photo p1_zpsc8a7232f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p2_zpse73671a0.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p3_zps456abd62.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p5_zps95486d0f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p4_zps481d5f13.png

Monday, August 23, 2021

Weekend update.

It's been a minute since I've done a weekend update so let's do it!

Sarah went straight to work after school so we didn't see her until 9:30 on Friday night.  We were all up bright and early on Saturday morning because we had things to do!

Sarah was meeting her friend Gabi at school so they could finish painting their senior parking spaces.  All the seniors that were participating in this met at the school last Monday to pick their spot and start painting their designs.  Sarah was almost finished with hers when a big down pour washed away her last layer of paint.  She was so disappointed.  Due to more rain, her work schedule, and the fact that we needed to get more supplies, she wasn't able to finish it until Saturday.  Here's the finished product:

The spaces could be any design they wanted but the design had to be approved by the school. And they had to have their class year, the school name, the school mascot, etc. somewhere on the space.

If you weren't aware, Sarah is a HUGE Harry Styles fan and these cherries are in homage to him,  One of his songs is titled "Cherry".   I think it turned out great! And she loves that this spot is hers all year long and it's right beside of Gabi.

While she was painting her spot, Dan and I headed to Raleigh for a quick visit with Peter. He wanted his PlayStation and we wanted to see him so away we went.  We helped him hook it up and then we took him out to lunch.  We briefly met his roommate and then we headed back home.  

Peter is doing well.  He is still getting to know his roommate so that's still a bit awkward. He is learning his way around campus and figuring out his new routine and in general just figuring things out. He has done a great job keeping in touch with us for the past week. I really appreciate that as it makes me feel better hearing from him each day.

We got home in time to head to Mass on Saturday evening and then Sarah went to a birthday party and then spent the night at a friend's house. Dan and I are really getting a lot of good practice for next year when our nest really will be empty.

On Sunday we had lunch at mom's and celebrated my brother's birthday.  Here are a few pictures:

Brad doesn't like sweets but he requested that I make him a coconut pie.  It was delicious if I do say so myself!  I also topped each slice with toasted coconut and homemade whipped cream. YUM!
It was a nice weekend but we are all still adjusting to life without Peter in the house.  I guess it will never quite be the same without him at home.  I'm just happy he's doing well and I'm extremely thankful for a phone plan with unlimited texting and calling. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Sarah's last first day.

 Sarah started her senior year yesterday so you know I had to pull out the kindergarten first day picture and do a comparison:


Praying you have a wonderful year beautiful girl!

Monday, August 16, 2021

College move in day!

We were up early on Friday. Peter said his last goodbyes to Sarah and my mom and we were on the road to N.C. State by 8:00 AM. (Sarah did not go because they were asking that only 2 people come with each student. I did see other siblings there so we could have brought her along and no one would have said anything but I'm glad we didn't because she would have been bored to tears!)

Our check-in time was 10:00 AM. We got to campus around 10:15 and were directed to a parking deck. The parking deck had three lanes each marked with the name of one of the Tri Tower dorms. We got in the lane for Peter's dorm and an Easy-Go with a trailer attached pulled up along with 8 volunteers and they immediately unloaded all of our stuff into the trailer.

(I would like to add here that during my extensive research on packing a kid for college, I came across multiple people stating that the best way to get everything easily and efficiently packed was to utilize Ikea Frakta bags.

I ordered a four pack from Amazon and after they arrived order another four pack.  The second four pack was a different brand and honestly they were a little nicer than the Ikea bags.  But regardless - these things were absolutely perfect for packing!

We only used 6 for all of Peter's things.  The best part was we were able to take his clothes straight from the closet and into these bags with the hangers on them.  When we were unpacking them, we literally lifted the clothes which were on the hangers out of the bag and then hung them.  That's my kind of packing!  

His clothes fit into two bags.  I loaded the other 4 bags with everything else - bathroom stuff, sheets, towels, comforter, school supplies, kitchen supplies, etc.  The only thing we had that wasn't in these 6 bags was the laundry basket holding two pillows and a large box that held his mattress topper!

We packed these 6 bags neatly into the back of the Pilot along with the laundry basket and that was it! We overheard one of the people helping us move say, "Wow! We need to take a picture of this one!" because everything was so neat and easy to move thanks to these bags.

The trailer with Peter's stuff headed to his dorm and he started walking that way as well while Dan and I parked the car in the parking deck.  We arrived at the dorm and Peter was standing beside his stuff.  When we got there, he headed into the dorm to get his key, someone brought two large rolling carts to us.  We easily loaded all of Peter's stuff into one cart, and headed to his room to begin getting things set up.

Look how compact it all is!  That's it!  That's ALL of his stuff.

We got his bed lofted with minimal arguments (there were a few tense moments but they didn't last too long) and then got it made up.  With all of the bedding, mattress pads, pillows, etc in their proper place we started unpacking and setting everything else up.  It all went pretty quickly. We ran into a snag hanging his flag but decided the best thing for that would be push pins (there was a piece of wood near the ceiling) but we would need to go to Target for those. I brought a large assortment of hooks and clips with command strips but none of them were working with the flag unfortunately. With everything but the flag in place, we headed to the student union to pick up his student ID.

There was a very long line hanging out the door to the ID office and I was dismayed at the thoughts of having to stand in that but thankfully, Peter had sent them a photo several weeks ago so his ID was ready. There was a different line to pick up your ID if you had done this and it had no one standing in it! Whew! So glad we did this ahead of time.

After we got his ID (which will get him into his dorm and into the cafeteria) we headed off campus to grab some lunch and to pick up a few items from Target. After that we went back to his dorm to hang the flag. We took the obligatory in the dorm room shots and I started to tear up. Peter said, "Mom, you aren't even leaving yet!" I pulled myself together and then we headed to the bookstore so Dan and I could get some N.C.State tee shirts.

Then Peter walked us to our car where we said our goodbyes and we all teared up.  Dan and I were definitely sad as we drove away.  But we are excited for Peter and he is excited about this next chapter so that made it easier.

He has been in touch with us all weekend through texts and calls. His roommate (who he has never met) moved in on Saturday. Peter was originally nervous about this guy because they didn't really communicate much over the summer.  Peter said he is very smart and works out a lot.  Peter gave him the ultimate compliment and I was relieved when I got this text: My roommate is pretty chill.  Y'all! Not sure if you know this or not but that is HIGH PRAISE from Peter! So, that's a big relief! 

Peter's first class is at 8:30 AM today and it is killing me not to text him right now as I'm writing this (7:20 AM) to make sure he is up. 

Thanks for all your prayers.  Move-in was everything I wanted it to be: smooth and not too sad.  It's going to be a great year!


That's his dorm in the distance (but that isn't him in the picture.)

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Another busy week...

Tomorrow we take Peter to school so prayers are appreciated.  We are all feeling a healthy mixture of nervous, sad, excited, worried, hopeful, etc. I know this is normal and I have been praying for a smooth transition for Peter for months so now I just have to "let go and let God" as they say.  

I complained in my last post that the school did not email us about the bill which I thought was odd and annoying.  My cousin text me to let me know that she recalls getting emails about tuition payments (her son recently graduated from NC State) but that the student has to go into their Pack Portal and update their settings so that parents get alerts about tuition payments, grades, etc.  I thought we had done that several months ago but when I logged into his portal none of those settings were selected.  So, I immediately remedied that and hopefully we are good to go now.  Thanks, Tammy! 

The kids have been pretty busy this last week.  Sarah's completing her summer work and working at the pool and spending time with friends.  Peter's been spending a lot of time with friends hanging out "one last time". Last night they were both gone and as Dan and I sat together eating dinner Dan said, "Well I guess this is how it's going to be - just us."  And I said, "Well, we are back to the beginning. It's like the good old days when we were dating and first married."  Dan's response, "It all seemed more exciting then."

And I get exactly what he means.  We had our whole lives ahead of us: marriage, a house, kids, etc. And now we are sitting on the other side and looking at each other like "what now?" But don't worry about us - we will get it figured out.  Life is just a series of transitions and we are slowly moving into the next phase!

Saturday, we all went to Mass and afterwards went to dinner at Cibo Trattoria downtown.  Peter selected the restaurant and it  was delicious. All four plates were clean and we managed to put away two delicious desserts!


Sunday was our last lunch together at mom's house for a while as Peter won't have his car at school and we aren't exactly sure when he will be home again.  My mom decorated the table in school colors - red and white and she wore her new N.C. State gear.  Isn't she just the cutest???

And I made, at Peter's request, Ding Dong Bundt Cake.  I know I've shared the link before but I'm sharing it again because this cake is so yummy!

Sarah had her senior photos taken for the yearbook on Tuesday.  She asked me to help her curl her hair so I did what any non-hair-curling mother would do.  I frantically texted our stylist and asked if she could do it and thankfully, she could.  I'm excited to see how her picture turns out!  

On Monday morning, I had a sleep deprived EEG.  I have recently had to switch to the generic version of my MS medication and have been having a mild flare of some of my old symptoms. I've had to switch because the copay assistance programs that were paying for my $6,000 a month medication were halted when the generic became available.  The price did go down on the name brand once the generic was released but it was still going to cost me $1600 out of pocket a month.  The generic is $800 a month but thankfully there is a copay assistance program for that one as well so I am only paying $20 a month BUT - it isn't working as well as the name brand.  

In addition to trying to get approved for the name brand (which so far isn't working) my neurologist wanted to do the EEG.  She said that I have a "venous angioma" in my brain.  She said it's been there my whole life and posses no problem or threat but it's location near the edge of my brain my be causing mild seizure-like activity in my brain which may be causing the symptoms of my flare. So she wanted to sleep deprived EEG to see if we could replicate a flare and see if that's what's going on.  

I was assuming that "sleep deprived" meant I would  go in at midnight for the EEG so I was shocked and dismayed when the nurse who called to set it up informed me that I would need to be up ALL NIGHT prior to my 7:45 AM appointment.  I said, "UP ALL NIGHT?? I CAN'T DO THAT!!!"  

She laughed and scheduled the appointment anyway and I, a person who is in bed nightly at 10:00 PM and asleep nightly by 10:04 PM, had to find a way to stay up all night.  

Dan stayed up with me until 12:30.  I had to force him to bed by reminding him that he was my ride to the hospital and that he also had to work all day on Monday.  Peter stayed up until his normal 2:30 until he finally went to bed.  Sarah was having a reaction to our cat and had to take a Benadryl and went to bed earlier than normal for her.

Staying up all night was a little easier than I thought it was going to be. Between 10 and 4, I drank 4 cups of coffee and  I processed a bunch (6 pounds without the juice and seeds) of ripe tomatoes and made spaghetti sauce. I cut up and canned a bunch of jalapenos and I even made several jars of relish.  After that, I settled into my chair around 3:30 AM and watched TV, and TikTok and next thing I knew, it was time to get in the shower.

I was very glad Dan drove me to the hospital because I was  groggy and out of it.  He dropped me off and headed back home to work and I headed inside to do the Covid check in the lobby.  I was having a hard time listening to and answering their questions.  I got through the lobby and headed to the bathroom where I proceeded to miss the hook on the door and my purse crashed to the floor.  I picked it up to make sure my phone wasn't broken and realized in my sleepiness I left my phone in the car.  

I needed my phone to call Dan when it was over so he could pick me up.  I left the bathroom and headed down the hall towards Diagnostic Neurology and saw a bank of phones of the wall. I picked one up to call Dan on his cell so he could turn around and bring my phone back.

I struggled to remember his phone number but finally did.  But then, I struggled with the phone.  It was a hospital phone after all and I couldn't figure out how to get it to make a call out.  In my dazed and confused state I was never going to be able to figure the phones out so I decided to head to my appointment and I would just have someone call Dan after it was over. 

I checked in and struggled to answer questions like "what's your address" and "what's your birthday". I was laughing at myself because I really had to stop and think. And then as I was answering, I felt like I was slurring my words.  I do not recommend staying up all night at this age!  

I sat down to wait for my appointment and chose a seat in front of the door. There was a window by the door and I just knew that Dan was going to realize that I left my phone and come into the hospital and try to find me and I wanted to be able to see him if walked by.

And sure enough! About 5 minutes later I could see him walk past the door.  I hopped up and opened the door and called his name.  He was trying to find me and he had my phone! Apparently he had texted me at a stop light to see if I made it in okay and heard my phone. So he came back, parked, and made his way into the bowels of the hospital to find me.  

The EEG itself wasn't a big deal except that it took the nurse over 30 minutes to place the 21 leads on my head.  She had to measure then mark through my hair the placements and then had to place them all with some substance that seemed to be part paste and part lard. The test itself seemed to be shorter than the placement of the leads. 

After it was over, the nurse removed all the leads and took a wet wash cloth and tried to scrub some of the paste/lard out of my hair and then dismissed me.  I was walking through the halls to the parking lot looking like this:

I came home, took a little nap, did some laundry and a few other things around the house, took another nap and we then we all went out to eat because I was too tired to cook. I then came home, fell asleep in front of the TV at 8:00, forced myself awake and upstairs and to bed at 10 and slept like a rock until the next morning. Remember the good old days of being able to be up all night and still function the next day?  Those days are long gone for me.

And that's what we've been up to this week! If you've made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading!  And, if you can spare some prayers for us for tomorrow, I would appreciate it!


Friday, August 6, 2021

College shopping and a parenting fail that thankfully I was able to rectify quickly.

One week from today, on Friday the 13th no less, we will be taking Peter to N.C. State and getting him moved into his dorm room.  

He is very ready to go to college.  I am less ready than he is. But time waits for no man (or mama) so we had to get his dorm shopping completed whether I'm ready for him to leave or not.

Before we went on vacation, I drug him (not kicking and screaming but there was a lot of protesting) to Bed Bath and Beyond to at least get his bedding procured.  He said that I could just do all of his shopping for him but I knew he would not like the things I picked out so I insisted he go.  

We found a comforter he really liked but of course they didn't have it in twin XL so he picked a white one. I immediately turned up my nose and he got frustrated. "You want me to pick out my own stuff but when I do, you don't like it!" 

I then explained that he would probably be spending a lot of time ON TOP of that comforter sitting and laying when he was in his dorm room.  It's a very small room and other than a desk chair there is no other seating.  I told him that white would be dirty in no time.

He agreed that my argument made sense and found a nice brownish one.  It will definitely hide the grunge!

Then we picked out sheets and he was done.  "Are we ready to go yet?" 

I had hoped to get more done but decided we could do it after vacation.  I then went home and signed up for Bed Bath and Beyond's college program where you can get 20% off all of your purchases through the end of September if you are a college student.  This is a much better deal than their normal 20% off of ONE item coupon!

We got back from vacation and he kept putting off going shopping for all of the rest of his stuff.  I had printed out lists and cross referenced them against other lists and knew we had a lot of shopping to do.  Peter took one look at my lists and said, "Nope!  There is no way I need all of that stuff!"

And he was right.  The list that I started with had every single possible item A GIRL might need to start college. It covered everything from tampons and fingernail polish remover to costumes for sorority mixers and dresses for formal events. (I will definitely keep this list for Sarah but it was too comprehensive for Peter or any boy for that matter.)  I was able to cross a lot of those items off immediately but a lot of the items made sense even for a very low maintenance boy. 

I finally pinned him down and we went back to Bed Bath and Beyond on Tuesday to make use of that 20% off coupon.  We pulled up to the store and there was a big sign across the front stating "We are remodeling but come on in!  We are still open for business!"

We walked in and I was immediately annoyed.  Yes, technically they were "open for business" but in reality there were large sections roped off and you couldn't access them (namely the storage solution section - a must for college dorm room shopping) and other sections were very empty (health and beauty - another section we needed as I was trying to make the most of my 20% off entire purchase coupon).

The only thing we ended up getting there were some nice white towels.  They were thick but not too thick and they had little loops sewn in for hanging on a hook which seemed practical to me.  

We headed to Target where we got more things checked off but still had a lot left.  I decided that in order to keep the peace and our sanity, I would shop for the rest of the list at Walmart and Amazon and Peter would not have to help.  By this point most of the items that I wanted his input on were purchased.  He was extremely happy with that arrangement.

So the next day, he went with a group of friends to Carowinds and I spent the morning in Walmart and the afternoon on Amazon and I think we are done with dorm shopping!

There is a Target within walking distance of his dorm so if we have forgotten anything or he realizes he did need something from that giant list created for girls, he can go there himself and get it. (I just wanted to avoid that Target on move-in weekend figuring it is going to be a zoo.)

Now all that's left to do is pack which we will probably not start until Thursday because I always like to wait until the last minute to pack.  

Oh, and speaking of waiting until the last minute!

In my head, I thought that tuition bills would be sent out on July 28th. I had this date in my head from the online orientation I slept went through. We were on vacation then and I remember saying, we should have a bill waiting on us when we got home and then I proceeded to forget about it until Wednesday when I realized it was August 4th and I had not seen a bill or received an email.   I had Peter check his email and he didn't have anything either.

We logged into the MyPack Portal (the website they use for housing info, schedules, tuition, alerts, etc) and low and behold there was an alert that said Peter's bill was past due and if it wasn't paid soon his schedule was going to be cancelled.


Apparently, while I correctly remembered the July 28th date,  I didn't correctly remember that this was the date tuition WAS DUE! 

Thankfully I was able to quickly get things taken care of and all is well. For now anyway.  

I guess I should have paid better attention in the parent orientation.  But I also feel like an email alerting us that bills were posted and due is not too much to ask.

And because I hate a post with no pictures: