Friday, 29 December 2017

A Week in Review (December 24-30)

A Week in Review (December 24-30)

Watched: A Colorado College basketball game with Jack. Since we were not able to go 2 weeks ago because of his illness, we headed down there this week. It was a good time. Almost no one was there. We got great seats and they let the kids shoot on the hoops at half time. Jack was frustrated because the coach only played six players and two of his favorites from his basketball camp sat on the bench.

Read:  I was able to finish up, in large part due to audiobook, The Things We Keep.  I was not a big fan of this book.  I just found it a little predictable and slow paced. There wasn't a lot of substance to the characters either. If you are looking for some chick lit to just take you away for a couple of days, I suppose this isn't the worst thing you could stumble upon, but I wouldn't recommend picking it up otherwise.  Since I didn't have anything coming off my holds shelf or any buddy reads going on, I went through my long list of books that our on my shelves and selected Running Barefoot as my next book.  It's been on TBR list since March of 2013!  I’m already over three quarters of the way done and am enjoying it. I’m sure to have a review to start off the New Year. 

Listened: To a lot of Pandora in 2017. According to the graphic they sent me, I’ve listened for 11,015 minutes which equates to 183 hours of music. That’s almost three hours a week just jamming out.  I usually don’t listen to Pandora when I drive because of the data factor either. Music just speaks to me and I have so many different songs for different moods and times in my life.  This is the first year that I have caught Jack singing along with me to a lot of the carols. I hope that music will be that safe place for him too. 

Made: The drive to Wichita on Friday so that we could spend New Years Eve with Nick and see Roy and our nephews.  Nick had to head to KC on the 26th and needed to spend more time there so we decided we would come to him.  It was a nice uneventful drive.  We beat Nick by almost an hour and so Jack had time to hook up his Wii and we played some Frogger. Luckily Nick made it in time to play a game of cutthroat pitch before the Jayhawk game tipped off because Jack had been jonesing to play all day long.  After the game was over, everyone headed down to the exercise room to mess around where they didn’t have to be reminded not be noisy. They all had so much fun in there. Some sort of dodgeball with a basketball broke out and I tried to capture a picture. They actually requested the workout room again, twice, on Saturday too. Clearly they didn’t exercise enough as they were up well into New Years Eve. Such fun memories they are making. 

Felt: Excited about my excellent score of wrapping paper. Walgreens carries Hallmark paper and it’s just so nice and thick that I wanted to make sure to get some on clearance this year. I went in the day we got home and scored 11 rolls of wrapping paper. I was pretty thrilled. I’ll probably try to go in next week to see if there is any of the styles I didn’t get for a steeper discount!

Planned: On Landon spending the night on Thursday after he came to the basketball game with us, but his mom texted on Wednesday that he wasn’t feeling great and that she had the flu. With our impending trip, I didn’t want to take the risk and so I canceled. Jack was less than thrilled with me, but that’s parenting. We are hoping that we can get one night in next week before break ends. 

Loved: Getting to spend my brother’s 28th and Christmas with my family.  We started Christmas Eve off celebrating Kyle.  It’s hard for me to wrap my head around him being the same age I was when I was pregnant with Jack.  I was worried that both my gifts were going to be busts but they ended up being fine. After spending the afternoon with us, they went in for crab legs with the Hare’s.  While they were gone we played some cutthroat pitch and ate our traditional pizza. When they got back, we started on presents around 9pm. First we had our White Elephant gift exchange. Jack’s gift went to Aunt Jess who shared her new ball with Olive, her niece. Jack ended up with a trivial pursuit game. I ended up with new knives. Jack opened his dry erase spin wheel and we used that as a determiner of who opened the next gift. I love that we all don’t just rip in but we celebrate each individual item. Jack was pretty pooped by the time we ended around 2am. We all slept in and opened Santa gifts later. Jack was bummed that no one understood how important that 2lb Gummy Bear was. We were all excited that Santa brought us another cruise. It looks like we will be going out of Galveston around Spring Break!  He also brought us two family games in Suspend and a new HeroQuest like game. We dove right into Suspend because it’s an easy to learn, hard to master type game. We didn’t try the other one yet. 

Here are the pics for the week:

A Week in Review (December 17-23)

A Week in Review (December 17-23)

Watched: The Last Jedi with my boys.  We were able to go Sunday after the Christmas wrestling party since we had watched all of our sports on Saturday.  It was an excellent movie.  I find the I am generally a big fan of the 2nd movie in any trilogy and this was proved to be no exception. The boys enjoyed it so much that they went back on Tuesday night and watched it again.  It's hard to beat the big screen for Star Wars movies.

Read: I finished up Every Time I Think of You.  I didn't love this as much as I did her original work, On The Island.  However, it was a fast paced easy read.  It's rather predictable, but I still enjoyed getting to know Daisy and Brooks.  I was annoyed by Elliot as I didn't feel he was written as a typical child.  He had the speech pattern of a toddler and the thought process of a tween.  Next I started The Things We Keep which was selected as the January book for my face-to-face book club.  It's okay, but it's not really drawing me in.

Listened: To a bunch of thank you's for planning the wrestling Christmas party.  We have such a great club full of great kids and nice parents.  I was even gifted a couple of Christmas presents including a bottle of wine.  Jack made bank from the claw machine winning a giant ball and giant stuffed snake on the same pull!  I even played one game of laser got and got whooped up on since I had a gaggle of small wrestlers who were following me around making me one giant beacon.  

Made: Christmas Cookies with my family.  I love this fun tradition that we all have.  This year the stores were all out of traditional coloring and my mom put way too much Wilton's food coloring into the batches and so we had some teeth staining cookies!  Nonetheless, they were amazing to eat to breakfast (another fun tradition!).

Felt: Glad that I packed our winter gear for our trip to Alliance.  The forecast had called for a little snow each day, but we ended up with a lot.  I had Jack try on his snow boots and while he said that they fit fine, Nick decided that they looked to small.  So before we left we had brunch at Wade's Cafe and headed over to Big 5 to buy some new snow boots for him.  He went up three sizes, so I'm not sure how his foot even fit in the other boot!  On Saturday, Jack convinced his two to go out and play football in the snow with him.  We bundled them up and sent them outside.  They spent about a good half hour out there.  My sister-in-law went outside and took some fun pictures.  She got a lot of amazing ones of Nora, but I only put one on here for you.  When they came inside to warm up, Kyle realized that while he had taken everything else out of his pocket, he hadn't taken out his keys with his work key on it.  He looked on his own for a while before I bundled myself up and headed out to help.  I was the lucky winner and found his keys for him after only about 10 minutes of searching.  It seemed like a fair exchange for the snow bowl he played with Jack.

Planned: Santa's gift.  We had a hard time coming up with something to get Jack from Santa so we settled on another cruise. He had asked for one and Nick thinks he can get time off around Spring Break so we went for it.  While the boys were at Star Wars, I went to Michael's and found four nesting boxes that will each be wrapped and put in each other.  In each box there will be a photo placed until we get the middle when we reveal that we got another cruise.  I hope he is excited.  I know I am!

Loved: Getting to spoil Jack this week.  I know how lucky I am just to get to be able to be a stay-at-home mom.  But when you add in that I get to take him and do fun things over all his break, it's just the most amazing thing ever.  On Monday, we finished up shopping for his gifts for people and then headed back to the Summit (where they had their wrestling party) for unlimited laser tag.  It was a good thing we got there right when it started because by the time we left three hours later it was jam packed.  The manager had given me some free playing cards for booking the party there and so they had money to spend on some arcade games in between rounds.  Jack earned enough tickets to buy a dodgeball to put into the white elephant exchange.  On Wednesday, we went to the North Pole with friends and had a great time riding all the rides, watching the magic show, checking out the shops, and eating some good food.  I'm thrilled that his break got to be such a fun time for him and it was all about enjoying himself and having a good time with friends and family.

Here are the pics for the week:

Thursday, 28 December 2017

A Week in Review (December 10-16)

A Week in Review (December 10-16)

Watched:  A lot of sports on Saturday.  We started out with a wrestling tournament.  Having not wrestled and not felt well all week, Jack didn't do great.  He didn't get last, but he did get his first fourth place finish.  Hopefully things will be better after break.  When the tournament was over, we rushed down to his final basketball game and made it for the second half of that.  Then we came home to watch the KU basketball game.  Nick had to put a blanket over the ticker so that he wouldn't see the Chiefs score which was also playing at the same time.  After the KU wrapped up, we set about watching the Chiefs game.  It made for a late night, but it was a good time.

Read:  I was able to finish up Cold Mountain and not all that long behind my book buddy.  We both realized that we are very glad to be a woman living in this day and age and definitely not a woman in Civil War era.  It was a very descriptive about the horrors of the Civil War and about what people will endure to survive. It wasn't particularly climatic or fast paced, but I enjoyed the journey. You definitely need to be a historical fiction fan to enjoy this novel. I am surprised it was made into movie, but will now try to watch it to see just how different it was from the novel.  I am going to start reading Every Time I Think of You.  I have had it on my TBR list for quite sometime and library just got an audiobook of it, so I am going to bump it to the top.

Listened:  To the doctor twice.  Once Wednesday for what I was sure was strep with Jack.  He had spiked a fever for a couple hours the night before and hadn't had much of an appetite and had been lethargic for most of the day.  The rapid culture came back negative, but we started a round of antibiotics because if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its usually a duck.  When I picked him up from school on Thursday, he showed me these weird spots that had popped up on his hand.  sure enough, the poor kid had Hand Foot and Mouth disease.  I started thinking doomsday thoughts about everything he was going to have to miss because we didn't want to share it with anyone else.  However, since he had been fever free and the sores weren't open, he was free to return to school and normal activities.  They thought that he still had strep on top of it, but it turns out that it must have just been from the HFM. I really hope this small bout raises his immunity to be able to fight it for the rest of his life.

Made: A really cute soup basket for my Secret Teacher.  It's hard to know what to get her and so I thought it would be fun to get her something different.  I walked around Walmart until I found my inspiration in two giant soup cups.  I am hoping that she liked it.  I won't know until the end of the year when we reveal ourselves.

Felt: Glad that I chose to skip the DAC meeting on principle and instead stay home and do my holiday baking because just as I was finishing up my last batch, I got a call from the school that Jack wasn't feeling well!  I am very glad to have gotten the cookies done before the cooties were in the house.  I think the reindeer ones turned out cute, but they weren't the yummiest, by a long shot.

Planned: On missing practice on Tuesday for a PTA board meeting and Wednesday for attending the Colorado College game, but things ended up all crazy due to Jack's illness.  I am glad we already had plans to miss because it made things easier since people weren't already expecting me to be there.

Loved: My daily life Black and White Challenge on Facebook.  It was fun to look around each day and see what I could take a picture of that would encapsulate my day.  It said that you couldn't have an explanation of why, so you'll just have to enjoy.  It was great to see the people who I challenged to join me do so too.  It made me eager to see what was on Facebook each day.

Here are the pics for the week:

Nick's clever solution for not seeing the ticker.  It just looks festive!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

A Week in Review (December 3-9)

A Week in Review (December 3-9)

Watched: Jack have a good time at Nick's company Christmas party at SkyZone.  We were lucky enough to have Landon sleep over and work said that we could bring him along for fun.  It was the best gift that he could receive.  They played a lot of dodgeball and basketball when they were there.  Even though they had spent the day together, they needed more time to hang out and so we brought Landon back home for another couple hours.  I am so glad he has a friend that enjoys spending so much time with.

Read:  I finally finished up Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  I’ve finally finished this book! It was quite slow, but the story was still good. It reminds you that everyone may have a backstory that we know absolutely nothing about. If you were a fan of A Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I’d say you should pick this one up.

Listened: To Nick and Jack work together to install a humidifier on our furnace.  The Springs has absolutely ridiculous dry air and everything has static all winter long.  It's annoying as all get out.  Since we own the house now, Nick and I decided it would be nice to not have to get shocked all the time or have our hair stand up when we take off our shirt.  I am excited to see how it works.  The first night, it raised the humidity 3%.

Made: A successful night out of our picture night for Wrestling club.  We treated all the kids to donuts, brownies, fruit snacks, and juice pouches.  Luckily the night was so cold that we were able to just stick the juice pouches out the back door during practice and they were a cool treat.  We ended up with about half the club buying pictures and I was pretty pleased with that.  I can't wait to see how everyone's turned out.  I was talking to the photographer and got a sneak peek at Jack's.  Read below to find out more about that photo.

Felt: Amused. Jack is really into his “Wolverine” hair.  I don’t think he’s ever had hair this long and so when he was sweating at practice and running his hands through one of his coaches told him he looked like Wolverine. Now he loves doing it. He even took his wrestling picture with his hair like that. It made me laugh so hard. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of it as an adult.

Planned:  My holiday baking list so that I can share some joy with our local friends.  I will be making fudge, butterfinger cookies, sprinkle sugar cookies, chocolate and caramel pretzels, eggnog snickerdoodles, and peanut butter reindeer cookies.

Loved: Spending a couple hours on the phone with my mom for her birthday.  Poppa Blas had a bus trip so she was free to chit chat.  First Jack called her and they talked for way longer than I thought they would.  I thought it would be a quick "Happy Birthday Grandma" and then he'd hand the phone over to me.  But nope, they must have talked for a good 45 minutes.  Then I talked to her for like an hour and half.  We are looking forward to seeing her in person soon.  Jack was telling her we were leaving after wrestling.  Not quite when he wanted, but it will have to do for him.

Here are the pics for the week:

Friday, 8 December 2017

A Week in Review (November 26 - December 2)

A Week in Review (November 26 - December 2)

Watched: Jack do pretty well getting a crown. One of his fillings had failed and then had another cavity on it so they decided that he needed a crown. We were able to just use Benadryl and laughing gas to get through the appointment. He really doesn’t like the feeling of novicane. We took a couple pictures during the process so that he could see what he looked like.  He got a kick out of the dental dam. They call it a trampoline. Pretty accurate description for most kids.  In the picture below he is trying to make sure that one side of his face wasn’t twice the size of the other. 

Read: I kept working on Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  It's obviously kind of slow.  I also started Cold Mountain with my reading buddy.  Since I flaked on her with the last one, I absolutely must finish it close to her.  I have requested the audiobook so that it can help me along.

Listened: To Jack do so much better at reading aloud. It had been a while since we have read a book together and his fluency has really improved. I am so thankful that his teacher provides great consistency to help him continue to grow. We are reading A Christmas Carol. I thought I had gotten a children’s adaption but it doesn’t appear that way. The old English is a bit hard to follow but we do a pretty good job. 

Made: A quick trip to Michael’s so Jack could put Christmas lights on his cardboard house project that he was working on at school. I couldn’t believe how many options they have for battery powered lights now days. With the popularity of LED, it is much easier to have long strands of lights run by battery. When we were there Jack found a giant gummy bear that he thought was just too awesome.  He had to take a picture with it. 

Felt: Disappointed. Apparently PHE just doesn’t do repeat events very well. Even though the weather was markedly nicer, we had far fewer people show up for the Holiday Shop. I have to say that I am really glad that I have decided to step down at the end of this year and just focus on work and sports clubs instead of being so heavily involved with the PTA. I will be happy to volunteer my time and attend events but it will be great not to feel the presssure. 

Planned: On finding out on Tuesday if Nick won his KC project, but the announcement was delayed until Friday. We are pleased to announce that his firm did win. It’s a double edged sword because Jack and I will be on our own for the majority of the next seven months, but at least he gets to work a project that he is excited about rather than being shipped out to Utah to work on a project that he really didn’t want too. 

Loved: Finishing up my Christmas decorations. It’s still pretty decent for winter and the decorations are good at getting me in the festive mood.  The wall of all of Jack’s old Christmas things are one of my favorites.  The outside lights look really good too. Jack asked for our friend Ryan to come over and to help him hang lights on the highest part because Nick didn’t want to get up on that part of the roof.   

Here are the pics for the week:

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Week in Review (November 19-25)

A Week in Review (November 19-25)

Watched: Jack go from being totally timid and not wanting to hold his new baby cousin to wanting to hold him whenever he got the chance.  He really seemed to enjoy the role of snuggler and letting us know what Angelo needed to be comfortable.  I think he really thought we were going to make him change diapers and he was not down with that idea.  Once he realized someone else would be handling that, he was much more willing to jump in.

Read:  Not a whole lot.  My goal of finishing the book didn't even come close to happening.  My friend and I are talking about doing a buddy read again so hopefully that will kick start me into making more progress faster.  It's just about dedication and I am not showing it like I should.

Listened: To lots of ruckus as Jack was able to get together Roy and Rachel's boys.  He has so much fun with his cousins.  He was able to spend the night at their house on Tuesday and go to the movies with them on Wednesday.  We got a hotel on Wednesday so that they could all go swimming together.  They spent several hours in that pool making up silly games and just having fun being together.  2 out of the 3 even stayed the night with us and continued their fun well into the evening.  Cousin relationships are awesome.

Made: The trip to the Kansas DMV to start the process of getting a duplicate title so that Roy can sign the title over to Nick again and he can start riding.  It will be so nice if it is done by the next riding season.  It's got its new tires and it just sitting there waiting for someone to ride it.

Felt: Surprised that it was already time to decorate for Christmas.  It just seems like Halloween was yesterday and now Christmas decorations are up.  Even though we drove home from Wichita on Saturday, we still made time to get the tree up, with no decorations on it and to pull a lot of the stuff out of the basement.  Nick even hung up a mantle so that I could have a better place for the stockings.  It is supposed to be in the 70s on Sunday, so hopefully we will get the outside light done.

Planned: My Christmas letter.  I always like making it something different and fun for people to read.  I found a cool app to help me do this years.  I can't wait to hear what people think of it.

Loved: Snuggling my new nephew.  He is such a good baby and really only fusses if he is hungry.  He gives smiles and holds your finger with his tiny hand.  I took him every moment that I could get.  It was pretty exciting to not have to share him with anyone besides his parents and Jack.  It is sad to realize that the next time I see him, he will most likely be rolling all around!  They grow up so fast.

Here are the pics for the week:

Lot of Angelo pictures.  Not too surprising!

Forgot to mention we won Hooters Thanksgiving Trivia and got a $50 credit to our bill. 

Nora got a Christmas collar