Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Don't you just wish you were here to have seen it all in person? :) Kaylen was THRILLED with her baby set up and Kelton totally loved his art supplies though it did take him a while to actually just sit down and look through everything. I think he was blinded by his excitement. Believe it or not, we were still opening gifts at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Kaylen opened her last one about 7 o'clock last night. I love taking it slow, opening gifts and then spending time playing with things. I really do not like rushing through and having all the gifts opened in 15 minutes flat.
Oh - and the castle? It was a HUGE HUGE HUGE hit. I was so busy watching him jump up and down, screaming in excitement to actually film it but I did catch the tale end on film. I'll get it uploaded soon along with some more photos. It was a really great day with only a few hiccups along the way (one is a vent that I will share with you later. Let me just ask now though...is it *really* that difficult to say thank you when someone hands you a gift for your infant? I'm just saying....I wasn't looking for praise of how wonderful we are but a frikkin' thank you would have been nice! I'll go on and on about it later.... :) )
And now - without further ramblings.....here is the Santa experience that took place yesterday morning. :)
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Sunday, December 24, 2006
Talk about striking fear in the hearts of two moms. Kelton dropped a bomb shell on us about what he *knows* Santa will bring: the Imaginext Adventure Castle. Only problem there is he never actually voiced this desire of his heart until bedtime last night (Dec 23rd). (He had shown great interest in it a few weeks ago at the store but I didn't take his desire seriously enough apparently. Then yesterday he found it at FisherPrice.com and spent 15 minutes playing with the demo on-line. I swear I never knew this was going on so seriously in his head!) So there we were - sweating it out. After the kids were in bed I drove to a few stores hoping against all odds to find the castle. Umm...yeah. Not happening. The toy shelves were all but empty. I returned home empty handed and very sad that my little boy wouldn't find what he really has been wanting. We strategized on damage control...we'd tell him that we would look for it after Christmas because Santa must not have found out in time that he wanted it. How he needs to be sure he tells Santa his wishes either in person or in a letter because Santa has to be told.
This morning I was casually talking with Kelton about why he didn't tell Santa. His response? "Santa knows everything, right? He should already know."
I called Toys R Us and stuck gold! They had a couple sets on the shelf. I flew over there and picked one up. We have decided though that we are going to tell him that Santa called us to let us know about his new request because Santa was already loading the sleigh and he didn't have room for both the castle AND the huge amount of art supplies that Kelton asked for when he visited him. He also asked us to tell Kelton that the best way for Santa to know what he would like is to tell him when he visits or to write a letter. That way Santa will know for sure what to pack in the sleigh.
But for the moms? We feel like we've just pulled off a Christmas miracle!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
We are having a long holiday weekend starting this afternoon. I am beyond thrilled about the extra family time and the excitement of Christmas as seen through the eyes of my children. I wish you all the very best that the winter holidays have to offer - no matter what or how you celebrate. Be well, be safe and be happy.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Last night marked the end of the third semester of law school. We have five more to face but somehow I do find comfort in the fact that when this new one is over we will officially be half way done! WAHOOOO!!!!!!!!
Dakota, we're all very proud of you and all that you are accomplished. You rock!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
My day started out bright and early when a little boy stuck his face near my sleeping one and said "Wake up, Mom! It's your birthday!" Is there a better way to wake up? Kelton excitedly pulled me into the livingroom to show off the decorations - snowman stuff, just what I had hoped for. (Snowmen are a nice theme when your house is already decorated for Christmas. Less competing going on than if you were to select, oh I don't know....My Little Pony or SpiderMan.) Kelton was already begging to dive into the presents and rip into them, I mean gently open them.
We tried convincing him to wait for Kaylen to wake up but nothing doing so we agreed to open one. Of course, I didn't get to do any of the opening that was left to Kelton. Much to his dismay, it was not a toy for him to play with. Instead, it was a DVD that Dakota had created using photos of our family taken during the year. I LOVE IT!!! Last year she made me a similar gift and it's still one of my favorite things to watch. I just love watching videos and slideshows of my family. We watched it but before it was over, Kelton was begging for more present opening. *sigh*
We woke Kaylen up so she could be part of it and we opened a few more things. Dakota bought me a great "family" necklace that I had been wanting. I really like it. I have one that has two parents and one child from my first Christmas as a mom and I was really wanting one with two kids. It's great! Dakota also gave me a Starbucks coffee card - which is always a huge hit. Starbucks is a guilty pleasure that I rarely am able to justify. Being able to swing by yesterday, order a drink and hand them my card was a thrill...and I have enough on it for a couple more visits. :) She also gave me return address labels which I know doesn't sound like all that great of a gift but they are the ones that you can put cartoon-type faces for all the family members. I am such a sucker for all things personalized. I love them!
Next the kids and Dakota went into the kitchen to make blueberry muffins. YUM! After breakfast we all got dressed and then split up to get some stuff done. I went over to a friends house to pick up the Little Tikes Teddy Bear Nursery that her daughter has outgrown (it will be part of Kaylen's Santa gift. We bought a doll and some doll "stuff" to go with it.) and then I ran it over to Dakota's mom's house to store it until the big day. Dakota took the kids and went to the grocery store to pick up a few things, including my birthday cake.
We reconvened at the house a short time later and I got Kaylen settled down for her nap. Once she was down, we called Dakota's mom who came over to stay with the kids while we went to a movie. We saw The Santa Clause 3 which we both really, really enjoyed. As we came around the corner from the theater, we looked across the parking lot and...............it was SNOWING!!!! Snowing! On my birthday. WOW!!! I was in heaven! Sure, it wasn't going to stay but it was beautiful and exciting. Dakota thought we should call home and let her mom know to open the back door and let the kids run wild. I told her I was sure Kelton would have already noticed and was probably out playing in it. (I was wrong. Grandma thought the kids should be bundled up with heavy coats and boots and wasn't keen on the idea of Kelton running out coatless so she told him he could go out when we got home. The now had stopped by then though. Heck - for as often as this happens around here, I would have let him go out naked - at least for a few minutes. He would have gotten cold soon enough and besides, just running out is part of the fun of an unexpected snow fall.)
Waiting out arrival home was a beautiful bouquet of flowers sent by a friend of ours. (The above picture is the exact bouquet - isn't it gorgeous?) She is such a sweetie and the flowers are really amazing. (Thank you, S!!)
OH! I forgot to mention that the night before my birthday I got a surprise in the mail from Brenda. Another Starbucks card and believe me when I say this - there is no such thing as too many Starbucks gift cards for me. :) They make me very happy! :)
Dinner time came and Dakota's mom and step-dad came over for pizza, cake and ice cream. It was really nice. They gave me a years subscription to both Parenting and Parents magazine as well as a gift certificate to the movies. Very thoughtful!! I love those magazine but find it hard to justify the cost. The movie gift is really great, too, and now I am assured of seeing a theater movie before another year or more goes by.
Dakota also gave me another gift. A night in a hotel in downtown Seattle on our way up to see my family for our Christmas celebration there. A chance to see the city all dressed up for the holidays, to take the kids to The Seattle Children's Museum and...for the best part of all......an evening out with my dear friend, Delly, whom I rarely get to see these days. She and I worked together for many years but since moving from Seattle, we rarely get together. The trips we take up there are also packed full and rushed and there doesn't seem to be time to squeeze in a visit. We last each other when Kaylen was less than 3 months old. I'm really looking forward to it! A night away from the kids - Dakota will be tending to them in the hotel room (she is hoping at least one will be fast asleep before I leave but I have my doubts on that. Either way, I trust no one more Dakota when it comes to our kids and I know I won't worry.....at least, not too much.). It is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!! Delly, if you are reading this I am really looking forward to this! Thank you for being part of a really amazing and special surprise. :)
So that pretty much sums up my birthday. It was a fun day that went by much too quickly. Thanks, Dakota, for all the effort you put into making my day special. You know what my best gift was? You....and the beautiful kids we created.
And now....I'm older. I keep trying to convince Dakota that I am only 22 and not *gulp* 42. (32 was a bad, bad year. It's the year I broke my back and not a year I'd like to think about reliving.....22 seems safer. *grin*)
Saturday, December 16, 2006
What do you all think of my new header?
The birthday was great - I'll post about it soon. We're off to go take the kids to look at all the Christmas lights. Our December nightly ritual. Only 9 more days to go..well, less than that because for all intents and purposes, today is over. That leaves 8 days. Eight days until the magic happens around our tree. I love Christmas morning. Even more now that we have kids.
Kaylen says "Santa says Ho Ho Ho". Not that clearly but you can hear it just the same. It's freakin' adorable. I have it recorded and I want to upload it to share. She also has taken to calling trains "Choo Choo Trains" Again, it just about kills me on the cuteness scale.
Our kids are so cute. I know everyone thinks that about their kids but in our case, it really is true. :) No seriously. It is. And I am in no way biased.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Dakota's mom came over this afternoon to stay with the kids so I could get some shopping done. It was planned for a couple weeks ago but then the dreaded germs invaded our house and grandma coming over was pushed back. In between now and then, I managed to finish up the shopping I had to get done for Christmas but who am I to turn down a few child-free hours? Especially since in the past 16 weeks (that's how long the semester is) I can count on one finger how many times I have gotten away without the kids....and that was to the grocery store to do the bi-weekly shopping when Dakota was out of town at her law conference.
So anyway, I had been building this escape up for weeks. Literally. I had decided to head out to the mall and see what kind of damage I could do at the big going out of business sale at the Mervyn's store. After all, "everything must go" and is currently marked down to 50-70% off....heck, even the fixtures must go though I didn't figure I needed any of those.
I get to the mall and head into the store. I wanted new blankets so I went to the linen department. Ummm....yeah....good luck. If you wanted twin or king you were in good shape for most things but queen? Forget it. They didn't have any of my favorite blankets left anyway and everything else was picked over something fierce. Yeah - I should have expected it but I was blinded by my "I'm going shopping ALONE!" fantasy.
I went to the shoe department and found a great pair of Reeboks for Kelton in the next size up (I always buy ahead). Kaylen is a nightmare when it comes to shoes so I skipped that (she is all about her look-alike Crocs from Payless Shoe Source and nothing else will do. I even finally bought her a black pair (she has two pink pairs already) to wear with her Christmas dresses since pink just wasn't doing it for me and she *will not* wear any other shoes. Believe me, we've tried. It's not worth the screaming, kicking or shoe throwing). Then I hit the kid departments. I bought Kelton a shirt for next year and Kaylen a really sweet sweater and a pair of jammies, also in the next size up. Then I remembered their Hallmark card section. Score! I got about 20 different cards (mostly birthday) for $0.45 each. You just can't beat that for greeting cards, let alone Hallmark greeting cards.
Ok....so I was done. $53 worth of stuff and the receipt said I saved $75 (not really because I wouldn't have bought it all if it hadn't been on sale to start with but for the sake of argument, let's just say I saved money). I walked out of the store and into the mall and.........................
I stood there. Just stood there. I had no idea what to do.
It was a pathetic sight I'm sure. I didn't have to swing by and see Santa. I didn't have to go to the toy store to "look around". The pet store held no allure for me. I didn't need to buy anything so there was no point in wandering around other stores. Ok...well....it appears I was actually missing my kids. I was lonely just standing there. I wondered what they were doing at home with Grandma. I looked around at other moms with their kids and...get this....I WAS JEALOUS! I was jealous they all had their kids with them and I was standing there alone. Am I completely pitiful or what??
I was hungry so I headed over to my new find in the food court. They have an amazing California Veggie sandwich and I had decided a few days ago that I would get one on my mall venture. I went to order and the guy said "Sorry - we don't have any avocados. I can have them put tomatoes on for you instead." "Ummm....no thanks." I wanted what I wanted. I had been craving what I wanted for days now. Bummer. So I left and headed back to Mervyn's so I could return to my car.
I looked at my watch. It hadn't even been an hour yet. It had only been 40 minutes since I left the house. I suck at this non-kid time stuff. And I suck bad. I could name about 5 stay at home moms off the top of my head who would have given away their first born for an hour alone at the mall.
I decided to look around again - I mean seriously....I couldn't be back home in under an hour after waiting all this time for this opportunity.
Score! I found a cute pair of shoes for myself and at 60% they were only $20. Cool! I put them on and walked around the shoe department for a bit to make sure they fit...and to kill some more time. Then I looked around the underwear department (hey - I was desperate!) and even considered buying some girdle thing (did I mention I was desperate?). I passed on the girdle idea. What in the freakin' world do I need one for? I was losing my mind and, clearly, my grip on reality.
I needed my kids.
I bought the shoes and headed out the door. It had been one hour and 15 minutes since I left the house. I called Dakota to tell her how much I suck at not having the kids with me. I'm sure she thinks I'm crazy. Maybe I am. Then I call Brenda (in California). I had called her on my way to the mall to gloat about my "me time"...this time I was calling to confess that I suck and was going home. She tried to convince me to go to Starbucks and hang out for a while. But no....I missed my kids. I was going home. I do feel guilty about being away from them but honestly, I was just missing them.
Sure - their screaming, crying and usual toddler and preschool antics drive me over the edge hourly and it's amazing I'm not bald from pulling out my hair but their laughter and silliness, their smiles and their hugs....well....I guess it's all what makes me ME. I'm not even sure it makes sense all I know is when I walked in the house and saw Kelton play wrestling with Grandma on the couch and Kaylen sitting at the table watching and laughing....my heart just about burst wide open. And the way their eyes lit up and they both flew into my arms well......that's what I live for.
No worries though....by bathtime I was ready to schedule another escape to the mall. Although maybe next time I'll just pick up a magazine and head to a local coffee shop for some quiet reading time. Ahhhh...now THAT sounds like heaven!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Now that things have settled down in our house as far as illness, I thought I would take a few minutes and post some pictures of decorating the tree and the outside yard decorations. The kids had a blast decorating the tree. At first I had trouble with the unorganized manner in which decorations were dispersed but I finally had to just let go of my expectations and let the kids do what they wanted. In the end, the tree looks great and the kids are *very* proud of themselves. Now if I could find a way to convince them to leave the stuff ON the tree instead of removing and redecorating every day I'd be doing ok. :)
What the heck - that's why we don't put breakable stuff on the tree. Kids should be able to enjoy their Christmas trees, right?
Here are a few pictures of the outside of the house (well - part of the house. To get it all in I'd have to stand across the street and I clearly didn't do that! *grin*). The polar bear you see in the yard is new this year. He was named Roller by Kelton and the kids adore him! We can not leave the house without both of them running over to him to pet him and say good-bye. Kelton is insisting Roller stay up after Christmas......I have a couple of weeks to convince him otherwise. :)
Monday, December 11, 2006
Knock on something wood. Anything. Just do it. Kaylen did not throw up at all last night though she was running a fever all night. She was up (and therefore, so was I) from 2-4AM but at least she wasn't tossing her cookies. Once the tylenol took hold and brought the fever down, she finally fell back to sleep. She was up for the day at 6AM but at least there was no puking. Can I tell you have much of a relief it is to *not* be thrown up on? Believe me, before kids I had no idea how great a joy that one simple thing would be. :)
Kaylen woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed and she had a great day! It does seem like we just might have dodged that particular bullet. That said - I'm sure I just jinxed myself.
Both kids had a good day. Things were calm and peaceful and nice. We went over to Dakota's office around 9:30 this morning, picked her up and went to Starbucks. It's always great when they can spend a few stolen moments with their other mom. We were back home by 11 (it's about 35 minutes each way to her office) and Kaylen went down happily for a nap. I finished up my calendar project (gifts for the grandparents) and got it sent off to the printers and then spent some time with Kelton.
Once Kaylen woke we decided to take a trip to Joe's Place and Farms to pick up some branches from real trees. We have a fake Christmas tree and I really miss the smell of pine so I decided this year I would get some boughes to have around the house. Oh my gosh - the kids were in heaven!! The smells, the sights, the apples waiting to be bought! They were...well...they were like kids in a candy store. It was so cute to watch.
Once home we found places for the branches - and yes, that did include tucking some inside the tree. That was Kelton's idea and I have to say, a darn fine one! Then it was play time, art time, outside time and dinner time. After dinner came baths and jammies and then....the highlight of every evening these days: driving around to look at lights. I think in the past week we have only missed one night of going out. And yes, we even went out when I was my sickest last week. I just love to hear them squeal with delight; to hear Kaylen say "Kel-can....pretty!" Or "Mama! Santa! Ho Ho Ho!" I love when Kelton says "Mom, they must be very rich because they have so many decorations!" Seriously, Christmas through the eyes of children is something to behold. I feel so honored to be part of their magical world; where anything is possible.
I admit that last night at this time I was dreading today but all in all, it was a great day! As long as we can keep all the germs at bay for a while, something tells me I will be having many more of these good days as we continue the countdown to Christmas.
Oh - and the calendar project? Here's a page or eight of what I created:
(all pages created using the Year of Memories kit by Dani Mogstadt and Shawna Clingerman)
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I feel like ME!!!!!! I can't even begin to tell you how great it feels to feel like myself again. What a loooooooooooooooooooooooong week and a half that was. Yuck!
Tuesday night both Dakota and Kelton started not feeling well and having..umm..issues but by last night they were doing fine. They managed to dodge the big ugly bullet.
Today, Thursday, was business as usual for all four of us and it felt good. The kids and I had a great day and it was nice just to be. It's easy to take good health for granted but being sick sure makes you appreciate all the other weeks of the year that you are able to jump out of bed and move along in your day. And trust me - right now I am praising the heavens for feeling well again.
So earlier this week I promised you Santa pictures from last Saturday. It was completely unplanned on our part but when we arrived to do some shopping at WalMart, Santa was there and they were doing free pictures with him. Kelton was beside himself with joy! Kaylen - not so much. Here are the pics they took:
I love the look on Kaylen's little face. Sad but so cute. :) Don't feel too sorry for her though...yesterday she started babbling away with "Go. Santa. Talk. Me." She kept repeating it and I said "You want to go see Santa and talk with him?" "Yes!" So clearly, the girl isn't harmed for life. :)
Now if you remember back a few weeks Dakota and I took the kids to Sears for Christmas pictures. While the photo shoot itself was.....well....not all that stellar, they did manage to get one shot that was decent. Here it is:
I can't say I'll be going back to Sears. I'm just not thrilled with the quality. Truth is, it's getting harder for me to take the kids in for professional pictures. What I need to do is find a rich relative who would love nothing better than to buy me a Canon Rebel so I can capture my own professional quality photos. :) Tis the season for dreams and all that. :)
I should probably end this posting and get to work on my seemingly endless To Do list for the holidays. I am very proud of myself though for getting the Christmas card and letter done and in the mail. No easy feat, that's for sure. I still have calendars to create for grandparent gifts though and that is going to take some time. Sure hope I get them done before the big day comes. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Say it with me people: relapse.
It's not pretty. The kids seem fine it's just me who has been hit by a truck. The kids are up to their usual antics - I'm wishing I could sleep for a week. Or at least a couple hours.
I logged in barely enough sleep to count last night. I did nap for an hour and a half with Kaylen this afternoon but man - I feel awful.
And to think that just yesterday I was feeling back on top of the world. *sigh*
Please make this go away soon. Dakota can't miss anymore work or school. This is the last week of classes before finals so having her help is out.
I seriously can't remember when I've been so sick.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Ahhhhh! It feels SO good!! I woke up this morning feeling about 95% normal - thank goodness. It seems to have run its course in about 24 hours and I have to say, it was a very rough 24 hours. Ugh-a-roni!
Kaylen woke up even happier than yesterday so I'm betting she is back to her ol' self too and as an added bonus, there was no throwing up all night long. Could it be that we have finally made it out of this particular hell-hole? I pray it is so.
The kids were so good for Dakota yesterday. Today they are back to their normal "getting into everything and fighting over everything" selves and for once, I'm not at all frustrated by it. It's nice to feel healthy and it's great that my kids are feeling that way, too. Nothing like being sick to bring a little perspective.
On a side note, the kids favorite evening activity this weekend has been to go look at the Christmas lights all over the neighborhood. It's so much fun to hear them squeal in delight. I wasn't going to go last night since I wasn't feeling great but Kaylen was throwing a fit about my not going and then about maybe being left at home with me. It wasn't worth the struggle for a 15 minute venture. So - I tossed on a jacket and prayed there would be no reason for any other person to see me. I'm glad I went. At one house that was done up beyond all reason, I heard Kaylen's little voice say "Kel-can! Pretty!" (that's how she says Kelton). It's just so much fun to see the holiday season through their eyes.
I have some fun Santa pictures to post a little later. I started a post Saturday but never finished it. I hope to do that later today.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Sadly though, it wasn't the end of the tunnel...it was a train heading smack dab for me. I have the virus that Kaylen had (she is better...down to only throwing up once or twice in the middle of the night). It hit me hard around 12:30 last night and I am finally feeling like I can eat a few Saltine crackers. Ugh.
Thank goodness today was Sunday and therefore, family day. Dakota has really stepped up and took over. She even managed to get the grocery shopping done as well as do various fun activities for the kids. There hasn't been many meltdowns at all. Maybe SHE should be the stay at home mom. The kids appear to have had a great day. I'm glad they had fun....and happier still that she took them out of the house here and there so I could get some real sleep in.
Sleep. Yes. I need more.
Hopefully this will end quicker for me than it did for Kaylen. I know I cna't handle being this sick for even one more day.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I'm taking her in for a 3:10 appointment. She is even worse. Just lays against me without moving. Hardly opens her eyes and is breathing rapidly.
Send good thoughts. We need them.
Update yet again
She seems to have "just" a virus. She isn't too dehydrated, which is good. Doc said to keep up the nursing as much as she wants and to offer Pedialyte in small amounts throughout the day to help balance out her electrolytes. She is probably stumbling a bit and out of it because of the imbalance going on in her system. Before we left for the doc the nasty diarrhea began. Oh joy. Nothing like blow outs in the non-infant set. Yuck.
We should start seeing in improvement in her in the next day or two but he warned that we should expect to see occasional daily vomiting (1 or 2 times a day) and diarrhea for a week or two.
Isn't being a mom great sometimes? :)
The puking continues ergo; the laundry continues.
I now understand why my parents thought vinyl flooring was the best option for the bedrooms of their five children. Enough said about that.
She actually didn't barf during the night but today......oy! She is making up for it.
She still has interest in nursing though it's no fun knowing I will be seeing it again soon (yes, she is an EN'er....deal with it. *grin*). Figure it is better to let her nurse and barf, then scream (because she is pissed that she can't nurse) and barf. Not sure she is having enough wet diapers. I'll probably wait one more day before calling the doctor. Yesterday she seemed to have more energy in between puke sessions than she has today. If her energy decreases anymore, I'll take her in today (probably to urgent care...now there a fun way to spend an evening. Alone. With two kids. One sick, one attention starved.). Dehydration is always a concern.
No fever. No interest in actually eating solid food. Can't say I blame her.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Will someone please tell me why children wait to begin vomiting until after 11...and usually just as the parents are drifting off to sleep. And then WHY must they continue to vomit all night long.
At least she learned after the first time that if she told me her tummy hurt I could get her to the sink on time. And yet...I *still* have seven loads of bedding to do today.
It's going to be a looooong day. And I have to face it all on maybe 3 hours of sleep.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Or is it?
I'm not sure I'd say this is really "snowing" but there is definitely white stuff coming from the sky. Too warm for it to stick yet but if reports from the north, east, south and west are accurate then it won't be too many hours.
Preschool was cancelled this morning though honestly, even being the not-crazy-about-driving-in-snow person that I am, I wouldn't have thought twice about getting behind the wheel. They say the roads are slick so I guess it's better to error on the side of caution.
Dakota stayed home this morning and went in late. That makes sense as she has to travel a few freeways and over several bridges to get to work. We'll keep an eye on things here, and she will keep an eye on things there, and we'll see where the next 24 hours takes us.
I, for one, would LOVE to have a bunch of snow for the kids to play in. We haven't had snow since Kelton was Kaylen's age (unless you count a couple hours of it last winter...and I don't. I want REAL snow!). How fun would it be to see both my babies romping around in a yard full of fluffy white stuff?!?!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
We said good-bye to our furry little guy this morning. It broke all of our hearts - especially Kelton's.
Good-bye Charlie. Thank you for helping to teach the kids about being gentle with animals. Thank you for helping Kelton learn "eyes, ears, nose, mouth and tail" and for putting up with him the time he pulled your tail until you cried. Thank you for never running away from them and taking such good care of them. And of me. Seventeen years is a long time - thank you for being in our lives. We will always, always love you. Kelton says he knows you are going to like breakfast in heaven and he says there are lots of fun toys for you there. But oh how we wish you were still here.
Kelton had us take some pictures this morning as we said our good-byes. You can see how much he loves Charlie. It's been a long day full of tears, tantrums and acting out...from all of us. *sigh*
Friday, November 24, 2006
I finally located the perfect Christmas gift for Little Miss Kaylen. It's exactly what I have been searching for and had hoped to find. It's perfect. And yet....I can't find it in stock anywhere. So I'm turning to you - my blog buddies spread far and wide across this great planet. Can any of you find it in stock anywhere???
I'm telling you - my little girl would be in seventh heaven and so would her mommy. Thanks for keeping your eyes open for me. :)
Thursday, November 23, 2006
When I count my blessings this year, among them are all of you. I am blessed in so many ways each and every day. Thank you for coming here and sharing in the lives of my children, admiring my scrapbook pages and just being here to support me.
Most of all, I am thankful for my family; my amazingly wonderful and beautiful children and my adoring and incredibly funny and intelligent wife. You three are my reason for breathing and I love you more than anything in this world.
Love to you all.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I know I need to update this soon and I will - as soon as I can find some time to really devote to writing something half-way readable and intelligent. But time is just something I have none of at the moment.
Preschool: The teacher did contact me the next day and we worked out a plan for re-entry. It didn't go as planned and I ended up being called back to the school and spent half the class in the classroom with him but he did fine the second half without me. It's long, complicated and involved. I promise to write about it when I can.
Life: It's nutty. I'm still struggling with this cold or whatever it is. The kids were both sick all weekend and while Kelton is doing much better, Kaylen goes back and forth. It all takes much more energy than I have at the moment. *sigh*
Christmas: I'm struggling with it. How to afford it. What to get the kids. All that stuff. It's frustrating. I also have Christmas cards to figure out, a letter to write (or not - I haven't decided) and gift projects to figure out and create.
Like I said - just not enough hours in the day.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
We had a rough morning. It was Day 2 for Kelton of a preschool program through the local high school. Day 1 was a dream - he loved it! Day 2, not so much. So I wrote an email to the teacher as I had alarm bells going off all over the place. This is Kelton we're talking about. He isn't the kind of kid to sit in the sidelines.
Here's what I wrote (and I don't care if anyone thinks I'm being over-reactive or over-protective. This is my child we're talking about and I am going to do what I think is best).
"Today, when I left Kelton at preschool, he was excited and happy and couldn't wait to "go to school". I left him, happy, in the care of one of the buddies. When I returned to pick him up, he was a mess and continued to cry and carry on for about 25 minutes and was adamant about not returning to school. I'm desperately trying to figure out what happened in the 90 minutes he was there. I hope I don't sound like an over-reactive parent however this is completely out of character for Kelton and has me both internally upset and mystified.
When I first spotted him - he came immediately over to me (not like the first day when I had to convince him it was time to go) and wanted to go. He didn't look ok so I asked him what was wrong. He said nothing but clearly something was wrong. I asked again and "M", his buddy for the second half, spoke up and said "He didn't want to participate today." I asked Kelton why and "M" said "He said he was tired." That could very well be - the child wakes early every day and he is fighting off a bit of a cold however Kelton is not a child who can sit out for very long. He is driven, and always has been, and will normally join the activity within a few minutes.
Then we had the meltdown over the missing pencil. Not a big deal in the scheme of things and it was easily remedied at home. (sidenote: I also explained that sometimes things get lost when you take them to school and don't leave them in your cubby. I think he understands though I'm sure I will not be able to have him leave his pencil and papers at home - for some reason, he has attached himself to them and they go everywhere - even to bed - with him.)
Once he had calmed, he agreed that he would go back to school next week if "H" could be his buddy. Apparently she was his buddy on Tuesday and he made a connection with her. I'm sure the older kids are supposed to work with different little ones so they can get a true feel of little kids overall however I'm wondering if it's possible to match Kelton and "H" up for a bit so that he can ease back into school and have something to look forward to. Maybe even just for a while and then he can transition to someone else?
It broke my heart to see him this way today. He's been doing nothing but talking about going back to school ever since we came home on Tuesday so for him to have such a radical turn around in a span of 90 minutes has me concerned.
He also mentioned something about being afraid the older kids would laugh at him and make fun of him. He refused to elaborate any farther on that fear but considering he is one of the most outgoing and happy kids in our local MOMS Club, playgroup and rec center preschool group I'm concerned.
Is there any light you can help shed on what happened with him at school today?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you."
The teacher wrote back almost immediately, which gave me great confidence. She said: "I noticed toward the end of circle time that he was not as animated and
didn't participate in our singing and dancing. I will talk to my classes
tomorrow and get a feel for what might have happened. We will definately
match him up with "H" on Tuesday. I will get back to you tomorrow after
I see my classes again. Thank you for sharing your concerns."
The thing that I really don't get is how happy he was to be there and then how incredibly unhappy he was when I walked in to pick him up. Night and Day. A completely different child. What happened in that room????
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Ugh. I'm sick. Really sick. Sick as in if I could call in sick and hide under the covers all day I would. I was sick last week and I thought I felt awful then but noooo...this is a whole new level of feeling cruddy. My guess if I contracted some cold virus right on the heels of not yet being well from whatever I had last week (sort of a cold but mostly in my high chest area). So...I got hit with a double whammy.
I wish I knew someone who would come over and fix dinner for the kids and straighten up this place. I just have no energy...nor desire.
Oh - and the girl last night? Well let's see...no nap all day and she was out cold by 5:15pm. The boy was out cold by 6pm. I really, really thought I was golden. But there is a rule in parenting...never, but never, get cocky about the kids sleeping. By 7pm she was up again for the night....she finally passed out around 10:30...after waking up the boy who joined her in the non-sleeping game.
She slept horribly - because everyone knows that lack of sleep equates to worse sleeping, not better. I slept horribly even when she *was* sleeping because of my nasty cold.
We were all up early today for Kelton's first day at his new 7-week/twice a week preschool class. Getting two kids and myself up, washed, dressed, brushed, fed and out the door by 8:40 was an adventure on next to no sleep.
Just shoot me.
Monday, November 13, 2006
We took the kids to Sears yesterday for Christmas photos and while the photo session itself was less than inspiring, I have to say that the kids looked freakin' adorable all dressed up. Here are a couple pics we took at home.
And - I want to post about the great day we had today but sadly, even after not napping today, Kaylen is refusing to sleep. Posting is next to impossible with a 21 month old "helping" you type so it will have to wait until later....or, more than likely, tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Read the information and then please sign the petition!
"In September, as part of the network's award-winning Stop Breast Cancer for Life campaign, Lifetime Television and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jewel delivered more than 12 million petition signatures to Capitol Hill, urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005 (S 910/HR1849). The bill would ban the practice of "drive-through" mastectomies, when women are forced to leave the hospital just hours after their surgeries and before they are ready to go home. Sign our petition now to help end "drive-through" mastectomies once and for all." (continued at the website)
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The Second Step catalog arrived the other day and while I was flipping through it I came across this play structure.
I smiled, as I looked at it, because in my backyard sits the identical structure (the color varies a bit as they tend to do year to year but structurally, it's identical). Then I glanced at the price.
HOLY SMOKES! Seriously? $599.99 plus $119.99 for shipping? $800 total!!??
That is highway robbery.
Suddenly I was feeling very smug about buying ours at a garage sale for $150. To top it off, when we bought it it had been used in their indoor playroom - it had never seen the sun! The color was unfaded and except for the missing plastic phone, it was in "out of the box" shape.
We lucked out BIG time. (Thank you Brenda for seeing it and calling us! Has it really been two years since that happened?! Has to have been - I remember being newly pregnant with Kaylen. Wow!) I can't stress how great garage sales are - I have seriously outfitted the yard in outside play stuff for pennies on the dollars.
The kids have spent countless hours climbing and playing on this. Kelton always liked it but Kaylen? That little monkey adores it beyond words. Whenever she is in the yard she is playing on it. The slide is her own little slice of heaven. :)
And yet.....$800 for plastic? It still blows me away.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
This video makes me so feel incredibly relieved, and validated, that we splurged and bought Kelton the Britax Husky (renamed the Regent) last year when he outgrew his "up to 40lb car seat". I had such a strong feeling that he needed to remain in a 5pt harness and, watching this video, validates what my "mother's intuition" was screaming at me. Children should be in a 5pt harness for as long as possible. We have Kelton covered to 80lbs. We'll be doing the same thing for Kaylen.
Watch this video.
Democrats: Taking Our Country Back!
How could I resist a small acknowledgement of such good news?
The following is an excerpt from an article on MSNBC. As a co-worker read it out loud to me, over our cube wall, I realized this was blog material.
'Beginning of the end'
Regardless of the effect on world events, global giddiness that Bush was finally handed a political black-eye was almost palpable. In an extraordinary joint statement, more than 200 Socialist members of the European Parliament hailed the American election results as “the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world” and gloated that they left the Bush administration “seriously weakened.”
In London's Guardian newspaper, commentator Martin Kettle wrote: "The cheering can be heard not just in America itself but around the planet."
In Paris, expatriates and French citizens alike packed the city’s main American haunts to watch results, with some standing to cheer or boo as vote tabulations came in.
One Frenchman, teacher Jean-Pierre Charpemtrat, 53, said it was about time U.S. voters figured out what much of the rest of the world already knew.
“Americans are realizing that you can’t found the politics of a country on patriotic passion and reflexes,” he said. “You can’t fool everybody all the time — and I think that’s what Bush and his administration are learning today.”
Democrats swept to power in the House on Tuesday and were threatening to take control of the Senate amid exit polls that showed widespread American discontent over Iraq, nationwide disgust at corruption in politics, and low approval ratings for Bush.
Bush is deeply unpopular in many countries around the globe, with particularly intense opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, the U.S. terror detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and allegations of Washington sanctioned interrogation methods that some equate with torture.
(article continues, but this was the best part....Please see link if you are interested.)
I'm not saying that global popularity = right, but these sentiments are so on target with with what many of us are feeling today that it seemed appropriate.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
From what I have been reading in the local paper and through on-line news sources, our weather appears to be getting national attention. I've also received emails from a few out of the state friends to check in to make sure we were doing ok.
Yep - so far, so good. Luckily we don't live near any obvious water sources (rivers, ponds, etc) so our main issues are the ground being completely saturated; unable to hold the water falling and the gutters not being able to handle it all so it's splashing over soaking the siding on the house - not great for the wood but all things considered, I'll take that over the house being flooded.
The dogs are not amused at all and have put in their request for it to dry up. They would like to go out and play in the yard. The kids, however, are loving it. We take "rain walks" several times a day so they can splash in the deep puddles and stand under the waterfalls spilling out of gutters.
Luckily, I don't have to drive in it if I don't want to so errands and just getting out has been curtailed.
D stayed home from work today to get some extra study time (she is working on a HUGE paper and is currently over at her moms house where two little people, and their sick mommy won't bug her) and when she called in her co-worker reported that the streets of Portland are terrible and dangerous. Good call for her not going in but she does might try to make it over there later for classes. Last night she drove through puddles that threatened to leak under the doors of the car. The sewer systems, while certainly enough to handle the normal amount of rain, seems to be having trouble clearing the roads. The leaves clogging things up aren't helping either.
I admit though - I'm actually enjoying the rain. I love hearing the pitter pat of the rain against the windows and the woooosh of it in the gutter drains. It is supposed to stop raining by Thursday - who knows how I will feel by tomorrow afternoon. I might be joining the ranks of the many who are cursing their way through the beyond-soggy days.
Monday, November 06, 2006
credits: Grey Day kit by Shawna Clingerman and paper tears by Stephanie Krush
Sunday, November 05, 2006
It just never fails. Ever.
The note on the "To Do" board clearly says "schedule Christmas photos". I wrote it and posted it last night so I would remember to do it tomorrow morning. I would like to have them taken this week so they are back by Thanksgiving. That way, I can get two sets in....have I mentioned that my daughter has an over-abundance of Christmas dresses? :)
But tonight.........while attempting to get out of the tub, Kaylen fell and smashed her cheek against the side of the tub (she has this thing lately where she stands up quickly and yells "JUMP!" and the mommy goal is to grab her before she actually jumps at you. Not exactly a fun game for the moms and we keep trying to get her to understand she should not do it. But yeah - what are you really going to do with a 20 month old who refuses to listen? *sigh*). It was bruising instantly and while now, 45 minutes later, it isn't too awful, it's still too icky to hide for a portrait.
Maybe next week.
Of course, Kelton will probably be sporting some sort of face owie by then. Keeping both of them bruise and owie free for pictures takes an act of congress.
And speaking of congress........REMEMBER TO VOTE!!!!!! (I just had to get it in there!)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
I just wanted to encourage every person out there to GO VOTE this coming Tuesday, November 7th.
- Have you had enough of what is happening in our country or do you feel we haven't done enough in the war against terror?
- Are you sick and tired of the war and want to bring our troops home or do you feel we can win the war if we continue on?
It doesn't matter WHY you vote....just VOTE!!!!!! (I, of course, have my own thoughts and beliefs on the "right" way to vote but for the love of everything good in the world - get out there and vote!!)
Women especially - get out there and VOTE - we are the majority in this country and we can change the world if we would just get out there and get involved and the easiest thing to do to BE involved is to VOTE!!!! We can do this - we can. It's easy. If you were mailed a ballot, then plan it into your weekend schedule to just sit down and do it. (I voted last weekend - and even with pumpkin carving going on around me, it was simple to do!)
If you go to a polling location, plan your Tuesday around it. Go early - go at lunch - go on your way home. What a great excuse for going in late to work - who is going to reprimand you when you say "Sorry I'm late. I went to exercise my right as an American. I voted on my way to work. Have YOU voted yet?"
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Last August I bought the most adorable pink snowman outfit for Kaylen to wear as her Christmas outfit. (You can see pictures of her wearing it here) It fit fine - the sweater was a wee bit big but nothing that looked obvious. In my very biased mother opinion, she looked absolutely adorable in it.
Anyway, today while I was pulling out her Christmas motif clothes (and man is there a lot of it! Just how many dresses and sweaters did I think this child could wear?!?! That's the thing with buying on eBay, consignment shops and at garage sales throughtout the year; it's hard to keep track of how much you have) I decided to pull her pink snowman outfit from her keepsake box as I remembered it was sized 12-18 months. For some reason, my little one isn't growing as fast as I would have expected and she is still wearing a lot of 12-18 month stuff. Guess what? That little outfit still fits!! I'm shocked and surprised - and pretty darn happy that I get to see her in it again. :)
As for all the other dresses and sweaters? I'm not sure how I'm going to manage to get her into all of them but somehow I will. I see lots of photo of her in the next couple of months - even if I have to hang up a sheet and take them myself. :)
Kaylen has a new word. She first used it last night and she got such a great reaction from us that she used it over and over and over. Each time eliciting giggles from us because well...it was just so gosh darn cute. :)
She first said it about Jordan, our dalmatian, who was sleeping at the foot of her bed (she sleeps in a queen size bed so there is plenty of space down there for a dog to sleep). Dakota and I were lying on either side of Kaylen trying to settle her down for sleep (Halloween fun and too much sugar was making that a tad bit difficult). She spotted the dog and out came "Cuuuuuuuuuuute!" with a little giggle. Soon she was looking at Dakota, who was still in full pirate make-up, saying "cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!" over and over and over. It was so hard not to just give in and let her get as silly as she wanted but it was, after all, 9pm and toddlers should be sleeping. :)
Today she said it a few times, much to the delight of Kelton but then tonight, as I was desperately trying to get her to sleep, she again spotted Jordan at the end of the bed and started with "Oooooooooooooooooh cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!"
That kids kills me. She is so darn funny!
November 1st. I love it. I had my very first peppermint mocha of the season today and I dressed Kaylen in her overalls that has snowflakes and penguins on it. Later this afternoon, I fully intend on pulling from the closet the bin with the winter and Christmas motifs. Bring it on - I'm ready!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
We started out evening out at Dakota's mom and step-dad's house were the kids played with the talking caldron, drew pictures and just hung out. After a bit, we headed out into the bitter cold wind to go trick or treating.
As you will notice, Kelton decided that he wanted to be a pirate instead of a skeleton for the night. The kids and Dakota had a great time and even though I am frozen to the core, so did I. :) And hey - Dakota even managed to get a good photo of the kids and me together! :)
I'm not sure who is more excited about Halloween and dressing up; Kelton or Dakota. :) This is a picture that Dakota took early this morning before she left for work. As you can see, our pj clad boy just couldn't resist joining her in dressing up.
More later...lots of Halloween events planned for the day. :)
Monday, October 30, 2006
It was a wild and busy weekend at our house. Saturday was a beautiful autumn day so the kids and I headed outside to play in the leaves. It was so much fun to roll around and kick the leaves. I just love this time of year.
Here are a few photos from that adventure.
Later, after Dakota returned home from studying, her mom and step-dad brought over pizza and we had a good time just hanging out together. Once they left, we got started on making our Haunted Gingerbread House. Kelton found the kit while we were picking up some groceries earlier in the day and he couldn't wait to create the thing. He's been chomping at the bit to make a gingerbread house for Christmas so imagine his delight when he found one for Halloween! Oh the joy!
Thanks to daylight savings time, Sunday morning found us up and at 'em earlier than our usual early time. The rain was falling down and the kids were getting antsy so we pulled on boots and coats and headed out for an early morning walk in the rain. The kids had so much fun that we actually had the bribe them to come back in the house. Their backpacks and pockets were overflowing from all the "treasures" they found on their walk.
And then, later on that day, it was time to carve the Halloween pumpkin. Kelton got to be the one who decided what the orange guys face would look like and he wanted a happy pumpkin...so...that's exactly what he got. I find it so funny how icked-out the kids are when it comes to touching the pumpkin guts. Kelton has never liked the stuff (though he was brave this year and did hold a bit in his hands) and Kaylen followed suit - though she upped the funniness of it by calling it "pumpkin poop" or..in her words "pumppump poo". :)
So - in a crazy and wild nutshell, that was our weekend. It was fun but as is usually the case, it flew by. It's hard to only have Dakota with us one day a week but as you can see - we try to make the most of it. :)
Sunday, October 29, 2006
This is the BEST recipe for popcorn balls. So darn easy. Kelton, Dakota and I had a great time making them and they are so yummy that I am finding I have to hold myself back from returning to the kitchen for another one.
Thanks Dani for posting the link on your blog!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
A quick and fun career quiz can be found here.
People with blue Interests like job responsibilities and occupations that involve creative, humanistic, thoughtful, and quiet types of activities. Blue Interests include abstracting, theorizing, designing, writing, reflecting, and originating, which often lead to work in editing, teaching, composing, inventing, mediating, clergy, and writing.
People with blue styles prefer to perform their job responsibilities in a manner that is supportive and helpful to others with a minimum of confrontation. They prefer to work where they have time to think things through before acting. People with blue style tend to be insightful, reflective, selectively sociable, creative, thoughtful, emotional, imaginative, and sensitive. Usually they thrive in a cutting edge, informally paced, future-oriented environment. You will want to choose a work environment or career path in which your style is welcomed and produces results.
Let's examine that style thing, shall we?
People with blue styles prefer to perform their job responsibilities in a manner that is supportive and helpful to others with a minimum of confrontation.
True. That's what being a SAHM is all about....hopefully with very minimal confrontation from the children.
Usually they thrive in a cutting edge, informally paced, future-oriented environment.
Cutting edge: I'd say that raising kids.
Informally paced: I'd say that's a definite with kids. Goodness knows you can't be a formal pace.
Future-oriented: Again, sounds like raising children, to me. :)
Guess I'm in the field that suits me best. Go figure.
.....in case you are wondering....you should also add:
"Do not cut your sisters hair with your scissors during craft time."
Man - you have to cover a lot of bases. *sigh*
It's been a long, challenging day. I wish someone could convinve my son that there is no need to get up at 5:30 in the morning! By 1pm, "listening ears" seem to no longer work.
I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!
You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
My kids are obsessed. This weekend we found this video from You Tube on Sonya's blog and my kids have listened to it endlessly since then. Last night I started it for them and went to start a load of laundry. When I returned they were both up on the kitchen table dancing and singing their hearts out to it.
You just have to love these two little guys of mine! :)
Here's the song....and yes, the word "homo" once of the few english words, did indeed spark a conversation with Kelton. :)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Yesterday Kelton saw an infomercial for The Swivel Sweeper and he wanted it so bad. He kept saying "Mom! You can try it risk free for SIXTY days!!" It was so cute.
I have to admit - I'm intrigued. We have a Shark carpet sweeper thingy and I LOVE it! I use it every single day - at least once, sometimes two or three times. The big vacuum now resides in the garage and I pull it out only when necessary. This little thing is SO easy to use. The Swivel Sweeper looks even better because well...as Kelton will tell you, it SWIVELS! It can clean under anything and it has rotating brushes on ALL four sides. How smart is that?!?!
Instead of offering two for the price of one, wouldn't it be a smarter deal to offer one at half price?? I would totally spring for it for $20 for one but $40 for two? It's not like I *need* two. *sigh*
But a girl can dream. Maybe I should put it on my Christmas list. :)
Monday, October 23, 2006
You will never know the love you bring to my life, the light you bring to my heart. Your smile can, and does, fill every dark place in a room.. Your laugh is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. From the day you were born, your cry has been able to bring me to my knees. I want nothing more than to heal whatever hurt you have; to make you smile and laugh again. You are a beautiful child with a loving heart and a giving spirit. You are my dream come true amd you forever will hold a piece of my heart. The world is truly blessed because you are in it./
I love you.
More than you will ever know or understand.
I love you.
Beyond all reason.
See that cute little puppy shirt that Kaylen is wearing? It comes with a great story...at least, Dakota and I think it's a great story. :)
That shirt used to belong to Kelton. When I was pregnant with Kaylen, and Kelton was but a young 2 year old, we were explaining to him how the new baby would wear some of his outgrown clothes. After some more conversation and thought, he very seriously got up, went to his dresser and pulled out his all time favorite shirt, this blue puppy shirt. He handed it to me and said "I want baby sister to have this shirt." We thanked him and explained that he should continue wearing it for now but when he outgrew it we would put it away for when sister was big enough.
Well....she is big enough now.
Kelton, of course, says he doesn't remember but I know that Dakota and I will never forget. I dressed Kaylen in it this afternoon and I think she looks adorable!
Ugh. Glitter art projects. That stuff is the bane of my existence. This time I thought I was a bit more intelligent about that evil sparkling stuff and held the art project outside and yet.....how did it still manage to end up all over the house??
Glitter is truly evil stuff....and completely capitivating to kids.
And those silly grins and deep belly laughs are why I put up with it. And it's probably why I still smile every time I see the glitter-that-shall-never-be-removed on the kitchen cabinets from the last time.
PS...Keep reading. Two more post just for today! :)