Safety and Security Notice:

I never include last names or specific locations here, for the safety of our children. If you or your child is a friend of me or mine, and you approve a first name and photo being posted as appropriate, please click this link to email me with written permission. Thank you

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The New State Religion

In my state at least.

The religion is Super Bowlism, and the Seahawks are its prophet.

I am not making fun of a real religion here. I am making fun of us.

Seattleites in general.

Now I am not a sports fan - I'm the nerdly type - but I am a fan of my community, and when the 'Hawks make the Super Bowl I'm pretty pumped about it.

But some of these people scare me.

Abby's elementary school has a trophy they give to various classrooms on a weekly basis. This is usually for good behavior, exceptional test scores, stuff like that. This week it's given to the class with the most Seahawks Spirit.

They even suggested what we should have the kids wear to show said spirit. If we were the kind of family that went to every home game that would be fine. But we don't have jerseys with our favorite players' numbers (or favorite players for that matter) around the house, and I refuse to buy each family member a t-shirt for $25 that they will wear once and never again (except maybe Sunday).

So we are contenting ourselves with clothes and hair ties and earrings in the appropriate colors.

I just hope it doesn't brand us as heathens.

And that the Seahawks kick Bronco ass.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

All Around the Internet, the Girl Scouts Sell their cookies

But they are not allowed to do it on their own, because they are still small children in many ways.
  • Feel free to email me with orders (I will give a drop dead date later; I've left the paperwork somewhere)
  • Payment is not required (or even allowed, unless you are buying only for Operation Cookie Drop) until delivery. Check or cash only.
  • Cookies are $4 a box. Yes, I know they may be cheaper in other parts of the country; that is regional and out of our control
  • There are six flavors available this year; they did a study and these are the most popular:
    • Thin Mints
    • Samoas
    • Tagalongs
    • Do-si-dos
    • Savannah Smiles
    • Classic Trefoils
  • The West Coast uses Little Brownie Bakers when you go for nutrition or allergen information.
And now a message from our Girl Scout:

Dear Mom's Internet Friends:
Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies? They are only four dollars a box or you can give donations to Operation Cookie Drop, which gives cookies to our people fighting in wars and stuff. Thin Mints and Samoas are the most popular. Thin Mints are really good frozen and they make delicious shakes.Trefoils are really good with jam and if you don't like mint, still try the Thin Mints; they're really good. Thank you.


Personal Note: Abby has been super girl-scouty in the last week or so, with her stepdad and me both down for the count. I'd like to reward that behavior, and if I can reward good Scout behavior in a good Scout manner, so much the better. Please consider buying cookies or making a donation to Operation Cookie Drop.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

FFS and 4DS and OBW


Laston's back slipped out again Monday. He's on the heavy-duty pain meds.

The infection in my leg is apparently resistant to the antibiotics they put me on - and yesterday I whacked the already ouchie spot on a metal table leg - so today they gave me another shot in the ass hip and replaced with a different antibiotic and I have to go back tomorrow to see if there is any improvement, because if there's not, they'll want to put me on a freaking I.V.

Hence FFS.

That's all I've got today, because I haven't got the energy for more.

And besides; I may well start spelling out the acronyms, and I like to keep this blog rated PG.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bonk Bonk Bonk

That's my head against a wall.

But as I said to my mom, it's been a good five days since the last crisis at Chez Kirkland.

So almost four weeks ago now, I fell on my ass, bruising many bits and probably breaking my toe. We know how to treat these, and I don't have insurance so we use RICE plus ibuprofen and leftover percocet. It's all good, and my yesterday all the bruises except the toe had faded to nothing. The toe was still faintly purple and getting throbby by afternoon most days. Laston's back seems to be okay as long as he takes it easy.

Then it's Thursday, and my right shin feels weird. I check it out on my afternoon break and it's quite swollen and shiny red, warm and tender to the touch. Itches too. Huh. I thought perhaps I had been bitten by a spider; I AM allergic and these symptoms are similar. No bite marks though, so I show it to my mom when I go to pick up the kids after work.

She thinks it looks like cellulitis. This is not the same thing as cellulite; this is an infection - usually staph or strep, usually of an open wound or scratch. It's serious. Better go in. Laston's not home from work yet so I pack the kids in the car and go to the doc.

Yep. Cellulitis. But... but... no open wound!

Yes, Mrs. K, but you just got over bronchitis. You were on Zithromax, which works well on the lungs and not well at all anywhere else in the system. Little staph or strep bugs probably went, "Look, nice little blood cells outta this unfriendly bronchial tube and into a fat, meaty bruise. Yum." (The doctor was not this pithy; that's all me being pissed off and amused at the same time). "So you need a shot in the... hip..." (they always pause before they say "hip" because we all know they mean "butt") "...and to take antibiotics for the rest of the month or your leg will fall off." (Again, an exaggeration for the sake of humor. But not by much).

So yeah, stuck on the couch (good thing we got recliner ends) until Monday, essentially. I can get up to do things now and then, take antibx, maybe cook something, warm the heat pack they want me to use.

Silver lining? I always find one. Um... I guess I can use Friday to finish those papers for school.

Of course Laston's back slid out again today on his way out of work.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Something is Really Piling Up around Here

And it's not snow.

It's just the constant influx of minor and medium annoyances, injuries, and illnesses associated with this move.

Because whose dolly did we bust?

As I said, none of this is huge. There's just an awful bloody lot of it.

So in addition to all the... stuff in those links up there, +Laston Kirkland threw his back out about a week ago. This is not entirely unexpected; we're neither of us in great physical shape, and he's done his own stuff as well as a bunch of mine because I was also injured and ill.

So the plan for today was for him to take it kind of easy and direct from his chair while I finished assembling Lizzy's bed and Abby & Lizzy put things away. I'm taking Abby to a sleepover later

Yeah, no.

I overslept (cough is mostly gone and most of the bruises are too; the toe just gets throbby by the end of the day. I have stopped taking the narcotics for both conditions and therefore did not sleep well). When I got up at 11, the Mister's had another back spasm, this one so bad that he's actually willing to go to the doctor. He has his own narcotics left over from dental work, so he takes one and we all pile into the car (I'm driving).

We take him to the mini-E.R. and rather than make Bouncy McGee Lizzy stick around there two days in a row (she was there yesterday when Gramma had an earache), and because Lizzy and I have not eaten, we head to McDonald's.

It took 22 minutes to get two Happy Meals and a grownup meal. When asked what was going on - I've worked fast food and I am sympathetic - the assistant store manager says,  wryly, "Gosh, a lot of people sure called in sick - must be Seahawk Saturday." <snort> We eat, pick Laston up, and head to the pharmacy for his muscle relaxants. He has essentially sprained his back, and the Rx is for muscle relaxants, ice, heat, rest, and yoga. This matches Lizzy's diagnosis ("Mommy broke her toe and Daddy thprained his back,") but she had no useful suggestions for treatment.

We head home to drop L&L and grab Abby's bag for her sleepover.

And there is no freaking power.

My phone is completely dead, because as cool as my new table is, it's awfully easy to accidentally unplug the USB cable and therefore not charge said phone overnight.

For crying out loud.

Laston decides he may as well come with us - he wants to do some shopping anyway. He'll stay in the car if it hurts too much, or use the cane that we borrowed from my mom (thanks, Mom!) if it doesn't. We have time to kill before we drop Abby, and there's quite a lot we've needed since we moved. Costco it is.

And we're doing very well, everybody's great until Laston gets brushed by some random child and twists wrong as he turns to see what bumped him. The people at Costco are very nice as he's gasping for air and leaning heavily on a pile of bagged hickory heating pellets, and they bring us a wheelchair and help him into it. I push him, Abby pushes the shopping cart, and Lizzy manages to mostly stay out of the way (thank you, ladies) and we get back out of the store. I get the van and bring it around.

Toe is getting throbby now - it's about quarter to four - and we take Abby to her sleepover and on the way home, L texts my mom to see if there is power. There is not, so we stop and this time L stays in the van like a good ouchie guy, while Lizzy and I go into the store and grab baked beans for Laston (they hadn't any at Costco), bagged ice to keep frozen and refrigerated stuff cold while the power is out, and a neat little thingy that will charge my phone from a couple of AA batteries. And cash so we can order pizza. Again, no power.

We get home, Laston takes a second relaxant, I put away what I can in the dark and call Pizza Hut (using his phone, natch). I usually order from PH online, so I think the unusually high price (about $8 more than I expected) is because I don't have my usual online coupons.

When the pizza gets here, about two minutes after the power comes back on - call it six-fifteen - I find out that when I asked for Lizzy's pizza, they thought I said medium pan pizza instead of personal pan pizza.


SO... at the moment all is well (though I am afraid to say so). We've paid off three major bills, stocked our pantry, moved house, and will get our business tomorrow for all the stuff I didn't get in the whirlwind trip into the grocery store - tomatoes, and band-aids and a few other things we didn't need six dozen of at Costco. I intend to spend Sunday cooking and supervising the girls and finishing the paper I didn't get to today, only leaving the house to get Abby at her sleepover.

Plus I'd like to get a couple not-Costco-sized bottles of ibuprofen that the hubs and I can take to our respective workplaces Monday morning.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that he starts his new job Monday? on muscle relaxants? Wheeeee...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More Sad and a Little Happy

Abby is faking it until she makes it on the cheerful-about-moving-to-a-different-school front. She's still pretty royally pissed off, but also kind of resigned, and is somewhat mollified that she knows a few people there already. When I told her the office ladies remembered her from kindergarten, she blushed and grinned and stopped saying how mad she is at the school district.

At least Lizzy is happy, because her teacher sent home Dazzle the Dolphin (their class's stuffed toy mascot) with her. We're to bring Dazzle and his accouterments back on Friday.

Although just to complicate maters it turns out that Abby and Lizzy will be in different schools for the rest of this school year, because of kindergarten overflow. This is my fault, me and the vast hordes of other people who took advantage of the Great Power Outage of December 2006... there are a lot of six-year-olds in our area right now.


Anyway, we seem to be getting over the huge shock of the whole thing and into the beginnings of being able to see our silver linings.

I'm kind of surprised Abby hasn't jumped all over this as a reason she needs her own phone.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Not Bad News, but Sad News

You can't say anything at all around Lizzy, because she is, well, kind of impossible. She heard my mother and me talking this weekend about how I was told the girls would be allowed to stay at their current elementary school after our move, as long as we provide transportation.

So Lizzy told her kindergarten teacher today that she isn't allowed to take the bus anymore, and the teacher investigated by taking Lizzy to the school office. They called me to verify and to tell me I needed to fill out forms post haste, I confirmed that we moved but that they could certainly take the bus today, and I clocked out and took a break to head up to the school and fill out the change of address forms.

And that's when the proverbial feces hit the revolving blades and splattered everywhere. Because apparently the school district's rules have changed because our district has such high enrollment this year, and our current school is closed. They have to change to the home school for our new place. Now.

But, I said, they're already in this school. How does it change the numbers for them to stay here until the end of the school year? The nice ladies in the office don't know, but it's not up to them. Do I have to move them like tomorrow, then? No, they can stay until the end of the week; then they have to move to their new home school.

There is nothing wrong with the new home school; Abby went there for kindergarten and we liked it just fine. But we're used to this school.


For crying out loud. Lizzy might be upset, but it's going to devastate Abby; she's the social one and she's been in this school since first grade (now in fifth). I thought we had until June for this transition and now we have to do it in five days.


So I speak with the kids' teachers and the school nurse, and then I head back to work.

Lizzy is a bit upset, apparently for two reasons: One: Abby is upset. Two, she hasn't had a chance to take Dazzle the Dolphin home for the week. Sigh. Okay, we'll figure something out.

Abby is very upset - she's in that stage of preadolescence where friendship bracelets and pinkie swearing and giggled secrets are the most important things in the universe, and she's especially close to the two friends she took to her birthday movie with her - and they're in her class. Yes, of course she can have playdates and stuff with them, but it's just not the same.

So yes, we have some major upset going on here, I have to enroll them in the other school tomorrow, and I think I should take them to school on Monday if I can swing it. In the meantime, their teachers have offered to help with transitioning, and that's lovely.

Maybe Lizzy will be allowed to be in morning kindergarten...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Not Just A Bikini Hut

I am not as a rule a fan of the bikini hut style of coffee stand.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for using whatever you've got as a sales technique, and more power to you, but in general I find the 'bikini hut' just... distasteful. I mean, I'll go if they have good coffee and they're on my way, but I wouldn't bring my kids with me, you know?

But Cafe Lorraine is in fact different.

The bikinis (which are usually not bikinis; they are usually more along the lines of sexy-Halloween-costume) are a draw, I'm sure, if you like that sort of thing. But I'm a straight female, and I don't really care what they wear except that I can appreciate it as a good sales tactic.

What I like about this particular drive-through (aside from the convenience) is the customer service. The women who run this shop remember that I will occasionally risk the cream cheese but that often I want peanut butter on my bagel. They recall that Lizzy has no front teeth right now, even though they've only seen her once since she lost them. They know - thought they've only met her a couple times - that Abby is both allergic to nuts and something of an expert on the topic of girl scout cookie flavors. They can usually guess if I want my giant-iced-tea-with-two-raw-sugars, or if I'd like the special of the day made with soy milk (and they remember that I do not care for white chocolate or macadamia nut). They asked me this morning if my bruises were healing (yes) and my bronchitis was better (slooowly getting there).

And they make good coffee.

Friendly people with good customer service skills who make good coffee is the important part.

That they do it all while wearing police-themed Daisy Dukes is kind of beside the point for me.