Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Someone suggested I clone myself...

this might come in handy.

I pulled a good one I scheduled Sonny Boy two weeks worth of swimming lessons that run from 9:10 am to 9:45. No problem except on Wed which is Igor's speech therapy/play group that runs from 9:15-10:15 and is at least a 10 minute drive away. It appears that tomorrow I will drop Sonny Boy off at swim lessons a few minutes early and ask a girl I've sat with at numerous lessons around town our kids have shared to watch him, drive like a crazy person to Igor's therapy, drop him off at therapy, turn right around drive back pick up Sonny Boy and then drive back to pick up Igor. Whew talk about spinning wheels and shuttling kids. I knew SAHM do alot of driving but I didn't think it took all the logistics of an aircraft carrier.

My only hope is that I told Sonny Boy we would skip swim lessons if it was cold again tomorrow. Today it was downright chilly and I wasn't the one wet, actually wore a jacket. The pool is heated so the kids in the water aren't so bad but it's brisk when you get out!

I'm waiting with baited breath, we may have an offer soon on the house, the people have narrowed it down to our house and another and my realtor says our house is much nicer (though it's a little more expensive) we'll see I guess. We've been down to the final two before.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Maybe not the worst camping trip ever....

but it is one that will live our memories for a long time.
Things started off pretty well. Wed and Thurs of last week I spent packing, planning, shopping and cleaning the house. Thursday evening I packed the van minus last minute stuff and got to bed fairly early. Friday I woke up early, dressed, finished packing the van and got the kids up dressed and gave them a bum rush out the door before they could destroy the house as I had left word with the realtor it was free to show at will.

The drive down to the St. Louis area was long but really uneventful, though I was wondering just where the heck the park was as I got close, because it took forever for signs to show on the road. We arrived, scoped things out and picked out a camping spot and I started setting up the tent. This is where things started going downhill quick. We didn't bring our trusty old cabin tent we've been using for the last 10+ years, we brought along a new one that was borrowed from a friend. He had insisted we borrow it when we were telling tales of our last stay in the tent with it's leaks and busted door zipper. Since it was there we used it. Now let me tell you this tent was very nice and new, if it had ever actually been used you couldn't tell it because it was just spotless. I opened the bag and the instructions were so vague they might as well I have been written in Russian ( I might would have some hope then) so Sonny Boy and I start trying to assemble this tent. This wasn't a one woman, one six year old operation I soon discovered. However with much cussing, sweating (the heat is another paragraph) and re-doing we soon had this MASSIVE tent erected. I sat down to drink a soda and admire my hard work and soon we could hear thunder in the distance. OH NO is all I could think because even though I had the tent up I did not have the rain fly on and the top of the tent was solid mesh. I start running around stretching out the rain fly and reading and re-reading the terrible instructions that kept telling me to put a pole through the sleeve on the rain fly except I could find no sleeve! Thunder still rumbling in the distance I decide to just pull the rain fly over the tent and hope that it shed the approaching thunderstorm, however I couldn't do this as one person and Sonny Boy no matter how hard he tried (and he tried) needed six more inches of height to be useful. I then re stretched out the fly, re-read the directions for the 101st time and finally found the sleeve to put the pole through. With the pole in the correct place it helped me stretch the fly over the tent and I could then secure it. About the time I finally got things rain proof the thunder started fading and the storm went around us.

Hubby showed around suppertime and after roaming around the park - the signage to the campground is not good, found us. We cooked some burgers on the fire, ate and Hubby took the boys to shower which was an adventure he would have to relate and put the kids to bed. Now mind you our little Wisconsin temperature adjusted bodies think 85 is hot and it's somewhere in the mid 80's with a high humidity. The kids are restless and after an hour or more of threatening death they finally settled and went to sleep. We sat around and watched the firewood smolder and listened to the trailer trash a couple of campsites over fight and cuss so we informed the park ranger and soon another thunderstorm started blowing up again. We hustled got things under cover and ducked into the tent and zipped it up. GEEZ it was hot in that tent. About the time I managed to doze off the storm ended and the couple in the site right next to ours came out of hiding with their child who was somewhere in the three year old range around 11:30 pm. Matthew ( I heard his name a hundred times or more over the weekend) proceeded to follow his dad around calling to him "Daddy" about every 90 seconds in the loud voice only a toddler can muster until at least 2:00 am. Not once did I hear the people tell the kid to pipe down. Eventually we got some sleep but it was bad and of course the kids woke up with birds in the am.

The next morning we rise and eat and talk Sonny Boy into taking a hike before swimming. We go on a fairly long hike and return to the campsite to eat lunch and hopefully a nap. As we are eating Matthew's mother finally arises from bed and yells at her husband from the tent "What time is it?" It was 1:30 pm. We get the kids to lie down for a while, Igor falls to sleep and we doze in the heat. Sonny Boy was as patient as an almost 6 year old can be but soon we had to get ready for the swimming hole. We greased the kids down with sunscreen, donned our swimsuits and as we are loading in the van another thunderstorm blows up. Quite a doozy this time with a lot thunder and lightening so we drove into town and bought ice cream while we waited it out. It soon blew over and we were able to take the kids to the beach.

The evening was rather uneventful with the exception of a marauding raccoon that tried to raid our campsite while we were still sitting around the fire. I chased him off and warned Mathew's parents that I had sent a raccoon their direction. We soon went to bed and remarked at how quiet Mathew's family was tonight. We soon realized though that they had left and were now returning to a campground that had been raided by raccoons. I even heard the dad exclaim " The dang things even ate my Skoal!" Hubby and were snickering so hard we couldn't stand it.
Sunday morning we awoke and managed to drag the tent across the campground road to a sunny site to allow it to dry out. Luckily it was HOT and this happened quickly. Hubby helped me pack the tent away and took the boys swimming while I finished breaking camp and packing. Hubby and the boys returned and we all hit the shower house in preparation for the long drive home. We stopped in town, ate pizza with Hubby and hit the road. I figured the first few hours of drive would be pleasant, kids were tired, clean, cooled off after being broiled for two days, and fed. Boy was I wrong. Sonny boy promptly fell asleep, but not Igor. Igor took his time strapped in the car seat to mutilate his new glasses and scream at the top of his lungs randomly for 300 miles. IT WAS A VERY LONG DRIVE HOME.

We survived the trip, however I somehow think I will either have to be drunk to get me to agree to another camping trip without another adult along for the entire ride or have some sort of brain injury that erases this from memory.

A few pictures: There was a big smudge on the camera lens we didn't discover until the end of the trip, hence the greasy spot in ALL the pictures.

Igor thinks his sand toy basket is a backpack.
Mississippi River bridge at Louisiana, Missouri - scary bridge very narrow and high.

This is what Illinois looks like, the only difference is the height of the corn as you move north to south.

Sonny Boy, one of the few times he's quiet.

Igor in between screams - It's hard to take pics directly behind you while you drive.

The view from the backseat.

I should have taken a picture of the mountain very dirty, wet, smelly laundry I did the next day too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brain dead

I'm brain dead the last few days. I don't know if it's heat induced or just plain 'ole tired. The mercury hit 95 here in southern WI today which I totally understand is a cool spell in some parts of the country but here it induces nothing but hiding out in the house under the A/C.

I promise a nice long post chronicling our camping trip over the weekend soon, it certainly had it's moments but this is high end thinking right now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Have you ever wondered?

Have you ever wondered "What the hell was I thinking???" I have done that the last couple of days. My civic group sponsors Safety Town annually here in town. It's a really good program that teaches kids entering kindergarten stranger danger, bike safety etc. The lessons really seem to sink in and now we are starting on a second generation of kids that have gone through the program. I mentioned before that the girl that usually coordinates everything took vacation this week and asked me to fill in. I told her sure, she had most everything set up already I would just be stopping by to put out fires and the like. While nothing major has come up in the last few days it seems as though I've been up there WAY more than expected. I always get suckered into doing stuff it seems. I know I haven't done 1/4 as much as the usual person has and does but doing it with two wild kiddos in tow has been a challenge.

I'm starting to miss Hubby more daily. Where I'm mostly busy from the minute my eyes open until late I miss sharing the craziness of the day and discussing things that only he gets. I miss not having to tell the whole background on a story, just telling the relevant points.

Well I don't really have anything to write about, just needy to get my thoughts together. I'll soon tuck Sonny Boy into bed, land on the couch and watch a couple of TV shows that I've been looking forward to - Hawthorne and one of my favorites Saving Grace, Holly Hunter is really good in the show. Hubby hates it, as the Holly Hunter character is a little rough around the edges to put it nicely.

Good Evening

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week Three of Single Parenthood begins.

Hubby left today for his third week of working. Today was less dramatic with out crying by Sonny Boy and only a little tearing up by me. After Hubby pulled out the drive way the two of us made a pact not to cry this time though I could tell he was on the brink as well. A promised trip down to playground made things a little easier I suppose.
This weekend was fairly busy. We had a house showing on Saturday morning but I haven't heard news from that yet. I did find another contractor in my yard on Friday measuring more for the same guy that has sent by 1/2 dozen other contractors. Since I hadn't heard anything from him or seen contractors in a couple of weeks I figured he had written us off but I guess not. That's good news however, I wish he'd fish or cut bait.
Friday was a crazy day around here. My neighbor had a tree trimming crew ( yes the same neighbor as before, different crew due to power line issues) come in and remove two BIG trees and trim some other trees off of his house. It was LOUD inside and out all day long. Boom trucks, chain saws, limb chopper/shredders, dump trucks all made for a considerable racket and so much sawdust in the air it looked like we were getting light snow. Thankfully it was still cool outside and I could have the windows down so the house didn't get full of dust. I was really impressed with the crew as they worked hard and did a very good job of cleaning up the really big mess all that tree cutting made. It's amazing how different my neighbor's house looks over there, really opened things up a lot. Both of us complain about getting grass to grow and removing those trees will help both of our lawns get more light.

Other than the tree trimming operation going on next door I managed to paint our mailbox and put up new house numbers, and put a new welcome mat by the front door. Can you tell I've been watching "Sell this House" too much?
Saturday after the showing we basically hung around the house all weekend. I went to the store and bought a few groceries and got a couple of steaks for the grill and some speciality beer for Hubby as an anniversary present. Twelve years ago today we were married, below are a few pics, when I look at them I can't believe how young we were, and looked!

I apologize for the quality of the images, I don't have a scanner so I took a picture of a picture. Of course there was no such thing as digital photography then. An interesting tidbit of info - for those in the central Arkansas area it's old news, the place where we were married - second photo is in the movie Gone With The Wind very early in the opening credits. Now it's a public park and there are tons of weddings and brides there all summer. Unfortunately I don't believe it's kept up as well as it used to be, the last few times I was there I was disappointed in it's appearance.
Strange coincidence as well that my half sister was married yesterday. I didn't attend the wedding due to all the craziness of our lives. I would have like to have gone, however with the job loss issues, money and time it didn't fall at an opportune time. I also can't say I know her all that well, having only seen her twice, once when she was but a toddler and another time when she was in Jr. High. I did see some pictures of her on facebook though and she was a beautiful bride - takes after her mother as our father's side of the family has some interesting features to put it nicely.
This week looks as if it will be a busy one. Safety Town starts up and it's sponsored by our civic group. The girl that usually handled it all is on a cruise (lucky her) and I'm filling in. I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm going to show up and try to put out fires if I can. Sonny Boy is enrolled for the second time. He attended last year as we expected to put him in kindergarten and then decided to hold off a year. It's good he's attending this year as it sure doesn't hurt to drill how to cross a street safely, don't talk to strangers, and don't drink bleach into his head. It will also give me a couple of hours break in the afternon and relieve his boredom. Sadly with the move it will be something that Igor misses out on in the future though I know some communities have it as well.
We are also trying to schedule camping again for the weekend, we will see how the weather goes. I suppose that's all the news that's fit to rattle about.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another day, another 1001 chores

The chore list is never ending lately. I guess I didn't realize how many little things Hubby does around the house till I get saddled with everyone of them from getting a drink of water for a kid to mowing the lawn. Couple the looooooong chore list with the Igor new found determination to start acting like a two year old I'm ready to drop by the end of the day.

The camping trip slated for the weekend cancelled due to weather being an issue down St. Louis way. Hubby will be driving home tomorrow after work and leaving again on Sunday evening so I expect more tears all around.

The last couple of days have gone pretty good, gotten more yard work done, painted our front steps which freshened things up a bit. I hope to get after the storm door with some goo gone tomorrow and see if I can remove the residue left from some old house numbers that were on there well before we moved in. You think I should have done that like 5 years or so ago? I'm trying to do the stupid projects that are cheap and I already have the stuff for in the hopes of adding a little curb appeal. I've also been working the flower beds over and fertilizing like a mad woman in the hopes of making things look lush. Honestly someone with a little know how, time and the ability to work the yard a bit could make it look like a magazine - I'm not that person, I do hope that person buys the house though. I've put lots of energy into the yard and would find it depressing to come back in a couple of years time and see it neglected. I know I find it depressing to go by our old house back in AR and see that the hedges haven't been trimmed since we moved and no one has bothered to spend $5 on a few flowers by the front door. I guess that's part of selling, however both the houses we have owned we tend to put much of ourselves in and it's hard loosing that.

One other thing... My little map thing over in the corner says I get hits from outside the U.S. on a pretty regular basis. Curious as to how your finding me, accident, adoption etc. Please leave a comment. Not to ignore my U.S. based fan base your welcome to leave comments too.

Well I should cut this short, I'm dropping off and should really bathe before I go to bed as the monkeys never give me that time in the am without worrying that they are tearing the house apart.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wed already

So far the week is going by rather quickly. It's early and we will be out the door soon to Igor's speech therapy - the one I forgot last week. The boys are on the front porch watching tree removal guys cut down a large elm tree in the neighbors yard so that should buy me a few minutes of peace.

Monday a friend and I took the kids (her son included) to Old World Wisconsin. I'm glad it was a free thing because I would not have been amused to pay $16 each for us to get in. While things were interesting and historically accurate there wasn't much hands on stuff for the kids, few craftsmen to watch and the ones who were doing more than just standing around explaining things seemed to be minimally trained at best. The blacksmith only demonstrated making simple hooks, the girl that was spinning wool was tentative, there was no one on the big loom they had set up and the woman in that house said she had no idea how to run it. I guess I expected something more along the lines of Ozark Fold Center in Mountain View Arkansas but in historical buildings. There were also few farm animals even. I was surprised to find a girl I knew working there as an interpreter wearing all the 1880's garb and such. She said it was a fun job and really liked it. I'd always seen job postings for the place in the paper and thought it would be fun to do once the kids were older.

Tuesday was a busy day as well. I spent the morning doing house chores, and the early afternoon mowing. Happily Igor deciding to take a long nap which enabled me to get all the mowing done in one swoop. The afternoon included Igor's IEP meeting. He qualified for services and will have special ed preschool twice a week this fall - if we are still in here. The stuff will transfer to whatever school district we move to however but days and times are subject to change.

It looks as though the camping trip may be postponed for another week as the weather doesn't look like it will cooperate fully and I'm not up to dealing with terrible weather.

Well I must load the little Indians into the wagon and go to therapy. I pray that the bigger of the two Indians can hold his peace long enough so I don't kill him. 8:25 am and he's already lost TV privileges for the day and gotten a swat on his rear. Might be a long day, better get some coffee for the road!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Week Two of Temporary Single Parenting

As expected the leaving of Hubby for his second week away for work was much harder than the first. Sonny Boy had the gist of a week away from dad, mom stressed trying to be everything to everyone, Mom had a grasp of doing everything in the houshold without any help and the stress level that brings. Not good. I was certainly dreading Hubby's leaving, but as he hugged the kids goodbye Sonny Boy broke into tears which is rare for him unless it's in anger, his tears spurred mine, upset Hubby who did the wise thing and just got out the door and left poor little Igor to hug Sonny Boy and I and asking if we were hurt. Soon we settled down and got back to normal after a lot of cuddling and promising Sonny Boy a busy week if I can keep up the pace. However it's now 11:30 pm and I'm up blogging when I really should be in bed.

Next week it's planned for me to pack up all the camping gear and drive south and camp near St. Louis with Hubby. We've been wanting to camp for several weeks now so that will be good and spare him the drive for that weekend anyway. I believe soon we will have to start looking into what we are going to do for long term, NOBODY in the household like the current situation and the market on the house is looking bleak without even any offers since we dropped the price dramatically. I'm thinking we may end up seeing what we can do to rent the place for a year or so and hope the market turns around by then. The gripe of that is I don't think we can get our mortgage payment for rent so we would be bleeding money (and upkeep) on this house while we live in another.

Excitement in the form of a baby rabbit entered our lives last week. As we were leaving the house Thursday for a showing I notice an animal in our driveway, my first thought was an injured squirrell and I wasn't too thrilled, however I got closer and realized it was a baby rabbit. I went to pick it up and it ran a little bit but was easily cornered and captured. Sonny Boy was thrilled and was all for going and getting a cage and starting his own little rabbit hutch, however my experience with baby rabbits is a bit morbid and I didn't think this was the wisest idea. I did go to the local hardware/pet supply/sporting goods, rental equipment/paint store ( it's a small town with original one stop shopping) to see what their reccomendation was and they told me to call a local animal rescue group. I did and and their advice was to look around the house and see I could find the nest. I honestly already knew where the nest was as I had been watching the momma rabbit dig it in my neighbor's yard for a week so we went and installed the baby back in his nest with the hopes that the momma rabbit will be none the wiser for his adventure. Of course the kids were enamoured with the little rabbit and soon after Igor found a small stuffed rabbit in a toy box - about the size of the baby rabbit - and has been sleeping with it ever since. Cute, but I guess he doesn't get that real rabbits don't come in bright blue!

Last week was so stressful that I completely forgot Igor's speech therapy and playgroup class. So many other things on my mind, a showing that was for that morning and general stress played a big part. The horrible thing was is that I didn't even remember it until 7:00 pm the next night. I called the therapist and aplogized but felt like a real heal.

The agenda this week includes a visit to Old World Wisconsin tomorrow if the weather cooperates, an IEP meeting for Igor, Speech Therapy for Igor, lawn mowing, house cleaning, packing for the camping trip, cleaning up so the house can be shown while we are gone camping, a long drive, 2-3 days camping depending on the weather and a long drive home and un-packing all the camping gear again. Makes me tired thinking of it. I believe I'll take a bath and go to bed.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Turn down your Sound!

I've went and done it - I added music to the blog. An eclectic mix I think. Honestly sometimes music on blogs bothers me, but I've learned to just turn down the volume when it comes up but something suckered me into putting it on here. The play list is at the bottom of the page if your curious to what your listening to and if you don't like it, well turn it down.

Hubby started his new job on Monday, after a couple of days of adjustment he's starting to relax a little. Very tired as it's not quite the same kind of work he was used to before, however I'm sure he'll be back in form before long. He hasn't had much time to explore around and get the lay of the land but I'm sure he will soon. We are blessed to have great blog buddies that are allowing us the use of their basement guest suite for a little while so we can hope for a smoother adjustment.

So far the adjustment to life as single parent is going pretty smoothly for me. I'm used to hubby working bizarre hours and the occasional stretch of lots of hours so it more like he's at work a lot lately. I'm sure the real thing will start to kick in next week when he leaves again.

Today we had a showing and as I was madly (and I do mean madly cleaning as I was ready to kill the kids) our real estate agent called and I though geez they are cancelling and I was really ready to steam, however he had another looker for tomorrow afternoon. Thankfully the house will not require too much attention between now and then, I had let things get a little ahead of me for this last showing.

We also have a house stalker - it's kinda creepy to be honest. Ever since we've lived here a guy rides by our house fairly regularly on his bicycle and stares at the house. The elderly neighbor a few doors down had told us he lived her 30 years or so ago so I can understand the interest in the house somewhat. I know we drive by our old houses when we go home for visits. The guy did come to our first open house and was honest with our agent that he was just being nosey and had lived here previously. All of that is odd, however the oddest is that Hubby caught the guy staring at our house from the public park that our yard abuts the other day. Hubby made himself plain to show that he saw the guy and the guy stalked away a little bit and peered through bushes for a while longer. We were discussing this with our neighbors and the elderly guy swears he's strange but harmless. Anyhow I came down the stairs from tucking in Sonny Boy tonight and there he was in the park again staring right at the house. I made myself obvious in the kitchen window and the guy came right to the edge of park and stared at the house some more. Really gives me the creeps, particularly since Hubby isn't home. If I see the guy down there again I'm going to give my neighbor a ring and send him out to see what's up. My neighbor is a pretty gruff guy - nice as can be though - and would probably be enough to scare him off. It's not like I can call the police, what kind of loon would I look like " Uh, there's a guy in the park looking at my house" My thought is if he likes it so much he should buy the stinking place.

I would suppose the news that the RADA vote on the stoppage of adoptions from Ukraine was not put on the agenda is probably old news to most by now. However it was not put in front of the UA parliament and there are reports that it was some rumour mongering among facilitators. As always UA adopting is always iffy and Goodness only knows how long it will continue - hopefully until every child finds a home. I'm sure something is brewing in the backrooms in Kiev, rumours usually have at least a smidgen of truth to them in the long run.

Upcoming post I promise will include a visit to Old World Wisconsin, a possible camping trip and more lawn mowing, house cleaning and flower bed cleaning!