Friday, November 21, 2014

Dude...I'm over being sick!

Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows that I'm a pretty big believer in green living and homeopathic remedies.  I will always try to opt for that first.  One of my standbys is elderberry.  If you aren't familiar with it take a moment and check it out HERE.  It's some pretty amazing stuff that can be used for bacterial and viral issues and generally shores up the immune system.  I have Princess Bear (PB) take 2 Zarbees Mighty Bee Gummy Immune support everyday.  You can find out about them HERE.  I usually wind up popping 2 when I'm giving them to her.  Unfortunately sometimes you're up against something that a preventative immune builder just can't wipe out.   :(

I started feeling pretty run down a few days ago.  I thought it was the onset of yet another sinus infection.  By yesterday morning I could not hear out of my left ear at all (I ruptured my left ear drum in '97 and it's been a bit cranky ever since.)  Then last night the deep hacking cough started.  I do love that I can go online and make an appointment with my Dr. even if it's after hours.  Pretty dang convenient!  So there I was at 9:30 this morning discussing politics with my Dr.  (He loves playing Devils Advocate but I even had him stumped at one point!).  The verdict?  Ear infection, sinus infection, upper respiratory infection, possible strep and something viral that there is no point testing for since they can't do much for it.  So bring on the prednisone, antibiotics, decongestants and cold and flu elderberry formula.  Oh and don't forget the probiotics so the antibiotics won't totally jack up your gut flora.  If you have one think about plugging in an essential oils diffuser and getting some Thieves oil or Purification going in that bad boy!

My cat thinks life is grand since I've been one with the couch while hacking up a lung.  This means that the human is always around to lie on.  I have been trying to use the time somewhat constructively and added 47 new designs to my Cafe Press store!  Then there was the not so constructive but fun catching up with TV shows I've had no time for!

Whatever this ick is has also invaded my sisters house.  My youngest nephew has been down and out for most of the week.  We were keeping our fingers crossed that the oldest wouldn't come down with it since he had a friend birthday party scheduled for tomorrow.  Well, the text came rolling in at  7:30pm that Tyler was indeed sick and the party would be rescheduled after the holidays.  What a pisser for a little dude!

The other down side is that since I'm pretty contagious there is every chance that my daughter or folks will come down with this.  We're hoping that everyone who is going to get it gets it quickly so it will not mess with our Florida trip.  It has however put a major crimp in our Thanksgiving plans.  We used to go to Chicago every year to celebrate with my dads family.  When my nephews were born it became too hard for my sister to go up and back in one day so we stopped going up there.  My dad decided that he wanted to spend some time with family especially since some of his Aunts are getting up there in age and are becoming a bit fragile.  My mom decided today that Chicago is off that they weren't going to leave me alone for Thanksgiving.  I did tell her that if they were all healthy that I would really be ok with them going up for the day.  Right now the discussion has been tabled.

Bottom line is sick sucks in so many ways!

P.S.  If you are interested in making your own elderberry recipe you can take a peek at these  HERE HERE and HERE.   All the recipes are pretty similar.  Most differing in a few spices and quantities.  I'm going to be making a big batch in the next few weeks to share with my sister and her sister in law.  I'll probably make the last recipe.  I love clove.  I love the smell and taste of clove and it makes the biggest batch so it seems like a good pick for me.   Fortunately all of our kids love the stuff and homemade is always best, right? :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Restraint

There are times that my restraint amazes me.  Not because it's particularly strong.  Quite the opposite.  I have no filter when it comes it saying things, I'm very opinionated and share my opinions often and am pretty hot tempered.  The only thing I do have going for me is that on rare occasions I can keep my temper from completely blowing up and give myself sometime to regroup and get my ducks in a row.  Don't think for a second that I'm going to back off.  That almost never happens.  What I will do is make sure that I have all my i's dotted and t's crossed.  Then I'm going after whomever and they have little choice but to grab their ankles and sing along.  This is especially true when it comes to protecting Princess Bear (PB).  She's my one and only child and is entirely too trusting.  Therefore Mama Bear has to stay vigilant. 

Once again my daughters teacher decided to play screw around.  She didn't like it when she got called on the carpet for screwing up yet again at the IEP in October.   Frankly the women is dumb as a box of rocks. She was dumb enough that in front of the Principal and PB's coordinator to say that she is still only teaching one reading level.  This has been a problem since last year and why they were able to get another teacher since I raised a stink back then.  SO, here we are 7 months after the initial meeting but with a new, more involved principal and she makes this revelation.  Things were promptly put into play to have PB tested and put into an appropriate reading group.  Things should have been peachy keen.  One small problem though.  Progress reports came home yesterday.  PB went from an A in Differentiated Instruction (DI) to a D.  First problem here is that I was not notified that my child had dropped 4 letter grades.  NOT ok.  Especially if you consider that the teacher now has to send home notes every day to let me know what PB has been working on and how she is doing.  If there is a significant drop like that I better be finding out well before the next progress report or report card.  Now comes the real kicker.  The assignments that were done in DI are very subjective reading and writing assignments.  In other words a very easy way for a teacher, a dumb teacher albeit, to give a student a bad grade if said teacher is upset with the students mother because the mom called the teacher on the carpet in front of their boss.  So I walk into school and PB is frantic because she has a D and knows that in our house there is never a good reason to have a D.  I look at the teacher and ask what happened and why wasn't I notified.  She tried blaming it on the new DI teacher and wouldn't even stop to discuss it with me.  Big mistake.  I was on the phone calling PB's coordinator before we even got out of the school parking lot.

The school that the coordinators office is in is at PB's old school which is a block away from our house.  I gave it an hour and decided to just go to the office.  The coordinator knew that I was very unhappy from the time I sat down.  She pulled up PB's grades and low and behold the first 2 assignments after that IEP meeting were F's.  PB had never received an F before. Do you watch NCIS?  I'll go with Gibbs rule on there is no such thing as coincidence.  All in all I spent about 2 hours with the coordinator going over ALL the problems we've been having.  The coordinator is has flat out said that she knows this isn't a good situation and that there are issues with this teacher.  I guess the good part is that she's retiring after this year.  The bad part is that she sucks as a teacher and this is the second year that PB has lost out on what she could have learned if she had a good teacher.  The coordinator did tell me that I would be fully within my right to go to the Superintendent of Special Education as well as the Coordinator of Special Education.  I did mention that I'm a bit leery since there is now a direct correlation between this teacher being called out as screwing up and my daughter's grades suffering.   I'm not entirely sure but I think at this point I'm going to let the Principal and coordinator take care of this the best they can.  I did say if there were other complaints and there was any chance the teacher could be removed from the classroom immediately for the remainder of the year that I would certainly fly this up the flagpole as high as it needed to go.  I'm still beyond livid and frankly am amazed that I haven't flat out told the teacher what a lazy piece of shit I think she is.  I wonder if there's a Hallmark card for that? 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Does weekend time go by faster?

It seems to me like the time on the weekends just flies by in comparison to time during the week.  I also am not sure where all my time went this weekend but I was busy and am now tired so hopefully that counts for something.  I did go digging around in the deep freeze to see what kind of meals I could put together with what was left in there.  I found some of last falls raspberry peach freezer jam and applesauce and thawed those out for Princess Bear.  She would happily eat her body weight in homemade applesauce.  The friends that I get our apples from had a poor crop this year so no apples for us.  What a bummer.  I've been seeing all these apple recipes and not an apple in sight.  The thing I liked about getting our apples from Darnell and her husband is that they don't spray their trees ever.  They usually have a TON and we would come home with several 5 gallon buckets full of apples.  There isn't anyone else I know around here that doesn't spray.  Man sometimes I really hate living in such a chemical laden world. 

I really am quite tired and since my insomnia has been bad for the past couple of weeks I'm going to take advantage of this and hope that I fall asleep and stay that way for awhile.  Have a good one!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What happened to Autumn?!!?

Seriously?  What in the bloody hell happened to autumn?  It was here for like 0.2 seconds and we're throttling towards winter at the speed of light!  I absolutely love autumn.  It is by far my favorite season.  I love the smells and tastes associated with autumn.  It makes me crave for a bonfire and a good bottle of something to drink while enjoying time with friends.  Seriously is there anything better than just chilling and having a few drinks with friends around a roaring bonfire while leaves crackle under foot?  I don't think so! 

One of the things I've noticed as I get older is that the cold bugs me more.  When I was younger I was never bothered by the cold.  Never wore socks or a coat unless it was in the negative temperatures and then it took some convincing.  I hate to wear a coat.  I hate driving in a coat.  It feels so constricting to me.  I also have a tendency to leave them places.  So I got into the habit of not wearing coats unless it was very cold.  As I was mentioning on another persons blog a few days ago, in the days of yore I went to a Chicago Bears game in December.  Now Soldier Field is ON Lake Michigan.  It can catch a breeze coming off the lake and be chilly in August let alone December.  That said I was not wearing a coat to drive all the way downtown and then for a game.  No way no how.  I wasn't even miserable at the end of it (other than they lost).  I went home and made a cup of tea and life was just dandy.  So are you getting the idea that I don't like coats?  Well this past weekend the temps dipped into the lower 40's and I was wearing a coat.  What the heck?  I just can't stand the cold like I used to!  I'm sitting hear now wearing socks (another thing I hate), jeans, a long sleeved shirt and a zip up fleece jacket.  I'm drinking tea like there is no tomorrow and am contemplating firing up a space heater.  Again I ask, what the bloody hell is happening to me????

The only upside to the colder weather setting in is that it renews my love affair with tea.  I'm a hot tea junkie.  If you counted how many varieties of tea I have in the cupboard right now it would be around 18.  My standby is Lady Grey.  My favorite is almond tea which is a bitch to find most of the time.  I love spice teas of any kind.  Although I tried a new Orange and Cinnamon spice tea yesterday and was not at all impressed.  I love green tea, white tea and herbal teas.  I truly believe in someways teas can cure much of what ails you.  Upset stomach?  Peppermint tea.  Nervous or not sleeping?  Chamomile or Valerian tea.  There is also a tea mix that one of my friends used to make that uses Lipton iced tea mix as the base.  Then you add some Tang, Pineapple jello and red hot candies...YUM! 

I never really thought that going on vacation at the beginning of December to Florida would be that much of a difference and that I would be craving warm temps by that point in time.  Seeing as we're rocking temps in the upper 20's and lower 30's this week I'm thinking that December in a month will be most welcomed!  I'm also starting to by a lot of the necessary stuff for the vacation so it's becoming a little more exciting.  I'm getting a new camera which I'm thrilled about.  I didn't know if I'd pull it off and be able to save enough money but it's looking good.  I'm getting a Nikon D3200 and am SO excited.  I love taking pictures.  Digital as taken some of the fun out of it.  I miss having to make sure you have the right settings to get the best picture possible.  I took a few photography classes in high school and loved it.  Especially developing the pictures.  There is something so magical about seeing the image come to fruition while in the chemicals.  It's fun playing with different lenses and filters.  My cousin checked with his brother in law who is a professional photographer and he assures me that I'll love the new one I'm getting.   I just want it to get here so I can play! 

So that's the story 'round these parts!  Hope all is well with you and yours and you're keeping warm!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Musings, just musings

I do feel a political post coming up.  How can you blame with especially after the elections last week and the AG appointment getting interesting.  That said it's not happening tonight.  I'm just too tired to really get everything out that I want to rant I mean talk about.  It's been a VERY long week.  My sister, brother in law and nephews left for California last Saturday.    The big focus of the trip was it was the first Disney trip for the boys.  They'd originally been planning on Disney World but decided that 1) at 4 and 6 that was a whopper of a vacation for the boys and 2) there is the Cars attractions in California but not Florida.  My nephews are Cars obsessed so California won out. They'd had a dog sitter for Bailey lined up several months ahead of time but that fell through.  We're not big into boarding our animals so my parents offered to stay at their house and take care of Bailey.  That meant that it was my job to go over there during the day to let her out of her kennel so she could stretch, play and generally not go crazy.  The plan was that I would drop  Princess Bear (PB) off at school and take our dog Saint (we didn't pick the name she came with it) to Morton to hang with me and Bailey.  We were getting the roof redone and the noise was scaring the crud out of Saint.  She's an old girl and just wants to sleep and be let out every once in awhile.  Having stuff dropped overhead and banging for hours on end didn't sit well with her.  SO, the only hitch in this plan was that Bailey and Saint had never met.  Last Sunday PB and I were hanging with Bailey because my folks had something to do that was lasting several hours and Bailey is still a pup and has to go out fairly regularly.  On their way back to Morton my folks picked up Saint so we could introduce the dogs and I could take Saint home with me.  Well the introduction did not go well.  Bailey was great.  She gets along with other dogs very well but is still a bouncy puppy.  Saint went after her a couple of times so there was no way these two were going to be hanging out together.  That put a wrench in things.  So all last week I would take PB to school.  Come home and do whatever I needed to do for a few hours and then head to my sisters to hang with Bailey for an hour or so.  Then go back home for awhile and onward to pick up PB.  After that it was back to Morton for awhile. That 20 minute drive isn't bad until your doing it 2 or 3 times a day.  I feel like I just spent a week driving from house to house and letting out dogs.  I'm so done with driving for the moment!

Then PB and I spent the weekend doing a TON of picking up.  It seems like when the regular schedule goes out the window that the mess is amplified.  I can now say that the house looks very spiffy.  Well except for my room.  Next is gutting that so I can then get on with getting ready for vacation.  I spent time today ordering kid safety tattoos and a pendant for PB with her name on one side and my cell number engraved on the other.  I know I probably worry too much but I'm not likely to change. 

Now I do believe my bed is calling me!  Night John boy!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween was a smashing success for Princess Bear (PB) and my nephews.  PB was planning on going as  Elsa kind of like every other little girl in the world.  There was just one problem.  When we go to Disney we're going to a Frozen sing a long.  The cape on PB's Elsa dress is a bit long.  Since we didn't want to chance hurting the cape before Disney she opted to go with her Snow White costume instead.  My nephews were bummed that she didn't keep up the theme and go as Princess Leia.  She just wasn't buying into it.  In all actuality it would have been pretty appropriate for PB to rock Elsa since there was a good chance for snow.  What the bloody heck?!!!?  It's not completely out of the question for snow in Illinois near the end of October but it sure isn't the norm.  Thankfully it was just freaking cold with a biting wind.  No slipping and sliding. 

The kids usually go trick or treating in my sisters neighborhood.  My sister and brother in law take the kids while I answer the door at their house.  This year there was a slight change.  My brother in law had to wrangle the kids himself.  They were leaving for California the next morning and my sister was still trying to pack.  After that PB went to the Fall Festival at her BFFs church.  It was a lovely event with tons of activities for kids.  Unfortunately PB is having some severe auditory sensory issues lately.  She made it for an hour before she couldn't take anymore.  I was very proud of her for hanging in there so long.  Here is a slide show of the kids.  My youngest nephew was Darth and reminds me of the Volkswagen Super Bowl Commercial! 



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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

And time keeps flyin'

Time keeps flying by.  Honestly not sure where it is going but it sure is flying by!  I've had more meetings than I care to discuss with Princess Bear's (PB's) teacher, coordinator and/or principal.  I finally had enough of playing nicely and hoping things would change.  We had a new IEP last Friday.  Now things are in a lovely legally bonding contract that the teacher has to follow.  I once again found out that she was only teacher 1 reading group.  This time she was dumb enough to say it in front of the principal and the coordinator.  This new principal doesn't play around.  That was on Friday.  As of yesterday afternoon PB had been testing by the reading intervention specialist and will be starting in her new reading group tomorrow.  I've also asked repeatedly for the teacher to let me know what they are working on so I can go over things with PB at home as well as relay the information to PB's tutor.  She did that for the first couple of weeks of school and it stopped.  It's now written in the IEP that I must have information on what PB has done at least 3 times per week.  I hate that the teacher is such a completely incompetent idiot and that I have to be a total witch just to get information or my child placed in the correct reading group but I guess that's where we're at for now.

PB is most definitely my child which means she's clumsy as all get out and tends to have some serious bad luck at times.  A couple of weeks ago she hit her nose on the pool wall.  She wound up separating the cartilage and bone.  So not a broken nose but damn painful for her nonetheless.  Fast forward 1 week and she was jumping on her mini trampoline.  When you have a kid with way to much energy and some sensory issues to boot a mini trampoline at home can be a real G-d send at times!  Then there are times when your child is not paying a bit of attention when getting off said mini trampoline and they roll their foot badly spraining the main ligament and ankle.  She just got off crutches today.  She also had an abscess in her ear and the pediatrician thought she was going to have to be put under general anesthesia so it could be opened and cleaned.  Can you imagine getting a kid just our of surgery on crutches home?  Especially when the kid in question is 3 inches taller than you?  Thankfully the antibiotics kicked in like a champ and she did not have to go through that.

Not that everything lately has been bad.

Tonight we spent time carving and painting her pumpkin.  I need to make a small bow to add since she's adamant that its a girl cat!
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I've gotten to spend some great time with my nephews.  Yesterday Luke and I were playing with shaving cream.  I think he was having a good time, don't you? Gingers abound in this family!
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PB has been talking about getting her ears pierced for quite awhile.  I wasn't allowed to do mine for the first time until I was 12.  My sister had to wait until she was 13.  Now you can count to 13 on my ears if I have all my earrings in.  I digress.  PB had been asking for awhile.  She'd made me sit and watch videos on youtube with her.  I finally decided since she doesn't have to have any more major surgeries that we could go for it.  She's been taking care of cleaning them and turning them.  I'm so proud of her!
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My sister and I took the kids to a local farm for the morning and the kids had a ball.  They each got to bottle feed a calf, feed sheep, lambs, chickens and horses as well as collect eggs in the hen house.  They had some ponies that are going to be for sale right around the holidays.  PB doesn't understand why she can't keep a pony in the backyard.
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So that's the recap here.