Sunday, September 20, 2015

Day 838


September 20, 2015

Day 838

 

It's beautiful out today - cool and sunny and my allergies aren't bothering me a bit!

 

I really don't have a lot to report this week.

 

I did get both my articles written last week, which is a relief.  I'm still hanging onto my RBP article.  I don't like it as well as I like the one that's coming out next month on Paul's death.  I have a word limit and so I felt like I had to just skim over things I would really  like to have gotten more in depth on. It's choppier than I prefer, too. I'm hanging onto it right now because am waiting to hear back from my editor.  I had to ask her just how firm the word limit is.  The Writer's Guide says one thing and the contract I signed said another.  When I hear back from her I'll send it to some friends for editing before I submit it for good.

 

I have to make a bunch of phone calls tomorrow.

 

* To Thred Up...an online consignment store.  I'm thinking I will probably never order from them again.  Last Spring I ordered a white cardigan for Lizzie  and they sent a gray one.  I kept  it anyway.  Two weeks ago I ordered some size 10 loafers for Ellie and they sent me size 7s.  I have left a message and I have emailed twice and nobody will get back to me - very poor customer service.

 

*The Des Moines Register - who failed to deliver my Sunday paper today

 

* The Marion County News - a small announcement in this week's paper mentioned that the paper is shutting down Sept. 30.  Since I just paid for a year's subscription in May I expect them to give me a pro-rated refund.  But they're not answering their phone either.

 

Sigh...I really do not have time for any of this.

 

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Two little girls in Ellie's preschool class have the names, "Tatum" and "Beckett."  I've heard of "Tatum" before but it's still kind of unusual.  I've never heard of "Beckett" for a little girl, though.

 

I think parents are getting nuttier with names.  Now they're ignoring phonetic rules.  A friend of mine has a new great-nephew named, "Drace," but pronounced, "Drake."  Another friend teaches preschool and told me she has a little boy named, "Cien."  She was at a loss of how to pronounce it until she was informed it sounds like, "Ke-on."  Why are parents so awful to their kids like this?

 

Preschool is going great.  Ellie is completely confident.  I walk her in, she hangs up her coat and bag, takes her folder out of the bag, and doesn't even turn around - just gives me a backwards wave and says calmly, "Bye, Mom." 

I guess I'm not needed.

 

The other two are still adjusting.  I think Lizzie is doing fine.  She's starting to mention the names of other little girls more which I hope means she is developing some friendships.  I'm still having a lot of behavior issues with her at home but I'm hoping they're just sleep-related.  I moved her bedtime up to 8 every night and it does seem to be helping.

 

Sam has become very concerned about his reading.  It's difficult for him to do a lot of his work because he doesn't have a real firm grasp on reading yet.  I emailed his teacher about this and it sounds like they are on top of it, thankfully.  They just did some assessments this week and she told me that the kids are supposed to be able to read 59 words a minute.  Sam could do 15.  But she reminded me that Sam has not had the same type of reading instruction as most of the kids have since kindergarten.   So there's bound to be some catch-up time involved.  But, they are putting him in a smaller reading group (4 kids) and then he'll be working one-on-one with a reading instructor every day as well.  On top of that, his teacher is going to send home a list of sight words for us to work on (she said 100, which concerns me - do they not do phonics?).  She said she could tell he's had "heavy phonics instruction" because of how he tries to sound out words. 

We never did get through the last half of Sam's first grade reading material so I asked his teacher if it would be helpful to work on that here at home and she thought it would so now I am trying to squeeze that in every night, too.

 

The poor kid had quite the injury week at school.  He got hit in the nose with a basketball during P.E. which skinned it up.  And of course, he can't leave scabs alone so it's been bleeding off and on since and he has to wear a band-aid over it, which looks real classy.

 

Then, he repeatedly rubbed his back on a section of his desk chair and came home one day with blood marks all over shirt from where he had rubbed his back raw. 

 

And then Friday he mangled his finger in his locker latch.

 

But despite all that, I really do think he's having fun at school.  It sounds like the boys all play together at recess well.  He's been bringing his football and tee.  I thought it was cute that he told me some of the boys wear "shirts with squares on them," jeans, and cowboy boots and he wanted to go for that look, too.  We actually have a pair of boots someone gave us (that I threw in the toybox for dress up - my boys have always dressed more athletically than cowboy-like) and Sam dug those out.  He has several short-sleeved plaid church shirts so he picked one and a pair of jeans and Friday he sure felt good about his outfit!  In fact, he's told me he wants to dress this way for birthday pictures.  I will have to find him some plaid flannel shirts for fall and winter.

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My van needs a new radiator.  I've had a slow leak for a few weeks now and I took out Friday to a guy at our church's house.  He's told me repeatedly he wants to help me keep my vehicles going, so I'm going to believe him!  He thinks I'll be ok for a few more weeks as long as I keep a close eye on my coolant levels, which I've been doing since we first noticed the leak.  This will give him time to get a couple of other vehicle repair jobs wrapped up and since he'll need my van for a couple of days I need to get serious about looking for and buying a second vehicle.  I told him I intend to pay him for his time, as well as the parts, since this will be a time-intensive job.  He didn't argue with me.

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The other night I actually got my act together and we ate supper as a family.  I have a hard time with that esp. when Will isn't home.  Family meals around the table have been a lot harder to manage since Paul's death because I just feel especially aware of who is missing.  When Will isn't home, it's even harder.  Plus, it's always easier to serve up supper from the stove!  But I have to remind myself that someday, in the not-too-distant future, all the big boys will be gone and it will be just the Littles and me.  I need to get used to a fluctuating table.

 

Speaking of that, every Sunday afternoon, Arien comes home with us and we eat lunch together.  I am loving these times.   We do eat together then and it's loud and boisterous (too loud, actually) and giggly and - I really like it.  I find myself even more anxious for the future when I'll have more family members - married-ins and grandchildren.  Back when I used to envision the family I always wanted to have, it was times like these that I imagined - lots of food, lots of family, lots of noise, and lots of love around the table.  Of course, Paul was always part of the picture, but I guess we don't plan for tragedy.

 

Anyway, the other night I got dinner to the table after the kids set it and to my surprise David had set the red plate at my place.  I don't think we've done the red plate since before Paul died and about I cried as a result.  Many, many years ago Paul's mom bought all the girls in the family this red plate from the Hallmark store that says, "You are Special Today."  I guess the idea is to pull it out for birthdays and other special occasions.  Well, every so often I'd start bringing supper to the table and I'd find that Paul had randomly picked someone to have the red plate.  Then, before we'd pray, everyone would have to say something they appreciated about the person who had the red plate and then his meal prayer would specifically mention that person.  We used it for birthdays, too, but it was always more special on the ordinary days it showed up. 

 

So there was the red plate again, after more than 2 years in its box.  I sat down and David instructed his siblings, "Now, you all have to say something you like about Mom!" and it was nice to hear the praise coming the lips of my  kids!

 

I think that plate is going to make more of an appearance from now on.  We are still a family, even without Paul.

 

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When I was at the Ladies' Retreat last weekend I walked into the chapel that first night.  Ladies were starting to make their way to the seats and a couple of men were up on stage setting the mood with a guitar and keyboard.  I looked at the men and my stomach lurched.  I immediately ran to the bathroom where my heart pounded for a minute or two.

 

It couldn't be...it wasn't...but, I wished it was.

 

The keyboardist was a middle aged white man with a close cropped beard and no hair on the top and very little on the sides.  He was about 6 foot, not quite 200 pounds.  He had on a navy polo shirt.

 

In other words, he looked a lot like Paul.  For several years, the Lozier uniform was a navy polo. 

 

I was fine -  no tears.  I made it to my seat, after hyperventilating (not  really) in the bathroom for a minute or two.  I watched this guy and the more I did the more differences I found between him and Paul and I was not uncomfortable at all with him up there.  It was just that initial, momentary look that took my breath away.  I don't know if that has ever happened before.

 

I was shaken, but I was ok.

 

I will continue to be ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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