I'm still feeling a bit drowned, but I'm starting to pull myself up a bit. Or at least, I'm trying to.
Here are some of the highlights from my life (both good and bad):
- Halloween didn't go exactly as planned, but it wasn't a disaster either. Both my boys decided to wear the same costumes as the year before, so no extra purchasing was needed. I even dressed up for the Halloween Special Pokemon Pre-Release Tournament. We went trunk or treating at my son's PDO the Sunday before Halloween, then tried to have trick or treaters in my complex but failed. We did, however, go over to the front office and enjoy a little of their celebration then went over to one of the local churches for their annual trunk or treat. The boys came away with plenty of sugar and I was glad it was over for another year.
- I have been able to maintain a clean house for most of the last month. I'm not sure what clicked, but something did and I've been keeping on top of things. Some days need a little more work than others, and the amount of clutter in places like the bookshelves and the closets still need to be addressed, but I'm not ashamed to let maintenance workers in or have company come over. It's a huge step for me, and I'm feeling really good about it. It's great to be able to spend more time relaxing than cleaning because it's been kept up with.
- I'm trying to learn how to deal with having a 4 year old in the house. You'd think I'd know. I mean, Teddy is almost 7. I lived with his 4 year old self. But Pete as a 4 year old is completely different. I think part of it is because he's the youngest and he likes being the baby. I'll often have my friend, Becca, come over. She has a 15 month old that I'll watch on occasion and it makes Pete really jealous. There's been a lot of backsliding baby behavior. I know one of the things I need to do is enforce that he's a big boy and stop calling him my baby. It's meant as a term of endearment, but I think he's taking it as fact. He's been having a few more problems at PDO than usual because of temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way, or them trying to get him to keep his hands out of his mouth. I'm trying to deal with it, but it's just one more thing on top of a lot of other crap that's happened this week.
- The biggest thing that's happened, and one of the things that's pushing me further and further down into depression, is that my van is in the shop. It started with a bit of a clattering noise. I was going to have my dad take a look at it when I went up to help him with some errands on Friday. But on our way back from his errands, before he had a chance to look at it, the serpentine belt shredded and the power steering locked up. Then (of course) the alternator light came on and the temperature started to rise. We got to his place and it looked like the tensioner pulley had gone bad. We had Rich come up with his car, picked up the parts we (thought) we needed and worked on getting it fixed on Saturday (with Rich heading back Friday night because he had a test and a meeting on Saturday). While we were fixing it, we found out that the water pump was also bad. So Rich came up on Sunday and we got the water pump and the idler pulley. Fixed that, thought everything was ok. Headed home and not a mile from Dad's, the temperature started to rise again. Brought it back - the thermostat was shot. Went out to get that part, fixed it and headed home again. 1/2 way home, the temperature started to rise once more. I called AAA and had them tow it to my local garage (whom I love - and if you're in the Nashville area, I can't recommend Custom Auto highly enough). They looked at it Monday and found that the head gasket was cracked. $1,200. My in-laws said they'd pay for it, since we didn't have the money. Yesterday, they called me to tell me that as they were pulling apart the engine, they found that one of the pistons had melted into the engine and it was shot. A brand new one would be over $4,000 and a used one with 51,000 miles would be $2,600. Again, my in-laws came to our rescue and they are paying to have my van fixed. I honestly don't know what I'd do without them. But a part of me is waiting to see what else is going to go wrong. I know it isn't the best way to be thinking, but the way it's been going, it's kind of hard. At least I should (hopefully) have my van back by Thanksgiving. That's what Custom is shooting for for me.
- On the good side of things, though, I've been doing more baking. Ok, maybe it's not ALL good. After all, baking needs to be eaten. But I love baking and I haven't felt that my kitchen was clean enough for me to do so in a long time. Now it is and it's making me feel so much better to be able to have the smell of baked goods wafting through the apartment again.
- I tried to write for NaNoWriMo, but haven't gotten very far. Mostly because of the above problems. I'm hoping that next week, I'll be able to spend a little more focusing time on it. We'll see.
- I'm also hoping to get some recordings of me singing a few things acapella. That's something else I've found myself doing more of lately, something I've missed. Little bit by little bit, even with all the bad happening around me, I'm pulling the things that I enjoy back into my life.
Right now, I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving. Today, I'm joining Peter at PDO for their annual Thanksgiving Pot Luck. His class had desserts as their request, so I made pumpkin bundt cake last night (and broke my whisk doing it). Next week, we'll be joining our friends Becca and Lewis at their house for Thanksgiving. My dad (whom we usually spend the holiday with) has the chance to go visit my step-brother and his family in Florida this year so we were just going to do something here ourselves. But Becca has been wanting to do a big celebration at her house, so this is the time. And I'm making dessert! Go me! Rich and Becca will be taking care of dinner (since I hate cooking - though I have been doing a bit more of that lately).
For now, let me leave you with a few pics that I've managed to take over the last few weeks. Enjoy! And please, stick around. I'm hoping to ACTUALLY be back soon.
|The baked ravioli I made from a recipe found on Pintrest.|
|Beautiful fall colors in Tennessee.|
|Me, as Fennel from Pokemon|
|Teddy and Pete as Ash and Pikachu, the second year in a row.|
|I found this rock with the spots of dirt on it just like this and thought, "It's a happy ghost rock!"|