Archive for the ‘Such is Life’ Category

Power Outage

Filed under: Homer,Kaelin,Koren,Oh the Cuteness,Parenting,Photos,Such is Life — Amy @ 12:03 pm

We lost power last night for about 4 hours. The entire city went dark, except for the Safeway and the gas station. They must have generators.

This is the first time since we’ve moved here that we’ve had a power outage, though I have heard it happens frequently during the winter for some reason. It made me realize a few things:

  • When there are no lights in evening, it gets really dark here. No seriously. REALLY dark.
  • You can never have too many tea lights.
  • When the power goes out is not a good time to discover that you don’t have a single working flashlight.
  • Desktop computers don’t handle sudden power outages as well as laptops with batteries.
  • You don’t realize how much you use electricity until you don’t have it. For instance, while trying to find the matches, Jens tried turning on the light so he could see better. And while sitting on the couch in the dark being totally bored, I thought, “Well, I should use this time to do laundry.” That didn’t work out for me.
  • All the candles in the world won’t make enough light to work on craft projects.
  • When the electricity comes back on for 10 minutes, and then stays off for another 2 hours, it’s way more frustrating than if it had just stayed off. Especially if you’re in the middle of, say, cooking a bunch of chicken when it goes off again.
  • My kids are silly.

Pope Hats

Indulgence

Filed under: Family,Parenting,Personal,Such is Life — Amy @ 5:30 pm

I got to stay up late.

I got many hours of uninterrupted sleep without having to make multiple trips to other people’s rooms in the middle of the night.

I got to sleep in as late as I wanted (which, as it turns out, is 8:30am).

I took a leisurely shower each morning and not once did anybody come running in the room to announce MAMA MAMA, HEY I CAN SEE YOUR BUTT!

I got caught up on work (well, mostly).

I cleaned the kitchen Friday and IT’S STILL CLEAN.

I cleaned the playroom yesterday and IT’S STILL CLEAN.

And most amazingly, I cleaned the living room 2 hours ago and IT’S STILL CLEAN.

I did laundry, dishes, photo editing, updating and worked on a few personal projects.  I even vacuumed the main floor and 3 flights of stairs.  All without interruption or fits of tears because the vacuum is too loud.

I took the dog on a 2-mile walk without anybody saying MAMA I’M TIRED, CARRY ME.

I have enjoyed 48 hours of QUIET.  Well, except for my music, which has been on constantly.

Despite the productivity, it was a weekend of indulgence.  And I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

In a few hours, my house will be a wreck again.  The decibel level will approach Intolerable approximately six times per hour.  And once again my life will be subject to the demands of two little people as the onslaught of our weekly routine begins.

But tonight I won’t have to go to bed alone.  And there will be no shortage of sweet cheeks to kiss and tummies to tickle.  And my heart will do that little jumpy thing each time I hear “Mama, I missed you!”

Yes, it’s time to have my family back.

Wee Hours

Over the course of yesterday, Jens improved about 800%.  I kept the kids out of the house all day and when we arrived home it was like meeting a different Jens.  Well, “different” meaning the “same” Jens that I knew BEFORE our happy home was plagued with the Disease – yes, Disease with a capital D, oh D that will never stand for dog or donut or daisy or dallas or anything else in this house but Disease and maybe Death and Destruction or possibly Diarrhea and once we get past this thing we are burying D and probably S in the back yard never to speak of them again because these letters?  They spell bad things.  Excuse me while I go rock myself in the corner.  Again.

He ate a banana.  While we were gone yesterday.  A whole banana.  Swallowed it and everything.  And then?  Then?  Then we had dinner and he ATE. 

TACOS. 

Two, to be precise.

I just about fainted.

He’s even sleeping in our bed tonight.  Which, you may notice, I’m not.  I’m not sure if it’s the fact that Jens is sleeping in his own bed, or the fact that I was stupid and told my mom today that, “Koren has been sleeping pretty well the last several nights” (because I’m sure it’s one of those two things) but Koren has already been up several times.

A few minutes ago, I heard, “Mama, I’m cold.”  I went in to put a blanket on him and as he laid back down, he hit his head on the music box hanging on the side of his crib.  “Hey,” he said as he turned around to glare at it, as though the music box had intentionally reached out and hit him.

Also, there was the porcupine making a racket on our front porch.  Little turd. Although, I’d rather look out and see a porcupine on the front porch than another bear trying to get into the trash bins.

I have to say though, it’s weird to see it dark outside.  I think the sun will start coming up in about an hour and if I’m still awake to see it I’m going to be very depressed about that.

Tomorrow is a big day – kids go to school, I clean the house, then we have friends come to visit for a few days from Dallas.  So I guess I’ll go back downstairs and try to get some sleep so I don’t keel over in the middle of dinner tomorrow evening.

Night!

Can I Have Some Cheese With That?

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Koren,Peaves,Such is Life — Amy @ 9:20 am

I heard Kaelin coughing a few times last night.  If she gets sick too, I think I’m just going to throw myself off the balcony.

This week is wearing me down.  All the household chores are pretty much up to me now, which might give me a martyr complex if I was actually doing a good job at getting them done.  But I’m not, so it’s just making me frustrated and stabby.  It seems that no matter what I do, the laundry keeps piling up, the floor keeps getting cluttered and dirty, the dishes keep appearing OUT OF NOWHERE, and the trash…I don’t even want to think about the trash.  Though Jens and his mom did manage to do a dump run yesterday, so at least I have a place to PUT the trash.  For now.

Koren seems to be back to normal, except that he suddenly has the emotional consistency of a ping-pong ball.  Is that a 2-year-old thing?  I don’t remember Kaelin going through that stage.  He’s loving all his new toys, but he’s obsessed with the fact that they’re HIS.  As soon as he even THINKS Kaelin is going to touch one, he starts shrieking. 

He keeps telling us that he’s ready to use the potty.  I’m so not ready to go there.  We haven’t even weaned him off the pacifier yet.  I keep meaning to do it, but something’s always happening that makes it a bad time.  He’s sick, we have company, we’re traveling, etc. 

Also, I have a feeling that he’s going to be one of those kids who sleeps in a crib until he’s 3 and a half.  Kaelin got transitioned to a “big girl bed” shortly after she turned 2.  But just trying to keep Koren in his dinner seat is like trying to keep all the packing peanuts inside a box, so I can’t even imagine what trying to keep him in a bed in the middle of the night would be like.

I had plans to go jogging this morning (good stress relief) but after taking Jens to the doctor (they weren’t open yet) and going to the store to get throat spray I was finally headed out and then it started raining.  Since I can’t think of anything more miserable than running in the rain, it appears I’m not going jogging.

Maybe I’ll just take a nap instead.

Sick.

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,Koren,News,Photos,Such is Life — Amy @ 4:45 pm

Puke sessions so far: 3

Urine analysis came back normal, so it’s not a UTI.  While it would have been nice to have an actual diagnosis, we’re glad for the result because if the test had come back abnormal they would have stuck a catheter in him for further testing.  One more trauma avoided.

But let me tell you, he was none too pleased when it was time to remove the plastic baggy that was (excessively) taped all around his wee-wee to collect the urine sample.  Even armed with adhesive-remover, it was an experience I hope never to repeat.

Also, did you know that if you Google “toddler back pain” you come up with two things:

  1. A plethora of parents in forums inquiring about the same thing and not getting any answers
  2. A long list of possible diagnoses that have VERY SCARY NAMES.

In other health-related updates, Jens had his CAT scan today and the doctor doesn’t think he will need surgery (PRAISE!) but does want to refer him to another doctor in Anchorage (who is, coincidentally, one of Jens’ extended relatives) for a second opinion.

Bummer

Filed under: Family,Health...or Lack Thereof,Koren,Such is Life — Amy @ 11:21 am

Amidst his tears, he explained that his “back. hurts.” and pointed to his lower back.  He was inconsolable for about half an hour, at which point he had cried himself into exhaustion and fell asleep again.

Then he woke up 2 hours later and it started all over again.  Another inconsolable crying jag about how much his back hurt, and nothing we did seemed to help at all.  He finally fell asleep in my arms out of pure exhaustion and slept until almost 8:00am.

This morning he is not himself.  He is very lethargic, sleepy, and hardly talking at all.  Anyone who has ever met him knows that this is highly abnormal.  He says his back is “good” now, and that he doesn’t have any owies anywhere.  He has a low-grade fever, but he’s acting like a child with a fever of 104°.

He’s passed out on my bed right now.  A very early nap that will hopefully do him some good.

We made a trip to the doctor this morning and came home with a plastic bag taped to his wee-wee.  That will be fun to remove.  But the alternative was a catheter.  The doctor wants a urine sample to rule out a UTI that may have spread to his kidneys, causing the back pain.  Beyond that, they took some blood (which was not pleasant) and want to x-ray his lower back.  He has been complaining off and on about back pain for several months, though it has never been this bad.  Usually I have him lie down on the couch for a minute and he’s back to his normal rambunctious self.

And finally, if they can’t figure out the cause, we’ll have to take him to Anchorage (4 hours away) to see a pediatrician, since there aren’t any in Homer.  We’re hoping it doesn’t come to that, but we may end up making a family trip to Anchorage – Jens may need surgery on his arm and I need to see a dermatologist about a spot on my arm that has me concerned.

Fun times at the Eckels hospital house!  Here’s hoping that Kaelin will remain her usual healthy self.

Owie, Daddo?

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Jens,News,Photos,Such is Life — Amy @ 9:59 pm

Then I rounded the corner of the stairs and saw my husband in an enormous full-length arm cast, suspended from his neck.

In short, Jens was playing basketball in his usual kamikaze style and collided with another player.  When he landed on his arm, he severely dislocated his elbow and chipped a piece off the joint.

After popping it back into place himself and a trip to the ER, he was home and bandaged and in a lot of pain – despite hydrocodone, Tylenol, and the ibuprofen shot they gave him in the butt.  I got a preview of 60 years from now when I had to give him a bath and dress him, as he was unable to do much of anything himself.

The next day he went to an orthopedic surgeon who took more x-rays and determined that he was unable to determine the actual prognosis.  So Jens has to go back tomorrow (Monday) for a CAT scan.  They need to find out whether the piece of bone floating around in his arm is one large chunk or several smaller pieces, and from there will make the decision on whether or not he needs surgery.

Three days post-incident, he’s very swollen and still in quite a bit of pain.  However, he has gained a lot of movement and is able to wear just a sling and ice pack most of the time.

The kids have been very supportive.  Kaelin likes to help with the bandages and Koren asks him every day “What happen, Daddo?”  He’s very empathetic.  Today Jens accidentally banged his arm and as he was nursing his pain, Koren rushed over to offer his condolences.  “What happen, Daddo?”  Upon being given the recap, he offered, “Hugs are nice.  Kisses nice.  Hug it?  Kiss it, Daddo?”

It appears that Daddo will be well taken care of as he recovers.

Spring Has Sprung.  So Have My Sinuses.

Filed under: Holidays,Peaves,Such is Life — Amy @ 7:48 pm

The crowds came in, the shops opened up, and healthy, green plants sprang up absolutely everywhere.  The woods around our house are thick and green, the grass is vibrant, and the ferns have sprouted at least a foot in a matter of days.

Amazing transformation.

The last week – despite the forecasts – has been sunny and hovering around 65°.  Today was the first overcast day all week and the blue sky started poking through late this afternoon.  The forecast continues to predict rain every day for the foreseeable future.  We’ll see how that goes.

Jens was sick last week.  He had some sort of nasty flu-like virus that took him down pretty hard for about 3 days.  He even called in sick to work, which he very rarely does.

Then he was nice enough to give it to me.  I’ve been slacking on my Vitamin D doses and now I’m paying for it.

All things considered, it actually wasn’t too bad as illnesses go.  As a SAHM, I don’t get “sick days,” so it was fortunate that I was not up to par on a weekend/holiday because that meant there were other people around to care for the kids. Now I just have these annoying cold-like symptoms – itchy eyes, runny/stuffy nose.  Blah.  I can’t remember the last time I had a cold.  It must have been before Koren was born.

I think I’ll make a point never to get another one. 

My head tickles and I can’t stop sneezing.

An Update of Sorts

Filed under: Homer,Such is Life — Amy @ 2:09 pm

So what did I end up doing with my time yesterday?  It was a gorgeous day outside so I went down to the spit and spent several hours walking around and introducing myself to some of the local businesses.  I passed out my cards, trying to drum up some clients, and enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the locals.  I even met the lady who used to have my phone number. 

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while to see what kind of shops and eateries are located on the spit.  Most of the shops don’t open until this weekend, but the charters and restaurants were all open.  I offered to build a website for free in exchange for a bear-viewing tour.  I really want to go on one of those but they’re super expensive.

In other super-exciting news (for me) I have new camera equipment!!!  A store in Anchorage was running a combo special on the exact camera and lens I had been wishing for, so with a little help from some very generous donors (thanks Mom & Dad!) I was able to get both.  I have been dying to try out my new telephoto lens on some wildlife, but sightings have been scarce in the last few days.  I think they’re conspiring against me.  They seem to come out for everyone else – everyone who does NOT have a new camera and awesome telephoto lens to use.  I find it immensely frustrating.

I went fishing with Jens a couple days ago.  We drove an hour to where the larger king salmon are supposed to be and had zero luck.  Jens fished for a solid hour and then caught a rock which kept his lure, so he came home with less than he started out with.  I came home with a single picture of a bird, and a lot of pictures of Jens’ back.

I shot some eagles flying over my head (with the camera, not a gun) earlier today, but I need some more practice with the focus settings on my new camera, as the pictures came out pretty blurry.

Today has been a nice surprise, weather-wise.  We’re finding the weather forecasts to be oddly unreliable around here, and today that turned out to be a good thing.  It has been so sunny and pleasant here today, when it was supposed to rain and continue raining through the next 10+ days.  I hope the forecast is equally wrong about that, because we’re going to Seldovia for Memorial Day weekend and really want it to be nice outside.  I will have my new photography gear in hand and had better get to use it.

I took a water taxi over to Jakolof Bay (near Seldovia) to collect the kids from their Ana and Papa.  Sounds like they had a ball over there, as always.  It was a nice break for us as well because even though we didn’t get the car fixed, we did get some work done around the house and enjoyed the downtime.  And I got several uninterrupted nights of sleep in a row, which is hard to come by these days. 

Some day, my son will start sleeping through the night again.  Some day.

Here, Part IV

Filed under: Moving,Such is Life — Amy @ 10:07 pm

Where was I?  Oh yes.  God had developed a nasty sense of humor and our grandly laid plans for a year of adventure were going to put us into bankruptcy.  Death!  Destruction!  Misery!!

And then it happened again.  Jens put out the word that we were in need of new renters, STAT, and we got a bite.  One of Jens’ former coworkers and her friend had been dying to get out of their apartments and into a house, and they were looking for a house like ours in an area like ours for a price like the one we were asking.

And then they saw the media room and were sold.  Also, they told us they didn’t mind if we left all the furniture we had left for the original tenants, so that saves us the cost of moving the stuff out and renting an additional storage unit every month.

She just needed to get a certain job before they could sign the agreement.  The next day, she got the job.  The day after that, we received the signed agreement.

Since the lease term is starting later than our original one, we may end up staying here through next summer.  But I gotta say, missing another Texas summer doesn’t really upset me that much.

And we all lived happily ever after, THE END.

(I hope…)

Yard Sale

Filed under: Such is Life — Amy @ 5:23 pm

Hey y’all, I know I’ve been pretty lame about updates recently, and as much as I’d like to say I’m redeeming myself, I’m actually just going to use this blog as a little promo space today.

We’re having a YARD SALE this SATURDAY, so come by (please!) and take some of this stuff off our hands so we don’t have to pay to store it!!!

A few of the items being sold:

Furniture: hide-a-bed couch, TV stand, bookshelf, etc.
Home Décor (art, candles, knick-knacks, curtains, etc)
Kids’ clothing and shoes – boy and girl
Toys, games, children’s books
Baby gear
Adult clothing (including maternity)
Kitchen items: cookware, dishes (Mikasa!), glasses, serving ware, party trays, equipment
Crystal
Exercise equipment
Purses & Bags (including Coach, Pierre Cardin, Guess, others)
CDs, DVDs, books, cookbooks
Electronics
Holiday Decor
Lots more! (Seriously, I can’t believe how many folding tables I’ve had to borrow from friends.  Thanks, friends!)

No Junk! (Well, ok, maybe a little junk, but most of this stuff is really in great condition)

Most items are gently used, but some are new, like my Coach purse with the tag still on, or the Tommy Hilfiger sandals Kaelin never wore.

Please come see us between 8am and 2pm, even if you don’t plan to purchase anything.  It will be a long day and we could use the company!

Light

Filed under: Such is Life — Amy @ 7:13 pm

It’s 9:15pm and it’s light outside.  It’s very strange.  I don’t know if it’s the streetlight reflecting off all the snow, but the sky seems too bright to just be that.  It should be pitch black outside but you can see absolutely everything, with a yellowish tint.  Bizarre.

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

Latest Photos