Knitting and Reading

September 15, 2009

The Scariest Moment in Parenthood

Filed under: Family — by Heather @ 5:38 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve been extremely lucky.  There has been only one trip to the urgent care in LouLa’s lifetime, and it wasn’t really scary.  She fell and split her chin open at my dad’s house, but there really wasn’t that much blood.  His wife is a nurse, so she went with us.  We got in right away and they used superglue to patch her up.  No big deal.

There was one other incident.  No injury, but plenty of potential for lots of bodily harm.

When LouLa was about 18 months or so, she fell down our basement stairs. 

Here are the stairs:

Stairs to the Basement


Yep, concrete all the way down and at the bottom. 

I was in the kitchen (at the top of the stairs) and Josh was down in the basement, doing laundry.  The dryer is at the bottom of the stairs.  What we think happened was that LouLa leaned down to see Josh, and ended up falling down the stairs.  I heard it, though she didn’t cry right away; I just could tell that’s what happened.  I went over to the stairs and just couldn’t bring myself to go down.  She was crying by that time.  I yelled down (okay, maybe I screamed), “IS SHE OKAY?  IS SHE OKAY? JUST TELL ME IF SHE’S OKAY!!!!”  Josh brought her up. 

No bumps.  No bruises.  No cuts. 

Lots of scary. 


(Just another Madhouse at Kate’s.)


September 5, 2009

Another First

Filed under: Family,Work — by Heather @ 7:43 am
Tags: ,

We just finished the first week of school.  LouLa had a blast and LOVES school.  I think she may have been a tiny bit nervous, but she was way more excited.

First Day of School 001

First Day of School 005

(She was trying to look like the monkey on her shirt.)


I had a pretty good first week, too.  It was great to have her right across the hall from me.  I got lots and lots of blown kisses throughout the day.  I worried that she would be a bit clingy and not want to go with her class at recess, but after a quick hug and kiss, she ran outside.

The only thing that is a tiny bit of a problem is that I don’t get my quiet time before and after school while I’m driving.  I have 40 minutes each way.  I used to listen to NPR or podcasts and I can’t do that now.  It would give my brain time to quiet down and it would help me relax.  It is a small thing and I’ll get it figured out.

September 1, 2009

Not Really Poverty

Filed under: Family,Uncategorized,Work — by Heather @ 7:05 pm
Tags: ,

I had a totally different post written and I just deleted it.  It was too thoughtful….and serious…and a bit depressing. 


Today was the first day of school.  More specifically, today was LouLa’s first day of school.  Ever. 

It was so fun seeing her so excited.  I also got to see her at various times throughout the day.  Her classroom is less than 10 feet from my classroom, so many kisses were blown in passing.  She had a great day and is very excited to continue.  I’m very excited for her.  I love learning and it’s so cool to see her discover new things and be excited about learning. 


Today was a very good day. 


(Brought to you by the Madhouse…sorta)

August 25, 2009

High School

Filed under: Family,General Stuff — by Heather @ 7:24 pm
Tags: ,

High School changed my life. 

Or, rather, my life changed in high school. 

There were two major things that happened in my high school years that I do believe changed how the rest of my life has turned out.

When I was fourteen, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  After about six months of IV chemotherapy, a couple of surgeries, and six weeks of spinal chemotherapy, I was as good as new.  Except for not having hair (my favorite line from a movie, “Oh ____, your one beauty!!”*-I could so relate) and not having friends.  I mean, I had friends, but since I was gone every week out of four, I was kind of out of the loop with my friends.  High school is all about your friends and it’s hard to maintain that kind of friendship with you’re not around. 

Then, in the middle of my sophomore year, my family moved to another state.  I went from having about 100 kids in my grade, to graduating with 400 kids.  Making friends at the new, huge school was difficult, especially for someone who is very shy to start out with.  I ended up making some friends and it wasn’t a horrible experience.  The new school had lots more options for those who were academically inclined, and I was.  I was able to take Advanced Placement classes and after passing  AP tests, I started college with 12 credits and didn’t have to take English 101. 

Those two events changed my life when they happened, no doubt about it.  I think that they’ve had far more lasting effects, too.  Some good…some not-so-good. 

My outlook on life is different now.  I don’t trust my body.  I know that bad things can happen at any time, for no reason.  I also know that I would be able to get through it if it did.

Moving and attending that large school made me unafraid of new things and change.  After college, I got a job in a town I had never been to.  I was four hours away from anyone I knew.  Then, four years later, I moved by myself to a state I had never been to and started over again.   Neither of those things scared me in the least. 

 So, yeah, high school didn’t change my life.  But, my life sure did change. 

*If you know what movie that line is from, send me an email (  The first two or three correct answers will get a little package from me.  If you’re a knitter, there’s yarn to be had.  If you’re not a knitter, there are other goodies to be had.  Google-fu is not allowed! 

(Another Madhouse Wednesday brought to you by Kate)

August 21, 2009

Magical Lies

Filed under: Family — by Heather @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , ,

I believe in providing as magical a childhood existence as I can.  We do Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy (hasn’t made an appearance, but will soon), the Easter Bunny, and any and all made-up creatures.  It helps that I have a child who loves fairies, princesses, and magic. 

We had a visit by the Dream Fairy tonight.  She delivered some Fairy Dust and a wand to sprinkle it with.  There was even a signed note. 

My daughter was thrilled with it.  She didn’t even care so much about the actual Fairy Dust, but was soooo excited and happy with the existence of the Dream Fairy.  It’s not like we talked about that particular fairy before, it’s just something I made up connected with the dust.  She’s been complaining of nightmares lately.  I don’t think she’s had really scary dreams, but has had dreams where not fun things have happened.  She’s very dramatic and has an active imagination, so I didn’t want her nightmares to become a reason to not go to bed.  We went through not-going-to-bed almost two years ago.  It was a bad time and I don’t want to repeat it.    I saw the Fairy Dust for sale online and it seemed like a cute thing and something that could become a nice before bed routine.  I ordered two of them, and if need be, I can make some more when the other one runs out.  Or, the Dream Fairy may send another note telling LouLa that she doesn’t need it anymore, or she ran out of Fairy Dust, or there are younger kids who need to use it, or whatever. 

Yes, I know that there will come a day when I’m confronted with my lies.  I think LouLa will look back on this time as a wonderful time, full of innocence and fun.  And a little bit of magic.

August 19, 2009

A Trip

Filed under: Family — by Heather @ 4:54 pm
Tags: ,

I don’t need to rehash the Italian vacation from this summer.

But, in general, we don’t have a lot of vacations.  With my side of the family living some distance away (7 hours and 14 hours), all of our vacations involve going to see one of my parents.  I don’t really consider visits to relatives as vacations.  Usually, they’re a lot of work, which doesn’t seem very vacation-y. 

I’ve come to realize that a true vacation is a time for me to do nothing much and have no obligation to do much of anything.  I’m not bad at the doing nothing part when I’m at home, but I generally feel like I should be doing something.  That’s why I don’t consider time off of work a vacation unless I’m not at home. 

We have some vague plans for a possible DisneyLand trip in the next year or so.  That would be mostly for the benefit of LouLa and I won’t delude myself into thinking it’ll be relaxing for one minute.  It will be fun, but not relaxing.  Therefore, I won’t consider it a vacation, but more of a trip. 


(Just another Wednesday at the Carnival.)

August 4, 2009


Filed under: Blogs,General Stuff — by Heather @ 8:27 pm
Tags: ,

Growing up, politics wasn’t discussed.

We were told that there are two things you never ask someone:

1.  How much money do you make?

2.  Who did you vote for?


The explanation was that those are rude questions. 

I get that.  As an adult, I would be offended if someone asked how much money I made.  It’s public information, but it’s not something that I’m going to discuss with anyone.  In my profession, that discussion would probably lead me to try to justify my salary.  Not productive.  It’s the kind of question that I can’t imagine anyone asking of anyone else.

The second question seems to be something that is acceptable to ask.  I have to say, I don’t feel comfortable with it.  I don’t mind discussing political issues and it wouldn’t be difficult for anyone to determine who I voted for in any election.  But, still, asking who I voted for seems to be going just one step further.  The way I fill in my mail-in ballot is my business.  To me, it’s kind of like sex.  It’s obvious that I’m a straight woman, and I don’t have a problem discussing sex in general, but I’m not going to talk about the specifics of what happens behind the bedroom door. 

Ask me how I feel about health care, education, the recession, etc.  Just don’t ask me who I voted for. 


(Part of the Wednesday Carnival)

July 29, 2009


Filed under: Family,General Stuff,Travel — by Heather @ 10:29 am
Tags: ,

As most of you know, five holds a special place in my heart for the next nine months or so.  This time next year, six will be the magic number.  I’ve talked at length about my love for LouLa and how amazed I am by her.  I won’t repeat myself.

There are lots of things I want to do before I die, but there are several things I want to do within the next five or so years.


Here is my Five in Five:

1.  Take LouLa to Disneyland/Disneyworld.  I want her to be old enough to remember it, but young enough to appreciate it. 

2.  Travel to Scotland again.  This time, it’ll be Josh and me….maybe LouLa. 

3.  Buy a new house.  While I don’t need it to be the Ultimate Dream House just yet, I’d like it to be closer to that goal than what we have now.

4.  Learn to spin.  This means I’ll need to buy a spinning wheel, too.

5.  Figure out what I want to do when I’m tired of teaching.  I can’t imagine being tired of teaching right now, but I also don’t think I’ll be able to do it forever.

July 22, 2009

Lots of Pictures

Filed under: Family,Travel — by Heather @ 11:40 am

Okay….here goes…(there are more pictures on my flickr account if you are really interested)

The Campitino Villa-Located about 30 minutes from Lucca, Italy in the Tuscany region

Main House-Campitino Villa

Campitino Villa-Lucca

View from outside door of Main House







Lucca walls

View of outside walls of Lucca


Tower and Cathedral

Cathedral in Pisa

My foot-

Bruising From Pisa

July 21, 2009

Of Driveways and Celebrities

Filed under: Travel — by Heather @ 8:50 pm

The Driveway:

“Driveway” is really a misnomer.  When I think of driveway, I think of something paved and fairly straight.  Not in Italy.  The driveway in question was not paved, had deep, narrow ditches along each side (to prevent it from washing out in a rain storm), involved going almost vertical at a couple of spots, was only big enough for one car, and it was pretty long.  The car I was driving had rearwheel drive and was a fairly large Mercedes.  There were times when I was quite sure the car was going to go backwards, or it was going to go off the side of the mountain.  I live in a valley, but I drive in the mountains to work and I’ve gone up some pretty narrow driveways on the sides of mountains.  This was completely different.  I was a little busy concentrating on not dying to take pictures, but I wish I had. 



Our flight got into Pisa about an hour earlier than expected (gotta love those tailwinds).  By the time we got our luggage and went through customs, we were only about 30 minutes early.  Even so, our ride was about 30 minuts late picking us up because of car trouble.  We spent about an hour waiting in the airport.  At one point, I hear a voice that sounds familiar.  I look over, and not two feet from me is a not-tall black man, wearing an orange baseball cap and casual clothing.  He’s talking on the phone to someone, telling the other person where he was at in the airport.  He finishes his phone call and then speaks to a boy (he might have been about 10 or so) and says something like, “Come on son, let’s go,” and they walked off.  This took place in less than a minute.  The man?….Al Roker. 

But, that wasn’t the only celebrity I saw….Oh no.  A few minutes later, I notice a women dressed in black exercise-type capri pants and a long white t-shirt with her hair pulled back in a ponytail.  She was pushing a luggage cart (the kind you can rent at an airport) and was following someone (an airport official?), with a kid or two trailing behind her.  At one point, she said something to someone about “go this way.”  The woman?….Ann Curry. 

Okay, so maybe they aren’t exactly celebrities.  It was interesting to me that they were acting like normal people (well, normal people who flew first class and had probably gotten some sleep).  They were wearing normal clothes and their kids were doing normal kid things.  I wouldn’t have recognized either of them if I hadn’t heard them speak.

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