June 30, 2009


13YO has a few goals this summer.
1. Learn Spanish.
2. Read two more of the Twilight books.
3. Memorize the Preamble of the Constitution.
4. Learn to knit.
She has checked out a few books on learning Spanish from our library. She's taken notes and practiced pronouncing things. She likes to try to 'shush' everyone around her when she's 'studying.' We sort of laugh her off and tell her to go to her room if she needs silence. There are, afterall, four other people in this house! And it's SUMMER VACATION for crying out loud!
She's almost done with New Moon, then she'll be ready to take on the next one. Between school and softball, she had little to no time for reading for pleasure. She loves to read.
The Preamble thing is coming along pretty well, too. She gets a little hung up on one part, but the rest of it is pretty easy for her. It also helps that I still know it all by heart from when I had to memorize it in the 8th grade myself. I think that I didn't really learn all that much when I was in junior high and the few things I did learn really stuck or something. There's no other way to explain why I still know some Dr. Demento thing, the McDonald's Menu Song, and both my locker numbers and combinations for my gym locker and my outside locker from the 7th grade.
Just don't ask me where I parked my car when I'm walking out of Target...and, if you find me wandering aimlessly in the parking lot don't worry: I always find my car eventually!
The last thing on her list is also in the works. She's plugging right along on the knitting thing. She knitted a couple of little practice swatches and now she's attempting a scarf. Her knitting really doesn't look any different than when I started knitting myself. Toward the end of the scarf, I'm sure her knitting will have already improved in leaps and bounds.
All she can really do is the actual knit stitch, but we'll soon be working on how she holds the yarn, purling, and reading patterns. It will be nice having another knitter in the house. Once school starts again, I'm sure she'll have to put the needles away for awhile. They say 8th grade is pretty tough and school always comes first.
I'm very proud. It's odd getting to a place where one of my children and I are more on the same level. Don't get me wrong...I am still and will always be her MOTHER first and foremost, but it's nice to have more in common with her now. She's 13. I'm going to blink and she'll be starting high school, dating, going off to college, etc.
Can we let her learn to knit and then stop any further growth? I'm just getting used to this.

June 25, 2009

Deflated Dogs, Crookneck Squash, and Allergy Meds

Aly is growing...STILL! It's going to get old saying that, but I'm still in constant amazement as to how big she'll get. I mean, I KNOW how big she could get, but seeing it happen before my eyes is still kind of cool. She's longer and lankier than ever. When she lies on the couch, she almost looks deflated!
OH....and there's a crookneck squash from the garden! When she's asleep, you can put almost everything on her. She sleeps like a ROCK! And when she plays, nothing gets in her way.
I get to take her tomorrow for her final shot and her rabies vaccination as well. Now that she's four months old, I also need to think about getting her fixed. It doesn't seem like she's old enough, but that's around the next corner. Pretty soon, we'll have a full-grown boxer that still thinks she's a puppy. She's already tall enough to snatch things off the kitchen table, yet she's not old enough (or smart enough) to understand how angry that makes us. We now have a 'NO FOOD AT THE TABLE IF YOU'RE NOT SITTING IN FRONT OF IT' rule.
I bought a 'clicker trainer' at the store yesterday. Here's hoping it works before she gets tall enough to reach things on the kitchen counter. It has to...we're running out of surfaces!
I have to run to whatever radiology place that's close...and that takes my insurance...to get the sinus x-ray I forgot to get yesterday when I was actually there. DOH! There's an infection, but it's the second one in a little more than a month (or the very same one!) and they want to get a better look at it. THAT is what is aggravating my stupid asthma! That is what makes me wake up with a headache when I HAVEN'T been to a bangin' party. (Yes. I said 'BANGIN.' I don't know what got into me. I'll try not to let it happen again.) These new allergy meds are making me a little odd-feeling. FOSHIZZLE!!!
Oh yeah...it's definitely the new meds!

June 23, 2009

This place has gone to the dogs!

Aly is growing like a weed. Well, like an awkward, skinny weed that's all legs!
We had company this morning.

Well, not really COMPANY company...David was diagnosed with sleep apnea and the guy from the medical supply place delivered his CPAP machine. We had to learn how to turn it on and off, how to take it apart, how to clean it, etc. This one even has a little computer in it that contains an SD card. When he goes to the doctor, he'll take the card out and bring it to the doctor with him. The doctor will be able to track his breathing patterns and how long he wore the mask and for how often. Surprisingly, the machine is really quiet. I know some of the older ones are loud and take up a bunch of space. This thing is tiny, comes with its own carrying case, and you barely hear anything when it's on his face.

Then again, if his snoring didn't keep me awake, I wasn't really all that concerned about how loud the machine was!

So, he's getting setup for a CPAP machine and I couldn't wait for the guy to leave so I could grab a bowl of my high fiber cereal.


Meanwhile, my asthma is still what they would consider to be 'out of control.' I have to use my inhaler several times a day and I don't get much relief. I've recently discovered that my allergy to sulfur might make my inhaler not work so well. I know I can't eat dried fruit that's been treated with sulfur, it triggers an almost instant asthma attack. I was just told that there might be a connection between that reaction and why my inhaler doesn't seem to be working very well. I have an appointment tomorrow with scary little P.A. and I'll find out more about this. I just seem to be using my inhaler more and more and feeling worse and worse. Unless I'm doing something else that's aggravating the asthma, it's gotta be the inhaler right?
I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Okay, so I must conclude this 'whinefest' of mine. Look for me on a commercial for something high in fiber (and not the fun kind you make yarn out of, either!) or some sort of pain reliever. It seems those kinds of things are almost all I've talked about recently!
Have a great day!

June 13, 2009

Insert crude joke here...hehehehe!

HAHAHA! Guess what David pulled from our garden this morning? That's right...these GINORMOUS ZUCCHINIS! AACK!
Yes, that's a full-sized Capri Sun box...and a zucchini that's just a weee bit TALLER! WOW.
I guess I should be checking on the garden more often, huh? At least this proves that I've been watering it!

June 9, 2009

A Plug, Some Shortcuts, and Adequate Fiber Intake

I am eagerly awaiting the UPS man. Why? Because I just started selling Creative Memories and my kit is on its way! I'm so excited! First of all, who doesn't love to get a package delivered?
I decided to start selling Creative Memories because I love their products. I've never really wanted to get into traditional scrapbooking because of all the 'stuff' that it takes to do it. I know myself, so I know that I would feel compelled to own every color of paper and every cutter they make. Plus, I don't really have a 'space' that I could designate as a scrapbooking area in my house. The kids would be messing with all my stuff and I don't see myself having the time to get it all done in one sitting.
Then, I discovered the new digital scrapbooking program, Storybook Creator Plus.
Seriously. This is the answer to all of my scrapbooking problems. The price of the program is actually reasonable when you factor in all the supplies it would take to make a traditional scrapbook. Then, you can download different page designs, papers, and embellishments to make an unlimited assortment of things. I am hooked. Many of the downloads are free, or you can pay anywhere from $3.95 and up for them. Either way, you can use them over and over, as many times as you want. No more having to worry about running out of paper or adhesives or your cutters getting dull. Plus, you can sit down at your computer and work on a page for whatever time you have, without having to set up a bunch of things, clear off a table, or have anything to put away when you're done. Creative Memories found a way of taking all of the things that kept me from scrapbooking out of the equation.
And I'm just getting started...
The above picture I made from the program. Once it was finished, I discovered some ways to make the next one even better. This was my mom's present for Mother's Day, in a 12x12 frame.
So, anyone interested in any Creative Memories products or even just to ask questions, go ahead and email me at ruralsuburbanhousewife (AT) gmail (DOT) com. Okay, I'm done with the plugs.
So, about a few other things I've been up to....
Now, we're all about saving money these days, are we not? I think I've shared this before, but I have to tell you that I just made my SECOND batch of homemade laundry detergent and I'm tickled pink! I follow the recipe as directed, only I immediately use a funnel and pour mine into three old Tide bottles that I kept. I still let it sit for 24 hours, and I just give the bottle a good shake before I use it. That takes care of most of the clumps or separation that can occur when the consistency changes. It seems to work really well for my clothes and I've had no complaints. I used a really yummy smelling soap, but the smell all but goes away completely in the detergent. That's fine. I've also learned how to make my own fabric softener and I can still make my clothes smell any way that I want.
I estimate that I am saving around 20-30 dollars a month with just these two things. And my laundry seems to be just as clean. It's actually really easy to do and so worth it! That's one money-saving shortcut that I just had to share again!
Something else that has been on my mind lately is fiber intake. (DUDE...I'M OLD NOW!!!) Not really, but I have recently realized the importance of getting enough fiber in your diet. I didn't really understand how LITTLE fiber I was getting until I started keeping track of it. My goal is 25-30 grams of fiber a day and I can proudly say that I actually do eat that much. I just had to start paying attention to how much fiber is in the things I buy. My snacks all have fiber in them. I found a line of bread that has a ton of fiber in it without being 'grainy.' My whole family is eating a lot more fiber now.
Granted, there are some...*clearing throat* SIDE EFFECTS from increasing your fiber intake that cannot be ignored. Let's just say that the first couple of weeks you'll want to always be in a well-ventilated area when you're around other people. And, don't get too far from a restroom! Now, they say that you shouldn't just jump up to the amount of fiber you should be getting right away. They say to do it gradually. But, I just didn't think I had the brainpower to remember to add five more grams to my diet every few days. I'm sort of an 'all or nothing' type of gal and I just decided to GO FOR IT. The first few days, the gas pains were so bad that I was sure I HAD BEEN STABBED. I've had three kids, so abdominal pain isn't something that really bothers me...so long as I know the cause!
I also discovered that things that CLAIM to be high in fiber often are NOT. You really have to read labels. People are taking fiber supplements like crazy but could usually get more fiber from a bowl of All-Bran or an apple! Seriously! I am LOVING my All-Bran these days! I have stocked my pantry with snacks that are chock-full of fiber and I just sort of do the math as I eat each meal. I even have my kids hooked on Fiber One bars! (But I only allow them each one per day, if that, for obvious reasons....)
Anyhow, those are the happenings around these parts! Have a wonderful day!

June 2, 2009

Listening to the Signs the World is Giving Me

I did something crazy today. Well, crazy for ME anyway...I went running.
I didn't exactly run the whole time. Actually, I was following the prompts given by the guy who came up with this 'Couch to 5k' thing. Right now, I'm sort of cursing his name under my breath. But, I'll get over that. That is, once my face returns to it's normal shade of pale. It's been three hours since I finished and my face is still red. I think my body is just in shock. I can't blame it a bit.
My awesome friend Wildtomato got me going on this thing. Another awesome friend and I were out with her on Saturday night and noticed that her face and neck looked thinner. She's always been active and in good shape, but she looks even leaner and more in shape than ever before. The only thing she does differently now is running. She started the 'Couch to 5K' thing back in October of last year. She runs a couple of times a week and that's pretty much the only thing she does differently.
That was sign #1.
Another good friend of mine is currently training for a marathon. (Yes, I belive that is a form of insanity in itself, but I am also envious of that kind of determination. A marathon is TWENTY-SIX MILES, in case you live under a rock! I don't even like to drive that far sometimes!) She has started a blog to track her progress and such and you can read that HERE. While I don't exactly plan on doing anything THAT INSANE, it sort of confirms the fact that I can certainly get my ass off the couch and do SOMETHING. I had a little chat with her yesterday and we got to talking about her training and running and...
That was sign #2.
Okay, so you'll have to forgive the fact that this third one should actually be in between #1 and #2...but I was watching a movie this weekend with 13YO that also put running in my head. We were actually watching 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' if you can believe it. We had never actually sat down and watched the whole thing before. We have both 1 and 2 on DVD, but have never thought to pop them in and actually watch them. 13YO wanted to watch a movie and those two DVDs were just sitting on my desk, for some reason or another. If you've never seen it, the 'oldest' girl in the group is a soccer star who also likes to run. Granted, I've always just assumed that you sort of have to at least tolerate running in order to play soccer, but this girl loved the way running made her feel. I used to enjoy the way running made me feel. Now, it makes my chest tighten up and my calf muscles ache. And my face turns really red. Like, really red.
And I'm not even being chased by a bear!
I liken running without being chased by a bear to how natural it feels to try to put contact lenses in for the first time. It feels so unnatural to put contacts in when, your whole life, your body has been taught to blink and reject anything coming toward your eye...even if it is your own finger! It's the most awkward feeling in the world, much like the clomping of my heavy feet on the pavement and gasping for air while attempting to resemble actual running. I only have a hard time calling it 'running' when I used to be able to run a mile in about six minutes. Yes, that was in high school, around fifteen to twenty years and three kids ago.
The fact of the matter is that I don't enjoy the way running made me feel today. But, that only reaffirms the fact that I need to do it again. The day after tomorrow. My face is still red, more than three hours after I'm done. I need to keep moving, so sitting here and writing this is probably one of the worst things I could do. Standing up will present its own challenges, but I have laundry to put away and book cases to move. I will get through it. I also have a bit of carpet to repair...gotta love that loooped berber! If I don't fix the snag now, either the puppy will notice is and try to play tug-of-war with it or 13YO will vacuum over it and half the carpet will be gone in no time, much like the dog sweater in one of my favorite children's stories 'No Roses for Harry.' It's one of the classics, right up there with Stone Soup and TikkiTikkiTemboNoSaRemboChariBariRuchiPipPeriPembo. (They call it 'Tiki Tiki Tembo' for short!)
And I was talking about children's books WHY???
I'm afraid, once again, that my train of thought has completely derailed. That's okay, I need to get moving anyhow. Literally!
Have a wonderful day, and do one thing to make yourself proud. Just one thing isn't too much, right?