Thursday, December 09, 2010

Can't Stop Knitting

It all started about a week before Halloween. Night wanted to be Harry Potter. We have been reading through the series (we are on year 4 now). It is amazing to re-live Harry Potter with a 7 year old, by the way. Anyway, Night wanted to be Harry Potter. We found a costume for him, but we couldn't find a scarf.
My mom taught me how to knit when I was about 10. I never finished anything--not even a square that we could call a washcloth. But, if I could do it when I was 10, I figured I could re-teach myself now, and that is just what I did. I went to Wal-mart and bought a cheap skein of burgundy and a cheap skein of gold. We already had big needles at home, and I set out to work. I watched video after video after video on the internet. It took me about 2 days to re-teach myself. I didn't use a pattern or anything, so I cast on way too many stitches. I think there were probably 50 stitches. (I'm currently knitting a scarf with 19 stitches). I didn't know how to count rows, so I knit with burgundy until it looked right, then I watched a zillion videos to learn how to switch colors. I did garter stitch for the whole thing, which is all I even knew existed. Halloween was on Sunday. I had the scarf finished by Thursday. Whoo-hoo.
Now, I can't stop knitting. Since then (a month and a half?), I have made 2 more Harry Potter scarves (toddler versions), a scarf for Keira, a PONCHO and hat for myself, and 3 basket-weave scarves for teacher gifts (I' have 3 more of those to get done for next Wednesday). I've also started teaching myself how to make socks. I've started two. The first one is crap, but I learned from it. Now, I'm on the second. I figure if I can get this second one down, I will rip out the first one and make a pair!
I want to write more about my knitting adventure, but I can't figure out how to type and knit at the same time, so the rest of the story will have to wait while I knit and knit and knit...

Friday, October 08, 2010

Why Do I Suck at Sleeping In?

Last night at dinner:
Me: (to Josh) Do you want to take the kids to school in the morning?
Josh: Why?
Me: So I can sleep in.
Josh: But you suck at sleeping in.
Me: I don't. I can sleep in until 9:30 or so.
Josh: That isn't really sleeping in.
Me: Just because you go to bed at 4:00 in the morning and are able to sleep until 2:00 in the afternoon, 9:30 is still considered to be a sleep in.


This morning:
JOSH's alarm went off at 7:00. Whoo hoo. I had forgotten!! I'm sleeping in!!
Keira: The alarm went off in my bedroom and woke me up!! Will you help me brush my teeth?

Wouldn't you know that I haven't been back to sleep since?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Walk to School Day

Today was Walk to School Day. We walk to school everyday. It takes about 8 minutes, give or take FIVE minutes depending on Keira's mood. For this special occasion, the students were meeting at a nearby church, along with teachers and parents, in order to walk to school as a group.

We live about half way between the school and the church, a little bit closer to the school. The meeting time was 7:50, and we usually leave our house around then, so I knew that school would actually be starting a little late. Around 7:30, I called the school to find out if they'd be walking on our street or the street beside us. Of course, it was not OUR street.

I gave the kids the choice as to leaving a little early and walking to the church then to the school or just leaving at the normal time and going straight to the school. Wouldn't you know that Keira wanted to walk with everyone else, and Night wanted to leave at the normal time. Since we were ready early, I contemplated driving Keira to the church then coming home and taking Night the normal route. Then, I thought about the reasons for Walk to School Day (I'm not sure what they are, but probably to be healthy and green, right?), and driving to the church didn't really fit. So, I popped Keira on my back, complete with hoodies and a backpack and ran walked/jogged to the church, dropped her off, and ran sped walked back to the house to pick up Night. I was able to walk fast enough to pick up Night and cross over to the next street before the whole group passed by. So, we joined them and finished walking to school.

I was home and drinking my coffee by 8:30am. Not a bad start to the morning!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Long Overdue Update

Okay. Time to update this blog and let everyone know how life is a lot different from the last time you heard from me.

In July, we moved from our little town of Franklin to East Nashville in order to finally be closer to work. For the past two years, I had been commuting 1/2 hour to work (not too bad) and 45 minutes home (traffic!) each day in order to work at a small independent middle school in East Nashville. We loved Franklin, so it was a hard decision, but one made easier with the fact that my children would have free tuition this year. Since, as a whole, Nashville public schools aren't the greatest (and Franklin Elementary was fantastic), this was a big part of our decision. Also, Josh had been offered a part time position at my school as well, meaning my whole little family could go to school together everyday! I had always hated being so far away from my family when I crossed into Nashville each day.

Then, my small independent school closed due to financial problems. This happened less than a month before school was set to begin. Fortunately, the school we are zoned for in our new house is one of the best in the area, so my kids would be okay. Unfortunately, I had let my teaching license expire a few years ago--it wasn't necessary at my private school, but it is necessary to get another job teaching at a public school.

So, I am now currently receiving unemployment checks. It is surreal. I go from feeling like a loser who can't find a good paying job despite my education degree to a happy mom who gets paid to stay home! I have very productive days where I bake stuff for the ladies at my kids' school, clean the house from top to bottom, take the dog to the dog park, read books, and make delicious meals that I would've never had time to make before. I also have very unproductive days where I get out of bed long enough walk the kids to school then crawl back in until it is time to pick them back up.

I have been lucky enough to keep my waitressing job on the weekend-the one where I've worked for 6 years. Unfortunately, the way unemployment works, is that if I make more than $68.75 a week, the overage comes out of my $275 unemployment check. Since I usually make closer to $100 each day, I only work on Sundays. Josh has been able to pick up a few odd jobs every now and then, which helps to supplement our income as well.

I'm working on getting my license updated. I have to fight through some red-tape, though since my license is in Indiana, and we live in Tennessee. I guess the most discouraging part is that once I get my license, I can't really expect to find a teaching job in the middle of the school year. I can sub, but unless it is full time, it isn't really worth it. Here is my dream: get my license updated and then transferred over to this state and then get a teaching job at my kids' school, which is a mere 5 minute (or 15 minute with the kiddos!) WALK to school. Since that is unlikely to happen in MY timing, I will do my best to get some subbing jobs there so the principal gets to know me, and my face pops into her head when a position becomes available.

I am enjoying my time, although I feel guilty at times. My house is cleaner than it has ever been--people could even stop by without warning, and I wouldn't be too embarrassed! I've spent a lot of time volunteering at the kids' school (which is good for them, but makes me kind of sad sometimes). Overall, my life seems a lot more...calm, but it is only a matter of time before I start to get stir crazy. I might me alphabetizing the soup cans soon.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Weekend, Pictures

The water heater floating at the top...

This is after some of the water was pumped out.

Our trash. This is taken from our driveway. Across the street to the left is a bunch of our junk. We gathered three of our neighbor's trash cans and lined them up (full, of course) across the street (to the right), and then we piled a bunch right in front of our yard (closest in the picture).A view from across the street. The black Xterra along with the trail of trash behind it, is in front of our house.

My Weekend, part 2

After we finished eating, we headed home. It took longer than usual, but we didn't run into any unusual obstacles-other than seeing a lot of flooded yards, including our local park.

In an effort to relax, I decided to take a bath. I couldn't get the water to heat up! It was luke warm at best. Not knowing anything about the pipes or workings of the house, it didn't make sense to me when Josh ran frantically to the basement door.

I figured it out pretty quickly--our hot water heater was in the basement, which was flooded up to the fourth stair from the top, about 6 feet or so. Not only was the hot water heater under water, but it was FLOATING in the basement, along with a lot of other things that I don't even want to think about right now.

We rent our home, so Josh called the landlord and left a message. It went something like this, "Um, the water in the basement is almost to the top. I'm not sure what to do. I've never had a flooded basement before." Well, the landlord didn't call back until the next afternoon, so he wasn't much help. We called the fire department to see if they could come pump the basement before it came into the rest of the house. They said that they could not-we could call them back if we needed rescued or evacuated.

Josh went to Home Depot to see if they had any sump pumps left. They were turning people away at the door. So, my brilliant husband bought one of those decorative pumps that go in fountains. They pump water too! He got the pump up (down?) and running around 8:00pm Saturday. It rained until around 6:30pm Sunday. The pump ran the whole time, other than maybe about 4 hours that Josh took to sleep.

On the news, we saw video of a mobile trailer on the INTERSTATE; it had floated about 3/4 of a mile in the flood to the road, where it crashed into cars and semis.

What we went through was nothing compared to so many of the people who live in the area. Most of our damage was Saturday night; We spent all day Sunday wondering if we were going to have to leave our house because of the nearby river, but we were fine. Josh's quick thinking Saturday night saved us from the disaster that it could have been.

Monday, everything everywhere was closed. In fact, the schools in Metro Nashville STILL aren't back in session. It took us most of Monday and Tuesday morning to get the basement completely cleaned out. Pretty much everything was ruined. Josh did manage to save some of our wedding pictures, but pictures from high school (Australia!) and college are gone. Baby pictures of Keira are gone too, but I think we have some of those on the computer. Cleaning up was hard to do because it reminded me of what was down in the basement. It would've been better for my soul if someone else could've cleaned our house and we could've cleaned theirs!

We are almost back to normal now, though. We do have a huge (okay, three huge piles) pile of junk on the curb waiting to be picked up. And, our air conditioning is still out because the ducts that were in the basement were soaked through. The only other problem is the SMELL. Our house stinks like mildew-it is raising out of the basement and part of the carpet in the den where we carried our soiled goods.

I'm going to go light some candles and spray some Lysol. Not in that order-because then we might have another disaster on our hands.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

My Weekend, part 1

Saturday morning, we woke up "early" to go to a fundraiser Pancake Breakfast at my school, which is in East Nashville. We live in Franklin, which is about 15 minutes south of Nashville, making the trip to the school about half an hour.

It was POURING down rain. I love rain, so I was happy. I really love the rain when I'm sleeping in, but being out and about in the rain is usually okay too. When we left the breakfast around 11:00, we decided to drive around East Nashville for awhile. I'm over there all the time, but I don't really take time to explore. We like to drive around a look at "stuff." We also went shopping.

When we were leaving what was presumably our last shop, the radio announced that there was a tornado warning in Franklin for the next half hour. We decided to stick around Nashville for a little while longer. It was still raining--Josh went into a video store and found a few deals while the kids and I hung out in the car--they were playing on their DSs, and I was reading on my Iphone. (I'm not sure what we'd do without electronics...)

When Josh returned, we decided to meander home. We got to about 5 miles from our exit off the interstate and traffic was stopped. Now, people in Nashville seem to think driving while it is raining is...reason to crash into each other. There seems to be a lot more accidents during rain storms. So, we figured there was an accident.

It is unusual to be stuck on the interstate on a Saturday afternoon. We decided to get off at the exit and take the back way home. We were in the furthest lane from the exit, of course, so it took a little maneuvering. It seemed that everyone else had the same idea as well--even the semi-trucks! Weird.

Once in the exit lane, we drove close to the interstate so we could see the action. By this time, we realized that all of the traffic had been routed off the interstate. Must be a bad accident! Then, we saw that the direction we were headed--toward the mall was FLOODED. The road that leads to the mall had a huge pond of water with a few cars stuck in the middle. Then, we noticed that the INTERSTATE was also flooded, which is why we were routed off of it!

Well, by this time, we were hungry again, so we stopped to eat. It was pouring down rain the entire time. At the school across from the restaurant, a group of teenagers were playing in the pool that was once a field. At the time, it seemed fun and cute. Looking back, it was the start of a very long weekend.

It's Been Awhile...

It has been so long since I have been here that my blogger account was disabled! What does that mean? Why'd they disable it? I'm here; I'm here!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I was Playing On-Line Poker, What Did You Expect?

I just heard a pounding noise from the other room. Like a good mother, rather than going to look, I yelled, "What are you doing?"
Keira yelled back, "Nothing."
"It doesn't sound like nothing."
"Well, we aren't doing anything to break the house."
"Okay. Well, don't break each other either."
"Okay. We won't."

Need parenting lessons? I offer them for a small fee...