Friday, August 21

Back to School News, et al

So, here we are at the start of another school year. As of today, these two have been in school just over a week ~ Miss Hurricane is in first grade, Mister Twister is in 6th at the middle school. So far, both are doing well. He has a locker and changes classes this year, but all his classes are within about 20 feet of each other so it's pretty easy... better than it was for me anyway, my middle school was 3 different floors plus the gym in the basement, and I was all over that school on any given day! Anyway, he gets on the bus with three other kids - one boy has already become a 'best friend' I think - and the bus picks them up around 8:20. His school day starts at 9:05, lets out at 3:55... the elementary school starts at 7:45 and I pick her up around 2:30, so there's a huge difference in when they're gone for school! I'm getting used to it already. The added bonus is that Mister Twister's bus stop is only a 10 minute walk away, and since Miss Hurricane is already at school, I can walk to the bus stop with him. I've been walking with him every morning, then I take a longer route back to the house. So I can finally get in some daily exercise, something I've been slacking on over the summer! And depending on Poseidon's schedule I walk to see the boy off the bus some afternoons. So finally I have both kids home by 4:30 and I now know that dinner needs to be made and on the table by 6 so that no one's constantly in and out of the kitchen for a snack. It feels good to have a schedule for a change, and this one is working very well so far!

Around Mother's Day, Miss Hurricane's teacher let all the kids plant flowers for their moms and had a Mother's Day party at school. I got a plastic cup of daisies. They finally died on me a few days ago, but here's a picture of them at the end of July:

She said they were "Mother's Daisies". :D

Before the start of the school year, both kids and I had our yearly physicals. I'll go first:
July 14 I went to the public health clinic (I still have no insurance on myself) to have my thyroid level checked, and for a general checkup since I hadn't had one in over 6 years. The doctor's final verdict - I'm overall healthy, but overweight. I knew that. *lol* She didn't get to hear any heart palpitations, it didn't act up the entire time I was there. I did give permission for my records from my hometown doctor to be released to her so she'll see everything Dr. V. did in regard to my heart problem. This doctor also checked my cholesterol level and some other stuff I didn't write down at the time, but my main concern was a possible thyroid issue. I can rule that out - she never called back, but told me in office that she has a 'no news is good news' policy. I still have no idea why I lose so much hair in a day and consistently have frozen toes and fingers, but at least I know it's not that! She also gave me a daily multivitamin to take even though she was happy to hear about my diet being a pretty good one. The clinic bases the amount a patient pays for a visit on the household income... so I only had to pay $24 for everything! Nice :-)
Now for the kids:
I took them in one appointment on July 28. Mister Twister had the possibility of one vaccine, but Miss Hurricane was caught up and doesn't need any until next August. I decided to wait on his vax to give myself time to read more about it (just a TDaP booster, but I found out that he needed it before the first day of middle school. I did take him back for that on August 11 and he was [and is] fine - barely a flinch.). So they each were weighed and measured first... Mister Twister, who turned 11 on August 9, is 57.5" tall and weighs 88.8 pounds. For reference, I am only 65" tall, and I'm finished growing in height! This child will likely be a 6-foot-tall freshman!! Definitely takes after my dad's side of the family there; Dad and all 6 of his siblings are over 68" tall. This man-child of mine also still has 20/20 vision in both eyes. And our first sign of puberty has appeared.... for his 11th birthday, he got his first pimple. :( Where did my little boy go? Who replaced him with this man-child?? At least he does still accept a goodnight kiss from me! But his eating has finally slowed down - for the last two years or so, this kid has been constantly hungry and totally able to eat an adult-sized dinner plate full of food and still need more. These days he can eat just the one plate and be full, so I guess he's done growing for a little while.
Now Miss Hurricane, who turned 6 back in May, is 47" tall and weighs 64 pounds. Since her brother's growth spurt appears to be over, she is the one constantly eating something, always hungry. Even after a huge dinner, an hour later she swears she'll just waste away to nothing if she doesn't get something else to eat! On the upside, this year she's finally willing to eat breakfast - much like her father, she's never been interested in food before about 10 a.m., but will now eat a piece of toast or half a bagel before school. (The boy and I are the kind of people who have to eat pretty much upon waking - even before the first cuppa.) Miss Hurricane also has 20/20 vision in both eyes. She doesn't need any boosters or vaccines until she's 10, although once we move there may be some that will be necessary in a new school district. We won't know about that until they're registered out there.

And speaking of moving, I can now officially tell everyone that we will be moving to the other coast next June! Poseidon and I didn't want to wait, but in the end we decided that we were rushing ourselves and thought it better to give ourselves a year. We can save more money up for the actual move, get rid of things around here that we won't need out there, fix up this place a bit (even though we rent, it's still a house, and we've had kids living here for 6 years. There's stuff to do.) and finalize everything we can. We still haven't told the landlady, but really don't need to until we pay May's rent. She just lost her husband of 54 years a couple months ago, I don't want to toss anything else on her right now. We still have plenty to do before we move, and the time in which to get it all done. I have to make a heart-wrenching decision about whether I can/should keep my sewing machine and all that goes with it... in the meantime I'm trying to get as many projects finished as I possibly can. I really don't want to part with it - sewing is therapeutic to me, and I can sit and sew for hours without getting bored or needing more than a bathroom break - but once we move I will probably not have any time for sewing if anything else. My days as a SAHM are coming to an end! I won't make a decision on that until April or May though, and things could change, and I may not have to get rid of it at all. We'll see.

Now, on the creative front ~ a few weeks ago I thought I'd try to make some produce bags. I've read that those plastic bags at the store (in which you collect your cucumbers, tomatoes, plums, etc. - the bulk veggies and fruits) can "leak" unhealthy gas into and through the skin of the fruit/veg. I learned how to crochet about 15 years ago. Without an actual pattern for it, but based on a bag I made a few years ago, I came up with a drawstring bag for tomatoes and cucumbers (or whatever, you know) which only weighs a couple of ounces by itself. So it doesn't throw off the weight of the food, and it's reusable! If need be I can wash it with my kitchen towels. I made three before I was finally satisfied with the size and shape of everything, and wrote out a pattern for the way I made it. We've been using them and they work just fine! I'm going to make a couple more for us, and whenever I have time I may make some to give as gifts for family and friends who would use them. I always have to be making something to be happy! *lol*
Other creations in the works are:
curtains for the dining room - to keep some of the afternoon heat at bay, so they're brown curtains and will have a piece of black in the middle.
curtains for the other kitchen window - again, to keep the heat out.
a blanket for Miss Hurricane - she picked the fabrics for a four-patch throw, possibly quilted. It's very pink:

a throw - some random 3" squares I had came together very nicely and I'll only need to get some fabric for sashing this 9-patch (the black and white you see are squares which won't be used, I'm going to cut strips instead).

two shirts for me - I've had these waiting in the wings since Spring. It's a long sleeve pattern though, so I still have time.
Those should all be finished by October, and then I'll start with the holiday sewing. I love finding free patterns online!!

One more picture... last week I was out, and when I came home I saw this praying mantis in the hedge. I'm weird so I had to take a picture! Bugs are cool :-)

You're all caught up now... we were gone part of the summer, and summer for the kids only lasted about 8 weeks anyway. The kids are off school today (teacher workday), then again for Labor Day. There's a 4-day weekend in October and the three of us will be at Mom's then. We've just been truckin' around here :-)


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