Tuesday, March 31, 2009
We started off early with some horrid behavior from all three of them as early as last Thursday (or was it Friday?). Brandon's mom had called and wanted to take the kids for a couple of days. I had my reservations but did not really say anything definite to her about it. So she called on Saturday to "finalize" plans for Sunday pick up (?!?!) and was irritated with me when I told her the kids would not be able to go. There is NO WAY I am sending them to her house acting like that. She's an alcoholic even without the kids but adding them and their nuttiness? Nope.
Now that we knew we were looking at a solid week of three kids at home, we looked at the weather forecast. Awesome. It's going to snow and rain all week. WTF? Tomorrow is April 1st. WHY is it snowing? (I know it snowed in June last year but I'm hoping for it to get better!)
Sunday was a lot better than Saturday and Monday was even more so. Until 8:15 in the morning. Ashley was running down the hall (which she knows not to do) and shut the door of the closet with her hand. In the middle. Where the two pieces come together.
She started screaming from how bad that hurts (I don't know why they even make those kinds of doors anymore. Sadists.) and it got worse when she saw she was actually bleeding. She also has a fantastic blood blister. Poor kid. She wore Band-Aids and one of those metal "I broke my finger" things with the blue foam on the inside and the velcro wrap around it. (you know what I mean, right?) She didn't want to wear it but we told her it was like a shoe for her pinky and would protect it from more bumps. She kept that sucker on all day.
The rest of Monday was a bazillion times better. There was the usual ups and downs of a day and the girls made a HUGE!!!! mess in their room but it was sorted out and they even got to stay up later than usual.
This morning started out with Alex asking for his PSP which he promptly got grounded from. AGAIN. I guess Ashley and Annie are short on sleep because there's been tears and crying and yelling and screaming. And it's almost noon.
I get to go to class in a little bit. Poor Aiden is stuck here with them. If he's smart, he'll institute nap/rest time again today. It did wonders for them yesterday.
Will let you all know how the rest of the week goes. Keep your fingers crossed.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The woman I saw today listened as I spoke, seemed mildly irritated that no one had bothered to diagnose my issues, and was actually irritated that I was trying to avoid taking my pain meds. She told me I should take them regularly and at the same time every day because they'll actually do more good that way. I believe her exact words were, "If you wait until you're in a lot of pain, you're screwed."
So, joyous day. They've ordered me an MRI and x-ray of my neck at first, since my neck is the biggest issue at hand. We'll see how things go. I'll keep everyone posted.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Snow in the morning...then numerous rain or snow showers in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation up to 4 inches above 2500 feet in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 30s to mid 40s. Windy. Southwest wind 20 to 30 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent. (wunderground.com)
There is also a Winter Weather Advisory for Heavy Snow for locations above 2500 feet. We are 2552 feet above sea. (feels very "The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain" to me)
I seriously thought winter was over. I wore capris this week. I had flip flops on yesterday. We already had the "hanger on" snowstorm.
(View from our bedroom window, that's snow stuck in the screen)
Apparently not. In our lovely town on the desert we are looking out our windows at several inches of snow that started falling yesterday at noon. I think this was about 2.5 minutes after the last of the freak snow from last weekend melted.
(Another view from our bedroom window)
Not only is there snow on the ground and a frigid wind blowing huge gusts around, it's apparently still snowing. You cannot tell because of the wind but according to wunderground.com there is "Heavy Snow" in Pullman.
Just for fun I always compare our weather to Spokane. So I know if I have a good whining case to call Mom about. They say "Snow Fog", whatever that means.
The bottom line is I have no one to complain to (if I want to 'win' somehow).
So I will suffer without winning. But it will NOT be in silence.
Just for comparison, the pictures in the bear blog below are from yesterday about 1 hour before the snow started.
Feel my pain.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Why was he up again? Because last Halloween while we were trick-or-treating I took a piece of gum from his treat bag. He threw a righteous fit about it so I told him I would give him another piece to replace it. I thought I had but last night he informed me that I had not.
There was crying about the injustices and when we told him this was NOT something he gets to be out of bed for, he went on and on (this boy can really get worked up) about how no one understands his brain and how his mind works. (really, I would say I don't know where he gets it from but I do. It's in my genes. My sister does the same kind of thing. Never was it me, just her. But I guess he got it from that gene pool. Or maybe it's from his dad. He argues like that all the time. hmmm)
Anyway, the argument wore thin and he was seeing his loss in sight. So he reminded me that the girls had some M&Ms left over from a science project with their lunch the day before. And we never gave any to him to make it fair.
I talked to him about prioritizing. How the gum was not going to be worked out right that minute (or ever, I eventually told him) and the M&Ms would not be doled out at 10:00 at night. Then we talked about how he's been in his bed for three hours, more or less, and he was missing all that sleep over a 5 month old piece of gum and 2 M&Ms.
He was still sure it was child abuse in some form but he did go back to bed. The weeping and wailing stopped eventually and he went to sleep.
What's the dumbest thing you've had fits about in your house?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Some of the mommies were newly pregnant over the summer, or at least newly announcing it, and the rest of them were popping out kiddos faster than we could keep up with. Aiden and I are always happy to hold babies for mommies needing a break so we had so much fun with our little set up.
Then the cold hit and the kids and mommies and pregnant tummies were locked away in their apartments. When they did venture out they were covered in so much bunting it was difficult to know who was who. And those bellies? They just hid behind fluffy parkas and loose sweaters.
Today we put Ashley on the bus for preschool and I saw one of the mommies getting home. I told Aiden I wanted to go see the belly; surely she must be ready to pop by now. She turned and I saw she was so skinny!! I was left with nothing to say but "did you have him?!"
She is gracious but I'm sure she wanted to kick me. Her baby is six weeks old.
He's beautiful, by the way, as all C section babies tend to be.
At least I bothered to remember she was pregnant. Aiden said "why do you want to look at _____'s belly? Oh yeahhhh, she preggers!"
Of course, that counts for little to nothing since he's got massive head trauma resulting in memory issues and I don't.
I'm so glad the weather is going to eventually be nice again. Then the moms can come back out and share their babies with us to hold.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
By this evening we were sick of each other. This was made evident by the screaming and fighting that was going on. So Aiden came up with this really great idea.
We all piled into our bedroom and found spots on the big bed. Aiden manned the computer desk and we watched dumb animal videos. You know, the ones from Purina or youtube. We laughed and laughed and laughed. There was no more fighting. There was no more screaming besides the laughter.
When you hear these kids laugh out loud at cats falling off couches or growling at mirrors, you know this is where you are meant to be. Ashley and Alex felt the need to give us non-stop instant replays of the animals' antics but even that was tolerable.
The problem with abandoning Purina's website for youtube is that youtube.com does not really care what goes on their videos. They don't ensure all the content is kid appropriate.
One clip we came across started with a baby in a carseat (or something) with a Cabbage Patch Kid. He rolled over and was rocking himself like he was going to crawl. Clearly, these people were not excited about the almost crawl as they ran their video camera. So while the adults got irritated, the kids were super excited to watch the dancing baby. This caused Aiden's face to turn SO red from laughter, not embarrassment.
Little did he know that after the dancing baby would come dancing bunnies, dancing doggies, dancing cats, dancing cows, and a dancing goat. The kids were laughing and laughing.
I kept talking about how the animals were so much fun, look at them dance, Aiden, don't you think it's so much fun to watch the animals dance?
He finally managed to suck in enough air to regain a normal-ish color of face and turned the video off. This caused a lot of whining and grumbling from the kids. Until another video was started and allowed to play having been deemed clean.
Soon it was time for bed and the kids and I were hanging out in the living room. We skipped story reading and just sang the "A Alligators All Around" song (see previous post - not like the last one but a month ago or so). The lyrics are:
A, alligators all around
B, bursting balloons.
C, catching colds,
Alex must have been in a mood to prove he was a boy through and through so when we all moved on to "C, catching colds", he went back to B and pronounced it would be "B, bursting BIRDS" and dissolved in a fit of 8 year old boy giggles.
This is helped by the fact that her teacher is pregnant and she is watching how Mrs. K will rub her belly without thinking about it and is obviously loving that baby already.
She decided to edit her 100 babies down to a more manageable number.
"I think I will have just onnnne child" she said.
Then we moved on to how marsupials have their babies.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Once upon a time there was horses who loved to do tricks and there was people that loved to watch them and there was a mean guy that wanted to kill them. Then they neighed really loud and made the guy knock over himself and he fell onto his booty (bottom). Then the mean guy kicked himself with his own feet and he was like "ouch, my booty!" Then the horses were about to neigh then they were like "neigh! neigh!" Then he almost kicked his booty. Then he was like "oh, my stinkin' booty!"
Clearly she is the author in this family.
Ashley got up at some time before 6 a.m. today. So Aiden had her take a rest this afternoon. She had been in her room for just a few minutes and I guess she was doing some thinking. Pretty soon Aiden heard weeping and wailing coming through her door. He crept closer to hear what the problem was.
"I DON'T WANT TO GROW UUUUUUUUUP!"
"I DON'T WANT TO KISS ANYBODYYYYYY!"
"I DON'T WANT TO HAVE ANY BABIEEEEEEES!"
Eventually it was just 10 solid minutes of "I DON'T WANT TO GROW INTO A GROWED UP!!"
I don't know why she is so upset about being big, but she is.
Aiden reassured her it was a long way off and that seems to have covered it. For now.
Yes, the cats are brats. Today the fish called Lunch went to live in Annie's kindergarten classroom. It was for the fish's own safety because of incidents that looked like THIS:
AND THIS:'Nuf said.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Well, the thought of it was exciting. The reality was kind of boring and I'll spare you.
At the beginning of the meeting the principal had my "cooperating teacher" (aka the teacher I'm shadowing) introduce me. It was very on the spot but she did a great job making me sound professional. Then the entire staff had to go around and tell me their names and what they do there (teach 4th, lunch lady, music, etc). I'm hoping no one expects me to remember any of it.
After they all found out who I was and why they have been seeing me around ALL WEEK, Alex's teacher from last year, who I love(!), leaned over to me and said, "so you're not just hanging out".
I had told her I was hanging out for the week during lunch on Monday. I didn't realize she'd think I was really that crazy!
PS Kindergarten is awesome, still. And the best part is if the morning class is nuts, the afternoon makes up for it. Other teachers get a crazy class one morning and are stuck all. day. long. with them.
Yes, I realize it could go the other way (morning awesome and afternoon awful) but I'm focusing on what happened today.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Except I am in a class which requires me to shadow a teacher for 5 full consecutive days. Thus, spring break became kindergarten. It was either that or my first week of summer school. And let's face it, I can't afford to skip summer school, they go FAST!
Anyway, I am shadowing Annie's teacher all week. Bless her heart she has not asked me to leave and never return yet. I don't know how she feels about my being there but I asked and she said yes.
And thank GOD she did!! I am having more fun this week than I ever had before. I swear, it's just awesome.
I'm kind of sad I don't get to do this for more than a week. By that time, though, the novelty may have worn off and I'll see the kids as kids and not the magical imagination monsters I see them as so far.
I doubt it.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
What I made:
Aiden didn't even know I was taking the picture.
What she made:
Alex got Batman Lego (Or Lego Batman, prolly) from Brandon for Valentine's Day last weekend. Unfortunatly he was grounded from his PSP so he had to wait a week to play it. Lego has this great series of Star Wars games out and I guess now Batman (there may be others but I don't know or care, really). When you kill something or run over it or whatever all that happens is the Lego pieces burst apart and then kind of disappear.
Because he had to wait a week to play it we let him play A LOT more than usual. He was explaining some part of it to us and Aiden said something about how it sounds pretty violent (half snarkily)
"But it's okay because it's just cartoon violence" was Alex's answer.
We all started laughing. Alex realized this was funny and said "you should blog about that".
Later on Ashley was helping me clean the fish tank. Remember? The fish called Lunch? Yeah.
She thought it was really silly that I had to catch him in my hand to plunk him into a water glass with some water (I didn't try the trick Stephanie taught me). Then she sat and looked at him while I washed the tank. I kept joking that I would eat him. Just drink him right down. She was laughing and getting really silly. Then we put the fish tank back together and carried it over to the bookshelf where we were greeting by a smiling Crook (the cat) sitting right where the tank goes. I'm serious, he was smiling.
We sprayed him with water and told him NO NO NO NO NO NO!
Then Ashley told me "He was waiting to be served Lunch!"
When she was getting her jammies on she told Aiden it smelled like "bahk" in here. Since she still has some trouble with R's becoming W's Aiden thought she had said "Bark".
She adamatly repeated it smelled like "bahhhhhhhk".
So Aiden said "Bahk?"
And she said "yes! Like 'BAHK' CHICKEN!"
The game Chicken Out was sitting on the floor that is probably where it came from but we briefly wondered what was wrong with her.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Anyway, Annie understood what I was telling her and then we started talking about how my sister and I share a birthday. "Like Twins!!" she said (because nothing is more exciting than the concept of being a twin when you are six and female).
I said that yes, like twins we have the same birthday but that she is two years older than me.
Then Annie blew my mind. "So she is thirtyyyyyy one," she said.
I know she knows how old I am. I know she can add two or count up two or whatever she did. I did not know she would have the processes in place to take those two things and put them together to get to the point.
I was floored at how fast she just put it all together.
For fun, here's a video of her at the birthday party. I love that she has friends with rich parents. These parties start at $105.
The downside is now she wants her party here next year. Saving my pennies...
Friday, March 13, 2009
And because so much of their food was falling back OUT of their mouths it was somehow a merging of these animals with Cookie Monster.
(If I had excellent photo editing skills I would have a better visual. Actually, if I had thought ahead and taken a picture with my cell phone... well, I couldn't do that very discreetly, could I?)
I started looking around the room. What I noticed is this: All the people in the room are low income. They have to be to participate in Head Start/ECEAP. But some of us take showers every day, brush our hair, wear clothes that fit, and present ourselves well. And some of us don't. Those who are hygenically minded also chew with their mouths shut.
After dinner the kids got to do activities in one room (brought by Palouse Discovery Science Center peoples) while the parents went to another room to listen to the connection between science and literacy (the star of the night)(unless you were sitting at our table).
We were treated to a woman from the science center, who had a fantastically authentic sciencey accent (Brittish? Australian?), read us a story called "Owl Moon". Then she talked about the details in the pictures and how the narrator (a child) was noticing all kinds of details. In science we call this observing and so here's a great way to read books with your kids, blah, blah, blah.
Somehow the subject got around to her and her kids and how they like to go for walks on Saturday afternoons and find owl pellets. In case you don't know, those are the balls of fur and bones and stuff owls "up chuck" after eating the mice and other nummies in the night. She told us how to tell the difference between pellets and poo. Then she explained her kids get to find them and then she picks them up with gloves on. Later the kids get to dissect them (we did this in fifth grade, whole other side track) to find the mouse bones and other such fun things but she made sure to explain that she sterilizes them first.
The less science minded mommies in the room (and Aiden) were all shuddering and quietly gagging at the thought of all this. One dad asked how she sterilizes the pellets. Her answer was 200 degrees for an hour.
"I save them up in a bag and then when I am heating the oven to make cookies or something I'll just pop those in first," she explained.
This did very little to calm down the gagging mommies (and daddies, including Aiden. Although Aiden was giggling with me about it. He puts on such a brave science face for my benefit. Or maybe he thinks I will mock him. either way.) . In fact, I think the collective gasp and groan was a good sign it was time to draw for more door prizes.
They had several really good door prizes and they had a bunch of crap that Bank of America had donated. We won a Bank of America On Campus t-shirt with a HUGE laundry bag (that says Bank of America), and a Bank of America travel mug. The mug is sitting in the sink until we decide if it's trash or not (it's actually nice-ish. Metal insides) but the rest of the prize went straight to the trash.
What we did not win? One of TWO hotel room stays at La Quinta and Holiday Inn, various packages of kitchen goodies, or an honest to goodness Cougar Helmet worth three hundred big ones. and I don't mean laundry bags.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I'm so glad Aiden bought a book light and we (I!!) found the iPod.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The problem with getting espresso anywhere anymore is that EV-ER-Y-ONE is using automated espresso machines.
I'm sure you're all yawning at the thought of me going on some coffee geek rant about the right way to make espresso. Well too bad! I'm irritated, so I'm ranting!
When I worked at the Green Machine (a.k.a. Starbucks) only a few of the very busiest stores has automated espresso machines. Unfortunately, there is no coffee making art in automated espresso.
For example, steaming milk. Granted the baristas still have to hold the pitcher, but most of them are too lazy to do the job right. The trick is to not only heat up the milk, but also create a trillion tiny little air bubbles that explode yummy coffeeness in your mouth when you take a sip. But the baristas, they do not care.
Also, pulling espresso (the phrase used for the act of putting water through the espresso beans). There actually is about a 4 second window in which the espresso goes from good to bad really quickly. Let the water run through the espresso too fast and you get a watered-down flavor; too slow and it tastes burnt. The automated machine is supposed to be checked a couple times a day with a stop watch, but from the taste of my recent beverages, it is not.
So, alas, I suppose I am destined to bad coffee. Or I have to move to Europe. Where they still "pull" their espresso by hand. Did I mention good coffee is an art? The people who can pull espresso by hand are like the Monets of coffee.
I'll just adopt Holly's coffee drinking policy to get by I suppose. She adds enough stuff to her coffee because she doesn't want to actually taste the coffee.
See the pretty hand-pulled espresso machine:
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
People kept coming in and going out and the door kept shutting pretty hard.
"I'm so glad this door shuts so loud!" he said, totally straight faced.
Aiden and I started cracking up.
"Where'd he learn to use so much sarcasm?" Aiden wondered.
"Mostly from Mom" came from Alex at the same time Aiden said, "Certainly not from me!"
I was trying to be indignant but was only half right. Aiden is equally responsible. But then
Alex said, "maybe I got it from my dad."
Aiden snarkily said to me (and of course Alex heard him),"your dad is just now getting his sense of humor back. You didn't learn it from him."
Alex answered with a "yeah, he is getting it back but he never uses it!"
I love that kid.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
I don't think this blog is what THOSE googlers (just sounds risque anyway) were after.