Oct. 31: October in review

OctoberTime to sum up October at the Manullangs’ house.

Special days I celebrated this month and how:

  • No big celebrations for us in October. Just the regular ones, y’know, like Tuesdays.
  • Lucy’s first birthday was Oct. 22 and we forgot. Oops. She celebrated her big day like she does every day—tearing through the house, chewing on everything she shouldn’t, and generally being a loveable monster puppy.
  • We celebrated Halloween, obvy. Katie was a nerd, Jack was a football player, and Victor and I were James Bond and a random Bond girl. All tremendous stretches, as you can imagine.

Books I read this month:

  • I finished The Prisoner of Heaven, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Compared to his other books in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, it seemed like only half a story; however, I enjoyed it and it kinda made The Angel’s Game make a little more sense. I eagerly await the next book.
  • I started The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak.
  • My concentration is very short these days, and I haven’t been reading as much as usual. I hope to change that soon.

Movies and TV shows worth mentioning:

  • I love having most of my favorite shows back on regular scheduling after a long summer of watching very little TV. ‘Round here there’s lots of Hulu watching of Grimm, Modern Family, The Middle, The Office, Parks & Rec, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Go On, Suburgatory
  • Katie and I saw Pitch Perfect. It was silly fun.
  • Not a movie or TV show, but Victor and I saw a local production of the Broadway musical Avenue Q. Hilarious show.
  • Very excited about Skyfall, the new James Bond movie (Nov. 9), and hoping Wreck-it Ralph (Nov. 2) will be a good family outing. Speaking of family outings, on Christmas Day, you’re going to find at least four Manullangs (and hopefully a Jenny-Saltmarsh) at Les Misérables!

Special or unusual purchases we made:

  • I bought 50 mini pumpkins for the school’s Halloween party. Yes, that’s unusual.
  • Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade—it’s a special, October-only drink, and is very sweet and dangerously guzzle-able. Plus it helps fund cancer research—so it’s almost like you HAVE to drink it! If you don’t, I can only assume you like cancer.

This month’s disappointments:

  • It was an incredibly stressful and busy month at school, and I found myself way over-committed. I plan to spend much of November catching up on sleep.
  • I applied for a really cool part time job and didn’t make the cut. Bummer. All I want is a few (more) hours of fulfilling work each week with excessively high pay—is that so much to ask?
  • Fall arrived. It’s my least favorite season, what with all the dead stuff and messy leaves and crappy weather and colds and flu. Pffft.
  • I was very, very sad to hear that one of my cousins (actually, my cousin’s daughter) died unexpectedly. She was a few years younger than me. She went into a coma after having a bad reaction to medication and never woke up. We’ve also lost an uncle and aunt this year—not a good time to be a Saltmarsh.

My accomplishments

  • It has nothing to do with me, but Katie’s cross-country team won their division championship, and Jack’s football team made the playoffs. I’m proud of my kids.


  • I voted. Victor cancelled out one of my votes, but it was nothing important (to me). Better than most years. You’d think after 15 years of marriage that I’d have taught him better not to disagree with me. Winking smile
  • The incredibly stressful and busy month at school had some very good results—all events were well-attended, fundraisers are on track to meet our goal, and corporate donations are pouring in. Yay! As each big event ends, I remind myself that it’s my last year at the elementary school and IT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE ME SAD. Maybe next year at this time I’ll feel a big empty spot, but for now I look forward to a life NOT run by PTO.

Anything else noteworthy:

I can’t think of a single thing, mostly cuz I’m Sleepy. Here are funnies:







And finally, this is my friend Val.
Is she the cutest thing ever?
I think she just might be.
And that’s her way-sweet grandma in the background,
adoring her granddaughter.
I love that family!


Go ahead, November. Give me all ya got. I can take it. (And by “it,” I mean “a nap,” which I’d like several of starting tomorrow, thankyouverymuch.)


Oct. 28: Proud/exasperated sports momma

ccmomKatie’s cross-country championship was last week. It happened right in the middle of a torrential rainstorm, and runners were sliding and falling down all along the route. The parents were none too thrilled to be there either; it wasn’t just the rain (we’re Oregonians and used to it) but the hail, wind, biting cold, mud, and moderate flooding. What a mess. When it was over, and they started announcing stats for the season and all that, I really felt like they needed to just say who won and let us all go home, but nooooo…

Anyway, Katie’s team won. This is from the weekly school newsletter:

Congratulations to the RCMS Girls Cross Country Team who are the 2012 Willamette River League Champions! This past week, the girls brought home some serious hardware in the form of a giant championship trophy. Earning league honors were the following students – L. Hayes won 1st place (girls league champion), M. Edwards earned 3rd place, A. Marshall 5th place, and J. Iranshad finished in 6th place. Also contributing to the league championship were team members: M. Benware, A. Betancourt, D. Cyphers, E. Edwards, K. Gwynn, M. Harris, K. Manullang, H. Ranum, A. Ruth, and R. Viola. Way to go girls!

Things for which I’m proud:

  • That Katie participated in an athletic activity by choice.
  • That she did it without whining (I think I whined a lot more about it than she did).
  • That she was so excited about their big win—not for herself, but for her team.

And WOW, those Edwards girls! They belong to my pal Cindi. That Cyphers girl isn’t too bad either—in fact, getting to cheer for the girls alongside her mom (Dina!) made the season a lot more fun for moi.

So yeah, it’s cool. I’m pretty sure Katie only decided to join the team because I said I’d buy her running shoes, but in the end she really did like it. I hope she sticks with running, too, because wouldn’t it be cool if she DIDN’T inherit my trip-over-myself-ness and actually benefited from something her body does?

fbmomThe other thing that happened recently was even more exciting (she said, knowing you would read her sarcasm between the lines): Jack’s football team made the playoffs. The results of two games yesterday mattered: Jack’s team had to win their game, and a Tigard team had to lose theirs.

Both happened.


This changes our travel plans for next weekend, and definitely not in a good way, but Jack is happy so I’m pretending I am too. We have at least one extra week of practice, and who knows how many games, and OMG will somebody just kill me because I am so tired of this sport! Don’t tell Jack I said that. Meh. Jack knows what I think.

Here are things that are amusing about 5/6 football:

  • The way the boys congratulate each other after a good play. It’s so cute to watch those little guys doing what the big guys do. The coaches teach them a lot about sportsmanship.
  • The “take a knee” thing. The boys are all so good about it—something unexpected happens on the field, and suddenly every kid’s on his knee. Even on the sidelines. I am sooo trying this at home.
  • That kid we call “supernintendo.” Long story, but it makes me chuckle every time.
  • The crying. There’s a lot, and sometimes it’s loud. I know I shouldn’t think it’s funny, but I just imagine that 15 minutes later, that kid’s gonna be really embarrassed that he wailed in front of his macho buddies. (Note: wailing is totally allowed for broken bones, concussions, etc. I’m talking about the stubbed toes wailing. Weeeeener kiiiiiids!)

I wish so much that my dad was around to see Jack play football. He would be crazy-proud to sit in the stands and cheer him on. Not to mention that Jack wears #7, in honor of Grandpa Curt’s hero. Melancholy face.

Alright, let’s get back to our regular programming. What are my kids doing succeeding at athletics anyway? It’s like they’re not even mine.


Oct. 26: A totally legitimate post

On nights like these, I miss Sabbath. There’s not much I regret about leaving my SDA upbringing, but having an excuse to take a day off and relax was pretty handy. All of the naps, none of the guilt!

Last night was the school’s multicultural fair that Shannon and I created pretty much from scratch. We should have just stolen an idea from the Internet, but instead we re-invented the wheel. Not the brightest idea, we repeatedly realized, but OH EM GEE, it turned out to be such a fun event! About a million people showed up—approximately 999,994 more than we expected—and families really seemed to have a great time. It’s so nice to start something new and then hear good chatter about it.

But it all wore me plum out. I’m absolutely exhausted and OH! What I wouldn’t give to spend a few days in bed, ignoring emails and texts and phone calls. But nooo, tomorrow I have to go to Jack’s football game at 1pm. After that I have to go to a pumpkin patch to buy 100 mini pumpkins for Family Night at 6:30pm. And at some point, I have to figure out a costume I can wear to Family Night that won’t get melted by the popcorn machine.

Since I have nothing interesting to say, here are funny things I’ve been collecting:










Enjoy your weekend, friends! If you have time, please nap the hell out of an afternoon for me.


Oct. 20: Down and out

coldI’ve been on the verge of a rotten cold all week, but somehow managed to keep it at bay. Until last night, that is. Yesterday was a long and chaotic day, and when I got home, my body was all I’VE LET THIS HALF-COLD GO ON LONG ENOUGH AND HEREBY GIVE NOTICE THAT I AM OFFICIALLY ATTACKING YOU IN TWO SECONDS.

I was D.O.N.E. Stoopid body.

I now have one of those drippy, sneezy, congestiony, achy, coughy, nasally, itchy, bitchy colds and I kinda hate everyone. Also, there’s this thing right under my eye that burns and sometimes even bleeds. It looks like bad diaper rash. Do you think it’s herpes? I ask you because I assume you would know.

I’ve been in bed for the past 24+ hours and plan to spend the next 24 hours the same way. I’m getting some naps in, catching up on Hulu, and hoping Monday morning doesn’t come too soon, because I still feel horrible. However, self-prescribed bed rest isn’t necessarily the worst thing ever. Here’s one of my favorite things about needing to hang out at home…

Giant puppy

…my built-in cuddle buddy. (In this picture she looks so tuckered out. Must be because it’s exhausting destroying everything in our house.)


Oct. 14: Still here

ketchupI think the only way to get back to my regular blogging schedule—ha! “schedule”—is to just start. So, here I am. Starting. Playing a little bit o’ catch-up. Rambling, even.

I don’t have time to do lots of the things I love anymore, it seems. I know (hope) this is just a busy time and things will eventually return to the normal that I want. That normal includes talking to Mother Mary several times a week. Reading every night. Getting my laptop’s awful/noisy fan repaired so I don’t have to listen to movies to drown out the annoyingness. Thinking about things that don’t involve school. That’s the big one.

Victor and I took a break from everything on Friday night and saw a local production of Avenue Q, one of the silliest and most entertaining Broadway musicals I’ve ever seen. We first saw it as part of a Broadway in Portland series a few years ago. The one on Friday night was just as good—not an abridged version (I was worried), with just the tiniest of changes to fit in topical humor. It was delightful to laugh for two straight hours.

Not that I haven’t been laughing in other parts of my life. My busy-ness at school, while incredibly stressful at times, is still very much something that feeds my soul. I feel fortunate every day for the people I work with there because they are dedicated and creative and lovely. I am so, so lucky.

Here’s one bit of exciting news: we hosted a costume swap one evening last week. I had sent a press release/announcement to the school district, hoping our event might appeal to people outside our little school. As it was the first time we’d planned a costume swap, we had no idea what the response would be. The press release definitely helped—it was picked up by several news agencies, and we had lots of outsiders attend. And the biggest surprise was when KGW news showed up with a camera (because, really, isn’t a costume swap, like, the best idea EVER? Nowadays parents spend so much on costumes that are worn one time; why not trade them with other people?). I missed the bit they ran on the news that night, and the video isn’t online, so that was a bummer. But otherwise? What a memorable night!

Jogathon is Friday. Our multicultural fair is the next week. Did I offer to coordinate the continent of Europe? Why, yes I did. I might not be very smart.

Overwhelmed? Very much. Happy, though. And needing a vacation like never before.


That’s all the catching up I have time for at the moment. I’ll try to do more in the next few days.


Oct. 7: Read the funnies

Time to share the silly pictures I’ve been collecting.
















photo 3




For my dear, punkin-crazy friends, Sherilee and Kim F’n-W:


And for Sherilee, who has been writing one blog post after another about how fab this season is…
some of us find it not so fab.


(It’s OK; I still love you bunches.)









Because there’s no way Jesus would have been a Republican.

Let’s see, have I sufficiently alienated everyone I know? Yay! My work here is done.



Related Posts with Thumbnails