Monday, October 20, 2008

Report cards and road trips

Tyler got his first ever report card last week! I never thought I'd be so excited to see it, but I totally couldn't wait to pick him up from school and whip that sucker out of his backpack! Needless to say, the world's smartest boy ACED everything! The report shows what they've learned thus far, and what they'll learn the rest of the year. Tyler knows all of it already. It's stuff like count to 20 with 100% accuracy. Yeah, he can count to about 50, probably higher but that's about when he loses interest in counting for Mommy. It's recognizing and writing the color words, being able to sound out words, stuff like that. Tonight while reading to Marc, he read the words elephant, dinosaurs, airplanes, whales, skyscrapers, and universe. I'm telling you, the kid blows us away every day...I can't wait to see what profession he goes into.

I found out that "Disney On Ice" was coming to Huntsville, so I bought tickets and we spent the weekend up there. It's a 3 hour drive, and a relatively easy one. We took Jill, our GPS, which was gifted to us by Marc's parents. Thanks a ton for this amazing technology Mommy and Daddy; it's worth it's weight in gold! We use it all the time. It's name is Jill because when you look at the programming screen, each language is assigned a name, and American is Jill. That, and we don't personally know anyone named Jill, so when one of us says "go get Jill out of the drawer"...we know what we're talking about. Even Tyler calls it Jill!

The trip up to Huntsville was nice...until the belt blew out on the passenger side front tire, and we had to pull into a gas station to put the spare on. The car is Grandma's...and it's a 1996 model...and these are probably the original tires. We weren't really surprised it blew, but thankfully it happened on the trip when we were all together, rather than when I was trying to high-tail it to Tyler's school to pick him up! :) We used Jill to find us a tire shop...she found us 3, but they were all closed. On a Saturday. At one in the afternoon. It was quite odd. So, I spied the roof of a fairly new building way off in the distance, and told Marc it looked like a new Wal-Mart. Apparently my Wally-World-Radar was working that day, because we drove that direction, and lo and behold, there was a brand-spankin' new Wal-Mart. We got the one tire replaced, and went on our merry way about an hour later.

Our first stop in Huntsville was a cool kids science museum called Sci-Quest. It's a totally hands-on place where kids go to different stations to learn about some aspect of science, using the experiment at the station. One was pumping air into a tube filled with water, to try to get the little plastic diver inside to sink to the bottom; one was creating electricity by pedaling really fast, which would light up a series of lights in front of you (Marc not only got all 6 lights on, but they were as blinding as the sun...I guess all those spinning classes paid off!); one was static electricity...and the list goes on. We were there for 2 hours, and I'll bet there were at least 50 things to play with. They have a birthday party room and snack bar, too. It was relatively cheap; I think it was $26 for the three of us, and you can be there as long as you want. Tyler had a blast.

We then checked into our hotel, got a bite to eat at a buffet place (which pretty much sucked), and then headed to the arena for the Disney show. At this point, Tyler still has no idea what he's going to see/do. We walked in to the building, and of course there are booths set up everywhere selling crap for tons of money, and he saw the sign ahead...Disney on Ice. He almost flipped out! I was just so excited he read the sign by himself! We bought him a little stuffed Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch) and a plastic sword with Peter Pan on it. The total was $27; how disgusting is that?!!

The show was AWESOME...if you ever have the opportunity, go see it!!! The story line flowed nicely, it kept the kids attention, and they did an intermission about 2/3 of the way through so the kids could get up and walk around or go potty. The costumes were amazing...Sebastian the Lobster from The Little Mermaid actually looked like Sebastian! I was very impressed with the whole thing, and was truly sad when it was over. I'll definitely go again someday. And let me tell you...those people skating were amazing...not one slip or fall, and they were doing some really professional-type stuff. It was a very nice evening.

We slept in the hotel, which was very comfortable and quiet, and only $40! Gotta love off-season. Then on Sunday we drove around and found a few stores we wanted to check out, and then headed back home. Tyler's last "surprise" was a stop at PetsMart, to buy a fish he's been asking for. He had one in TX, and it went to the big aquarium in the sky before we moved to AL, and he's been wanting another one for a couple of months. So, we have another Betta, which is red and blue, and Tyler named him Quincy (one of the characters from his favorite show, The Little Einsteins). We finally pulled in the driveway at 5, which was nice, because we got unloaded, laundry washed and put away, dinner, play time, and relaxing before bedtime. It was a really nice weekend, and Tyler had SO much fun. And Quincy has himself a nice big tank, compared to the little cup he came home in, and he appears to be enjoying it!

I have a big trail ride coming up this Saturday, and Marc and Tyler will be heading over to the new Best Buy to drool over the TV's.

At some point, I'll figure out how to post a picture, and I'll be able to show you some of this stuff instead of trying to explain it.

ALSO, a quick "thank you!" to everyone who ordered something for Tyler's school fundraiser; he got enough purchases in his name to qualify for the much-coveted Glow in the Dark Scooby t-shirt! This fundraiser was something parents didn't participate in (as far as purchasing something is concerned), so I have no idea what you guys had to choose from, etc. We keep getting hit with these fundraiser things...we've had 3 so's crazy. I'd rather just give the school a check for fifty bucks a month than try to sap everyone I know for a donation of some sort! So again...thanks so much for helping out The Boy. I'll post a photo of him in the damn shirt.

Time to head off to bed and read for a while. I'm reading books by Dick Francis; he writes mysteries that center around the world of horse far this first one I have is quite good!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Well, I'll never do THAT again!

Okay, so we spent Saturday at the Alabama National Fair. It was a really good fair...the Midway was enormous, and there was an area set up just for kids rides. We got Tyler a wristband, so he could ride whatever he wanted, and we got some tickets for me and Marc. I'm not a big ride person.

So, we walked around for a while, saw animals and crafts, played some games, and went to the circus. That was great...until the elephants came out. I'm telling you, the performances were wonderful, but when the elephants came out (they were the last act), people actually started to get up and leave. There were four of them, and they behaved nicely, but I think people are just fed up with elephants at circuses. There's no reason to have four of them jammed into a tiny little arena, you know?

We went by this ride called "Extacy". It was purple. It spun around. It went upside down. Marc thought it would be a cool ride, and tried to tease me by saying "come on...let's go on that one". Well, surprise to him...I said okay. The man nearly passed out! So were sitting in this thing that looks like a purple octopus. Each arm has 4 cars on it, and each car holds two people. The whole thing spins around clockwise, the pod of cars at the end of each arm spin around counterclockwise, and then the arms go up and down. At one point, the cars are above the arms...upside down...and still spinning.

Oh. My. God. It was quite a long ride. I did lots of screaming and laughing. The ride did it's whole sequence, and then paused for a bit...upside down...but spinning slower. I was thinking maybe the ride was going to be done. No. Of course not. The ride went through the entire sequence again. I'm telling you, this ride had to be at least a full 3 minutes long. That's a long time when you're on the spinning octopus of death. Okay, so now we're going through it for the second time, and I got reeeeaaaalllllyyyy quiet. Marc said "are you okay?" and I said "NO!". I was probably three shades of green. The only thing that kept me from barfing was the total embarassment I'd suffer in front of our friends and the kids. I was SOOOO dizzy; I had to sit down for a good half an hour. Marc said I actually got a little shocky. I had no blood in my arms or legs, and my head was hurting.

I will never go on a ride that spins ever again. I tried to be brave, for Marc. I know he just loves rides like this, but I'm either too scared I'll die or puke that I just can't do them. Now I hope he understands just how badly these things affect me, and will understand when I tell him "NO WAY!!".

So, you'd think I'd be better the next day, right? After a good night's sleep. Of course not!! I had some freaky 24-hour stomach flu thing, and wound up barfing anyway. Damn! Today I feel pretty puny, and have not had a real great day, but I feel a million times better than yesterday.

On a better note, we've been working on Tyler's big boy room. We have all of the painting done, and tonight we're going to put up the bandana border. Tomorrow night we'll clean the carpet, and Wednesday night we'll put everything back in, including the new twin bed. I'm so excited!

Well, off to play with the wallpaper!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Go Mustangs!

Okay, so we're suckers. We bought season tickets for the local high school football team. Two seats ran us nearly $200, but we get super-close free parking, awesome seats, and free food and drinks.

We weren't sure how Tyler was going to like watching football for 3 hours. Let me tell you, this boy LOVES it! He stands there screaming "touchdown!" and "Go, Mustangs!". When the bands come out at half-time, he dances, and sometimes pretends he's the conductor. When the 3rd quarter starts, he and Marc take a walk to the snack shack and buy me M&M's. It's great! We were at a game tonight, and I must say, these kids can play some ball. We stomped the other team, 49 to 28. This is the second of three home games we've won. The BIG game is next Friday; we play Prattville, which is the town two miles away, across the Interstate. Major rivalry; and right now Prattville is undefeated.

For those of you who don't know, I am NOT a football fan. I have no idea why I love going to these games so much. Maybe it's a "flashback" to my high school days; who knows??

Otherwise, things are fabulous. Tyler is doing excellent in school, and is reading like a champ. He's to the point now that if you spell a word, he'll tell you what it was. For instance, I looked at him and said "what is m-i-l-k?" and he said "milk". There was virtually no hesitation on his part. It's truly amazing to watch him grow up.

He was approved to receive therapy services through the school system. The next step is for the school's PT and OT to evaluate him, and make their recommendations for his care. We'll meet with them in about a month, and develop his plan of care. We're not as concerned about the PT as we are about the OT. The physical skills (gross motor) will pretty much take care of themselves as he gets older and needs to keep up with the other kids. He does need to be followed for his leg brace, though. The one he has now is so cool! It's really lightweight, and has helped him develop a proper heel-toe gait. You should see him run! He's faster, straighter (doesn't toe-in, which means he's not "throwing" his hip forward, he's actually using the right muscles in the right order), and he doesn't really look down anymore. There was such a long period of time where he ran looking down; we were sure he was going to run into a tree or something. But, between his last eye surgery and his legs being stronger, he's learned to use his lower peripheral vision to gauge where he's going.

Marc is same-oh, same-oh. Working hard putting together his big presentation thingy at the end of the month. He's also running the Booster Club stuff. He did not want that job. He was what we call "volun-told". He has to do it for a year (I think), so his time doing it should be over soon. Can you believe we've been here for almost a year already??? October 29th!

I went on another trail ride last weekend...this one was incredible. It was at Tuskegee National Forest (which, by the way, is the smallest National Forest in the country). This place was gorgeous! The trail was fairly flat, it went through some dense brush, some woods, and some open spaces. In total, it was 16 miles. We went the first 12 and then stopped at a lake to eat our lunches and rest the horses. Ranger was a good boy and drank from the lake before we left. The old adage about "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" is so true! However, Ranger has learned that if you're offered water, by God, you take it!! The last 4 miles of the ride was the best part...there were two LONG stretches of trail...and we galloped most of it. It was awesome!

The best part of the ride for me, though, was that Ranger jumped everything we came upon! I am so proud of the old man! The highest thing he jumped was 2'6", and he cleared it like a pro. I can't tell you the feeling of jumping over a downed tree with all that power under you. It was like nothing I've ever experienced before. There was actually a moment of suspension in the air; it was what I imagine flying would be like. Needless to say, I'm now taking jumping lessons at the barn. I'm addicted. However, my horse and I are both vertically challenged, I'm kind of a wimp, and he's kind of old, so I don't think we'll be doing BIG jumps or doing a lot of jumping at all. I'm just taking the lessons to make sure I don't hinder his motion as we're jumping, and that my position is correct so when we land, I don't get off balance. That happened to me once, and it was pretty scary. Thank God Ranger likes me; he helped me rebalance myself before we continued.

This weekend we're headed to the Alabama Fair. We missed it last year; it was the week after we came to look for the house. I absolutely LOVE going to the fair, so I'm all excited. We're going with our neighbors, George, Deborah and Lydia, and their grandson Austin (who's Tyler's best friend). We got the kids wristbands so they can ride whatever they want. I plan to watch them ride and eat lots of fat nasty fair food.

Otherwise, not much else going on. Marc got all the horrid border off the walls in the kitchen and breakfast area; now we have to prime the walls, paint the walls and paint the trim. I think we're going to wait another week or so to do that, though. We need to get Tyler's big boy room done. I have to paint, put up the chair-rail border, clean the carpet and put his new twin bed in there. I think we can get most of it done this weekend. I already have all of his new bedding...we just need a headboard. I'll take photos of the room once it's done...I hope it comes out as cute in person as it does in my head!

Tyler wants to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween. Ugh. Buzz is kind of "out" this year, so I'll have to order the costume for him. We got a bumblebee costume for the's hysterical! The barn is having a costume contest; Ranger is going to be a giant bumblebee and I'll be the beekeeper. I got him a bright yellow sheet...I'll use strips of black duct-tape to make the stripes. His halter is black, and I'll put two pipecleaners on it with yellow pom-poms on the top for his antennae. I'm going to wrap his tail in black wrap so it'll look like a stinger. It should be cute...I'll take pics of Buzz and the two bees for you all to see (and get a good laugh out of).

I just have to say that lately, I've been really happy. We all know I've had my share of ups and downs, with this stupid depression/anxiety thing. Thank God for drugs! But, I think lately my brain has been functioning on a more normal level, because I've just felt so happy these last few weeks. Things are good. Tyler is an awesome kid who just loves going to school, Piper is the best dog on the planet, Ranger is the best horse alive, Marc is the hard-working super-hubby, I have two great jobs, a handful of exceptionally wonderful friends, and the best parents/in-laws anyone could ask for. Things have been going really well for me, and I just wanted everyone to know how "all good things come with time". Mine took five friggin years, but it came!!! Many thanks to everyone for being so supportive, even when you thought I had wandered into the deep end. And the biggest thanks of all goes to Marc, who truly needs to be ordained a saint when he dies. I do NOT know how the man put up with me, but bless his pea-pickin heart for doing it. I've put him through the wringer in the past, and he stuck by me. I love you, babe!

I hope everyone is doing well. I know everyone is busy these days, so that's one reason I started the blog. You can keep up with us at two in the morning in your jammies if you want to! Lord knows I type it at midnight in my jammies!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!!