receiving Christmas cards and letters in the mail. I always love receiving them. Thank you to those who have taken the time to do this! I really appreciate the effort it takes and I'm sorry I haven't sent cards or letters over the past several years. Perhaps I will manage to do this again someday.
attending Christmas lunches on Tuesday and Wednesday -- one with my coworkers and Susan at Siam Thai restaurant, and one with my larger Take-to-Market work group, which was catered by Opa (Greek).
going out for coffee with Nicole, my manager for the past few years, on my last day of work in the Communications group (for a year).
attending my first team meeting with the Strategy group on Thursday. I'm really looking forward to working in this area and starting a new type of work in January. We went for lunch at The Last Straw, and after the formal agenda, we went target shooting at the Wascana Pistol Club. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to shoot a gun, but it was kind of fun! (And I was pretty good at it!) We shot 30 rounds with a 22 hand gun, and then I got to shoot a biathalon rifle. One member of my new work group competes in biathalons, so he brought his rifle for all of us to try. I learned that I am much too weak to hold the rifle steady for five shots!
attending Sophia, Madeline, and Bronwyn's school Christmas concert on Thursday evening. I really enjoyed the show which was full of music and dance. It was a depiction of everything leading up to the birth of Christ. Madeline's class wore placards with different fruits and Madeline was a pear. Sophia played the xylophone for one act. Unfortunately, we could not see her from our seats. The gym was so full (more than 1000 people with the students), they had to set up extra seating which blocked our view of the 3rd grade musicians. Fortunately, we saw her later when all the students gathered for the finale.
attending Georgia's Christmas concert and party on Friday morning. All three preschool classes and their parents gathered in the school gym. The students sang five little songs in French. It was very cute! There were three pinatas for the kids (one for each class) and each child received a gift from Santa (who dropped them off at the door). There was also a big buffet of food as most families brought something. Georgia had a great time at the party, as did Neil and I.
finally driving away from the city on Saturday morning after a grueling week!
eating turkey sandwiches for lunch -- as in, turkey cooked at home, not from the deli counter. Neil bought turkey breast filets from Costco and prepared them as follows: add VE Turkey Rub to the filets (4) and place them in a pan with about 1.75 cups of turkey broth; cover the pan and cook in 400F oven until thermometer reads 165F (30-45 minutes). It was just like having home-roasted turkey in a sandwich.
going to the Willow on Wascana Thursday afternoon for a little Christmas party for my work department, hosted by Brown Communications (ad agency). There were four different appetizers and I enjoyed them all, but my favourite was the phyllo-wrapped goat cheese and mushrooms with caramelized onions on top. Yum!
getting my new glasses on Thursday (as well as Neil getting his). When I picked them up I wasn't 100% in love with them -- blaming it on the fact that we had just a few minutes to choose frames last Saturday with all three kids in tow -- but they've grown on me and I quite like them now. They're navy blue and frameless on the bottom. Pretty basic.
having a 3-day weekend. I needed every minute of it!
checking things off my long to-do list which includes everything I need(ed) to do between Dec 5 and 18. It's good to see my progress on that list.
seeing my parents and my brother and his family in Yellow Grass on Saturday for an early Christmas celebration. We had a wonderful turkey dinner (parts contributed by all three families which is a great way to do it!), and the six cousins had lots of fun together, as always. I enjoyed the game of Uno we played in the evening, but was sorry Robyn and Kacy couldn't participate. Poor Kacy came down with a stomach ailment in the evening and was pretty ill. I hope she's feeling better now! (so far, so good at our house!)
having lots of photos to choose from for the final installment of my 2009 12-of-12 scrapbooking project. With our family gathering, December 12 was a great day for taking photos! I look forward to putting my December layout together, but I won't have time until mid-January at the earliest.
getting all of our clothes packed on Sunday. Oh, how I dread the task of packing. And I think clothing is the worst part, so I'm glad to have that done. I still have shoes, swimming stuff, car entertainment, gifts, food, etc., etc. to pack... and that will consume most of my spare time this week.
seeing Madeline perform in her MYC music recital on Sunday. She sang a song with her classmates (The Littlest Angel), played a short piano solo (Christmas Night), and played a wooden instrument in a rhythm ensemble (Jolly Old Saint Nicholas) with her class and another class. The whole recital was very nice. It was about 45 minutes long and we enjoyed lots of Christmas music from several different levels of students.
deciding (rather hastily, I must say) to get an Australian Shepherd puppy in January! (I'll write more about this decision later.) I am totally excited about it, as is the rest of my family, but I can't help but feel we're a bit crazy to be doing this. We have never had a small puppy before (Sherlock was five months and house-trained when he came to us), and this dog (especially this breed) will require a great deal of exercise and attention from us for many years to come. I know it'll be wonderful to have a dog again, but I also know it's a HUGE responsibility! We have only seen a photo of our puppy taken by my Mom. I'm really looking forward to seeing him in person!
Hmmm, I think this blog will soon feature our adventures in raising an Australian Shepherd puppy! Oh, but first... our adventures in driving to the southern tip of Texas and back. (Yes, our life seems extra crazy right now!) I have not yet decided how much detail to include. It's very time-consuming to document each day of a trip -- and so a big part of me would like to skip it -- but I do like having a record. We'll see.
going out to the mall for a coffee break with Susan, my coworker who retired in October, and my coworkers Beryl and Erin.
receiving welcome messages from many members the work group I'll be joining in January, and lots of congrat's from people in person, and via email, blog, and Twitter. Thanks everyone!
using my free time at Sophia's guitar lesson to assemble some Christmas cards. (I did this again tonight.) I just can't seem to find time to do this at home.
receiving a bunch of great advice about the DSs. Thanks Robyn, Sally, Tracy, and Kim! We bought headphones for all three girls (and we can set the maximum volume on them; I like that) and some extras styluses. Neil has started figuring out some of the games. I'm really glad this is happening ahead of departure
filling our Advent calendar with Holiday Mint M&Ms and hanging it up for the girls.
making and eating peanut butter cookies. It's been a very very long time since I last ate a peanut butter cookie. They're pretty rare these days, aren't they? They are in my world, anyway. They went over well with the kids and my cookie club on Thursday.
going to my office Christmas party on Friday evening. It was a pretty casual affair at The Shark Tank above Habanos, with a Ukranian meal (perogies, cabbage rolls, sausages, buns) catered by Peg's kitchen. Neil and I enjoyed visiting with my coworkers and their spouses, and it was nice to hear that about $8,000 (in cash & merchandise) had been raised by the Marketing department for this year's charity challenge.
wearing my long down-filled coat on cold days. It's so cozy and I'm lucky to have it. After a very mild November, it looks like winter has definitely arrived. Temperatures were dipping into the minus 20s last week (and today the wind chill was around -30).
creating my master to-do list for the next two weeks. Although the list is very long and a bit overwhelming, just getting everything written down in one spot alleviates some of my stress. It is SO hard to get ready for Christmas and a long road trip at the same time, while working. I need a week off NOW, before we leave! Our poor neglected house looks awful, and I have just one day (this Friday) to try to clean it all. Wish me luck. I'm gonna need it!
almost finishing my Christmas shopping on the weekend (being totally done would have been better, but I'll take it). I did the vast majority of my shopping on Saturday and Sunday on the east side and south end of Regina. It was pretty busy out there, but not quite as bad as I thought it might be. I think expecting the worst can really help make the experience more tolerable.
seeing the girls in the church Christmas celebration on Sunday afternoon. Sophia was the "head angel," Gabriel; Madeline was the "head wise man" (she got to point at the star); and Georgia was an angel -- and she was quite angelic! She kept her hands in prayer position in front of her chin and lips almost the whole time she was in front of the audience. So cute!
seeing Sophia and Madeline's report cards and talking to their teachers on Friday. I'm so proud of my girls! They are both doing well in school and their teachers speak highly of their effort and attitude with respect to their school work, and their good nature with friends. So nice to hear! (And we weren't surprised to hear these concerns: Sophia doesn't take good care of her personal belongings and her desk is very messy (hmmm, I'm sure she didn't get that from me!), and Madeline does not like being wrong; she's a bit thin-skinned when corrected (I may be a bit familiar with that feeling.)
applying for two temporary in-charge manager jobs on Wednesday and then being offered one of them on Friday! For one year beginning January 2010, my title will be Market Manager - Strategy. I am so excited about this job! I really needed a change in my work and this is a fantastic opportunity for me to gain valuable experience. Also, from what I've seen and heard, the team I'm joining is great to work with.
being very supported and encouraged by my manager in my bid for those positions. She's been awesome -- especially since my leaving will certainly create challenges for her as she has to fill my spot for a year. I really hope it's not too difficult.
eating the butter that Georgia made in her preschool class. She brought home quite a bit, and it was really good on my toasted bagel. Very sweet and fresh tasting.
hearing about Neil's presentations in three preschool classes. Georgia's preschool is working on a farming unit right now and Neil volunteered to talk about non-traditional livestock: bison, elk, deer, and wild boar. He takes several props to make it more interesting: a bison skull (always the favourite among children!), bison hair, a bison hoof print casting, deer antlers, elk antlers, a boar-bristle brush, and photos of the four types of animals.
getting some of our messy basement cleaned up (though not nearly as much as I would have liked). At least it's a start. I always wonder why we leave it so long.
upgrading my Photoshop Elements program from version 4 to 8. Merry Christmas to me! I use this program a lot (and I love it), so it was nice to finally get the latest. I decided to nab it this weekend because it was $20 off, plus another $20 mail-in rebate.
seeing Darren, Ali, Gabriel, and Rhonda at a Grey Cup party at D & A's house. It's crazy how long it had been since we last saw them. The kids seemed to have a lot of fun playing together while the adults watched the game. There were seven kids in total with Gabe, Bronwyn, ours, and two more little boys whose parents were watching the game with us.
starting to prepare for Christmas, finally. Christmas was off my radar until I realized last week that I'd better get crackin'. I have to be ready a week ahead of Christmas and some things sooner than that. We're not putting up a tree this year, but I really should get out some decorations for the kids, shouldn't I? (It wouldn't bother me to leave it all in storage for one year.)
sewing on a scrapbook layout. I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but avoided it because I knew it would take some courage the first time, and I don't like my sewing machine (mostly because I can't seem to get the bobbin tension right, even though I've followed the manual to the letter). Anyway, I decided to do it this weekend (inspired by the class I'm taking), so I dusted off my machine, re-learned how to thread everything, and gave it a shot. I love how it turned out!
seeing the kids play with Perler beads for several hours this weekend. The beads had been out of sight, out of mind for many months (perhaps a year), but they rediscovered them last week when Neil and I cleaned up the toy room. It's good that they had a nice long break from this craft. Now, all three girls are much more focused and capable of sitting there long enough to complete a design. It's amazing how well Georgia does with stuff like this. (I'm not so thrilled about all the beads on the floor. Oh well.)
feeling well. I was amazed by how totally awake and energized I felt on Monday after feeling drained for more than a week. I didn't get sleepy in the afternoon at work, I didn't fall asleep with the girls in the evening (I do 95% of the time), and I didn't even feel like going to bed at bedtime. (And I had not consumed more coffee than usual!)
receiving my 2007 Blurb books in the mail. I love having my blog posts (text and photos) printed as my "record books" (this is what my grandparents called the journals they kept). I blogged a lot that year so there are 390 pages total (and that's with 9 pt text).
ordering a Leapster 2 for Georgia through Airmiles (yes, Sally, we do this often, but I didn't have enough points left for a DSi because we just ordered some stuff a few weeks ago!). This will be awesome for our upcoming road trip -- as well as the two DS(i)s we bought Friday. I'll write more on this later.
taking Friday afternoon off. I really needed to get some stuff done, and I love leaving work at noon.
making the decision to stop selling Epicure Selections. I love the products and we use them all the time, but it was costing me a bit too much each time I had to top up any orders received from others with our own order -- to achieve the minimum sales to stay "active". Plus, I need to simplify. My to-do list is very long and this felt like an obligation I could do without. I just didn't put enough effort into this business to make it worthwhile. It was a good learning experience though!
getting our toy storage room in the basement sorted out. It had been a toy dumping ground for too long and we couldn't even walk in there. It took us (Neil and me; the girls weren't much help) several hours to clean it up over two weekends. NOW (well, ASAP): Out with the baby toys! Out with the junky toys! Out with 20 balls! Out with 50 stuffed animals! Out with 100 bracelets! (I'm estimating 50% on the last three).
making my November 12-of-12 scrapbook page. Eleven out of twelve completed! I'm so glad I did this project in 2009. I absolutely love it!
seeing the sea of green and all the creative costumes as we drove Neil to the game. I do get a kick out of this every single time. I'm quite sure there's no place like Regina on game day!
seeing the Riders win the Western Final. I'm excited for everyone who is excited about this. My husband in particular! I convinced the girls to watch (sort of) the last five minutes of football time. They wouldn't hear of it earlier. For the last minute (i.e., ~ 8 minutes in real time), the girls sat outside on the front sidewalk waiting to to hear the crowd from the stadium. (Unfortunately, they couldn't; I guess the conditions weren't right because sometimes we can.)
seeing Neil walk through the door only one hour after the game. I love it when he walks home rather than going out afterwards. It was nice to see his excitement, too. He was over the moon!
finishing baking a bunch of cookies on Sunday. I'm not an enthusiastic baker, so the finishing part is my favourite. Well, maybe the eating part. :) I made two different kinds of cookies -- Grandma Louise's oatmeal chocolate chip and ginger snaps, and they were pretty big batches so it took a long time. I needed cookies for a couple of things coming up soon, and some to take on our trip, so they all went in the freezer (except the ones I gave to the girls).
working on the week 8 layout for Yesterday & Today. It's one of my favourite layouts.
seeing Sophia with her nose in a book -- not once, but several times! This is not something we've seen before. First she was reading a Junie B., First Grader (Barbara Park) book that I had read to the girls last year, and then she read a Frankie K. Stein Mad Scientist (Jim Benton) book very quickly. She absolutely loved it. It's so nice to see her reading for fun.
having Monday off because I worked the previous Friday (I was
attending a conference). I took Georgia for her H1N1 vaccination that morning
(the first day for her age group) as it was my only
opportunity all week. We had to wait a couple hours, but I was glad to
get it done first thing and have the rest of the day at home.
sending a big box of children's shoes (sizes 3 to 9) with Donna and Lou to give away in Mexico. They are also taking a bunch of baby clothes I had given them earlier, and I'm hoping to take more with us when we go to Texas in December.
seeing my sister-in-law, Shauna, who came from Edmonton to visit for a few days. (Also, it was very nice of her to bring me some scrapbooking supplies so I wouldn't have to order them from the U.S. and pay a huge fee for shipping. Thanks again Shauna!)
ordering three books from Blurb -- everything posted on my blog in 2007 (Volumes 9, 10, and 11). That was when I was posting photos daily and I wrote a bunch of other stuff. I'm amazed at how much I posted that year.
having supper at L&B's and hanging out with Laurel and Shauna (and the kids) on Saturday evening while Neil was at the Rider game.
reading happy status updates on fb after the big Rider W on
Saturday. It's great that the Riders are #1 in the west for the first
time since 1976. I really hope they win the next TWO games! And then
I'll be really happy to see THE END of football obsession for this year. ;-)
seeing Madeline's eagerness to do her French reading homework (La Roue). For two months, she wouldn't even bring it home from school every day even though she was supposed to, and now she's absolutely determined to work on it every day. And she wants to do it for a long time. Plus she wants to practice piano every day. It's incredible! (Now, if only I could channel some of that homework/practice ethic into Sophia...)
enjoying my dance class after missing a week. I'm working on four dances. Four! That's almost too much for my brain. A four-couple ceili dance that I can't remember the name of right now, Ita's Reel (soft shoe), a treble reel (hard shoe), and now Blackbird (hard shoe). And I still work on my dances from last year, especially Slip Jig (soft shoe) and St. Patrick's Day (hard shoe) 'cause I definitely don't have them down.
seeing the girls' school photos, although Madeline needs a retake. Sophia's are very nice.
buying a nice winter jacket for Sophia with an HBC gift card I ordered from Airmiles. Love that!
getting the whole front yard raked and the leaves picked up -- finally. It was really bugging me to have the leaves sitting there on the lawn, too wet to deal with for most of the month.
working on the layout assignments for Ali Edwards' Yesterday & Today class. I can't believe I almost didn't take it. I think the layouts are brilliant, and it's been great to use some old photos and get more childhood memories documented. Fresh from doing Me: The Abridged Version, I felt like, "enough about me! I want to scrapbook about my kids now!" but I think these Yesterday & Today layouts are totally worthwhile. I will definitely have ME covered in my scrapbooks, and then I can focus on my girls, vacations, and Neil (I want to do something with his childhood photos, too).
going to a fall supper at L&B's church. The food was really good (especially the homemade rhubarb pie I had for dessert!) and it was nice to have supper with Laurel and Bronwyn.
seeing the girls enjoy decorating our house for Halloween last evening. They had so much fun. I put their Halloween artwork from past years up on our bulletin boards (taking down old artwork in the process), but they did everything else. We now have fake spider webs and spiders all over the place, which we've never done before. I had bought the web stuff last year for Sophia's costume.
receiving big heartfelt hugs from my kids Thursday morning. So nice! They had gone to Avonlea on Sunday, so I hadn't seen them for almost four days.
attending my coworker's retirement lunch at Beer Brothers on Thursday. I'm happy for Susan, but sad to see her go! Work won't be the same without her.
seeing the end of Madeline's stomach illness Thursday. (I can make a highlight out of almost anything!) In case you didn't see my status update, she threw up at the optometrist's office while getting her eyes checked in the afternoon. I wasn't there, but feel very sorry for everyone involved! She was quite ill for almost nine hours, but then her stomach settled at 12:30 a.m. and she slept the rest of the night. I'm so glad no one else came down with this bug!
getting some fun photos of my girls at the Pats game on Friday night. Sophia sang O Canada with her school- mates before the game, and both Sophia and Madeline enjoyed sitting with friends and cheering on the Pats. Georgia totally loved being at the game, too. I don't think she was bored for even a minute!
giving the girls Ugly Dolls that I bought in Las Vegas (at F.A.O. Schwarz in the Forum Shops). I gave Sophia Winkolina, Madeline Trunko, and Georgia Gato Deluxe, and they love love love them! I'm so glad. Only Sophia had heard of Ugly Dolls before b/c one of her friends has one. (I had seen them on the internet previously.)
enjoying the beautiful weather on Saturday afternoon while I took the girls around our neighbourhood to sell Girl Guide Cookies. We sold 2.5 cases that day, and now have just two boxes left. :)
going to Weyburn on Sunday to visit my Grandma Mantay and celebrate her 90th birthday. It was great to see her and I think she is doing very very well for 90! Grandma was expecting us because I had called her last week, but then we kind of surprised her with a little party. My mom brought a birthday cake about 30 minutes after we arrived, and two of my aunts from Weyburn, and my sister-in-law, nieces, and nephew from YG all came along a few minutes later. It was nice to see everyone! (Wish my brother could have been there too; he's still in Australia.)
going to Las Vegas for a couple days to attend a workshop. It was fun to go and see the spectacle of Vegas once again (I was last there in 1998 for my brother's wedding), and eat some great food, but I must say that I don't desire to travel often for work -- without my family. I really wanted them to see what I was seeing! I'm really glad I got to go though. I hadn't traveled for work for 10 years (previously, Ottawa and Winnipeg a couple times).
attending the NN/g Usability Week conference and Content Usability workshop at Caesars Palace. The workshop was pretty good; I learned some useful things (although not a huge amount, perhaps because I often read about usability anyway). There was another workshop (re: brand tone of voice) that might have been more valuable to me. Fortunately, I was able to get the book from that one. The conference itself was very nice. Breakfast, lunch, coffee, and snacks (am & pm) were supplied and everything was wonderful! For example, the morning break included yogurt parfaits with fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and granola, and the coffee bar had whipped creme, shaved chocolate, cinnamon sticks, and more. No plastic dishes or cutlery either.
savouring the quietness of my hotel room. This is too rare for me not to enjoy it!
walking along the strip, and within the Fashion Show Mall and Forum Shops, on Tuesday evening. Las Vegas is such a sight to see! I do love seeing all the lights, fountains, waterfalls, and so on. People watching was fun, too. (Some people wear bizarre things!) I didn't do any gambling, and I decided against seeing a show since my time was very limited and there's much to see for free anyway. Instead, I chose to spend money on a pair of shoes for myself and Ugly Dolls for my kids.
eating a meal at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill within Caesars Palace. This was a real treat! I had an Amstel Light beer, three kinds of bread with butter (set on the table, gratis; the jalepeño bread was especially yummy), Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno with Roasted Eggplant + Manchego Cheese with Sweet Red Pepper Sauce + Balsamic Vinegar (entree), Chorizo-Goat Cheese Tamale with Thyme Butter (side dish), and Blackberry-Mango Crostada with Blackberry Coulis + Vanilla-Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream (dessert). Yes, I was stuffed after all this! Every bite was wonderful -- especially the Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno. Absolutely one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten.
getting home safe and sound Wednesday night. I don't mind flying, but some flight delays had me feeling a bit uneasy and helpless. My flight from Denver to Regina was delayed a couple of times due to the plane having mechanical problems in Wichita. I think they actually changed the plane in Kansas, but then they announced the flight was weight restricted because it was carrying extra fuel -- just in case we couldn't land in Regina (due to weather) and would have to turn around and go to Great Falls, Montana for the night. Huh?! I was so happy when we finally landed in Regina! (just before midnight, two hours later than scheduled)
attending a reading information night for parents of grade one students. I thought the presentation about reading to children and about the La Roue reading program used in French immersion was interesting and valuable. They didn't have this session when Sophia was in grade one.
eating homemade pumpkin pie after Neil received a whole pie at school! Sophia's teacher made pies to share with the grade three class on Wednesday. There were two or three pies left over and she gave one to Neil to thank him for the supervision he does at lunchtime. (Unfortunately, Neil doesn't like pumpkin pie but the rest of us do!)
attending a presentation on Gen Y by Jason Dorsey. His talk was funny and engaging. The almost two-hour presentation flew by. It was interesting to hear more about generational differences.
going out for coffee with my manager and coworkers to celebrate my 15th anniversary at SaskTel.
watching the slide show for lesson two of Ali Edwards' Yesterday & Today class, and getting excited to do the first layout which requires scanning in some old photos. Good thing I got my scanner working again last month!
looking through some photos from my childhood. I'm very glad I had obtained some albums from Mom in the spring (or last year?). I do need to remove a lot of photos from magnetic albums and that's going to be quite a bit of work. A winter project, I think.
selling the last of the washable diapers. So happy that's done! I had 35 for sale (15 of ours and 20 of my sister-in-law's), and it took seven weeks and four buyers to sell them all. I had posted on UsedRegina.com and Kijiji. All the buyers came from UsedRegina.com.
finishing Me: The Abridged Version (MeTAV) in both paper (almost) and digital. I decided to create a digi version for backup purposes and to share more easily; plus, I don't have the right letter stickers for my paper version yet. (If you have access to my Shutterfly share site, you can access my MeTAV album from there.)
getting September photos selected and uploaded, and completing my
September 12-of-12 page. So glad to have those monthly tasks done! It
feels good to be caught up once again.
checking in for my flight to Las Vegas online. Web check-in = awesome! Yes, I have not flown since this was an option. I'm pretty excited to be going on this trip and attending a full-day training session on content usability (i.e., writing for the web). It's a topic in which I'm very interested.
enjoying the lovely supper Neil made for me last night (Sunday) while the kids were in Avonlea (thanks to Neil's parents who took the girls to stay overnight and have Thanksgiving dinner today!). He made grilled turkey breasts, lettuce salad, spaghetti squash, and smashed potatoes (they're baked, then squashed and drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then baked again for a few minutes). Yum! This was my Thanksgiving dinner.
getting tickets for Def Leppard and Cheap Trick! Although Neil is not really a fan of these groups, he hunted down a pre-sale code so he could secure good seats for us. I have to admit I'm not thrilled about spending more money on concerts this year, but at least AC/DC and Def Leppard combined was just about the same as our refund for Aerosmith. (I'm kinda glad that one was canceled.) I'm sure I won't need to go to another concert for a long time!
getting two grocery bags full of garden carrots from Sally. Thanks again, Sally! We're enjoying them very much. I'm not sure why we haven't grown some carrots ourselves. Perhaps next year.
printing the photos and assembling all 26 alphabet pages for Me: The Abridged Version. This album has been a TON of work -- like having a second job over the past five weeks -- but so very worth it! Now, I just have the title and final pages to complete. Yay! I was determined to finish before I go to Vegas and I will.
taking the girls to K4J Friday evening and seeing them do their skit and song at the end. So cute! And a great message: forgive and forget.
watching the keynote presentation and doing the first task for Ali Edwards' BPS class, Yesterday & Today. I really tried to resist signing up for this class, but I'm glad I decided to go for it. I'm sure it's going to be wonderful! And with just one layout a week for 12 weeks, I think I can manage it, and I know the end result will be worthwhile.
learning that Neil got a deer on his hunting excursion on Friday, so he wouldn't need to go out again on Saturday. Plus, we'll make deer sausage soon and it's really good! We haven't had any for ages.
joining an online challenge called LOAD (LayOut A Day for a month) and seeing all the wonderful scrapbook pages being posted daily since October 1. I'm enjoying the daily email, too. I knew I wouldn't be able to actually create and post a layout every day this month, but I did commit to doing something each day that contributes to a layout. I may attempt to fully participate the next time it's offered!
taking Sophia and Madeline to Marsh Madness, a Sparks (Girl Guides) event, on Saturday. I'm so glad Madeline's leader called Friday and invited Sophia to join them for the day. They both really enjoyed it, and it was great that the weather was nice (cool, but no wind or rain) as they were outside for six hours. They each made a flower press and other crafts, and both were singing songs they'd learned for the rest of the weekend.
accomplishing lots and lots of housework on the weekend (although, as always, I was dismayed by how quickly my efforts were undone. Honestly, almost nothing in our house stays clean or tidy for more than a few minutes!).
seeing Madeline get excited about the little sequences and songs she can now play on the piano! She likes the colouring and crafty homework okay, but she's really eager to make music. So good to see -- and hear!
taking Sophia to her first guitar lesson at the Conservatory. She seemed to enjoy it and her teacher seemed very nice and incredibly patient with his seven or eight beginner students. (It's amazing how many times he said "you need to listen to the sound before you turn it" without raising his voice!)
eating homemade pizza for our portable supper Monday evening. With guitar and two dance classes, Monday nights are portable-supper nights from now on.
watching Madeline's delightful (and rather hilarious) song and dance that went on for several minutes in an effort to distract me from looking toward the house where the other girls were preparing my birthday gifts.
receiving birthday gifts from my children when I got home from work on Tuesday (after the Madeline show!): a layer cake made from play dough (each layer a different colour, and shaped using our Tupperware hamburger press), two flat rocks with messages written on them, a quarter, and homemade cards from all the girls, including Bronwyn. I love my gifts! (Oh, and the next day I received about 15 more rocks with happy faces and words written on them with a Sharpie.)
receiving many birthday messages throughout the day on Tuesday, mostly via Facebook, but also in person, email, and a phone call from Dad.
starting to learn a treble reel (hard shoe) in my dance class. This dance is going to be a lot of fun -- if I can get it! Also, I have a new teacher this year and it was fun to do his "patented" warm-up for a change. It's quite different from the past two years.
eating a beautiful and yummy bittersweet chocolate ganache cupcake from Koko Patisserie for my birthday. (The rest of my family ate cupcakes from Sobey's.)
printing my entries for Me: The Abridged Version while Neil took the girls to the Science Centre Friday afternoon (yay!). I had worked on proof-reading and editing my entries all week; it was good to stop editing and hit print. On the weekend, I also took photos and looked for photos to accompany my entries. I thought it would take forever to nail down 52 photos (two per letter), but it's not taking as long as I expected. I only have 5-10 more to find (or screenshots to capture).
getting $200 worth of shoes for the children (six pairs) for $45! The Bay had an extra 25% off the last ticketed price. I think some of the shoes were overpriced to start with, but the price I paid was great!
seeing family in Yellow Grass on Saturday, including my Grandma Byrns who was visiting from Saskatoon (but, unfortunately, not including my brother who had to go to Australia for work). Mom had picked up an ice cream cake to celebrate my niece's birthday and mine (which was quite a surprise for me because I had already forgotten about my birthday).
having a good laugh when Georgia announced loudly, "I sucked on it!"-- after she gave Sophia some of the hard chocolate from her piece of ice cream cake, and after Sophia had put it in her mouth. I don't know if that sounds funny, but it seemed very funny at the time!
starting two new books with Sophia and Madeline at bedtime: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Little Women (which we picked up, along with Black Beauty, for $1 each at Target in the summer). I would have preferred to read one and then the other, but there was too much disagreement over which one to read first, so I'm reading a chapter from each every night. (The chapters aren't too long as they're adapted for young readers.) I'm delighted to be reading these classics to the girls as I've never read them before.
learning that Def Leppard and Cheap Trick are coming to Regina. Of course I want to go! I had a ticket to see Def Leppard in Saskatoon in 1992 but I couldn't go; I was in the hospital with a perforated appendix!
attending a lunch 'n' learn at work on Wednesday in which Lyndon J. Linklater from the Speaker's Bureau of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner spoke about First Nations beliefs and treaties in Canada. Of course, he could only scratch the surface of these topics in one hour. He's a great speaker and story-teller. I really enjoyed it.
making the best cookies ever: Grandma Louise's chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal, almonds, coconut, dark chocolate... I made the full recipe which is HUGE -- more than 24 cups of ingredients combined. It took a long time to get them all baked! I took some for my Cookie Club on Thursday (the impetus for baking them) and still put many dozens of cookies in our freezer. This was a first for me since I rarely bake and I've never made such a large batch of anything.
having Friday off work. I seemed to need it more than ever last week.
getting a whole truck-box load of wood chips from the city for only $5 on Saturday. It covered the whole area under the spruce tree in our front yard as well as the bed in front of the house where our bulbs will go.
enjoying the gorgeous weather we had all week. It was a record-breaking 33.6 C on Saturday. Wow!
visiting Grandma Louise (who's 94) in the hospital and seeing that she looked pretty well. She had a bleeding ulcer which has been fixed up.
taking Madeline and Georgia for a stroll through a nearby community garden (Sophia was at a friend's house). It's on Queen Street which isn't far from us, but I wouldn't have known it was there if Neil's Aunt Glenys hadn't told us about it. It's so neat to see what people are growing in all the plots. Plus, a lady there told us to help ourselves to her beets because she had more than she could use. We pulled a few and the girls were very excited to carry them to the van. They're eager to show this garden to Neil and Sophia, too.
getting Sophia to have a bath on Sunday without too much fuss. It's amazing how much she still resists bathing (even though she loves water) and how miserable an evening can be if we have conflicting agendas! She's slightly more agreeable to showering, but a shower doesn't quite cut it these days because her feet and hands need to soak. Perhaps we can let her shower more once there's snow on the ground.
finishing all the writing and major editing of my entries for Me: The Abridged Version. It was a lot of writing to do over a few short weeks (about 320-350 words for each letter of the alphabet), and it was challenging to keep plugging away at it, but I'm so glad I did! Even if I just printed it all out on plain paper and put a staple at the top, I'd have something pretty special.
EDIT - how could I forget? getting my travel request approved to go to Las Vegas in October for training! I will be attending a workshop on content usability (writing for the web) at the Nielson Norman Group Usability Week conference. Looking forward to it!
attending Madeline's first music class (Music for Young Children - Sunbeams 1). We sure learned a lot in one hour! I'm glad I get to attend all the classes with Madeline because I know very little about music. There is quite a bit of homework with this class, but it's fun stuff. The challenge, of course, will be getting it done each week.
attending the school's welcome-back picnic / meet-the-teacher night. The weather was great for this event. Also, there was a bit of extra excitement when a baby, while held in her mother's arms, reached out and pulled a fire alarm. The kids got to see a real firetruck arrive at the scene!
finishing up all of my August photo-keeping activities.
starting a new Big Picture Scrapbooking class called Me: The Abridged Version, taught by Cathy Zielske. The album I will create through this class is going to be very cool! I have already established a good list of potential entries for every letter of the alphabet. Now I need to get busy and do the writing. I'm having a little trouble finding the time to do this, but I will make time somehow, as I know the outcome will be worthwhile.
enjoying absolutely fantastic summer weather! (finally!) I took the girls to our neighbourhood park one evening and while we were there I kept thinking the weather could NOT be more perfect. Just beautiful. Another evening, I took the girls for a walk/bike ride along the paved bike path that's not too far from our house. It's about 3.5 km round trip.
selling more of our Kooshies Ultra diapers. After putting this off for so long, it feels extra good to have this task in progress, at least. I have sold two batches, but still have 10 left. Anyone? Here's the ad: http://www.usedregina.com/classified-ad/9977039
attending a members-only event at the Science Centre Saturday morning. Free with our family membership (we love having one; very cost effective), we enjoyed a pancake breakfast outside (again, beautiful weather!), last visit to the Lego exhibit before it leaves, and the Wow Show, which is not normally presented at the Science Centre. All three girls went up and touched the snake, a little boa constrictor. Neil was far away!
going to my parents' farm and catching frogs along the creek with Mom and the girls. The girls loved it -- especially Sophia. (No surprise there!) In her zeal to catch one, Sophia fell down when she couldn't pull her boots fast enough from the black gooey mud. Luckily, she caught herself. Both of her hands went deep into the mud, but she saved her body from hitting it. We caught about a dozen frogs and released them a short time later, after the girls were able to show Neil (who had gone with Dad to Pangman to get parts for the combine). The girls also loved seeing the cats in the shop and having a picnic snack with their grandma.
visiting with Mom and Dad and seeing my nieces and nephews in YG.
learning that I can use my all-in-one printer to scan documents again because my new operating system came with a new printer driver. It has been quite some time since since I could scan stuff (probably since I my last OS upgrade) and I was really missing this feature. I don't need to scan very often, but it's nice to have a scanner when I need one.
having an extra long weekend. It was SO good to have a few days at home.
thinking I might get to go to Vegas for a one-day training session in October. I was actually joking when I mentioned it to my manager because we were talking about how travel has been cut back in recent years, but she thought it was a good idea and suggested I submit a formal request. We'll see!
seeing how excited the girls were to put their school supplies in their backpacks and take them to school. I love new school supplies, too. :-)
taking Thursday morning off, walking the girls to school (we all went), and going to assembly to find out what teachers the girls will have. It was fun to see Sophia's reaction (very positive) upon learning what teachers she'll have (she has two teachers who are job sharing). I'm happy Madeline will have the same teacher for grade one that both Bronwyn and Sophia had. The downside of the morning was seeing how sad my niece was to learn that none of her three best friends would be in the same classroom with her. (She's okay now.)
attending our department co-op student's farewell, and a retirement tea for someone I've known since I started at SaskTel nearly 15 years ago.
getting Irish hard shoes for Sophia (except the price tag: $178. ouch). It's exciting that she and Bronwyn will start hard shoe lessons now in their fifth year of dance. I think they're going to love it! It is fun to make all that noise with your feet. :-)
having L&B and Neil's parents over for supper on Friday, which was basically unplanned until late afternoon. Neil made a great meal of bison burgers, corn on the cob, broccoli salad, and potatoes and carrots in foil. A perfect summer meal.
eating outside Friday, Saturday, and Sunday because the weather was fabulous all weekend. Also, I love that it's just as convenient to use our patio table as our dining room table, and we always clear the patio table immediately and completely. For some reason, we don't do quite so well with the dining room. Hmmm.
having a couple of the girls' friends over to play for more than six hours on Saturday. The girls were occupied and happy all day and I was able to get a bunch of stuff done.
watching a new TV series called Defying Gravity. Neil had watched the pilot and couple more episodes and encouraged me to watch. We watched the first five episodes this week (thank you PVR) and I loved it! We're going to watch the sixth one (recorded last night) tonight. Can't wait!
getting volume 8 of my blog books uploaded and ordered from Blurb. I enjoyed revisiting my blog posts from September to December 2006 and especially got a kick out of seeing this one in which I mentioned AC/DC: Music, lyrics, and life.
updating our family calendar for the new school year (preschool, danceX3, musicX3, girl guidesX2, appointments, events, school days off, birthdays, recycling). It's a big job and I'm glad to have it done. It was wonderful that the girls were at Laurel's Sunday afternoon as I need peace and quiet for this task! Our schedule will be a bit more hectic this fall as we've added music lessons to the same set of activities we had last year, but I don't think it will be too bad.
updating our Macs with OS X Snow Leopard. I love that it only cost $59 to update the operating system on all three of our computers. Snow Leopard was released Friday and we already have it installed! We always upgrade as soon as possible.
registering Sophia for group guitar lessons at the Conservatory (here's more info if anyone else is interested; I think there's room in the beginner pre-teen class). Unfortunately, it's the same night as her dance class with just 30 minutes between them, but she really wants to take guitar. I hope it goes well! (Just learned today that she needs to start with an acoustic guitar in this class; luckily, Neil's dad has one we can restring to left-handed.)
finally getting rid of our bad upright freezer which we've had for 10 years. We had numerous problems with it frosting up way beyond normal very quickly and the door not staying shut. The final straw was that, for the second time in only a month, the door popped open and we had considerable thawing of the top shelf and door contents. So maddening. We replaced it with a smaller chest freezer from Sears.
talking to my Grandma Byrns on her birthday. It had been too long, and I feel terrible that I haven't seen her for a long time, either. I really need to get to Saskatoon to see her sometime, and also finish a scrapbook of old photos that I started for her in April 2006!
setting up my new office at work. It's not a whole lot different than my old office, but it's well situated. Certainly no window office, but I like it alright.
hearing how much the girls (all three) were enjoying the K4J vacation bible school they attended all week (mornings). There were 80 kids at this session of VBS.
attending the final hour of the girls' VBS on Friday and seeing them sing and dance a few songs they learned during the week. So cute!
having supper in Avonlea at Neil's parents' house on Friday and seeing Aunt Dot (from Calgary) whom we hadn't seen for a long time. Laurel brought a bunch of garden vegetables for the meal. We enjoyed Swiss chard, zucchini, beets (roots & tops, seperately), new potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers. I love 'em all. Yum!
plowing through our vacation photos and then some. I'm pleased to have a big head start on selecting and printing August photos because I know I'll be too busy at the beginning of September.
dealing with the giant mess of colouring and crafting supplies in our dining room. Yet another job that was long overdue. I actually got a blister on my finger from sharpening old pencil crayons (no, I didn't have to do that, but I thought it would be nice for the girls' to have a ready supply).
having our friends' nine-year old Golden Retriever, Dozer, at our house for five days over the weekend. He is such a wonderful dog and the girls absolutely loved having him around. Sophia took him for a walk around the block at least every hour of every day that she was available to do it (no kidding, she took him at least 10 times a day). Madeline and Georgia joined her some of the time. Dozer is so well-behaved; he doesn't pull on the leash or try to visit other dogs.
getting tickets for AC/DC -- just a day before the concert! I'm so glad Neil was checking for tickets to go on sale after the stage was set up. I feel VERY lucky that we were able to go. The show was fantastic! (uh-oh, I'm crossing into next week's highlights!)
going to Symphony Under the Sky, a free concert in the park, on Sunday afternoon. We were there from 3:30 to 5:00 (the end), and were lucky to find Neil's aunt and cousin soon after arriving. We were able to spread our blanket and sit right next to them. The girls enjoyed going for a walk during the intermission with Rhonda and Diego. For the 1812 Overture finale, audience members were given paper bags to pop (on cue) in place of cannons going off and it sounded pretty cool! Sophia said she wants to save her popped bag because she was "part of the symphony!"
I typically draft my weekly higlights during my lunch break on Mondays and then finish and post them in the evening, but that's not happening today because today is all about AC/DC! I am totally excited about seeing them tonight! Who Made Who was one of a handful of albums in constant rotation during volleyball warm-ups when I was in high school. Ahhh, good times. I simply couldn't interrupt my anticipation of the concert by reflecting on the past week. After all, I've only had 24 hours to absorb the fact that we're going because we just got tickets yesterday when a few more seats became available. Thanks to Neil for checking Ticketmaster.ca throughout the week!
registering both Madeline and Georgia in Music For Young Children classes. I think they're really going to enjoy them. Thanks, Maureen, for telling me about MYC! It looks like a great program. I'm also working on getting Sophia into group guitar lessons at the Conservatory, but there may be a time conflict with her dance class. Fingers crossed that it works out!
seeing Star Trek with Neil Tuesday evening at the Rainbow. The movie was great and it was Toonie Tuesday! (We didn't know this until we got there.) Four bucks for both of us to see a movie, plus we got a free admission coupon (worth $4) with our popcorn.
having a few quiet mornings while the girls were in Avonlea. I missed my girls while they were away, but I do appreciate silence when I have it! It sounds like the girls had a wonderful time with their grandparents and with Weisshaars who were renting a cabin in the hills.
going out for lunch with my coworkers. It's something we never do. We went to Saigon by Night, a great place for lunch. The food was good and fast to our table.
labeling the girls' school supplies with Mabel's Labels. They look great and it was easier than writing on each item with permanent marker.
setting up a simple homework station for the girls. I think it'll be nice to have a designated area and supplies for doing homework -- and a clear space for homework to be done at a moment's notice (rather than having to clear the table which is in almost-constant use between colouring, crafting, and eating).
packing and purging my office for a floor move. My new office will be just as unspectacular as the old one, but (sadly) I'm quite happy to have any sort of change at work these days.
letting Sophia and Madeline have two friends (sisters, in the same grades as Sophia and Madeline) over for a much-desired sleepover Friday night. The sleepover was short -- just over 13 hours in total (with 9-10 hours of sleeping in there) -- but it was good: lots of smiles and giggles, and no tears.
making banana pancakes (this recipe, plus 1 tsp. vanilla; would definitely make again), oatmeal pancakes (a favourite of mine), and plain pancakes (in our house, this means whole wheat Coyote Buttermilk Pancake Mix) Saturday morning. They went over well with five little girls. And it was nice to have some leftover pancakes for the next day.
going to the Dragonboat Festival saturday morning. It was quite a nice morning except for a few rain showers. There weren't very many children there which was great for us as it meant little or no line-ups for the small petting zoo, bouncers, face painting, and craft area. The kids had a lot of fun. We watched a couple dragonboat races, too.
making our own snow cones (or, aptly renamed, "snow bowls") at home. We had refused to pay $3.00 each for the girls to get snow cones at the festival, so we said we'd make some at home. We picked up cherry, lime, and grape Jello powder (regular and sugar-free) and with each flavour, dissolved a quarter-package in a quarter cup of hot water. We used our fantastic Breville Ikon blender to make snow from ice cubes (both the "snow" and "crushed ice" settings work great). Then we spooned the liquid Jello over the snow. I think they turned out very well!
selecting and printing photos from July. I had taken a ridiculous number of pictures (as usual) -- just over 1000 (I confess). My first cut for highlights was 298 -- way too many -- but I managed to pare it down to 170. That's pretty good for me. I know it's still a crazy number of photos to print for one month. I am working on improving this aspect of my photo-keeping! I would like to get closer to 100 per month.
playing a game of Scrabble online with Cheryl. It had been a long long time since I last played a game (back when it was Scrabulous -- was that the name of it? it's been so long, I can't even remember!)
watching Inkheart with the whole family on Saturday. It was the first time all five of us sat down and watched a movie together. We selected this movie because I read the book to Sophia and Madeline and Neil just finished it a month ago. The book was much better than the movie, but it was still fun to watch it together.
hanging out with Georgia while the rest of our family went to the Rider game Sunday evening. She and I went to Costco for 10 minutes, ate burgers at A&W (her idea; I couldn't resist), and then she helped me swap out her size three clothes for size four. She was completely thrilled about everything we did, and she talked to me almost non-stop from the time we dropped Neil and the older girls off until Madeline came home at half-time (Uncle Darren brought her home).
picking up Neil and Sophia from the game Sunday night. Despite getting wet, Sophia had a great time. Everyone was happy because the Riders won. The girls looked cute with a Gainer tattoo on one cheek and a Rider logo (which I painted using face paints) on the other.
seeing Madeline's cute new smile after losing her third tooth in just over a month (two on top and one on the bottom). The last one to go had been hanging there on a bit of an angle for a week or two.
hearing Madeline make excuses for the tooth fairy when she didn't come Tuesday night (a difficult night for us). "She must have been too busy." Madeline wasn't upset or worried, and thankfully, an orange fairy remembered to show up Wednesday night.
seeing the girls begin to accept that it was time to say goodbye to Sherlock (after a good cry by all) and hearing Sophia remind herself a few times, "everyone has to die sometime". Wednesday morning was terribly difficult, but I think the girls handled Sherlock's death pretty well.
receiving many sympathy messages as we dealt with Sherlock's decline and death. It really is comforting to hear from others.
hearing the girls' laughter (best sound in the world!) after I told them that Neil started running the bathtub for them in the middle of the night when he was sleep walking/dreaming? (I sure hope this doesn't become a common occurrence!)
taking the girls to pick raspberries at my coworker's house on Wednesday evening. The bushes were loaded with ripe berries and the girls had a great time picking them. All five of us love raspberries and we really enjoyed having lots on hand this week. We ate many and still put a bunch in the freezer. Thanks Susan!
making and eating a dessert called Warm Summer Fruits. I had seen the recipe one or two years ago and had wanted to make it, but the opportunity didn't present itself until this week. It calls for fresh peaches, plums, blueberries, and raspberries in a sauce made with VE Summer Berry Fruit Dip Mix, water, and VE Raspberry Vinegar. This week, I had all but the blueberries on hand. Close enough! I ate this over frozen vanilla yogurt. Yum!
seeing the girls finish their second round of swimming lessons for the summer (although the weather was terrible on the last day! only 13 or 14 C). Both Sophia and Madeline advanced, while Georgia didn't (no big deal). We were surprised to hear that Madeline will go from Whale to level 4 (it has to do with her age) -- which is the same level to which Sophia advanced. They can be in the same class next time!
attending a family bridal shower (for Pam Watson, on Neil's side) at a farm near Truax on Saturday afternoon. It was great to see many people I hadn't seen for quite some time, and the girls were very excited to see the beautiful horses at Demerse's up close. They also got to go for a walk around the farm and go up in the hayloft of the barn -- all in their pretty dresses, of course.
leaving on our road trip to North Dakota and Manitoba. I absolutely loathe packing and it seemed even more painful this time. I wish I could change my attitude about this task, but I don't know how! Anyway, finally getting away this morning was especially sweet.
celebrating (Neil's) Grandma Louise's 94th birthday at Weisshaar's on Monday evening. It was nice to see Louise and everyone who was there. I think she's doing very well for 94! Also, I was pleased to get some good photos and the cake was heavenly! Angel food cake with a wonderful lemon glaze icing, topped with vanilla ice cream, and fresh strawberries and saskatoons. Best. Dessert. Ever. IMHO
hearing Dr. Abdulhadi (Nephrologist) tell me I'm fine. I was actually doing a pretty good job of not worrying about this appointment (I was, really! at least until the receptionist led me to the examining room and placed a box of tissues in front of me. Why would she do that?! Sheesh! Yes, Kleenex-induced anxiety -- perhaps I'm a little fragile!), but it was still such a great relief to hear that my most recent lab results came back normal (well, almost all normal).*
enjoying the summery weather. I love sunshine!
watching the girls in their outdoor swimming lessons Friday morning (Sophia and Bronwyn at 9:45, Madeline at 10:35, and Georgia at 11:05). It's no fun being stuck at work while the rest of my family goes to the pool every morning! I'm glad I'm able to go twice anyway (both Fridays). Unfortunately, Madeline ducked out of her lesson half way through because she wasn't feeling well, and then laid on the concrete on a towel, covered by a towel, the rest of the morning. Both Georgia and Madeline (and now Sophia, as of late Sunday night) had a bit of fever on the weekend. Only Sophia is complaining about ear pain.
taking Sophia to her orthodontist appointment and having it go exceedingly well in terms of Sophia's mood and cooperation throughout -- thanks to Bronwyn being there with us. I know her presence helped immensely! Sophia has an underbite (front and one side) and she'll start treatment next March.**
taking the girls to Play in the Park Day (sponsored by Regina Downtown BID) on Friday afternoon, and meeting my Mom there, too (she happened to be in the city). The girls got some autographs from Roughriders (including Georgia's favourite, Hugh Charles -- favored because he does back flips) and had their faces painted. We enjoyed watching some demos such as belly dancing, hula hooping(?), watermelon helmet making (only in SK, heh), and Meihua martial arts. Sophia was delighted to keep one of the watermelon helmets that had been prepared the night before. We also enjoyed getting free hot dogs (good ones from The Frank Cart) for making a donation to the food bank.
ordering another Blurb book made from my blog entries. I hadn't worked on one since last November, and I'm not even sure why I did this weekend (it certainly wasn't on my to-do list) but I impulsively started working on Volume 7 (May - August 2006) Friday evening. I finished up Sunday morning and ordered the book. The process is rather tedious for various reasons, but I kind of enjoyed doing it this weekend and I look forward to doing another (good thing since there will be 10 more volumes to the end of 2009). It is satisfying to have those memories printed in hard copy.
taking the girls swimming at Dunnet Regional Park Saturday afternoon, along with L&B and the girls' Grandma Donna. It was a hot day, so a dip in the pool was perfect. Sophia enjoyed doing flips off the diving board -- without a life jacket in the deep end! This was both a 'yikes!' and 'my-baby-is-growing-up' moment for me. Madeline enjoyed jumping off the diving board, too, but with a life jacket -- thank goodness! Georgia is much more tentative in the water and she didn't want me to let go of her for a second, but eventually was more relaxed (and proud!) when I showed her she could actually stand up on her own at the end of the pool.
seeing Sherlock... Neil's parents called Saturday morning to tell us he wasn't doing very well; he wasn't interested in eating or drinking much and didn't have enough energy to go for his usual walk with Lou... so, after that, it was just good to see Sherlock -- and see him get up and eat and drink a little -- when we arrived in Avonlea Saturday afternoon. We brought Sherlock home that evening and took him to the vet Sunday morning. An x-ray revealed three large tumors in his chest, so it was a sad weekend for us. Lots of tears have been shed already, and the hardest part is yet to come.
having a couple quiet hours at home on Sunday while the girls went to a movie (Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) with Laurel and Brownyn. They enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed some much-needed silence and time to plow through some paperwork.
knocking 10 things off my to-do list on Sunday, including backing up my photos to an external hard drive (the one I keep in my office at work). I hadn't done this backup for seven months and I'm glad to have it updated. (I also have automated frequent backup to an EHD that sits next to my computer.)
*As mentioned previously,
my doctor sent my past lab results to a nephrologist for a second look. He subsequently ordered more blood and urine tests, including a
24-hour urine volume. Dr. Abdulhadi (a very nice man, by the way) had
the results before my appointment with him on July 22. Right away he
said, "this will be a very short visit because you're fine." It was
great to hear that right off the bat! Then he showed me that everything
came back normal except one thing: Creatinine Clearance -- mine at 125;
normal range 75 to 114 for women. He called this "slightly elevated".
Essentially, this is the same thing as the low eGFR (58) revealed by
two prior blood tests. Anyway, the doctor implied it was nothing to
worry about considering everything else is normal. He made a point of
showing me that he wrote "ALL NORMAL" on my file. :)
**She'll get a palatal expander (in place for 6-8 months; not removable) and head gear (to be worn evenings and overnight). She's taking this very well considering she gets a bit upset at the thought of braces (which likely won't happen until she's about 14). I know the expander and head gear will be awful for Sophia, and even painful at times (as with most ortho treatments; I know all too well), and I do wish she didn't need this at all, but given the circumstances I'm very happy about these developments in orthodontics. They say expanders work very well on a growing child. I wish I had had that treatment rather than surgery on my lower jaw. Apparently, they rarely do lower jaw reduction surgery anymore because it doesn't work most of the time. I'm not surprised; my bite isn't much better than it was pre-surgery. Now, when surgery is required (which is less often due to the use of palatal expanders), it involves the upper jaw. In any case, I really hope Sophia will not need surgery.
Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart - Unknown
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. - Anton Chekhov
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretzky
You are getting your wants confused with your needs. - Stacy Julian's dad
We are weaving character every day, and the way to weave the best character is to be kind and to be useful. Think right, act right; it is what we think and do that makes us who we are. - Elbert Hubbard
I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter. - Blaise Pascal
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
- Cyril Connolly
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
to leave the world a little better;
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is the meaning of success.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson