Sunday, January 19, 2020

Did Someone Say SUPER BOWL?

I'm trying to write a Ten Things of Thankful post AND watch the Chiefs v. Titans game, and I seem to be having a little trouble concentrating on the writing, but here goes:

1. I'm trying to be thankful that I did not win tickets to the Chiefs game today, even though I really wanted to go (the price of tickets was prohibitive on our budget), because the temperature at kick off was 18 degrees and felt like 5 degrees. My comfy chair, warm house, and tv are serving me pretty darn well.

2. I got two new students this week at school after three of mine moved up to the next age group. (There is a wait list of children wanting to come to our school, and that equals job security!) They are both sweeties and very cuddly.

3. First half of the week: unseasonably warm and we played outside. Second half of the week: stinkin' cold and we were trapped inside when it rained buckets of icy cold water. Guess which half of the week I am thankful for?

We colored on Friday, which is a risky thing
to do with one year olds, as they tend
to eat the crayons.

4. I ran into a very beloved friend yesterday at the grocery store. It was meant to be for us to see each other, because we were both at a store that neither of us usually go to. Did my heart good to get a quick visit in with her. She's pretty special.

5. Ran into yet another friend when my husband and I went to the movie theater to see "1917". Our kids are the same age and grew up together, and it was good to catch up.

6. My daughter came home from school this weekend because she was diagnosed with strep throat. I'm thankful that she finally went to urgent care after texting me a dozen times to tell me her throat was sore. I'm also thankful we live close enough to her school that she can get home easily if she needs to. That counts as two thankfuls.

8. Have I mentioned my new memory foam mattress pad?

9. Patrick Mahomes.

He might not have played the same
if I weren't wearing this shirt.

My future son-in-law....

10. THE CHIEFS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL! I remember well when they went 50 years ago. My mom was a huge Chiefs fan, and she would be so happy for this moment! She would also want someone to take me to Miami to the Super Bowl, I'm just positive, so..... who's up for it?

Monday is the day we observe the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., and in closing, let's remember these words from him, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Stand up for those who can't. Have a beautiful week!

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

It's Always A Good Week When You Don't Blow Away And Other Thankfuls

I survived the week! At my new job at the child development center at our local university, we rely on college students for nearly all the support positions, and when they have Christmas break for four weeks and we have it for two, then you can see where there might be a problem. But you know there are thankfuls everywhere, even when you're short-handed at work, so here are mine for the week:

1. Some of our student workers live locally, and they worked their fannies off this week, filling in for others so we would remain within our ratio of children to adults (kind of a big deal that we do that). Still others came back from their Christmas break early just to work, and between all of them, we made it through the week and stayed within ratio!

2. Ohhh, that new memory foam mattress pad! It was heaven on earth this past week when I was so exhausted from work!

3. We had a tornado drill this week at work. We made it down a pretty steep staircase to the basement of our building with over 60 children ranging from 1-5 years old and there were no casualties on said staircase.

4. One of the reasons we had a tornado drill (besides the fact that they are required by law) is because we were expecting unseasonably warm temperatures and severe thunderstorms which would be followed by below freezing temperatures accompanied by freezing rain, sleet and snow (welcome to Missouri). The thunderstorms began while my little nugs were napping, and one big ol' clap of thunder woke all but one of them up, but we did not get anything worse than that and did not have to put our tornado drill skills to work. 

5. We didn't get the ice or snow that was forecast for our area. I'm thankful for that because ice is bad stuff and makes the power go out if you get too much of it. We lost our power for a week back in 2007 because of a nasty ice storm. 

6. The forecast called for up to 6" of snow, and I don't think we got a single snowflake. We got some sleet, but that's it. And I'm thankful for THAT because I hate to waste snow on a perfectly good weekend, when if it would wait a couple of days, it would mean we would have a snow day from work!

7. Lewis says he's thankful for the essential oil diffuser my husband got me for Christmas. It looks a little like the cooling tower for a nuclear reactor and changes colors (hopefully something the nuclear reactor towers do NOT do) and puffs out cool mist laced with essential oils. Lewis is utterly fascinated by it and so far, has not knocked it off the table.

Lewis trying unsuccessfully to catch
the stream of cool mist.

8. My daughter bought an automatic cat fountain for our three kitties, and they are all scared of it. I decided to plug it in again and see if any of them would drink out of it. Finn and Nora prefer to drink their water from the bathroom faucet anyway, so wouldn't you think they'd be all in for this? They are not. Lewis is scared of it as well, but he had enough bravado to approach it and smack the water with his foot. I'm thankful for his incredible bravery in the face of a little tiny spout of running water and hope it will lead to the other two drinking from it, because I get very weary of turning the faucet on in the sink for them every time I'm in the bathroom.

9. My dad fell yesterday, and since he has a medical alert necklace, he can't hide it from me that it happened, because I get a phone call from the company when he sets it off. Mind you, he has set it off more than once by accident, like the day he was eating leftover cheesy potatoes and rested the bowl on the button, causing it to go off three different times, but this time, he really fell and it really worked. I am NOT thankful that he fell, but I believe he learned his lesson about walking outside in the dark to get the mail when there was ice, sleet and snow on the ground, because he took a pretty good tumble into the yard.


My future son-in-law 😂

Did you avoid the nasty weather this weekend? Do you have a nuclear reactor cooling tower on your bedside table? Think about your thankfuls every day. If you are a blogger, link up with us. 

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Saturday, January 4, 2020

Because Some Weeks, Finding Thankfuls Is More Crucial Than In Other Weeks

There's some bad shit going down right now in the world, so bad that I can't even wrap my head around it. I believe it's more important than ever to remember to be thankful, starting right now. Here is my Ten Things of Thankful:

I'm thankful for friends who feel comfortable and safe coming to me when they need to talk (you know who you are). I hope I was helpful in some small way, and remember, don't borrow trouble.

It was a two-day work week. It's a good thing, too, because they were two exhausting days!

I'm thankful for the sweet little nuggets I spend my days with. 

I'm thankful for sweet little nuggets who nap well.

That 3" memory foam mattress pad deserves a second mention this week.

My son actually let me take a picture of him before he headed back to school after Christmas break.

2-1/2 years of being a med student
down, 1-1/2 to go!

I'm thankful for a quiet, uneventful New Year's Eve. I'd rather pull out my fingernails than go out anyway.

I discovered Aussie Miracle Curls leave-in detangling milk and it was life changing. The tight little curls I have all along the nape of my neck tangle like crazy, and unless it's happened to you, let me tell you that's one sensitive area! Truth be told, I was originally turned off by the word "milk" in the name, but it isn't and it's wonderful.

I'm thankful that I forgot to take my detangling milk home with me after last weekend at the lake house, because it's here for me THIS weekend at the lake house, and if I had put it in my pink polka-dotted toiletry bag, it would still be sitting in my bedroom WITH ALL THE REST OF MY TOILETRIES, MAKE UP, ETC., where my husband LEFT IT when he packed the car while I was at work. 

When, shortly after arriving at the lake house, I discovered that I had no pink polka-dotted bag or its contents, I went to Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta and Walmart to replace some of the things that were left behind (in all honesty, I could have lived all weekend without most of it, since we have no plans other than to be lazy, but where's the fun in that?). I got (mostly) over my mad when I was able to take a picture at Walmart to add to my collection of butt crack photos (hey, you have your hobbies, I have mine). 

I can't even begin to tell you how much
is actually going on in this picture....

Find the thankfuls in your life. It's crucial, especially during rough times. Hey, it's crucial ALL the time, right?

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Saturday, December 28, 2019

It Was Great And I'm Glad It's Over!

Christmas is a beautiful time of the year, with food and friends and family. There's the celebration of the birth of Christ, the anticipation of Christmas morning and the excitement of Santa Claus visiting (and let's face it, you NEVER outgrow that!).

Thank GOD it's over, or nearly so! I love it, don't get me wrong, but I am exhausted.

I guess that's my number one on my Ten Things of Thankful.

I put all the Christmas decorations away today, except for the tree. Yay, me!

Global warming is real. Not thankful about that, but I am thankful the tornado warning that was issued about half an hour ago for where my dad lives was canceled without a tornado making an appearance. There should not be tornadoes in December, even if we DO live in Tornado Alley.

I called my dad as soon as I got the notification that there was a tornado warning where he lives to make sure he was aware of the situation, and he said his Red Cross tornado app had notified him. I told him to gather up a few necessities and head down to the basement now rather than wait until he had to hurry down (to which he pointed out that he could always get DOWN to the basement in a hurry; however, it might not be by going down on his feet). I told him to call me if the roof blew off the house or the warning was canceled., and when he called me a few minutes ago, he said he had gathered up his pills, a bottle of water, and the sack of caramel popcorn I made for him and was heading to the basement when the warning was canceled. Glad to see he has his priorities straight.

Both of my kids are home this week and haven't killed each other. I'm hoping they outgrow this before I die.

Last year, my husband got me the Tile tracker and it's paid for itself over and over, as I lose my phone and keys all the time (not REALLY lose, more like misplace, but still). One morning last week, I got in the driver's seat of my car after putting some items in the backseat and realized I didn't have my phone. I pushed the button on the Tile tracker on my car keys and faintly heard the merry little song that the lost item plays, but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. After thoroughly checking my purse, my pockets, and getting out of the car to check the backseat, I noticed I could still hear the tune outside the car. That's when I got down on my hands and knees and looked under the car, aaaaaaand there was my phone, lying on the driveway under the car. Pretty thankful I looked for the phone before I pulled out of the driveway, because it would have been one squishied phone!

We got a 3" memory foam mattress topper for our bed for Christmas, and it is heaven on earth! 

I ate the last of the peanut brittle for breakfast this morning, so it will no longer be around to tempt me.

Lewis ate a Christmas light TWICE from my front door decoration, and he also ate a hole through the plastic about halfway down a 40lb bag of kitty litter, which caused kitty litter to pour out onto the basement floor, and I didn't kill him. 

He is wrist deep in about ten pounds of litter.

I love my job, and I miss my little nugs, but having this week and most of next week off is niiiiiiiiice!

Whether you were naughty or nice this Christmas, I sure hope you were thankful in some way!
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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Late Again To The Thankful Party

If you think only school-aged children are old enough to get hyper excited about Christmas, then you have never been in a roomful of 1-2 year olds. They may not know WHY they are excited, but believe me when I say these kiddos have been wound up tighter than springs since Thanksgiving, and I don't foresee any let up until we get back from break in January (if then).

In spite of this mania, can I still find thankfuls in my every day life? You betcha! Here's what I'm thankful for this week (and always, actually):

1. My little nugs have already arrived at school when I get there in the morning, and when I appear in the doorway, their faces light up. It does a heart good when they run to the door, arms held up for me to pick them up and love on them.

2. We have been learning the Chicken Dance. There is progress.

3. I ordered some jingle bells on canvas straps from Amazon on Sunday night and got them Tuesday afternoon, and we have been playing them to Christmas music every morning. Make a joyful noise!

4. I have THE BEST student workers in my class! I feel as though I have gained a passel of daughters (and a few sons), and I love having them in my world.

5. A couple of my little nugs are getting fairly extensive vocabularies and can even put two words together to make a sentence, but most of them can only say a few words. Every one of them, however, can say "Cheerio", because I use them as a bribe an appetizer to get them to sit at the table when it's time for lunch. They can't say my name, but by golly, "Cheerio" rolls right off their tongues!

6. They may have only contributed a footprint, but we ended up with super cute Christmas gifts for the kids to give to their parents. They were more work to make than I anticipated (dammit, Pinterest, why do things look so cute and easy when I'm scrolling through for craft ideas?), but the end result was worth it:

7. Not long after we were married, we were given my husband's grandmother's glider rocker. I used it with my kids for rocking them to sleep and nursing them in the night, and I now have that rocker in my classroom. It's so very useful for rocking little ones at nap time or when they have a boo boo (real or imaginary) or when they just need a little extra TLC, and I'm sure my husband's grandmother is smiling down from Heaven every time it's been used over the past 25 years.

8. I not only work with a fantastic group of student workers, but I also work with a terrific staff. They have made me feel welcome and appreciated, and it means the world to me.

9. I volunteered to have the staff Christmas party at my house, which made me feel anxious and nervous and vulnerable, but part way through the evening, I finally relaxed and enjoyed myself. I think your home is a reflection of who you really are and not just what you show people from street view. I have now shown my co-workers that both me and my house can clean up pretty good, but we're a little messy around the edges and have stuff shoved into dark places and hidden from sight. And parts are aging a little roughly, but other parts seem to be improving with age. 

10. We were blessed with not one, but TWO snow days this week! I LOVE snow days!!!

Over and out.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Thankfuls From The Trenches

There's a thankful or two in here somewhere, but I'm not sure where, exactly. You decide.

I didn't write a Ten Things of Thankful last weekend, because I was fairly sure I was on my deathbed. Turns out, I wasn't, but who knew at the time?

See, I have prided myself in the fact that I have only thrown up three times IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. The first time was when I was in kindergarten. The second was when I was seven and had gotten my tonsils out (you can read THAT story right here, and you should). The third and what I believed to be final time was on December 23, 1971. I was 11, in the 6th grade, and it was so horrible that I vowed never again.

I survived pregnancies, surgeries, and a couple of bouts with the stomach flu without ever throwing up. I cleaned up after my kids when THEY had the stomach flu and threw up, but I never did it myself. I was invincible, or so I thought until the early morning hours of November 23, 2019, when my streak ended. 

I believe I had food poisoning that night/morning, mostly because neither my dad nor my husband caught it, and my dad gets the stomach flu if you just say the words in front of him. Also, I had eaten pasta carbonara at a restaurant (something that will never pass my lips again), and it is rife with ingredients that could cause food poisoning. I felt like hammered horseshit for two days and nowhere near 100% ever since (including now).

Fast forward a couple of days to this past Wednesday. My husband, daughter and I picked up my dad and drove up to Kansas City to spend Thanksgiving (incidentally, my very favorite holiday, because you don't have to buy gifts for anyone and there's food) with my brother and his family. My brother wanted to take us to a favorite pizza place near them that evening. There was a 30 minute wait when we arrived, so we decided to go next door to a super cool toy store to kill time. My dad wasn't acting quite like himself, but I thought maybe he was just tired from meandering in the toy store (my dad will be 85 in two weeks, so he's entitled), but a few minutes later, I saw my husband and my dad go out onto the sidewalk, then saw my husband looking panicky and waving his arms around while my dad stood there, and I knew something was up.

When I went out the door, my dad was saying he was about to lose it. My first thought was that he either was having some kind of panic attack or there was something wrong with his heart. Neither. He thought he was going to throw up.

He didn't. Yet.

We canceled our plan to eat and went back to my brother's house. As soon as I had my dad settled in a chair with an empty wastebasket "just in case", my brother and I went to Target and picked up some clothes he would be more comfortable in if he were ill (he only had khaki pants and button down shirts with him, and who wants to dress like that when you feel like death?). We also got a couple of large bottles of ginger ale. Shortly after we got back to the house, he made use of the wastebasket, and it all went downhill after that (and by "downhill", just use your imagination). I took care of my dad all evening, until he finally felt he was ready to go to bed.

By morning (THANKSGIVING morning, mind you), my dad was downhiller than ever, and I had to make a Walmart run for more sweatpants and other things that I won't mention but you can figure out for yourself. In the meantime, my brother, with the help of his mighty  spreadsheet, were making our Thanksgiving feast. My dad didn't join us for our meal, but he was feeling better, and by evening, he was able to eat something bland and the Kaopectate that he took (enough to stop up an elephant, according to my dad) was finally doing its job, and by the time he went to bed, he was doing fairly well.

I went down to the basement guest room and tucked myself into bed. That lingering feeling of yuck from my own barf fest had not improved a bit and I was exhausted. My husband and daughter watched movies on their computers and I slept, or I did until about 10:00 pm when I heard the unmistakable sound of my husband throwing up.

And again.

And then he came to bed and turned on his side, facing me, breathing what was obviously stomach flu germs in my face, so I went back upstairs to sleep on the couch.

A few hours later, I heard my daughter throwing up.

Then husband.

Then daughter.

Then I tried not to hear anything that was going on downstairs, but know that things went rapidly "downhill" for them as well, and I had to make another trip to Walmart for more ginger ale. I spent the rest of Friday washing clothes, sheets and towels and cleaning two bathrooms (I am a good guest), and my husband and daughter determined they were able to travel the two hours home around 3:00 that afternoon. My dad, on the other hand, woke up that morning feeling great.

Halfway home, I got a text from my brother saying my niece was throwing up.

Two hours after that, I got another text from my brother, this time telling me HE was throwing up and that we were uninvited for next year.

The next morning, another text that my sister in law was now throwing up and he blamed me for all of it.

Here's the real question: did I have food poisoning when I got sick, or was I, indeed, Patient Zero as the family has taken to calling me? And how could I be Patient Zero if I was sick in the early morning hours of Saturday and no one else who had been close to me caught it until Wednesday evening? I believe I am being blamed needlessly and it was all a big coincidence, and I'm maybe a little nervous that instead of being Patient Zero I am actually Patient Seven.... 

What say you?

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Thankful For The Light That Cried Wolf

Monday of this week, Fall took a hike and Winter snuck in and we had bitter cold, sleet, freezing rain, and snow. It didn't stick to the ground much, but it DID stick to cars, as in covering them with a sheet of ice. By Saturday, it was in the low 60s, and you didn't need a coat outside. Is it any wonder everyone has jacked up sinuses around here? 

This weather report is a lead-in to my thankfuls this week.

The brake light has been coming on in my minivan (shut up) for, oh, several months now. At first, it only came on when I made a hard right turn, then went back out as soon as the wheels straightened. It began staying on longer and longer and progressed to coming on not only when I was making a right turn, but also if I hit a bump while going straight and occasionally when I turned left. Now, a brake warning light might alarm some people, but not me. That's because my tire pressure light is on nearly all the time, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the tire pressure in the car (yes, I check them periodically, and yes, as a matter of fact, I DO carry a tire gauge in my car at all times, courtesy of my daddy). I chalked the brake light up to being another malfunction of a vehicle with 144,000 miles on it.

Monday, when I was leaving work to find my car was covered with ice, I tried to open the sliding door on the driver's side (shut UP) to get the ice scraper, but it was stuck tight. I was able to get the driver's door open, though, and wrangled the scraper out from behind the seat, chipped ice off the windshield, and went home to take Finn to the vet. As I pulled out of my parking space at the vet's office, the brake light not only came on, but it was accompanied by a dinging noise. Obviously, this was VERY not good. I drove home with dinging and the brake light going on and off, and as soon as I got home, I told my husband about it and that maybe it was time to get the car looked at. We decided to take it in the next morning.

My sweet Finn.

Tuesday morning, still bitter cold and icy outside, I put the car in reverse to back out of the driveway, and the brake light came on and the car began dinging again. And it dinged continually all the way to the tire shop. I pulled into the parking lot and put the car in park, and the dinging stopped. I put it back into gear, and ding ding ding ding. Back in park, and it stopped. 

That's when I remembered that I had tried to open the sliding door the day before when the car was coated with ice. I had used the remote to try to open it, but the door just made a trying sound. 

The dinging. Was not. The brakes. It was the "door ajar" alarm. The only reason it didn't occur to me that that was the cause of the dinging was because the "door ajar" symbol was not displayed on the dashboard. 

So Thankful #1 is that I figured out the dinging was NOT an audible brake warning before I announced to the men at the tire shop that, not only was the brake warning light on, but the brake warning alarm was going off as well. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus, for saving me from THAT humiliation!

2. The brakes really were bad. Like, really bad. Like, we had to replace both the front AND the back brakes. I'm thankful that the door ajar alarm created an urgency to get the brakes checked, as it could have been oh, so not good if I had let them go too much longer.

3. They checked the tire pressure warning light and said the tire pressure was fine, but the batteries in the sensors (located in the wheel) were low, and that was the reason for the light being on. At $79 per wheel to replace them, I am thankful for that tire gauge that I will continue to use to monitor tire pressure!

4. I don't think this can be reiterated enough: I DID NOT announce to the men at the tire store that the (non-existent) tire warning alarm was dinging.

5. Before I spent $450 on new brakes, I ordered some shoes that cost more than I EVER pay for shoes. Ever, ever, EVER! They were $95, which may be nothing to some people, but I thought long and hard about spending that kind of money on a pair of shoes (they came highly recommended by a friend and by my sister-in-law as extraordinarily comfy shoes). Can I tell you that it was the one of the best purchases I think I have ever made? Certainly, it's THE best shoe purchase I've ever made. They are called Allbirds, they arrived Saturday, and they are like walking on clouds. I love them!

Like wearing a tender hug on your feet!

6. Did I mention my comfy new shoes?

7. New shoes. Allbirds. Fabulous for people who are on their feet all day at work.

8. I got new shoes! Did you hear?!

9. Allbirds. Get some.

10. New brakes? Good. New shoes? FAAAAANTASTIC!

Got new shoes? New brakes? Whatever you've got, be thankful for it and link up with us!

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