Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick Update

As you can see, I have a new template. I was looking for something that would allow me to put a big picture at the top and settled on this one. Then I couldn't find a picture worthy of the honor. Maybe soon. My brother-in-law brought it to my attention that it's the same template he and my sister have, yeah I noticed that after I had changed it. I think it's the same as Amy's as well. Sorry for the infringement. But I like it, so I'm keeping it.

Yesterday was a glorious day. First day in awhile that I've felt really good and energetic. I went into the gameroom/guest house/Jeff's storage room to look for something and got a wild hair to start cleaning. Then began hanging curtains--something that I've intended to do for over a year now. The cleaning frenzy lasted most of the day and now my back is screaming for mercy. A dip in the pool felt good. The water was cold--82-84 degrees. Why does water feel colder than air? The temperature yesterday was in the 80's, and felt HOT. But the same temperature water was freezing. Someone explain that to me.

Monday night the grandkids were here and desperately wanted to swim. I warned them that the water was not as warm as their last swim, but after putting their feet in, they were still insistent. I got their swimsuits on, then slipped on the floaties and Jacob yelled "CANNONBALL!" and jumped in. This is something new since Marcia's visit. He is no longer afraid for his face to get wet and is so proud of himself for going under water. He usually comes up asking for a towel to dry his eyes, but sometimes doesn't even need that. He's getting so big! Later in the evening, he began the game of mimicking....repeating everything we said. When his parents came to get them, he started repeating Trista. Trista: "Jacob stop it." Jacob: "Jacob stop it." Trista: "Jacob that's annoying." Jacob: "Jacob that's annoying." I remember Jeremy and Jeff doing that and how it got on my nerves. With Jacob, I think it's hysterical, which I'm sure annoys Trista as well. "Lita that's annoying." "Lita that's annoying."

Spanish class starts tonight. Five of us are enrolled. Should be interesting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweet, Sweet DSL

One of the biggest drawbacks (for me) living in the country is the internet. I love being on the computer, love blogging, facebooking, uploading pictures, playing games...you name it. It has been a frustrating adjustment having to depend on a Sprint data card for "dial-up" access. The signal out here is not the best and it has caused me much stress...I know...I have a really hard life. Last week Alan called me with the best news--DSL is now available in our area! Woo hoo!!! I immediately went online to order it. Tried multiple times, each time getting the message that it was NOT available in my area. I called AT&T MANY times, and each person had a different explanation, but no solution. I plugged in the phone numbers of neighbors to the north, south, east and west of me, all of which either had already placed an order, or were eligible to place an order. So on Saturday I spent all morning with a representative, vowing that I would not hang up the phone until I had DSL ordered. She was finally able to discern that the problem was the new E911 address that had been assigned to our phone number. Hmmm. Available at 5610 but not available at 5578. I convinced her that it was the SAME HOUSE! Wednesday (yesterday), a new phone jack was installed in my office. I had a very busy day yesterday and didn't have time to check it out until late in the afternoon. I was able to connect to the world wide web initially, but when I connected through my router (allowing use of my laptop) I could not connect. I'll try to make a long story short. After several phone calls and attempts, the technicians got me to a point that I could no longer connect AT ALL. Erghh!! My last call (just a few minutes ago) was to attempt getting out of "bridged" mode and at least be able to connect directly to the computer. He said that since I was already in "bridged" mode, let's try it through the router. "Whatever." He had me wire it up again, turn off the modem, restart the computer....yeah, yeah, yeah, like I haven't already tried that. But voila! Immediate connection. Magic! So now I have the desktop purring and can use my laptop as well--at lightning speed--well, at least faster than before. Life is good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lunch Packing

I pack Neal's lunch every night for work the next day. It's a chore that I both despise AND take pride in. Neal requires a lot of nourishment to get him through his 10-hour day. And he's quite particular about certain proteins, minerals and vitamins being included in his diet. For instance, yogurt and a banana after his safety meeting every morning, to give him the potassium and calcium needed to sustain him until lunch. One morning, I was out of bananas, but was saved by the fact that the yogurt I packed was "strawberry-banana." Whew! His lunch also routinely includes: 2 sandwiches, natural almonds and walnuts, an apple or orange or peach, and a bag of grapes. Sometimes I will add some watermelon or canteloupe. Lately, we've had homegrown tomatoes from our garden and occasionally I'll include a tomato for him to slice and put on his sandwiches.

My mom and dad were here recently and we were laughing about some of the "surprises" she had put in Dad's lunch over the years. Once, he bit into a sandwich to find the paper label of the bologna still stuck to the piece of meat. Another time, they had leftover barbecue and she packed a bun but forgot to include the barbecue, so he had a dry bun for lunch!

Last night, as we were having dinner, I proudly asked Neal how he liked the tomato I so lovingly had packed in his lunch that day. "Oh, I loved it," he said, "but I wasn't quite sure what to do with the worm that was zipped up in my sandwich bag." Now, the tomato was worm-free, and the sandwich was zipped up tight in the bag. I have no idea how a worm found its way into the bag, but maybe I need to start making sure I have my glasses on when I prepare his lunch at night! Well...he DID say he needed to start adding more protein to his diet.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Zoo Trip

Linda and Marcia are here for a visit. One of the activities on the itinerary was to spend some time with the kids. Since we went to the Aquarium a couple of weeks ago with Grandma and Grandpa Smith, we decided to spend a day at the Zoo...despite Jacob's insistence that "no...we...are...going...to...the...quarium." It was a tiring, but fun adventure that began with trying to wedge the wagon into the back of my Pilot. I was ready to give it up and just rent a wagon at the zoo, but no, Marcia would not accept defeat. After moving Jacob's car seat to the middle row, we were finally able to get the back gate shut and wedge Marcia between the two car seats. It was a good decision as we were able to store ice, juice and snacks for the kids in the wagon. The chimps put on quite a show and all was fun and games until two of the bigger ones began fighting and swinging up to and banging against the window just inches away from us. Lauren was not thrilled with that! One of the last exhibits we saw was the Feather Fest, where we were surrounded by birds from Australia. We were given popsicle sticks with bird seed (we had to convince Lauren it wasn't a snack for HER) and the kids loved feeding the birds. Jacob was very brave and allowed one to sit on his shoulder and peck at his neck and cheek. Fun day!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Day With Jacob

Jacob didn't want to go to the mean old babysitter (just kidding...she's really sweet) so he spent yesterday with me. It was a pretty typical day. He said he wanted Trix for breakfast, when actually he really just wanted to suck milk through the jack-o-lantern straw that I keep in the front of my silverware drawer. While I did my Bible study, he pulled out the GI Joes and set them all up--army men together, fences in a row, tanks lined up, airplanes in take-off order, all in the organized manner that is Jacob. Soon he was truly hungry and decided on waffles...with butter and syrup which he licked off first before rolling up the waffles and devouring them. I went about cleaning up the kitchen while he made aliens with the play-doh and goop that we had purchased on one of our trips to Wal-mart. We're down to half a bottle of goop, so I mentioned that we may have to buy some more when we go grocery shopping. He of course, thought we should buy a "different" toy, after all there's plenty of goop for 3 or 4 more creative sessions.

Upon arriving at Wal-mart, I headed to "health & beauty" to get some essentials and he reminded me that "the toys are over THERE." Okay, okay, "we have to be patient." I could have had all my groceries bought in the time it took us to decide on a toy. As we were walking down the same aisle for the third time, I tried to make some cheap suggestions. "No, Nana, not that, we have to be PATIENT." No kidding!!! After several of HIS suggestions, to which I nixed because of the ginormous price, we both agreed on some Black & Decker tools in their own backpack. "Nana, I LOVE my tools." Great.

I tried to hurry through my shopping since it was getting close to my lunch time. (I ate breakfast early, not 10:30 like him.) I only bought a couple of things that would not have been on the list were it not for him. He wanted green pop (Sprite), but then saw Elmo Apple Juice. I persuaded him to make a choice--we couldn't buy both--so he reluctantly decided on the Elmo Juice. Then we HAD TO HAVE Cocoa Straws, something I'd never heard of. While paying for my groceries, he saw a miniature Etch-a-Sketch that he wanted. "No, remember, we got the tools." "But I LOVE it, Nana." "Well, maybe next time we come to Wal-mart that's what we'll buy." The bottom lip pooched out, but no tantrum, and out the door we went. He was asleep by the time we got home and I carried him, backpack of tools and all, to bed for an hour of rest.

After naptime, a late lunch of leftover steak and milk with Cocoa Straws. A well-rounded meal, don't you think? A safe 30 minutes later we were ready for a swim. He likes to put his own sunscreen on and applies pretty thick. While I was getting his back, he was drawing in the sunscreen on his belly and said, "Hey Nana, I made a D." Yep, I think he's ready for school.

When Jacob's in the pool, there's no relaxing. There's only playing. I had to sing about swimming in the ocean on this beautiful day at the beach, unaware that there was an octopus or whale or shark sneaking up behind me. He would suddenly latch on to me and I would squirm and flail and splash, screaming for someone to help me. While we were in the pool, Jacob noticed for the first time our RV sitting out in the field. He said, "Nana! You got a trailer?" "Yes, we have a trailer." "I got a idea. You can go wif us to trout fishing!" I think that's an excellent idea.