Saturday, May 30, 2009
Annie was the only one with sap all over herself but Ashley saw the peanut butter coming forth from the pantry and her eyes lit up.
"Can I have peanut butter on a spoon!?!?" she wanted to know.
When she found out I was only putting it on hands of people who were sappy (ha!) she changed her mind and informed me she was, in fact, sap covered as well.
Both of them had to be drug to the bathroom sink and have their hands washed for them to get the peanut butter off. Apparently it's more fun than Play-Doh.
Annie was so happy about the whole thing she ended up flapping and clapping her peanut butter into little globs of wall decorations. And ceiling. And shower curtain. And mirror... you get it.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I know I wear tank tops and thus expose you people to the fat that is my upper arms. But at least I shave all the appropriate areas to wear capris and tank tops. You are welcome.
Today, I saw the strangest thing.
First, it was just a really run down new-ish blue minivan from Idaho (oh, the first problem).
It finally parked and this person took a really long time getting all of their stuff together to exit the vehicle.
Having finally emerged I was able to note it was a man in his mid to late thirties carrying one of those GIGANTIC plastic soda mugs, a laptop bag (sans laptop), and a take out bag from Ivars. I think it was Ivars anyway, I couldn't really see it.
The man was wearing a self made tank top... you know, where they rip off the sleeves themselves so their old t-shirts which are full of holes can live another season? The holes are never in the sleeves though.
I was waiting for Aiden and the kids to come pick me up so I watched this man walk past me. Then I noticed it; he was smuggling squirrels in the back of his shirt!
Or was it a chinchilla?
Maybe it was a black lab. But they have short hair, don't they?
Whatever it was, it was covered in long, black, THICK hair that came up out of the back of his shirt like a really confused pompadour.
I'm still not sure what he was smuggling but I can assure you it was dead as it was not moving at all.
How he wasn't being tickled by his own back hair (if that's really what it was) is beyond me.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
First, Love is in the air...
Then Ashley was pacing a bird trying to give it a graham goldfish cracker. She walked slowly with her arm out towards it. The bird kept just 2 fence posts ahead of her walking. This is her still convinced she could get that bird...
...and giving up.
Today we went to a birthday party at the park. It was early enough that the really hot weather hadn't hit yet and we had so much fun! Thanks for the invitation, Christa!
Alex and his *friend*...
The tree we hung out under. I thought it was a good picture and was just goofing around.
My climbing monkey, Ashley.
And a climbing monkey, Alex.
Annie kept trying to climb but had little success. Maybe she's too chicken,
Or maybe it's the over-the-handle-bars-face-dive she did yesterday making her nervous.
She was sad until this lady came by with her dogs.
Ashley got in on it, too.
Alex spent a lot of time in the tree.
Annie got whiny so I had her pick "flowers" (it's a fight in our house that they are weeds so we don't bring them inside but they are very much flowers to Ashley who cannot think of anything so great as free YELLOW flowers she's allowed to pick and bring to Mom as much as she wants!).
After that we were hot so we ran a few errands which included buying a mister from ACE. Best $12 I ever spent. I thought about it last year but didn't get one. Oh, man! I'm so glad we did it.
The kids spent the rest of the day in the pools with Amy's kids, in the sprinkler, and playing water guns. And the grown ups? We sat in chairs and enjoyed the mist.
Annie had her kindergarten program last Wednesday night. It was so much fun! The first graders sang first and did a good job. Then the kids we were there to see got up.
Our section of the front rows was full of the four of us to watch her, our landlord's husband with 2 of their kids (one in the show and one at the doctor's with Mom), and Amy, James, and two of their kids (TWO of theirs in the show!).
It was our own little Northwood Manor cheering section.
Annie had been practicing all the songs at home and in the car and everywhere we went so she knew all the words and we could hear her above the rest of them at some times.
Good job, Annie! It was great and you were beautiful!!
I'm taking two classes this summer; one is not ever going to be mentioned on here and the other is Parent Child Relations.
Last semester I had to take a class about how kids develop from conception to age 8. Alex is turning 9 next month so I kind of felt like I was cheating by being in the class. How many issues of Parents magazine have I read? How many hours have I dealt with it exactly? Yeah...
So I kind of feel that way this semester, too. I have, despite all evidence to the contrary, read a lot of research (even before the great Major change) on parenting and the long term effects it can have on the kids.
But I LOVE going to this class. There are only 20 or so people, including the teacher, in the room. Of those, 3 of us are parents and one is a boy. The professor is one I have had before and she knows I am not quiet in discussion based classes. And she knows I have kids. She asks my input as much as I offer it without her asking.
In short, the people in my class know I a LOT about what kind of parenting I do. I'm honest about it, for the sake of the class... it's like therapy.
For example, yesterday we were talking about 2-5 year olds and that included tantrums. Our teacher explained how you should redirect a tantrum thrower so they will forget their fit and be done.
I said we had moved on to applaud Ashley's tantrums. "Good Job!!! Oh, look, she kicked the wall!!" All with extreme pleasure and clapping.
It startles them, shocks them, whatever in to stopping the fit. They aren't getting their reaction they were after so they give up. Eventually.
I throw in my juicy nuggets of future helpfulness anytime I can.
Some of the girls told me yesterday they are going to be calling me in a few year with "how did you handle this situation?!?"
Maybe they should wait and see how my kids turn out, first.
Friday, May 22, 2009
In the last week we have had BBQ'd hamburgers, hotdogs, and/or chicken 6 times for lunch or dinner. Or both.
Corn on the cob is less than 4 for a buck
The kids are staying out later, bedtime's pushed back, and the bikes are once again racing around the parking lot while their riders listen for parents to yell "CAR" so they'll pull over.
I love it.
Three more months of awesomeness!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
There's even a section which specifies that you MAY NOT place indoor furniture out of doors with the intent to leave it there. No couches on the porch for us! Even in privately owned homes. Clearly it was a problem at some point for them to feel the need to address it in city code.
Then, there it was; the parking regulations. It goes through the specifics on how long, in hours, you can leave a vehicle parked on the side of a city street. It discusses the short (read: NO) notice given for snow removal and de-icing.
- Electrical boxes should have covers over the wires.
- If you use an outdoor electrical outlet or switch it should not spark or shock you.
- The support walls and posts should be plumb and straight.
- A door should separate the kitchen from the toilet room. (I'm serious)
- All apartments are required to have a door opening into a hallway or the outside.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
This is her with Miss Alyssa, her teacher.
In her "graduation" cap.Annie getting her face painted. The girls got stuck waiting for a friend to finish messing with the boards.THIS is the acclaimed CJ of many a twinkle in Ashley's eye. She's got good taste, huh?HE is less than thrilled about all the PDA. (Maybe they HAVEN'T been kissing!)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Except the kids.
I am not normally a complainer who will do more than just whine to anyone who will listen but it was SO bad. The entire semester included a grand total of ZERO teaching. And we got out 40 minutes early every time. Which left just enough time of class for us to do some pointless impromptu speech on topics like "should Micheal Phelps be fired from his endorsements with your ficticious company or should we hire him because of his pot smoking?".
This is NOT what they use.
Janel showed Annie the tool to take out the staple, Annie was brave.
Janel went to get Dr. Mike, Annie was brave.
Dr. Mike came in the room, Annie was NOT brave.
We both reminded her that she was brave up until now. Dr. Mike said "I did not lie when the staple when in. I told you it would pinch. I am not going to lie now. It WILL NOT HURT."
It was great. He counted "1,2,3" and it popped right out. He showed it to her, talked about what it looked like in her head, how the whole thing worked.
There was no threat or suspicioun of murder on this trip; she said "Thanks, Dr. Mike!" and bounced out of the office.
I'm so glad we have such a great doctor for the kids. And if anyone is asking, I highly recommend the use of a pediatrician for kids (vs going to the grown up doctors). They are just better prepared and make it less scary and maybe even a little fun or interesting.
When my kids graduate medical school, I will be sending thank you notes to all our pediatricians along the way.
And the nurses.
Because she's a good person.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Get up now Get up now Get up out of bed
Wash your face Brush your teeth Comb your sleepy head Here's your clothes And your shoes
Hear the words I said Get up now Get up and make your bed Are you hot? Are you cold? Are you wearing that?
Where's your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat
Don't forget you got to feed the cat
Eat your breakfast
The experts tell us it's the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at three today?
The bus is here
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside Don't play rough Would you just play fair?
Be polite Make a friend Don't forget to share
Work it out Wait your turn Never take a dare
Get along Don't make me come down there
Clean your room Fold your clothes Put your stuff away
Make your bed Do it now Do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay
Can you even hear a word I say?
Answer the phone
Get Off the phone
Don't sit so close
Turn it down
No texting at the table
No more computer time tonight
Saying thank you, please, excuse me
Makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You'll appreciate my wisdom
Someday when you're older and you're grown
Can't wait 'til you have a couple little children of your own
You'll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right nowI thank you NOT to roll your eyes at me
Close your mouth when you chew
Take a bite
Of the stuff you hate
Use your fork
Do not you burp
Or I'll set you straight
Eat the food I put upon your plate
Get an A,
Get the door
Don't get smart with me
Get a Grip
Get in here I'll count to 3
Get a job
Get a life
Get a PhD
Get a dose of...I don't care who started it
You're grounded until your 36
Get your story straight
And tell the truth for once for heaven's sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff
You're too old to act this way
It must be your father's DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straight when you walk
A place for everything
And everything must be in place
Stop crying or I'll give you something real to cry about
Oh! Brush your teeth
Wash your face
Get your PJs on
Get in bed
Get a hug
Say a prayer with Mom
Don't forget I love you
And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom's work never ends
You don't need the reason why
Because Because Because Because
I said so I said so I said so I said so
I'm the MomThe momThe momThe momThe mom
Words by Anita Renfroe Copyright 2007 Bluebonnet Hills Music/BMI
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Hooked on a Feelin' by Blue Swede
Coconut by Harry Nilsson
Fool For Love by Sandy Rogers
Boot Scootin' Boogie by Brooks and Dunn
The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens
Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend from the Moulin Rouge Sountrack
(sorry the speaking is French, it's the best copy I could find)(and NO, I don't let them watch the movie)
All That Jazz from the Chicago Soundtrack
The intro is cut off this video.. which is wrong because it's Annie's favorite. She gets to the first blast of the brass section and goes nuts with dancing. And No, they don't know what it's all about. Nor have they seen the movie. Sheesh!
IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS by BNL
Dancin' Queen by Abba
And today we introduced them to MMMBOP by Hanson.
Sadly, I cannot put the video in here because I couldn't find a good copy that would let me. (keep all those comments to yourself about how there IS no good copy of that song).
They could not believe it was a BOY singing it.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Because I am nice, I let Brandon get them for the weekend so his mom's 'thing' would go well.
And Annie has fifth disease. Let me quickly explain: fifth disease is basically a cold with a rash. This makes everyone ask what is wrong with her. In fact, Annie hasn't even had a freakin' cold; just the rash. Her doctor (and the 9 zillion websites I looked at) said kids are only contagious while they are incubating this virus. Once the rash shows up, no more problem (except the questions start).
Fifth disease is caused by human parovirus B19. This is known to cause a small risk (10%) of miscarriage in women who are in their first trimester. Like Morgan.
Yeah. Here we go:
Because I am dumb I called Brandon (at noon) to let him know everything was fine, the pediatrician said there's no potential problem, Annie and Morgan are both good to go.
At 4, as we were halfway to Spokane, Brandon called and said he can't believe I didn't tell him about this before (um, does TUESDAY not count as "before"!?!) and that if anything happens to the baby that he is going to 'destroy' me.
I informed him I had checked everything on our end and that I refuse to accept responsibility for the baby in his girlfriend's uterus.
"because you refuse responsibility for anything," he said,"but that's okay."
I hung up.
It went on like this:
I had called Annie's doctor, got the all clear.
Morgan called her ob/gyn, got the red flag.
Morgan called Annie's doctor, got the all clear.
Morgan decided let's still see the kids and I'll wash my hands a lot.
Brandon called Morgan's ob/gyn, got the red flag, told them what Annie's doctor said and got "well, it all depends on how much risk you want to take". THEN (and only then if I got my facts right) he told the ob/gyn that she has already had the rash for 5 days.
Y'know how if you call the ER and want advice as to whether to come in or not and they will NEVER tell you you're fine? Because they don't want to be wrong and end up being sued?
OB/GYNs do the same thing! If they had said "well, yeah, you're being a dumbass and really this is NOTHING to worry about" and then something did happen, Brandon would totally sue them. So they can't say that.
And I get that maybe the other two are in the 4-14 day incubation period. EXCEPT, they were at Brandon and Morgan's 2 weeks ago (strangely fits in the incubation period, huh?). So she's already been exposed by Annie from then.
Anyway, while we took the kids to Laura's (his mom), let her make them dinner, Brandon decided the whole thing was off. They were not going to see Annie or the other two, and he could not come down to get see them while leaving her in Spokane. If he had come to see them, he might carry the noncontagious virus back to Morgan.
I feel like Rachel to his Ross in this clip: In case you don't know/remember, Ross was scaring the girls through the whole episode trying to get them to learn the art of "unagi".
I sarcastically pointed out that they better not stay at Laura's house because the kids were in the house for 1 hour and maybe that's enough for the danger to strike. She'd better not hug Morgan or Brandon, just in case. "you're right. Thanks for thinking of it," was his reply. OMG, it's missing my sarcasm!
So they drove to Laura's, dropped off presents, and left. But they wouldn't come by her house unless we took the kids somewhere else while they did their exchange of stuff.
And long story short, the kids are at Laura's house for the weekend their dad screwed up.
**** In case you want to know Brandon's version of what fifth disease is, his mom was on the phone with a friend trying to get more info so she could try to convince Brandon his was stupid about it. Her friend asked what is fifth disease and Laura said it's something like a cross between small pox and the measles.
WTF?!?! Apparently this is what you get as 'knowledge' when you listen to Rational Brandon's version of life.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Occasionally Annie will come running down the hall and ask if she can play the record.
"But you always let me," she'll protest.
Really? I always let you play the records? No, I don't. And so Aiden doesn't get mad at me, please stop saying I do. Some of those are expensive!
Finally we remember she means "keyboard". Oh...!
Well, no. Normally, yes. But this "record" conversation has given me a headache that will be made worse by you playing the keyboard demo song over and over and over again. (It's one of those songs you played in Jr. High band.. Mac the Knife or some such thing.)(not Mac the Knife but I can't think of it right now)
Another word she cannot get right? For anything?
As in, Mom, my bear has a hole in it. Can you knit it?
Um, I don't knit. Do you mean SEW?
There are some very old women who talk like this. Trust me, I met all of them through my years in customer service. They all manage to use the wrong words for the important piece of the sentence. It's always in the neighborhood of the word they meant but just off enough that it's really confusing.
Like, did you see that episode of FRIENDS where Joey writes his recommendation letter for Monica and Chandler? He gets intimate with a thesaurus.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Our friend Amy, mom of 4 boys, ages 6 and under, brought her back an hour later. In her wagon. With a lot of crying all the way from her house to ours.
With apologies running out of her mouth she told us Annie had been playing with the boys and some rope thing they had set up. As Annie went swinging around she whacked her head into some wood thing. "And she has a head wound right... here" Amy told me.
Since Annie tends to play it up, I was expecting a small scratch-ish thing.
I was unprepared. I should have known better since Amy is a mom of four boys and normally tells kids to shake it off.
I tried to see the wound but I got as far as the matting of bloody hair with more blood pouring out (we've all seen head wounds) and went for my purse.
I called the pediatrician's office and they said we could come right in.
We sat in the waiting room for only a couple of minutes and were taken to the exam room set up for emergencies. It's also the place they store samples so there's a fridge. It's also the place they sterilize stuff, so there's all that equipment. It's also the place their full sharps containers go, so there was 2 of those HUGE containers, full to the top, sitting on the counter.
That did not put Annie at ease.
The nurse had to wash the whole area. This left a good amount of bloody gauze and bloody water. Luckily, the owie is on the back of her head so she could not see all of this.
Doctor Mike, I loooove Dr. Mike!, came in and took a look. He told us it was definitely 'gaping' but not so much that we had to do anything about it. So we had two choices: leave it alone since the scar that would result will hide under hair all her life, or staple it shut.
Telling a kindergartner that you are going to staple them shut is NOT the way to calm their worries.
She started screaming before we even got done talking about it.
After some discussion, we decided to go ahead and staple her head.
And the screaming was cranked up a notch.
Dr. Mike got the stuff he'd need (from that cupboard right in the very room we were in, to Annie's horror), and got in place.
He told us it would just feel like a little pinch and that even kids who need 5 of them are often left asking if that's it when he's done.
I think that's what he said anyway. I couldn't really hear over the Annie wailing.
She does have a flair for the dramatic. When she stopped full out screaming in screech tones, she moved on to "HE'S GONNA KILL ME! DR. MIKE'S GONNA KILL ME!!"
The staple went in. Annie had been taking a breath as it happened and it took her a couple of beats to realize it was over. 'IT'S POKING MY BRAIN!!" She was sure of it.
When the whole thing was over she took her sweet time calming down. As we got up to leave we said thank you to Dr. Mike.
I told Annie to say thank you also.
"Thanks for not killing me, Dr. Mike," she muttered.
We get to go back in a week to have it taken out, that one little staple.
Annie's sure they said one year and not one week.
(Next Wednesday will be so much fun!)
On the way home, she was not crying but not happy, either. We could have bought her a puppy and she would not have smiled, a fine and pleasant misery it was.
When we got home and collected Alex and Ashley from Amy's house (yep! the Amy who was in the beginning of this story) Annie informed them "they had a choice between number one and number two. And they chose number two: staple my head".
They were both sufficiently impressed and curious about the whole thing.
Really, I feel awful for her. She was just at the doctor's yesterday to get diagnosed with fifth disease. While it's not harmful or even quarantine worthy, all the kids in her class, the teacher, and the school nurse would not stop asking about it.
She has informed me she will NOT be telling anyone about the staple in her head.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
In the beginning there were the mothers. (The fathers were also there but they often had to go out and do some hunting and gathering so the mothers were left alone with the screaming things they earned their title with.)
The mothers carried the screaming things and learned to appease them with rocking, singing, food, diaper changes, and by never EVER putting them down. Even for a second.
The mothers forgot that bathrooms had doors. Except that one time when they, in sleep deprived zombie mode, closed it. The pounding and crying which ensued was enough to remind the mothers never to do that again.
The mothers got up in the middle of the night for more appeasing attempts. They lost sleep and energy. Their huts were completely disorganized as were their thoughts (if they had any at all)(which they might have if they had gotten some sleep).
The mothers sat up listening for sounds of breathing on the screaming things' monitor and worried over every sniffle, sneeze, and cough. They were on a first name basis with the witch doctor who specialized in screaming things and they had the number on their speed dial.
Through all this, and more, the mothers loved the screaming things and called them babies.
And the babies loved the mothers.
As time marched forward many things changed. Banks realized the stay at home mothers did not want to have to unload all the accouterments just to make a deposit.
Viola! Drive thru banking!
Some mothers were not about to deal with washing all those diapers.
Two solutions: diaper service and Pampers (Oh, God Bless Pampers!).
The mothers even banded together and demanded (and got) portable battery operated swings.
Little tricks were learned and the mothers shared these hard won insights with each other. Being the mother became a little bit easier.
One thing, however did not change and that was the fierce love the mothers carried for each of their babies. (They are still babies even if the 'baby' in question is 45).
The mommies knew this was their calling. They knew they were put on this earth solely to love those little screaming babies as much as they could.
But they just wanted 1 hour so they could take a nap.
Not really much to ask for.
So someone decided the mothers should get that nap.
Once a year.
And after many millennium of sleep deprivation, the mothers got their nap day; we call it Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms I know and love.
And especially to my mom. She is the mother of all mothers. She is my hero, my best friend, and my mom.
Monday, May 04, 2009
"Did you know," I asked him,"that there is a whole line of study done on what colors mean to people?"
I was actually kind of surprised that he didn't know.
So I went on: "White means purity, yellow is friendship, red is sexy. Think of that famous Marilyn Monroe picture. It's all red lips, yellow hair, and white dress. People like her because she's sexy, pure, and friendly."
I know people like her for more than that, but it's all contrived. Every stupid thing every celebrity wears, colors of dental office walls, everything is predicated on what the color says. .
Today we had to run to Wal-Mart. We noticed that it must be "trailer park, geriatric, and young businessmen with no secretaries" day.
On the way out, I spotted a very old woman heading in. She was wearing a denim skirt, a white gramma blouse (yes, that's the only way to describe it, no I don't say "blouse" unless I must). Over all of it she had on a bright red cardigan.
"See?!" I told Aiden "You look at her and all you can think is sexy. It's the red sweater".
"Oh yeah" he replied. "Sexy is the ONLY word that came to mind."
Still, it's a real study.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
We took the kids to the museum on campus this morning. There's a lot of animals and some skeletons and stuff (and it's free!). The girls had both been before but it was new for Alex. And since he's very science minded, he loved it.
We got done and went to Pizza Hut for lunch. (I love it when we can save up Book It certificates and eat for the cost of drinks!)
When we got home I took the kiddos outside for some running around time.
And then I noticed the wind. And how cold it was. There was another mommy out before us and since she was still out, I couldn't wimp out that quickly.
And then the rain started. And we both wimped out.
One of the neighbor kids wanted to come play which brought us to 4 kids and 1 adult (Aiden was resting his painful shoulder).
I decided the girls and I could play Sorry! while the boys played in Alex's room. But the boys wanted to play, too. So Ashley and I were on a team.
If you'll remember, Sorry!, when played with multiple kids (especially mine!) goes on FOR-EV-ER.
And since it was an hour and a half into one game before Brady decided he'd had enough and suddenly had to go home, I was starting to be bothered by my eye twitch that had started.
Here's the thing: Alex is a constant source of humming, singing, whistling, and general noise. And he was playing with his Bakugan he'd brought to the table. So his focus was somewhere else.
Annie was humming, singing, whistling, and standing next to her chair while she tipped it up and back to the floor over and over again.
Ashley, who has spent the most time with Aiden, wouldn't stop cleaning up the stack of discarded cards. Unfortunately, she's 4 so she kept fixing the one stack and knocking over the other one. And moving them further and further apart. Plus, we were on a team so I could help her strategize. This meant I had to convince her yes we could use that card (after the first unusable Sorry! card is played, we lose focus) and which guy we should use it with.
Brady also had a Bakugan with him (which he broke and Alex spent half the game fixing between turns). But the part that would drive me nuts was the part where he'd reach for his card before the turn before him was done (or really even started). And the part where he'd pick up his card and hold it, then set it on the table in front of him, take his turn, and have to be reminded EVERY SINGLE TIME to put his card back in the discard pile.
Ho-ly cow. That's all I have to say.
Friday, May 01, 2009
As the world is dealing with Swine Flu, we've been celebrating the fact that we don't get a lot of travelers through Pullman.
The problem is I forgot all about graduation.
WSU, it turns out, did not.
They have issued two emails today. The first one was this page.
The other was a reminder about that page.
So while I'm happy for all these people who get to be done with school, and I'm happy their parents can come to the ceremony, I'm NOT happy to realize we're about to be infiltrated with Swine Flu potential carriers.
So much for being safely off the beaten path.
***If you follow the link, be sure to note that you can follow the school on Twitter. Seriously.