Monday, June 25, 2012

June 12, 2012

Things around here are still nice and slow and relaxing.  Quite lovely:).

I took 14 year old Dancer cat to the vet a couple of days ago and had the micro-chip put in.  They also caught him up on his shots (I don't normally keep indoor-only cats caught up) and I bought some flea medicine for him. So now Dancer is an indoor-outdoor cat and he is a very happy fellow.  The first couple of days it seemed that he stayed very close to our house.  Today we saw him coming back to our house outside of our fence so he had wandered a bit further away.

The boys really surprised me.  The first day that I let Dancer go out, they both cried.  I was really shocked because this is the first time that they seemed to care.  They were not that upset when he disappeared for a week but I guess that has been a while and they are older now.  They are starting to get used to the idea now.  Nick has accepted it and is now ok with it but Ben still worries about Dancer a lot when he is outside and he wants to go to him if he sees him outside.

Hopefully Dancer will get to enjoy his outside time for a long time.  I say a little prayer for him when he is out.  I don't want anything to happen to him but he was really miserable and he was making me miserable.  The entire time he was awake, he would roam the house, from door to door, crying and scratching at doors wanting to go outside.  He has also been waking me up at night doing this and, wow, I had not realized how long this had been going on and how much it was impacting me.  I started letting him sleep in the garage (which he loves) and I am sleeping incredibly now and I feel so great!  It is amazing!  I suddenly have so much more energy!  I really had no idea how much this was impacting my day to day productivity.  I'm sure it was also impacting my immune response and who knows what else.  Anyway, I sure do feel better and, boy!, I am also in a much better mood.

Tinker seems to be doing better with Dancer, now that he is going outside too.  I'm not sure why but they have both been lying out on the back porch since he came in and she is leaving him alone.  Well, she did try to engage him for a bit but he just ignored her and she gave up.  But she didn't run over and jump on his back, which she so frequently does, so that was really good.  Maybe we are going to finally get to a place where they are tolerating each other.  I hope so.  I am really tired of playing musical cats around here (he went into the garage so I can let her in off of the back porch; she is in the house so he must be shut up in my bedroom, etc.).

In other news, we have joined a new co-op and I am really excited about all that they offer.  I think we are all really going to enjoy it.  The boys will be taking a P.E. class that is run by the local YMCA.  They will also be taking a spanish class and an art class.  They have a music class that is offered in the afternoons where the kids are going to put on a musical at the end of the semester, which sounds like a blast.  I may ask the boys if they would like to do that also.  I think Nick especially would love it.  We'll see.  It can all get a bit expensive if we sign up for too much.

Also, I am looking in to having the boys join the cub scouts, which I think they will love.  Ben is really afraid of bugs, any kind of bug, even those that are dead.  So he was not excited about the idea of camping outside.  But then we were talking to this guy across the street who is a Boy Scout leader and, when Ben was saying he didn't want to do Scouts because of his fear of bugs, the guy said, "Well, do you like BB guns and other kinds of guns and would like to learn to shoot?" and Ben's head jerk around and his eyes grew big and, suddenly, he was all on board and excited.  Of course, I don't know if they learn that in Cub Scouts.  They may not teach it until they are in Boy Scouts.  But the guy on the phone this morning was telling me all of the stuff they teach and I was really impressed.  I think they will really enjoy it.  And there is a den that meets in the local school, which is only about a mile from our house, if that.  I think it would also give them a chance to really make some close friends in our area, since they try to put you into a den with kids from around where you live.

I also decided to put off starting school one more week so the boys can go to vacation Bible school at our church.  So we will be starting on July 16th instead of the 9th.  When I was a child, we always went to VBS at our church and then we often went at my grandmother's church as well.  I think the boys will enjoy it and it will be good for them.  I think it is only for half a day.  They will have a fun time and it will give me a bit of quiet time to do some things that I need to get done before we start school.

So lots of new stuff going on around here and, with all the great sleep I am getting now, I feel like a million bucks!  I am still amazed at what a difference this has made for me.  Yay!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012

We are enjoying our break from school.  It has been very nice and relaxing around here lately.  Nick has started taking piano lessons.  He was so excited and could not wait to start.  The first week, he happily practiced every day without me saying anything.  The second week, he decided he didn't want to practice.  Well, that didn't take very long.  Yesterday I had to make a new rule that there would be no movie or computer games until after his piano practice.  It only takes him about 10 minutes to practice what he has been assigned and it is very simple.

Funny enough, Ben has the month off of violin lessons/practice until July 9th but has been practicing more than ever on his own.  I had suggested to Nick that he wait until the week of July 9th to start piano lessons but he insisted on starting in June.  Anyway, Ben is not required to do any violin this month at all and so, funny enough, he has practiced almost every day and is making large strides in improving his playing and ability to read music.  He is really having fun with it and it is showing me that we need to give him more freedom in his day to day practice, when he starts taking lessons again.  He really relishes in being able to pick the songs he is learning so we need to give him more freedom with that going forward.

I have been very busy this month, preparing for our lessons for the year.  I am putting together a filing system where all of the paperwork we will need during the year is already ready for us.  So, hopefully, I will not have to be working every evening during the school year, making copies and printing off maps and math pages and such.  It is a lot of work now but I think it will save a lot of time during the school year and give me more free time, which would be nice.  And hopefully I won't feel so harried and like I have no free time.

The boys are playing basketball for the first time through our local YMCA.  They have had two practices so far and they had their first game on Saturday morning at 8:00am (yawn - we have been staying up later and sleeping in later lately).  They actually did pretty well in their game, considering they have only had two practices and have never played before.  Their whole team really did fairly well, although they still have much to learn, of course.

The husband has a high school reunion to attend in August so we may be making a road trip up to the Chicago area.  If we go we will use it as an opportunity for a little vacationing fun.

The husband's new practice is still going pretty well.  We are both pleased with the number of patients he has been having and are hoping and praying it will continue to pick up quickly.  He has been driving an hour and half to the place where he is working part-time and he stays over night there and works multiple days when he goes.  It will be nice when he doesn't have to do that anymore.  We miss him when he is not around.

My mom seems to be doing much better.  She has not fallen now for a number of weeks, which is the longest she has gone without a fall since last year sometime I think.  So that is very positive.  She has not had anymore vertigo episodes either, other than the two she had at our house.  She came close to having one a day or two ago but it was not nearly as bad as the first two, thankfully.  She has been staying at her house lately and seems to be doing pretty well.  We are very thankful to see her doing better these days.  It is quite a relief not to have to worry about her having bad falls.

The boys have been swimming a ton this summer, either at our local community pool or at the indoor pool at the YMCA.  They enjoy both and it is nice to have both an indoor and an outdoor option.  I took them yesterday evening and the water was really wonderful.  It was just cool enough to be refreshing but warm enough that it was pretty easy to get used to it quickly without it taking your breath away.  At first, we were the only ones there but it didn't take long before there were about a dozen kids in the pool.  The boys had a lot of fun playing with the other boys.  Our neighborhood is still small enough that you end up seeing the same people again and again so they are starting to get to know the names of some of the other kids.

They are having a parade of homes in our neighborhood this weekend so it is quite busy around here.  One of the houses in the parade of homes is next door to us and one is across the street and a little bit to the right. So our street is very busy with lots of cars parked everywhere.  The dad is working today so the boys and I decided to drive into Tulsa to eat at our favorite Chinese place (Pei Wei) as we had not eaten there in ages.  On our way home, we decided to stop and go through a couple of the houses that we had not seen yet.  One of them was particularly beautiful.  They really went all out on all of the little (and big) extras in this house.  It has a big WOW factor.  We all enjoy going through the new homes.

Last but certainly not least, the big milestone this week was that Nick lost his two bottom, front (center) teeth.   The first one fell out on Friday and the second one fell out today while we were eating lunch.  He was so happy that it was finally out because it was really bugging him and making it hard to eat.  He said "now I can really eat!". 

Well, I had better sign off for now so I can get a few things done.  Bye for now!