Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The other side of the coin

So here I sit... 39 weeks and 3 days into this pregnancy with the little man.  I have never carried a baby this long... NEVER!  36 weeks with Derek, 37 with Ryan, 38 with the three girls.  What in the world is going on folks? 

Several suggestions have been offered... since I worked out all throughout this pregnancy my body is stronger and can sustain the full 40 weeks.  I have already forewarned Kevin about the bruising he should expect after labor due to my She-woman strength, so maybe this is a viable option.

"He just isn't ready to come out yet" is another thought.  Well, at this rate, when will he be ready?  He did try flipping footling breech three weeks ago, but Kevin and I flipped him back around.  Maybe he is trying to show his will and determination or maybe he is just happy being carried around all day in a warm bath.  I seem to think it is the latter and that he is just as content as can be. 

He is waiting for Grandma Dee. She gets here on Thursday.  The day can't arrive soon enough.  I have had great anxiety over who will care for the younger children while Kevin and I are gone.  We love spending those first few days just the three of us and the thought of needing to share him does not make me happy.  So... maybe Thursday night will be the night.  Come on, Grandma!

The title for the blog post relates to the fact that in the past, I believe I have been truly insensitive to other couples in our current state.  Of course they want their baby in their arms.  Of course they know "what causes that" and of course it is obvious the baby hasn't arrived.  

We shall see.  Induction has been offered and it may very well be our option come next week, but here is to hoping for the spontaneous delivery I want!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Not so "green"

When we moved to California a group of us in the PTA started a massive recycling project at the school on base which has since brought in thousands of dollars due to California's CRV refund project.  It is still up and running.  We had the support of the principal, staff and Santa Barbara county.  It rocked. 

In Colorado, we had to pay $3 a month to recycle.  That is less than one footlong at Subway.  Deal. 

In Alabama, the response I got when I inquired about recycling was, "Well, we don't really do that here."  I just about dropped the phone.  I tried for 6 weeks to just ignore the recycling symbol on all of my plastic, cardboard and glass containers.  At the end of six weeks, I just couldn't do it anymore.  I thought of everything I preached to the school parents in California and the reminders I gave to my friends in Colorado and just had to find a way to "do my part" here in this beautiful state.  My solution?  Kevin.  He is now our recycling man.  A couple times a week, he drops by the recycling center at Maxwell and empties our bins of recyclables.  When he was gone last week, I ventured over to the Prattville Recycling Center to find an unmanned, detached semi truck trailer with what looked to be recycling materials in it.  I looked around to see if I needed to sort it, but finally determined that I was just to throw it in the truck.  Sweet. Done. 

As I was driving home, however, I noticed so many recyclables waiting to be picked up with the trash that it saddened me.  I  wish everyone would catch "the vision" of recycling.  Maybe someday. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shoulders, sidewalks and busses

I know this title of my post is incredibly random, or at least I made it appear as such.  They are all actually related and here is how...  In trying to figure out, as a family, how to get everyone to four different schools, Breanna offered to ride her bike to school since we are only 2 miles away.  Huge round of applause for our brave daughter and it made me love her even more (if that is possible).  One big problem.  There are no sidewalks in this town except in the downtown area and in some parts of the "east side."  If there is a sidewalk, it is generally only on one side of the street.  Not only are there no sidewalks, but there isn't even a shoulder off either side of the road to ride on.  To illustrate the safety hazards of such a roadway, Kevin had to go out and purchase some fluorescent yellow and green running shirts so he didn't get knocked off on one of his runs since he now runs with the traffic and is sometimes faster than some of the "moving" vehicles. :)  What this town does have is a massive bussing system to rival those of any other place we have lived.  To inquire about bussing times, routes, etc I have the powerful tool of the bus driver's personal phone number.  Quite convenient, I must say.  The bus drivers own the road, any inch of asphalt on the side of the road as well as the dirt and plants that dare to grow near the bus path.  It is actually a good afternoon of entertainment as I sit idiling waiting for my turn to pick up our children and I think I have figured out all of the hand signals the traffic directors use, too. Little do they know that I am privy to their secret language!  Mu-ha-ha-ha.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Things are just different

So my posts regarding our time here in Alabama are not going to be ones tearing apart how things are done down here.  I want to record them basically so I can remember our experience years down the road.  Things are just done differently...that's all.  My first and weekly reminder of something done differently is trash pick up.  I thought it was strange in Colorado that trash pick up was privatized and we had to basically get our own bids for someone to remove our garbage, California I loved because of the huge recycling and green waste push and Montana and Utah were pretty standard.  What is so different here?  There are no trash cans, my friends.  I kid you not... no one has the standard 96 gallon trash can with the heavy duty wheels and indestructible plastic.  How do we take care of our garbage?  Well we put everything in bags and take it down to the street of course three times a week.  No more throwing dirty diapers into the trash can outside or having that stray piece of garbage tossed into the can, oh no... it must be bagged.  And then it just sits by the curb until the workers come to collect it. Strangest thing I have ever seen.  Oh and black bags are recommended because the birds get into those white ones.  Good thing I made that Costco purchase of WHITE trash can liners before we left Colorado thinking I was being so efficient.  What can I say?  The birds love me. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Amsden Family Traveling Circus

The packers come in 10 days.  It's like an army of ants advancing on the lone sugar cube in the driveway.  We watch with fascination as they bring in their boxes, tape, packing paper and soft drinks.  Literally jumping out of their way and counting our children over and over again to make sure none of them decided to "play" in a box for a a while we break out the lawn chairs and just stay out of their way.  Occassionally a head nod or affirmation motion is granted, but for the most part we just sit and watch.  There is a process we have developed over the last 13 years in this career field and we have it pretty much down to a science.  A cupboard is emptied, it is then wiped down by yours truly.  A drawer's contents are wrapped and packed... here comes the Mr(s) Clean.  Pretty much by the time they are done packing my kitchen, I am done cleaning it.  And so it goes for the rest of the house.  I would love to dream and think that I lounge in my lawn chair all day, but who are we kidding?  I would go nuts. 

In preparing for the moving process, there are also different stages of purchasing, decision making, packing, phone calling, and finalizing.  For instance... we needed a cargo carrier for the top of the Subaru and after taking the children and all of their gear up to the Miles' house while Kevin and I attended my father's funeral a second carrier for the truck was purchased.  Those items ship by freight.  I can't just order them on Monday and expect them to be here by Friday.  I have to allow at least 14 days and that is assuming the items arrive undamaged.  Strong verbage was used with the customer service representatives who willingly took my money to ensure the product would be packed correctly and shipped promptly.  A few threatening words might have been used... but if ever accused, I will staunchly deny the accusation. 

Other items needed before we leave on our month long trip to Alabama via New York... a road atlas.  Fascinating for children and quite helpful in the middle of Kansas.  Yes, we all have our electronic devices, but this lady does not leave a glimmer of any uncertaintly when traveling with 5 children, a hermit crab, a Jack Russell Terrier, over 1,500 pounds of "stuff" and two vehicles.  Finding the largest ball of yarn will be done purposely and  not "by chance."   

It appears as though the children have grown over the year and they all need new sandals.  Huge Keen fans here so internet shopping begins.  Summer Bridging books to keep those minds sharp and alert while passing through rows and rows of corn in Iowa.  You name it, I think I have thought about it. 

Another aspect that I approach cautiously is the whole "once I start this it leads to this and this and this" syndrome.  For instance, the dog.  Make reservations in Nauvoo, IL.  Hotels there are not pet friendly.  That leads to a reservation at a kennel.  That leads to making sure Ginny's vaccinations are up to date.  That leads to a vet visit which then leads to a secondary vet visit to get her teeth cleaned.  She is not riding with me in "Big Red" but I took pity on Kevin and decided he should not have to smell her breath for 6 days in an enclosed space. Finally, the dog is done and ready to roll. 

I do think everything is coming together quite well assuming there are no unexpected delays like we encountered in California... oh the moving semi-truck forgot it needed to pick up our 13,000 shipment on a Friday.  Lovely. 

If you ever wonder where we are in our trip, just look on You Tube for the Amsden Family Traveling Circus.  We guarantee it will be a show you will not want to miss.  Tips are appreciated.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

As I create this blog post I am looking out my window silently cursing the flower pictured above.  The Dandelion.  I don't know whether to call it a flower or a weed.  Perhaps in some yards it would be considered a picture of beauty.  Not in this one.  In this yard it symbolizes never ending work and toil to rid our lawn of the beast.  I can tell you exactly where it came from, too.  Our neighbors.  Don't you love living next to the person who has never heard of "Weed and Feed?"  I am the lucky one.  Yes, yes I am.  The stupid things also find their way into my perennial garden.  This is one flower which I tell Derek, "Pick as many as you would like."  Pick away, Son.  Pick away--just remember not to touch the Liatris!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What to do?

As I write this, I am bored.  Not that blogging is only due or expected when I am in a rut, but quite frankly... everything is done that can be done and I am just waiting for Monday to begin.  We have worked so incredibly hard this last week to get the house ready to be on the "the market" and lo and behold... it is ready.  Everything is dusted, wiped down, mended, fixed or polished.  In fact, I even took a toothbrush and Q-tips to the kitchen cupboards tonight.  Kids fingers are fantastic for getting in the air intake registers and I found the button I was looking for underneath the stove.  Sweet! 

When the children begin their slumbers, I intent to read, write in my journal and begin my vegetative "stare at the screen" state but I still have a little bit until that process can begin. 

Preparing to sell a home is one that I really don't like experiencing.  It's just a bother.  We will be "homeless" when this home sells until Kevin retires from his "first career."  I just don't like having this factor thrown into the whole moving scene.  What would I do with my time if I didn't have this process to go through?  Good question... underwater basketweaving, maybe?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The loads... of laundry

As I was at Costco purchasing my dryer sheets (all whopping 500 of them) I had a crazy realization that I had done 500 loads of laundry in less than a four month period of time.  I know that I do mounds of laundry every day and certainly every week but the numbers never really sank in.  I do acknowledge that the volume of laundry is due to changing sheets on 6 beds every week and ensuring my children change out of their "germy clothes" when they get home from school. Now when I have my washer or dryer have a breakdown I won't be so put out.  It has put in its due effort according to my dryer sheet count. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Can you play it again, please?

As I piano teacher, it is my responsibility to teach my students proper technique, theory, counting, scales, arpeggios, how to sit properly, how to work the damper pedal smoothly, how to curve your hands and fingers, etc.  Part of curving your hands and fingers is keeping your fingernails short.  How can one play with the pads of your fingers if you have nails which make you straighten your fingers just to be able to hit the key?  Well, the short answer is, you can't have nails and play the piano properly.  I reminded myself of this tonight as I sat down to have my Jon Schmidt "fix" and was playing "The Dumb Song."  It is quite jazzy, fast paced and Audrey and Derek inevitably dance to it.  After finishing with my rapid eighth notes (fast notes) followed by a few glissandos (using the back of your fingernails you trail up and down the keys) I looked down because my thumb nail felt a bit weird.  Yep.  I bent it backwards a smidge on the outside corner.  Guess I need to heed my own advice. :)