Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Rewind

Wow!  It's December first already. . .where does the time go?  Honestly, I am happy to see December since November was a mess at the end.  I can now say, that historically, November is not a good month for me. Bad things usually happen to me, especially the week before Thanksgiving. I guess it started in 2003.  I don't know what it is. In 2003 I had a patient code, in 2004 a patient died and I got cellulitis, 2005 was good year (Jacob was born), 2006 & 2007 were crisis free, 2008 I get TMJ.

The insanity started in the days leading up to Jacob's birthday.  Thursday the 12th, Tim woke me up to tell me his car wouldn't start and he had to take my car to work.  Nice, Jacob missed school and his flu shot appointment.  I spent a good 30 minutes the night before calming his fears about the mist he would have squirted in his nose the next day.  That was now for nothing.  Then I realized the cupcake liners I need to make the cupcakes to bring to school the next day were in the trunk of my car which was now 45 minutes away.  That night, Tim spent 2 hours fixing the problem (gotta love a guy who can fix a car!) while I was inside baking and icing cupcakes.  Of course Tim got home late so it was 11pm before I was done with my project.  The things we do for our kids :)

Friday, Tim called and told me he would be late because the same car that died the day before now blew a tire on his way home.  Nice!  Gotta love Friday the 13th.

We celebrated Jacob's 4th birthday on the 14th.  We decided not to have a kid birthday this year for several reasons.  1. the few kid parties we have been invited to turn out to be mostly family and 1 or 2 kids from Jacob's class.  Well, we have no family here and I couldn't see going through all the crazy preparations for 2 kids and seeing him disappointed.  Reason 2.  I just wanted us to have a nice family day.  3.  We would be seeing my parents in a couple of weeks and having a small party with them (something we've never been able to do) We let Jacob pick out what he wanted to do.  He picked the zoo and dinner out.  So that's what we did.   We went to the Birmingham zoo for the day.  It was nice and sunny.  It's a small zoo but just the right size to get through in a few hours before completely loosing interest.  We came home, opened presents and then headed out for an early dinner then it was home again for cake.  Perfect!  I highly recommend going simple.

The week leading up to this, our desktop computer was acting weird.  By Sunday I was about to throw the thing out the window.  It was just a year old in August.  Not knowing what else to do with it, I brought the tower in to Best Buy.  The Geek Squad determined it had a virus and possibly a corrupt OS.  $200 later the computer got shipped off to be fixed.  We still don't have it back. We are going on 2 weeks now.  Luckily we have a laptop to get us by.  It's amazing (and sad) how much we rely on computers these days for almost everything.

On the 18th I had to catch a flight with my co-workers to a training conference in Baton Rouge.  Earlier that week, Tim wound up with a last minute conflict in his schedule which left us not knowing what to do about Jacob and child care while I was gone.  After many phone calls on Tim's end, Jacob got to miss school and go to Atlanta with Tim so he could take his PT test.  This is when it would be nice to live near family.  I was near tears at this point b/c what else could possibly go wrong?

Well, on my way to the airport I stop at the ATM.  I am driving the car that had issues the week before.  In case I didn't say, it's our old 1998 Nissan Sentra we had in Italy, my very first car I ever owned.  I put the window down, all the way down, not realizing that the switch was now broken.  The window will not go back up, it's cold, looks like it is about to rain and I have to drive 20 minutes on the interstate (70mph) with said window down.  I called Tim frantic and he told me it will go up if the radio and lights are off.  I'm thinking this poor car just needs duct tape and plastic on the windows and we will be good to go. HA!  My worry was that my car would get stolen sitting in long-term parking at the airport.  About 5 minutes from the airport the window finally went up.  Note to self, do NOT put window down again.

While at the airport, I meet my co-works and we find out our flight is bumped and we will not make our connecting flight in Atlanta.  We were able to get on a different carrier 2 hours later and all made it safely.  Side note, what a great experience this was!  I am really excited about this job/research project!

Amazingly last week, nothing happened.  We went to North Carolina and spent Thanksgiving with my parents and had a birthday party with them for Jacob.  We also spent some time walking our property down the road from my parents.  If you recall, we have 4 acres of land, 5 houses away from them.  With the leaves off the trees we could really do some deep walking in the woods that we haven't been able to do.  We found fresh deer tracks and droppings.  We had no idea deer were that near. We were also able to get an idea of the depth of the river that flows in the back.  It was so peaceful to be in the woods and listen to the water flow by.  We have decided that during our time in AL, we need to seriously start looking at house plans and get an idea of what we want to build.  It's so exciting!  Since we've had a couple of houses now, we know what we want and don't want in a house and we look forward building something to our specifications.  Tim has 10 years to retire but the plan is for me and Jacob to be there before that.  Besides looking at house plans we have to find a builder, gets plans approved, etc. and we figure about 9-12 months to build, so it's going to take some time.  Luckily we don't have to rush.

Sunday we drove back to find out that Tim has a week of training and he had to leave Monday.  It's always something.  This weekend we will be putting up the Christmas tree and decorations.  We are so excited to decorate the new house!  And just in case you were wondering, yes, we plan to replace the Sentra in January :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trying to keep our heads above water

Just thought I would pop in for a minute and say Hi!  Yes we are still here, just swamped from every which end.  Week days are filled with school, Tim working long hours (still, grrrrrr), me working 3 days a week and in between all of this we still have to cook, clean, play, soccer, find time to food shop, and manage to have a little fun and family time.  Weekends aren't much better with soccer games, birthday parties, catching up on what got neglected during the week.  It's nuts! 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

On the 17th we finally had a somewhat dry day to head up to Hayden where they have a pumpkin patch.   From talking to some of my new found friends, this is fall "must do."  The temperature hovered around 50 degrees making it a perfect, cold day to do some pumpkin picking.

Jacob had his first pony ride and absolutely loved it!  Now he tells us he is a cowboy.  Just one of the many hats he wears when he is not part of Lightening McQueen's Pit crew or fighting crime as Spiderman.

After our chilly afternoon at the patch, we headed north so I could see the town that Tim works in and then we ended the day with a nice dinner out at a local Asian restaruant called Stix.  By the time we got home the temps had dipped into the 40s.  Much to my dismay, we had to turn the heat on to take the chill off the house.  Now to find some fire wood so we can make some nice toasty fires in our new fireplace.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Happenings

Life has been hectic, as shown by the fact that I haven't update in over 2 weeks.  I was in the middle of updating yesterday when hubby kicked me off the computer.  Men!  Anyway, I thought I would just give a run down of life at the moment. 

Jacob got over the H1N1 flu after missing 1 week of school.  It took another 4 days or so to really recouperate after that.  He got his first report card and did great!  You are probably wondering how a 3 year old can get a report card but they do.  Basically it's do they recognize the letters they have learned, know the letter sounds, know their name, behavior, stuff like that.  He also won an award for "Most Improved" since the school year started.  Unfortunately he missed the assembly when the award was presented because he was sick.  The soccer season has been very wet.  At this point we have had more practice and game cancellations then playing time due to the rain and field conditions.  We've also had a birthday to attend in all of this.

This week I started my new job as a Care Manager at UAB hospital  working along side a research team/project. UAB is a huge university in downtown Birmingham with a huge medical complex.  They are listed as one of the top hospitals in the country!   I'm super excited and grateful for this opportunity!  This is a big change for me.  Going from pediatrics to geriatrics (but now I get to use my minor a bit), direct patient care to indirect patient care.  It will be an adjustment.  I had orientation Monday and Tuesday and next week things will really get going, hopefully.  Otherwise, I've been doing some computer work from home that goes along with it and attending weekly team meetings.  So nice to finally be productive out of the house again!  I feel like a new person!  Someone told me once "the more you have to do, the more organized you are and the more you get done."  True, true!  So, now that I have found one of my missing links, I'm good to go.

Hopefully if the weather holds out we will venture up to the Pumpkin Patch this weekend for pumpkin picking and hayrides.  The leaves are slowly turning from green to red and orange.  Still looks like it has a long way to go though.  We had a fence put up last week, 6ft on the sides and 4ft in the back so we don't lose our view.  Now Jacob and Star can run around and I don't have to worry about either one tumbling down the hill.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Swine Flu hits the Clayton Household

Things happen for a reason.  Yesterday, I was notified that my business trip to Denver to take place at the end of next week was canceled.  I couldn't help thinking there was an ultimate reason for all of this.  Could it be recent news events or something else completely different?  I got my answer early this am.

Jacob came into our room at 11pm.  He was roasting.  I removed the sheets and Tim found the thermometer.  102.  Nice.  Gave some Tylenol and would reassess in the morning.  My mind was spinning.  I had checked on him an hour earlier before I went to bed and he didn't seem as hot as he did now.

6am, Jacob is burning up.  Temp 103.7.  Oh, boy!  Mind you these are tympanic temps (ear), so, probably a degree higher.  Tylenol again.

Report cards went out yesterday and today was to be the Honor's Chapel assembly at school.  Jacob was suppossed to receive an award for "Most Improved."  I felt so bad he was going to miss it :(  I called the school to let them know he would be abscent and his teacher called me  back to let me know there were several kids sick with the "Swine Flu"  I called the doctor back, explained the situation and was able to get him seen 2 hours later. 

At the peditrician they did the fun throat culture and nasal swab to run in the lab.  Jacob was not happy with them after they stuck the 6 in long q-tips in those orifaces.  I cannot blame him.  They were never my favorite procedures to do on the little ones when I was working.  About 15 min later his doctor (who is the sweetest thing) came in with papers and confirmed my suspicions.  "Influenza Type A Positive"  AKA, H1N1/Swine Flu.  This flu is actually much milder than the regular flu.  Yes, if you have an underlying condition it can be very severe.  If you are generally healthy you should be fine in a few days.  I chose not to go the Tamiflu route as the side effects seemed worse than what we were trying to fight and there is always the chance of this strain becomeing resistant to it.  I've seen MRSA and the over use of antibiotics it's not pretty so why chance it.

As we left the pediatricians office, Jacob said, "Mommy, I have that Swine flu that is on the news"  Yes, Jacob, Yes you do.

Monday update:  Jacob is doing much better!  I'm glad I chose the course of action I did because by Saturday evening he was fever free.  A low grade temp yesterday evening but not enough to medicate.  He was even getting into mischief so I know he's feeling better.

As soon as the flu shots are available in my area, we will all be getting them!    I'd also like to thank those of you who called over the weekend to check-up on Jacob.  We really appricated it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jacob's New Room

Before. . .



What a difference a coat of paint makes!  2 weeks ago we painted Jacob's room.  We wanted it all ready to go for when my parents visited this past weekend.  We took everything out, painted and put it all back in.  When my parents came on Friday, they brought my dad's old bedroom set, which is like new.  My sister used it before she moved out and now it is being passed to the next generation.

For the walls, we used Behr paint from Home Depot in Mickey Sailor, one of the Disney colors.  I love it!

The bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids.  I purchased it on sale about 2 years ago. We didn't use it at the time since we had  toddler bed for Jacob.

The closet photo to the left was my dad's project on Monday.   When we bought the house, it just came with a small shelf on the right hand side.  Jacob has a ton of clothes so this was not going to work.  So my dad added 2 extra shelves. 

Here is a close up of the curtains.  Also from Pottery Barn Kids.  They are a heavy navy blue and fully lined in the back so they will keep out the heat and cold.  Well worth it!  I picked these about a few weeks ago and was so happy with the way they coordinated with the quilt, which also has similar stiching. 

So that's Jacob's room.  I still have to hang some pictures.  I am going to try the Decor Elements from Stampin Up! (vinyl wall clings) in either the train or the little paper airplane that says "so many toys so little time. . . "

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Parents, Rain, and a Birthday, Oh My!

The title pretty much sums up our weekend.  Friday, my parents drove the 7 hours from their house in North Carolina with a truck full of goodies for us.  I've really been looking forward to their trip because 1. I wanted them to see our new house.  2. They were bringing my dad's old bedroom set for Jacob and 3.  They were bringing back our dog Star and 4.  We needed my dad's help in a few projects that Tim just hasn't had the time for with his insane schedule.

They pulled in around 6pm and Jacob was just ectactic to have gran'ma and gran'pa for the weekend!  As we unloaded the truck Jacob looked around and declared "I'm a new Jacob"  I asked "why?" his reply, "Well, I have all these people here, my grandparents, Star and you and daddy."  It was like he was a little old man.  Priceless!

Saturday was a full day!  It was Tim's birthday, we had pictures at church for the upcoming directory, and went out in the evening Home Depot and dinner.  It was then back home for Cheesecake in celebration of Tim's big day.

Sunday mom, Jacob and I went shopping while the men, sans Jacob, stayed home and worked on installing ceiling fans in the upstairs rooms.  On our shopping expedition, I found the Whole Foods food store that I've passed a few times but never went in.  We stopped in and all I can say is "WOW!"  If you've never been they are a huge organic food store.  Not cheap by any means but if you need something special this is the place to get it.  I'm by no means a tree hugger, nor do I buy into the whole organic thing but the produce was phenominal and they had amazing hot bars, salads, sushi and cheeses.  I was thrilled because I can now go down there knowing we can get some special meats and cheeses that we grew accustomed to while in Sicily that regular grocery stores do not carry.  I just wish the store was a little closer and not 30 min away, but we drove a bit in Sicily to get some special foods too so it's all relative I suppose.

Monday, was a regular day for the most part.  Jacob went to school and loved having gran'ma and gran'pa home to share his day with them and my dad finished Jacob's closet for us.

Now, if you watch the news and weather (I admit, I'm a news junkie!), then you have heard about the insane amount of rain the southeast has gotten since Thursday.  When I heard Friday morning that the day before produced some bad conditions of people being stuck in their cars and homes I knew it was serious but Friday was dry until 7pm, it then proceeded to rain all night, then all day Saturday , Sunday AND Monday.  Enough is enough!  It reminded of this past January and February in Sicily with the flood warnings we had.  Today I am happy to report the sun is out, for now.  I'm just planning on rain at some point.  The lawn is like a muddy sponge when walked on it's all squishy.  Mushrooms are sprouting on lawns the humidity is high.   At least the leaves are starting to change and fall so I know fall is around the corner for us soon.  It seems to hit around the end of October which is in line with when we lived in Florida.

Star is adjusting nicely.  She sits by the door waiting for my parents but in a day or 2 she'll be fine.  It's nice to have her back and she has really calmed in the past 3 years.  She is 7 now and that's middle age for a pug so her crazy puppy days are long gone.

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Working Girl Again!

If you read my birthday vent er. . .post then you will recall that I decided it was time to get back into the workforce.  I finally decided on something I looked into many years ago, case management.  It's something I always found interesting, but the positions were alway filled.  Must be good if those in the job never left, right?  Anyway, I had pretty much given up on the thought because they are hard positions to find and I needed more experience.  Well, in my job search, I gave up on the Children's hospital for the time being and found a Care Management job at the adult teaching hospital.  Yay!  Part-Time, Yay!  My interviews went well and I have one more tomorrow.  I met with HR yesterday to go over the usual: background check, copying my professional license, setting up a physical, etc.  I start the end of the month.  My position also requires me to travel to Colorado for a few days of training.  That was a little tricky since Tim and I know no one that we can leave Jacob with while I am gone.  However, I think between daycare at school and Tim needing to be a little flexible for those few days we have it figured out.  Jacob is all excited about eating lunch at school and hanging out with his friends later in the day.  I'm still a little nervous about it but it will be fine in the end.  It's a leap for me too since I am going from peds to adults, bedside to office.  However, the exciting thing is that I will be using my minor, gerontology, in most of my work.  My new position is part of a new research project, so it's new and a lot of details are still not available so we will all be learning as we go.  If everything works out, this should be a great opportunity and addition to my resume!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jacob's First Soccer Game

Jacob had his first game this past Saturday.  Here he is cheesing for the camera before the big game.

These are  just a few of the pics I snapped during the first game.  As you can see, their jersey's are "Lemon Yellow"  In person, they look flourescent.  At this age, there is no keeping score.  It's all about having fun, learning to kick the ball toward the proper goal and not touching the ball with one's hands.  The latter two are a challenge.  The kids did an awesome job!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Could we be any busier?

It's been a while since I blogged, I know.  It's not for lack of anything to report.  There has been lots going on meaning less time at the computer, which is a good thing :) 

Our claims have been settled with the moving companies and we have a new kitchen set arriving this week.  I'm still working on what to do in the office about a desk. I  also have to replace some stamp items that where no where to be found during the unpacking process. That was tragic.  I went to make some card challenges and discovered my Stack n Store caddy with buttons, brads, beads, eyelets were all missing.  You don't realize how much you need and use these items until they go missing.

If you keep in contact with me via Face Book, then you know I went on an interview last week.  The job wound up being a little different from the posting.  I had a panel interview and then found out I had to do a phone interview in the afternoon.  I'll report more on that next week.

Now that fall is here, well not techically yet, but it's September so in my book it's fall, we started our paint projects.  Last weekend we painted the half-bath and Jacob's bathroom.  Today we stared Jacob's bedroom.  What a difference some color makes!  I couldn't take tan walls in every room any longer.  I'll post pics this week.

This morning we also had Jacob's first soccer game.  His team did great, my little guy even made a goal during the game!  At this age there is no keeping score.  It's just about having fun and figuring out which goal to kick the ball in.

As for my other weekly activities?  Well, I've made a habit now of getting my exercise done first thing in the morning.  After I drop Jacob off at school I head over to the gym and walk for 1 hour (3-1/2miles) around the outside walking trail.  I'm finally seeing some results so that in itself is a good motivator.  Wednesday night is Bible study and Sunday church.  My neighbor even made a comment the other morning about me being busy.  I'm trying.

The end of the week my parents are coming all the way from NC with a truck load of stuff for us.  The best part is that they are bringing little Star so she can move back in with us.  We've missed our little curly tailed 4 legged friend.  It will be nice have her around again.  I say this now, I'm sure after a few days of her getting into mischief  and dog hair everywhere again I'll change my mind.

I'll try to post some pics of the above happenings this week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Personal Reflection and a Birthday

Hi Everyone!

Well, tomorrow (Aug 26th) marks my 31st Birthday!  I officially made it through my first year in my "30's" (ack!)  I remember when 20 seemed old.   It's been quite the year for me as I think back.   A trip to Rome and Germany, a BIG move back to the states, becoming a homeowner again, visits with old friends, seeing my family again.  Lots of happy times and some sad times too.  This year I decided not to do my annual Birthday Countdown starting on August 1st.  Just not in the spirit I suppose.  It's been a month of adjustments and somehow the fact that I even have a birthday this month kind of fell by the wayside. 

Since Jacob has started school and I've had this upcoming birthday, I've been doing a lot of personal reflection and have decided I'm at a crossroads with what to do with myself.   I was thinking back to when I turned 21, and 11.  Those were such carefree times.  I remember I couldn't wait until I hit that next milestone birthday.  Anyway, it's stirred up some memories, emotions, and realizations.  Which brought me to what I am about to share.   I admit, I'm not and never have been completely happy as a stay at home mom.  It's just not me.  I've had a hard time relating to my friend who feel as though staying home is the most rewarding experience ever.  I've tried to feel that way many times and I just don't.   I've given up on trying to relate to them because I cannot.  I am not "Little Suzie Homemaker" and never will be.  There, I admit it.  I also think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I had a career for 5 years before starting a family.  It became part of who I was and am.  I love Jacob, he's my one and only and therefore my world.  I loved that I had the last 3 years to stay home and watch him blossom into the little boy he is now, but I feel like there is so much more to life and that I am happy when I'm contributing to the family by working.  I also want Jacob to see that mommy can go to work like daddy.  I like being home, but not 24/7.  Ideally, I'd like something part time that allows me to have a nice home/work life balance.   Tim and I talked about this at length last week when he came home late one night to find a very frustrated, sad, teary Andrea.  He's behind me 100% which is what I was waiting to hear.  I am thankful he is so understanding.  So, instead of waiting until the new year like my original plan, I've decided to start looking sooner than later.  Which brings me to my next frustrating hurdle.  Finding the job.

In past years finding a job as a nurse was easy peasy.  Not anymore, in my area at least.  There was a great article in the local paper a week ago about how there is a nursing surplus, one that hasn't been seen in at least 11 years, again, in my area.  RN jobs seem to be few and far between.  Lots of ancillary and advanced practice jobs.  So, I either wait, give up, or go to grad school.  I've looked into Grad School at UAB and I have the undergraduate grades in my major to waive any entrance exams.  You don't know how happy I was to read that!  I cringe at the idea of taking an entrance exam after being out of school for 8 years.  It would just be a matter of tracking down some letters of recommendation.  I found a binder from my last semester of school where we had to write where we saw our careers in 5 and 10 years.  Apparently I thought I would already have this done or be almost done with it.  I got a good chuckle out of it.  As for the job hunt, I found my resume safetly stored on a thumb drive.  This was good news since  I thought I lost it on the hard drive of the old computer that passed away last August.   I think I have it tweaked just right for submissions.  I've been casually looking at jobs over the past couple of months and there hasn't been much like I stated above.  The last 2 weeks have shown some promise but they aren't posted for very long.  I've talked to the front office at Jacob's school to make sure I have some flexibility with before and after care.  Looks like I do so that part is taken care of.  That was a big part of me holding back.  I don't want to take a job unless I know Jacob is going to have somewhere to go and  I can pick him up.  That's the fun of not living near family and not knowing anyone.  That's another gripe for another day.  Giving up the job search all together.  I consider it and talk myself out of it daily.  That would be the easy way out but then I keep having this nagging feeling.  When it comes down to it, I'm not in a rush.  I'd rather take my time until something right comes along instead of taking the first thing, settling, being misrable and stressed.  So, that's where  I stand on the job hunt.  Stagnet and in limbo.

I've also decided I need to pull back from this darned computer.  It is so easy to get sucked into the black hole of time wasted on the computer when I could be doing more productive things.  I hate that as a society we have come to rely so heavily on the computer for everything.  While in Italy, I was lost without the computer as it was my outlet to the outside world.  Plus, since I found Facebook a year ago it's just gotten worse.  It's just to easy to know I can go to a website and find almost every friend I've ever had in one place and connect.

So, that's where I stand on the day before my birthday.   Looking back it was a good year overall.  Yeah, I wish somethings had gone differently but that's life.   There's always the year ahead!  Cheers!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Week of School and First Soccer Practice

I can hardly believe that tomorrow marks Jacobs first week of school! We are so proud of him. I forgot how tiring it is to wake up early 5 days a week to be somewhere, but I have survived. It's wonderful! Having a routine is something we've missed for the past 3 months, and I really look forward to adding more activities to our schedule. I know, I'm nuts!

Anyway, in just a week Jacob has learned the Letter Ii and the numbers 1,2,3 by sight recognition. How a teacher can do this in just a week with a class of 13 is amazing to me. I couldn't get Jacob to do that all summer. I don't know how the homeschoolers do it. At any rate, this is working for us and we couldn't be happier! He has his first little quiz tomorrow with his memory verse. I hope it goes well. It was a challenge getting him interested in it, but by dinner tonight he was able to recite it back to me.

Tonight Jacob had his first soccer practice. He has 5 (including him) on his team. Tim has found time in his busy schedule to coach and he did a phenomenal job tonight. I hope this is just one of the many things Jacob remembers about his childhood when he gets older. It was so fun watching a bunch of 3 year old run up and down the field try so hard not to touch the ball with their hands (very hard to do apparently). They are all excellent little kickers, Look out! The parents were very nice and it was so good to finally talk to adults again.

That's all to report for now. It's almost past my bedtime :o

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Day of Preschool 2009-2010

Today was Jacob's first day of preschool for the 2009-2010 year. I specify the year because he will do 1 more year next year due to his birthday.
Last night we went to the school to meet and greet with Jacob's teacher and see the classroom.
His teacher seems really sweet and the curriculumn looks really good. He has 13 in his class. The unique thing about his class is that they are considered "Young K 4" All this kids in his class turn 4 between Sept 1-Dec 31. So he is not the youngest is a classroom of kids all going to Kindergarten next year. Wish they had that when I was his age! They go at a slightly slower pace than the 4 year old class.
When I picked him up this afternoon he was excited. I asked him what he learned and he told me "I learned about Jesus and that he made the morning and night" he goes to a Christian school so I expect him to come home with lots of Bible stories. He also has a Bible Memory verse to learn each week. It looks neat the way they do it. 1 a week A-Z. Each weeks verse starts with the next letter of the alphabet. They are short verses so hopefully it won't be too difficult. I hope to learn something too!
Well, now I'm off to do MY homework that Jacob brought home (customary 1st day of school papers to fill out ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lazy Summer Day

The Dragonflies were huge!

Waiting. . .

Waiting some more. . .

And more waiting. . . .
This is how most of our day went. Tim had a 3 day weekend and yesterday we decided to take Jacob fishing. After church on Sunday, Tim and Jacob went shopping for gear. Jacob got a little Lightning McQueen fishing pole and tackle box. The tackle box now houses CARS.
Yesterday morning we headed up to Jasper, about 45 min NW of our house. The weather turned cloudy but after an hour the sun came out. I did a good job with the sunblock and luckily no one got burnt or tan!
Jacob lasted about 30 min waiting for something to happen. We got a few little nibbles but after 2 hours nothing. It was just nice to sit in a peaceful setting and enjoy the time none the less.
The fishing area is nice. A big lake with lots of ducks, a nature trail, picnic areas, boat launch (we'll rent a boat next time), and bait shop. As you can see from the above pic, there are some huge bugs too! Luckily they weren't too annoying, just noisy. Often we found a dragonfly on our poles staring at us.
We came home for a late lunch then headed off to our community pool. Lukcily it wasn't crowded. I didn't take the camera but Jacob had a great time. He's getting more relaxed in the water. By the end he was jumping off the side into Tim's arms. We really want to get him into swim lessons. If I cannot find year round one's I'll shoot for next summer making that a priority.
And that was our Monday. Tonight we have orientation a Jacob's school, meet the teacher and classroom. Then tomorrow morning he's off to pre-school.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Why I've been MIA

For back to school! Don't you just love that commercial for school suppies? I used to hate it. On Monday afternoon I had enough of sitting around the house and decided to attempt a shopping day with Jacob. These never go well, I was tempting the fates, but I HAD to get out. So we headed out around 12 and went to this great shopping area called "The Summit." It's about 30 minutes away on the south side of Birmingham. We started our spree with a lunch at Panera. After all, "they have those good foods that little boys like." Jacob tells me this all the time. Then we hit the stores. We needed to get a new backpack since "wheelie" backpacks are not allowed for Jacob's age group at school. We got a cute "preschooler" sized backpack at PB Kids. Mission accomplished? No! I haven't been mall shopping in over a month. We hit up lots of stores and got a first day of school outfit, and some things for the house, and soccer gear. Jacob was great! I think it was the bribe that if was good he would get some Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I have no shame in bribing my kid. He earned his ice cream and by the time all was done we got home around 6pm. I also made a detour though downtown B'ham to scout out UAB and the hospitals.

By the time we got home, I found out my phone stopped working and therefore the internet wasn't working. I called AT&T and of course got a recording because you cannot talk to a live person anymore. Apparently some main line in the area was out and the estimated date of it being fixed was Thursday, August 5th. Am I in Sicily again? I've called everyday and finally last night we saw AT&T trucks on the street and today they showed up in front of my house on a cell looking at a piece of paper. They came back 2 times and did this and finally I have service again!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Washing the Cars

As an insanely busy weekend to came to a close, I walked outside on Sunday evening to find the scenes above. Tim was washing the cars and Jacob decided he needed to wash his car too. Jacob did a very good job scrubbing and spraying his car. To find the two of them outside together is common occurance lately. If Tim is mowing the yard, Jacob is next to him with his little mower. If Tim is tinkering with something in the garage, Jacob is there too with tools. So cute! Not cute, however, was how Jacob finished off his car by spraying me and the camera 2 times with the hose. Kids!
Tim's schedule Monday through Thursday is very loooooong. He leaves around 7:30am and we see him between 7-9:30pm. Friday is "short" day with him getting home around 4pm. This is supposed to be temporary, but I have a feeling there are many more of these long nights ahead over the next 3 years. As you can imagine, by Friday night I am fried from spending all day with a 3yr old. So, even though our weekends are our only real family time, I spent all of Saturday out alone! I needed it. I went shopping and to a Ladies Tea and Auction at church. Tim and Jacob really needed their daddy and son time so it was a win-win all the way around.
Sunday we went to Church. 2 weeks in a row is good for us, I'm aiming for 3 next week. Hopefully we can keep this up. I know that's bad, but after 7 years of rotating shift work, opposite schedules, etc. it fell by the wayside. So, a new place, new schedule, we will try to do better. Jacob loves Sunday school so this helps. He tells us he is going to church school and mommy and daddy are going to big church. I actually ran into a woman there that I had met earlier in the week and she has a son Jacob's age. It's nice to finally be meeting some people and getting out. This will get easier when Jacob starts school in 2 weeks (yikes! and yay!) AND soccer season begins.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Craft Blog!


I finally decided to create a blog just for my cards, quilts, scrapbook pages. . .anything crafty! Check out the site above and see what I've done!

I will STILL KEEP this blog. So, if you are interested in my daily life continue to stop here.

Please keep in mind this is a work in progress and will probably evolve over the weeks and months.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Latest Moving Casulties

My prized pedastal table all dented and scratched
My student desk, with a leg barely hanging on

This part of the desk was found in a drawer. It' is supposed to be between these legs

Top of craftsman tool chest that Tim got for Christmas just 5 months before we moved.

The bottom of the craftsman tool chest. 1 wheel taken off, 1 barely hanging on.

These are the latest casualties of move #3 in 7 years. When we found out we were going to Sicily in Feb. 2006, we decided to put some of our stuff in storage. Things like text books, extra Christmas decor, outgrown baby clothes, power tools, extension ladder, kitchenette set (we brought our formal dining room set with us, SMART!). It was on option that we were entitled to and after looking over what we had and what we would need/have room for in Sicily, we decided to use it. Boy was that a mistake. Above are just some of the wounds that some of our items sustained sometime between leaving our house in in VA Bch and returning to us 3 years later in AL. I'd like to know just what they did to my things. . .
The pedastal table was something I searched high and low for after my aunt and uncle had gotten one years before. It is hunter green and half oak looking. Very simple. The table top (which I do not have a good pic of yet) looks like a crow bar was taken to it and has missing pieces. The tool chest was brand new since Tim had gotten it for Christmas just 5 months prior to us moving. Was it really necessary to remove 1-1/2 wheels? The student desk has sentimental value. See Tim bought it and stained if for me as a gift when I got into Nursing school. It saw me through many a long study session. It moved from apt to apt then house.
I also had my 4 boxes of Precious Moments in there the box popped off of one of the totes and the drummer boy to my Nativity set somehow came out of the box and broke. He is now in 2 pieces and if you are a collector of PM, you know that this is a piece that has long since retired. GRRRRR! Anything that was in a plastic tote, had not been taped by the movers. Tops popped off all of them and ornaments and PM were scattered all over the back of the truck. Wish my camera battery had been charged. Hopefully I have all the pieces.
Another item that didn't make it was our Treadmill. Pieces were found in the street after the movers left, the frame is all cracked and the thing doesn't work anymore. Half our stuff in the garage from the storage shipment is now busted so there it sits in the garage until the claims process is resolved. Basically if it was in a box it did ok. If it was too big for a box, we shouldn't have bothered. This is our tax dollars at work. Nice huh!?
Now I'm off to finish the long claim I have to submit.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Finally Home!

First, I wanted to post this picture of Jacob. Taken sometime in June, a little over 3-1/2 years old. I was going through the hundreds of picts I have taken since Jan. and found this one and though, "Wow, time flies." I think he's looking like quite the little boy here.

Anyway, I also wanted to catch you all up on the last 2 weeks. On Friday, June 26th, my parents graciously drove Jacob and I to Atlanta, GA to pick up our car that had been in Sicily. After 4 hours we made it. It was a typical hot day in the deep south. The car pick up was very easy and simple. I never know how these things will go without Tim. I had a power of attorney so that helped. After that, we transferred all our stuff from there car to ours, grabbed lunch said our good-byes and headed in opposite directions toward home.

We spent our first week in our new house with the bare minimum. No tv, no internet, no furniture (except Jacob's new bed was there). Jacob and I explored the surrounding cities over the weekend for lack of anything else better to do. It was along 4 days until that Tuesday when our household goods arrived, did that by myself too. I waited until 2pm for the guys to arrive and by 7pm that night all 200+ boxes/furniture pieces were in the house. I'm happy to say this was the least amount of damage we have had in a move.

The next day we unpacked some boxes and waited for our couches to come. Couches came at night (See a trend here?). They look great except they put the wrong color feet on my loveseat, so waiting to get that replaced. Nice to have something to sit on, buy nothing to watch.

Thursday, Tim came home for a 4 day weekend from his school. We hadn't seen him in over a month. It was a nice homecoming and Jacob was very happy to see his daddy. I don't know how my friends do it who's husbands are gone all the time for extended periods. Thankfully, we had the help of my parents. However, Jacob wouldn't talk to Tim on the phone. He told me he was mad that daddy went away. Isn't that sad?

We had a calm 4th of July weekend. Catching up and unpacking during most of it and finally getting the satallite and internet hooked up. Yay! Now we can see what the rest of the world is doing again. I love the radio but even I need a little TV!

Monday afternoon Tim left to finish up his last 4 days of school. Jacob and I spent the week getting our items that were in storage (that was a disaster!). I also got Jacob enrolled in preschool! Very happy about that.

Tim came home last night and with the exception of a night here and there that he will be away, we are done with extended schools! This morning we headed over to the soccer fields and signed Jacob up for fall soccer camp. That starts in August with games in Sept/Oct. Guess I'll be a soccer mom. He is so excited to play! Tim might help coach if his schedule allows.

As for me I received my AL state nursing license this week! So, I can finally work. Problem, jobs are in short supply. Especially because I'm specialized. I'm in no rush, especially getting Jacob situated with school and activities. At least I know if something comes up I can jump on it.

So, that's what the last 2 weeks have been like. Over the next couple we'll try to establish some kind of a routine. I feel like the past few months we've been living out of suitcases waiting for the next transition so some normalcy is welcomed!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Almost there!

Hope everyone had a nice relaxing Father's Day weekend. On my end my dad had to work and Tim was in Pensacola :( Such is life.

Big couple of weeks coming up. Our car that we had in Sicily finally made it to Atlanta. We could have gotten it last week but had to coordinate with my parents off days this week. They are such great parents letting us stay here for almost 2 months and then driving us to Atlanta to pick up our car. After that, Jacob and I will continue the almost 3 hours to Alabama and officially move in :)

Next week I have to get Jacob signed up for preschool, soccer (if he is old enough), schedule phone/internet/satellite, and get lots of deliveries (couches, storage and household goods). All while Tim is at school. I'll be up to my eyeballs in boxes for a few weeks until I get everything unpacked and situated. I'm excited though. I've done nothing constructive over the past month so I look forward to all the chaos! I'll pop in and let you know how it's all going once the internet gets turned on.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Day Out With Thomas The Train

Hello All, hope you are having a super weekend! Last week was rainy. What else is new?! However, Friday we woke to a beautiful sunny day, horray!! We had tickets to the Tweetsie Railroad "Day Out With Thomas" event. We headed up to the mountains in Blowing Rock. It's beautiful up there and the cool mountain air was perfect.

Jacob, as many know, is obsessed with all things Thomas. He knows all of their names and is very quick to correct those of us who cannot keep straight who James, Duck, Rheneus, Percy, etc. are. I'm not complaining, because almost all those trains have numbers on them and it is helping Jacob recognize his numbers.
The gift shop had Thomas themed goodies, so we got a shirt, a special box car commerating the event, and some other things that Jacob "needed." The kids were given a map when they entered the park. The goal was to hit all the stations and get a stamp at each one, at the end when all the places were stamped they redeemed the map for a 3-D Thomas poster. This is now hanging on the fridge.

He was thrilled to ride on Thomas. It was actually just an extra car attached to the regular train, but the kids could care less :) After our ride on Thomas, we headed to the bouncy house Thomas, met Sir Topham Hatt, had lunch, rode on the rides and played on the playground. The day was perfect (except for that fact that Tim couldn't be with us) and a great reward for Jacob who has had several days of great behavior. I think he's finally settling into a routine. Unfortunately I have to uproot him again in a few weeks when we officially move to AL. *sigh
I highly recommend checking out the Thomas website if you have little ones that like Thomas to see if the tour is coming near you. It's a fun day geared to them!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meet Cookie Mouse! and Other Stuff

I have to admit, even though we are at my parents, the fun is starting to wear off and we are now getting antsy to move on and head to AL to start our new chapter. In the mean time, I struggle to find things to do with Jacob. Inside is getting old and it is too hot to be outside during the day. My mom was off on Friday and Saturday. Friday the 3 of us headed to Charlotte to go shopping. First we stopped at a fabric store and I got some fabric for a fun quilt that I know those of you with little ones will LOVE. I'll post on that soon! Then we headed to the city and had lunch at Cheesecake Factory and hit the stores.

Saturday, we went to Barnes and Noble to "Meet Cookie Mouse." Are you familiar with the "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie. . ." books? Well, Cookie mouse was coming to read the story and have arts and crafts, and cookies of course! Jacob had a blast. I think he was happy to just be around others his age and have story time.

Tim headed to Pensacola on Sunday. He starts his 4-week recruiting school today. I know he's nervous about the whole change, but welcomes it just the same. He got a call on Friday that resulted in a change in his recruiting offices. Jasper is now off the list and he will be out of the city of Cullman. Good thing we didn't buy and house or rent near Jasper. He still has the same commute but should be easier since it will be interstate driving instead of back roads. Plus, our city now falls under his radius. I wouldn't be surprised if something else changes again before July. That's military life though, nothing is certain.

As for our belongs. Last Tuesday, what I thought was going to be the storage delivery wound up being our express shipment. Yay! Then Thursday we were notified that our household goods made it to Birmingham. There is a 5 day release date so Tim wasn't able to get this before he left. Our Nissan still comes up as being in the ocean when we check on it's status. All in all though, I am happy that all of our stuff in stateside again. As soon as the car arrives, the plan is to get it and continue on to AL from there since Atlanta, where the car will be delivered is 2-1/2 hours from the house.

This weeks looks to be pretty slow. However, Friday, Jacob has a big day as we are heading up to Blowing Rock to the Tweetsie Railroad to meet none other than Sir Topham Hatt and take a ride on Thomas. It's part of the Day Out with Thomas Tour. I'm really excited to see Jacobs excitement over all of this!