Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hello everyone.

Tim and I have been burning the midnight oil, trying to get a new store up and running. We are frustrated and fed up with our current provider, MyCart.net. This weekend we had quite a few credit card orders started but could not be completed because our stores credit card processor kept giving our customers error after error. We contacted each customer as soon as we realized what happened. We were not sent an email from MyCart about the trouble. I only discovered it when I logged into the system to do something else. We were able to save some orders by completing the process manually, but could not save the others. It happened Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but we couldn’t contact our store about it because they closed at 5:00 on Friday and no type of support is available on the weekend. Tim called them Monday morning and only got voice mail. He sent them an email and still has yet to receive a response.

Saturday we began looking for a new store and discovered it in Volusion. We were chatting with them online late Saturday night and on Sunday. They have a completely different style, look and feel; so many cool features for not only the storefront, but behind the scenes as well! Every minute Dev and B allow, I’ve been sitting here copying over all the product and information from one store to the other. I’d like to get this done and launched before the boys and I leave on Saturday.

Where are we going? It’s Hunter’s Spring Break of course! Our destination is always Michigan. It’s my goal to take over my parent’s house every break Hunter gets! LOL

It’s been a pretty uneventful week. Tim was gone to California, Palm Springs area, for a conference. He stayed in a hotel/resort and was glad he could get all he needed there, where the conference was, because California is expensive! He didn’t need to rent a car and only took a cab from and to the airport. No complaint from him about the temperature, and no snow! LOL He never had the time to go anywhere else besides the resort. He mentioned there was a tennis tournament there, but didn’t recognize any players.

No problems with the boys while he was away, but we did have an issue with Knight. I think he was rebelling about Tim being gone for so long. I was guilty of only letting him out to pee that day. It was cold and I was doing other things when Bryce was napping. Hunter had let Kit out before he had gone to bed. Now that I was heading that way myself, it was 11:30, I let Knight out from inside the garage so I could grab a bag of pellets at the same time. I looked outside by the trees and shed, saw as far as the back light would allow, then released the dog. He ran to his favorite spot by the shed to pee.

When I came back out from filling the hopper of the pellet stove, I assumed Knight wasn’t done because he didn’t come when I first called. If you don’t have dogs, they have to smell everything all over before they finally get down to business.

So I went back inside and got ready for bed. Usually when we go that route, the dogs are waiting for me by the door, sometimes barking their impatience. But Knight wasn’t there. As we still had snow, I put on my boots, coat and grabbed a flashlight. I made a lot of noise breaking thru the icy snow and thought for sure Knight would appear as just two eyes out of the darkness. His coat is so black it’s hard to seem him in the dark. I walked part way out to the pond before accepting that he wasn’t on the property. I also realized that he didn’t have his collar on.

I went back and forth from the windows of the house to the garage door, calling to him. After about an hour of Knight being gone, I sent Tim a text message. He was three hours behind me and replied fairly quickly. Eventually, after 1:00 a.m. for me, he told me to leave the back garage door open and the light on and to check for Knight through out the night. I checked for him each time Bryce woke me up, but he was never there.

I didn’t get much sleep that night. I was worried about the dog and Bryce seemed to have picked up on my emotion because he wanted to nurse constantly that night for comfort. When the alarm went off I dragged myself out of bed and forced my legs to carry me upstairs. Hunter was already awake and was watching TV when I said good morning to him and tripped over something warm and hairy. It was Knight!

I asked Hunter where Knight came from. He said that he heard Knight barking outside the sunroom door and let him in. As simple as that. He didn’t ask what Knight was doing outside so early in the morning when I was still in bed. I looked down at Knight, who hadn’t moved at all to greet me, and told him that he gave me a scare. His eyes looked at me and he wagged his tail twice, but he was obviously exhausted from his night out in the cold. His muscles were twitching and I could only guess if they were tired from a long run or simply cold and trying to warm up. Even though Tim wouldn’t get the text for three hours or so, I told him that Knight was back home and safe, waiting for his return.

This week Hunter decorated his car for the Pinewood Derby. He sanded it and thought about how he was going to decorate it. I’m not sure what he planned on doing, but he chose two shades of blue and a white paint. He started with a stroke of white in the front. When that dried, he put a stroke of blue behind it. I had told him to let the car dry in-between colors, thinking he’d do a lot with one color and then another. I was wrong! LOL He added another stroke before school one morning. I closed up the paint and put that away, but then my Mommy Syndrome kicked in at full force. I was distracted by something, which led to something else, etc., until I returned to the table and saw Devin on his knees on a chair. He had been playing with his Moon Sand the last time he was at the table…but not this time. He was covered in paint, the table and chair had a coat as well (water based, easy clean-up) but Hunter’s car! Ack! I had left the paintbrush still with paint on it on the mat next to the car, and Devin continued the paint job Hunter started!

Oh, no! I couldn’t fix it! Hunter had sanded it but didn’t put on a base coat, just started painting over the wood, so I couldn’t cover it all up and have Hunter start anew.

When Hunter got home he actually noticed his car sitting on the island before I had a chance to mention it. He asked, ‘What happened to my car?’ and I told him what I didn’t do and what Devin did and how sorry I was and asked him if he thought he could still paint it the way he wanted to. He wasn’t upset! He said, ‘I can still work with that.’ Hooray! He ended up going with the different shades of blue and no white (Devin had painted over the white). I said it looked like the ocean and he said it was like a wave and talked about putting a sea animal on there. The only stickers we had were too big. I said we could find something on the Internet, but he had come across a sticker of a metallic ant and it fit on the car.

We do have a little delay because Hunter lost one of the axles (a nail) from his kit and we’re waiting on the scoutmaster to replace it for us. We’ll have that after school today (Tuesday).

Hunter came up to me the other day and said, ‘I have something fantastic to tell you.’ It was that Bryce had stood up on the strength of his legs alone, no using his hands to pull himself up!

The past two weeks, Hunter hasn’t scored lower than an 85% on his tests!

Some of the things Devin said this week;

‘Mama. Will you clean my poopy, please?’ (I think he said that this week…but it could have been last. All these poopy diapers just run together….)

After bath I pinched his bare bottom as he walked by, commenting on such cute butt cheeks. He giggled, came back to me and said, ‘Tickle my butt cheeks!’

He discovered the magic of the garage door opener, so every time we leave, I let him open the door. His response is always, ‘Cool!’. I told him it was a magic button, and he told me no, that it was a remote. Of course, how silly of me!

We’ve been whispering some of our conversations. But he never wants to whisper when Bryce is sleeping!

As Hunter told me the other day, Bryce is indeed standing up on his own. His legs and belly aren’t as chubby as they once were. He’s crawling so fast! He tried to chase Devin around the kitchen island, but right now Devin does laps around him. Bryce sits down and laughs as Devin runs by. He’s enjoying more table foods, but he’s still getting his meals from me. Still six teeth. He’s gotten so long and he’s become a vocal little thing! He sat in one spot for a long time, just ahhing and lahhing at one toy. I can’t believe he’s 10 months old already!

That’s it for this edition. I need to get back to work. I started this when I came upstairs at 7:30. I’ve had to take a lot of breaks to go marching with Devin!

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hello out there!

I don’t know why I’m in such a good mood. It can’t be because my husband is gone for a whole week! Well, maybe a little bit! It’s always nice to hang out in one’s PJ’s, eat unhealthy foods on the floor with messy children, and ignore the dishes until they start to stick…wait a minute, we do that when Tim IS home!

The first couple nights will be OK. I can stretch out across the entire bed and just invite Devin to climb in instead of bringing him back upstairs. But come Wednesday, I’ll be missing Tim and be feeling impatient for his return. Especially if I rent a couple of scary movies! Tim doesn’t watch them, so I’ll be doing so alone! Crazy, I know. There are also a couple of movies I’d like to see that Tim has no interest in. Drat! I just remembered that our video store, called Iggle Video, part of the Giant Eagle grocery store chain, took out their video store and will instead use an outdoor video vending type machine. They didn’t set it up before they closed and I didn’t see it outside yet the last time I drove by. Darn. We do have Pay per View, and, honestly, it’s probably cheaper! Iggle charges almost $4.00 a movie!

It’s been a pretty interesting week around here. Last Tuesday we had a dinner for Cub Scouts where the boys rode around on a tricycle with a homemade spear and stabbed at buffalo shapes cut out of plywood. There were balloons stuck to them, but they wouldn’t hold still and the younger kids kept trying to run away with them (Devin included!). They also made tomahawks with blunt edges. When we first arrived we had to wait in the van as the church it’s held at was locked and no one had brought a key. Phone calls were made and soon after we carefully walked across an ice covered parking lot. Two hours later we were walking curled toes back to the van and had to go backwards out of the parking lot because we were parked on an incline and my van couldn’t go forward on the ice. We were home long enough for me to watch American Idol when the power went out. I think hubby was thrilled with the opportunity to use the generator he picked up earlier this year. Until he realized he didn’t have enough gas and had to travel double the distance to find a station that had power.

Devin also loved the fact that we had no power. He got to use his flashlight and soon commandeered his dad’s head lamp. It didn’t much matter to Hunter as he had turned off his light and gone to bed just minutes before the power went out. I brought him a flashlight in case he needed it, but Tim had the generator up in no time and we were able to turn on the lights and one TV. Hunter was worried about his alarm clock, so I told him to just stay in bed and I’d wake him if he had school or not. I watched the 11:00 news and his school was closed.

The next day I think Hunter would have rather been in school because I made him clean his room! There’s a picture on the web site of it before, but I didn’t take one after. It’s already looking cluttered again. Desks are just made to be cluttered I guess; I’m sitting at mine and I had to push things aside to put down my drink! I asked my neighbor to text me when power came back on because we can’t determine that ourselves with being hooked up to a generator. Nothing much changed really at our house. To conserve gas in the generator I didn’t keep the TV in the new toy room on with Blue’s Clue’s like I usually do; the boys go back and forth most of the day between me and that TV. So it wasn’t bad at all! I was feeling bad for the neighbors as I’m sure it was getting cold in their houses by then! The power came on just one hour short of 24 hours.

Hunter hasn’t been responding to us lately. If we ask him a question he won’t respond until we get right up into his face. I don’t know if he thinks he’s going to get into trouble, or maybe doesn’t want Devin to get into trouble, but he is silent until I tell him I’m not going to be mad at him or Devin, maybe a little disappointed, but not mad. He’s also been sneaking food. I hear him trying to open the door to the fridge quietly and then he does that fake laugh when I remind him only one pop a day. When I got a hand towel from under the bathroom sink I found an open box of Girl Scout cookies. He must have taken them in there when he went to take a shower. When confronted he gave me this crooked grin and a shrug. I told him it’s not that big of a deal that he ate the cookies, but that it’s a big deal that he feels he has to hide it and another big deal that if he ate them after he brushed his teeth then he needs to go and brush them again.

I re-scheduled his eye appointment for the 21st.

Devin has been talking non-stop! He’s also been making me follow him all over the house. One morning I went back and forth so many times between Elmo on the computer and Blue’s Clue’s and toys in the toy room I wanted to just holler for him to make up his mind! He’s been asking a lot of what questions and one day he brought me his sippy and a whole bunch of toys one after the other, asking me to “Clean them up, please” because Bryce had put them in his mouth. The other day I broke up some crackers into smaller pieces for Bryce to snack on and Devin brought me his bowl and said, “Crash crackers, please”. It took me a minute before I realized he wanted me to break up the crackers for him like I did for Bryce. Two nights this week he stayed in his bed all night long! Hooray!

Bryce has been on the go for a couple weeks now, and it’s showing when I put him in a diaper I used to snap him in using the second snap around his chubby legs and the same location in the row around his waist, but now I find that setting is no longer snug. He’s now wearing them on the third snap settings! Forget the crawling video I have yet to post, I’ll be recording memories of him walking soon!

With crawling comes bumped noggins, and Bryce is no exception. The poor little guy was watching his hands, bump into the wall, his hands weren’t that close to his destination yet, but his head was and thump, into the toy. While pulling himself up he tumbled over and thud, onto the floor. Devin is helpful in telling me when Bryce crashes…but sometimes he’s the one responsible for the crashes.
Many times I’ve seen a little foot jab out to push Bryce on the chest and back down on to the floor. Devin has had to sit down by himself often these past couple weeks because he’s come up to Bryce and smacked him on top of the head. Sometimes it’s because Bryce wants whatever Devin has, but sometimes for no reason that I can see. Devin has come back to apologize to Bryce, and once he told me he was sorry after telling Bryce because I told him how I was upset and sad that he hit Bryce. It was so very sweet. When he asks me to lay down with him, I just can’t say no!

I think I’ll end here for now. I’ve been in contact with Tim and he arrived safely in Palm Springs earlier this afternoon. There’s nothing on his agenda until tomorrow morning, so he’s taking it easy until then.

There’s still plenty of week left for any of you that wants to stay with us!

Hope everyone is well. Write when you can, I love to get your emails.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hello everyone.

We, and the house, have finally recovered from a stomach virus. I’m so glad it was 60 degrees here yesterday! I was able to open all the windows and air out my house. Hopefully all the bad air was flushed out and we’re starting out fresh!

It all began back on Tuesday, when Bryce started throwing up. It’s just sooooo wonderful (insert sarcasm here) to be holding a baby and all the sudden, not once, but twice, you’re thrown up on. The only thing I had going for me is that breast milk, digested or not, doesn’t smell! Tim on the other hand, such a great dad! I started having symptoms about 4:00 on Wednesday. Devin started right before he went to bed that same night. I could not respond to Devin well, so Tim ended up making a bed on the floor in Devin’s room and helping him get through the night. So, he dealt with toddler vomit and ended up sleeping in the next morning with Dev and then staying home that day as I was still in no shape when I was running to the bathroom myself. Devin’s only indication of what was going on in his tummy was opening his mouth, or covering it with a hand. If I was there, I’d try to get him to the tile floor in the kitchen. Tim just let him puke on the carpet or tried to catch it in a towel. We do have, and used it often, a carpet cleaner, but it’s much easier to clean up on tile!

I was watching Hunter and asking him how he felt. He seemed fine and said he was fine. He had a snow day on Wednesday and on Thursday he went to school. He came home with a note from the school nurse saying he had complained about a stomach ache. When I asked him he said he stomach did feel a little funny. He couldn’t tell me the difference though between hunger pains and sick pains. But we soon found out when, while doing his homework, he took off for the bathroom. He really freaked me out when I noticed his vomit was bright red! When he was done he did tell me that he had had birthday cookies while at school and they had been red. Then the kid went back to the table to finish his homework! I told him to go lay down in his room, and he was asleep not long after that.

Between towels, clothes adult and kid sizes, I did a lot of laundry in a short amount of time! It lingered in Devin the longest, but being two, we couldn’t get him to rest like we wanted him to. He was running around with Knight, jumping from chair to couch to floor, playing in one room and then another, then suddenly he’d go from laughing one second, to a little whine the next, and then it’s all over the floor. Sometimes he was very upset about it, other times he’d just say, “Mama, come here!” and then I’d see it in his lap.

Mark! They are only sick every so often! It’s not always dirty butts and vomit, I promise!

Hunter has an appointment early next week with the optometrist. His blue eyes will probably be behind a pair of glasses like me.

I also learned about a martial arts therapeutic program I might get Hunter involved in. It’s kind of expensive, but I also know of a program called The Family Resource Fund in our county where I’m told that kids on the spectrum can get up to $1,700.00 toward programs such as this. I have more information about it coming to me in the mail. I have a website address –
http://www.insightwellness.org/movement_class.php, but it doesn’t go into a lot of detail. Hunter would be enrolled in the one called “TKD Fusion, for Attention Issues Ages 6-16.” It’s a 12 week program with a new class starting this week.

I’m not getting as much heck from Devin when I try to get him into the van. He loves to be outside, but now he likes to tell me which way to turn (he did get us there eventually!) and to stop/go when we get to a traffic light. Oh, boy was he made at me when I turned right on a red light!

As you’ll see in the pictures, Bryce is standing! Stop the clock, BACK UP! Oh, man, he’s not my baby anymore! He’s eating more table foods, getting stinkier poo, cruising around very fast, and now he’s pulling himself up to standing. I need to figure out what Hunter did to my camera so I can take a video. Right now, they all turn out like we’re part of Alvin and the Chipmunks!

What are any, or all, of you doing next week? Tim will be gone to a conference in California from Monday the 10th thru Saturday the 16th. He’s doesn’t seem to be looking forward to be gone that long. He probably told me what he would be doing, but I’m afraid it went in one ear and out the other! Sorry, Sweetie! All I know is that he’s going to Palm Springs, which is a couple hours north of Los Angeles, and I can’t go with him to see The Ellen DeGenerous Show! I watch her every day! He did say I could go with him if I really wanted to, but, alas, the boys. Oh, well. I’d probably freak out being there anyway, with all the people and having to wait in line for so long. With my luck, I’d probably travel all that way, wait all that long, and only get into what’s called the Riff Raff room; the home of the rejects. Overflow from the studio audience.

Well, I need to get the boys ready to go into town. I have some orders and books to mail out. Our foot of snow is gone and now it’s raining.

Take care!