Monday, July 27, 2009

Nothing good to say as the kids have been gone. Just hanging around and missing them. A lot. We are boring people without them to hug and kiss!

Monday, July 20, 2009

We Have Tomatoes!!!

After weeks of not even getting these,

We have bona fide tomatoes!! Look how beautiful they are!
Of the four tomato plants, there are tomatoes on all but one. Poor Mr. Stripey still hasn't made a tomato. He's made and lost several buds but no fruit. Don't you worry, though. We'll get him.

We also are going bell peppers. They are not my favorite but have you ever seen a pepper look so freaking cute? I'd never seen one grow so I keep watching it turn from the bud into the pepper. It's really interesting. Anyway, here's the picture:

And the peas. I love the peas because they were the first thing to grow and keep getting bigger every single day. They are covered with these beautiful flowers. (Okay, not as covered as I would like but still, they are pretty)

And I just cannot get over the tendrils. I hung up string but they are outgrowing it. I'm going to have to get some chicken wire to put out for them to climb. But they hold on so tight! I love looking at the peas.

Yesterday we went out to water the garden and there were peas all over the place! They literally just grew over night. We were babysitting for Goretti so her boys helped us eat all the ones we picked and were seriously eyeballing the ones I decided to leave and let grow.
We have officially enjoyed the first product of our gardening work.
And the kids, they are jealous they weren't here for it. But I assured them, this stuff won't just stop growing before they get back. And then there'll be tomatoes to pick and corn coming out our ears!! (pun intended)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What am I doing?

So I changed majors from Pre-Dentistry/Zoology to Human Development/Early Childhood Development. This was so I can teach kindergarten, or any grade under 3rd.

Lately I have been told by several people that Aiden and I should look into opening a preschool. Both of us would love to do that.

Any thoughts would be great! Leave them in the comments section, please!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Update on the garden

Our garden is getting so big. I'm kind of proud of the plants still being alive. Except the cucumbers. Both of them died. One was a sad and painful death that kept tricking us into thinking it would come back... by the time we ripped the dead plant out of the ground there was absolutely NO roots on it at all. Oops.
But the corn is doing well, the tomatoes are growing and getting buds and then losing buds and then getting more. Evidently I am over watering them but I can't seem to stop myself. Plus, they are right next to the peas which seem to be happy as all get-out with the amount of water they are getting. So we'll see if I can ever get it right.I just love how the tendrils looks.

I guess someone felt bad for us having dead cucumbers since this morning we went out to find a new tomato plant sitting in our plot. This one has NOT suffered from over watering so maybe we'll actually get tomatoes from it! It'll be the only one.

Wordless Wednesday



(I still need to find and upload the picture of Val and I. Mom, if you have it, or Val, if you find it, would you please scan it and send it to me? I don't know where my copy is and I want to frame them side by side.)

Beauty and Brawn

Yesterday we babysat Samantha. She lives with her dad and that's it. She doesn't get a lot of GIRLY time so we decided to play "Beauty Shop". This begins with a lotion I have, which has glitter in it, for arms, necks, face, and shoulders if you're Ashley (since she was in a tank top). Then there was hair curling by Mr. Aiden (because I have NO patience to curl Annie's hair which is thick and will not hold curl). After that we did make up including 3 different colors of eye shadow for each girl, applied using a Q-tip for accuracy (and less germ swapping). Then we painted their nails. All 20 of them. Each. It was a lot of nail painting.
They decided they wanted to have ladybug fingernails and reverse ladybug toenails. Actually, they wanted ladybug toes, too, but I have no polish remover right now and Annie's toes were already black so everyone else got to change. It turned out really cute!

They were pretty dang pleased with the outcome, and the Otter Pop. Samantha doesn't get girly at all so after we were done she whispered to me, "this is the best day of my life".

THEN Ashley was playing on the new playground with a bunch of other kids. All day long they had been doing this game about giving each other boosts down the slide. Or up the climbing wall right next to the slide. At one point one of Goretti's kids tried to break his back going off one side of the slide. He landed on his back on a board that sticks out under the slide.
Then Ashley went over the other side (with a boost from Annie) and broke her face on the climbing wall. It was awesome. I was helping get Goretti's family back in their house (Santo had been sleeping on me) when I heard Ashley start crying. Aiden went racing to her rescue. By the time he got to her she had blood all over her face. Both of their shirts ended up with blood on them. She has a swollen lip, blood blister in her mandibular frenum (look it up), what will probably be two black eyes, and a banged up forehead.
My poor slugger.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Music calms the savage MONKEYS

These are our two favorite bedtime songs. The Pony Man is a Gordon Lightfoot song but the best video I could find on youtube is these two guys doing a cover. But you get the idea.

Water Balloons

While we were waiting for a large thunderstorm to arrive on Sunday, Goretti brought out some water balloons and we let the kids go at each other with them.

Mostly they wanted to attack Darrin, the only adult dumb enough to get in the section of grass the kids had been banished to with said balloons. Which ended up making Darrin the hero of all the other adults who didn't want to go over and supervise the fight. We were trying to make it fair between the 9 year old and the 3 year old and everyone in between. I love the look of sheer joy on Ashley's face.
As we were filling up the balloons, there was a misunderstanding which led to this picture. Maybe someone should remember who has the hose before she tries to empty a water balloon on someone next time. hmmmm?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What We Did with NO PLAYGROUND

While waiting for the awesome men to build the playground (we couldn't help due to liability, I guess) we played Transformers and Little People for a LOT of the day Saturday.
There is a good amount of kids in this complex so we shared our toys with everyone who cared to come out and play. Heaven knows we have more than enough Little People to go around!
Santiago must be in that age where trains are the coolest thing ever. Especially this Little People one that can be set to go around, pull the cart, and come back to you! It really just does a circle but Santo played with that thing for HOURS! When we finally made it go straight for him today he took it really far down the sidewalk. Who knows how many times the button on that thing has been activated by him this weekend, but I am tempted to give it to him. Except I still love Little People. We played them A LOT when we were kids.

The boredom eventually took over and even Aiden was hit. He was showing off his Little People girl with the bird seed. OOOOkaaaaayyy, Aiden. (clap for him so he's not embarrassed!)

Little People, though, can only hold your attention for so long in one day. The kids abandoned the toys for something more fun. I don't remember what it was, probably Popsicles or "water pops". Either way, the carnage left behind was entertaining to us.

After I took this picture I realized the plane looks like it dumped all the people out of it before it crashed into the city. Fear not, no one was hurt in the making of this photo.

We got a new Playground

Since the playground that was here was 11 years old (and to celebrate the neighbors from hell moving, at least in my mind), Christa talked her boss into letting us get a new one. It was on order for a few weeks (or so) and arrived on Friday. The old one was being taken to her house as a perk for doing such a great job but the new one was not going to be built until the middle of next week.
I don't know what exactly caused these great guys (and daddies!) of the complex to volunteer their time but they are both maintenance workers for the complex and spent Friday evening starting to build. They worked so late they ended up working by headlight from one of their's cars. They worked on it again most of the day Saturday again ending in a headlight work zone. Late last night the last screw went in and the kids of the complex awoke to the completed project. Except the swings which are on order, from what I'm told.

Thanks for putting it up guys! There are cookies in your futures for saving all the mommies from dealing with a week of no playground.

Here deleted by request, along with photo... and Daniel are putting it up on Saturday. When they had to break for lunch (or something) the kids could NOT wait to get at it. The problem is the slide wasn't up so there was a big gaping hole on the back side. This was all they got for Saturday.They christened it this morning by playing pirate ship and house and making up clubs for the clubhouse. It was welcome by all.Alex had to take a break in all the enjoyment and reflect, I guess.

And Amadeo was just a nut ball, as usual.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ashley is singing again!

The video is sideways, I know. But she was singing in the bath this morning. Watch all the way to the end. When she realizes she's being watched, she just reacts in such an Ashley style.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I was SO mad... How Mad was I? Read on.

This is an email I sent to the communication department at the end of my worthless public speaking class. I don't really know why I am putting it out here but I am. So there.

By the way, I ended up with an A in the class.

Dean of the Communication Department,

I have just finished Com St 102, Section ** with Gail Miller as the instructor. I have some concerns I would like to voice regarding this class. We were scheduled to meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:25 to 2:40. Class regularly was released by 2:10. Normally this is not something to complain about however there was no teaching during the time we were in class.

Ms. Miller would have the students who were present sign in for attendance and then assign an impromptu speech topic. Each student would give their short speech on topics such as "convince us why you should get the winning lotto ticket we all found in here" or "using descriptive words, tell us about an experience at a job you have had" and she would give us feedback. The feedback was generally one of 3 or 4 suggestions like "more eye contact" or "don't move around so much".
While I can understand how these assignments would tie in to a good lesson plan, I do not think they can convey the material without a lecture. Our schedule would say we were to discuss certain subjects but without fail our class time would be spent performing inane impromptu speeches with no real benefit to learning.

In our syllabus we were assigned chapters of the book to read and given five quizzes throughout the semester. At the beginning of the schedule in the syllabus we are warned that "we will not cover all material in class, but you are responsible for having read it/ asking questions if any". I fail to see where there was any material covered in class which I'm quite sure is not a true reflection of the meaning of that statement.

Speaking of our syllabus, Ms. Miller does not know what is in it. I had the flu and was ordered by my doctor to stay out of school and any other public place as much as possible for the week. This led to my missing a scheduled quiz. I emailed Ms. Miller at the beginning of the week to let her know what was going on and asked when I should make up the quiz. She informed me that as per the syllabus, I could not make up the quiz. When I pointed out to her that the syllabus says "Generally, makeup quizzes will not be given" and argued that this should fall into that exception, she was genuinely surprised to hear about this 'loop hole'.

Our class took the final exam today, as scheduled. The material on the test was material none of us had ever heard of. It was in the reading we were assigned but never was it even uttered in class. Things about Monroe's motivated sequence... I had to ask my husband, who was a TA at Spokane Community College for a speech class, what it was as I had never heard of it. I fully resent being tested in such a hypocritical fashion; I would think it only fair to test students according to the teaching which has occurred.

My biggest complaint is that I paid so much money for this class and learned absolutely nothing. I do not feel that I have improved in my abilities as a public speaker in any amount. I think the most that I learned is that I can very comfortably get up and speak in front of the students which made up that section. I am not a student who is failing this class and looking to shift the blame; I expect to receive an A-, at the very lowest, from this class.

In order to save future students from this situation again, I would hope these issues might be brought to the appropriate people's attention and dealt with. If any further information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much for your time,

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

In which I am amazed by my kids' random knowledge

We keep having game night with Goretti and Darrin (and Salma) on Saturday nights. The game of late is Cranium and the kids have been hounding us to let them play it with us. But I'm SO not up for sitting through that much fun. Remember Sorry? I still do.

So because playing games with the kids is so much fun we decided to get Alex a copy of Trivial Pursuit Junior for his birthday present. We went to Wal-Mart the weekend before the big day and searched for it.


So we went to Shopko. Nope, again.

Since that sufficiently exhausted our choice of stores around here that might have it, I turned to I found an edition for 10 bucks that is not the most current but still current enough to be fun. And the price was way the heck better than the newest edition.

It finally came on Monday so Tuesday we busted it out and played. Annie and Ashley got to team up with me and Aiden since we thought NO WAY would they be able to answer enough questions are their own to make it fair.

The game is for ages 8 and up and is for 4 players. Alex's friend Brady was over so he was the fourth spot.

Some of the questions are ridiculously hard for a kids' game but we figure it's so someone else gets a turn. Some of them, though, are so easy it's almost embarrassing.

Brady doesn't get a lot of exposure to things so it was harder for him to know a lot of the answers. And that was understandable. Although he did know what sport begins with "En Garde".

But Alex knows that Medusa has snakes instead of hair. Ashley knows the national bird is the bald eagle. And Annie knows so much stuff she actually got all of her pie wedges first only to lose by not being able to get back to the middle quick enough for her final question. (We think that's karma since she is kind of a snotty winner)
Because it's midnight, I cannot think of the other stuff the kids knew that was so amazing. But it was a lot. Lyrics to songs, things about games, random history and mythology questions, all were answered without a ton of parental help.

Sometimes we turned the questions into multiple choice stuff to help them out, but really, my kids are so smart!

Okay, I just realized I crossed the line into braggy. That's not cool. Mostly I just wanted to record how impressed I am with their vast knowledge of trivial stuff.

We are SO turning them into mini versions of us.

Maybe one of us WILL make it on Jeopardy some day.


Alex went through the lying phase. I may have blocked it out but I don't remember it being really long. Maybe I was just too tired from having the girls around that I just don't remember or didn't notice it happening. But he's always been the kid most concerned with fairness and equality. Except when he throws caution to the wind and tries to get a little more than everyone else... but at games and life in general, he's my most honest and equal child.

Annie can't lie for anything. This does NOT mean she doesn't try, it just means she does it SO badly.

"How badly does she do it?" you ask?

You can tell she's going to lie to you from the minute she walks into the room. Before she opens her mouth you know you're about to hear a bunch of malarkey. Occasionally she'll get me to believe her but Aiden can see right through and fairly quickly we can get to the actual truth.

This is somewhat helped along by Ashley who is faithfully following behind Annie making sure she is telling the real story.

Ashley isn't a liar very often. And she doesn't give it away with her face. Her tactic is to use some 4 year old form of reverse psychology. For example, the other day she came wandering out to the living room with a connector from the glow stick necklace she'd had for the 4th of July.

"I didn't put this in my butt" she informed us.***

Riiiight. After some further questioning and a lot of tears we finally got her to realize we know what the real "truff" is and she should just tell it to us.

Later that same day we were coming in from outside and walked past a stroller we have procured. It's been a favorite pastime for the girls to push it around with baby dolls and occasionally Goretti's baby in it. This makes them feel VERY important. And I guess they are in their mommy phases. Especially Annie. But I digress...

"I did not sit in that stroller" Ashley told me.

I did not have the energy to deal with it right then so I played along. "Oh good," I told her, "because that stroller is for babies and little kids not little BIG kids. If you sat in it you might not get to push Salma around in it anymore."


I think she learned her lesson.

***This sparked a whole lot of terror on my part (where would she come up with this idea!??!) and led to a lot of worries, phone calls for advice, and tears that someone had hurt her... in the end (no pun intended) we have decided it's one of the benign things kids do.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Aw Nuts

I don't know if the shower scene or the car scene are better.

That sounds slightly wrong, but just watch the video and you'll know what I mean. The quality is lacking but it's worth it, just stick it out.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

4th of July

We have what is now our "tradition" (because is it a TRADITION after 2 years?) for the 4th of July while living in Pullman.
It starts with eating yummy BBQ food (Aiden made some fiery hot homemade BBQ sauce to put over chicken legs. we also had hot dogs for the kids, baked beans, corn on the cob done in foil on the grill with butter, pepper, and garlic salt (mmmm!) in the foil with them).
Then we get up to the hill where the fireworks are NOT being done by the city to watch the fireworks done by the city on another hill ridiculously early. We let the kids play on the playground, bring bags of candy, poppers, pop-its, sparklers, and glow sticks.
Last year we went with some friends who decided to go to the city's shebang this this year. So we had lots of fun with Goretti and her kids.
My friend Rob also came and reminded me that I might want a picture of the kids all together for the blog. So here's the picture I got from that.After Aiden pointed out that the caption for it could read "and then when we get home we'll kill the puppy" we took another picture. MUCH better.

Then I realized it was too fun to take pictures of the kids on the night portrait setting since the glow sticks kept moving (and my hands were moving and I had not brought my tri-pod). So I took an insane amount of those pictures. But I think they are fun.

The boys of the group kept saying it looked like the kids were taken to a rave. Whatever.

Just to prove we were there. Yep, that is the best picture of me we could get in the 2 shots. Trust me. I was that hot/tired/sweaty.

Finally the moon came up and was gorgeous in it's cloud cover. And then the big show started.
Again, I didn't have my tri-pod because I always think I can hold my hands perfectly still for the whole time the shutter is open. Turns out not. I'm sure if you want to know what those would have looked like you can just google fireworks pictures and get some wavy lined things that might have been fireworks before the drunken effect was added by the wiggling photographer's hands.

So, Happy Birthday, USA! We had a great time.

Friday, July 03, 2009

My To Do List

1. Fill up the pools because today is going to be hotter than yesterday was.

2. Check that last year's sparklers still work so the kids will have some tomorrow.

3. Find all the mini US flags and hang them up so we're patriotic and stuff.

4. Water all the gardens for the people who are out of town. Man, if I ever go out of town, someone better water my garden.

5. Remember I have no money and going out of town generally requires some.

6. Play with kids all day long.

7. Schedule some inside time after lunch to avoid the late afternoon meltdown of yesterday.

8. Remember to honor my husband, veterans, and country. At least in my heart if no where else.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

So Here's Summer Again.

It is the hottest day of the year, thus far. We celebrated by being outside all day. After I got bored of the fights the kids have out front we headed to the backyard to "swim".

The really just means playing in the wading pool. But we took the large "snap set" pool the evil neighbors left by the dumpster so now we have two. (Not counting the one the 4 geniuses decided to throw bricks in).

One of the pools was set up and full of water so while we waited for the other, much larger one to fill up, there were 10 or 11 kids crammed into the 5' wide 12" deep pool.

I think they were practicing for the clown car at the circus. It was wild.

After we got the pools all filled, totally 3 since we borrowed a pool from one of the kids who was over playing, things got crazier. Yes, the kids spread out over the 3 pools, but that didn't stop the madness.

Instead, the kids ran from pool to pool and made a huge mess of all of them.

And the adults were frying in the 90 degree weather. So I decided to climb in, too. One of these days I will be brave enough to actually swim in the pools with them. The problem is we're right on the busy-ish road. And there's neighbor mommies watching their kids. (I love those mommies. Usually it's okay if 1 or 2 kids are unattended by their moms but when there's 9 extra kids and only 1 extra parent? Seriously?)

But I don't swim in front of the other mommies. And yes, we have the mister, but somehow it's not enough when it's this hot. Or I'm not doing it right. Whatever.

So, it's hot, the kids are crazy, and I am stealing 10 minutes to write this out and have self-therapy before I go make burgers and dogs (again) and take them back out to the (hopefully) cooler outside after dinner.