Friday, August 31, 2007

The Open House

Last night was Kelton's school's Open House and it actually mostly sucked. The teacher was flat with ZERO personality. There will be 23 kids in his class, apparently with NO teachers helper. Though honestly I guess I don't know that since we were given NO information. I don't know, as a parent who has a child entering the school system for the first time I had expected information. Maybe a "Hello and welcome to your kindergarten class room! I'm Mrs. FlubbityFlew and we are going to have so much fun together. We're going to do lots of fun art projects, we'll learn some new songs, play some fun instruments, learn to read AND write! Now when you arrive on Tuesday morning I'll be standing right outside the door. You will hang your jackets and backpacks right there on those hooks and then I'll show you to your seat. Once all the kids are here, our fun will start! Does anyone have any questions?"

I mean seriously - how hard would that have been????????????

I walked away from the open house knowing only one thing for certain: I'm even more uncertain about this whole school stuff and I think Tuesday is going to be even more difficult than I ever expected. Honestly, after the day camp experience, I was totally prepared to love this part. Kelton and I both know what to expect and we were ready. I can't speak for him, but I am no longer ready to turn my baby over to someone.

There are no toys or any warm and fuzzy feeling in the room. It's bleak and ...........sad. No bright colors. No happy bulletin boards. No colorful banners on the wall or a banner of the alphabet strung across the blackboard. No comfortable "circle time" area. No colorful bins for the supplies to go into. The room looked like it was ready to be turned into a storage room. It is NOT what I expected.

Feeling like throwing up, Dakota and I took the kids and wandered around the school. We found the library. It's ok - not great but ok. We stayed there until I had my wits about me again (all the while not letting on to Kelton that both moms were upset and trying to sort it all out).

Kelton and I met someone and he told her he was starting school. She asked what teacher so we told her. She said "Oh you are going to have so much fun in her class!" Kelton said "Yeah - I am." and walked away. I turned back and said "Have you had a child in her class?" She said no but that she was a regular volunteer at the school. I just looked at her - imploring her with my eyes for more information. She gave it to me. She said "You know - when I first met her I thought she was a very mean person but once she gets to know you she is really a warm, kind and loving person. She is really amazing with the kids. Honest, she is." I thanked her for the information and returned to share it with Dakota.

We returned to the room but the line to meet the teacher was super long and it was about a trillion degrees in there. We went outside again and Kelton decided to buy a school flag. Of course Kaylen needed one, too. Kelton was ok with stuff but he wanted to go home because things were a bit overwhelming. I just wanted to run home and lock my kids safely in the house forever. Dakota wanted to be sure we stayed to introduce ourselves to let her know that Kelton has two moms.

We ended up doing it Dakota's way. Dakota introduced us and Kelton interjected "I have two moms. Two moms. No dad. Just two moms." Matter of fact, that boy is. The teacher said "That's great! I bet lots of people wish they had two moms." so hopefully things will be fine in that area. She seemed completely uncomfortable with talking with all the people and meeting all the kids. I had warning bells going off everywhere! Mostly not in the teachers direction - more in the direction of the way the room was (not) set up and the general feelings I was picking up. Was this the right place for my son? More and more I wished I had been able to go to the open house in May but we were still in Seattle (it was the week between my mom dying and the funeral) and completely unable to attend.

We took the kids to the playground because Kelton wanted to see it. Dakota and I were talking out of earshot of the kids and she said "I want to go talk with someone about this." I told her I'd stay with the kids and off she went.

Dakota went and talked with the principal and basically said "Ok - after seeing the school and meeting the teacher I'm just wondering if you can ease my fears and convince me this is the right place for my son." (Gotta love that blunt and to the point personality sometimes! :) )

She said that the teacher takes a bit of time to warm up but that she is a great teacher and she believes in her 100%. She asked us to give it a week and if we weren't happy then we could have him changed to the other class (which we know nothing about since we didn't meet that teacher though she seemed nice in the hall and wore brightly colored clothes and her room seemed warmer. There are two AM classes and one PM.).

We also learned that they do art ONE time a week. That's it...and only if time allows (I will clearly be supplementing that every day since my son has always been, and will probably always be, all about art). Music once a week too as well as PE once a week. The school, as all schools in this district, are academically focused so there is no toy time or play time. I can not begin to tell you how much I HATE that. He is FIVE years old.

We talked with Kelton on the way home and asked (in our excited "isn't this great" voices) what he thought. He was excited though, as he put it, the teacher's hair kind of freaks him out. It's long and in braids. All things considering, that was easy enough to talk about. Mostly though - he does seem excited. Dakota and I talked about whether we just have higher expectations of what a classroom would look and feel like because we have the experience whereas Kelton has no expectations and doesn't know that a classroom should be bright and happy.

After we got home Dakota called up our old neighbor. (We had seen her at the school and chatted briefly before we were allowed into the school. her son is going into the 3rd grade there.) She offered to call a teacher friend of hers at the school and get information for us. She and Dakota talked and it sounds like it will be ok. The teacher assured our old neighbor that she would have no problem putting her own child into Kelton's teacher's class (and did with her first and plans to again with her youngest daughter). Kelton's teacher does has ADHD and is a bit disorganized but has good control over the class and is great with the kids. (Yeah, that is probably going beyond the bounds of info to share but still....this woman is taking care of, and teaching, OUR child and I want all information I can get to be sure this is a good place for him.)

I guess we have no real choice...just plunge ahead and see where it takes us.

The upshot though is Kelton seems very excited. I guess that should be what we watch. So - we'll see how the first week goes and re-evaluate from there. But I can totally see why people move into different neighborhoods to get their kids into different schools. I guess after his day camp teacher experience I was expecting another Ms. Emily and a bubbly personality... a bit of "Hi and welcome to ..." talk. There was nothing like that. Just people mingling in the room, filling out a form and then waiting in line to shake hands with the teacher. Maybe my expectations were too high. I really expected to hear what the year would hold and how their days would look. I don't think that would have been asking too much though. *sigh*

I'm suddenly NOT thrilled. *sigh*

Here are some photos of our time at the school.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dirt - A Simple Joy

After being play group free for two years, I have finally joined a new one. The nicest thing of all is they came looking for *me* which I have to say, makes me feel a bit special. :)

Earlier this year I had actually been thinking of finding one to join once Kelton started school since it's an experience that Kaylen has yet to have. Kelton was in a play group from the time he was 9 months until he was 3.5 years. I just think that Kaylen could really benefit from playing with kids her own age and besides, with only one of them to watch over, I could actually enjoy the experience myself and be able to develop some new friendships. It's not easy for me to make the jump into meeting people so I was thrilled when someone approached me about joining their group.

Today was my first official get together. We met at a local park and the kids had a great time...of course, after their great time it was time to come home, fill up the tub and dunk them in it! The biggest of all fun today for them came from playing in a huge dirt area surrounding a tree. Lovely!! Four of the kids (three boys and my tomboy girl) had a rockin' good time and wow were they dirty when we finally called an end to it.

Here are a few pictures of my two:

A Note for my Beautiful Daughter

Dear Child of Mine,
I understand that you are having trouble with not seeing Mama for days at a time. I get that, really I do. But will you please hurry and process this gigantic change in your life so that you can return to your usual not-so-great sleep schedule? I have, in the past 2 years, gotten used to only getting blocks of sleep in three to four hours cycles but seriously? The past two nights have not been pretty. There is really *no need* to wake every hour to hour and a half and keep me awake for an hour past that.

Mommy is tired. Really, really tired.

I know you miss Mama. I get that. I miss her too. So does Kelton. But we all still need to get some sleep. Sleep helps. So please....please, please, please....SLEEP AT NIGHT!!!

Your Exhausted Mommy

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just Another Day

I'm feeling a bit better than yesterday. Well actually, a ton better than yesterday but I still feel cruddy overall. I'm tired of not feeling well. I want to go back to a few months ago when I didn't give my health a second thought. *sigh*

After I got the kids to bed last night I crashed on the couch but I was just too tired and feverish to stay up until Dakota got home from school (early night - she was home by 8:30) so I went into my room, switched on a repeat of The Gilmore Girls and crawled into bed. I don't think I even stayed coherent enough to follow the plot line (good thing I've seen it before). Dakota arrived home to find me huddled in bed, whimpering like a puppy. It wasn't the pain so much as the fever - I was just miserable. I'm sure I was wishing I was anywhere but there - maybe at the Orleans hotel Las Vegas even! :)

A couple of Tylenol later I was drifting in and out of sleep. Dakota went in and took care of Kaylen when she woke at nine but by 11:30 I was being summoned to the princess who had told Dakota to "Go wake up mommy, please. Me need mommy!" I hauled myself out of bed and spent the rest of the night in Kaylen's room with her waking every couple of hours. Needless to say, I didn't get much rest but thank goodness my fever was gone when I woke and I felt much better.

After spending a bit of time getting my feet back under me this morning (and a bit of food in my tummy as I hadn't eaten anything since early Tuesday afternoon) we were off and (sort of) running. Kelton's buddy from day camp came over for a three hour play date that went remarkably well (even though I wasn't 100% on top of my game). The boys played so well together and Kelton was a good big brother and made sure that Kaylen was included as much as possible. I was so proud of him when he would say "Make sure my sister gets a turn next, ok?" It was sweet and I love knowing that he looks after her so well when other people are around. And, in fact, after his buddy went home he and Kaylen played well together the rest of the afternoon and evening. Refreshing, I tell you!!

So that's the latest from here. I'm exhausted but no longer feel like a truck ran over me a few hundred times. At this rate, I think I can make it to my Tuesday appointment which is good. At least there is a long weekend coming up which means Sunday and Monday are family days. Having help is always a good thing! :)

The Invasion of Yo Gabba Gabba

Has anyone else seen Yo Gabba Gabba? It's a new show for the toddler/preschool set on NickJr and I am sad to say that my children are hooked on it. I'm taking HOOKED. It's recording on the DVR daily so I get the pleasure of listening/seeing it several times a day. If they didn't love it so darn much I would delete it from the schedule and happily move on with life but noooooooooo....they LOVE it. And who am I to deny them this pleasure in life?

We've even gone to the website and printed out all the coloring pages and masks and my two silly beans have been walking around the house for the past two days wearing silly masks and chasing each other around. It's sweet. It's cute. It's annoying. :)

Today I found myself longing for the days when I was dreaming about picking out Da Vinci baby furniture for our yet to be born child. I wanted to turn back time and make them not old enough for this show so that maybe, just maybe, the craze would be long gone by the time they *were* old enough. But alas - you can't turn back time, can you? *sigh*

I just am at a loss for understanding how this shows concept came about. Are you telling me that adults sat around a table and bounced ideas around and settled on this? Do you think someone said "I have this great idea...." and the rest of them said "Wow. Best thing I've ever heard of!"? It's just so far out there in the realm of shows. But then - lots of people like that BooBah show too so maybe it's just me. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Armchair Physician

Yeah - that's me. I've been spending the last couple of weeks trying to self-diagnose my side pain and here is my official take on it: I am having gall bladder attacks. Today's was the worst by far.

The funny thing is when I went into the doctor with my laundry list of symptoms a few weeks back, he did casually inquire as to whether I still had my gall bladder. Of course, then the symptoms weren't textbook - I had a few things going on but my side pain was more of a "stitch" in my side. Since then, the pain grew steadily worse and comes and goes. A fever also comes and goes. Other things come and go but I blame them all on viruses. After all, Kelton was in day camp and whenever the kids are out in the world viruses have a way of coming home to roost.

I had g*ogled gall bladder symptoms a couple of times and they seemed to fit but since nothing really seems dire, I am opting to wait until my appointment next week (getting in to see *my* doc is a pain)and then pick his brain about "Could this be..." and "What should I be on the look out for...".

At least, this was the plan until this afternoon.

Today's attack is leaving no real questions in my mind about if this is gall bladder related. Holy freakin' moly! I was sicker than a dog for about three hours. And then things started to calm down (being sicker than a dog with two kids who couldn't care less than you can't get off the couch is not fun!). I g*ogled again to refresh my memory and lo' and behold - I'm all but a perfect textbook case now.

As long as things continue to calm down and then return to the way it has been for the past two weeks, I am going to wait it out. But if things progress - I'm going to go in.

Through all of this anxiety I am also filled with anxiety for the care for the kids should I need to have surgery. The old fashioned way is a 5 day hospital stay. A laproscopic procedure is an overnight stay (definitely the route I would want to go!). With Dakota in school, there is no one around to step up and help me out and if Dakota misses too much school at the onset, it's near impossible to catch up. Dakota would, of course, do all the she could and needed to. Her mom would probably help out where she could but the two kids are a lot for her. I would need to get back home quickly so that I could play ringmaster with people helping out here and there (meals, picking up Kelton from school, a bit of afternoon playtime, etc.) OY! Everything is so much more complicated when you have children. The worries are so much greater and for me, I do better when I am at home with my kids than stressing out being away from them.

I guess time will tell how this will all play out. Hopefully everything calms down and gives me time to get my ducks in a row though I guess the upside to an emergent-type situation (you know - this is bad pain and I have to go in right now and surgery is scheduled for this afternoon (which I've had happen with an ovarian cyst before) is there is no time for planning - just doing and it would be all out of my hands at that point.

Oh joy.

The question I have though is why do so many people think 2007 is a lucky year? This has been the suckiest year EVER for me.

And onward we go.......

At least I don't feel like I have to look into getting high risk life insurance at this point in time. That's a plus, don't you think? :) But it is *always* good to know that such a thing exist. (Sorry - I had to get it in there. LOL!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Silly Videos

You would not believe the trouble I went to tonight trying to get these on my blog. The quality sucked through DropShots so I went to One True Media to upload. That took two hours (!) and it gave me an error on the third one. Once I viewed them, I discovered the quality sucked through them as well. Weird. I think you will still find them fun to watch. :)

Anyway - here are two of them (combined into one):

and then the third:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Welcome to Autumn!

It's August 27th but autumn has arrived. The signs are all over my house. There are bright red and orange leaves across the fireplace mantle and the china hutch. There are autumn (fake) flowers in vases and scarecrow (or hair-crows, as Kelton has always called them) here and there. Yes - autumn has arrived. I've had to crush their dreams though of putting up the halloween decorations. I'm just not ready to go that far into autumn!

Dakota started school today. This semester she has a morning class three days a week in addition to her evening class load. Two late nights (not arriving home until 10) and three early nights (home around 8:30 two nights and around 5pm on one night). The kids will have to adjust to not seeing their other mom five days out of each week for the next 16 weeks. Ugh. The stress from today is palpable from all of us. I know we will adjust within a week or two (and once all the fall schedules are in place with school for Kelton, etc.) but the kids are both having a hard time today and keep asking when mom will be home. I feel for them - I know it's a hard change on *me* so I can only imagine how hard it is for them. For these kids, the sun sets and rises on Dakota - a very mutual feeling.

Two years down. Two years to go. We're at the half-way point. Amazing.

Kelton was upset last night that mom starting school would mean the end of fun for us so after I assured him that we would be ok and that we were used to mom not being home during the day we focused on making a plan for today. He wanted to go to the mall to look around and play. So - we were there when the doors opened and spent about two hours just roaming around. We hit the play area, Starbucks, wandered through the pet store, rode some of the rides, walked all over the mall and just soaked in everything.

Things fell apart again after getting home and I just have to keep reminding myself that they will adjust. Without day camp (which he is missing a lot) and now with Dakota being gone he is feeling lonely. I feel bad for him (and I admit that I'm feeling lonely already, too) but I know that he will adjust. We all will.

Autumn has definitely arrived for us.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sad Day

It's my mom's birthday today. She would have been 69 years old. Instead, she's been dead for three months and two weeks.

It's weird how incredibly sad I feel today. It's not like today every really involved much on my part - I would send a card to be there in time for her birthday and then I'd call to wish her a happy birthday on the day.

*sigh* I'm just sad.

Kelton said "You can still send flowers to her. But remember mom, it's good that she doesn't have to be in her wheelchair anymore. She doesn't have pain and maybe that's her present." That incredible point of view was quickly followed up with "What happened to her wheelchair mom? Kaylen and I had so much fun playing in it. Can we get one?"

From the mouths of babes and all....but I still miss my mom.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Growing Pains

Mine. Not his.

This afternoon we were in the yard playing and the phone rang. It was the mom of Kelton's "best friend" from day camp calling to ask if Kelton was available to come over for a play date. Apparently her son (C) had been bugging her all afternoon about wanting Kelton to come play. When I agreed you could hear ear splitting screams of delight from both boys.

They don't live very far from us (but sadly the boys won't be in the same school) so Dakota stayed to play with Kaylen and I drove Kelton over to C's house.

Now is the time to be proud of me: I swallowed all my anxiety and said "I've never before left Kelton with someone for a play date so I'm going to play the paranoid mom for a second. If you have guns in the house I assume they are locked up?" To my GREAT relief she looked at me and said "We don't have guns. We don't even believe in having guns in our house." I'm not sure if she thought I would a loony toon or what but at least I asked and I feel good about that. And now I never have to worry about Kelton being over there. It feels so weird to have just left him there. He's only been on mommy-free play dates with a friend of mine and I've known her since we were both pregnant with our sons. This is a BIG step for me.....and for him but he seems to not notice. :)

When I arrived home I stopped to pick up the mail. In it was Kelton's kindergarten information. The fact that my baby is growing into his own hit me full-force today. Mommy-free play date AND a packet full of information for his first day of school.


End of Day Camp, End of the Summer

"Mom, I miss my day camp."

Those were the words that my son said as we walked to the car this afternoon after I picked him up. We had only left the building a mere 20 seconds before and he has said that line about 50 times since then.

You know what? I miss day camp, too. I actually had grown accustomed to seeing the teachers, kids and other parents in the past three weeks and I'm really going to miss it. I loved knowing that Kelton was having a great time - and learning so much. And I admit it, Kelton might not have gotten all misty eyed when the teachers were handing out the certificates and saying their final goodbyes to everyone but *I* sure did.

Kelton was so funny though - he managed to get addresses, emails and phone numbers for the three teachers and he has already dictated emails to two of them. That's my boy - ever the social one. Ms. Emily has a teenage daughter (Kelton's crush of the week) who loves to babysit and I was invited to call on her if I ever wanted. You know what? I just might take her up on it. I've never had a babysitter (excuse me - Kelton will scream if he knows I wrote "baby"sitter. KIDsitter) before except for Dakota's mom and our adult neighbor across the street (who stayed with the kids twice) and it might be nice to be able to get out of the house every now and again.

So here we are - the end of day camp. The end of summer. Dakota starts classes Monday and Kelton starts the following Tuesday. How in the world is it the end of summer already? It feels like we've only been back from our 5 week stay in Seattle for about a month which would make it what? The end of June? Yeah - that's what it should be....June. Anyone else want a "do over"?

My Girl

You know your 2 year old has been sick a lot in her short little life when she can sit up, grab the throw-up bowl and perfectly hurl her tummy contents into it without making a mess. When she's done, she puts the bowl down, picks up the washcloth, wipes her mouth and then sit back.

I'm just saying........

My poor baby. :(

This is one of those days that I really wish Dakota could work at home. An extra pair of hands sure would be nice.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day Camp

I think Kelton is going to have trouble with the end of day camp tomorrow. This week I have noticed that pick up time is getting more and more complicated. In days gone by, he would run right over to me when it was over but today it took us 40 minutes to leave. The counselors keep the kids busy singing songs until their parents arrive and even though I was standing right there in plain sight, Kelton ran back over to the singing group to sing songs. I didn't mind - I enjoy watching him having fun and singing silly songs. But then, the kids thinned out and my son was still chatting up the staff and making himself at home.

"It's time to go, hon. Grab your stuff and let's go!"
"In a minute, mom."

I finally get him out the door only to have him turn around and run back to hug one of the teachers.

I'm so happy that he has had a great experience with day camp (especially considering how his stint in preschool went. So not good.). I'm so proud of him and how he has handled it and I know this child of mine is going to excel when he starts school in 11 days. The teachers/counselors all rave about him and what a terrific camper/student he is and how much fun he is to be around. I will never, ever tire of hearing that.

I have an amazing kid!!

That said though - I think tomorrow is going to be difficult for him. He is going to miss his friends and teachers (though one of his friends mom already has asked for our address/phone number because her son wants Kelton to come to his birthday party so at least Kelton knows he will see his "best friend" again soon). I wish there was some way I could let his teachers know how much they have enhanced my child's life. For the first time ever, I get the whole "I want to get the teacher something special" thing. When you have someone touch your child's life in such a positive and lasting way, makes you so very grateful.

Swiss Army Luggage

Where have I been? I have always known about Swiss Army knives but why have I never before heard of the Swiss Army Luggage line? Am I the only one who didn't know the makers of those amazing knives also make luggage? What else do they make? You just know it has to be quality stuff, right? They even have a messenger bag I'm a sucker for messenger bags and normally so is Dakota. Though with all her law books, etc that he has to lug around she only get to use a messenger bag during school breaks. Other than that, it's a backpack with wheels.

Swiss Army Luggage. Nope - I have to say, it never once crossed my mind.

Random Thoughts

What is it about the allure of office desks? The kids and I went into an office supply store the other day to pick up a couple things we needed and there were desks and chairs, etc. all over the place - many of them child sized. Makes sense given that it's back to school time and all but here's what got me; my kids were completely drawn to them. Kaylen was climbing into all the chairs and pulling herself up to the desks to "work". Kelton was saying "Wow! This would be a cool place to do art!" And yeah, OK, I'll admit it - I was drooling a bit over the more spacious computer desk setups (I love my computer hutch but sometimes I would love to have a bit more room in it.)

I swear, my family could spend an entire day in an office supply store and for most of us, it would be like a mini-vacation. :)

Memory Problems?

I'm a mom. Therefore, it stands to reason that I no longer have an IBM memory. If you are a mom, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm not sure why it happens but there is no mistaking it, once you get pregnant (and especially after that baby is born) your memory ability reorganizes itself. You will be able to remember all sorts of strange things but suddenly, you might find yourself in the post office line completely unable to remember your PIN number for your debit card. The same debit card PIN number you have had for over 4 years. (And yes, that's a true story.)

It's strange how my memory works now. I can remember any and details about the kids, their needs, their schedule, their everything. It's as if the only things my mind thinks are of any value are kid-related. I suppose that makes sense on some basic level but wow - I sure wouldn't mind being able to recall phone numbers, passwords or PINs again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I called Kelton's school today to see if I could find out into which kindergarten class he was placed. When I registered him for school this spring I petitioned to have him placed in the morning class instead of the afternoon (our neighborhood is afternoon kindergarten because of the bus schedules) since Kelton is awake before the birds every. single. day. I just had this sinking feeling that to send him off to afternoon class at 1pm after he had already been awake eight hours would be pretty much setting him up to fail. Not the feeling a mom wants to have for her child.

Afternoon hours around here are not a pretty sight because he is so tired and seems to loose his ability to listen, comprehend and not melt down. Bedtime comes early too in order to offset the early start to the day (and yes, we've tried keeping him up later in the hopes he would sleep later but it has never, ever worked. Even going to be at 10pm does nothing to stop the 5AM wake up. He has been an early riser since the day he was born. It's just who he is.)

Anyway, I have been anxiously awaiting news of what class he would be in and I prepared to go in and plead my case in person if I had to...and go beyond the principal if necessary. After all, I'm his mom and that's my job. I just can't see setting him up to fail his first year out in the world. I know how great he is doing at day camp in the mornings and I know that will transfer easily to school. So I nervously called the school this morning and, good news of good news, he has been placed in the AM class!!! YES YES YES!!! I am so happy!

There is not much doubt that afternoon would be a much easier transition for me since I wouldn't have to worry about the morning chaos of getting ready but this isn't about me and what is easiest for *me*. This is about a successful start to school for Kelton. So, morning is it! The school bus will pick him up in the morning but because the neighborhood is PM kindergarten, there will be no bus ride home. I'll need to pick him up at the school. I have zero problem with that and I'm actually looking forward to it.

We are at the end of the bus route both directions (which makes no sense to me as I would think they would reverse the route in the afternoon) so when he is picked up in the morning, it's about 4 minutes to school. In the afternoon, it would take 40 minutes from the time the bus leaves the school until he is dropped off here. Personally, I think that is crazy and I am all too happy to drive the 4 minutes to the school to get him. It's something I can see myself doing next year as well since I just think 40 minutes on a bus in the afternoon with kindergarten - fifth grade is asking for trouble. That's just me. I'm not a fan of school buses anyway so picking him up is perfect!

I'm just so relieved that he will be in the morning class and since we've been doing the day camp thing for three weeks now, I feel like we have the whole "getting ready and out the door" routine down well. Which is good - since school starts in 12 days! Eeeeeeeek!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fun Gift!

Look what I got today! Kaylen and I went to MOMS Club this morning while Kelton was at day camp and in walks Sheri with a gift for me. I had helped her (just a small bit) when she was setting up her blog and she had promised me coffee (Yes, that's right. I'll do just about anything for coffee! LOL!). She gave me something so much cooler than just a cup of joe though....she gave me an official Gilmore Girls coffee mug.....a BIG one! :) As you all probably remember, I am Gilmore Girls obsessed. I love, love, love, love, love that show!!

It cup says: "Please Luke, please, please, please...."

That lines comes from season one and the dialogue goes a bit like this:
Lorelai walks past a sign that says "Stars Hollow Founded 1779" and crosses the street. She goes into Luke's coffee shop. She takes off her coat and walks up to the counter, coffee cup in hand.

Lorelai: Please, Luke. Please, please, please.
Luke: How many cups have you had this morning?
Lorelai: None.
Luke: Plus...
Lorelai: Five, but yours is better.
Luke: You have a problem.
Lorelai: Yes, I do.
Luke pours her coffee.
Luke: Junkie.
Lorelai: Angel. You've got wings, baby.


Thank you Sheri - you totally made my week! :)

Funny Girl

Kaylen has a new thing that she says. We will say "No, thanks anyway." whenever we turn down something down (such as "Would you like more soup?" "No, thanks anyway."). Kaylen has turned this saying into something quite funny. She will say "Nothanksanyway" and runs it all together like it was just one word. Cracks me up! I just love to hear her say it.

Another funny thing she says is "Sorry." whenever she doesn't want to do what you ask her to do. This goes sort of like this: "Kaylen, please go take your cup and pick it in the sink" She will say "Sorry. No." It's just so darn funny that I can't help but giggle each and every time she does it. :)

She has a million other little things she says or ways she says things but those are the only two I can think of right now. I tell you, life with this girl is interesting and very, very amusing!

Bullet Dodging

Have you ever had that feeling that you just dodged a gigantic bullet that was heading your way? It's an amazing feeling, isn't it? Relief. Sweet, sweet relief.

The test results I was anxiously awaiting came back with an "all within normal range". THANK GOD! I won't go into detail because's personal and all but this was a scenario that could have easily gone either way (underlying medical condition). Easily. And with the pain I am having all signs pointed to not a good result from the labs. So - even though I still have the pain, I am so incredibly relieved that it isn't what I feared. Maybe it is just a deeply pulled muscle. A virus that landed someplace and just needs to work itself out or maybe a scar tissue issue. I will have a follow-up appointment to discuss all with my doc but the sweet relief I have from the "all normal" report has me walking on air.

So now I can put away my fears of needing various medical supplies such as a portable oxygen concentrator. (Sorry - I just couldn't resist sneaking in a pay to blog assignment into an otherwise way too real and serious post. *grin*)

Life feels so much brighter today and I am fully enjoying each and every second.

To quote Lynilu's tagline: Life is Beautiful!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Trip to the Zoo

Saturday we took the kids to the zoo. It was a perfect zoo day - cool and overcast with small spurts of sun. For me, there is not much worse than a hot summer day at the zoo so I was thrilled with the weather! :) The kids were so excited they were bouncing off the walls. I'm not sure what their favorite parts of the day were as it has changed every time we talk about it. Kaylen loved petting the goats and Kelton loved the bird show but then, smelling bobcat pee seemed to be a highlight as well. :)

For me, I just loved watching the kids experience it all...well, not all as there is no way we could see everything in the six hours we were there. I just loved watching their faces light up with excitement. We saw the Winged Wonder exhibit which was a greenhouse type structure FULL of butterflies. They were everywhere! Several times Dakota and I both had hitchhikers on us which never failed to elicit laughter from the kids.

It was a really great day and kind of took out mind off the fact that this was the last carefree Saturday until winter break. Hard to believe that both Dakota and Kelton will be in school very, very soon.

Here are a few pictures to share:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Word to the Wise

You might want to skip watching Bridge to Terabithia and If Only if you are already sad, worried, stressed out and basically a basket case. I'm just saying.......

And Dakota...there is a reason I like happy, romantic comedies. Next time *I* pick the movies. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nothing to Say

I have nothing really to say tonight. I'm tired and whipped and glad the day is over. I had the great joy of having a not all that much fun medical test this afternoon and for the 24 hours proceeding it I was on a clear liquid diet. I don't feel all that well when I don't have real food in 24 hours. Not to mention that test, while billed as "you may experience some discomfort during the procedure" was actually quite painful. Thank God nothing of any significance showed up because you won't see me running to join the sign up line for that again anytime soon.

On a slightly happier note; Kelton is loving day camp and again was very, very sad that the week is ending. So what's a mom to do? I signed him up for the final week. I really hadn't planned to do it thinking I wanted him all to myself for the two weeks before school starts but he is having so much fun and is so happy that I felt it was the right thing to do for him. I love sneaking in early and watching him with the group - he seems so big now, a real kid who can listen and follow directions and interact with people all without me standing by him. When did my baby grow up to be this amazing person?

I talked quickly with his group teacher today to see how things are going and again, I received a beaming report. In my head I do this little happy dance and song that goes sort of like this: "I have a great kid! I have a great kid!" I know it's shallow and all but it makes me feel so darn proud of him and well...honestly, of myself. It makes me feel like I'm a good parent after all...and sometimes that is hard to remember. Outside validation is always nice. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reality Check Anyone?

I wonder how many times in a week I walk by something for the second or third time in a day and think "Why is that still here? Why hasn't someone put that away yet?"? Ummm...who do I think it going to come by and put it away? The magic housekeeping fairy that resides with us?

For crying out loud - you'd think I'd know by *this* point in the game and that I am the only one who is going to pick it up and put it away.

And yet...why do I feel ticked off every time I remember that? *sigh*

Where does one sign up for a magic housekeeping fairy anyway?

Tick Tock

Are watch collections commonplace? I mean, do lots of people collect watches? Dakota does. She has many, many watches. Ones with rottweilers, Stitch, guitars, digital, non-digital, pocket watches and hamilton watches. Expensive ones, mid-priced ones and inexpensive ones.

Whenever I am stumped for a gift I know that I can't go wrong with a watch.

Now here is the funny part. With all these watches you would think that she would wear one every day, right? I mean, she has a bazillion to select from. But nope. It's a rare day when the woman actually wears one. In her defense, most of them need new batteries but still.....

It's just another reason why I love her. She's just so darn whacky. :)

The Ol' Inbox

This week my email inbox has been filled with not much of a personal nature. I'm not sure why (vacations maybe?) but even my normally busy list-serves are quiet. I'm sure everyone is gearing up for the start of the school year and taking care of all the last minute summer stuff and squeezing in a few extra vacation days here and there. I know that, for us, our "to do" list is growing as well. Does anyone else feel like September is actually more like the start of a new year than January is?

Anyway - back to my inbox.....I have somehow managed to get onto the mailing list for different types of software. I'm not sure how that happened but happened it has. I receive ads for the newest versions of Adobe this, that or the other thing, i-Tune upgrades (which I don't even have!), financial reporting software and Shockwave (whatever that is). I just have no idea how or why I am suddenly getting an influx of this stuff but I am very grateful that the vi*agra ads have seemed to have stopped. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Dress Up Photos

Per a suggestion from Holly in the comment section of the orginal post, here are photos from today's dress up time. This was, of course, at the end when most of the "big fun" was over but I still think they are pretty funny. :) Enjoy!

Playing Dress-Up

Kaylen is cracking me up today. She seems to be all about dressing up. The kids have a huge selection of dress-up stuff ranging from costumes to jewelry and it's a rare day when someone isn't dressed up in some sort of manner.

Lately Kaylen has been dressing like a princess. Well - at least that is what she says she is dressing as. :) I think my favorite outfit was when she wore her princess pull-up, a long white beaded necklace, a tiara, an Elmo slipper on one foot and a plastic high heel on the other. Yes - that was it. But she pranced around the house like she was all made up for the grand ball dance. "Me a princess!" she would say over and over.

Not to be left out, Kelton will usually play prince to her princess. Now that's a sight to be seen! It usually involves the Buzz Lightyear costume and a backpack. I'm not sure how that says "prince" to him but it does and who am I to say otherwise?

I love being a mom. I love my kids and I am so thankful for all the giggles they give me.

More Recalls for Toys - Approx. 9 MILLION!

Oy! This is all starting to make me *very* nervous. I guess there is a lot to be said to letting kids play with rocks and sticks. *sigh* Seriously? They are recalling 9 million MORE toys? And oh hey - these aren't just new ones in the past few months...some date back to a 2003 release date

***snipped from:****

WASHINGTON - Mattel recalled 9 million Chinese-made toys Tuesday, including Polly Pocket play sets and Batman action figures, because of dangers to children from lead paint or tiny magnets that could be swallowed.

Even as the massive recall was announced, company officials warned that it could grow as Mattel implemented more rigorous testing measures to ensure toy safety as the industry gears up for the holiday-buying season.

The government warned consumers to check at home and make sure their children were not playing with any of the recalled toys.

Nancy A. Nord, acting Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman, told reporters no injuries had been reported with any of the products involved in Tuesday's recalls. She explained that the scope of the recalls was intentionally broad, to "prevent any injuries from occurring."

Several injuries had been reported in an earlier Polly Pocket recall last November. In all, at least one U.S. child has died and 19 others have needed surgery since 2003 after swallowing magnets used in toys, the government said.

The new recall includes about 9.3 million play sets that contain small, powerful magnets, including Polly Pocket dolls and Batman action figures, and 253,000 die cast cars that contain lead paint. Many of the magnetic toys are older and may have been purchased as early as 2003.

In a conference call with reporters, Mattel chief executive Bob Eckert said the company is stepping up its oversight and testing in its production processes. As a result, he noted, more recalls may occur.

"There is no guarantee that we will not be here again and have more recalls," Eckert said, adding "we are testing at a very high level here."

Mattel, in a full-page ad Tuesday in some U.S. newspapers, said the company was "one of the most trusted names with parents" and was "working extremely hard to address your concerns and continue creating safe, entertaining toys for you and your children."

The recall was the latest blow to the toy industry, which has had a string of recalled products from China. With about 80 percent of toys sold worldwide made in China, toy sellers are worried shoppers will shy away from their products.

It was also the second recall involving lead paint for Mattel in two weeks. Earlier this month, consumers were warned about 1.5 million Chinese-made Fisher-Price toys that contain lead paint.

Lead is toxic if ingested by young children, and under current regulations, children's products found to have more than .06 percent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall.

"There is no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country," Nord said. "It's totally unacceptable and it needs to stop."

Toys recalled Tuesday include 253,000 "Sarge" car figurines from the movie "Cars," because the surface paint could contain lead levels in excess of federal standard. The 2 1/2-inch, 1-inch high car looks like a military jeep.

Also recalled were 345,000 Batman and "One Piece" action figures, 683,000 Barbie and Tanner play sets, 1 million Doggie Day Care play sets and 7.3 million Polly Pocket dolls and accessories.

In the newspaper ads, Eckert said "nothing is more important than the safety of our children."

"We have already taken steps to further ensure the safety of our toys," he said.

Nord said the company has stopped selling the recalled products, instructed retailers to pull them from the shelves and made a production change. Mattel is also offering replacement products.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which negotiated details of Mattel's recalls, reported that in the previous recall of Polly Pocket play sets Nov. 21, 2006, three children had been injured by swallowing more than one magnet. All three suffered intestinal perforations that required surgery.

When more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attach to each other and cause intestinal perforation, infection or blockage, which can be fatal.

In March 2006, another toy company, Mega Brands Inc., recalled 3.8 million Magnetix magnetic building sets after one child died and four others were seriously injured after swallowing tiny magnets in them.

Two weeks ago, Mattel's Fisher-Price division announced the worldwide recall of 1.5 million Chinese-made preschool toys _ featuring characters such as Dora the Explorer, Big Bird and Elmo _ over lead paint.

Mattel launched a full-scale investigation into all of its factories in China and discovered the latest problem during that investigation, Nord said.

Eckert said the recall decision was made at the end of last week.

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Eckert said that the correct paint for the "Sarge" cars was sent to a subcontractor, who apparently "chose not to use the paint."

Days after the Fisher-Price recall, Chinese officials temporarily banned the toys' manufacturer, Lee Der Industrial Co., from exporting products. A Lee Der co-owner, Cheung Shu-hung, committed suicide at a warehouse over the weekend, apparently by hanging himself, a state-run newspaper reported Monday.

Consumers should call Mattel at 888-597-6597 for information about the recalled toys with magnets, or 800-916-4997 for information about the recalled cars.
***end snip***

You can go here to see a visual listing of the toys involved.

Monday, August 13, 2007


PS to tonights post......

Thank you for all the comments to my "adventure" last Thursday with that mom. I want to answer all your comments but I'm not sure when I will find the time. Maybe it will be a post in and of itself tomorrow. :)

I haven't decided what to do about her.......time will tell.

Keep reading though - I posted about our weekend. :)

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig

Miss me? :) As you may remember, we traveled up to see my family this past weekend and I have to tell you, I had a great time! My brother's house is amazing and beautiful and perfect for hosting a family of four. :) We had free run of the entire main floor (two bedrooms, a gigantic bathroom and a living area complete with couches, TV, tons of floor space and a piano). It seriously couldn't be a more perfect set up. Upstairs is three bedrooms (well, a master (and bath) and two other rooms used as offices). another gigantic bathroom, the living room, dining area and huge kitchen. The view from the front deck is even better in real life than in photos and the back deck has a hot tub and stairs leading to the backyard which was equipped with a trampoline and play structure (not yet moved out by the previous people). The kids were in heaven on that trampoline and I have to say, little Miss Kaylen can jump! I'm not sure where she gets her coordination and balance from but that girl can jump circles around me...and everyone else!

Besides the amazing house though I had a really great visit with James and Cara (and I don't think we drove them *too* nutty! *grin*) as well as my sister, brother-in-law, niece (and kids), dad and a cousin and his family. I kid you not, we packed a lot into not quite 48 hours.

We arrived in town Friday around 1pm and we stopped by Cara's office so that we could follow her to the house. We unpacked and settled in a bit and then the kids went wild in the yard for a few hours. Soon, it was time to head over to my sister's house (about 50 minutes away) for her birthday bbq. I was glad to see that she looked so well after her surgery last month and while she is still recovering, she looked good! When we first arrived there Kelton's cousin, her mom, brother and my brother-in-law were down the lane on the water and Kelton couldn't wait to see them so I agreed to walk with him down to meet them. Oh the joy that arises when they see each other - it just never gets old!

We stopped on the way back to pet and feed a couple of goats who have a pasture down by the water and, as you can see in one of the pictures below, Kelton ate a couple blackberries. :)

We got back to the house and settled in for dinner - which is crazy nutty when you have a 6 year old, a 5 year old and two 2 year olds plus 10 adults. My dad was there which I was really happy about because it gave me a chance to visit with him. About 8:30pm we said our goodbyes and, taking Cara with us (James took my dad home), started out on the hour drive back to the house. We hadn't gone all that far when I thought to ask Cara if they had a coffee maker (I suddenly remembered that Cara isn't a big coffee drinker and James doesn't drink it at all.). They didn't - so I made a stop at WalMart to buy one and all the necessary fixings. It's not pretty thing if I go without coffee in the morning and there were no nearby coffee places that Cara could think of.

We finally arrived back at the house about 10 and amazingly enough, the kids hadn't fallen asleep on the way back. I'm sure it had something to do with all the silly songs we were singing. :) We got them to bed without wasting any time and we quickly followed.

The next morning we hung out at the house and played A LOT on the trampoline. Around lunchtime my cousin and his family, along with my dad, showed up for a bbq. Again, it was crazy nutty but a lot of fun. The kids (and Dakota) all got to play in the hot tub which they loved! Then it was food time and more play time. At one point on the trampoline, Kaylen noticed that her cousins toes where painted pink, just like Cara's were, which made her want HER nails painted pink. It wasn't long before all four kids were lined up getting finger and toe nails painted. It was too funny!

I left to take my dad home about 4:30 (it's about an hour drive each way) and I really enjoyed having that time with him. Once we got back to his apartment I went inside for a bit to see his new cat. I'm so glad he has a cat and I can clearly tell how much those two love each other. Mr. Tom Cat was even waiting at the door when my dad opened it. Very sweet.

I stayed a bit and then said my good-byes and headed back to James' house. Since it was an hour drive I decided to call my sister and she and I talked the entire way. It helped the time go by quickly and it was nice to be able to talk with her without having to say "Hang on a sec...Kelton, please give that back to your sister." or "Hang on again....Kaylen, we don't hit!" a million times in 10 minutes.

By the time I got back to the house the kids had already had their dinner and were getting ready for round two in the hot tub. They were both so tired though that it took only about 10 minutes before Kaylen was asking to get out so she could go to bed. Both kids were out cold by 7:30pm.

The adults had dinner and then we settled in to watch a slide show of the photos taken during the day. Cara took control of my camera early on in the day and all I can really say is this: my memory card hold 1168 photos. Why do I know this? Because that's how many photos Cara took. (ok - I took maybe 60 of them) She got some really good shots too! I deleted about 500 last night when I downloaded them but that means I kept 668 - with most of them being from ONE day! Pretty funny!

Yesterday morning we got up and packed up everything. We had breakfast, played for a bit (yep - you guessed it. On the trampoline.) and then hit the road at 11am. We drove for an hour and stopped in at my sisters for about an hour (we had made plans to go through mom's jewelry box). We hit the road again for about an hour and then made a stop at the cemetery before driving 3.5 more hours home. We arrived home around 5pm and we were all exhausted!

It was a really good weekend though and I already want to go back. :)

This morning was Kelton's first day of his second session of day camp. He is loving it just as much (maybe more now that he knows what to expect and knows some of the kids) as the first week. Hard to believe that in 22 short days my baby will start kindergarten.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Stuffed Animals Galore

My daughter is obsessed with stuffed animals. It seems we can hardly go anywhere without her finding one that she just *has* to have! She is pretty cute and sweet about it and we usually give in (luckily she goes for the small ones) because it makes her so happy but I kid you not, between the two kids we have three good sized storage bins full of plush animals. It's crazy!

Kelton calls them "buddies" and Kaylen calls them "friends" and there is no way I can even consider giving any away at this point. I swear they have a running inventory list in their head of each and every one of their stuffed pals. They play with them, too. It's a rare day when Kaylen doesn't have a couple friends in her doll stroller, wheeling them around the house or taking them "to the park" (she takes them out and gives them turns in her swing). A couple days ago two of her friends were sick and she found a play phone so she could "call the doctor".

Kelton tends to be a bit more rough with his buddies. They fly through the air, slide head first down the slide and often smash into each other. Long gone are the days when he cradles them in his arms and just loves on them....unless of course it's bedtime. It's then that I always know there will be a bunch of his guys lined up on his bed for him to sleep with.

I love watching the kids with their stuffed friends but I wouldn't mind if they were happy with the ones they have and no longer felt the need to add more. I guess that say will happen soon enough though so for now I'm just sitting back and enjoying the ride! :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My Beautiful Boy

As promised, here are the photos of Kelton that were taken earlier this week. Aren't they amazing? I love, love, love them!!

(PS - if you havne't read todays saga, then keep reading. You are in for a treat! :) )

And there's more.....

I forgot to share with you this little nugget;

While I was still spinning a bit from the lunch conversation (before going to the restroom) I tried, tactfully, to change the subject. She had mentioned in an email to me that she would need to leave the mall by noon in order to get to an assertiveness support group so I took this opportunity to ask her about it.

I said "So - what do you talk about at your support groups?" and this was her response: "Oh you know - I don't know you well enough to tell you about it."

EXCUSE ME?? You knew me well enough to ask about my sex life but you don't know me well enough to tell me about a support group you go to??

She did say "It's helping me think about myself more." Ummm...yeah - not sure that's so much a necessity. How about thinking about others??

But wait - there is even more! Here is an email I received from her tonight. I am posting it as you think someone will tell her about spell check one of these days?
Hi Casey,

Thanks for meeting us.It might be fun for the kids to meet at a park. Anyway I wanted you to know I wasnt askin if you were momogumis because you have a female mate.

I knew a girl in highschool later when we were both married we hung out a little then she asked if we wanted to upset me i was only in my late 20s .So I just like to let people know ahead .

You have great kids..Enjoy yor trip. We might go there on our anniversary in August.
Hope to hear from you again.
********END SNIP************

Seriously? SERIOUSLY????????

I'm thinking about sending an honest response because it feels weird not to respond in some way. Now I just have to find a way to tactfully tell her how very much she offended me. OY!

Do you think there might be a place that she can go for rehab? Clearly not (well - I guess I shouldn't say "clearly not" LOL!) drug rehab but maybe something like it?

Well now.....

....*that* was different.

I went to the mall this morning to meet that mom from Matching Moms and at first it was ok but as the hour wore on, it was more and more *not* ok. Kelton enjoyed talking with her - which was good.

When she first arrived at the play area, she introduced herself and I did the same. Then we sat and watched the kids run around. We did small chit-chat like are you from this area. what does your partner do, etc (though she had a lot of trouble spitting out the word partner...she said "I don't know what to call your...umm....your..." so I jumped in and said "Dakota is my partner.". Then Kelton started getting bored and wanted to go do something else. Then Kaylen needed to go potty. She said "That's ok - I don't want to stay in this area anyway." So great, we headed up to the library (yes, we have a library in our mall) because the children's area is overflowing with toys, puzzles and books for the kids plus it has a nice restroom. We were there about 15 minutes and the kids were having a great time when she said "Want to go walk around? I do." and I'm thinking "NO! The kids are happy and busy. I want to just let them be until they get restless." The kids had heard her though and they decided it was time to leave. *sigh*

So we walk oh - I don't know - the length of the library and are just about to cross in front of the food court when she said "Don't you get them lunch here when you are at the mall?" I replied "Sometimes - but mostly we go home to eat." and she said "Oh. Well I want to get lunch for E and me." And what choice was I left with? My two started yelling for McDonalds. Fine. Only - "McDonalds? Oh we don't eat *there*." to which I said "Oh - then I guess we'll meet you at a table."

So they went to get pizza and cookies and we met up at a table.

Then the fun began. She gets all jittery and says

"Do you have trouble making friends because you are gay?"
"No. Not at all. I think as a stay at home mom, it's just hard to meet people."
"Oh really? I would think you would."
(excuse the crap out of me????)
*stunned silence for me*

Then she says:
"I figured it would be ok to meet with you once and then I could see about your morals and values. I am monogamous and I think that is very important."

stunned I say "Oh." then a few beats of silence and I say "Well - Dakota and I have been together for 13 plus years." I figured that would answer her WILDLY inappropriate comment/question.

Apparently not.

After lunch the kids wanted to go to the restroom so we went and on the way back she pushes her stroller next mine and does this weird aside whisper:
"You didn't really answer me. ARE you monogamous?"

I was freaking SHOCKED and way over the top offended! Was she seriously asking me this as if it was her business? And was I going to answer her? Would she have asked this question if I were married to a man? I could feel my blood starting to boil and I said "Yes." in a kind of snotty way and she said "Oh good. You just never know." to which I replied "You know, I don't know any gay couples who AREN'T." She said "Really? Well my brother isn't." to which I said "Is he in a long term relationship?" "No - he was married and cheated on his wife with a man and now he is gay and he hasn't had a relationship since then." I said "Well - that's not really NON-monogamous." and then turned my attention to my kids.

On our way out of the mall (wouldn't you just know that we parked outside of the same store) she started asking about "We're you married before?" "No. I said to which she replied "Well - how did you get the kids? They look so much like you."

(can you feel my eyes rolling)

"We did artificial insemination using a donor. And actually, Kelton looks so much like Dakota."

Well that confused her. She mumbled and stumbled and I just let her.

We couldn't reach the parking lot soon enough for me.

Wow. I don't know - color me odd but I think the things she asked, they way she asked and how quickly she asked was completely inappropriate and I have to say, I was/am incredibly offended by the "monogamous" inquiry. Sheesh.

She wanted to exchange phone numbers but I was quick on my feet and said that the phone was really hard for me with the kids and that email was much better.

Oy. Truly this makes me want to remove my listing from Matching Moms. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wish Me Luck!

I joined Matching Moms a few months back and, until a week ago, I hadn't really had the chance to meet up with someone. The point of the site is to match moms with similarly aged kids and general mom-interests. I've had several emails inquiring about getting together but for some reason, they all seemed to live 40 minutes away, which I personally feel is too far to travel to meet up with someone on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I was looking for someone local as in IN the same city - and last week, someone contacted me. She is 43 years old with a 2 year old son and, after exchanging a couple emails, we set up a meet-n-greet at the mall for tomorrow morning.

I'm nervous. I'm rather shy until I get to know people and meeting new people is really outside my comfort zone. So send me good thoughts that it all goes well...and hey, if it doesn't I'll be at the mall and retail therapy is always a good thing! :)

The Weekend

I mentioned yesterday that we are going to visit my family this coming weekend and I have to tell you, I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again. After being with them for five solid weeks back in April and May, it's been hard to be back down here and away from the daily happenings. I miss everyone.

While we've been gone, my brother and his girlfriend moved out of their townhouse in Seattle and into a five bedroom house up the freeway a bit (yes, I said five bedrooms and yes, it's just the two of them. Can you imagine? I would seriously LOVE all that space!!). I've only seen pictures but from what I can tell, it's a nice piece of real estate! My brother jokingly told me (at least, I think he was joking) that he will be charging a dollar a minute to look at the view. :)

From the photos Cara sent, I think it will be worth every penny! Apparently they aren't too far from the beach either which will delight the kids (and me). I can't wait to get inside the house and poke around - I love exploring new places.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Big Boy

The kids and I headed out to the mall this morning for Kelton's 5 year old/kindergarten photo and I have to say - I really think I have one of the cutest little boys alive. I'm not biased or anything either. *big grin*

I can pick up the photos Thursday after 5 and you can be sure that I will be scanning them in as soon as I walk through the door. They are so, so cute!!! He really looks like a big kid. Amazing. The photo studio I took him to puts them on-line and I have been to their site a few times just to stare at them. *happy sigh*

In other news, we are heading up to the Seattle area this weekend to see my family. It's the first time we will have been back since we left the day after my mom's funeral. I definitely feel the stress of it all. I plan to stop by the cemetery on the way back down to visit the grave. The marker was placed a few weeks back - I have a feeling it's going to be very surreal.

My brother and Cara just moved into a gigantic house with 5 bedrooms so we are lucky enough to be able to stay with them. I'm looking forward to seeing the new place and hanging out with my family. It's going to be a busy weekend (which ones aren't for us?) but I am so glad to be going back up. Saturday is the three month anniversary of my mom's passing and in those three months I have had more than a few moments of breaking down and losing it along with a couple panic attacks and a new, incredibly heightened sense of fear of not being around for my own babies until they are old enough to be in the world without me (is there ever really an age for that? I don't think so.). Losing my mom has really changed the way I view life - and how I view my children and my dreams for them. It's something I never would have seen coming.

And on *that* cheery note; let me again just say how adorable my son is. I can't wait to share the portraits with you.

Drip, Drip, Drip

As luck would have it, we seem to have a drip in the bathroom faucet. It comes and goes but I have noticed that if you don't get the Taps turned off *just* so, it drips a bit. I detest dripping taps for a myriad of reasons; A) the amount of water that can add up from a small drip over the course of a month is amazing, B) the increase to the water bill and C) it usually means replacing the entire faucet which is a time sucker. The part I *do* like about replacing the faucet is that we get to pick out something new. New is good. :)

I found a website called Taps4Less and wowsa! They have a gigantic selection of not only faucet fixtures but also bathroom furniture (Stacey, I think they even have a vanity like the one you just put in your bathroom (which I loved, by the way!)). They have shower enclosures, bath tubs and various bathroom accessories, too. Seriously - this website is a goldmine for anyone wanting to renovate, update or replace. WOW! And have you ever noticed that just by changing hardware or taps you can completely change the look and feel of a room. To me, that is so much fun!

This looks like great quality stuff, too. They have brand names such as Mira Showers and Hudson Reed Taps and Showers so if you are looking for a change, check out their site. I think you will be really jazzed by what you see.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Don't Give Up On Me

I swear to you that I have been trying to get here all day to post something new and exciting - well, at least new - but the day has been crazy nuts which is completely *not*( what today was supposed to be like. We were very busy all weekend so the plan was for the kids and I to have a "down day". Umm...yeah. Sure, we did stay home but it was anything but low key.

I spent an hour this afternoon de-campifying the backyard but mostly I spent the day breaking up fights and redirecting. I'm exhausted!

Friday afternoon I set up the tent and put all the camping stuff inside. I love our tent - it's huge, yes but I can set up it, alone, in 25 minutes. The four of us even slept out there Friday night...well, sleep is not exactly accurate. The kids slept but Dakota and I were awake more than not. Both kids are sleep talkers in a big way and between the two of them it was chatter central out there. Saturday we opted to sleep inside but we did play for hours upon hours in the tent all weekend.

Saturday we ran some errands and then got the house and yard ready for company. Dakota's nephew, wife and two kids moved back to the area from California last week so we decided late on Friday to see about having people over to celebrate their return. It was a huge success and we all had a great time.

Sunday we started moving slowly but then because we knew we had to do *something* we the kids I came up with the idea of going to the brand new Ikea store that opened up across the river. OY! What a mistake that was! By the time we found our way into the parking area we were directed into the overflow parking which was quite a walk to the store. Since we were just wanting to check it out we decided to skip it because there was no way either one of us felt like battling that kind of crowd. And just for the record, I'm thinking they could certainly invest in some signage on how to get to their store since we had to go way past it, turn around and then figure out how to get into the area (which was not accessible from the side we originally were traveling). I'm just saying.....from the looks of the parking lot, they could certainly afford to put up some signs!

So after that didn't pan out we decided to head to a nearby mall that we rarely frequent. It was so much fun!! Kelton was jazzed and bouncy and so much fun to be with. We ended up picking up a couple pair of school pants for him and also a pair of Crocs. He decided he didn't want to have to wait to find the Mickey Crocs and instead opted for metallic dark green. I bought him two jibbitz to go in them too which was a huge hit for him. He picked out a space alien and a turtle. He decided that the next time we go to that mall he will first earn $5.00 so he can pick out two more. Sadly, we don't have a Croc kiosk in our mall but at least we can look forward to it the next time we go mall-exploring. :)

Dakota and I were both dealing with some sort of bug-but-not all weekend. Saturday night and Sunday until mid afternoon were the worst for me but the good news is I am feeling so much better today.

Well - what do you know. I just did an update. Maybe I should change the title of the post. :) I do have some great photos from last week to show off. Take a peek!