Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Holy Hell, it's hot!

Welcome to August in WW, I guess. It's 11 pm and still almost 90 outside. All I can say is thank all that's awesome that we have a/c!

I wish I could say I wasn't sleeping because of the heat. In reality, I start work in the morning, orientation, name badge (hope it's a good hair day!), etc. So no preschool kiddos until September 7th but actual new job in about 9 hours.

I just need to go to sleep as there is not enough Diet Coke in all the land to keep me awake enough to not yawn all day tomorrow if I don't sleep tonight.

I have never slept well the night before anything big, especially school starting. So you could say that I am as excited/nervous about tomorrow as I was about Kindergarten 26 years ago.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Goat... Nyah!

This weekend the kids went with Brandon to go to a family reunion for his mom's side of the family.  Brandon's got an Uncle Bruce that lives in Bremerton, is a fantastic carpenter, drives Harleys, and has a penchant for strange animals that he likes to bring on vacation when he drives said Harley to Spokane to visit his family. 
The kids got in the car Sunday afternoon and started telling us about the goat that was at the family reunion.  All of the stories matched up; Uncle Bruce had his goat at the family reunion, if you hold onto the horns, it thinks it is playtime and will start butting at you, they had the goat on a leash by a pile of rocks so it could climb around, a video was made and posted to YouTube featuring the goat and the men of Brandon's family, etc. 
This was all just fine.  Except for one thing:  Uncle Bruce brought his motorcycle to Spokane for the family reunion.  He has a sidecar, I know.  But I just had this crazy picture of a goat in aviator goggles with a scarf tied around its neck riding along in the sidecar of a Harley all the way from Bremerton to Spokane. 

It turns out, Uncle BRI-AN, who hosted the reunion this year, is the one with the goat.  Which is probably a much safer way to have the goat appear at the family reunion.  But I still can't stop laughing about that damn goat in the sidecar riding across the state.
Maybe like this?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Croquet...the gentleman's sport?

Since we moved to a new place in a new town with a new yard, which does not feature the ability to use the hose or have any playground equipment, we have had to become creative in our outside time.  Especially since it's hotter than hell out here in Walla Walla. 
One thing our new place does have is a pretty, thick, luscious lawn in a decent size yard.  So we got some Splash Bombs that we use with a bucket of water.  We found the kid pool at the park that only charges a buck per kid for four hours a day and lets parents in for free.  We found shaded parks with awesome playground equipment.  And after living here and whining about it for a month straight, I wore Aiden down and we got a croquet set.  (He's the budget-monger and I am the spender.  It's what happens.  I like to buy things.  He likes to throw things out.  We balance pretty well.)
Soooo, I brought home our new croquet set and we played it that very night.  All the kiddos did alright but Aiden really stomped all of us by winning when the next closest person was only halfway done with the course.  Once I got over my major loss (because, really, it's all about me), we played again.  This time we started to notice a couple of things.  First, the grass here is SO long and healthy that the croquet balls get stuck in holes and it sometimes takes several good whacks with the mallet to get the ball to even move out of it's home. 
Annie-inspired "Inspirational" Poster
Annie's attempts look a little like a lumberjack aiming for a tree.  I can see that we may go through several sets of croquet mallets by the time she learns to not "high stick" them anymore.  The fourteen hundred practice swings are always slow and careful and exact.  And are always followed by the actual hit which has a 20% rate of contact with the ball.  When those contacts actually take place, she is more likely to hit the ball and send it 45 degrees off-course than to get it anywhere near where she wants it to go.  We have tried to coach her through this by having her stop the golfer's stance and try the position that resembles the granny bowling stance.  Then we watch her go through another round of wind-ups and misses, reposition her feet CLOSER to the ball (because the whole pendulum effect is clearly lost on Annie) and she still misses. 
In a moment of clarity tonight, she realized she was still on the second wicket while the rest of the family was almost done with the game and she took her turn by taking the granny stance and hitting the ball blind-backward-and accurately!  Only my child could find better success without looking at what she's doing and by doing it backwards than to be conventional and actually control her movements!
In all fairness, the both Aiden and I, besides being adults and having the thinking skills required to hit the ball hard but not too hard and with aim, grew up playing croquet.  Alex is horrible at the game, but he has a great time being awful.  He keeps saying "This game hates me!" so finally I suggested, with all the love a mother can proffer, that maybe it's because he sucks so bad at it.  (This is how it is in our house, we are not flowers and sunshine and unicorns.  Just the rainbows, if you please!)  Luckily, he just laughed and laughed.  This is because we giggle and tease a lot in our house.
Ashley got a little further than Annie but I think this owes to her figuring out that she can sort of shuffle-board/sweep the ball where she wants it to go.  This begins with turning the mallet sideways and then sweeping it along.  But at least she gets contact with the ball, unlike Annie.  Unless she does it like a backwards old woman.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Magical thinking...

...is alive and well in our house, courtesy of Ashley. So what if she's going to be 6 in a couple of months, she's still happily buying into the idea that things happen by magical power.
Yesterday she was trying to enjoy some cherries for snack. As she munched along, she commented that it would be "funner" if cherries didn't have those "seeds" in them. I think they slow her down.
All of the kids are really into the idea of planting all the seeds they come across in food and her remark made Annie remind her that when we buy a house, we can plant those seeds.
Ashley kept eating her cherries and said "well, what if it could be funner by having no seeds -BUT- if you ate all the cherries you bought at the store, you get seeds!"
Um, yes, that would be neat. I have a couple of questions, though. First, where would these seeds come from? Just magic? And how do they know when to show up?
Second, where does the idea of having to eat all of them come from? We are not "clean your plate" people. We have been known to say you have to eat at least a certain amount of the fruit or veggie pieces but never ALL your food. It's just a question I have about her motivation for the magic to kick in and make the seeds show up.

In other Ashley news...
I asked her what we should have for dinner the other day while we were at the pool. She said "fish sticks! No, Mom!". I wondered what the last part was all about so I asked. "We should eat YOU for dinner" was the explanation. Then she pretended to take a bite of me, chew it up, make a face of ick, spit me back out, slap it back onto my face, pat it in, and say "nope, you don't taste good. Fish sticks!" And then swim off.

That kid is one funny ball of giggles.
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1 bathroom woes

We have moved to Walla Walla, in case you hadn't heard. We really like our new place, for the most part. We have only 1 bathroom in our new house.
Why the people building 3 bedroom homes thought 1 toilet would be enough is beyond me, I think they should get to live in one of these units for a week, with 3 kiddos, and see just how impractical it really is.
Some of the things we have learned in the last couple of weeks:
1. Yes, it is okay to use the bathroom while someone is in the shower or bath, as long as the curtain is pulled. I claim the priviledge of taking a bath the other day and had to amend this idea. It is still okay to use the toilet when someone is in the bath or shower, with the curtain pulled, but if you have to poop, and if mom is the one in the bath, with a good book and a long soak going on, do not feel the need to have a conversation with Mom whilst you do your business. The book, I promise you, is enough to keep her entertained. She'd really like to pretend that you're not actually taking a crap 6 inches away from her, anyway.
1a. Courtesy flushes are a great idea. Employ them.
2. When no one has to use the bathroom for over 2 hours, suddenly, and at the end of the movie, all 3 children will magically go from "no need to pee" to "peeing their pants right now" in approximately 2 minutes. The child who also has to poop will be the first one in the bathroom while the other two dance in the hallway. Prioritize between the 30 seconds of movie lost and the 25 minute pee-pee dance and subsequent bladder pain.
3. Knocking is all the sudden not just a neat idea the parents have talked about for 10 years but is, in fact, a courtesy that each user of the bathroom wants extended to them. Even if they have never done it for anyone else. Ever.
What fun stories can you add?
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