Henry David Thoreau
This weekend was so welcomed. Although I had a lot of homework, I needed the break. I ignored the schoolwork waiting for me at home (well, as much as I could), and chose to instead to enjoy some family time.
Mario has only been home about 4 of the last 16 days, so it was nice to reconnect. It was also nice knowing that he will be sticking around for a stretch before leaving again. 36-48 hours between 7 day stretches is just not enough.
I have also been struggling to find my groove this semester. I'm two weeks in but it still feels like the first day. You know those times when you desperately crave some sort of routine, but anything and everything seems to get in the way? That is what it's been like. I am in some really interesting classes and get to participate in some great hands-on laboratory work, but I have yet to find the excitement I usually feel at the start of a semester. I should be over the moon seeing as I graduate in a few short months. I think a homework/lab work/home life schedule will make all the difference. I'm simply too scattered right now.
The week before classes started, Jared had to get a small spot removed from his back. It turned out to be totally benign, but it required seeing a general surgeon, having a small surgery, and waiting a week for pathology. He was freaked out by the whole process and I had that ruminating worry as only a mother can. His follow up appointment to get the pathology results fell the morning of my first class. Needless to say, I was exhausted from running around all morning, unfocused, and feeling rather unprepared. I haven't been able to shake that feeling.
Last Monday, while volunteering at Kiddo's school, I discovered that two of his fellow students have been bullying him. The kids were using Google Chrome accounts that weren't logging out after the computers were shut down. These kids were accessing his (and other student's) avatar and username and changing them to some rather vile things. It's a small charter middle school with only 20 kids between the 7th and 8th grades, and I'm not sure the school has ever dealt with something quite like this. There were policies in place that simply weren't being followed. Had I not been there, who knows how long this would have continued? Mario and I have zero tolerance toward this behavior, but he was in New Jersey all week, so I was left to deal with this situation on my own. The two students were ultimately suspended (yes, it was that bad), but it took dozens of emails and many conversations to get this dealt with. We have yet another meeting today to finish addressing some grave concerns we have. Talk about draining. If you have kids, you know the mother bear instinct that kicks in. If you have kiddos in the future, you'll acquire it, too.
Oh, and I wrote a post about how our bank account was hacked last Monday. Good riddance last week of January. Let's move on to better weeks. Onward and upward.
If you're still with me, here is what our weekend looked like:
I am starting to think Chinese food might be making too many appearances lately. Nah. We were all exhausted and ordering in allowed us some extra time to chill out as a family and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation on BBC. I grew up with that show, and although I can't call myself a trekky, I know all the characters and plot lines...and it's a show I enjoy watching. I have my older brother to thank for that, I suppose, but I still haven't forgiven him for the hours upon hours of old Dr. Who episodes I had to live through.
Kiddo rediscovered his 'glasses'. He has 20/20 vision, but the frames do suit him. He feels very studious wearing them, as you can see. This weekend's thrifting bonanza got him a load of Star Trek and Star Wars books. The second thrift store we went to had about a hundred. He wanted to negotiate for the whole lot, but we limited him to four. And a Michael Crichton. He recently read Jurassic Park and The Lost World, so he's on quite the Crichton kick. We cannot keep enough books in the house...which is one of the many things I love about him. He was such a trooper during this tough week, so I bought him a festive 'hot chocolate' cupcake as an "I love you/you're the best/I am so proud of you" treat.
A bit of a hodge podge here. I think my new camera has turned me into a monster.
We have an extensive collection of Starbucks city and state mugs (we pick one up in every city we visit together). This time of year, I like to drink out of my home city's mug and pretend I'm there.
I did some meal planning from my new crock pot cookbook. Yay! We have had Jared on a meal planning sheet for ages, now I need to get on board. Despite the prep work, it makes our lives SO much easier.
I got on some crazy mailing list last fall. Is it a blogging thing? Anyone else have this experience? I started getting Us Weekly, and quickly became overwhelmed, so I called the company and found out that it was a 1-year promotion. I was also signed up to get a year of Better Homes & Gardens, but I cancelled that, too. I might regret that one a little. Us Weekly, definitely not. Well, on Friday an issue of Martha Stewart Living showed up. I was so excited. I really don't have time to read magazines these days, but I will definitely go back and read these. Love this magazine. Copious amounts of catalogs (from brands I've never heard of) and other junk mail aside, I am digging this freebie.
I found these 'green drink' pills at Trader Joe's yesterday and scooped them up. I used to mix the powder with water almost every day a couple years ago. I was never a fan of the flavor (is anyone?) and tired of the effort, so I abandoned this habit. I feel really good when I take a 'green' supplement, so I'm really happy to have found it in a (affordable) form that I can pop daily with my multivitamin. The truth is, I'm completely uninspired to eat the bland, limp greens that are currently in our local grocery stores, so I haven't been eating as many veggies as I should lately. This won't replace fresh greens, but it sure helps fill in the gaps.
We made the trek to an Apple store to pick up this new product: Hue. Phillips and Apple got together to make a lighting system that is run by an app on your Apple device. Jared really struggles to get up on these dark, cold winter mornings (we get up at 6a, the sun doesn't start rising until 7a) and to quiet his mind at bedtime. This system allows us to simulate sunrise and sunset in his room every morning and night via my phone or iPad. It's ingenious! Each set contains 3 light bulbs and a wi-fi device. If it helps him transition better, it will be well worth the $200. His room only requires 2 bulbs (we have recessed lighting), so we are still deciding what to do with the third. You can see how Hue works here.
On a whim, I decided to stop by our local Salvation Army on the way home Friday and it kicked off a weekend of thrifting. We picked up a couple books at SA, then stopped by a place in our little town. She sells vintage, antique and consignment wares. I picked up a new (to me) purse and an owl that perfectly matches another owl statue I bought at an antique fair last fall. My current purse is falling apart but I haven't been able to find something I like to replace it. For $8, this was a great find. I found two new pieces of Pyrex for my collection ($12 total! Score!) and later on Saturday bought two sweaters. One is a vintage acrylic sweater in a great yellow color and the other is 100% cashmere, oh so soft, and in amazing condition. Both are men's extra larges (but don't seem that big), so I'll probably wear them on the weekend or around the house. They were too snuggly to pass up, and I'm thinking the cashmere could be tailored to fit me. I kind of regret not buying the ceramic squirrel container above. It doesn't really fit my decor, so I passed, but Kiddo and I thought it was beyond cute.
Husband made some great Rice Krispie treats using peppermint marshmallows. They were really good and festively colored.
Husband post-siesta. The obligatory kitty shot. Biscuits and gravy for Sunday breakfast. It's a team effort: I make the biscuits from scratch and Mario handles the gravy. This is my favorite special occasion breakfast, though I could probably eat it every day. We use turkey breakfast sausage and lowfat milk to lighten it up a bit. We get to stay in our pjs, we save money, and it's less of a calorie-fest than if we went out...win-win-win.
If you are still with me, you're a trooper. I apparently wanted to get a few things off my chest, because you probably could have watched Gone with the Wind in the time it took to read this beast. I will leave you with this:
I hit 200 followers Sunday morning! It is such an honor to reach this milestone. I started this blog last summer as an outlet to write creatively, talk about my life, and connect with others. For the first 6 months I had less than 20 followers. When I started, I didn't even know what 'following' meant or that people could make money, or even a living, blogging. I probably won't ever have sponsors or thousands of followers, because my academic career is far from over, but I look forward to meeting more great bloggers, writers, fellow students, and fellow moms. This has been an amazing experience...I am so glad to be a part of this world. For those of you who took the time to hit 'follow', thank you.