Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cosmo!

8 years ago today, I became a mommy.  Cosmo came into this world at 4:56pm at 10 lbs, 0 oz.  My perfect 10!  He was quite the miracle as he was overdue, large, and had a “true knot” in his cord. :)

This year, you’ve continued to increase your reading skills.  Learning hasn’t been fun for you, but now that we have figured out some of the “why” and have a way to help you, I know THIS year will be  better!

You are a brilliant young man.  I’m so very proud of you!  I can’t wait to see what this year brings you!Birthday 021

See, I told you I make an ugly cake!  At least it was tasty!!!  And it had a super cool Bionicle on top!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cruise Control

It seems as if I’ve really given up control and I’m just coasting along.  Really, there’s so much going on these days, so many balls in the air that I’d suffocate if I stopped to think about it all. 
  • Going to school
  • job search
  • Woodsman’s interview next week
  • potential to live in separate states
  • Babysitter / Nanny search
  • Mother-in-law’s health
  • Other in-law drama
  • living on a reduced income
  • son’s ADHD
  • Christmas/birthdays
  • Once per year expenses due in December (Property taxes, timeshare, homeowners association, and MORE!)


Christmas was a great day.  Cosmo got a new (bigger) bike and a skateboard, Swing got a couple new trucks to play with and some baseball gear.  Prime rib was heavenly, and the little that remains makes for a great salad protein!
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Mostly, I’m in awe that God loved us enough to don a human body, experience a human life, and die a humiliating death.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Babysitter search

So We’re looking for a sitter.  I posted an ad on Care.com and have quite a few hits.  So now I’m compiling questions to ask, and I”ll make arrangements to meet some of these ladies on the Woodsman’s days off, and we’ll be good to go.

The more daunting task is to figure out the whole tax thing.  Seems to be unnecessarily complicated to follow the law.  We aren’t multi-millionaires who can pay an accountant.  We just need someone to come into our house to care for the boys because of our wonky schedules.  *sigh*

Wish us luck!  We are hoping to find someone who we can really HELP with this job.  Someone for whom it would be a perfect fit.  We aren’t even looking for the MOST experienced person… just someone who will make the boys feel safe and secure, and who will help us help them become good citizens.  Maybe we could be a stepping stone for someone who would like childcare as a career.
IF the Woodsman ends up in Alaska, we’d like to find a live-in provider.  Would be perfect for a college student.  No housing/food/utility expenses, part time work, decent enough pay.

Anyway, I’ve blathered on enough about mundane details.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Swing!

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You are 4 years old today!  I’m so glad you are with us!  I love your happy, easy going attitude.

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You came to us Dec 21, 2005 at 3:02 pm.  You weren’t exaclty tiny… weighing in at 10lbs, 10 oz and 22.75” long.  Your sweet face was bruised up, and your eyes were swollen shut for the first few days.

This year you learned how to swing by yourself, you fell in love with baseball, you grew and grew and grew, you picked on the dog, you made baby Jesus a superhero…

You bring happiness to everyone around you every day.  We love you!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby Jesus Superhero

The baby Jesus from our Nativity broke this year.  I was quite bummed about that.  It would seem that Swing was displeased as well; he remedied the situation thusly:

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So I’m doing what any mother would do… sharing this photo shamelessly, like my child is the onliest child in the world to come up with something so amusing.  Oh, he’s a dear!  Who knew baby Jesus came complete with a metallic blue mask, hotpants, and silver boots?!

Play: A Rented Christmas

I got to see my friend perform in her first play tonight!  Well, the first run of the play was last night, but you all know what I mean.  It was a cute play!  Good job Tracy!  You make a fantastic old woman!

It was also lovely to see so many other people I used to work with!  Fun night for sure.  Good to know I’m not “dead to them.”

Cosmo, cake, and ice cream

I took Cosmo to see it.  It was great to do something one one one with him.  He enjoyed it, too.  Afterwards, I took him to DQ for ice cream; I’d promised him some last night for being a big help.  As luck would have it, I also found the perfect ice cream cake for Swing’s birthday party!  It actually said “happy birthday” on it, and it was a baseball theme.  Nice!  Do you know how hard it is to find a birthday cake this time of year???  Well, I guess if you are more of a June Cleaver than I am, you might not, as you’d be baking your own perfect cakes. 

I was considering making my own version of an ice cream cake, but when I saw this, I quickly decided that was a foolhardy idea, and bought it right up.  I might have some artistic abilities, but cake baking/making/decorating really just is not one of them.  I see no need to punish my dear children with dreadful renditions of makeshift birthday cakes for the sake of my ego.  Though I’ll admit I’m envious of those of you who are talented in this regard!  I can’t even frost a plain cake and have it look remotely attractive.  I’ve tried.

Though let’s not belabor the birthday cake.  The point is that the children will be celebrated and feel special, right?  Now I just need to figure out what Swing will want for dinner, and we’ll be set!

Julie and Julia

Was a pretty good movie.  Now I want to get the Julia Child cookbook, and see what magic lies within.  I’ve always enjoyed cooking, and I’m in a bit of a culinary rut as far as dinnertime goes, so it might be nice to find some inspiration.  Though I have zero desire to blog about it. 


I think I’ve mentioned this product once before, but it’s definitely worth another mention!  It’s a VOIP phone system.  You know, a phone that doesn’t use a phone line; it works over your internet connection.  The deal is that you buy the hardware for $200 and have no additional monthly fees.  There is a “premium” service for $10 per month which allows you to forward voicemails to email and have a second phone number on the same line, etc.  It’s darn cool stuff. 

We’ve had ours for nearly a month now, and our phone number “ported over” easily.  They did all the work!  We tried Vonage about a year ago, and that was a disaster.  It was out in less than a month.  I don’t think we even got all our money back, but we didn’t care, it was THAT bad.  But Ooma… different story!  Give it a whirl if you are tired of spending $60 on a landline! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It’s been a while!

A lot has happened since my last post.  I took the GMAT, we heard back from Alaska, and Cosmo had his one month meds review with the ped.


I didn’t score well enough to get into Harvard Business School, but I did score well enough to get into THIS school!  Though my math scores were… not great.  Ah, well.  I haven’t been officially accepted yet.  I hope to hear this week.  I’m excited to get everything rolling and be ENROLLED!

I applied for a grant!

Wish me luck!  Friday night, the Woodsman and I were talking about the pell grant that people in college and on unemployment are receiving, but I realized I don’t qualify, as it’s not for graduate programs.  So I started to google for other grants.

I found a “career development” grant!  It was due this last tuesday!  I worked on it until the wee hours of the morning every night until I turned it in on tuesday, an hour before the cutoff time.  CRAZY!  I needed a recommendation for it, and my fantabulous former boss completed a recommendation before I even asked him to!  (it emailed him before I submitted the application, and I didn’t realize that would happen).  How fortunate am I?

I should find out in April if I receive any grant money.  I applied for assistance with Childcare.  Either the Woodsman will still be here, working most afternoons and evenings and I’ll need someone to come here (Cosmo gets out of school too late for me to take him somewhere, and daycares/sitters close up shop before my classes are out), or he won’t be here at all, and I’ll need someone to come here (same time crossover).

I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a college student or single mother who needs a place to stay and that what I can pay will be enough to be a good help for them, too! 


So Cosmo has seen some obvious improvements.  But he’s still… antsy.  He’s chewed off a 1/4” by 1” section off of his coat… you know, where the collar ends and sits right by your mouth?  Yeah.  He’s also cut holes in another 3 or so shirts since he’s been on meds, and he still won’t stand still.  He’ll hold onto something in front of him and jump (like the kitchen counter or the arm of the couch), or he’ll spin.  And spin.  His handwriting has vastly improved, and he’s much less combative.  He’s starting to see that he CAN do things, and he doesn’t feel like a lost cause, so he’s much more cooperative.  It’s all around good. 

His dose was upped to see if it won’t correct the remaining issues.  Overall, I’m glad we did it, though.  The vitamins and diet did help a little.  I’d say there was about a 15-20% improvement.  But the meds have taken the improvement level to 80%, and we’ll see if the dose change doesn’t bring him much closer to normal!


The final frontier.  The Woodsman has an interview!  He’ll be in Anchorage Jan 5 for his physical fitness test, interview, and essay.  They’ll tell him that day if he’ll continue on for the remainder of the recruitment process.  If he does, he’ll remain in Anchorage until about the 13th for other psychological and medical tests.

It’s great to know that he’s been selected to continue on; the only downside is that we still have the enigmatic cloud hanging over our family’s future.  But I’m not complaining.


I’ve yapped about everyone in the family here except for Swing.  He’s still a little charmer.  :)  Cute little imp, he is.  Though he hasn’t been sleeping well lately, and he’s been getting crabby and difficult.  He even has dark circles under his little eyes.  I’ve been giving him melatonin (pediatrician okayed) and even though bedtime isn’t a three hour struggle anymore, he’ll still wake up and be up in the middle of the night, and he’ll get up for the day quite early.  He’s almost 4 (Monday birthday!), and should be getting about 12 hours of sleep per night, but he gets closer to 8 hours total.  I try to make sure he gets a nap, but at 4 years old, naptime is waning.

***Note to self… post more often, otherwise you’ll write tooooo much!***

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cosmo and the school bus

So Cosmo got kicked off the bus today.  Suspended until we can have a conference.  I guess he “won’t stay in the safety zone until the bus leaves” in the afternoon.  This is because a 5th grade kid tackles him every afternoon on the way home.  I’ve wanted to foster some growth and independence and allow him to take action; I’ve encouraged him to tell the bus driver or the school counselor, and/or get off at the next stop (which is actually a tad closer to home). 

At any rate, the good news just keeps coming, eh?

I called the pediatrician, hoping to make his next meds evaluation appointment a little short of 30 days.  Good thing I called today, because she’s booked up to a couple days after the meds run out! 

School update

So this week, I took another practice test for the GRE, expecting to test “for real” on Wednesday.  YIKES.  The school likes to see a score of 1000 or better, and I was shy by about 40 points.  I didn’t want to take any chances.  So I took a practice test for the GMAT, and had better luck.  School likes to see 500 or better, and I scored 550.  WHEW.  I got a new study guide for the new (and slightly different) test, and scheduled my test for Wednesday morning next week.  I’m excited about school!  SO close!

Family pictures

Well, I think I finally talked (read: guilted) the Woodsman into sitting for family pictures.  We’ve done that once.  Unless you count wedding pictures, in which case its’ been twice.  At any rate, we have family pictures with Cosmo, but not with Swing.  Swing will see the picture with Cosmo as a 2 year old, and think it’s him. 

We’re going to try to use the auto timer and sit in front of the Christmas tree.  I’m a bit nervous about that… not having someone here to just snap until a got shot is got.  What I’d really love is to go outside somewhere in nature and have a friend take our picture.

I think those generally are better, more natural, and they avoid the whole studio scheduling fiasco with hour long waits and crabby kids.  You know… either your kid is being rude to someone else’s child, and the parents are giving you the evil eye, or some other kid is being a dreadful brat and his/her parent(s) are oblivious?  Yeah.  And THEN, there’s the whole photo selection (read: hardsell) process where they mock up collages with bad poses and smarmy sayings emblazoned in some girly font… yeah.  Not to mention the ease of uploading your shots to Costco or shutterfly and ordering the prints for $0.79 ea, instead of $10/sheet on sale. 

Christmas Music

I like the old carols and hymns the best.  The ones with lots of bells and trumpets, etc.  The more modern stuff is okay… but I only like it sprinkled in here and there.  You? 

I love the channels on DishNetwork.  Right now I’m listening to the little drummer boy.  Life is good.