Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm sleeping lousy

For at least the past 3 days I have been waking up btw 3-4am and not really getting back to sleep. It used to be that Pete was awake every day at 4am but that stopped when he left Novell and he's been sleeping much better. Now I'm waking up and generally bothering him by shifting around trying to get back to sleep.

Now I'm sitting here wishing I could go back to bed and know that If I do that, I'll screw up my internal clock.

So, another day of functioning at half wits, trying to keep my temper and get some stuff done. Blech!

It's so hard to get any work done with the kids and even harder to stay present and have any fun with them. Yesterday I pretty much checked out when we got home at 3pm and we didn't crack a book open.

Well, that's not really true. We had stopped off after hitting the ice rink (the kids skated, I felt too crappy) at a used book store I knew was closing in a day or so. Katie and Zack each got 5 books and I got one all for under $8. So, they basically read when we got home.

I am sick of feeling slightly sick. This has been going on since we were at Disney in December. I've only been really layed out for one day but have never really shaken it completely either. I'm not the only one, so that helps in that I feel like it's not just random insomnia but it's wearing pretty thin. Like my nerves.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cups and Cars

Some cute cup dolls that Katie made:

Don't you just love the purple hair on the "mommy" doll?!

Pete and Zack went to the Auto show last weekend. The Scouts had their pinewood derby track set up as an exhibitor space--right btw Lamborghini and Rolls Royce no less. Zack got to try out his new car before the official race this coming weekend and it flies! Here's some vid, his is the red car--you can't miss it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

RV Show

Pete donned a baseball cap and I pulled on my mom jeans and off the family went to the Dulles Expo center to the RV show. (Well, really a computer company hat for Pete and Levi's for me, but you get the drift)

To anyone who may have missed me talking about it, we are researching living and traveling in an RV for a year. But we couldn't get very serious until we got tall Pete into some real live RVs to see if his head scraped the ceiling and if he fit in the shower enough to wash all over.

It looks like my dream of a 32' rig is out of the question. But we liked many of the 5th Wheels we saw (that's the kind you hitch up to a pickup truck to haul around) and decided that what works best for us is the master bedroom in the rear and a bunkhouse up front. More privacy, more headroom for Pete in our bedroom, bunk beds for the kids, and a place for them to keep all their junk where I don't have to trip over it at every turn. A win for everyone!

Now we have to find more rigs with this set up than the ONE that was at the show.

Anyone in the know, we are going to look at:

Coachman Chaparral 340 QBDS
Keystone Cougar 316 QBS
Keystone Laredo 32 RS

Feel free to comment on your experience with these brands.

Thursday, January 17, 2008




I suspect that he will suffer the hair in his eyes when the time for attracting girls comes upon him. ;-)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I had success with math yesterday and today.

After using the teacher's directions that come with our curriculum, and seeing Zack sink deeper and deeper into confusion, I suddenly remembered how I was taught to do it way back when.

I like our curriculum and it's more or less working for the kids. I like that it integrates algebra and geometry along with learning plus, minus, times and divide. I even like that the author likes kids to know the WHY behind the solutions. But sometimes, they just want to know how to get the problems done.

So, back to yesterday, there I am with place values, zeros, blocks and a confused child exclaiming "this is so much to remember!" When it hit me that the way to remember to move it over a place value is to draw a set of steps that would automatically shove the next number over a place. And Zack didn't care WHY it worked, he just liked that it worked.

I completely skipped all the blocks and zeroes for Katie and lo and behold, skipping the ultra confusing place value issue (a big challenge for Katie since the beginning of math) WORKED!

Yes, I'll go back and re-cover the whys, but today they just wanted to learn the hows and that's really fine even if Mr. Math-U-See doesn't agree.

Zack just now exclaimed "You know mom, this is easier than I thought!"


Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy 2008!

The holidays have come and gone and so has 2007.

A hectic holiday season.

Spent Thanksgiving in NC with my parents. Dad was still pretty under the weather and was having a hard time taking it easy. He had been taking it easy for several weeks already and it was BORING to sit still more. But it was a nice day, good to see aunt Gloria and good to see my dad, who really was doing better just wasn't springing back like the rubberband he would like to be :-)

Then the run-up to Christmas. Hanukkah got short shrift from us this year. I was totally unprepared for it to come so early!

All shopping was done online, starting with 4am the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, there are early bird sales even online and I wanted those cheapo prices. I feel fine about doing it all that way. I rarely paid shipping, we saved on gas money and pollution, I didn't have to fight for parking and items on shelves and I got good prices. Nothing wrong with that, especially because the Disney trip came right when I'm usually doing the bulk of the shopping. This way, I did it latenight or early morning, or whenever I had the time.

Off to Disney! (see below) Back from Disney and to boxes from the Nuwaysers! Christmas is almost here. After lots of begging, I let the kids open some smaller presents early but didn't let that happen until after we got the tree up. It was nice to have gifts to put under it right away.

Pete started his new job on 12/18 and it was strange having him out of the house during the day. It will take some getting used to. He will be working out of the house most days and we've had him working from home for a few years now. One thing will be to clear as many evenings as we can so we can get some time together during the week.

Mom and dad came in the Saturday before Christmas, so we spent a day getting the basement in shape and clearing out more stuff. I've been on a big Freecycle kick and it was nice to hear that my mother noticed a marked decline in the clutter around the house. Wow!

I did get a shock when I got an email Saturday morning telling me they were leaving their house at 6am--yikes! That meant they'd arrive at noon instead of the expected 4pm--that triggered a morning of straightening, vacuuming and barking from me.

Pete and I took advantage of the grandparents/babysitters to do some shopping at brick and mortar stores and to grab dinner together. Then, once wrapping started on Sunday night, I felt like the stacks looked a little light and so we ran out again on Christmas eve morning (we were up at 6am anyway, so why not get it done?) to pick up a few more items.

Christmas eve, we went to UUCA to see Katie in her speaking role as an angel in the church pageant. This is her last year in the pageant, she'll be too old next year. She did a great job and we enjoyed the cookie reception afterwards before heading home to a lamb dinner.

Christmas day came early--Zack woke at 5:15am but we held him off until we woke Katie at 6:30-ish. The early start suited grandma and grandpa because they headed up to NY after breakfast. Santa came :-) (see video below) Grandma and Grandpa left :-(

We lazed around the rest of the day, playing with new toys and trying on new clothes. Then it was off to Mark's Duck House for a Chinese dinner. We were hoping for Dim Sum, but settled on many entrees instead. The duck was great.

A deep breath and a return-trip visit from Grandma and Grandpa bearing gifts from the Ebel's which were met with screams from Katie and Zack.

Off to IKEA just for fun and to Costco for New Year's Day prep.

Goodbye Grandma and Grandpa--why didn't we take any pictures?

Hello Christine and Bruce!

Pete's sister and her husband came in for our 15th and final New Year's Day party. I had hoped that other Bostonians would drop in too but alas, no interest.

Have to admit I was pretty cranky about this last party coming too, feeling like we should have stopped last year. (PMS didn't help much either.) But once we got cooking I cheered up and had a nice New Year's Eve.. We had Barbecue for dinner, played a new board game Carcassonne and then watched the 100th time Dick Clark has hosted the ball drop--what happened to his teeth?

Guest began arriving around 12:30 on Tuesday and we were all wrapped up by 6pm. It was a nice party and a good way to end the tradition. It was also clear why I was ready to be done with it. It was just too big. I'd rather spend 45 minutes with 5 ppl than 5 minutes each with 45 ppl. I also realized the next day that several people had been left off the guest list (no wonder I never heard from them...) , more proof that it was getting out of hand.

And so the new year is here. No resolutions, but wishes for peace, serenity, time together and laughter.

Happy New Year.