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The girls are out of school! Mina and her friend are outside doing science experiments, and I did lot of my planting. I got some beautiful pepper plants. The girls are really exhausted so I'm looking forward to some lazy days.

My rack and pinion has cracked in my car, which means I don't want to leave Longmont with it until I get it fixed, because it's starting to make a nasty noise when I turn. Fantastic.

The kids really loved the party, and I got a lot of compliments from the kids at Mina's school, so that was really nice.
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We made it through the party! It went very well overall and the kids sure laughed a lot. I ran out of activities partway through, but fortunately the kids were perfectly happy running around outside. They all wore costumes which was pretty awesome. I'll post pictures later. I feel like I want to lie down and sleep for a week. I'm really lucky that I had so many great people helping me!
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Life is seriously kicking my ass right now. May is insane. I have a ton of repairs to do, I need to finish end of year teacher gifts, and get Mina's birthday party ready. Mina's freaking out because some people might have a problem with the date, but I keep telling her that there's no date when everyone can come; we just have to pick a time and see what we get. My mom did design a super cute invite though, and I ordered the supplies, so there's that. I'm not sleeping much, so I'm feeling really loopy and agitated.

This week has been insane. Aya is back to swimming and soccer, and Mina is wrapping up the year. We're looking at some possibilities for summer classes; Mina wants to do theater and rock climbing. Mina has mini-society coming up so she's making glittery pine cones by the dozen. I've been babysitting a lot to pick up a little extra cash. So while I've been busy, I feel a bit like I haven't had a moment to myself.

Sorry I've been so whiny lately, but I'm just really overwhelmed.
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My mom's been cleared to have no more surgery. She was dianosed with a very rare and unusual disorder that creates this little tumors, but it's so rare no one in Colorado had ever seen it; they had to go to the WHO to get information on it. The prognosis is excellent and she'll probably not have to deal with it again, so that's wonderful.
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I'm so, so tired. We're working hard to train Poppy; we're taking some classes, and using a clicker, which she's responding really well to. I'm also now using "umbilical training" where you have the dog leashed to you or tethered in the same room. It keeps her from having accidents. And it does work, but damn, I get nothing else done. I was feeling so good about finally having a house routine and getting things under control, and now it's all been shot to hell.

I know that, like with kids, the more work I put in now, the easier it will be in the long run, but I'm exhausted right now. On the upside, she can at least get through the night without having to go out now, and she is learning the commands. And she barely jumps at all, which I love. I hate dogs jumping on me.

The cottonwoods are making me miserable. Headaches, exhaustion, and constant sniffles. I have a busy weekend coming up, but frankly I'm so tired I'm having trouble getting enthused about it. Especially having to do all the driving.

Mina is crying every night because of PARCC testing and "girl drama." At least the test are ending today.

I know I'm whining a lot. I'm just really struggling to stay positive right now.
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So, we got a dog on Saturday from a puppy rescue. Her name is Poppy and she's a golden retriever/German shepherd mix. She's about 9 weeks old. She's very cute, and though she's a busy girl, she sleeps well at night, is quiet and is crate training quickly. She and Jiji get along fairly well. But it's a pretty major change, and everyone is adjusting.

My mom had to go in for lung surgery yesterday. She had an x-ray a few months ago that showed...something, and they had to go in to biopsy it. She's still in the hospital, but the surgery was successful, and thankfully, it's not cancer. That's an incredible relief.
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Got this survey from a fellow lj friend. I love doing these so I can look back on them.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Learned to play Call of Cthulhu. I know that's not a big thing, but my life doesn't change much...

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Not really. I decided to make a more reasonable one this year, namely, to be more forthright about what I want so I don't get mired down in resentment.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully

5. What countries did you visit? None, but I did get to go to New York

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

7. What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March--Aya's third brithday

May--Alex came back from Texas and moved in with me. I was so happy! also, Mina's wonderfully fun Harry Potter party

June--Aki's visit to Asia, Mariko's visit here--so much traveling!

August--getting to visit my friends in Brooklyn for our tenth anniversary

September--Aki got a huge promotion and 23% raise. He was so excited that when we went out to celebrate, he rear-ended someone. Lightly, thankfully, no damage.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Hmm. Landscaping, I guess? I did a lot of that. I'm proud of the results.

9. What was your biggest failure? I don't think I failed, though I wish I could have accomplished more.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, though the migraine treatments are tiring.

11. What was the best thing you bought? The PS4! I love that thing!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Mina has grown up a lot this year, and become a very socially conscious, compassionate little soul.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Some of my face book friends and neighbors showed their true colors during the election. I lost respect for them.

14. Where did most of your money go? Food. Aki eats for six.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The trip to NY was the highlight of the year!

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2016? I can't really think of one, although the girls sing Moana songs nonstop and I can't escape.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? happier

ii. richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Writing and publishing

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Enduring political rants on all sides

20. How did you spend Christmas? With my family, quietly

21. What was your favorite TV program? Better Call Saul and This is Us

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No

23. What was the best book you read? Ordinary People

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? None really

25. What did you want and get? Vegetable gardens, PS4

26. What did you want and not get? Furniture

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Arrival

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 36, and got a giant truckload of dirt for the garden. I know how to celebrate.

29.How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Same as always, jeans and t-shirt kinda gal.

30. What kept you sane? Aki, Mina, Aya, my parents, friends

32. What political issue stirred you the most? I can't choose one, so let's just say it was a tsunami of terror and disgust.

33. Who did you miss? Heather, Jess, David, Kathy and Randy

34. Who was the best new person you met? Kat, my charming and selfless neighbor, and fellow tea aficionado.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016: It's okay to take a break from people, and preserve your own sanity and sense of self.
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Due to some recent events, my journal is automatically friend's locked from here on out. If you read my previous entries and want to keep doing so, friend me.

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