Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Week: Two Birthdays, a Clean House, and No Diet

What a great week!  My birthday was Tuesday.  Normally birthdays are no big deal, and frankly, I was a little bummed that my birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, since those are definitely our busiest, most stressful days.  But it turned out to be a great day!  Not quite as good as my best birthday ever, 3 years ago, when we were in Hawaii on our space-a adventure--but a close second, for sure!  Who knew 44 would be a great age to turn?!
Christine had emailed me Monday night, asking if I could be at opening ceremonies for our elementary co-op.  She was in China for the week, visiting her son, who is there for 9 months for an intensive language program.  They were going to skype with the kids here.  I was happy to start biology a little late to be there!  Isaac taught the kids how to say "happy birthday" to me in Chinese, which was so fun!  He said some super nice things about me as a teacher, which about made me cry--such a nice surprise!  We can't wait for him to come back!
When I came back to our house, I was surprised to see donuts!  Luke and Caleb Mc had run over to Shoppers to get their delicious donuts while I was over at the other co-op.  It was "Tie Day" at Rivendell, lol.
The boys sang "Happy Birthday" to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed a chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles before (finally) starting biology.  Good thing class was pretty short!
At lunch time, Michele brought out cupcakes she had brought, and the kids all sang "Happy Birthday" to me again!  Twice on one birthday!  A record, for sure, lol.  I had also made a flourless chocolate cake the night before, so we brought that out too.  I can honestly say I ate more sugar on my birthday than I ate the past 6 weeks.  It was worth it!
And to top it all off, we dissected frogs for life science!  Poor Joel didn't love the frogs, but he powered through.  Verity was quite enthralled with watching him work!
The next day was Faith's 8th birthday.  We already knew it wasn't going to be a great day to celebrate her.  For one thing, it was the day for my biggest present--having a team of housecleaners come and clean the main 2 floors!  Also, Jonathan and Grace had orthodontic appointments in the afternoon, and the 3 girls had gymnastics all evening long, which meant they had to leave by 5:30.  So we knew we were going to celebrate this weekend!

I have been wanting to have a cleaner come for a long time, but I just could not get it together enough to have the house clean enough all at the same time to actually have someone come over to give an estimate.  That sounds pathetic, but there you have it.  But a week or so ago, I started being very determined to make it happen, because I felt like I was drowning!  Last Thursday night, I asked my facebook friends if anyone could recommend someone.  One friend wrote back immediately to recommend her lady--and say that she could come over the next day at 2:00!  I got some other names too, fully intending to get a few estimates.  Evy came over the next day.  She was so nice and really liked all the kids.  I still felt like the biggest slob as she walked around our house, saying how much she would be able to help me, lol  I ended up just decided to go with her because 1. she could clean on Wednesdays, which works for me, and 2. I didn't want to have anyone else traipse through my house!  Anyhow, Evy and 2 other ladies gave the house a thorough cleaning on Wednesday, taking about 6 hours (gah . . . ).  Now they're going to come back every other Wednesday, and hopefully it won't take as long.  I was mortified at all the things I never do, like dust off the tops of my cabinets.  Yeah, picking up and keeping the paper clutter down is about all I've managed well lately, lol.  I'm hoping that having everything really clean will help me be more motivated to clean out cabinets and closets.  I've just felt pretty paralyzed.

Friday Faith and I celebrated our birthdays at Bible study.  I made her a funfetti rectangular cake, and she decorated it in a heart motif, along with Caleb, Anna, Grace, Jonathan, and every other sibling that passed by and thought frosting looked like a fun thing to do.  

I made a chocolate truffle cheesecake, which was a new recipe for me.  It was quite delicious, but I had some trouble with it.  After it came out of the oven, I was pouring the ganache topping on top of it.  All of a sudden, the little bowl of ganache slipped out of my hand, right into the middle of the cheesecake, leaving a huge crater!  Ack!  Not to fear, though--I just smoothed out the ganache, and no one could tell.  Until we cut the cheesecake, that it.  Then you could see the cross-section of the big crater, lol.  
We finally got to really celebrate Faith's birthday on Saturday, with her birthday dinner (she picked grilled chicken, wild rice, glazed carrots, and fruit salad) and presents.  She was very patient to wait a few extra days for her presents!  She was thrilled to receive from Grandma and Grandpa a kit to decorate a little pillow like Anna and Grace got for Christmas from Aunt Melinda.  She also got a mini American girl doll ("Kaya", which Anna clued me in was Faith's favorite), a Lego Friends ice cream truck set that Jonathan picked out, and some random candy, and a bracelet.  She was very happy!
We're hoping to have a little party for her at some point in the next several weeks.  She really wants to do some crafts with friends, and she's been making lists and planning things out for that.  Now--to find a day that works . . .

I took this whole past week off from any sort of diet.  I ate cake (of all kinds), cookies, chips, peanut butter cups, ice cream, pizza, cheese . . . and I enjoyed every minute of it!  Actually, that's not totally true. I had some big headaches, I got a canker sore, which I haven't had for a while, and I definitely didn't sleep as well.  Also I gained back about 5 pounds.  It was nice to have some "regular" things for dinner--and to take a break from all things balsamic vinegar, lol.  And it was really nice to actually feel like I celebrated my and Faith's birthdays!  I'm going back to at least a paleo diet tomorrow, though.  Back to salads.  I know I feel better eating that way . .  . but cheesecake and ice cream . . . .  Curse this 44 year old metabolism!

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