Monday, August 26, 2013

Continuing to Catch up From the Summers--a visit

So what other craziness did we get up to this summer? Well, one of my most fun things were two sets of visitors.

The first set of visitors came in the shape of Chris' aunt and uncle and their six children. My word how tall they have all gotten--the children not the aunt and uncle!

It was just an overnight visit (no, they didn't stay with us--sadly we just don't have that kind of room for guests!), but very much enjoyed nonetheless. We broke bread together twice and took a couple of walks: one around our beautiful campus and the other to downtown Hot Springs to look at--what else--the hot springs!

Oh, and the trip had the added benefit of proving to Turtle that "normal families" really do drive big white vans so she can get off her high horse about having to drive around in the cottage white van.

As it was simplest to explain to Blueberry that these were her cousins (as opposed to first-cousins-once-removed on your dad's least I think that's how that works), she has since stated multiple times "do you 'member by cousins come visit? I like them." All in all a very encouraging statement towards future visits!

Friday, August 23, 2013

And in continuation....

Baby Q is sick more--fever and another bout of "mommy don't you dare put me down."

Blueberry now sick and throwing up with a high fever.

Sigh. So much for my last day off. Oh wait, now I have another day off. To care for my two sick children.

Would anyone like to come and clean my house?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Catching Up from Summer

I am sitting on my couch, watching Kingdom (thanks Hillery!), and luxuriating in the bliss of not having an appointment to get taken care of. Oh yes, my "to do" list is still about a mile long, but I'm ignoring it. The deadline appointments are done with for at least a few days, and I'm trying to decompress instead. That and get my brain out of a gluten fog.

Let's start with that.

We're on our second off day after working 15 days in a row. I really am not a huge fan of double shifts. We've done them a few times, and I know some people who don't mind them, but I'm afraid I'm just not one of them. I think it's my introverted nature that starts screaming out to be left alone for awhile, and during the summer--particularly a summer with a baby--it is 24/7, or in this case, 24/15. During the school year it's not so rough because we get some down time during the week day (normally).

This particular double shift was even more intense than normal due to a combination of factors:

1. We have another new girl in the cottage. I've decided to call her Kanga--she's had some physical issues and is currently on crutches (and might be for quite awhile)--thus the nickname. 10 years old, she is fun and, so far, pretty easy to get along with. We'll see how it goes after the honeymoon period  wears off. Settling in new residents always takes a substantial amount of work just in balancing out all the rest of the residents in the cottage as they shift and shuffle in their social network, trying to settle themselves into new places.

2. Another factor in the shuffling of social layouts was that our Labrador moved to another house two days before Kanga moved in. Labrador was quite a strong factor in the house, to put it mildly. The removing of her influence has had a large impact on all the girls and even on us.

3. Clothes shopping. School started on day 14 of our shift, and as the girls were blessed with some money for shopping, and the consignment sale was in town, I had the fun responsibility of taking them shopping. This means shopping (on my own, thankfully) for a 6 month old, a two year old, a three year old (who I have decided to break with tradition and nickname Sweetie for this blog because that is, apparently, what Blueberry has settled on calling her), and a five year (nickname determined to be Gopher--have you seen the Youtube video?). All this followed by shopping with a ten year old in a wheelchair/crutches, two eleven year olds, and a 12 year old! I went one night and an additional morning to the consignment sale. Then I went out all day with two of the older girls. Followed the second day by two more girls. Followed by a third day with one more of the girls. And I'm still not fully done! I like clothes shopping in moderation, but enough is enough.

4. Blueberry's birthday--my little girl turned 3! And, oh my goodness, was she excited to have a birthday party. Of course, I had to shake my head in amusement as my little introvert burst into tears upon playing a party game; she did enjoy just watching though. We went with My Little Pony theme as she loves them and, frankly, it made for fun party planning. More details to come at Blueberry Bits.

Birthday Cake pancakes on the morning of her birthday. Party wasn't until the day after. I love this picture just because of how Baby Q is determined to get into it in the background!

I finally did my rainbow cake I've been wanting to do. Was so pleased with how it turned out!

Rainbow cake view 2.

Twilight Sparkle and Pinky Pie and Doggie making friends.

4. This was immediately followed by Chris' birthday--for which a gluten free Boston Cream Pie had to be made (and of course consumed) and a good game of Ticket of Ride.

5. Our chef, who is normally the hero of the summer, producing at least an evening meal for us, more frequently an evening and lunch meal (at least during the weekday), has had an awful few weeks of it himself--resulting in us doing all the cooking. For every meal. While trying to do all of the above. And this shall continue until we know not when.

6.  Add into this a bout of Baby Q producing two more teeth (makes four now!), then getting sick with a fever and wanting to be held 24 hours a day, including only sleeping on top of me for multiple nights in a row, and my dumb mistake of eating an entire bowl of gluten filled spaghetti sauce (thought it was chili--how I managed to confuse them can be chalked up to sleep deprivation, a sleepy baby eating through my shirt to get to milk NOW, low blood sugar, and eight children all talking/crying at once).

For the record, I definitely still do not do well with gluten. I made the mistake Saturday and now I am still feeling it. Barely made it through the last few days of our shift and, five days later, I'm still dealing with tender joints; although, the extreme exhaustion, headaches, and painful skin, stomach ache, etc have at last subsided.

7. And did I mention I threw a baby shower today for a friend? Yeah...planned all that in the midst of the above. Sigh. I fully admit that a few things did not come to fruition as planned simply on just not having enough time. Or energy. Or hours in the day. Or hands.

Capris. Because I love them dearly.

Mustache theme. These were a hit--at least according to my husband! Love Pesto.

Baby shower cake--in a baby food jar!

Thus back to the "get my brain out of a gluten fog" luxuriating in watching Kingdom part of this story. Which only took me 8 hours to write because, hey, this is my life.

One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...