Thursday, March 29, 2007

As If Didn't Have Enough Going On.....

....the stupid washer is broken. I called the repair place and they can be here Monday. Good thing we are going out of town - that's a long time to be without laundry here. I guess we'll hit the laundromat Saturday night at the beach. Can't think of anything else I'd rather do but since I know how much dirty stuff we'll be bringing back, it seems like a good thing to do. *sigh*

What? Does the universe think we have a freakin' money tree growing in the backyard? This sucks. Dakota hopes it is just a belt. Yeah - I remember hoping that with my car. I'm not falling into *that* trap again. *sigh*

This sucks.

On an upbeat note though - our 12th wedding anniversary is on April 8th and the trip this weekend to the coast is to celebrate. That should be fun. Have a great weekend everyone and I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Where Are The New Posts?

I know that's what you are all thinking and I don't blame you. It's strange for me not to sit down and blog at least once a day. I've been preoccupied with all the stuff going on with my mom. It feels like I shouldn't just sit and think about regular ol' every day stuff with everything else swirling around me. It just feels so ...well..ordinary in the face of the extraordinary. If that makes any sense. I know it's important to stay with the every day too but everything still feels so new and well.....brightly colored. It's like my eyes haven't quite adjusted to everything. *sigh* I know - it makes no sense.

On top of all that, it's spring break for Dakota which means she is home in the evenings - which is usually when I have time to focus on blogging. Take right now, for instance: I can hear Barney singing in the livingroom and Kelton is sitting at the kitchen table playing with PlayDoh and narrating every step of the way. Cute - but hardly the quietness I need to think. :)

Dakota's mom came over to stay with the kids yesterday afternoon so I could go shopping for a suitable outfit for when it is needed. It's nice to know I have something in the house now. Though it was hardlt a fun shopping experience and I'm sure the girl in Macy's thought I was a total basketcase when I was talking with her to get her opinion and I started to cry. What do I know about clothes that require more thought than a pair of jeans and a t-shirt? Turns out not much - but I think I did ok. I even found dress shoes. Go figure.

I casually talked with Kelton about stuff. Just in a broad sense of "Grandma's body isn't doing very well these days. Did you notice that when we saw her? Well - someday she is going to go to heaven and we won't be able to visit with her when we go to Seattle." He was concerned about the following: Would Grandpa have to go too or could he stay? Would Grandma be able to brush her teeth? He seemed to take it all in stride and just said "Ok. But I'm going to miss her." Yeah buddy - me, too.

We've talked about spirits and souls before and he knows that people and animals go to heaven though he doesn't understand why we can't go visit. He knows that bodies stay behind and the part that makes people and animals who they are leave which means they don't have to take their sick bodies that no longer work. He also seems to grasp the difference between sick with a cold or flu vs. sick with a disease. It's all so hard but you know, it's some ways, it nice to be able to break it down into simple, child-friendly terms and concepts. I think it's helped me, too.

*sigh* Never easy, is it?

This weekend we are going to the beach again. I love going to the beach. I'm hoping to log in some rest, relaxtion and family fun. The weekend after, we are heading back to Seattle. The weekend after that is Kelton's birthday, then hopefully we'll have a weekend just to stay at home and get caught up on stuff and then the following weekend we'll probably be back in Seattle. It's a long drive with the kids and it isn't all fun staying in a hotel with them (not to mention how incredible expensive it is with food, gas, hotel, etc) but I know it's important for my mom and I also know it's important for me.

Life is a journey, is it not?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Click on the "Read my Visual DNA". It's pretty accurate for me. Wild.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Yes, I'm Really Still Here

**Updated to add pictures. If you haven't seen them yet, scroll to the bottom.

I know, I's been days and days since I've updated. I have a good reason though; we were out of town. I did try to post a little something from the hotel but for some reason, the connection was painfully slow so I abandoned that idea in favor of vegging out in front of The Gilmore Girls (we took dvd's along with us for after the kids were sleeping). (Someday I'll tell you of my insane love for The Gilmore Girls. It might be all that coffee they drink.... :) )

We drove up to Seattle to celebrate birthdays for our two guys (one birthday in Feb, one in April) as well as the birthday of our great-niece (March birthday). It just makes sense to do them all at the same time. It's crazy with all the wrappings flying and squeals of delight but it's fun, too. My brother, sister and niece totally spoiled Kelton and Kaylen. The gifts couldn't have been a better fit either. Kaylen, the little princes that she is, received a stunning formal dress, a tiara and matching earrings, two other great dresses, books and a huge amount of dress-up princess clothes. Kelton received roller skates and all the needed padding, books (including a chapter book, James and the Giant Peach, which he made us start last night even though we are in the middle of another one), swim trunks, a shirt, a fabulous book about the human body (which hasn't left his sight), Lego's and an art set (already well used). Both kids also received gift cards to Target and McDonalds from my parents. I'm telling you - these kids are well loved. :)

I, of course, have photos but I've been too preoccupied to download and get them ready for posting. I will get to that soon.

This is spring break for Dakota which means my evening computer time is non-existent though rumor has it (ok - not a rumor. She told me.) that she will need a few hours this week to get some school work done. I told her that was fine since it means I can blog, scrapbook and (probably more the case) play ToonTown. :)

This weekend we are again going out of town. This time to the coast for a few days. I'm really looking forward to it - there is just something about being on the coast that I really love, need and crave. We're staying at a new place this time so that should be fun.

My mom isn't doing all that well. Hospice started seeing her yesterday so at least she will have a qualified nurse checking in on her regularly which gives us all peace of mind. It, of course, is a step no one really wanted to have here so soon but here it is. Life is what it is. We all do our best and somehow, the pieces all come together. I have to say though, my brother and sister are going an amazing job looking after my parents. I was touched by how gentle my brother was when he would move her and help her reposition. We all had a good laugh when he started dancing with her when he was holding her upright, in a classic dancing position so a seat wedge could be placed in her wheelchair. It was nice when mom joined in with a laugh of her own though she was quick to say "No!" when James asked is she wanted to dance. I still contend it's because she thinks James is a bad dancer. :)

The kids did so well - which I was concerned about. I had a gut feeling that Kelton would be fine as he always has been. Kaylen has always been the one who worries me. Normally she won't go near my mom and wouldn't hardly look in her direction. This time though was different. I'm not sure if it was the lack of the walker, etc all around her or if Kaylen is just getting to be more sure of herself and everyone else but she interacted quite well with her grandma and even gave her a hug and a kiss when we left. It was really nice to see and I could tell it meant the world to my mom.

So anywhere - that's all the news from the past few days. Now that I've updated, I need to swing by everyones blogs to see how everyone else is doing. :)

later that same day......
I just uploaded pictures. Here are a few to share. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Bowling Set

Kelton: "I want to play with my bowling set. You know, the plastic one with pins and you roll the ball and hit them."

Me: "Sorry honey, I gave that away."

Kelton: "You WHAT? How could you DO that? It was my favorite toy EVER!"

Me: "I did it because you never played with it and we need to make room for the toys you do play with."

He runs off to his bedroom crying

Comes back and yells "DON'T GIVE MY TOYS AWAY AGAIN!"

I gave it away over 6 months ago. Somehow I doubt it was his favorite toy ever.

It's been a very long day here.
Personal Stuff

I have pesonal stuff I'm dealing with right now and while I'd usually share it here publically, I'm not ready for it to be out there for the entire world - it's not for entertainment purposes, if you know what I mean. Since this blog doesn't allow password protected posts, I have posted it elsewhere. If you are someone I know (IRL or from blog-land) send me an email and I will forward the link to you.

Dakota and I and the kids are great. Things are fine there. This is something else. I hate cryptic posts like this but for now, that's the way it has to be. Sorry.

IRL = in real life
from blog-land = you read my blog often and comment or send email
email address=

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Mommy! Hep Me"

My evening and night sucked last night. This cold has really smacked both Kaylen and I (Kelton seems all but back to normal today). She was miserable last night and kept waking. I would go in, soothe her and get her back to sleep. Then I'd sneak out, sit back down at the computer and BAM! She was awake again. Crying out, was really sad and frustrating. I was feeling pretty awful myself and really, I just wanted to have alone and quiet time.

I heard this through the monitor:
"Mommy! Hep Me! Mommy!"

I went racing down the hall to her room.
Me: "Mommy's here. What's wrong, honey?"
K: pointing to her nose said "No beath."
Me: "You can't breathe? I know honey, You're all stuffy from your cold."
K: "Hep me."

It was just so sad.

I was sitting on the couch holding her when Dakota walked in so she took her and rocked her for a bit but Kaylen was just too uncomfortable. She put her in our bed and turned on Barney. Now I know a lot of people don't enjoy the purple dino but I'm here to tell you, he is a hero in our house. Kaylen LOVES that guy and would happily watch episode after episode all day long. So she was quite content snuggled in our bed watching her friend while Dakota and I got ready for bed. It was a long while before Kaylen finally fell asleep. Poor girl.

Dakota went in late this morning so she could be here in case I needed her. It was so nice not to have to jump up and be "on" immediately. Kaylen and I are better today but still fighting it pretty hard. I haven't spent the day racing the Tylenol bottle at the 4 hour mark today so I guess that's a big improvement. :)

So that's life here today.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Was That The Weekend That Just Flew By?

Holy moley - time sure can fly. I swear I turned around twice and the next thing I knew it was Monday. No wonder I feel all dizzy and disoriented. I'm just *thinking* it is the cold I (and both kids) managed to come down with this weekend.

Friday started off with a bang! The cleaning crew was scheduled to be here so the kids and I took off and headed to the daily play time session that is held at the local community center. A new moms group that I joined was having a meet-up time there so I threw on my brave face and went. I even introduced myself to a few of the moms (there were non-affiliated moms there as well) which, if you know me in real life, is quite the feat for me. Until I get to know someone, I'm usually quite shy.

The kids grew tired of all the fun about an hour into it so we headed home. The cleaning crew was gone - which is always a good thing! :) We had a regular afternoon while we waiting for Dakota to be done studying so she could come home. Once Dakota was home, we drove downtown so we could have our Wills and whatnot notarized at our credit union. (YIPPIE! They are DONE!). After we finished there Dakota and I decided to take the kids to dinner at our favorite place; Beaches. We rarely take the kids there - it's usually the place we like to go alone. The best part for the kids is that right next to the building there is a giant sand area in which they could play. We walked through it and walked over to look at the river and then went inside to eat with promises of coming back to play after dinner.

The kids were great! Kelton was probably the best he has ever been in a restaurant and Kaylen...well she was two. :) Usually we have Kelton trying to join into the 2 year old antics but this time he didn't and I was so proud of him! Such a big boy he is growing to be.

When you order the kids meals the waitress will come by after you have finished eating and take the kids on a "tour" which includes a stop at the toy chest to pick a toy (Kelton picked a rubber bouncing thingy and Kaylen picked a small rubber duck. She is our little duck lover to be sure.) and then to the ice cream bar where they get to pick the flavor ice cream and the toppings they would like. Talk about heaven for kids! Kaylen went willingly with the waitress which was a shock to both of us. She, of course, probably wouldn't have gone if her beloved big brother wasn't with her.

After dinner, we made good on our promise and went back to the sand area. Oh my gosh - they played there for a good 90 minutes and it was really great (except for when Kelton got sand in his eyes and screamed bloody murder until we were able to wash it out with the water from the car). It had been a beautiful day and the evening was just as wonderful. I couldn't believe it was bedtime by the time we got back home.

Saturday we decided we would finally take the kids to the new community center to go swimming. It's been there for more than a year now but this is the first time we've swam there. It was a lot of fun and it made me wish that I had a waterproof camera. There were some good photos to be had. After swimming we went to IHOP for lunch and then back home. Dakota was supposed to mow the lawn but when she went to start the mower, it didn't want to start. This sucks on so many levels but what can you do? We have the mower guy coming to fix it next week.

I did a little yard stuff, took the kids on a short walk/bike ride and then settled in to play my newest addiction: Toontown On-line. It's Kelton's game, really but man oh man - I have gotten so hooked on it. A real oddity for me since I am not one to like video or computer games. But this game is seriously fun (and I learned I have a bit of a competitive streak. I was playing against another toon character on a specific game when I said something to the effect of "Take that you loser!". Dakota was quick to remind me that I was probably playing against a 6 year old. Ooops! :) I need to get a grip.) Kelton and I played for hours and hours this weekend and I have the mouse finger and sore arm to show for it. Not to mention I think I have eye strain from staring at the computer screen for so long.

Sunday I got my hair cut and we all ran a few errands. Then we settled back in at home. While I balanced the checkbook (yuck!) Dakota got busy tightening up the connections on the play structure. Since it was so cold and wet when she built it, we knew they weren't as snug as they could be. Kaylen helped. I ran the camera out to Dakota and she was able to get some pretty cute pictures and a really great video.

Today we had a morning playdate with Declan and his mom. When she called Sunday night I gave fair warning the kids and I had colds but she was ok with braving our germs and coming over anyway. Kelton was out of sorts so he kept to himself a lot of the time so it was a quiet playdate which gave Declam's mom and I a chance to really talk. Always nice to be able to talk with the other mom instead of spending most of the time managing conflicts and finding new things to keep the little ones busy.

The rest of the day was low key. You could tell the three of us were running on a low energy level. Needless to say, sleep was quickly achieved for both the kids. So here is where I will end so I can go play in Toontown. But before I go, I will leave you with this video of The World's Cutest Fit-It Girl:

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's Thursday ....

Which means family time is here which, of course, translates into next to no time for blogging.

I can't very well leave my blog sitting for a couple days with the depressing post I just did (below). I had to get it out of my system's been bugging me for days and then tonight's story on my Comcast News Page just tipped me over the edge. Blick. So now let's focus on something uplifting, ok? :)

Guess who can climb up the play structure AND slide down the slide all by herself? It's pretty darn sweet and amazing and she is soooooooo proud of herself. She just started doing this tonight until then, it's been "Mommy! Catch me!" which meant I had to stand at the bottom of the slide and catch her before her feet could hit the ground. Of course that was an improvement over standing near the top of the slide so I could hold her hand as she slid down.

I can't believe how fast she is changing. Every day she amazes me with a new skill she masters. And then there is Kelton, of course. Who developes new skills every 45 seconds...or so it seems. :)

Check out the videos:

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Is it just me?

It seems like every time I open up a newspaper of my internet browser news page I am seeing story after story after story of people abusing or killing their children. These are in addition to the horrifying amounts of stories of other people hurting or killing children. I'm talking about the father who today stabbed his 11 month old in the back with a knife (the child lived, thank God!) or the parents who not only physically abused their 4 year old daughter but who left her locked in the bathroom for 10 hours scrubbing her clothes in the tub. The put that child through hell all day long and "somehow" she drown.

It feels never ending this week. Story after story. What is WRONG with people? I scream inside my head (so as not to scare my own babies) "These are your children! What is WRONG with you??" Something else I don't get is it feels like a lot of these people live in apartments. Are you telling me that the walls of apartments are so solid these days that no one outside the four walls can hear a child screaming for all they are worth as someone is beating them time after time after time??

Where is societies accountability for keeping our children safe? And what about the agencyies that receive reports but give an all clear only months later to have the child end up dead?

Yes, kids can push your buttons. Mine can make me lose my mind and my temper - but I could never, ever, ever think of doing to my beautiful children what these parents are doing to theirs. I berate myself for yelling at them when I am at my wits end. Those moments haunt me...and "all" I'm doing is raising my voice to tell them what I told them to do three or more times (as in "I SAID THREE TIMES TO GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH...GO NOW!"). I just can not even comprehend what goes through the mind of a parent when they beating, smacking or killing their child.

I guess I'm glad I can't comprehend. Hopefully that means I am not missing the piece of my soul that makes it so easy for people to hurt children.

A lost piece of their soul. Is that what it is?

Are there really more cases of this going on or is it the same as always but with the availability of news sources, is it just easier to come across the articles? As a mother am I just more sensitive to it than I ever way before? No, it feels like there is an increase.....

I just don't understand. I don't really *want* to understand. I just want it to stop. STOP!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chapter Books

Remember this book? It's just as good as I remembered. I am having a blast reading it to Kelton and he is loving every word. We're on chapter six and neither one of us can wait to read tomorrow nights chapter. We're both already looking forward to reading the last chapter so we can take a trip to the bookstore the very next day to get the second book in the three part series.

I'm already planning which series will come next: the Henry Huggin's set or maybe it will be Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing and Super Fudge (by Judy Blume)! I can't even tell you how fun it is to have a kid who is getting into "chapter books"! It's so, so, so much fun!

It's so cool that all these chacters from my childhood are just sitting there waiting to be part of my son's childhood. And just think - I have another little one who I will get to share this fun all over again with in a couple of years.

I am so lucky! :)
A Long Day

It was a "stay at home" day today and I swear to you - those are the longest days. At least when we are going someplace there is the prep time to get ready, the traveling somewhere, the being somewhere, the traveling back, the arriving home and the settling in parts. That usually sucks up the entire morning which leaves me with lunch, quiet time (which is a big joke around here these days since little Miss Thang has decided she is a "big gul" (her pronounciation) and no longer needs naps. Heaven help me! Kelton napped until he was 4 and by george, I expected the same from Kaylen. But seriously - is it worth my time to take an hour getting her down only to have her sleep 30 minutes? I think not!) and the afternoon portion of our day.

Having something to do in the morning hours is much easier than a full day of "Mom? Can I do....." Mom? I'm hungry. What can I eat?" "Mom....outside me go!" "Mom....yout tube peasssse!" (yogurt tube) "Mom! Dogdog!" (Hotdog. Which, I kid you not, Kaylen is going to turn into. How can one kid put away so many of those things?!?!?!)

By 9 o'clock this morning we had played computer games and danced around to silly songs, played with the Playdoh, played in the yard, played Legos and watched several episodes of Barney. I'm thinking time actually came to a stand still for about 4 hours somewhere in there. How is it that time can move so slowly sometimes?

I wanted to pull my hair out by 12:30 because it had been "I want, do for me, play with me, come see, come watch, help me, etc." for hours.

We somehow managed to make it to dinner time in one piece and actually, for the first time in a while, had a peaceful dinner. No one acted crazy, no one screamed, no one ended up on the naughty rug and mommy was still in a good mood at the end. A rarity after dinner to be sure. :)

We had some more fun (and really, it was fun. Kelton has a new computer game that he is having a blast with so I went between him (offering assistance) and Kaylen, who was in the backyard playing) and then bath and bed went like clock-work. Kelton was so wiped out that he practically fell asleep while I was reading to him. Kaylen was out minutes after her head hit the pillow.

Looking at their sweet sleeping faces I have to admit, even though it was a crazy, crazy day - it was also a really good one. How could it be anything but? I was with two of my three favorite people in the world and I had enough hugs and kisses to keep me going all day (and two pots of coffee didn't hurt either *grin*).

Tomorrow (Thursday) is free coffee day!

I received an email this morning with all the information you need to know about the free coffee time at Starbucks. It's kind of small so I will re-write what it says:

Come in and enjoy a 12 fl oz cup of premium drip coffee on us. It's a chance to reconnect with one of the greatest pleasures in life.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pushing the "Gay Agenda"

I was reading my local paper this morning and glanced, as usual, through the opinion section. I don't usually put a lot of energy into reading them but one in particular caught my eye:

**snipped from The Columbian; Tuesday March 13th, 2007**

Gay agenda pushed on us

Some time back, as I was avoiding the umpteenth story about gay issues, I was wondering where the next article on homosexuality would originate. I didn't have to wait long as I opened the paper on Feb. 25 and there was a story, "China's gays and lesbians emerge into open slowly."

I didn't really want to read another story concerning the homosexual community, wherever and however obscure that community may be in relation to us here in Clark County. (note from me: I don't really want to read stories about how people are killing their children, or each other either, but that's life. That's reality. Oh - I'm also not a big fan of reading about rodeo's either but week after week in the summer, they are still in my paper.)

I have been asking myself, "When will enough be enough?" for too long now. Are there any other readers who have had their fill of these types of stories? Is there some network of writers who keep all others abreast of the latest story in the "gay" world? (note from me: What? We have a "gay world"? Where? Don't we all share the same world? Yeah - I thought so.)

Studies abound on the effects of the media on our youth as well as the desensitizing of the same due to this onslaught. We, as concerned parents and citizens, need to step in to protect our children and society. (note from me: Why yes. Do protect people from the likes of me. I seem so deviant. Don't I?)

No, Hillary's village cannot and will not do it. The institutions of this great land have bowed to the gay agenda -- the agenda that will push until our society embraces this decadent behavior, after which all other decadent behaviors pale in comparison. (note from me: Decadent? Sorry - I'm laughing too hard to come up with a retort to this one. Decadent. That's good. LOL!!!)

Phil Wilson

**end snip**

So I started thinking to myself: "Agenda? What agenda? No one gave me that memo. Nothing showed up in my mailbox. Do we, as the gay community *have* an agenda? Seriously? Clearly I need to get better connected. I never get invited to the gay meetings."

I started thinking what was on my "gay agenda" for the day:

1. Finish my cup of coffee and the last section of the newspaper.
2. Figure out what to feed the kids for breakfast and then get it made, served and cleaned up.
3. Load the dishwasher and run it.
4. Start a load of laundry and fold the load in the dryer.
5. Jump in the shower after finding the kids something to do for 10 minutes so they wouldn't start fussing with each other.
6. Get dressed.
7. Get the kids dressed, get their teeth brushed and their faces washed.
8. Straighten up the living room while wondering how on earth they could have trashed is so badly while I was showering and dressing.
9. Get shoes and coats on the kids while at the same time gathering up things I'll need (purse, cell phone, bottles of water, etc).
10. Get out the door and to the car without too much chaos.
11. Stop by Starbucks for a much needed caffeine jolt.
12. Get to the moms club event as close to on time as I possible can.
13. Watch over the kids while chatting with a few moms (all heterosexual, I might add for dramatic purposes).
14. Take the kids out into the play area and let them play in the fresh air for an hour.
15. Wrangle the kids back to the car and back to the house.
16. Feed them lunch and let them unwind in front of a child friendly PBS station program.
17. Eat lunch myself and take care of some more laundry and unload the dishwasher.
18. Check email.
19. Take the kids into the backyard for more outside time.
20. Convince them to come back inside with the promise of a fun art project.
21. Clean up the art project and play with the kids; dolls for one, Lego's for the other.
22. Go get the mail and take care of it.
23. Pay the bill that arrived and take it to the mailbox for tomorrow's pick up.
24. Bring the garbage cans and recycling bins in.
25. Notice that it's time to start thinking about dinner.
26. Make dinner and then clean it up.
26. Get the kids into the bath and then into their pajamas.
27. Watch a TV program with the little one while the big one has 20 minutes of computer time.
28. Brush teeth and get the kids ready for bed.
29. Read two stories for the little one and a chapter of Mouse and the Motorcycle for the older one.
30. Kiss them good night and tuck them in.
31. Sing them their nightly lullabys.
32. Once they're asleep, go out into the rest of the house and do a final clean up for the day.
33. Make sure the laundry is all put away.
34. Make a cup of tea and sit down to check email.
35. Update my blog.
36. Check a few blogs and message boards.
37. Try to stay awake to say hello to my partner when she comes through the door after working a full day and attending evening law school.
38. Spend 25 minutes catching her up on the days events and then....
39. ...fall into bed exhausted. Maybe it will be a few hours before a child wakes me up.

Oh yeah - that is one heck of a "gay agenda". :)

But if what he means by "gay agenda" is showing the world (by just being ourselves and being seen as "normal, regular people") that we deserve the same rights and recognition as heterosexuals, then yes...I am pushing the gay agenda...and I'm also pushing a stroller most days.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

These scenes just made me smile today so thought I'd share them with you.

A girl and her cat watching the world:

My daughter, at 2 years, 1 month, built a castle for her princess dolls. OY!

Now keep reading. There are two other posts from tonight. I have lots more to share from the weekend but in an effort not to overload you; I'll wait and post more tomorrow. I'm nice like that. :) *laughing*
If You Build It, Will They Come?

Ok. I did it. I jumped with both feet and now I'm just waiting.

I started a MeetUp group for lesbian moms in the Vancouver/Portland area. So, if you are in the area, or know of lesbian moms in the area, please pass along the link. I'd love to see the group grow and do well.

If you haven't yet wandered by, take a few mintues and do so. You never know the kind of groups in your area that might interest you. There are hundreds of different types.
Silly Fun

Having kids can be so much fun! Check out my silly two:

My kids love to paint. They LOVE it. I really do not enjoy the mess. I know it's good for them to be messy and creative and yet....the paint mess just seems so daunting some times. So on those days when I want them to have creative fun but I don't feel like cleaning up paint splatters from one end of the house to the other, I strip them down, put them in the tub and hand them containers of finger paint or some other washable paint and let them go to town. Cleaning up is easy! The shower sprayer cleans off the shower walls, the tub and the kids and the plus side is, once everything is cleaned up, the kids have even had their bath for the night. :)

Did I mention they LOVE to paint? :)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Attention All Caffeine Junkies!!

Mark your calendars, all you coffee junkies! March 15th from 10AM-Noon Starbucks will be giving away free coffee!

Check it out: Starbucks Gossip

I've read about this event in several venues from magazines to websites. Seems legit to me!

See you there! :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Kelton's Birthday Gift

I am so going to rock Kelton's birthday. He is going to be off the wall excited and I can't wait until he opens his gift from us. Clearly it will have to be the last one he opens because everything will come to a screeching halt.

Last week, while we were at his buddy Declan's house for a playdate, he fell head over heels for Declan's Game Boy. I watched him for a bit while he played and you should have seen him - he was thrilled and so proud of himself that he was able to play it. For days after all I heard was "Mom? Do you think I could have a Game Boy like Declan's?" "Mom? Know what I want to do today? Go get a Game Boy!" "Mom! Can you pleeeeeeeeeeeeease get me a Game Boy?"

So I talked with Dakota and we agreed that we'd get him one as a birthday gift. I went on-line and started pricing them and we could get a new one for about $80. Then of course we'd have to get games. Declan's mom told me where a good place to get used games for cheap. Ok - so for about $120 we could get one or two games and the Game Boy. Not cheap but it would be his only gift from us (usually he would get two things) and we knew it would make him over the moon happy.

I figured I would sneak out and try to get things this weekend. But then, by chance, I was talking with Declan's mom this morning and she mentioned that she was going to be selling Declan's (practically new) Game Boy since she just bought him a new game set up (don't ask me for specifics because I'm a complete loser when it comes to video games, etc.). I jumped. I asked her to figure out what she would sell it, and the games, for and to let me know. The upshot is I got the Game Boy, its case and charging cord PLUS 6 games for $90. SCORE!!

We went over for a playdate this afternoon and all the way there he talked about how much fun the Game Boy was and did I think Declan would let him play it today. He did get to play it but then....hidden inside my purse, it all come home with us! :)

I'm so excited!!!! My little guy is going to have his dream come true in just a few weeks. I love being able to fullfill his dreams. I just love it! :)
Checking In on the To Do List

It's been a week since I posted my endless To Do list so I thought this would be a good time for a reality check to see how things are coming along.

Done List
I have a birthday gift to wrap, another gift to wrap and ship and a third that still needs to be bought before it can be wrapped and shipped. Oh - and then there is still another gift that I need to buy for the end of the month that will be hand delivered.

I have a throw rug at the back slider that has become quite muddy from the constant ins and outs of dogs and kids. Oh - and I have a few pair of shoes and boots in varying sizes that need to be cleaned, too.

There are bath toys that need to be gone through and sorted out.

I need to do some serious blog maintenance. My blog roll is completely out of date and I feel guilty each time I see it. **Let me know if you don't see yourself and you'd like to. I'd be happy to add you. :)

I need to start shopping for Kelton's birthday. WAHOO!!! See next post.

I need to have Dakota clean the carpets before they drive me batty (again with the mud, kids and pets)

I need to change the sheets on all the beds.

Seven items taken care of - at least short term.

In progress
I need to redo my will.

I need to be sure guardianship papers for Kaylen are completed and that Kelton's are updated.

Two items in progress.

Not Done List
Copy and paste my blog posts into a Word document to save for the kids: But I think about it constantly. I think I get credit there. :)

I have a kitchen floor that is in desperate need of a good ol' fashioned scrubbing. **But with a few regular moppings it doesn't look half bad to just look at it. I'm happy enough for now.

I need to go through the various art supply drawers that Kelton has and reorganize them. It means tossing things out which means I can't do it when Kelton is around.

I need to scrapbook more pages. I want to set a weekly goal and reach it.

I need to clean things off my hard drive and move other things to my external hard drive.

I need to start shopping for Dakota birthday.

I need to figure out what I would like to give Dakota for our 12th wedding anniversary.

Seven things not done.

Hmmm...looks like it's a tie in the things done and things not done arena but you know, I'm pretty happy with that. I feel like I've been productive in the midst of all the usual family and kid stuff. On top of that, the kids and I have actual had more fun and happy times than not this week so that, in and of itself, tops the Things Accomplished list! :)
You Can Help - and it's so easy!

You can help women in shelters by just clicking your mouse. Check out Seventh Generation website:

*snipped from the actual website*
Women’s shelters in the U.S. go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly, and, while agencies generally assist with everyday necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, this most basic need is often overlooked. You and I may take our monthly trips down the feminine care aisle for granted, but, for women in shelters, a box of tampons is five dollars they can’t spare. Here’s some good news: you can help us contribute to rectifying this situation by making a virtual donation.

For each virtual donation, Seventh Generation will send a pack of organic cotton tampons or chlorine-free pads to a shelter in your state.
*end snip*

It's easy - so simple. Put it on your favorites list and stop by often. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

(post #3 for today)

Ok - so I'm working on my Will tonight. Apparently in my state it is required that the witnesses (two) go with me to sign in front of a notary. I sure don't remember doing this the last time we wrote Wills but then, maybe we were in violation of state law (and thereofre so was the notary). I know we had witnesses sign but I clearly remember having them sign in Dakota's sister's kitchen (family gathering). I remember the day after the witnesses signed I took it to my credit union to be notorized.

Am I seriously supposed to scare up two people who will give up part of their day to travel to my (downtown) credit union to sign this? And if so, where do I find these two witnesses? I'm not exactly swimming in "real life" friends and it feels oh so strange to ask Dakota's mom and step-father.

I did a basic Will just to have things covered while I work on all the rest of the documents. I'm using the Suze Orman Will and Trust kit which seems easy enough. (I used a computer program last time, too.) I just need to find the time to get through all the "must have" legal documents. Fortunately, I already have most of them. I just wanted to be sure everything was updated. Power of Attorney's, etc were all redone right before Kaylen was born. The most important one, right now, is the Will so that I have the guardianship for the kids in writing. My personal property I don't so much worry about but the kids? Those little munchkins I worry very much about.

Nothing like thinking about leaving your children to someone else to raise. Talk about feeling like you've been kicked in the gut. I totally get why so many parents put off naming guardians and writing Wills. I already had the guardian named - but entering it all into a worksheet and seeing it all in black and white is actually pretty frightening. *sigh*

(keep's been a productive blogging night for me and I wouldn't want you to miss all the fun of the day. *grin*)
And a PS for the day.....
(post #2 for today)

Caroline, this is really for you though I am sure others will get a kick out of it. These are videos I shot of Kelton today singing "Calling All Friends". I thought of you and that YouTube video you posted where the boy was singing in the backseat. :)

It's Been a Good Day.
(post #1 for today)

We have had a really good day. This morning dawned another bright and sunny spring-type day so it wasn't long before little miss sunshine was clamoring to go outside to play. That wasn't exactly on the agenda for the day - I had planned to go to MOMS Club for no other reason than to get out of the house for a bit and give the kids a change of venue. I told Kaylen I would think about going outside first. Kelton, however, had other plans. In the middle of me getting myself and Kaylen ready for the day, Kelton came charging to the back of the house and announced "I want to go to the library and get some books to read." He was none too happy when he heard my plans. "But I loooooooove books more than I love MOMS Club!!" he yelled as he stormed from the room.

Sighing deeply, because I knew this was a battle I wasn't going to win and wasn't one I really wanted to fight, I went to find him. I explained my reasons for wanting to go to MOMS Club but he wasn't buying. In my head I started my bitch session with myself of "When did my life become all about them? Blah blah blah." When I stopped stewing for a moment it hit me (again. Because I have always known - sometimes I just lose my mind.) stopped being all about me the second the blue line showed up on that pregnancy test stick back in 2001.

Oh. Right. No longer about me. I remember.

So I went back to talk with him and we agreed that we would go to the library and because it was Tuesday, that meant story time. He was so excited!

We had some time to kill before leaving so I turned them loose in the backyard for a bit. They had a great time and Kaylen surprised me by climbing up to the slide platform completely by herself. In the few seconds of time it took me to get my shoes on (they are Crocs, how long could it have taken?), grab a jacket and get out there, she was happily sitting atop the platform waiting for me to hold her hand on the slide. Oh my! She is growing up far too quickly.

After cleaning up a bit, we headed out to the library. They were both amazingly good at story time though I did remember why we stopped going. I just don't like the person who does the story times on Tuesday. On what planet is it a good idea to have a group of happy and quiet kids hear a story and then rile them up with songs and dances only to then make them sit down immediately for another quiet story? Come on people! Once you rile little ones up it takes a bit of doing to quiet them down so don't start barking out names of the kids who take a bit longer than 10 milli-seconds to calm down after all that running around. I swear that woman brings out the Mama Bear in me! Grrrrrrrrr. Anyway - all told, the kids had a great time!

The afternoon went smoothly. As soon as we arrived home, Kaylen wanted back in the yard so she and I went and played for a bit while Kelton caught up on his Mr. Rogers. :) Then it was naptime but oh no...little miss thing was not the slightest bit interested in sleeping. So, I finally gave up. At least I knew she would go down without a fight tonight and since nighttime sleeping is, at this point, a crap shoot, I figured it didn't make much difference. The kids played happily together and alone all afternoon. I even managed to read a magazine - yay me! :)

The ate a good dinner, helped clean up, had their bath and soon, they were tucked in tight. Yep - it was a great day! I love great days. :)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Now Where Were We?

Oh right - I was going to tell you all about the weekend.

Friday morning I took the kids to this brand new play place called Cafe Sip-n-Play. While it advertises itself as a place for the kids to play while the parent enjoy a cup of coffee and relax, it isn't quite like that. Sure, there are tables set up for grown-ups to sit and talk (and they have Wi-Fi) but it's a smaller-than-I-anticipated place and it was jam-packed with moms and kids. Even so, it was really a lot of fun. I'm not the type of mom who would just drop my kids in the play area and go read a book while I tried to keep one ear open for their screams so for me, the lack of seating wasn't really a big thing. I hung out in the areas the kids were in so I could watch and play with them. It was really, really fun!

I let Kaylen skip her nap so we could stay, have lunch and play a while longer so that night she went down without a fight and was asleep at 6:30. She did really well until it was time for *me* to go to bed when it was all bets off and she was up and down the rest of the night. I'm actually (sadly) getting used to it.

Saturday found Kaylen and I running errands while Dakota cleaned the carpets (thanks, honey! The look soooo much better!). Kelton stayed home with Dakota. We, again, ended up letting Kaylen skip her nap because by the time she and I returned home, the carpets were finished and she had a little down time; it was too late to think about putting her down. We had a birthday party to go to!

We went to our great-niece's second birthday (she and Kaylen are 12 days apart) and had a good time visiting with Dakota's family. From there we went over to Dakota's sister's house to check out their recently remodeled house. From there we decided to hit Azteca for dinner and then pick up a movie from Blockbuster. Phew! By the time we got home it was bath and bedtime for the kids. After the kids were asleep, Dakota and I settled in to watch "Man of the Year" which, if you haven't seen it yet, is a pretty good movie. Worth the time though I personally feel like they rushed the ending a bit too much. Still - worth the time from my point of view.

Sunday Dakota took the kids in the morning and I was able to catch a couple more hours of dozing. Not really sleeping since I could hear the kids laughing and playing but it was still really nice to drift in and out and dreams. After I got up, we lazed around and read the paper while the kids played. We were successful in getting Kaylen down for a 30 minute nap, too! :) After her nap we had given Kelton the option of going to a local mall to hang out (his all time favorite thing to do) but he and Kaylen decided they wanted to stay home and play on their swingset. A grand idea! The weather was very spring like and we all had a good time outside. Dakota and the kids went on a bug hunt (Eeeew! No thanks!) and then they created a "field journal" to keep track of the Bleeding Heart's growth. Very clever little guy we have. :)

After playing in the yard, we cleaned up and drive to the party supply store to pick up things for Kelton's birthday. It was fun to walk around and look at everything. We couldn't find decorations for his cake though (which we heard would be very difficult and it seems bakeries do not yet have a Backyardigan cake in their cake books) so we headed over to Kohl's. Dakota had remembered they had a big Backyardigan's toy section and she was right! We hit pay dirt with the pirate ship and two characters. It couldn't be more perfect because Kelton was really torn between The Backyardigan's theme and a pirate's theme. :)

When we returned home, Dakota started dinner and I went to work on the invitations. I'm really happy with how it turned out and I can't wait to see it when it comes back from the printers.

While I was trying to finish up the invitations, Dakota was watching over the kids. Or...........was she? I heard giggling and laughter which I *thought* was supervised fun but alas, no such luck. Want to know what happens when you leave temporary tattoo loving children alone with a bag of dinosaur tattoos? They apparently think it is big, big fun to cover their bodies with them...and yes, that does include their faces. *sigh*

In case you are wondering, vegetable oil does a fine job of removing them from faces. The rest of them we will just let come off over the next week or so. Silly little kids. :)

After that it was bath and bedtime for the tired kiddos. We stayed up to watch a few shows and then we hit the hay, too. Kaylen's sleep is still all over the place so I had a rocky night (again, still...whichever) but all in all, we had a great weekend! I am so loving the fact that this semester we have two family days in a row (Saturday and Sunday). The three previous semesters, Dakota spent Saturdays studying so we only had family time on Sunday. This is soooo much better! :)

Today dawned looking very much like spring! Since we needed a few quick items from the grocery store, I decided that we would walk. Well....I walked. Kaylen rode in the stroller and Kelton rode his bike. We had a blast! It isn't too far, about a 20 minute walk each way and Kelton was so darn proud of himself. Walks have just become a whole lot easier, I think! At least until Kaylen decides she wants to ride her bike too. But for now, I think I see more walks in our future.

When we arrived home there was a message from a friend of mine. I called her back and she wanted to know if Kelton wanted to come over for a playdate with her almost 5 year old. The boys have actually known each other since they were about 2 weeks old - I met Declan's mom when we were both pregnant living north of Seattle. A twist of fate landed us both down here by the time Declan was 19 months old (we moved here when Kelton was 10 weeks)- living about 15 minute apart. Kelton wanted to go play so they stopped by and picked him up. I had just gotten Kaylen down for her nap so with Kelton gone, I was able to enjoy about 30 minutes by myself. When Kaylen woke up, I snuggled her back to sleep and stayed with her until she got a decent (almost) 2 hour nap (since she was in our bed, I turned on The View and was able to watch it completely uninterrupted! WOW!). Hopefully that will turn the tides on the night waking. Time will tell.

After Kaylen woke up she and I headed over to Declan's house. We ended up staying and having a playdate of our own. We were even invited to dinner! After that, it was home, bath, wind down time and bed. Here is a picture I took last week of Kelton and Declan. Look at that size difference! WOWSA! The other pictures are of Kelton holding Graysen, their pet rat. I was pretty proud of him for being so brave and I think the pictures are adorable. :)

PHEW! That was long, wasn't it? Well, the good news is, I think you are up to date now. :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What a Weekend!

I don't have much time tonight to go into all the details of the weekend so I'll just bullet point things and then elaborate on it tomorrow. (This of course is more for me since I am very likely to forget to talk about things if I don't write them done. Mommy-brain: isn't just a myth. :)

Friday I took the kids to a new play place. It was SO much fun! I took some pictures so I'll have to upload them so I can share a few.

Saturday Kaylen and I ran some errands while Dakota and Kelton stayed home and cleaned the carpets (check off on the To Do list!). Kaylen and I made a post office run to ship a birthday gift (check from the list) and we even went and picked up two other birthday gifts (check and check) and then today I shipped the final one that needed shipping from last weeks To Do list (check!).

We went to our great-niece's 2nd birthday party.

Today we played in the yard and then ran a few quick errands. We settled on a birthday theme for Kelton's 5th birthday and picked up a few party-type things and a decoration for the cake. I also work on, and completed, his party invitation. (YAY ME!) I even uploaded it and got it sent to the printers for printing. (Are you impressed?) Here's what it looks like:

Hmmm..that list isn't as impressive as it feels it should be. I'm sure I'll think of others things we did so that I can share but for now, Dakota is impatiently waiting for me so that we can watch The L Word. More tomorrow!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Feeling Overwhelmed by the Endless To-Do List

I have so much to do. So much. So why aren't I doing it? Why do I sit here trying to distract myself from the seemingly kajillion things that need to be done. Sure, I can rationalize it by saying "The kids are asleep, it's late. I'm exhausted. No sense starting anything right now that might wake them and besides, this is the only free time I have in the day." As true as those things are - I still feel guilty for not doing something "productive". (Blogging is "productive", right? :) )

For months now I have been wanting to copy and paste posts from my blog into a word document so that I can print it off and keep it safe for my kids. The things I write about them I want them to have for when they are older. I have a fear that I will die and my babies will never truly realize how much I loved and cherished them. So I want it in print. I want it bound in a book that they can take with them into their adult lives. And yet, every day my posts increase in numbers and I have yet to begin copying and pasting. Part of me wonders if I could hire someone to do it for me. :) (I know - that's pretty sad.)

I have a birthday gift to wrap, another gift to wrap and ship and a third that still needs to be bought before it can be wrapped and shipped. Oh - and then there is still another gift that I need to buy for the end of the month that will be hand delivered.

I have a kitchen floor that is in desperate need of a good ol' fashioned scrubbing. For the life of my I just don't get the bright idea behind the divots in vinyl flooring. Yeah yeah - it's to trap the dirt and keep it from wafting across the room like an old western film and yet - it's just a ridiculous thing to have on our flooring because the dogs and kids track in so much mud and dirt and it all becomes ground into the divots. Mopping doesn't remove it - it needs a scrub brush and some elbow grease. Apparently this sort of cleaning is akin to "We don't do windows" for the people we pay to do the heavy cleaning twice a month. They "sanitize" the floors but I'm asking you - what good is sanitized grime in the scheme of things?

I have a throw rug at the back slider that has become quite muddy from the constant ins and outs of dogs and kids. The yard is a muddy mess from way too much rain and constant walking on during last weekends building of the play structure. The rug needs to be washed (again) and yet, the washing machine seems to be constantly filled with clothes needing to be washed and well, I can't wash this nasty dirty rug with clothes that my kids will be wearing. Oh - and I have a few pair of shoes and boots in varying sizes that need to be cleaned, too.

There are bath toys that need to be gone through and sorted out. I swear it is getting difficult to find room to put the kids in the tub with all the toys that have taken up residency in there. And you just might be amazed and what becomes a bath toy at a moments notice.

I need to go through the various art supply drawers that Kelton has and reorganize them. It means tossing things out which means I can't do it when Kelton is around. Everything is "special" to him and therefore, must be kept "forever". I wouldn't mind if he had a 1600sq foot house of his own for JUST his art supplies and projects.

I need to scrapbook more pages. I want to set a weekly goal and reach it. It's important for me that the kids have stuff like that. (See above. Same reason.)

I need to clean things off my hard drive and move other things to my external hard drive.

I need to do some serious blog maintenance. My blog roll is completely out of date and I feel guilty each time I see it.

I need to redo my will.

I need to be sure guardianship papers for Kaylen are completed and that Kelton's are updated.

I need to start shopping for Dakota and Kelton's birthdays.

I need to figure out what I would like to give Dakota for our 12th wedding anniversary.

I need to have Dakota clean the carpets before they drive me batty (again with the mud, kids and pets)

I need to change the sheets on all the beds.

I want, I need.

The list is endless, isn't it? I'm sure there are more but those are the things sitting at the front of my mind. So I ask again; why am I sitting here?
Calling All Friends

Below are the lyrics to the theme song to What About Brian (which if you aren't watching, I highly recommend. It's one of my favorite shows!). There is a link to be able to hear it. It just ROCKS!!

Apparently you can only pick up the album at Starbucks. Any guesses where I'm going in the next day or two? :)

Calling all friends and people I met on the way down
Calling all friends and people I don’t even know
Calling on high I want to believe there’s a way now
I’m too tired to pretend I don’t want to be alone

I’m calling all friends

Taken my time and trying to be what I wanted
Taken my chances when they came on the way
Taken there toll and nobody knows how I’m haunted
Things that I’ve done there isn’t a price I can pay

I have been broken I’ve been low
You want to disappear and no one needs to know
I’ve been there I’ve been where no one seems to care

Calling all friends and people I met on the way down
Calling all friends and people I don’t even know
Calling on high I want to believe there’s a way now
I’m too tired to pretend I don’t want to be alone

I’m calling all friends

I have been broken I’ve been low
You want to disappear and no one needs to know
I’ve been there I’ve been where no one seems to care

Calling all friends and people I met on the way down
Calling all friends and people I don’t even know
Calling on high I want to believe there’s a way now
I’m too tired to pretend I don’t want to be alone
I’m too tired to pretend I don’t want to be alone

I’m calling all friends

For more on this song please see low stars . You have to select the title on the right hand side. Enjoy!