Tuesday, September 30, 2008

James Dean

Today is the 53rd anniversary of the death of James Dean. Though he only made three films (East of Eden, Rebel Without A Cause, and Giant), he was often thought of as the "young" Marlon Brando of his time, and perhaps because he died at the young age of 24, he will live on in cinematic history as the eternal "Rebel". Ironically it was his rebellious ways that led to his demise: on the morning of September 30, 1955, he was in a car accident in his prized Porsche.

As you can probably tell, I am a James Dean Fanatic and used to have James Dean posters everywhere(in my bedroom and first apartment). Now I have one or two in our spare room but I'm still just as wild about him as ever. My mom even got me a life-size cardboard stand-up (which is in her spare room. I just couldn't let the day go by without honoring one of the greatest film legends of all time (in my mind, anyway!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today...Monday, September 29, 2008

Outside my window...the sun is shining! After 3 days of downpours, it is a welcome sight!

I am thinking...I don't know if I did this "right" but am impressed that I finally managed to do it in some fashion!

I am thankful for...Tucker and Michael who are supporting me through this time of unemployment and financial issues. Also for my son's laugh.

From the kitchen...Monday nights are not usually too industrious because Michael works. Tucker and I usually have scrambled eggs and toast or have an extra pizza night. For breakfast, Michael made pancakes (he really is better at breakfast than I am). Yesterday I made a roast in the crock pot...Yum! Also tried a new recipe for fettuccine alfredo that was also yummy if I do say so myself!

I am creating...handmade Christmas presents

I am wearing...capri jeans and a Newport t-shirt

I am reading...I just finished Anne of Avonlea (I have decided to re-read the Green Gables series; I think I first read it when I was 11 or 12 but can appreciate it so much more now). Will be going to the library tomorrow for the next one. With Tucker, we read an assortment of books, right now, along the fall/Halloween theme. I think I may start Magic Tree House Knights of the Dawn tonight. (We've been listening to Ghost Town at Sundown and Dolphins after Dark on CD in the car; from Wendy's Kid's meals)

I am hoping...to find my debit card so I don't have to report it missing AGAIN. I last had it yesterday when I go groceries and realized I didn't have it when I tried to get my prescriptions at Walmart this morning. Called the grocery store and no one had turned it in. I may have to go to the bank and withdraw some cash (you know, pay for something the old-fashioned way!)

I am hearing...Barbara Walters talking about Paul Newman on The View. Also the gurgling from the fish tanks.

Around the house...Tucker and I cleaned, cleaned, cleaned on Saturday and I hope it stays this neat! Down here in the family room, Tucker has half the room set up as a battlefield.

One of my favorite things...sliced Monterrey jack cheese, pepperoni with Club crackers (my latest favorite snack).

A few plans for the rest of the week...hopefully some fall crafts after school with Tucker. Tomorrow we have a make-up soccer game from the one rained out Saturday. A home visit tomorrow. Another game on Saturday. Sunday we'll celebrate my mother-in-law and niece's birthday here at our house.

A picture thought...

I found this picture of our niece Cassandra when I was going through some pictures. It was taken in August of 1993, so she's almost 4. she's in the back of my car and we're going to Mystic Aquarium. She'll be 19 on October 10th so it was fun to find this picture!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is celebrated the last week of September every year and is the only national celebration of the freedom to read.
This year it is celebrated from 9/27-10/4.

Check out this website for more info:

Info: Banned Books Week

Friday, September 26, 2008

From the Perspective of a 6 Year Old

We woke up this morning to torrential downpours and wind! Normally this would put anyone who has the misfortune to be out in it in a BAD and MISERABLE mood. I brought Tucker to school this morning in probably the worst of it and as we were walking up to the school, leaning into the wind, trying to not let our umbrellas blow away every time they turned inside-out, he started to laugh and had the most adorable grin as he lifted his face up to the rain! So instead of a miserable start to my day, I laughed and ran with him! How refreshing is that?!?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lutz Children's Museum and Pretzels

As Julie pointed out, it has been a couple of days since my last post! I did have some pictures to go with this post but my computer and camera are not getting along again and I think I may have lost them (like I lost the pictures of the soccer game and Julie's visit). So, alas, I will tell of our adventures and add the pictures IF I ever recover them!

Yesterday Tucker had a 1/2 day so we spent our usual 45 minutes after school playing with his friends Freddie and Maddie (they were all in the same kindergarten class last year and they each have a different teacher this year). They have a really great time together and Colby was also there (the boy Tucker played with after school when I had to set up the refreshments for the Open House). so anyway after they played, Tucker and I had lunch at MacDonald's and headed to the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester (about a 45 minute drive). (We have a reciprocal membership with our children's museum in Niantic so it's free to get into other ones!) I had never been there but Michael had taken him last spring, I think. It basically consisted of two large rooms, one a sea theme and the other a farm theme. Tucker said the sea theme room was new and there was a boat to play in as well as wooden fish to be caught. In the farm theme room, you can "milk" a cow (it's really water) and collect the eggs from the fake chickens. (Didn't want you think there were live chickens in the building, although I guess that would be kind of cool. There's also an area where they have rescued animals. Tucker and this other little boy got to touch a box turtle which was kind of cool. We ended up spending about 2 hours there so I guess Tucker found a lot to do! We then came home to do homework, have supper, and try our hand at making pretzels! I had bought a box of pretzel mix when I was at the Christmas Tree Shop in Cape Cod. (Yes I realized that I could probably make it myself now that I'm such a whiz with pizza dough on Fridays!) So anyway Tucker mixed the dough, we let it rise, and Michael even helped us roll out the dough into pretzels. Tucker dipped the pretzels in the water/baking soda and put them on the tray. They actually came out very yummy! I may try looking for a pretzel dough recipe which I guess would pretty much be the same as pizza dough. Okay so I'm not so domesticated but I am trying!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Fun Weekend

I had a very busy, very fun weekend with my mom! She had booked us on a bus trip to the Bourne Scallop Festival in Cape Cod. I stayed over her house Friday night and we left at 5:30pm Saturday morning. We arrived in Bourne at 8:30am only to found that our tour guide messed up and we were supposed to be in Hyannis to take a train to Bourne. By the time she realized it, the bus was already headed to Hyannis and we had to wait 2 hours for the train to come to Bourne. (Yes it is as confusing as it sounds). We had breakfast at a small restaurant which probably couldn't believe how many people were coming for breakfast! After a yummy breakfast and lots of laughs, we headed over to wander around the craft festival and actually found a picture frame carved out of wood with the name Tucker. Apparently, the name is pretty popular in MA because the guy said he gets a lot of requests for it! So then we boarded the train and went to Hyannis. I do need to mention the really cool bridge that is part of this railroad. It crosses over the Cape Cod Canal and the track actually lifts 135 feet in the air to allow boats through. It stays up unless there is a train coming. When we got to Hyannis, we took the bus back to Bourne where we had started. We had enough time to enjoy the Scallop Festival (apparently quite a big deal). I don't eat scallops but had chicken which was YUMMY! After enjoying our meal, we headed to take a boat cruise down the canal. it was a 90 minute cruise and it was the perfect day for it! After the boat cruise, we headed to the Christmas Tree Shop which is always fun! Then we headed home; we got home around 8:30pm! I stayed over my mom's Saturday night and I tried to catch up on my scrapbooking on Sunday(I did manage to finished June of last year!)

In case you're wondering, Tucker went to my mother-in-law's. Michael works 12-9 on Saturdays and Tucker's soccer game was at 11. Eileen and Cassandra (my m-i-l and niece) came to the game and took him home from there. Michael went to get him Sunday and they introduced Eileen to the fine art of Letterboxing (there are quite a few near in her house!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Got A Job! Fall Flowers and Cub Scouts

(Cue the music from the "Six Flags" commercial from last year with the bald guy dancing!) As you know, I lost my job two weeks ago. I have been sending out resumes to area home care agencies and got a call on Tues from one in Ledyard. It's actually where one of the nurses I used to work with went in July. (Does that last sentence make sense? I hope so because I am too excited to try to go back and fix it!) So anyway the administrator called me, said she had talked to Liz about me and wanted me to come in and talk to her about working there. So I went yesterday, expecting it was an interview and it was actually a "sign here, get a drug test, can you start next week" kind of deal! SHE HIRED ME BASED ON WHAT LIZ TOLD HER ABOUT ME!!!!!! So other than a few paperwork things, I should be starting next week. It is per diem which means as they need me but the other social worker doesn't work very much and Liz tells me that desperately need social work for their patients! YEAH!!! It's a really good per diem rate so it will help out. I've been leaning toward looking for something 24 or 32 hours more than 40 anyways and just need to find something with benefits. I am just so excited to be able to work and do what I love to do which is help people! I just can't believe I found something this soon!

I also wanted to share with you some fall colors of another kind (which reminds me of when Dorothy goes to see the Wizard and is surprised by the colorful horse and the guard says "I guess you could say that's a horse of a different color"; not that I'm a "Wizard of Oz" fan or anything!). I'm not sure if these flowers have always been in the yard or if I'm just noticing them because I'm home more often (which would be sad. Michael does tend to move flowers around a lot so I'm hoping I just didn't notice them before) ANYWAY...here the pictures before I digress even further...

The leaves are just starting to change so I plan to go out in the next week or so and take some pictures. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year!

Update on the pictures...I did lose the pictures from the soccer game and getting together with Julie. (I've already saved them from Jul's blog). So I will re-take the soccer pictures at the next game and you'll have to wait to be blinded!

We have a busy night ahead of us! We did go sign up for Cub Scouts last night and it was neat because the Cubmaster (sounds so ominous, doesn't it) remembered Tucker from last week at his open house. Also, Tucker's friend Freddie was there signing up also which was very exciting. He was good friends with Freddie and Maddie last year in his class and they're all in different classes this year. He's been playing with them on the playground after school for about a 1/2 hour after school (another bonus of being able to pick him up). So anyway, he was really excited to see him signing up. Our first meeting is tonight right after soccer practice. On the way home, he says "mommy we have a busy day tomorrow! I have school most of the day, then I have to do homework. Then we have soccer practice and then Cub Scouts; how are we going to do it all?" I assured him that we will but I couldn't help but think of Crispy's post (Peter's Peapod) about the number of activities our kids are involved in and while these are the only two activities Tucker is doing, it does seem a little overwhelming to have both on the same night. I did look ahead and this is the only month that the Cub Scout meeting falls on the same night as soccer. We're also supposed to have weekly den meetings, I think. Not sure when those are or when they start but I guess we'll find out tonight. I forgot to mention that I found out why he didn't want to sign-up. Michael and I have been talking with him about all the cool stuff cub Scouts do and thought it would be a good thing to mention the camp-outs, thinking he would like doing that. turns out, he doesn't want to. His exact words: "I'll sign up but I am NOT sleeping outside with them". so once we found out that was the issue, we could address that. I found out from one of the moms (the wife of his former soccer coach) that a lot of the younger kids don't sleep over and they're welcome to come for the afternoon, stay for the camp fire and marshmallows and then go home. So that is what we will plan on doing. I'll let you know how it all goes!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bubble-Burst Pictures

I got this idea from the August issue of Family Fun....you mix 1/2 cup of bubble solution with 2 tbsp paint and then blow bubbles! The idea is to blow the bubbles onto the paper and as they pop, the colors will splash on the paper. It didn't work out quite like I expected it to and for some reason, we were only able to blow bubbles with the orange! But we had fun doing it and isn't that all that matters?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

First Soccer Game, A Visit with Friends, and the Connecticut Sun

We had a very busy day yesterday! We started out at Tucker's first soccer game of the year...finally! We are very happy with how soccer is going so far. He has an AWESOME coach/assistant coach team and they are amazing with the kids. Of the 11 kids on the team, 7 have played together for 4-5 years, mostly with this coach as he moved up as his kids did. He does still have one in the Munchkins (age 4-5) but I'm not sure if he coaches a team. Anyway, I took a bunch of really great pictures but you'll have to take my word on that...for some reason, my camera and the computer are not getting along. I may have lost the pictures completely, I think, which I guess is not a big deal because I can take pictures again next week! Anyway, the kids had a really great time and that's really what it's all about! We actually played against his coach from last year (who has moved up with his son, Haydyn. Wait until you see the uniform color--it's like dayglo yellow! You definitely need sunglasses!

After soccer we headed to meet Julie and Mike, up from FL for Mike's 20th class reunion. Julie and I have been friends FOREVER and it was so nice to see her for even a couple of hours. We met at her brother Rob's new apartment in East Hampton and Tucker had a good time playing with his sons, Zachary and John. When Jul and I were in high school, Rob was like a younger brother to me so it's strange to think he has a son a year older than mine! (Rob's 4 years younger than me and Jul which isn't a big deal now but when we were graduating high school and he was graduating eighth grade, it seemed like a bigger difference!) Jul's aunt Dot, uncle Paul, and cousin Ally also came to visit so it was fun to catch up with them too. (Ally's a nurse and actually took care of my dad when he was having chemo 4 years ago). It was nice of Kim and Rob to let us come to their place to meet up (when I said "new", I meant really new; they spent their first night there the night before!) As expected, the time went by much too fast and it was soon time for them to head back to Trumbull. We are seriously hoping to go see them next summer (depending on my job situation and finances).

From there, we headed to Norwich to meet one of my former co-workers Melinda at her house. We were going to a Connecticut Sun game! (For those who may not know, they're a professional women's basketball team). The wife of one of our patients is the oldest member of the seniors dance troupe that dances during the time-outs. She's 82 and let me tell you she was doing some serious moving to Material Girl down there with her red boa! She's a riot!!! I wish I had that kind of energy now; never mind at 82! Melinda treated us to the tickets which I TOTALLY did not expect her to do but was so nice of her :) The game was really good and Tucker had a good time yelling "Go, Huskies!". My mother has been training him and he thinks that any basketball game is a Husky game. (Although now a lot of the Sun players are former Huskies). The Sun ended up winning- their first win after a 3 game losing streak! (don't be too impressed-I read that in the paper this morning!)

Today (Sunday) we didn't do much...the usual grocery run and laundry. We were hoping the rain would clear up so we could go letter boxing and/or to the Family Fun Day at one of the parks. But it never did quite clear up and it was also really humid. I did get some needlework done (no excuse now not to get the Christmas presents done!) and Tucker and I decorated the house for fall and Halloween.

Hopefully I'll get the pictures up soon. The only one I'm really concerned about losing is the one of me and Jul. But she can always email a copy (right, Jul?!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Gramma Palmer

Today is my grandmother's birthday. She would have been 96. She passed away on April 26, 2000. My dad found her on the floor in her kitchen. Ironically, it is where she spent most of her time. After she retired as nurse at age 74 (!!), she baked/cooked non-stop, literally, for 8 hours a day. Then it was up to my dad to drive her around and distribute the goodies on his day off. She would bake banana bread for me every week, even when I was in college and came home on the weekends. To this day I cannot even come close to getting the banana bread like hers! She was a wonderful, special lady and I miss her every day and wish Tucker had been able to meet her. I've added "Angels Among Us" to my play list in her honor because when ever I hear it, it reminds me of her. The picture is from our wedding and is one of my favorite of her and my dad.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Open House and Assorted Pictures

Tonight was Open House at Tucker's school. I was in charge of refreshments so I ran around this afternoon and got cheese cubes, crackers, veggies, dip, water, and paper products. Heather, one of the co-presidents of the PTO, helped me put the platters together. She has two kids, Colby who is in 2nd grade and Kaylee (not sure how she spells it but that's how it sounds) who is in preschool. The kids were really good, the boys did their homework, and then they drew pictures. It took us about an hour and a half to put all the food on platters and then I had just enough time to go through the drive-thru at McDonald's down the street and get back for 5:15 to set it all up on the tables. The Open House started at 5:30 with refreshments. Then we went to the gym for a welcome speech from the principal and vice-principal and Sharon, the other co-president, said a few words. Then we went to Tucker's classroom and Michael met his teacher (I had met her on the first day of school). She had made-up a scavenger hunt of sorts with nursery rhymes so that the kids could show us around the room. She's really nice and is excited to have a left-handed student (Tucker's the only one in the class) because she is also left-handed. We're excited too because she can work with him on holding the pencil correctly which she did say she planned on doing. Just to make you all feel old, they don't have chalkboards in the rooms anymore; they have dry-erase boards and all the students have their own small ones. Tucker then showed us the Reading Lab -it's a new program for the kids who need some extra help. They have some extra assignments to do at night with an incentive program. Tucker is really excited about it! We also got to see the new art room (which used to be the office). Tucker then went home with Michael while Heather and I cleaned up. There was also info regarding Cub Scout sign-up which we would like to have Tucker get involved with. Michael was active when he was little and I was in Girl Scouts until the 8th grade. There are actually 3 different packs in Montville. We're going to sign him up for Colby's pack (Heather's son) since he had such a good time with him today and that way he'll know someone.

I've also included some assorted pictures. I've been having trouble transferring them to the computer the past few days, so bear with me, there are a few!

These are the paintings Tucker and I did last weekend of a neighborhood. Mine is first and you'll note his has hearts above the house.

We are really proud of our Shrek Chia. we got this last summer (or whenever Shrek 3 came out). We didn't do so good with it the first time around but Michael has been helping Tucker with it this time and we are also leaving it outside on the deck in the sun so it's growing really well! (the last time we just had it on the windowsill in the family room which doesn't get a lot of sun) We do bring it in when it rains and/or there is wind!

This last group of pictures is from last night when Tucker and I made pizza. (We moved pizza night to Wednesday night because I'm going out with my former co-workers tomorrow night). I forgot to take a picture before I put it in the oven but I did take a picture of it when it was done!

God Bless America

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Assorted Thoughts

Nothing really specific today, just some random thoughts...

-I had to go to the dentist yesterday and wondered what is about the dentist that so many people don't like (myself, included). It's not anything personal against the dentist, I like her well enough. Michael and I actually both go to her and have followed her to her new office (for locals, from Hebron to Willimantic; for non-locals, maybe an extra 10 minute ride depending on which way you go.) She's about our age and her oldest son is a year older than Tucker so we always have stories to share. (well, she shares, I sort-of go "uh-huh" real muffled-like). And as nice as this all is, I still find myself gripping the arms of the chair with white-knuckles, to the point of realizing my hands are numb and need to release my grip. I don't know how long it will be before I go back so hopefully she did what she needed to do!

-Have you ever had a conversation with your child, had no ides what you were talking about, but all seemed to be resolved, and he/she walked away happy and content and you had no idea what just happened. I know....probably all the time but I just had to share this from the other night. Tucker comes into the kitchen after brushing his teeth before bed (without being asked/told a MILLION times; I was so proud!) and says "I flushed it down the toilet". Me: Good job! (we've been working on flushing the poop down the toilet after he's done, is that TMI?) Tucker: it looked really cool, blue and white, while it went down!" Okay so maybe he's not talking about poop "what exactly did you flush down the toilet?" He says"you know the thing on the side of the sink that you push" Me: "Uh, not really..." He says "yes, you do! it's blue and white and foams. Well, it looks really cool going the toilet!" And he walked away leaving me just shaking my head. By the way, I think he was talking about the SpongeBob hand cleaner foam.

-I just finished another fabulous book by Jodi Picoult: Keeping Faith. If you haven't read it yet, you definitely need too. I'm not an overly religious person, I do believe in God and I pray. This book makes you really think about faith and hope and what it means to you.

-I spoke the other day with the Speech Pathologist at Tucker's school. I sent a note to his teacher that I wanted to have him screened. I was really impressed that she called me on Monday. I explained my concerns, basically that he doesn't say the first syllable of multi-syllable words, reading is frustrating for him, and he doesn't always get the first letter of a word correct (if you ask him what a word is, he may say "map" and sound out the "mmmm" and then say "K"). She had met with him and felt he does really well speaking but didn't try him with multi-syllable words. We talked about how the school will be trying a number of different strategies to help the children. They actually have begun a new reading program called "Imagine it" with the K-2 students. Tucker will be starting the Reading Lab next week to get some extra help. She will also be sending home some things for us to do with him. I am trying not to push him but I love reading so much and I just want him to enjoy it also.

-Tucker has been trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. Last night we went to the Halloween store at the mall. Is it me or is everything violent. Oh sure, the costumes for the babies are cute but as soon as you move into the boys section, every one is warrior or just scary! I just worry about the message it sends the kids. The whole store was like that, the main displays were scary with blood and gore (Jason with a chainsaw, Hector Lector form "silence of the Lambs" and a lady holding her head). By the way, he decided to continue with the Star Wars theme (last year he was Darth Vader) and this year he wants to be a Storm Trooper.

-I got a call today from Melinda, one of my former co-wrokers, one of the nurses. They want to take me out to dinner on Friday. I do miss my co-workers and have talked to many of them and will stay in touch but it's not the same as working with them every day. I'm very appreciative of their support through all this.

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Sleep-over, Hanna, A Letterbox, and I-Spy

Whew! Just writing the title exhausts me! Maybe that's why I'm so tired; we were so busy the past two days!

Saturday (while waiting for Tropical Storm Hanna-more on that), we got a call from William's mom (Andrea) inviting Tucker to spend the night. This was something we had been talking about the boys doing. I brought Tucker over to their house around 2 and of course, ended up staying another 2 hrs chatting with Andrea. Tucker did really well and before I left kept saying: "are you leaving, Mommy?" Sort of the "Be gone with you" tone of his first day of school. I guess I should be happy that he is confident enough to stay over a friend's house and not need me but at the same time, I want him to need me. I guess it's all part of him growing up, which I'm still not sure about. They had pizza for supper and watched "Finding Nemo". This is a new home for William's family and they have been so excited to move in and get settled.

Hanna did not turn out to be as big of a deal as they made it out to be. We did get a lot of wind and while I certainly didn't want to have any trees come down, something other than some twigs and leaves would have been nice! Especially since I moved all the chairs, table and umbrella to underneath the deck and now need to bring them back out! And as it turns out, his soccer game did get cancelled because of the weather report. It had rained all Friday night and while it was cloudy, it didn't even really rain again until late Saturday afternoon! So we'll have to wait for next Saturday's game!

After we picked up Tucker, we went to find some letterboxes. We ended up only finding one, in a really neat, really old cemetery that is kept up surprisingly well. It's actually hidden down a dirt road that runs along 95. We attempted to find two others in some hiking trails behind the elementary school in Waterford but got really lost! We now have a compass but of course don't know how to use it other than to find a trail at 300 degrees for example. As for using it for it's actual purpose when you get lost, we're pretty much useless at trying to figure it out. Michael actually got us out---I was so discombobulated that I didn't even remember which direction we had come from. We will go back again and attempt it another time. To give you an idea of how lost we were, the instructions said the hike would take 20-30 minutes and it was rated "easy". Nothing about climbing up rock ledges was easy; we went in at 12noon and came out at 1:30!

From there we went and had lunch at McDonald's and onto Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London which has Free First Sundays every month. Their new exhibition is by the photographer who did the I-Spy books. They had all the upstairs galleries
(4-5 rooms) with paintings and models all along the I-Spy themes. It was fun looking at all the paintings and trying to find the objects. There were some art activities available but Tucker actually didn't want to do any. There were also some yummy refreshments. We wandered into other galleries to look at the other paintings. The good thing, besides it being free, is Tucker asked me when we can go back. The exhibition is on until January. Now that we know how nice the museum is, we will go back again on the first Sunday of the month (when we can!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Details, Details, Details

I feel like that all I did today was manage "details" so it seemed like an appropriate title! I completed filing for unemployment which like everything else to with the state (think DMV or even the post office, though that's federal) is never easy. I tried twice yesterday, once by phone (after 15 minutes of pushing numbers, I was told "no customer service representatives are available at this time. Please call back at another time. Goodbye"). When I tried to apply on-line, it was a little faster to complete but then there was a message that the website was having technical difficulties. So this morning I went down there in person and was told that they cannot accept the claim in person, the best way to do it is by phone. so after going to the library and the chiropractor, I came home and tried calling again. This time I was told the wait was 33 minutes. I should have stayed on the line but I didn't. Tried on-line again with same message as before. Tried calling again and the wait was now 44 minutes. This time I did wait and after about 40 minutes, I got to speak to someone. It took about 10 minutes to answer all her questions and the final result is that it won't be perfect but it could almost be manageable (especially considering I won't be spending $120/WEEK on gas or $80/week on daycare). Again not that this is the perfect situation but it could end up with me finding something better. It also gives me some time to take a break and re-evaluate things and maybe figure out what I really want to do, what will be best at this point in time.

Other details I dealt with today (gotta stick to the "theme"):
-I tried to print out my resume (planned to take it to the library to make copies rather than using my ink). Well I had already used my ink! So off I went to Target to get the ink. thankfully it was on sale this week.
-Cleaning up the yard (battening(sp?) down the hatches, as it were) in preparation for Tropical Storm Hanna which is supposed to bring 3-5 inches of rain and 30-50 mph wind which is a pretty big deal for us Northerners!
-Tucker kept track of some details of his own. Inspired by Crispy of Peter's Peapod fame, I have begun making pizza on Fridays. Not with the milled wheat like she does but with flour and yeast, nonetheless. It's actually not as hard as I thought it would be. Anyway, back to Tucker's details, he was anxious for the dough to finish rising so he could help "punch it down" so while I took a quick shower (cleaning off the deck and putting everything under the deck is hard work), he counted down the seconds watching the clock on the microwave from 15 minutes all the way down to zero (he let me know it was on 7 minutes when I got out of the shower). He really loves numbers and counting and it did keep him busy for 15 minutes!

Tomorrow is supposed to be Tucker's first soccer game. (I haven't mentioned yet that he started soccer in mid-August with 2 practices a week. Now that school has started it's once a week) He's moved up to the next age-group and those games are usually played in the rain as long as it doesn't put the kids in danger. They're supposed to make a decision by 7:30AM tomorrow (the little kids start at 8:30AM and Tucker's age group starts at 9AM; his game is supposed to be at 12noon).

I do want to blog about soccer so I'll wait until I have some pictures from the first game (it may be next week, though!)

I'll let you know how we make out with Hanna!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I need to blog this latest event in our lives...I was fired from my job yesterday. It had been slowly leading up to this. The Director and I have not seen eye-to-eye since she took over last October. I've been written up 4 times since December for various things and yesterday they told me I was done there. I was paid for last week, this week (the holiday, a vacation day and yesterday), and my leftover vacation time. I haven't been happy there for awhile and have been under a lot of pressure and stress so one the one hand, it's good to be out. I will also have time to be more involved at Tucker's school and have already sent a note to his teacher telling her I am available to be Class Mom and/or volunteer in the classroom. I met yesterday with the principal and co-presidents of PTO (I'm vice) to coordinate some of the beginning school year stuff and let them know. I joined some of the other parent councils. I did file for unemployment and am hoping to get some per diem work until I find something permanent. I will have insurance coverage through the end of the month and I'm waiting to talk to the Human Resources lady about COBRA which we will probably try to swing if we can because it's supposed to be easier to switch over to a new employer's insurance. I'm looking into getting HUSKY for Tucker (the insurance plan for low-middle income kids in CT) because even though I know Michael and I need insurance, I think it's more important to have Tucker covered. I know the resources to get help paying for medications, I know the resources. I just didn't think I'd have to use them for us. We're trying to be positive and hope that I will find something soon but when you get right down to it, it's pretty darn scary.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School, Part 2

I wanted to add Tucker's impressions of his first day:
"it was a long day"
"there were instructions for everything"
"I had fun finding the gingerbread man" (apparently they read the story to them and then they had to go "find" him, he wasn't anywhere they looked but when they got back to their classroom, they had gingerbread cookies for snack!)

Despite the seemingly negative comments, he did seem to have fun. He liked that he got his own plastic basket with a box of crayons, a glue stick, a pair of scissors, and a pencil and all were labeled with his name (hey! it's the little things!) I guess I can be thankful that we are one of the only school systems in the area who does not have to provide the basics for our children. I did buy him a new box of crayons for home; I felt like I needed to get him something. Santa brought a LOT of pencils for last Christmas and he had gotten a new backpack towards the end of last year so we didn't get a new one. He was also really tired and yes, he did survive lunch (and that's actually what he said there were a lot of instructions about, like where to put their garbage, etc.)

So we did go to Chuck E. Cheese and actually the pizza wasn't nearly as bad it usually is. Let's just say that we have accepted that we don't go there for their pizza. We had a good time playing skee-ball and practically had the place to ourselves. Tucker found a few kids to crawl through the tubes mounted up by the ceiling so all was good.

I go back to work tomorrow after my little mini-vacation and I don't know that I'm ready!

First Day of School

Today was Tucker's first day of school...we went to Angela's to walk over with everyone from daycare. Tucker met his teacher and knew two classmates, one from his class last year and the other from his t-ball team. Here he poses with me and Michael and by himself (I couldn't get him to keep his eyes open; he thought he was being funny!!)

The parents got to come back at 9:45 for a welcoming speech from the principal plus some info re: the new reading program. Then we got to go do an activity with the kids in their classroom. We talked about our summer vacations and the kids drew a picture of what they did this summer and then had to present it to the class. It was actually really fun to see his classroom and meet the two girls at his table. He was really nervous about lunch so I'll let you know how that went! Tonight we're off to Chucky Cheese's to celebrate the 1st day of school.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Other Labor Day (in my case, only one!)

I saw this on Jul's blog and stole her title!

How long was your labor?
I started having contractions around 9,9:30pm but it wasn't until around 11:30 that they became more regular (and HURT more). Michael was playing in a dart tournament and I called him there on our TRACphone (which was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law for just this purpose; hard to believe we never had cellphones now!) So anyway, Michael came flying home in about 10 minutes (should have been a 20-25 minute drive). We got in the car and headed to the hospital where we called our parents. My parents came down right away (relatively speaking: they live 45 minutes away). After being on monitors and walking laps for almost 3 hours, they decided I was in "false Labor" (don't even get me started!) I was actually only dilated 3 cm. What I remember most about being on the monitors was my dad telling me jokes to make me laugh through the contractions. So we went home (my parents came too) and were back at the hospital at 5:30. By 7 am, they had given me pitocin (however it's spelled) and broke my water. Even though I wasn't any more dilated, it was clear this baby wasn't staying in! They told me I'd have a baby by noon. HAH! what do they know?! I labored until 3pm when the Doctor though I should "consider" a c-section (see below). Tucker was born at 3:52pm. So I guess that makes 16-17 hours.

How did you know you were in labor?
I had experienced Brach-Hicks (sorry if I spelled it wrong) before but these were a LOT different.

Where did you deliver?
At Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT

Yes, see story above. What I wanted to add was that when I first found out I was pregnant, I was told I wouldn't be able to have a baby more than 6 lbs because of the size of my pelvis so when at month to go, they told me I was going to have at least an 8-8 1/2 lb baby (he was 8.6), I wanted to schedule a c-section. They wouldn't. I do clearly remember when the doctor told me we would have to "consider" a c-section, I told him he could take it out my nose for all I cared (I was just a little tired and had been given a lot of pain meds. So much in fact that they didn't have to give me any more to do the c-section. At my "check-up" at the office after I had Tucker, the doctor told me that if I had any more children ,we would definitely schedule a c-section!

See above

Who delivered?
I'll borrow from Jul again...you mean, besides me?! Our doctor was Dr. Levin and I will always remember the moment he said "it's a boy!" (we had decided not to find out the sex, believing that this is the one of the few real surprises you can have in life).

Anyone want to add their Labor Day story (-ies)?

Happy Labor Day (Also Letterboxing and A Night at the Demolition Derby

Yesterday we went for a 2 hr hike in one of the conservancies here in town (we actually have quite a few). This one is called Milo Light and it's over on the Salem-side of town. Maybe I just don't know how to estimate a mile walking (entirely possible) but it seemed a LOT longer than a mile to get to where the clues started.
Tucker found the first of three in a stone wall:
The other two were on our way out. I found the second one hidden in the wall of an old foundation (hard to imagine a farm here now). According to the clues, it's from the 1870s. Michael found the last under a fallen log. Note to self for future letterboxing: bring water and bug spray. It was a lot further than we had planned on and we got eaten up by bugs!!!

Last night we went to the Waterford Speedbowl for what was supposed to be the Annual School Bus Demo. But they couldn't find any buses. We first heard about this from my friend Tracy (Andrew's mom) and they were going to go with us until we found out it was at 7 pm instead of the afternoon. With Emily being only 5 months old, they decided to pass. We had gotten passes from Budweiser so our Niece Cassandra and her boyfriend Eric came with us. It was actually a lot of fun! They had a burnout contest, a tire relay (where they push a tractor tire around the track), a boat race (they push the boats around the track, and also a sliding race where they put snowmobile skis on the back of the cars. They ended with a demolition derby. Here are some pictures in no particular order

Today we headed out to Bluff Point in Groton which is usually absolutely gorgeous and today was no exception! There were a lot of people there at the picnic tables, enjoying the day. We were going to try to find three letterboxes. The first we needed a compass for (we still haven't gotten one and try to weed out the clues that require one; this particular clue didn't mention a compass until the the second to last line and we couldn't figure out which way 21 degrees to our left was!). The second we found (a really cool parrot) and on the way to the third, Tucker tripped and skinned his knee so that was the end of that! We'll go back again but in the meantime, we did get to enjoy a nice day out by the water!

Tomorrow is the first day of school (I can't believe Tucker's going into 1st grade!) and then we're taking him to Chucky cheese for a special dinner (I try to only go there for "special" things).