Thursday, May 29, 2008

I can't even think of a title...

I think I am feeling overwhelmed or something. For the last few weeks, I have felt this underlying current of "grumpiness" in my soul. I can't think of any one thing that is eating at me and I can't shake it. I do know that for the last 3 weeks I have not felt 100% due to having a bad cold, allergies, lack of sleep, sick kids. The list goes on. Perhaps that is what is getting me. Or could it be that the season is changing and I'm not ready? End of kindergarten for Kendall, start of summer, high gas prices before we head on our two day journey to Arkansas by car, new puppy coming in August. I just don't know. I do know that I am no fun to be around right now.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Catching up

My parents left Tuesday and we had a good time over the Memorial Day Weekend. I've realized that young children and older adults have something in common: they change in just a few months. I had seen my parents in January and I can see some difference in them.

I worked Tuesday and Wednesday and I feel so behind in everything. But, I loved working!!! Back soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

They're heeeeere...

The parents arrived around 4 pm today. I roasted a chicken for dinner and we had mashed potatoes and salad with it. I had an extra box of vanilla wafers (left over from Clayton's snack on Wed--we had to supply the snack for the whole class) so I decided to make a banana pudding---from scratch! OK, I confess, I didn't make the vanilla wafers. :)

My meringue is a little dark, but this was so yummy and screams comfort food! It came out of the oven just as we were finishing our dinner.

Company's a comin'...

I love having company. My parents are driving to PA. They left Arkansas yesterday and should arrive tonight. They are too old to drive that far, but they don't want to spend the money to fly. Plus, my dad likes having his own wheels. They will only be here for four days. It seems like a long way to drive for just four days, but I imagine we will all be ready by then for them to head back home.

Why do I like having company? I like the change in routine, I like having someone to hang out with and I like cooking for them. I will say, though, that my parents aren't hard to please when it comes to food (unlike the in laws). My parents grew up in rural Arkansas without a lot of money. They are used to eating simple food and leftovers. In fact, they really don't care for the kind of food that takes a while to prepare (except Beans and cornbread and good barbecue pork). It should be an easy weekend as far as food goes. I imagine we will do burgers on the grill with some baked beans (a favorite meal of mine). I would like to do something really yummy, but they aren't into ethnic stuff--unless you consider Chinese food. Ha! That's about as ethnic as they get. Heck, until my wedding, my mom had never had a bagel. Oh, I digress. Anyway, I should go clean the house and get ready for the company.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Clayton!

My little guy turned 4 today! While the celebration has been low-key today, we will have a party on Sunday when his Mammaw and Pappaw are here. The day started out with candles in his pancakes. We went to lunch with his buddy, Connor and had pizza. After lunch, Connor and his mom came over for cupcakes. The boys played and Ronda and I got to visit a little. Tonight after dinner, we had the remaining cupcakes--this time with candles and a song.

Did I mention that we had cupcakes today?

I can't believe it has been four years since his birth. He was the easiest baby and it's a good thing he wasn't my first, or I would have been duped in thinking that babies are a piece of cake. When he was around 15 months he started having the little tantrums and I was shocked (I've been lucky so far with both kids---not real tantrum throwers). I remember describing to the doctor that he was getting mad if he didn't get his way. Dr. Coggins smiled and replied, "He's normal, you have nothing to compare to (since Kendall only threw ONE tantrum, ever).

I really like him (of course, I love him). He's a lot of fun and likes to make people happy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Two worlds collide

First of all, I want to say "thanks" to all the well wishers. I am on the mend.

I took the kids in to see our pediatrician this morning. I thought for sure Clayton had "walking pneumonia" but he was OK. He was wheezing a bit so all that was prescribed for him was the nebulizer with some albuterol. I actually had done that last week at some point but Clayton didn't want to do it and I was too sick to sit on him and make him.

I took Kendall in because I thought for sure she had a sinus infection. She had been waking up in the mornings unable to open her eyes because they were matted shut. Plus, she had all that snot. She was telling people she had a 'snot problem.' Anyhoo, it turned out that she had an ear infection in her right ear--bad enough to treat. The doctor couldn't believe that she wasn't in pain. This doctor is great and he doesn't push the antibiotics and I don't request them unless they think they are absolutely necessary. So, for him to say it looked that bad and that she needed antibiotics, I felt like it must have been really bad. I almost didn't make an appointment for her today because I thought she was getting a little better. Glad I did. So, I took her back to school and she stayed there the rest of the day without any problems.

Since Clayton wasn't contagious, I went to play group today for lunch. I was sitting there with my cell phone out on the counter--just in case Kendall needed me to pick her up--when, all of a sudden, I got a text message. This is rather unusual for me. I checked it and it was from the guy that coaches my softball team from the hospital. "Was I going to make it to the game?" Wow! I had no idea there was a game tonight. I replied, "yes." He sent me another message telling me where and what field. Yay! So, after we left play group, I went to a store and bought myself some softball cleats. I've only been playing on this team for about 4 years. It was about time to get some cleats.

We didn't win tonight. We were missing some regulars and we had some new faces. It takes a couple of games to figure everyone out. I was content to play catcher since the other team was hitting really, really hard line drives. It is a non-competitive, coed league, but tonight it was looking like the real deal. I'm not into that. I want to have a little break from the kids and run and hit the ball and keep my teeth. Is that asking too much?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Feeling better

We are almost better. At least, I am. I think Kendall has a sinus infection and I'm not sure what all is going on with Clayton. I tend to let things run their course before I call the doctor and I think my kids have been miserable long enough. I will make some appointments for the kids tomorrow. And we were hardly sick all winter. This has hit us hard.

In spite of having a rough week, we had a party Saturday night for my husband's post-doctoral student, Franci. She is moving back to her home, Brazil, for a permanent position at a university. I knew I was feeling better when I was actually looking forward to making some desserts. I made three: my chocolate cake (I make all the time), a pound cake (first time ever), and a key lime pie (first time this year).

My husband did burgers on the grill. It was nice to see people. My kids were good sports even though they didn't feel that great.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Still sick

Since I am still sick, and I even feel worse than yesterday, my brain is a little slow and uncreative. I can't quit sneezing and while the kids are feeling better, I don't have the energy to chase after them or clean up after them (bad Mommy--haven't taught my kids to clean up after themselves). But, I received this card last week-- just in time for Mother's Day--from my friend, Diane. Diane is from England but lives in France now. She saw this card and thought I would enjoy it. I love it and thought I would share it with all of you. It gave me a chuckle. And it is SO TRUE.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good day to clean out the fridge

I kept the kids home today because they seemed like they both had colds. I think Kendall is the sick one and I think Clayton is coming out of it or just has allergies. And, I have it now. Great. I guess it's good for us to all be sick together and hopefully, we will not have to worry about it in a few days.

Since I can't smell anything right now, I decided to clean out the refrigerator. I threw out old stuff and took the shelves out and cleaned them with soap and water. Wow! what a difference. I couldn't do all of it today so I just did the shelves in the main part and left the door compartments for tomorrow (maybe). I think I probably had some cures for cancer growing in there. I'm so glad that task is mostly done.

The weather seems to be getting better here this week. We woke up to snow on Monday, but today there is sunshine and warmer temperatures.

And here are some pictures from Cambridge from this past weekend:

I think the bloom from the pink dog wood tree is my favorite of all the flowering trees in the spring.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Queen----if only for a day!

We drove to Boston for Mother's Day Weekend. We left Thursday after Kendall got out of school because I thought it would be a good idea to break the trip in two by stopping off in NYC. We got to my sister-in-law's place by 9 pm. Friday morning, Pete, his sister, our niece, Kendall, Clayton and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They have a temporary exhibit right now that shows super heroes costumes and how they influence fashion. While we were trying to find this exhibit, we walked through the Greek and Roman section and then the Egyptian section. I loved it. I think the kids were having fun, too. The weather was awful in New York City! We headed back to Anne's place and had lunch. Our one mistake was leaving NYC too late in the afternoon on Friday. We left by 2 pm, but traffic was horrible. It took us 5 1/2 hours to get to Boston. Oh well. Lesson learned.
Once we were in Cambridge, we had a fairly nice and relaxing weekend. Pete's grandmother (aka Nana) and parents were waiting for us.

On Saturday we all went out for brunch. Originally, we had planned to go to the Harvest, but we ended up going to a place called the Temple Bar. They do a great brunch.

Here is Nana enjoying herself. We all had Bellinis with our food.
Saturday afternoon, Pete and I got out by ourselves. We walked around Harvard Square and looked for a digital frame for his parents. Pete was also on a mission to get me my Mother's Day gift. Initially we were looking at Fondue stuff, but then it hit me, I wanted an iPod. So, he bought me one. Yay! Now, I am trying to figure it all out.

We made it back Sunday night after a long drive all day. I am still a little tired from the quick trip.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

to Boston...

We are going to Boston this weekend to see my in-laws. I never know what to pack. They dress up more than I do. Really, all I need is my Old Navy worn out capris and Perfect Tee with the river sandals, and I am set. But, you see, when I dress like that around them, they look at me and say, "We want to take you shopping." I know that really means, "you, redneck from Arkansas, are embarrassing the he** out of us." And to make matters worse, Pete has informed me that we are not putting the bubble on top of the wagon (is everyone rolling on the floor with laughter by this point?) so I have to pack light. Great. So, it will be two pairs of capris.....just joking. But my grandmother-in-law (age 94) said we are going to the Harvest for brunch. Ooh la la. I will need to bring one nice outfit for that meal. Otherwise, I will be wearing the same ol' "I'm a stay-at-home-mom' and I've forgotten how to dress clothes."

Found it!

I have been stressing that last few days. I couldn't find my trusty softball glove that is about 100 years old. The thought of buying a new one just made me sick. I'm so relieved I don't have to break one in now. Phew!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I've got a bee in my bonnet

I heard this story on NPR's Morning Edition regarding consolidation of small municipalities in New Jersey. This same concept could benefit the people of the metropolitan statistical area of Central Pennsylvania.

For years, I have been bothered by the fact that there are all these little municipalities that have their own supervisor, accountant, secretaries, police departments, zoning and planning, administration, parks and recreation, etc. Why should our tax revenue go to support all these duplicate services when we could combine some services and save money.

The population for the metropolitan statistical area was 135,758 in 2000. The population of the areas I am speaking about was 77,049 in 2000. These areas include the State College Borough (pop.38,420), and College (pop.8,489), Ferguson (pop.14,063), Harris (pop.4,657), and Patton (pop.11,420) Townships. I think the property tax rate should be equalized among these areas so that all the rates are the same. If we eliminate some of the duplicate services and make each area pay the same rate, I think we could feel some tax relief for the citizens of this area.

It just makes since for us to consolidate and be one community. The Propery Tax burden in PA is 9th in the U.S. Let's bring that number down while still offering the same great services.