Happy

Happy Sunday. We are officially on winter vacation this week and loving every moment of it. For the past few hours the kids and I have been reading on the couches, interrupted only by dog walks, cat throwup, and the occasional snacks and tea breaks. Poor Alan doesn’t have a week of vacation ahead of him and somehow our calmness has motivated him to work. He installed a cool power strip under the island counter and is now repairing the guest bath toilet that I didn’t even know needed repair.

The real point of this post though is that I had surgery again on Friday, to open up the subglottic stenosis in my trachea. Almost exactly a year from the last surgery. They call it a dilation procedure, not surgery, but it all seems the same to me. Early morning at the hospital, IV, general anesthesia for an hour, recovery, etc. It’s worth it though, because now I can breath again!

Don’t I look ready? :)

The doctors took good care of me and Alan was there to see me in and out. The nurse didn’t like the look of my veins (they never do) so she called in Wayne, the pro, who got it on the first try with no pain and minimal bruising. The anesthesiology team read my file from last time and I think they were working extra hard to make sure everything went well this time! I don’t even remember leaving the prep room or returning to the recovery room. The best part is, other than the open airway, of course, is that whatever the doctor did differently, my tongue isn’t numb this time! The other two times I ended up with one side of my tongue numb for about 10 days. It was a very weird sensation. This time, nothing! Yay! I did have to wear my glasses all afternoon because my eyes were super dry, which is not a problem I usually have, but fortunately I just got new glasses so wearing them wasn’t bad at all.  Also, I napped a lot. :)

Evening snuggle

Friday was also Valentine’s Day, which we don’t do much for around here. We never even got around to decorating this year. I left the kids a small display on the piano, but that was about it. Which was fine for all of us.

Yesterday we hung out some more, doing not much, reading, watching TV and a movie (most of which I slept through) and taking care of the neighbor’s dogs while they are off cruising in warmer climates! Eve has three pet sitting jobs this vacation. One every day for nine days, and the other two are just single days. She does love her pets!

I hope the rest of you had a nice Valentine’s Day, Friday, weekend, and week ahead! I’m reading a really scary book, so I have to finish it before bedtime tonight.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. :)

From the camera…

Alan and the kids are watching Pirates of the Caribbean… part eleven or twelve.  These movies go on forever!  I finished with my lesson plans for the upcoming week, and felt inspired to write  a blog post.  Unfortunately nothing terrible blog-worthy is going on these days.  I went to my camera for inspiration. Most of the pictures are from school. :/

I found a few though! :)

Lex took a 3D printing class last semester and made some pretty cool things, including his Minecraft avatar! (he’s going to paint the head yellow since it’s supposed to yellow and they had no yellow filament)

Eve just whipped up this lovely painting, while having a snack, listening to her audio book, and rambling to me. She’s multi-talented!

I found a fun idea on the internet (what did people do before the internet?!?) and made it happen at school.

The kids LOVE it! I have 22 teachers who gave me their two five books and now have their faces on display. :)

This dog is weird. He likes to eat with his head IN the bowl.

He also loves in toy.

I got new glasses. Eve got a new wig. We tried to put them both on and make a fun picture. It didn’t work. I like the glasses, but the wig is not my style!

Twinsies!

I thought it best to end the pictures with the handsome men, not the crazy women.  :)

On other topics, Lex is rocking his robotics team and they have their first competition at the end of February.  I’m sure you’ll see lots of pictures from that!  He’s also continuing with drum lessons and karate, and currently working on light design for a high school play.  He had pink eye last weekend (ugh) and says he feels feverish now. We just had two snow days in a row (Thursday and Friday), making for a 4-day weekend, and I’m hoping a fever doesn’t extend his weekend even longer!

Eve has been drawing up a storm and listening to all the audio books she can. She is an amazing artist! She’s considering doing the middle school play this year, but she’s not sure. She came home last week and said she signed up for an audition, but then we learned auditions are Monday afternoon, the same day she has a dentist appointment. :/ I’ll see if she’s up for auditioning after that, but I’m not holding my breath.

I just booked a trip to Quebec City to celebrate Eve’s 13th birthday! I kept asking what she wanted and she kept saying “Canada!” I can’t get her all of Canada, but I can take her there for the weekend. She opted to bring her bestie along as well. I’m excited!

I’m scheduled for surgery (again!) this Friday, Feb 14th. I’m not excited about that! I’ve done all the tests, had scans and x-rays, and blood work and breath tests and all that jazz, yet no one can figure out why this keeps happening.  My next step is an impedance study (scheduled for April vacation) and then maybe a trip to Boston for a 3rd opinion this summer.  Yuck.

Ok, my battery is about to die!  Love y’all!!  Bye. :)

 

Falafels and lentil soup

A few weeks ago Eve said that she wanted to try falafels and asked if I would make them for dinner.  Apparently Magnus Chase loves falafels. Good to know, right? We bought supplies and it took me a few weeks to get to it, but today was the day.  I was fully expecting her to not try them, assuming I was too slow and the mood had passed. But nope, she ate them!  She even liked them!  Actually, officially she said, “they’re ok.”  I’m calling that a win! I’m also going to take her to a local restaurant that makes super delicious falafels and have her try the authentic version.  Maybe I should have started with that. :)

Sometimes I cook. :)

I was getting ready for grocery shopping today and Eve added lentils to the list. When I asked why (actually, I think I said “Lentils? What?!?”) she said she had a craving for lentil soup. I showed her the can of lentil soup we have in the pantry, but she said no, she wants the soup with the tiny pastas that I used to make a the old house.  It was one of Alan’s favorite meals too. And vegan!  The forecast for tomorrow is chilly and rainy, to the point of flooding.  Guess what’s on the dinner menu?! :)

I think there’s hope for Eve in the food department. <3

2020!

It’s a whole new year, people, and a whole new decade! Crazy as that sounds and seems, things on the home front keep moving right along, just like any other day. We celebrated in our typical homebody way. We said no thanks to a few invites and instead opted to stay home, play board games (some new and some old), eat Cheetos (even the vegan partook!), and enjoy our immediate family.

We started the evening with a game of Catan, using the new Cities & Knights expansion pack.  I had very few cities or knights, which resulted in a resounding loss on my end. Oh well.  The game took a very long time and we started to wonder if it would be a one-game NYE.  Fortunately Lex eventually won and we were able to move on to something easier for the late hour: Apples to Apples!

Apples to Apples and late night giggles.

We also opened our Family Fun jar. Lots of plays and concerts this year.  Plus a trip to Florida! :)  Its fun to look back and remember that for half the year the kids were in lower grades, and in Lex’s case, an entirely different school!

Tickets galore!

I wanted to make fun party hats to celebrate the new decade. 2020 is just a fun number.  It took some convincing (and lovely modeling), but finally I talked them all into making and wearing (very briefly, in Lex’s case) these super awesome 2020 hats!

How goofy can one get on NYE?!

My overall craftiness has taken a nose dive since I started working. :/

We made it to midnight easily and with little awareness of the passing time. Nobody dozed off, nobody got grumpy, and nobody even wanted to go to bed at midnight!  Ok, maybe some of us kind of wanted to go to bed at midnight, but agreed to stay up and play the game a little longer while listening to New York, New York on the livestream.

An awesome family selfie to kick off the new year! LOL!

I’m always happy to start a new year (or a new anything!) with this guy by my side.

May 2020 be fulfilling and fun and adventurous for all of you. I’m looking forward to all of the opportunities ahead! I’m also looking forward to finishing my book and drinking another cup of tea. <3

Christmas 2019

Merry Christmas! This was somewhat a usual Christmas, but also felt somewhat unique as the kids are growing up and I realized I have more pictures of the pets than of the kids this year.

Santa came!

Christmas Eve in the dark.

This year the kids each bought each other presents. Lex bought Eve a laptop so she could play Minecraft with him more easily. Previously she had been playing on my computer, which isn’t exactly a gaming machine. Now she’s got an awesome computer and they have been having fun playing together.

First things first, presents from each other.

Eve got Lex a Settles of Catan expansion pack, and the promise to play the board game with him! :)  I love that both presents involved playing with each other.

Lex was excited to watch Eve open her present.

This year I was the first one awake (not counting Mema and Tom because no one can beat them!) and when the kids woke up I had to remind them about opening stockings! They were weirdly not eagerly awaiting present opening.  Or they were, but they are now more mature about it and not jumping on the be at 6am in pure excitement. In fact, they laughed at me because I was the one eagerly bouncing with excitement while waiting for the whole family to arrive in the morning. :)

This about sums up Eve these days.

But don’t you worry, we opened those presents!

Silly girl.

We also had phone calls with family from one coast to the other, and we did some Facetiming with Barney and Lorie.

Facetiming with the CA crew.

The present theme this year turned out to be cozy clothes and board games. We all enjoyed several (hours long!) games of Catan, and many more (minutes long) games of Otrio! I’m eager to play Prime Climb soon too. We have a NYE game night planned and the kids are already picking out the games. I think all three of those games are on the agenda, along with Apples to Apples and Hearts.

We played Catan for hours!

Eve got a stuffy puppy to match our puppy stuffy.

Stuffy and puppy

Christmas dinner was lasagna, salad, and bread. I the first proper meal I’ve cooked in a long time. My friend and her boys came to join us again and brought a delicious chocolate cake with a drawing of Huxley on it. :)

Christmas dinner. I think Alan has a better picture on his phone.

A family picture. We’ll try this again next year when (hopefully) Eve will smile for the camera and I won’t be as huge. :/

The rest of my pictures are of Huxley.  Imagine if this cool portrait mode setting had existed when my kids were babies.  Sigh.  At least I still have one kid who will smile, an adorable dog, and two beautiful sisters.

Lex and Huxley

Rosy and Huxley

Huxley and the aunties

Post-party pup

Huxley and his lovie

The true purpose of vacation! <3

Merry Christmas to all of you.  We have a lovely two week vacation from school this year, and we are enjoying every day of it. We went to an awesome theater yesterday to watch the latest Star Wars movie. It was a fun family outing. Today Alan ran some errands, but the rest of us snuggled in and avoided the winter storm.  Tomorrow is NYE and we are excited to play games and eat Cheetos.  Yep, that’s our family tradition.  Bring in the new year!

PS. Hi Greg!!

Vacation rambles

Hey! It’s Christmas vacation! Yay!!! I’m sitting here in the dark, deleting old emails while Lex plays Minecraft and Alan and Eve watch The Mandalorian. Suddenly I thought, hey, I should do a quick blog post! :)

I got a new toy for school and did some practicing at home. :)

School is going well this year, but I’m perpetually tired and feel like a pretty lousy teacher. I still have no curriculum and I’m not happy with my current 4th/5th grade long-term activity. Fortunately there are lots of kids who like library, so that keeps me going. :) My vacation plans for the next two week include sleep, sleep, some reading, and more sleep. Yesterday my big plan was to make a veggie platter to bring to my friend Elizabeth’s holiday party. My plan for today was lunch with my friend Lisa, and make holiday grocery shopping list. My plan for tomorrow… grocery shopping! Tuesday we clean, and then the real fun begins. :)

Last night we went to Elizabeth’s holiday party. They throw the best parties! I wish there was more time to chat with my bestie, but at least I got to talk to lots of other friends and enjoy the holiday spirit.

I do make a mean veggie platter!

Today I had lunch with my other bestie. We share parenting stories and marriage stories and it feels so good to be heard and supported and she’s hysterical so we laugh and laugh. I’m hoping in the next week or two we can all three get lunch.

After sleeping a lot, my secondary vacation goal is to reconnect with friends. <3

At school my fish had babies a few days ago. All the kids were thrilled. This year I have an interested para and several third graders taking care of the tank. They clean it (somewhat) and feed the fish and are really interested.

See all the tiny babies?!

I decided to make sure I feed them regularly over vacation so they don’t eat the babies. I went in today to feed them and was shocked to find it like a ghost town (tank?) in there. Instead of the usual 12ish fish swarming for food, I could only find five, and all were hidden in the rocks and castles. No babies. :( I think there was a holiday massacre in my fish tank yesterday. I’m going to have some very disappointed kids when they get back from vacation. :(

I took Huxley to school with me to feed the fish. He did not like school! I’m not sure why, but he was in a big hurry to get out of there! LOL.

This cuddle bug doesn’t know what’s about to hit with the holidays coming our way!

Alright, show’s over now so I’m going to turn on the lights and get the bedtime routine started! Happy vacation to those who have it! <3

Holiday Concert

The high school holiday concert was last night. The dress code was black on black, with a tie for the boys.  And Lex put on a tie!!  I was shocked. He wore Alan’s tie and Alan’s belt, and everything else is new.  I think it might even be his first time in a button down shirt!  The boy has come a long way and who would have ever guessed that percussion would be the path to get him there. <3

Lex in a tie

The concert band had four songs, one of which called for a theremin.  The high school doesn’t own a theremin, so the band director asked Lex if he wanted to play the part on an iPad. He did.  He was nervous and said he made a few mistakes, but I think it’s great and the audience loved it.

It was cool to have him front and center for that piece, because normally you don’t see much of him in a concert. :)

The band

 

Christmas is in the air.

We got our Christmas tree today. It is lovely.

Looking for the perfect tree… and avoiding the camera.

We need cathedral ceilings for the Christmas trees I always want!

A family photo around the tree. Someday Eve will join us for family pictures again.

Ack! There’s a wild beast in the Christmas trees!

The mandatory He-Man picture. I’d like to edit that other family right out! :)

Eve decided she wanted to carry the tree. Or at least help carry the tree!

When you drive a Tesla in Vermont, you do what you gotta do at Christmas time. :)

We were all a little nervous about the tree on the roof. Except Alan, he’s not nervous about anything! The rest of us kept a close eye on it.

Waiting for Eve to wrangle the cat. The kids wanted a tree picture with the pets this year.

Next time I think one of my long-armed children are going to have to take the selfie!

In hindsight I should have gotten a picture with just the two of them and the pets. Maybe I can talk them into that tomorrow night. :)

My Swedish tomtes.

Lovely tree.

Christmas at night.

Leaving is hard…

… even if it’s just for two days.  I’m at a conference today and tomorrow.  I stopped by the front office at school on Wednesday afternoon to let the secretary know that I left the sub plan on my desk.  She said, “I don’t have any note of you being out.  I have no sub for you!”  Ack! I got approval from the boss and did all required paperwork!  Apparently he forgot to tell her.  She scrambled and found me a sub, and I felt bad, even though I did everything right.

I told Alan last night that he’d have to bring both kids to school because I was leaving early. He asked why I was leaving early, so I reminded him of the conference. I told both kids about it at night when I was putting them to bed, both seemed surprised. Holy moly, I’ve been talking about this for weeks! So much for my prepping.

This morning Eve work up late and in a total funk. She was crying and sad about everything. I felt bad both leaving her and leaving her for Alan to deal with. This evening she called to tell me the dog chewed up her shoe.  She only has one pair of shoes. :/

Sigh. The conference is going well at least.

Fun with paper circuits… or in this case, ribbon circuits!

The view’s not bad, if you like all that white stuff!! :)

The Addams Family

We’ve had two weekends of amazing youth theater in a row.  Last weekend we saw a production of Newsies at the LOH. The director and musical director are both my friends and colleagues at DBS and there were a bunch of kids we knew in the cast.  Lex had originally signed up to do tech for the show, but it overlapped so completely with the high school musical that he decided not to.

This weekend was the high school production: The Addams Family!  It was hysterical and so well acted.  I loved it! Most importantly, it was lit to perfection. :)

Light Designer and Operator

They even gave him an award for it at Friday’s whole school assembly!

It says “Artist, Designer, &  Innovator of the Week Award”

The show opened with two Thursday matinees for local schools. All of the middle school went to see the show, plus many elementary classes as well.  Eve came home Thursday afternoon raving about how great it was!

I worked the concessions stand for Saturday’s show, so I got to sit in the back of the theater and watch most of it.

I bet you can’t even see the picture without hearing the tune. C’mon, snap those fingers!

Gomez and Morticia

This is Lex’s old bestie, working the sound board. The two of them have grown apart on separate teams in middle school, but I have secret wishes that they’ll become friends again. :)

Lex gave me a tour of the tech booth after the show.  He even let me take his picture. :) He’s so good to me!

The headset is called “the comm” and used to communicate with the stage manager.

It all looks pretty complicated, but he seems to have no trouble with it.

Found inside the door of the tech booth. I think it’s good advice for life in general. :)

I purchased tickets for today’s show. The plan was to bring Alan, Eve, and a friend. Eve opted out, so Alan and I went alone.  Turns out I missed one of the best scenes while setting up concessions yesterday.  I’m so glad I went again!!

It blows me away the level of youth talent in the Upper Valley.  It gives me shivers watching those kids dance and sing their hearts out! I can’t even imagine having that level of talent and confidence, especially at such a young age! I’m so happy that we can support these performances and that my own kids have these opportunities to participate in magic being made.