Monday, August 24, 2009

Bugs = Bad

Before we get to bugs, in all their various forms, I forgot to mention in the last blog post that we gave Romelie her first haircut a couple weeks ago. Just a bang trim, but now she doesn't constantly have hair in her eyes.

So bugs. They are not okay by me. First, we have the pinkeye bug. Yes, folks, last Sunday I woke up with pinkeye. Again. This is my third time getting pinkeye and our household's fourth time since July. Luckily no one else got it again, but I'm getting pretty sick of wearing glasses and having to put drops in my eyes (not to mention the redness, the puffiness, the goopiness, the itchiness, and the general attractiveness).

Next, we found and killed two ticks in our house this weekend. Both were in the kitchen on the ceiling, which is odd, but they were definitely deer ticks. Haven't checked the cats yet, but the people are all clear. Hopefully that will be the end of that story...

Third, we have the yellow jacket wasps. They have been hanging out in our backyard all summer; we think they have an underground nest but haven't been able to find it. Instead, we kill 4-5 of them every time we go outside with Romelie to play. Since we usually let her run around without shoes on, I'm very nervous about her getting stung. Particularly since Friday.

Which brings us to number four: mosquitos. Normally I wouldn't have ranked mosquitos as being a big troublesome bug. I mean, we live in Minnesota. There's lots of water, so there are lots of mosquitos, and if you spend any amount of time outside, you're going to get bit. Deal with it. But on Friday evening, Romelie got bit near her left eye. And I'm sure it was a mosquito bite cause I squished the sucker - just not in time. However, Saturday night Chason noticed that her eye was starting to get puffy and when we woke up Sunday morning, it looked like this. We called the doctor and she recommended that we take her in to urgent care. Which we did, and that doctor just said to give her Children's Benadryl. So we did, and now her eye is back to normal. But still...I can't believe her eye puffed up this bad from a mosquito bite. Between this and her face rash that she occasionally and unpredictably gets after eating, I can only conclude that she has non-life-threatening allergies, but they come out as sensitive skin issues. Or something. In the meantime, I'll just keep taking pictures so I can show them to her doctor at her next (scheduled) appointment.

On a sarcastically "fun" note, while waiting for the doctor to call back yesterday morning, I was in the kitchen making coffee. The phone rang, and in an effort not to miss it, I dashed to the bedroom. Unfortunately, I slipped on a sock on the hardwood floor and went DOWN. Bruises on my right hip, my left quad, and my right ankle, and a cut under my knee. I'm pretty sore today, but that's what you get for being klutzy, I guess. Today is my first day of volleyball, too. Who's going to be all limpy and bruised for her first day with her new team? This lady.

On an actually fun note, we did have a good Saturday. The weather this weekend was gorgeous so we spent lots of time outside. Chason helped out with a St. Paul Saints video (minor league baseball team he used to work with) with Joe and the kids and then we went over to Como Zoo for an hour to walk around. Romelie really likes looking at the animals, though I think the ducks hanging out in the flamingo exhibit were actually her favorite. We also busted out the backyard pool for Romelie to play in, and I found a plastic kid-sized picnic table at a garage sale that Romelie did some coloring at (and on). So despite the rough Sunday A.M. we had a pretty nice weekend.

Finally, this is a video from Friday night, just before Romelie's bedtime. Note how she joins in for the fake snoring. Ignore me during the last 20 seconds of this video - I was tired and a bit cranky.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm just a little black raincloud

I totally forgot to mention this in the last blog - Romelie has finally discovered the television. I don't see this as being a horrible thing, though it does mean we actually need to start setting down "TV time" rules, which is new. Romelie enjoys Elmo, Spongebob (who she calls Bob-Bob), and Dora (which she watches at daycare). But her absolute favorite thing in the world is "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh." It's the Disney film from about 30 years ago. We have it on VHS, and she watches about an hour of it every single day. Of course, the movie is only about 90 minutes long, which means we watch most of the film...every single day. Romelie has not gotten even a little bit sick of it yet. She still laughs at the same parts (especially when the bee is laughing at Pooh), bounces during the Tigger song, says "mess" when Owl's house falls over, and gets mad when Pooh has been off-screen for too long. She's even started to sing along with the Winnie the Pooh theme song (she sings "Pooh" and "Bear" at the appropriate times). We've tried to put other videos in, but she just says "Pooh" over and over again until you put on Winnie the Pooh. Luckily it's a good movie - better than the crappy Toddler Tunes CD she's addicted to and won't let us remove from the CD player.

So this is a little more personal than I generally care to share, but it's in the forefront of my brain right now - I'm having mild financial woes. Blame what you will, but I miscalculated my finances horribly this month and somehow overdrafted - a lot. Add to that the fact that, in my head, I had, like, a thousand dollars in my checking account (I seriously thought the bank had screwed up - couldn't believe it was all me), and it made for a very sad Wednesday. Thankfully, my wonderful husband helped bail me out before I could incur more overdraft charges, and the bank was willing to make some of them go away. So while my account is currently in the black - which is good - I am financially woeful at the moment. While I choose to blame this on my unexpected $1000 medical bill (see blog entry from 6/22), it doesn't change my situation.

Now, this is not a request for help...Chason has already done so, and as a team we're in excellent shape. But as an individual contributor to our household expenses, I feel like I'm doing some serious mismanagement here. So I'm finally going to set myself a budget. I've read that the best way to do that is to track all of your expenses for a month, then figure out where you can cut back. So Chason and I are both planning on doing that next month, and then we'll see where we need to go from there. I'll also have money coming in from volleyball (though I had planned to set that aside to pay for last year's taxes and prepare for any shortages for 2009), I still have my part-time job at the church, and I've just asked to line judge for the home Varsity games (I usually attend most of them anyways...this way I'd get paid for it). Plus I'm very into couponing and free crap lately. So no need for help or even concern; I'm just sharing what's going on in my life.

BUT...speaking of free crap...I'm going to do a little pitch here. Up until now, I have never used my blog for anything other than sharing stories, pictures, and information about our family with the rest of our family and friends. However, this seems like an easy way to share something cool with all of you that would help both you and me get free stuff. It's called "Swagbucks." Basically, it's a search engine (powered by Google and Ask.com). So if you needed to do an internet search, rather than going to yahoo.com or google.com or whatever, you'd go to swagbucks.com (or you can download a toolbar and use that to search...that's what I do...anyway...). The difference is, when you search on swagbucks, you periodically get awarded a "swagbuck." They come in different denominations (usually it's $1-5 swagbucks), and then you can redeem your swagbucks for different items. They have tons of crap available (mostly literally - comic books and baseball cards and music t-shirts and other weird junk), but the best things are the gift cards. I prefer the amazon.com gift cards because they're the best value: 45 swagbucks = a $5 gift card.

If you sign up on their website, you can start earning swagbucks for yourself right away (I usually earn at least a buck a day just doing my regular searches), but if you refer to ME when you register, then I earn swagbucks, too!! See why the shameless promotion of swagbucks.com? Seriously, I have one swagbucks friend right now (yay Crystal!) and her searches have earned me 28 swagbucks. Just think if everyone who reads this blog (all...12 of you?) starts searching using swagbucks.com. Everyone wins...especially me!!

Here's the link:

Search & Win

Please note that in order for me to actually receive swagbucks, you need to (A) use the referral link above, and (B) actually search using swagbucks. It's the only search engine I use these days, and it works great, otherwise I wouldn't waste your time. However, if you find it's not for you, no worries!

Okay, I'm done shamelessly involving all of you all in my quest for free crap that I didn't earn. And I don't even have any new pictures to appease you for putting up with my rambling. I will instead paint a picture for you: it's bedtime. Romelie has already watched Winnie the Pooh, splashed around outside in her pool, eaten dinner, splashed around inside in the bath, put her jammies on, and brushed her teeth (which means she chewed on the toothbrush while I reminded her for the thousandth time that she needs to open her mouth in order for me to actually brush her teeth). She's said "night night" to Dad, given him a kiss, and said "Ah lub youra" (her response to his "I love you"). I bring her into her darkened nursery. I turn on her sound machine and recite her bedtime book "Everyone's Sleepy" by heart. I lay her in her crib, hand her Tigger and Pooh, cover her with a blanket, and pull her little musical toy to lull her to sleep. "Goodnight, Romelie. Sleep tight. I love you." She holds up Tigger and Pooh for me to kiss, then puckers up. I lean over, trying not to fall in, and give her a bedtime smooch. "Night night, Romelie."

"Night night, mama."

That's what she did last night. Best moment ever.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Then again, what do I know?

Last Sunday, Aug 2, Romelie had another allergic reaction. Except now I don't know if it's really an allergic reaction. It happened the same way the first one did, except it happened as she finished up her breakfast, which consisted of raisin muffins and yogurt - two things I'm pretty darned sure she is not allergic to. This time I didn't discover it until I wiped the food off her face and there it was. Which might indicate that her skin is simply reacting to the food that's smeared onto it - except she's had WAY messier meals with much more food sticking to more parts of her body and not had the reaction. So this time I took a picture. Actually I took a bunch of pictures (the second one doesn't show the rash as well but it's super cute). Anyone recognize this or have a theory on what's going on? I'll show the pics to her doctor, but we won't see him again until her 2-year visit, so in the meantime, I welcome theories.

Also, apparently I didn't knock on enough wood, because Mr. Pinkeye came back for a THIRD visit - though it only befriended me this time around. Thanks, butthead. I'm through being hospitable - next time I'll kick your pink butt.

Ahh, empty threats against diseases. I'm so tough.

Other news - we've gotten out some more lately. We hung out with our neighbors for National Night Out last Tuesday (and won tickets to a Twins game and a $10 gift card to Target!), we went to a St. Paul Saints game on Thursday (fun, but not as entertaining as it was when Chason worked there...plus Romelie didn't really go for it...), and we visited the Kenny neighborhood festival this weekend (honestly, how many hotdogs can/should one family eat?). Romelie also had her final music class on Sunday. I'm not signing her up for the fall - it's kind of expensive and I'll be busy on quite a few Saturdays with volleyball - but I'll definitely consider it again in the future; Romelie had lots of fun and didn't cry once.

In personal news, I'm basically done with summer camp at The Bakken; we still have two weeks to go, and I may be required to help out, but I'm done leading Science Theater. And I start volleyball on Monday! And I was dreading it, I'll be honest. It's a huge commitment in addition to my full-time job; it puts way more than his share of responsibility on Chason; and it takes me away from my family from 8:00 am - 7:30 pm (or later) five days a week plus a few Saturdays for 10 weeks. So...I talked to my boss at The Bakken and I talked to the head coach at BSM and NOW I'll be coaching the top Junior High team (instead of 9B) from 3:00-5:00 (instead of 5:00-7:00) four days a week (instead of five) plus some Saturday mornings (instead of all-day Saturdays) for only 9 weeks! I'll still have to make up hours at The Bakken to meet my full-time requirements, but I'm hoping I'll be able to do some/much of that work from home on weekends or after Romelie goes to bed. So thank you, understanding bosses, for making this much easier on me and my family and my sanity.

And finally, Romelie has started putting sentences together. Mainly two to three words long, she now regularly says "Hi dada," "I did it!" "I found it!" and "I don't know." If only she could unlearn some words like "mine." Heard that one about 50 times yesterday when we were at the church daycare, even though there was only one other kid there (in a huge room with hundreds of toys, of course they had to play with the same thing at the same time...sigh). I did manage to capture a cute moment of the two of them racing cars, though. I guess it makes up for the whining and tears.

And now some cute pictures that need no description other than this: my daughter is a pretty, pretty princess.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Maybe it's all that bath water she'd been drinking...

Some kids spend bath time playing with boats or duckies. Some just splash around and make a mess. And some kids cry about having to take a bath at all. My kid does all of those things on different occasions. But during yesterday's bath, she was too busy being a genius. Behold.