Port St Lucie with her friend Rachel and had a great time. According to Rachel's mom, they were very LOUD!! Not something we usually hear about Rebecca. But Rachel is an only child, so it probably did seem very loud to have two eight-year-olds talking non-stop for five days! Since Rachel's mom is a second grade teacher, I'm sure she'll recover!

McKenzie spent six days out in the swamps of Okeechobee riding ATVs, singing around the campfire, playing hide-and-seek in the dark . . . cool, huh? She spent Thanksgiving eating outside with a family group of about 40 or so. They had seven turkeys, two hams and pork ribs! Not a traditional feast, but much enjoyed I'm sure. Kenzie came home with a few scratches but no broken bones.

So why were the children gone from home for the holiday? Well, Mike and I were at the Old Spice Classic basketball tourney in Orlando from Thursday through Sunday. We found out in August that Gonzaga would be playing and since we NEVER get to see them play, we decided to go. Even when GU is on national TV, the games are on too late for us to watch. We considered taking the kids along but neither is a big sports fan, so we decided to go just the two of us. Please don't think we are selfish. This is our first overnight trip away from our kids since March of 2002 and only our second trip since McKenzie was born. This was VERY out of the ordinary for us.

So Mike and I got to watch Gonzaga win three games (YEAH!!!! #5 in the country!!!) and we also got to watch a few other top-caliber teams play. It was so strange to be able to watch a game without someone asking "Is it over yet?" "Can we get another drink?" "I have to go to the bathroom." "Is it over yet??" "I'm bored." "Is it over yet???" I really enjoyed the games. Gonzaga is really fun to watch.

We also got some Christmas shopping done. Big city, no kids, why not? We even watched a PG-13 movie, Quantum of Solace. Very good, by the way. The last movie that just Mike and I went to was in January 2000. Crazy huh?

So Mike and I pulled into PSL around 12:30am Monday morning and had to get up to go to work (the girls came to school with their respective friends). Needless to say I was a bit sluggish, but the real exhaustion hit today. I had three people tell me I looked so tired! Okay, I get it!! I graded papers until 5 and then the girls and I headed to Sam's Club for groceries and dinner. I barely made it thru dinner before I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up in time to see The Biggest Loser. So I am watching that now and typing (gotta love the laptop with wireless internet). I'm sure I left out lots of details, but now you know the gist of our Thanksgiving. I'll try to add photos and more as time and energy permit!