Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008 Hiking, Emily's GED

Already the end of November and as I browse through my blog that I haven't looked at in a week I notice that my SIL isn't updating hers as often either. I wonder if it's something about the time of year. Things here have been mostly quiet. The weather has been unseasonably cold and for a few days we were going through1 to 2 bags of pellets a day. Dan has lots of energy these days, is no longer napping on a regular basis and seems to have a never ending supply of energy. We've found that if we don't make a concerted effort to get him out running around for an extended period of time every day he's unbearable, so we've started hiking alot. Thankfully, we have lots of great hiking trails around. He can comfortably hike for about 2 miles without stopping. Mike, the dogs and I are all benefiting as well. I'm down to 148 lbs and still losing. My goal weight is 136 so I'm just 12lbs shy. Redoubling my efforts in light of the upcoming holidays.
Emily took her GED last week, which seemed to go well. She wasn't optimistic that math or writing went very well, but she seemed comfortable that she passed the other subjects. It'll be a couple of weeks before we find out her scores.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 Relay Fundraiser, Gallery opening, Cuddles, and Bubbles, snow

I haven't blogged in so long I feel like it's going to take forever to catch up. I guess things here were pretty uneventful until Friday afternoon when Em, and I drove down to the Relay for Life fundraiser. After Dan's drama on Tuesday night we decided it might be good if he sit this event out. An old friend Brian Cook was DJing and it was good to see him again. It was a good turn out and a fun time. Kristin, Alicia and all the kids did a great job! The fundraiser ended and we went back to Moms house. I woke up at 5:30am, ran up to Newport Hospital, down Bliss to Green End Hill and back to Mom's via Valley Rd. It was a great run and I was thrilled to be able to get out even though it was still dark. It was nice to be back in the city! I met Paul at Blue Plate diner at 8pm, had a nice quiet talk, and a spinach and mushroom omelet. It's been too long and good to catch up. Hopefully we'll get another chance before he spends the winter in Key West. I drove home, but Emmy decided since she didn't have to work until Tuesday that she wanted to stay in RI. It made me wonder what she'll do when she's old enough to decide. Stay on Cape, or move back to Middletown. Mike worked in Middletown on Monday and brought Em home with him Monday evening. Tuesday Emily asked if she could take Danny to see Madagascar 2. She's driven with him in the car loads of times, but never without me and although I didn't think I'd be nervous I was. I told them she could, but she had to call me when she got there and before she left to come home. They had a great time and made it there and back safely. Saturday night Mike had a meet the artist at the gallery where he has 17 pieces. Dan behaved beautifully, and they had a great turn out. If you look in the background of the picture above you can see one of his platters over his left shoulder and a small bowl to the left of Danny's head. It's all very exciting and we're very proud of him...now how about making some Christmas ornaments......Mike?.....Oh Mike?
Mike and I didn't formally celebrate our anniversary this year, we did go out to dinner which was great, but we were definitely in need of a night out so we asked Em if she thought she could handle watching Danny over night. "Sure" she said. Mike and I spent the night at the International Inn a.k.a cuddles and bubbles a couple of years ago and had a terrific time, so after some coordinating we decided on Sunday night. Mike would take Monday off, and Em already had it off. Em, Sarah, Dan and I went to the mall 11am ish, did some shopping. I was thrilled to find a very form fitting knit dress perfect for dinner, and Emily a bright yellow shirt from Hot Topic she loved. At 3pm we checked into the room, stripped Danny down and filled the jacuzzi, where he had a great time splashing, playing and swimming. We got him dressed and I sent the kids home. Mike arrived a little while later and we enjoyed a nice quiet evening alone together and a fabulous dinner. I had the lobster imperial that was terrific, Mike had the prime rib, one of the best he's ever had. http://www.cuddles.com/ . We woke early and checked on the kids, they were actually still sleeping when we called. They drove into Hyannis to meet us for breakfast then Emily set off for the mall while Mike and I took Dan back to the room for one final jacuzzi swim before check out. We had a great night and are pretty psyched that for a small fee Emily will babysit for us overnight! It was definitely the right move on her part, considering she's been petitioning to go to a friends 16th birthday party in the Catskills and wants to take a friend, another family and our van. She's shown such great responsibility, and maturity that we told her she could go. Of course she took the first part of her GED tonight, I'm somewhat hoping we don't get those scores back before her trip on December 5th.

For the record it's 10pm, 35 degrees outside with a light 6MPH North wind and we've been having light snow flurries for the last 20 minutes! I think that qualifies as our first snow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5, 2008 Em's road test, Ed's election, President elect Obama

We've been very busy since the last time I blogged! Monday pretty much went as scheduled. Other then driving Em back and forth to work it was a pretty quiet day, which was good because Tuesday promised to be extremely busy. Mike and I both got up early Tuesday morning, took showers and headed to the polls to vote. I didn't vote for McCain because I wanted him to be President, I voted for him because I didn't want Barack Obama to be. He makes me very nervous and I felt that I'd rather have more of the same over the unknown.
Mike and I arrived home only minutes before Mom and Mo arrived. Em drove Mom to the registry while I drove with Dan in Em's car. We arrived right on time, walked up to the road test desk, checked in and were told to drive around the back and wait. Mom drove up so Em could use her car but her insurance information wasn't on her registration and rather then the registry calling the insurance company to get it we decided that Em would just take the test in her car, with Mom as her sponsor. The instructor told her it would be about 20 minutes so while she waited Dan and I went over to Shaws to get an embroidery needle so I could finish my poncho and decided while we were there we'd get a card for Em, and a couple of "congratulations on your new car and license" gifts. We bought armoral and glass wipes, a $15 gas gift card, and a couple packs of her favorite gum. Then we waited out back, camera in hand, for the test to start. The instructor asked Em to turn on her high beams, but she turned on her windshield wipers with spray instead...good thing the instructor had a great sense of humor and instructed her to where the high beams probably were. The rest of the test went well, Em did a great job and passed with flying colors. $60 and a signature got her a temporary licence and we were done. I'm very proud of her. She drove home following us down Rt 28 from Yarmouth and flinched for just a minute as we passed the Cape Cod Mall. She's been coveting a sweatshirt at one of the shops and Mom and I thought just maybe she might get brave and go her own way. She didn't and followed us home until she got to Pimlico Pines then she took the first road and pulled into the driveway just before us at which time Mo knew she'd passed the test. Mo took Mom's car home and Emmy drove Mom, Danny and I to Sweet Tomatoes to celebrate. We had an incredible Pesto and Feta pizza, and a Cesear salad before Em drove us to RI. Our first stop once in Middletown was to check on Fran who was working the polls at Middletown High School, then up to Sachuest Point for a walk where Dan was excited to see two white tailed deer, then stopped in at Royal Plaza Hotel to see how Ed was doing and ended up staying there for the rest of the night. The hotel was closed except for Ed's party. Ed had a room right between the lobby and the lounge where the party was being held, and invited the kids and I to spend the night. We agreed, brought in the bags and settled in. Dan ran around and eventually knocked over a huge bar and broke the lamps that were on top. Thank you Kristin and Alicia for cleaning up the mess! He had a small cut on his hand but was otherwise unharmed. Darned kid! People came and went and as the night progressed the excitement rose. Paul stopped in to say Hi < and have a drink with me. Yes, I am drinking on occasion and am really trying to learn moderation. It was good to see him and catch up but between the noise in the room and Dan's bar tipping fiasco we didn't really get a chance to talk. Glad we'll have a quiet chance to catch up on Saturday. Ed's friend Jonathan arrived and treated me to one of the best hugs I've had in ages, it was good to see him as well.
Em helped Alicia pick up the pizza's and a Sushi platter that was incredible. I ate more then my fair share. We watched as the results come in and were thrilled for Ed when he came in 3rd place. http://www.ri.gov/election/results/2008/general_election/middletown/ He shared the win with some of his favorite running mates, which should make for a very effective council. Ed and Zach hopped in a limo for the ride up to the Biltore in Providence to wait for the national election results as Alicia, Taylor and I cleaned up. Emmy decided she wanted to spend the night at Mom's house rather then stay at the hotel. We kissed her and Mom goodnight and told her to pick us up at 7am for the ride home. Dan sacked out immediately but I tossed and turned for a while. I finally fell asleep but awoke at 2am probably curious about the Presidential race and was saddened when I turned on the TV to see Obama giving his acceptance speech. I was pretty sure he'd win but was holding onto hope. He spoke well and I was impressed with his promise of a brighter tomorrow. I can't tell you how much I hope to be wrong about the man. I eventually fell back to sleep only to awake at 6am, I put the news back on and watched the RI state winners and losers scroll across the screen. Rather then shower I decided to dress and pack up. At 6:55am I woke Dan up and told him it was time to go. Em pulled up right outside, jumped out of her car and walked toward the lobby doors. She disappeared only to reemerge pointing to the door. I walked out to the lobby and noticed everything was dark, no lights, no front desk person and upon trying the doors found them locked. Hmmm.....very strange. Then it occurred to be, the hotel was closed for 3 days except for the party. I wonder if the manager didn't realize we were there! Dan walked out in his PJ's and I started trying doors, then noticed a release on the window in our room and figured if nothing else we could leave that way. I wasn't exactly thinking straight. But the window was blocked and although it would open it was only about 4 inches wide. Enough room to pass some of the stuff out to Em, and possibly get Dan out but certainly not me! I finally took a deep breath and stopped to think. There must be an emergency exit here some where and started making my way down the dark hall. Sure enough we found an exit, tried the door which opened sans alarms and promptly left via the back of the building. Whew! I was having a Bates motel moment! Dan, Em and I made a quick stop at D & D for breakfast sandwiches, juice, coffee and hash browns before Emmy drove us home. We made it home just in time to drop Dan and I off so Emmy could go to work. Dan and I showered, and changed and went to story time at the Sandwich library. It was teddy bear day and their craft was to make nature crowns. Dan had a good time, but was ready to be home. We passed Emmy, who didn't have to work till 1pm due to schedule confusion, on our way home. She had both dogs and was on her way to meet us at the library. It's strange having a child with so much independence but it feels good too. I have school tonight, and Mike has a wood turners meeting so Em will be babysitting Dan. I wonder if they will stay in or go out....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 1, 2008 Emmy's new car....finally!

The morning started quietly and I managed to get out of the house for a run before anybody else woke. 2 runs in 16 hours and I was feeling very motivated. It's been exactly 4 months since my diet and lifestyle change and I've happily lost 60lbs. That's a Danny and a half! According to my Wii fit I'm now within a normal weight range for my height, it estimates my optimal weight to be 136 lbs so I have 16 lbs to go or be able to fit into those size 8 shorts for Disney, whatever comes first. Dan and I took Emmy to work for 1pm while Mike stayed home to do some turning. Dan and I stopped at the grocery store on our way home, then layed down for a nap. Mike woke me up about an hour later saying that Russ from Spirit Auto called and said the car was ready. It was just after 3pm and I had to work at 5pm. Dan and I jumped out of bed and hopped in the van for the ride over. The car was parked in front and ready to go when we got there. I installed Dan's carseat, Mike checked the repairs and put her plates on. In minutes we were ready to go. We got home just after 4pm. I ate, dressed and since Em didn't know we had the car decided I'd take it to work with me, and Mike would pick Em up in the van explaining that the truck was having repairs. I really wanted to be there when she got it. However Mike primed Dan about the surprise and Danny was just too excited to keep it, and spilled the beans. I still got to give her the keys, and see that smile you only see so often these days. Em drove Mike and Danny home and I finished my night. I worked with the Assistant Manager tonight, but it's the last time for the week. I'll be working with kids and my Assistant Manager wished me good luck. I'll be responsible for the money, I've seen this before.

We have a busy week in store. Em's working on Monday. Potentially the last day Danny and I will have to drive her there. Tuesday is election day, which I can't wait to have over and fear the results. Mike and I will vote first thing that morning. Then Em has her road test at 9am and since we didn't have a car that qualified for the test, Mom is coming up from RI so Emily can use hers. Assuming she passes it we'll have a quick lunch before heading to RI to support Ed in his town council re- election campaign.
Wednesday Dan and I are going to do the "we don't have to drive Emmy to work" dance, and gladly push her out the door at 8:15am. He and I will then go to story time at the library, then come home for rest time which we've had to put on hold since we've had to pick Emmy up at 1pm most days. Mike has a woodturners meeting and I school so Em and Dan will hang out Wednesday night.
Thursday is a quiet day for us. Friday Em's working till 1pm then the kids and I are going to RI for a Relay for Life spaghetti dinner fundraiser that Alicia, Ed, and Kristin have organized. We're planning on spending the night and I'm looking forward to it!
I've been in touch via e-mail with my old D & D boss Paul who invited me to join him for breakfast Saturday morning to catch up. We visited briefly with Paul and his wife Paula (cute, I know) a couple of months ago after the Progeny cookout, but we were on our way home and the kids were anxious to go so didn't really get a chance to talk. Mike and I loved Key West the last time we were there and would love to do a trip down there without the kids. Since Paul lives there he's the perfect person to talk to. He was a big influence in my life, and taught me a lot about myself. It'll be good to get together, if Mom doesn't mind entertaining the kids for me for a little while Saturday morning!