Thursday, September 25, 2008

The best birthday present

My 39th birthday was on Tuesday. My husband surprised me with the best birthday present. He bought me a digital Canon Rebel XSi. I have been wanting a digital SLR camera for a long time. I didn't think I would get one for a long time. I have taken over 100 pictures in the 2 days I have had it. I have been reading the manual. I'm still in the auto part of the instructions. There are still buttons on there that I don't know what to do with. I am going to have so much fun learning how to use this. Stan had my camera ready to take pictures of me opening it. This is the second time he has surprised me with the camera I wanted. Now I have a list of accessories to go with it. It came with one lens, the 18-55mm lens. I want the 75-300mm lens next. It is the telephoto lens. Here is the layout I made from the pictures he took.

Andrew immediately asked if he could have my old camera. For now, I am holding onto it. I may need a camera that I can just throw into my bag. I also want it to take to the coast. I want the older camera for at the beach. I can more easily put it in my bag plus I don't want to worry about sand ruining it. I let them use it all the time anyway. I've let them both take 1 or 2 pictures with my new camera, but they have to put the neck strap on. I don't want them to drop it. It is a little bulkier than my older camera. Andrew loves to take pictures. He is going to be just like me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Adventures in driving

I have started teaching Rachael to drive. We had to do 6 hours of classroom portion, then she was able to get her learners permit. She got that on Thursday. Now, we are doing the driving part, and the rest of the classroom part together. On Friday, she drove for the first time. She was having a little bit of trouble getting used to the feel of the gas and the brake. She was putting too much pressure of them and would forget which was which. She also kept trying to use her left foot for the brake. The other thing she was having trouble getting use to was the steering. She would over turn as she went around the corners. I had her go around our little block a few times. There was no other cars driving on our street as she drove around the block. We were on our 6th and last time around. She seemed like she was starting to get the hang of it. I was wrong. She turned the corner from our street onto Elderberry. She turned a little too sharp and then hit the gas. She went up over the curb and I yelled "hit the brake". She took her foot off the gas, but couldn't think of how to hit the brake. She took our our neighbors mail box and almost ran into a bush. It scared the living daylights out of me. Stan and Rachael spent a few hours on Saturday fixing the mailbox for the neighbor. We are going to have the second driving lesson in just a little while. We are going to a big, empty parking lot where she can't hit anything-I hope! I'll let you know how it goes

As you all know, hurricane Ike went through Texas over the weekend. On Wednesday, they predicted that Ike would go right through Austin. The whole city was preparing for rain and high winds. We have this tree in our backyard that has been dead for quite a while. It is very sad. We used to have 2 huge maple trees right behind our house that provided lots of shade from the blazing afternoon sun. Bore beetles decided to make those trees their home until they killed them. By the time we knew they were there, the trees were dead. When the weather people were predicting 70 mph winds were coming, Stan decided the tree needed to come down. The last thing we wanted was for the gust of wind to blow it over into our house. Wednesday night, Stan called Justin, Ben and Jacob over and they moved the trampoline. On Thursday, Stan went and bought a chain saw the cut the tree down. It fell very easily. I am amazed it hadn't blown over already when I saw how dried out the wood was. There are huge cracks that go up the entire length of the tree. Stan is going to cut it up and use the wood for smoking meat. Maple makes really good wood for smoking chicken and pork. We will also use it to take to Cub Scout camp outs. We don't have a fire place, not that anyone needs one in Austin. Stan is going to spend the next week or so getting the tree cut up. Here is the tree laying across our backyard. After all of that perparation, all we got was 15 minutes of rain late Saturday night. UT postoned the football game, schools let out early on Friday and lots of people got ready for bad weather. It never happened. It was so hot over the weekend. I kept wishing it would rain to cool things off. It did cool off today. The temperature is very nice today. I like this kind of weather.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I can't believe it is September

WOW, this year has flown by. I can't believe it is already September. My September started off with a bad migraine. It just would not respond to my medication. My PCP gave me another medication to try, but that didn't really help either. They both just took the edge off. I emailed my neuro and she misunderstood my email and told me to do the same thing I was already doing. By the time they opened again on Tuesday, I had had a headache for more than 7 days and had been a migraine level for 3 days. I went in to see the neuro and they gave me a shot of Demerol/phenergan and another one of Toradol. I went home and slept for several hours, but the headache was still there. It was mild now though. By the next morning, it was migraine level again. I took some new medication the doctor had given me samples of. It wasn't going to work either. On Thursday, I went to the infusion center and got an infusion of phenergan, magnesium and then depakote. It felt so good to be headache free. It was the first time in 10 days.

I am trying really hard to get back on track with Weight Watchers. I gained 2 pounds this week. I wasn't really surprised. I didn't track for 3 days during the bad migraine and I ate whatever I wanted. I wasn't eating much at a time, but I guess I was snacking more than I should. I am going back to the basics. I have started measuring again and jouraling things as I eat them rather than doing all of my journaling at the end of the day. My friend Lynn and I are going to try to support each other daily. We are going to send each other our daily trackers and email each other when we are tempted or when we have a victory too. I am pretty pumped about this. I have been at the same weight for over a year. My WW leader keeps telling me that this is good considering all that has happened in the past year. That isn't enough any more. It was for a while, but I am ready to lose more. I also feel so much better when I am eating healthy. Plus, my blood sugars are under control and I need to keep them that way.

Rachael is so excited to be back at dance. She went to VIR auditions on Tuesday and started VIR on Thursday. VIR stands for Visions in Rhythm. It is a pre-professional, apprentice dance company. They have a new director this year and she wants to do a lot more community performances than we did last year. Rachael is excited about the work they are doing. She is loving all of her classes this year.

It looks like I am going to be the Tiger Cubs den leader this year. None of the other moms have stepped up to the plate to volunteer. I am going to talk to them and see if any of them would be willing to fill in if I cannot be there. As long as the other moms or dads would be willing to fill in at the last moment, then that is fine. I am actually excited about doing this with Jeremy. The Tiger requirements are pretty easy so I don't think we will have any trouble getting them all done quickly. They are pretty fun also. Jeremy is so excited to be starting Scouts.

My MIL has moved to rehab. I don't know if I have posted about this before, but she had to have emergency surgery for an abscess. They abscess had started at her artificial hip, so that had to be removed and a c-block that was infused with antibiotics was placed. She will be in rehab for at least 4 weeks. She is determines to not leave there until she is walking. She is so determined. I wish I could have even a little bit of that determination. I often think that I would have given up by now if I were in her shoes. She is a constant example to me.

I was going to post some new photos, but I can't get this computer to recognize my SD card. I need to go figure that out. I'll post some photos when I get it working. My computer has been a mess this week. Stan turned the power off last Friday to fix the garbage disposal. My computer was in the middle of updating Windows at that time, so it corrupted. We had to wipe my computer and start all over again. It has been a mess.