Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm Leaving, On A Jet Plane...

I've been longing to get down to Alabama for FOREVER! I miss my best friend and I can't wait to meet her son. :) At long last, tomorrow is the big day!

Let me just confess to you: I hate flying. I love the convenience of stepping on a plane, reading/chilling/sleeping/etc, and getting off the plane in a matter of hours in a totally different place, but I hate the hassle of packing under airline restrictions, lugging luggage around, and security. I hate security. I finally got a TSA guy to admit that the reason I was always, without fail pulled out of line was because they do in fact have guidelines about women in skirts. Apparently traveling in pants is no biggie, but traveling in a skirt immediately places you in the potential terrorist category. I really honestly don't mind being pulled aside and wanded - I mean, come on, wouldn't we all rather take a little longer in line to gain more security?!? - but I'm always terrified that someone is going to snatch my laptop while my back is turned. They can have my luggage and my purse, but please, please don't take my computer! :)

Since I'm just gonna be gone for the weekend, however, I'm leaving the computer at home and just taking a (big) purse and carryon. And - get this, folks - this carryon is fully functioning. It has four wheels that roll, a handle that comes and AND goes in, and the zippers are fully intact. Yes, my last three trips have all involved luggage that has broken in some way at the airport. I do not have good luck with luggage.

Actually, I'm starting to think I don't have good luck with flying in general. Case in point: first flight to Alabama, airline goes belly-up in the week between when I fly down and when I'm scheduled to fly back. I flew back a day early on the very last flight the airline flew (I wish I could remember which airline it was now!).

Second flight to Alabama: plane hits turbulence over Washington and has to make the approach twice while I clutch the back of the seat in terror.

Third flight to Alabama: I have a twenty minute layover, the plane breaks down and is going to be delayed for at least three hours, so this is an issue. Ticket Guy looks at my ticket, asks if I checked my luggage or if I'm carrying it. I'm carrying it. Upon hearing this, Ticket Guy points down the hall and says "Gate 23. Run." I literally ran down the hall, my suitcase flying behind me. The gate is empty, and I am the last person to get onto the plane. I get on plane sans any paperwork - boarding pass, ticket, etc - and eventually get up enough courage to ask my seatmate, "Um, what airport are we going to and when are we going to get there?" (Yes, he looks at my strangely). Turns out I am going to a completely different airport at a completely different time.

So if you're wondering if this post is long and rambling so I don't have to think about tomorrow... :)

In other news, Abigail and I are still partners in crime. She's learned this week that she can make choices, so she's all about picking out her own clothes, foods, and movies. I get a kick out of her decisions, so we haven't really had any battles over anything like some folks said we would. I'm always amazed at how kicked-back cool this baby is - we were over at my house when naptime rolled around, and she happily slept on my bed all afternoon without her music, crib, etc, and didn't seem at all fazed.

I've finished up teaching Animal Farm and I'm thinkng about our next book. I'm thinking "To Build A Fire," but we'll see. I think "Man Vs. Nature" may be my least favorite literary conflict, and this is probably because I'm not at all an outdoorsy person. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

DIY Recycled Backpack

A few days ago, I mentioned buying a crocheted skirt at the local thrift shop and my plans to turn it into a bag. Well, I got all my weekend chores done early today so I thought I'd take a crack at it! I started by stitching the bottom of the lining and the outer skirt shut. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the waist, since it had sewn-in elastic that kept me from making a drawstring casing, and the material would have unraveled if I cut into it. In the end, I noticed that the holes in the crochet work were big enough to thread my ribbon through. I secured the ends of the ribbon to the bottom corners of the skirt, and voila! A 'green' backpack! This will probably go to live in my truck to hold the books and toys I've bought for Abigail to play with while we're driving. I am a little shocked at how well this turned out as I'm not usually very crafty!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Week In My Life - Friday

Friday is my favorite day of the week! :) I wait all week for Friday night!

Abigail and I went over to my house today so I could do school work with the kids. I called ahead to let them know I was coming so they'd have breakfast, chores, etc done before I got there and would be ready to start, but it seemed like everyone was off in a million directions when I arrived. Grr! Don't get me wrong - I love homeschooling and the laid back vibe it accomodates - but I am getting frustrated lately with the lack of structure. Everyone is so far behind in every subject, and we have so much to accomplish, and the lack of a schedule just seems to compound my frustrations. Lol, can you tell it has NOT been a good school week?!? Any other homeschoolers wanna commiserate?

Despite a rough start, we got a lot done today. We started off our day in math; we began studying equations earlier this week, so today we used equations to convert tablespoons to teaspoons and back again. We're finally back together again in our spelling book (it makes giving tests so much easier when both twins are in the same place). Lizzie writes in her journal daily, and Allen is currently working through a language arts book; both twins read for 15 minutes a day out of an assigned book (Lizzie is reading Tom Sawyer and Allen is tackling Journey to the Center of the Earth). Apart from the daily reading/writing/math routine, we tackle one other subject - literature, science, history, or health - each day. Today was "health" day, and we were taking our first test of the semester. I had really low expectations, but both twins surprised me - they each missed one question!

While I worked with the twins, Abigail played right alongside us! We brought up a basket of toys for her, and she also liked climbing up alongside the kids to draw. After the kids finished their schoolwork, they took her outside to pet the cat, feed the rooster, and generally explore our little hobby farm. She didn't want to come back inside!

I fixed pasta salad for lunch, then Abigail and I headed back to her home so she could nap. :) She slept for the rest of the afternoon and was still sleeping when her mommy got home.

Since I got off early, I was actually able to take a little cat-nap before Maggie and I headed out.

On Friday nights, Maggie and I always go to our favorite Asian restaurant, Teariffic, and then go shopping. Tonight we went to JoAnn Fabrics since Maggie was on the hunt for some picture frames that had just gone on clearance. I had been in the store last week and had fallen in love with a ceramic owl, but I wasn't about to dish out upwards of fifty dollars for it! Tonight I found my owl on a clearance rack for $9.99, so "Harriet" came home with me! My room is taking on a totally different vibe than I'm used to lately, but I kind of like it. :)

At WalMart I scored a gift I've been looking for, a dress from the new spring line (at last! a tangible sign of spring!), and a hoodie clearanced for $3. It was so funny at the checkout line - I got my total and I was sure the cashier had forgotten something since my total was about 1/2 what I thought I'd be paying, but it turns out there were simply a lot of markdowns that hadn't been stickered yet. Nice!

Maggie and I came home and fell into my bed to watch a few episodes of Stargate: Atlantis (Joe Flanigan: are you seriously dissing Stargate: SG1 in your behind-the-scenes interview? Because if you'll notice that SG1 became the longest running scifi show EVER and you... well, you became a joke. A loveable joke, but a joke nonetheless).

I am totally wired on green tea right now, so instead of sleeping, I'm blogging. :) I'm also contemplating a massive redo of my room, this time with a plan and a budget and (hopefully) a unified outcome. With space for a rather large ceramic owl, of course. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Week In My Life - Thursday

I don't know why Thursdays are so hard... everyone else hates Wednesdays, I hate Thursdays. I don't know why. They just seem to be bleh days.

Yesterday after work I decided that I was just going to accept the fact that I am tired lately and work around it, so I stopped in the grocery store and picked up some microwaveable breakfast foods so I can sleep in a bit longer in the mornings (I know, I know, this is not a good long-term solution, but I'm pretty sure my being tired isn't long-term, either, so there). This morning I zapped a Smart Ones breakfast sandwhich, filled up my new thermos with juice, and off I went. Nice.

Abigail and I hung out at home for the first part of today, playing with toys, coloring, singing, watching Curious George, etc. I put her down her her nap just a bit earlier than normal since we were going to meet my sisters and Grandfather for lunch to celebrate Maggie's birthday, and she still slept past her normal getting-up time! Lol! Since she was "taking so long" everybody stopped by the house and ended up playing on the WiiFit to pass the time. Lunch was so much fun - Abigail is so good! When I first began watching her, I was terrified of taking her out because I was sure she'd just go into spontaneous meltdown mode and I wouldn't know what to do. I've become so much more confident over the last few weeks; I have taken her to run errands, go shopping, go play at my house, etc, and we've never had a problem. To be fair, she's an angel. :)

One funny thing happened today - she was sitting in a high chair to my left, and my dad was sitting on my right, and after she finished eating she wanted to climb into the booth with us, so I lifted her out and set her down between us. My dad smiled at her and said, "Hello, Abigail!" Her eyes got as big as saucers and she immediately threw herself into my arms while staring at the strange man who dared speak to her! Lol!

We had a birthday dinner tonight with my grandparents, which is always fun - lots of laughter and jokes. I can't believe it's only 8:30 - I can barely keep my eyes open!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Week In My Life - Wednesday

I went to bed so early last night, but I woke up exhausted! Even though I got up at my normal time, getting ready seemed to take twice as long, so I opted to take breakfast <a blueberry mini-bagel with cream cheese and an apple snack pack left over from my lunchbox yesterday> with me on the go. Abigail was already up when I got there, so we jumped right in to coloring, then watching Curious George. At 9 o'clock we got ready to leave for our playdate with the cousins. We hit the thrift store first, and I got some great finds: a bedskirt that matches my sheet set, wooden bowls to be used as planters, and a crocheted skirt that I'm going to convert into a backpack. :> We tired Abigail out at the playground - she fell asleep listening to Kevin Roth on the way home and slept most of the afternoon, then woke up cuddly, so we rocked and sang til Mommy came home. I worked out when I got home, had dinner with the family, did some work on the computer, showered, and went to bed. :> Goodnight!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Week In My Life - Tuesday

Tuesdays are the day I teach up at our church's homeschool co-op... It's definitely one of my favorite times! :) I love teaching, and I have an amazing class this year filled with incredible students.

I normally wake up earlier, but I was so on the ball that I got all my prep work done earlier last night, so I knew I could afford to sleep in, since, despite going to bed really early last night (8:30ish?) I was still tired this morning (but cheerful, which is a much better combo than tired and grumpy, lol). I got up, got dressed, etc, and as I was walking downstairs to put on makeup and run out the door, I glanced over into my sisters' room and noticed that Anna, who goes to co-op with me, was still sleeping soundly in her bed!

Now, Anna is the on-the-ball one, the one who has her lunch packed away, her books together, her clothes on and teeth brushed, etc, and then waits patiently for me to get my act together, so I was pretty surprised. So was she, when I woke her up (with ten minutes to get out the door). Apparently her alarm didn't go off. The good thing is that we try to arrive an hour before our first class so that I can make copies, help out at the info center, etc, so even running late we had plenty of time.

I teach two classes: "Film and Television" runs from 10-11 and "Composition and Literature" runs from 11-12. In film class, we are working on a short film combining stop-motion photography and regular footage. I had hoped to finish up our storyboard today but alas! it was not to be. Hopefully we can get started on the actual filming next week. In lit class we are seven chapters into Animal Farm, and I am loving every minute of it. I have always loved Orwell's works, but I am especially having fun teaching this novel, as it is so relevant to today's world. Last week I gave the kids an in-class assignment, in which they were asked to formulate a plan to take over the world using one aspect of culture (music, film, law, education, etc). Today we finished our discussion, then moved on to talk about some of the main characters in AF and their real-world counterparts. I can't wait to finish the book this week and start the essay-writing process!

After my two classes and lunch, Anna still has two periods to go, so I help out at the info center and chat with other teachers/parents.

Anna and Maggie have voice lessons, so I take them over (mom usually picks them up) and get a few minutes at home to breathe. :)

I'm about to go help get dinner going for the family, then I hope to jump onto the Wii Fit for awhile tonight, and make it an early night (again? apparently I need the sleep). :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Week In My Life

As the first of the month landed on a Monday, I thought it would be fun to do another "Week In My Life" (This time, hopefully, with pictures!) and show how my life has changed in the last few months. :)

My alarm clock goes off at 6 this morning... normally I would be up a bit earlier but I was kind of goofy last night and I didn't tuck myself into bed as early as I normally do. I get up, get dressed, grab breakfast (blueberry mini bagels from Target - my aunt and uncle have completely hooked me on the new food section), and I'm out the door.

Abigail is just getting up when I arrive, so I get to help dress and feed her. She's extra-giggly in the mornings. :) She didn't really want much breakfast, just some yogurt (she's turning into a light breakfaster lately) and then she made it quite clear that she wanted to watch Curious George on TV. When I started this job, I would pop in the Muzzy DVD on occasion, more to give myself something to watch then for any actual entertainment value on her part, but in the last few weeks she's gotten quite an attention span and now likes (and asks for!) Curious George and Muzzy and occasionally the last few minutes of Martha Speaks (which comes on before Curious George and has lots of dogs, which Abigail likes, lol). We watched Curious George, then we colored, played with some of her toys, and then she decided she wanted a snack. As soon as she was done eating and I lifted her down off her high chair, she ran into the other room and brought me her shoes.

"Whatcha doing with these, Abigail?" I asked, laughing. She's been in a dress-up kind of mood lately, likes taking her clothes out of her closet and carrying them around the house, so I figured this was part of the same thing.
She looked at me intently, ran off, and came back with her hat. I laughed again and asked, "Whatcha doing?"

When she returned with her coat, I was beginning to get the message. "Do you want to go out?" I asked her. "D'Oh!" she responded enthusiastically ( - although she does occasionally say "Yeh," "No" and "Yes" are usually "No" and "D'Oh". Don't ask me why, I do not know. :)).

I always feel guilty when she asks to go out, since I know she thinks we're going to see the cousins, and nobody is home on Mondays, but I did have a shopping list that I was going to complete after work, so I figured I'd take her with me. Abigail seems to like riding in the truck - she runs up to it and slaps the "Ford" emblem, laughing. :) I'd gotten her some things for my truck over the weekend, a mini Etch-a-Sketch and some coloring books from the $1 rack at Target. Apparently, however, I removed the singalong CD's (I have no memory of this, but I couldn't find them anywhere, so I must have put them in my room). Abigail was saddened by this, as we normally sing while we're driving.

Target was our first stop - we were on the hunt for some gift bags, tissue, and birthday cards for some upcoming birthdays! (More on that later in the week.) We took a quick detour through the newly-stocked $1 rack and picked up some more Elmo books for the truck. Abigail seemed to enjoy the shopping trip - we "talked" about all the things she saw (i.e. she pointed excitedly and I talked about whatever it was she was pointing at). The store was pretty empty since it was still early (9:30ish?) and I had several people pause to say "hi!" to Abigail.

We ran into the dollar store afterwards, where Abigail decided she needed a multi-colored flower pinwheel, so it came home with us. :)

We got home and she had a snack, and then we heard tires on the gravel.

Could it be?

Yes! It was Granddad AND Meemaw - a double treat! Granddad pops in often - at least once a day or more, lol - but we always enjoy seeing Meemaw too!

We had a great visit, but as soon as they left it was definitely time for Abigail to take a nap! I am so proud of the fact that she doesn't fuss for me when I put her down... I always try to do the same things in the same order - brush her teeth, change her diaper, sing the ABC song, find her binky, turn on the music and humidifier - and I don't know if that's the key, but she's only cried for me twice: the first day I had her, and the day that daddy was home with us. Other than that, Abigail is pretty serene about the process. She goes into her crib without a fuss, smiles while I sing the ABC song, and waves goodbye afterwards. :)

While Abigail naps, I take care of some little tasks (checking email, changing my phone plan, etc), do the first part of my new Bible study (more on that later), eat lunch, and watch Court TV. :)

Abigail wakes up two hours later, all smiles and giggles again. :) She's ready for lunch, so I feed her some yogurt and a PB&J sammie. After lunch, we watch Muzzy, sing along with all her musical toys, and go outside for a short walk to watch her pinwheel spin, which she loves.

We are singing along to our CD when daddy gets home, and shortly after, so does mommy! :)

Whew! What a fun day! I'm tired! :)

I head home and update my Girl In Skirt Blog, then do dinner with the family. Nothing very exciting.

Now I'm about to go take a nice hot bath, finish my study, and collapse on my bed for an early bedtime... with possibly a few episodes of Stargate: Atlantis thrown in (do you know I've had season five for all of two weeks and I STILL haven't finished watching it?!). :)