Much fun was had by all

We’re in the process of packing up the van so we can head back home (well, if I want to be totally honest, Kile is packing the van while I nurse Evie so she’ll sleep on the road).

It’s a bit later start than we’d usually like, but sometimes these things can’t be helped.

We had a great time this weekend. I got a LOT of knitting done, Harry worked on a lot of Cub Scout stuff with his uncle and cousins, Evie had an utterly fabulous birthday party and Liam threatened to send each and every one of us to the funny farm. All in all, I’d say it was a sucess.

Now we have a good five hour road trip ahead of us (lots more knitting!) before we’re back home. I’m always anxious to move forward; once the decision is made to go, I don’t like to dawdle.

At any rate, it’s about time to go. You all be good while I’m traveling, you hear?

Travelogue

You didn’t think i would forget to post today, did you?  Not after being conscientious enough to post every single day while we were in Elko using nothing more than my (supa-cool) iPhone?  Of course not!  But I wanted to post some pictures of what your average road trip between Elko and Reno looks like.  And of course I couldn’t just upload pictures STRAIGHT FROM THE iPHONE (because surely it didn’t work this last weekend).  So I had to wait until I got home and then I had to futz with the pictures in Lightroom (which wanted to be updated first).  And we needed dinner.  And now the kids want to go to bed.  So this is actually taking a lot longer than I expected.  Whoops.  Anyhow… here goes.  Be prepared for a lot of BROWN (and water, as it was a rather wet day here in Nevada).

Road Work
When ISN’T there road work going on in Nevada??

Traveling Beetoe
My traveling companion

Nevada Landscape
See? Lots of brown.

Common Sight
And lots of trucks.

Down the hill
Getting closer to Winnemucca

Winnemucca McDonald's
We ALWAYS stop here for a break. ALWAYS.

Raindrops
Lots of little raindrops on the windshield today.

Chilled out
Liam is content with his stuffed animals, sippy cup and cars.

Livestock
Moo!

True Midpoint
This truck stop is almost exactly halfway between Elko and Reno.

Snowy Mountains
Snow!

Ramshackle
This “building” looks more and more rundown each time we travel past it. Someday I’ll imagine it won’t be there anymore.

Truckin'
Once again… lots of trucks

Peeking Sun
This was the first and last time we saw the sun today.

I see the Sierras!
Our first glimpse of the Sierra Mountains since last week.

Reno, at last!
Yay! We can see Reno!

One last stretch
And up the interstate towards home… at last!

Reporting from Small Town, USA

I’m writing this on my iPhone, sitting out in the van with the kids while Kile is in the DMV here in Elko trying to take care of a situation that has been brewing for the better part of a year. I’m also hoping that there’s enough of an Edge network signal to post this once I finish.

Cell phone service is criminal out here. Edge is as best you can hope for and I don’t think I’ve had more than three bars worth of signal since we got here. I tried to talk to my parents this morning and the call was dropped no less than 10 times. Whatup, AT&T?? To be fair, the Internet is little better. Though my in laws have wireless DSL, the signal and performance are… spotty. Very frustrating. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m rather glad to gave any signal at all. Having Edge is even better than I expected. But this would definitely be a deal-breaker should we ever consider moving here.

It’s Harry’s birthday today. Nine years old. I don’t think I feel nearly old enough to have a nine year old. We did up a family party last night and he is beyond thrilled with his new iPod Shuffle (which he is now listening to in the “way back” seat). He got some other great gifts too. Only I didn’t take any pictures because I totally forgot and I fail as a mother. Sounds about right.

I saw the big BlogHer announcement this morning. I’m a little sad that the conference is going to be in Chicago this year. Since it is, I don’t think I’ll be able to go. The combined costs of traveling and hotel and conference itself are just too much. We’re going on a big cruise in August and though my parents are pretty much paying for it all, we’ll still need spending money. That doesn’t leave much room for BlogHer. I’m sad because it’ll be the first conference I’ll miss since 2006. And I’ll miss seeing friends and all sorts of other awesome people. So… boo.

Anyhow, we’ll be cooling our heels here for another day and are heading back to Reno tomorrow. And then I’ll have my decrepit laptop back. Yay.

Craftstravaganza

Craft Day was a lot of fun. For one thing, it took up the entire day. We were out of the house before 8am and didn’t return until after 4pm. That’s a lot of crafts! And, as it turns out, a lot of FOOD. We were constantly being fed, all day long. And don’t let the fact that lunch was a giant salad bar let you think that everything was healthy. Cuz it wasn’t. But dang, it was all good.

Today, we’re going to celebrate Harry’s birthday (even though the Big Day is tomorrow). We have presents (and a dastardly trick or two) lined up. I’ll be sure to fill you all in on the deets (and pics) tomorrow.

For now, enjoy pics from yesterday of the crafts and the fun. Because crafts ARE fun, no matter how “crafty” you actually are.

Girl's Craft Day Out

I made it to Elko in one piece, barely. Liam, of course, made things interesting. He always does. Today, however, I am at a Christmas craft all-day extravaganza with my mother in law, sisters in law and nieces for the day. Oh yeah, Evie is with us too. Should be a real fun day. Hope you’re all having a great Saturday too.

I get so emotional

(For the record, I’m still mourning the loss of my x, g and u keys.  If you see one of those letters missing in my post, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Oh, and the “shift” key is also a little wonky.)

Today is a frenetic day at the Slackermama household.  We’re packing up and leaving early this afternoon for a long weekend in Elko.  (Which reminds me… why is Veteran’s Day on TUESDAY this year and not Monday??)  I’m not taking my laptop with me, since the poor thing would probably spontaneously combust if I exposed it to any more stress.  Kile will have his laptop that I’ll be able to use if need be and I’ll of COURSE have my phone with me.  If I don’t fall off the NaBloPoMo wagon altogether, then there might just be some very short entries or entries compose entirely of images so be prepared.  I don’t know what the iPhone internet coverage is like in Elko, after all, and there might be no 3G or Edge to speak of.  Still, I’ll have my in-laws wireless so that’s SOMETHING.

On top of the cleaning and packing and laundry and packing and packing, I had a parent-teacher conference with Harry’s 3rd grade teacher this morning.  It went just about as I expected it would.  Harry is doing GREAT academically, testing at the top of his class in both Reading and Math.  Socially and emotionally, however… not so great.  He’s very sensitive and is prone to overreacting.  He also has problems with other kids and often takes disappointments and small diagreements far too personally.  She says that barely a day goes by that Harry doesn’t cry about something.  She did say that he has improved in the last month or so.  I told her not to hesitate to call me if she has any concerns.  Though, I’m not sure what I could do as we’ve dealt with the same issues here at home.  He’s a very rigid, very sensitive, very emotional little boy.

He’s not going to be little for much longer, either.  In fact, Monday he turns 9 years old.  NINE YEARS OLD.  I can hardly believe it.  I see pictures of him as a small boy, as a baby, and I just boggle at the boy he has become.  These 9 years have passed so quickly.  It makes me wonder what the next 9 years will hold.  Because 9 more years is about all we have with him.  Then he’ll be going to college and leaving us behind.

Happy Boy

Okay, NOW I’m depressed!  On that happy note… wish us happy travels!  I’ll let you know how the trip goes as soon as I can.

What I'm doing to distract myself from the fact that the election is in one week

I surely can’t be the only one who is just about DYING for this election to be over.  One way or the other.  I’ve made a habit of watching Keith Olberman and then Rachel Maddow when I’m nursing Evie to bed at night.  And while, being MSNBC, they aren’t really telling me anything that I don’t want to hear, it’s not exactly distracting me from the election.  And I find myself examining electoral maps and the latest polls and pretty much wanting to drop kick all campaign strategists, regardless of party affiliation.  And now that I’ve voted, I have even less patience for it all.  LET’S JUST GET IT OVER WITH!

But, alas, it’s a whole ‘nother week away.  And since it doesn’t appear that either campaign is willing to take a break, I need to find ways to distract myself.  Here is what I’ve come up with so far:

  • I’m watching Evie do this thing with her nose where she closes her mouth (almost making “duck lips” if you will) and snorts in and out of her nose in a rapid fashion.  The end result is almost too cute to bear and if she does it again, I’m going to go beyond distracted and just eat her.
  • I’m also stalking goodmama prints.  If you’re unfamiliar with cloth diapering and the community surrounding it, this probably sounds very strange.  Suffice it to say, they’re releasing some great prints this week and I’m hoping to be able to snag one.  Fingers are crossed (and websites are refreshed)!
  • I’m still researching cameras.  Hmm.   Kile’s wondering if he can find someone local who has a camera that is looking to upgrade their professional rig and is interested in selling at a reasonable price.  I’m not going to hold my breath, but I am going to hope that there’s a new camera in my future!
  • It’s now less than a month until the “Twilight” movie comes out!  Am still planning to go see it by myself.  Because I’m a major loser.
  • I’m trying to catch up on my blog reading.  This is a never-ending project, it seems.  I am NEVER caught up.  I think I cleared the reader ONCE in the last two months.  GAH.
  • (OMG, Evie just did her nose thing again.  Save me from myself.)
  • We’re watching DVR’d episodes of “Blue’s Clues” and “Jack’s Big Music Show”.  Good thing I have them DVR’d, because our On Demand STILL doesn’t work with the new box we got.  SIGH.  But I think I’ve now officially seen every “Blue’s Clues” and “Jack’s Big Music Show” episode in existence.  Hey, did you know Joe’s real name is Dominick (cuz I’m a dumbass) err Donovan?  WTF?
  • I’m contemplating ditching out on Trick or Treating altogether in favor of a Harvest Festival or something of the like.  Just cannot get excited either about handing out candy or dragging the kids around the neighborhood this year.  I may change my mind yet again.
  • We’re planning a trip down to Elko for the second weekend in November.  Harry’s birthday is that weekend and there’s a craft day at my in-law’s church that I used to go several years ago.  It was always a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to going again.  This will probably be the only time we go back there during the “holiday season” so why not make it awesome?  Not looking forward to the price of filling up the van’s gas tank, but thank goodness gas prices are down!
  • Naturally, we’re not answering our phone so we don’t have to listen to robo calls or anything.  Not like it would matter because we’ve already voted!

That should be enough to keep my mind on other things, don’t you think?  So what are you doing to distract yourself?  (I heartily endorse not answering the phone, by the way.)

Rambling

Liam loves to steal remote controls.  And cell phones.  And regular phones (not that those even work around this house).  Basically, anything that might be off limits and has a lot of buttons on it.  This morning he took off with the remote control and normally I would chase him down and wrench it from his grasp but this morning I just let him have it.  Meh.  He flipped through the channels for a few minutes before he found PBS and “Clifford”.  Now, we’ve never watched this show before but he could tell this was quality programming.  He kept it there for quite a while, amazing considering his diminutive attention span.  Then he switched it to the home shopping network and I had to put my foot down.

Doesn’t he know the economy is in the garbage?  He doesn’t need that diamonique necklace!

***

I think I know at least one of the reasons why I’m having a hard timing bringing myself to really care about getting my thyroid under control.  Before, my thyroid was always tied into having babies.  I had to have it under control to get pregnant and then while pregnant, had to make sure it was under control for the health of the baby.  But now that the baby-making days are behind me, I’ve lost my motivation.  I mean, just for my health isn’t a good enough reason, I guess.

I mean, it’s not like I matter or anything.

***

We are sorta dropping the ball this Halloween season.  The only child that has a costume is Liam (a monkey costume from Target.  Of course!).  We have a bag of Halloween candy.  And that’s about it.  I guess Harry and Evie are screwed.  I figured if worst came to worse, I could put Evie in Liam’s skunk costume from last year though it’d be way too big on her.  But Harry?  Well… sorry kid.  Your parents kinda suck.

***

Harry is in Elko.  In fact, I haven’t seen Harry since the Sunday before this last Sunday.  And he hasn’t been here at home since the Saturday before that.  That’s about a week and a half, people.  We’ve talked to him on the phone TWICE since then (my mother in law keeps asking him if he wants to call us and he says NO).  What the HECK?  I know he’s having a blast and all but at least he could PRETEND like he misses us or something.  I’m not 100% sure when we’ll see him again but it sounds like it might be next Sunday.  Good gravy!  (For the record, he’s “off track” this month so it’s not like he’s missing school or anything.)

***

Of course, when Liam runs up to his sister when she’s in the Exersaucer like he did just now and screams in her face just to watch her scream and sob, I start to wonder why his parents didn’t want to take him to Elko instead.

***

So our new cable box from Charter works okay.  I mean, at least we get the channels we subscribe to.  However, we don’t get OnDemand anymore.  SIGH.  What the HECK, Charter?  Does anything you have/do actually WORK or it all just in theory?  Counting down the months until we can switch back satellite…

***

Tuesday.  Too early in the week.  Too early in the day.  I want a nap.  I want a break.  I want a vacation.  I want some rest.

Keep dreamin’, girl.

Too much to talk about

I have so much to say that I almost don’t want to say anything. Have you ever felt like that? There have been so many thoughts and reflections and realizations this last week that I kept thinking, “I need to remember to blog about that. When I get ten minutes.” And now? I’m just not sure where I would begin. So I… won’t? I’m sure snippets will emerge here and there over the days and weeks to come. In the meantime, I’m just going to post some pictures and hope you all don’t unsubscribe at the same time, causing Google Reader to crash. Sound like a plan?

Entering the church
My niece’s wedding was gorgeous.  She looked awesome.  I can’t believe she’s old enough to get married.

Carriage ride
I’m a little jealous.  I would like a carriage ride courtesy of beautiful Clydesdale horses!

NeNRH
I spent a lot of time here.  So did Kile.

Snug as Bugs
Snuggle buddies.  She really enjoyed sleeping in with Kile while we were there.

Dog Day Afternoon
The afternoons were prime opportunities to find a sunbeam and nap.  The dogs couldn’t resist.

Vintage Snickers
Snickers looked awesome with the “Vintage” action.

Evie in Profile
It feels like Evie grew up a lot while we were there.

Floor Time
She really dug when I would set her on the floor to look around and explore.

Kids
There aren’t a whole lot of Liam pictures.  Liam and I weren’t the best of friends on this trip.

Thor
This is “Thor”.  I wish I’d gotten more pictures of him.  He was really something.  He’d been shaved but they left him a furry head, feet and poof on his tail.  HEE!

Rockin' Out
Harry would like to remind us that he wants “Rock Band”.  We get it, Harry.

Reveling in the Homeness

WE ARE HOME.

We made it, in one piece.  And I am SO HAPPY.  I almost feel guilty saying that because Kile’s family was so great to us while we were in Elko.  We got support like we would have never had here in Reno.  But it was also a strain to be away from home and what is familiar too.

I just took a shower, wash the road grime off (and boy, did I have grime… neglected to take a shower this morning before we left), and I felt like such a new woman when I stepped out.  I felt like “Home Marilyn” again.  For the last week or so, I’ve been “Disaster Marilyn” and she’s too busy to take inventory of herself and check for bruises from that lovely trip down the stairs.  “Home Marilyn” is not too busy and was rather shocked with what she saw.  OUCH.  “Disaster Marilyn” also takes showers like she’s expecting the UPS guy any minute now and needs to sign for a package.  “Home Marilyn” doesn’t waste any time (she’s got a baby downstairs that might want nursing, after all), but she can stand under the spray a moment longer, reflect on life a little longer and compose this post while she’s at it.  (Oh, yes, I did.) (Don’t you?)

Kile even drove us, but that was mostly because the driver’s seat reclines further since Evie’s carseat is behind the passenger seat.  But I carried in the heavy loads and even drove to the post office to pick up our held mail and to the store for much needed milk afterward.  So I haven’t been slouching, by any means.

I’m just so glad to be home.  Have I mentioned that?