Saturday, May 31, 2008

Garage Sale Saturday

We left the house with $28 and returned with $11 left over and a whole lot of non-essential fun things for the kids. I love garage sale day. :)

Kelton managed to find books, a super hero action figure (a blue power ranger, if that means anything to you), a Mario car, transformers, a game, car antenna balls from Disneyland and a few other things that escape my memory right now. I have to say though, he is becoming quite the bargain hunter and bartered down the price on a few things. I was actually kind of impressed because I hate to counter offer at garage sale and would rather walk away than deal with it. Yes, it's true. My six year old can teach me a thing or two. But here's the thing - no one could have turned him down. They were all way too busy ooohing and aaaahing over how "adorable" and "cute" he was. Like I said, I could learn a thing or two.

I did have to put my foot down when he started trying to barter for a toy drum thing, a metal detector and some HDMI cable. Although I was torn on the metal detector. If it hadn't been $10 I just might have let him have it. :)

Kaylen found a few things for herself as well. The highlight by far was a Bella Ballerina Dancerella set which is a ballet barre, a foot position mat and an instructional DVD. Oh my goodness! The girl has been in 7th heaven all day! I have to say - it's just about the cutest thing ever to watch her trying her best to make all the right moves. And she knows the song by heart! We took photos and I will get them up soon. It's just too cute.

It was a really fun Saturday for all of us! (Though I think Dakota's favorite part was starting to work on the garden and sandbox area. Let's hope it's a nice day so she can get back out there and have more fun tomorrow! If all goes well, I think she is planning to start building the new sandbox which is going to be a huge summer hit with the kids. Yay!)

Junk Mail

Don't you think that it is about time for companies to stop smothering us in their junk mail? I mean seriously - every time I go to the mailbox lately it is stuffed full of solicitations from
mortgage lenders, credit card companies, ads for car services, pizza coupons, etc. It's getting crazy though I admit that some days are better than others.

Maybe these companies should think about the fact that if people want information, they can easily access it on-line. Want to see if there is a pizza coupon for your favorite delivery place? Look it up on-line and print out what you want. Same thing for car services. That's what we did the last time we needed an oil change in one of the cars. Information is easy to get on-line and I would guess it's so much less expensive for the companies to just put their info there for people to find.

I don't know...there just has to be a better way other than filling up my recycling bin. I'm just saying.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Trauma for the Ballerina

There isn't a clean ballet outfit to be found this morning. Nor are there stain-free tights.

The trauma I seem to have inflicted on my three year old by not starting a half full washer last night is huge. HUGE I tell you. Never mind that I actually informed her last night that she wouldn't have a clean one to wear until afternoon. Which really shouldn't matter since we are going to the park this morning. Apparently I was wrong. It does matter. A lot.

I explained that her tights wouldn't be stained if she didn't drag her knees on the ground as she swings on her tummy on the playset. I remind her that I have asked that she wear her shoes while playing in the yard. I beg her to understand that Shout really does not get out every single stain. Yes - I'll take a trip to Target soon to buy a few more pair of pink tights.

I've put out a call to my MOMS Club asking if anyone has an used but decent size 4/5 ballet outfits (preferably with an attached tu-tu because it's no fun until the skirt twirls). I even bought a new outfit on eBay last night. Clearly I need more than two on hand. At this point, I'm pretty sure this is a case of "you can't have too many".

Sure - we might have been able to have a clean one today but alas, it's apparently trickier than I thought to get the thing off when one has to potty. As the puddle on the bathroom floor yesterday afternoon might indicate. *sigh*

She simply cannot wait to start ballet class in the fall (which I promised her she could do for a month once Kelton is in school full time. (As much as I love the boy, there is no way I want to have to deal with his antsy-ness during her class time which, of course, happens in the afternoon.)

And in case you are wondering - a kick from an unhappy three year old kinda hurts. *sigh* There is just nothing like an unhappy ballerina princess.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Yes. It's 50 degrees outside. Yes. It's overcast and downright on the chilly side and yet it did not stop me from flinging open the doors to get some fresh air into this house. Yes. I am bundled up in a heavy sweater and drinking a steaming hot cup of coffee. Yes. My fingers are frozen. But I'm getting fresh air into the house....darn it.

It's almost June. We should be wearing shorts and t-shirts and complaining about how hot it is in the late afternoon.

It's almost June. We should NOT be stuck in winterland.


Just Ask a Ballerina...or a Princess

Have you wondered how to wash your hair? Eat your scrambled eggs? Draw a picture with a crayon? Swing on a swing?

Maybe you have questions about drinking your yogurt drink or folding a towel.

In case you have any questions what so ever about the way to do something I hope you will take a minute and ask my daughter. She will be happy to show you the "right" way to do *anything* and she will quickly follow up with "That's how a ballerina does it." or princess....depending upon her mood.

My daughter is living in ballet outfits lately and I do mean living in them. For those of you who have seen her in the past couple weeks, you know I speak the truth. Until this weekend when I went through some clothes that were given to us for Kaylen to grow into we only had one ballet outfit (Thanks Brenda!) and she would be beyond crushed if it wasn't clean Every. Single. Morning. And trust me, it's hard to get the stains out and have it washed and dried at a moments notice for her royal highness. Now we have two outfits and yet....

Here are two photos I took of her a couple minutes ago. And ummm...yes...notice Kelton in the background screwing around. Silly boy! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Time for Fun!

This was just fun - try it out for yourself. :)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

PS..Kelton arrived home safe and sound from his day at the zoo. He had a fabulous time. Kaylen and I missed him but we managed to have a good time without him. :) Next year ought to be a real adventure.

Buzz Bites

Ok - this is so completely rockin' awesome for those of us who love our caffeine jolt (don't be shy - raise that hand up.... waaaaay up!). There is a new product I have found called Buzz Bites Chocolate Energy Chews...let's stop right there for a second.... tell me it doesn't sound like perfection itself! Chocolate and caffeine. Helloooooooo!!!! Life is gooooood! :)

One Buzz Bite has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee which I see as a really good thing especially considering that I seem to rarely have time to drink my coffee before sprinting out the door to here or there.

Sounds good, doesn't it? It gets better. Apparently this product is also a Work from Home opportunity provided by Energy Vending Business which has been featured in places such as The Seattle PI, Wall Street Journal, CNBC as well as on Wake Up With Whoopi (as in Whoopi Goldberg and there is someone I would trust! I love her.)

Did you know that vending is the largest home-based business in America? Yeah - I didn't either but I am certainly going to be looking into it. I bet there are a few places I could interest in having a vending machine for chocolate-y caffeinated goodness! :) I just filled out their on-line form for a free sample (YUM!) and informational kit. Easy enough to find out all I want to know.

Anyway - I was excited to find something that is home-based and could provide both income *and* a much needed jolt of caffeine and you know me, if I'm excited about something I like to share. :)

Have You Seen My Summer Groove?

You would be hard pressed to say it was summer around here. It feels more like March - cool temps, gray skies and more rain than I would like to see at the end of May.

Having completed her third year of even law school Dakota is home in time for dinner each night but so far, we have failed to find the groove and our routines are sadly lacking. It's frustrating for all of us and has me dreaming of hotels in las vegas, or maybe Disneyland, for an escape. The kids are having a hard time adjusting to the fact that Dakota will be home for dinner every night - each morning they drill me asking if she will be home or does she have to go to school. I assure them she will be home. I think if they had their summer groove going, this adjustment would be going much more smoothly. We're going to try out a new plan tonight whereby Dakota comes home and for the first 15 minutes she will focus solely on the kids and hear what they have to share with her. Then she will change into non-work clothes and we will get to work on dinner. After dinner, while I clean up and get the house ready for the evening (pick up toys, straighten things up, sweep and mop the kitchen (which has gone by the wayside lately because there just isn't time in the evenings) and run the vacuum) Dakota will play with the kids (hopefully outside, if the sun ever decides to shines!). Then it will be bath, stories and bed. Hopefully by giving the kids more of Dakota's time and attention we can find out groove and get about the business of enjoying the next couple of months - you know, before we throw it all for a loop again when Dakota starts back for her final year.

Let's hope we can figure this out soon - for everyone's sanity.

Zoo Day for the Boy

It's field trip day for Kelton and the kindergarten classes are heading to the zoo. They are probably already on the road as I type this. He is very excited but me? I'm a bit anxious over the whole thing. I played up the whole "You're going to have a great time!" aspect but I feel conflicted. My baby at a huge place like the zoo without family to be sure he is safe. Scary for the mom!

Over the past week I've softly but carefully drilled him on his phone number, his address, what to do if he loses sight of his group, what adults are the safest to ask for help, etc. He gets it all. He knows the answers and yet still....I am a worrier when the kids are away from me. Maybe on some level I think my worrying will ensure their safety. I don't know. It's not like I have an overwhelming urge to buy life insurance for kids or anything. I'm not *that* much of a whack-job about him going on a field trip....thankfully. :)

All I know is I sent my baby boy, lunch bag in hand, off for a day at the zoo with his classmates. A big day - for both of us! I hope he has a great time and I can't wait to pick him up this afternoon.

We Don't Chew Wood in the House

That should go without saying, don't you think? Well - then someone should tell Maddie, our three year old Boxer because she apparently thinks sneaking sticks into the house to chew into pieces in the living room is a fine idea. Ugh!

Just a few minutes ago I again walked into the living room to find a small pile of wet, gross wood yuck. Lovely.

I think I might need to look into Miele vacuums to help keep all the wood dust and yuck under control. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Weekend of a Different Type

First off, thank you all for your supportive comments (and outrage) at what happened at the mall yesterday. I appreciate it. The whole thing really upset me and it's nice to know it would have upset you as well. As I said - some people suck. Some do not though so in the spirit of "moving on and moving forward" I thought I would share some photos, and stories, of the weekend.

We actually managed to have some sunshine! Believe me, no one is more surprised than me by this turn of events. I am beginning to think the sun will *never* come out - we've been bogged down in dreary, rainy days for...well...just about forever now. It's getting on my nerves and that is saying a lot. And as an extra bonus, my sister along with my brother-in-law, great-niece and great-nephew came to to visit!

Saturday morning my friend, Brenda, and I went out bright and early to see what treasures we could find at garage sales. Years ago, before she moved to California (and back again) we would often go out to garage sales together so it was like old times and I really enjoyed it. We did manage to find some good deals - I picked up two Video Now players, headphones and about nine Video Now DVD's (all Kelton's favorites: Sponge Bob, Jimmy Neutron, Fairly Odd Parents and Scooby Doo) for....are you ready for this? FIVE DOLLARS! And yes, they work. The kids are beyond thrilled and I am more than happy I didn't pay retail price for them because well...they aren't at all what I expected. For all the hype of a few years ago, I was surprised to see how tiny the image is and the fact that it's in black and white really kind of blew me away. Black and white? Wild. But hey - for $5.00 I'll take it. And when the time comes to say goodbye to them I will know we got our $5 back a few times over. :)

I also picked up a box of 4T winter clothes for $5.00. This box included a brand new, unopened package of Hanes underwear and a brand new pair of HealthTex socks. Both marked well above the $5.00 total I paid for the box. There are a few really cute shirts (including a Christmas shirt!) and a couple pairs of pants that should work well for Kaylen. Whatever we don't/can't use I can donate and I still come out waaaaaaay ahead! :)

And yes, there is more. For another $5.00 I bought a decent sized box of boys pajamas in Kelton's size (both current and the next size up). Kelton LOVES pajamas. If we would allow it, he would buy a new pair every time we went to a store that sells them. That said, he would also wear them 24/7 if we'd let him. I knew it would be a huge hit for him - and it was.

I found an Angelina Ballerina DVD ($2) as well as cute little, in good condition, ballet shoes ($0.75) for my little wanna-be ballerina.

So all in all - I did pretty well. After hitting the sales both Brenda and I were hungry so we stopped at one of our favorite places and grabbed a bite to eat. After dropping Brenda (and her treasure trove of goodies) off my phone began ringing. It was my great-niece calling to talk with Kelton to let us know they were almost to our house. Fortunately I was only a few minutes away and I pulled into the driveway just moments before they did.

Oh the excitement! The kids went in every direction imaginable and the fun began! Since it was a nice afternoon, we spent a good bit of time in the yard. Then there was swimming to be done at their hotel, then back to our house for a dinner of pizza and then Mikayla (who is 7) spent the night with Kelton.

Dakota and the pupsters.

Tractor driving Playing dress-up.
Ring around the Rosie while looking at themselves in the mirror.
Pizza Time!

We had a huge thunder and lightning storm roll through just as we were getting the kids to bed. My two fell to sleep without a care but we ended up sitting next to Mikayla for an hour before she finally drifted off. I have to admit, if I was a child at someone else's house during a big storm I would have been scared, too.

The next morning the kids played and then settled in for some Martian Matter fun. They really had a good time and the fun kept going from there. My sister, BIL, and Mikayla's brother, Parker, arrived a while later and we visited a bit before it was time to say our goodbyes. It was a quick visit but so, so nice to have people come see us. It's rare and always welcomed!

Playing Martian Matter

The rest of the day went by easily. Dakota and Kaylen went out to pick up a few groceries to carry us through to shopping day and Kelton and I stayed home and watched "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl" which Kelton absolutely loved. Later in the afternoon I was checking out CraigsList, as I am known to do, and finally found the style of bar chairs I've been keeping an eye open for (and at a very reasonable price! $20 each!) for a long while. A couple of phone calls, two trips to bring them home and removing about 3 inches in height yesterday (Thank you Dakota! You sure know how to work that circular saw! ) and they are perfect!

Monday morning found poor Kaylen stuffy and congested. We all lounged around for a while and then finally started moving forward with our To Do list which included shortening the new bar chairs. After that - the day slide steadily into a funk. The kids got crabby and sassy and both Dakota and I were feeling restless.

We ended up at the mall where things did not improve. The final straw was removing the kids from the Disney Store in an all out tantrum over not getting what they wanted. Never mind the fact that they both picked out two books at the Borders Express store that was going out of business (and had 40% off everything). So - we left the mall and headed for home.

Fun times, I tell you. Fun times! I guess that's life though - fun and good times mixed in with not so fun and not so good. Today is another day though and anything is possible. :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

People Suck

Yeah yeah - I know not all do but right now, I'm not feeling the love.

"Get your damn kid outta here!"

That is what was hurled at the kids and I today and I have to say, it really struck a nerve with me. I'm pissed. Waaaaaay pissed.

We took a (failed) trip to the mall this afternoon for the sake of getting out of the house hoping to shake everyone from the funky moods we all seemed to have going. While there, the kids had to go to the bathroom so we went into the lounge in Nordstrom. As is the case with the kids and I, we all took a stall, locked the doors and went about our business. Kaylen has been requesting to go potty alone for about 6 months now and I have no problem with this. It's never been an issue.

Today, however, she decided for some unknown reason to peek under the stall wall and the person she peeked in on was...well...I thought way out of line. Yes - it was rude of Kaylen. Yes - she has been talked to about why this is rude and that we should never, ever do it. Yes - she isn't perfect.

But seriously? That line and two others almost identical in the fact that she called my three year old a "damn kid" really pushed my buttons.

Immediately upon figuring out it must be one of my kids this 20-something was freaking out about, I called out Kaylen's name and asked if she was ok. (To which the reply came from the b-itch again about "my damn kid") I said something like "Kaylen. Stand up in your own stall now."

I raced to fasten my jeans and bolted out of my stall as quick as possible. My poor baby was terrified! She wouldn't open her stall door at first but then I talked her into it. The look on her face - OMG! It killed me. So sad and confused and hurt and scared and...well..just and everything you don't want to see in your baby's eyes.

Kaylen meant no harm. She's freakin' three years old. I muttered under my breath (after the third reference to my "damn kid") that I was sure they had *never* been three years old before and had never made a mistake(oh yes - she did indeed have two friends with her that said some pretty nasty thing as well. One even had an infant. Just wait my friends - karma will bite you in the ass over this one!). Then I spoke to my child to reassure her that everything was ok but that we never, ever peek under the stalls because it isn't nice but that everything was really ok. "You are just learning, honey. You're going to make mistakes. It's ok." I told her. Kaylen didn't say a word - she just looked so incredibly shattered.

Meanwhile my blood was boiling and I was wishing like hell I was more confrontational because I would have jumped all over them. I mean seriously. There were about 10 other ways she could have handled that. The easiest, of course, would have been to gently say something like "Oh honey - it isn't nice to peek under the wall. Will you please go back to your stall." I know that's what *I* would have said - and have said because what child doesn't, at some time, peek under stall doors and walls whether in a bathroom or a changing room. I did it as a kid and I'm willing to bet all of you have done it too.

For crying out loud - she's THREE.

Sometimes I hate people.


My kids are driving me CRAZY today!!!!!

That's all I have to say right now. You may return to your Kelton and Kaylen free day now. Enjoy.

Lazy Morning

I "slept" (more like dozed) until 8 this morning and now, here it is, almost 10 and I am *still* in my pajamas.

Yes - it's true. I'm a bum. :)

LOVE holidays when Dakota is home with us. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

The kids woke Dakota up at 7 which is sleeping in for her, too considering her alarm usually goes off at 5:00AM. Kaylen has developed a cold so the past two nights for her and I have been lacking in the sleep department. Joy.

But - I'm still in my pajamas and have already enjoyed (sucked down..whichever) two cups of coffee. Now if only it were a sunny day instead of a blicky ol' dreary rainy one it would all be perfect. :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Feed Me

No, this post doesn't really have to do with my daughter melting down over being denied popcorn yesterday when she decided to yet again boycott her swimming lesson (!) and instead sit on my lap to watch. Though frankly I could have done without her screaming and crying "I'm hungry! I'm hungry!" over and over while people looked at her thinking..well. God only knows what. One woman offered the "poor starving girl" a carrot stick but alas, she wasn't "hungry" she was pissed off she couldn't have a snack of popcorn at the community center (which is where the kids are taking swimming lessons). (And when I took her outside to collect herself (ie: collect *myself* since she was starting to piss me off) a young teen aged boy came up and said "I have a little money today. Would you like me to buy her something to eat?" Sweet, yes. Mortifying? ABSOLUTELY!) But no - this post doesn't really have to do with that at all. :)

I'm more thinking along the lines of RSS Feeds.

I noticed, much to my dismay, that my visit stats are on the decline. And yes, I am just as insecure as the next person. Declining stats are a slight blow to my ego. I ask myself: "Am I boring people with stories about my kids?" "Is this because I stopped talking about the "real" stuff like how hard being a parent is and about other things besides 'look at my cute kids'" What is it? Why?

Then - I was at a play date today and one of the moms mentioned feeds and did I know if people had me on their feeds because if they did, they only need to visit my blog (and therefore be counted by my stat counter) to comment. Ah-ha! Feeds. This would also account for the lessening of comments. Though I guess I'm hardly one to talk. It seems I read blogs but rarely comment these days. And in fact, some days I don't get through my blog listing so sometimes it will be a day or more between my visits to blogs. So yes, I'm guilty in the lessening of visits and comments myself. *sigh*

So - the purpose of this rambling and all over the place post is to ask this: Am I on your RSS feed (or whatever feeder you use...I totally have no idea how they work) or do you just stop by?

I'm just curious.

And hey - maybe, just maybe I'll start talking about things other than "Check out my adorable kids" even if it means I come off looking a little unstable at times - as apparently has been the case in times gone by. In my opinion, stability is totally and absolutely over-rated as I'm sure all you moms with young kids can attest. :) And besides, I have a theory - those who come off looking completely in control and "stable" are usually the most unstable of us all. It reminds me of a quote I read on someone's blog (taken from the Grey's Anatomy blog):

“Don’t wonder why people go crazy. Wonder why they don’t. In the face of all we can lose in a day, in an instant, wonder what the hell it is that makes us hold it together.”

Why aren’t you crazy?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Craft Time

Yesterday the kids and I took a trip to the craft store to pick up a few things. The resulting hours and hours of craft fun were well worth the trip!

Have a Merry Merry Merry Merry Christmas!

What? It's not Christmas at your house? Well then - come on over. The kids have hung a stocking on the fireplace as well as a few Care Bear ornaments they found in their toy bin and to complete the festive spirit - their Hi-5 Christmas CD is blasting loud and clear.

"Oh how the reindeer loved him....." come on -sing along. You know you want to. :)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

In Dakota's Dreams!! :)

As I was walking to Kelton's classroom at the end of school today I met up with the mother of a friend of Kelton's. Elizabeth and Kelton have had a couple playdates and they used to sit at the same table in class. Elizabeth's mom says "So I hear you are moving to Hawaii. Elizabeth would like to have a playdate with Kelton before you move."

Stunned silence from me.

"Ummmm....we aren't moving. Did Kelton tell her we were?"

"That's what she says."

"Huh. Interesting. But no - we aren't moving though I'm sure Dakota would love to move to Hawaii."

I swear - I hear the most interesting things from these 5 and 6 year olds both when I am in the classroom and from what Kelton shares with me. One kid tried to convince Kelton that she was 10 years old - and he really beleived her. That took a lot of undoing on my part. :)

When I asked Kelton about it (as both families were walking back to the parking lot) he said that he did indeed tell her that but that she said they were moving to Hawaii too. Elizabeth looked at me and nodded in agreement so I said "Well - it looks like you two have it all planned out!" and everyone laughed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So True

Who among us hasn't had moments exactly like this one?

Note to Self

In case I lose all sense of memory somewhere down the road, I think I should post a note somewhere to myself that says:

Remember not to let Kelton help with make up.

I'm just saying....

But boy oh boy did they have fun! Fun was not what I would call trying to wash it all off but thanks to the ever wonderful baby wipes, I did get all the red staining removed from her adorable little face. The shirts they were both wearing? Well - they weren't as fortunate. Don't you think "kid make up kits" should be a lot more washable? Sheesh! :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Photos

It's been quite the day around here. Busy, busy, busy with a few (many) meltdowns from a certain little girl thrown in for good measure. She even refused to attend her swimming class this afternoon. OY!

Anyway - here is a montage of some of the photos I took this weekend. All told, I'd say the slideshow is 4 minutes so sit back, relax and enjoy!

Back to the Grind

Nooooooooooo!!!! I don't want to be back yet. Even though the kids were exceptionally challenging for part of our beach trip it was still so much better than "regular life". You know what they say "Everything is better at the beach."

We got home yesterday afternoon and spent the afternoon and evening unpacking, settling in, mowing the yard and letting the kids play on the slip-n-slide.

Have I uploaded pictures yet? But I will. Just not this morning. If the kids cooperate, I plan to spend time this afternoon getting photos up and sharing all there is to share.

In the meantime, could someone please tell me how we went for temps in the upper 90's this weekend to the chilly downpour we are having right now? Crazy, I tell you.

I'll be back soon! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beach Time!

The sun in shining and the temps are soaring upward. That can only mean one thing - it's BEACH TIME!!!

We're leaving immediately upon Kelton getting out of school tomorrow and we are all so excited we can barely stand it! There is nothing better than family time at the beach. I have to say, it really feeds our souls. They aren't just kidding when they say "Life is just better at the beach."

For a few days I won't have to think about cleaning bathrooms, making beds, doing dishes, whether I should look into lipovox, or anything else for that matter. Just time to explore our favorite beach towns, play games in the arcade, watch Dakota and Kelton laugh themselves silly in the bumper cars, ride the merry-go-round and the little train. Try on silly hats and let the kids talk us into buying them one and indulging in a favorite treat or two. It all awaits us....and we are more than ready to go. :)

Computer Woes

My sister called with the sad news that her computer didn't survive the move. Thankfully she backed up all her photos before she moved from her old house so all (all?) that she really lost were photos of the last month.

So....she is out looking for a new computer today. Maybe she'll also get a flash drive to go with it.

It's kind of fun to get a new computer though it is much more fun when it is your idea and not because your system decides you need a new one. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You Flushed WHAT??

Let's just say that Dixie cups are not all that flushable.

Sure, yes. Eventually they breakdown. Providing, of course, that you pour enough hot water into the bowl and plunge for long enough.

I'm just saying.

And now a certain 6 year old is forbidden from being in the bathroom unattended for the rest of the week. And he lost TV and computer time for the day. And he had to do a bunch of chores as well as write "I will not lie." ten times.

And yes....that pretty much sums up my day around here. *sigh*

Swim Little Fishies, Swim!

The kids, along with their friends Carson and Katie, started swimming lessons last night. Kaylen loved it but Kelton...well...he wasn't so sure. From the look of things, it was going quite well but then he left his group and indicated to me that he had to go to the bathroom (which yes, he had done 15 minutes earlier). In the bathroom he melted into a puddle of tears and said he didn't want to do it. After talking with him and explaining that quitting isn't an option, he left me and rejoined his class. He just sat watching but at least he was with his class.

After the lesson Dakota and I showered him with praise over what he *had* done in the class and completely ignored what he hadn't. It seems to have worked and he is ready to go back tomorrow for his second lesson.

Kaylen, on the other hand, was giddy with joy over her experience and can't wait to go back. She said with a big happy smile, and I quote, "I'm going to do even better next time!"

Waiting for the start of class.

Silly Little Fishy

Kaylen with her class. It was soooo hard to leave her at the pool and go to the observation lobby. My baby near water without me. Big step for us both!

Kelton walking to his side of the pool - which made photo taking near impossible.

Kaylen, sitting on the wall listening to instructions.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pastries with Parents

This morning Kelton's school hosted an event called Pastries with Parents. Essentially it was a 20 minute block of time prior to the first bell when kids and parents meet in the library for a muffin and reading. They also had a raffle.

They had nine books to raffle off. Not many for a room as full as the library this morning. I had zero hope of Kelton or Kaylen winning. Seriously - what were the chances?

Apparently really high.

They both won! I was astounded and really happy for them. :)

Here they come - back from picking their prizes.
Both kids picked books that house four music CD's
plus the books with the words.

Checking them out.

Kaylen looking through her book.

Kelton picked of Christmas book. That's my boy.
Christmas all year long!

Shhhhhh! Don't tell Dakota!

I want to see how long it takes her to notice. :)

(The mirror reflects the dark brown wall on the opposite side of the room and the white is a reflection of the ceiling. All those pictures? Those are on the mantel. If you look closely, you can see my reflection taking the photo. :) )
Look at what I did today. :) I've long been wanting to use vinyl lettering to do a project but was at a loss since I didn't want a huge piece of wood to have to worry about hanging. Then, this morning I saw an idea at a local craft store (a locally owned store, not one of the big fancy franchise type stores). Putting the letters directly onto the large mirror above our fireplace was inspired! And don't you just love, love, love the saying?
(close up)

I love it. Now I wonder how long it will take before Dakota notices it. I love that woman like crazy but paying attention to details such as this is not her strong suit. :)

Oh. My.

Three is the new two.

Sorry to break that news to all you who have yet to experience the "joy" that is three. Three months ago my daughter was a happy go-lucky, take life as it comes, helpful as all get out child. Since turning three (just like her brother before her)she has begun to morph into this creature that is hardly recognizable. Well - at least at times. Underneath the ear shattering screaming, kicking, hitting and all out defiance she is still her sweet self. But honestly, in the past 48 hours I have seen precious little of "happy girl" and way too much of "devil child".

Last night she and I had another battle of the wills. I won, of course, but it was a long road to get there. She has a stubborn streak a mile long. I'm sure she gets that from the donor. *wink*

This morning it was another go-around all because I asked her to get the container of crackers so I could make her requested "cheese and crackers - melted". You would have thought I asked her to crawl over broken glass. Oh my - the tantrum. How far did she have to go to get the crackers? Not even a step. She was right there at the cabinet. ARGH!!!!

I think there should be a something like drug rehab for three year olds. Toddler Rehab.

I know several moms who would run quickly to sign in their off-spring.

It's a damn good thing she's cute.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back in Town

Sorry about going missing on you there for a few days. We went to visit my family for the weekend to help celebrate my dad's 70th birthday. As most of you know, Sunday (Mother's Day) also was the one year anniversary of my mom's passing. (Aside: "passing" "passed" "passed away"....those are all such weird phrases but I guess it sounds better than saying "death" etc.. Still - sounds weird. She passed? Hmmm...what did she pass? But I digress.....) Needless to say, the weekend was a weird mixture of emotions. I have lots to share about the weekend but now that Dakota is home in the evening, I will have to try to fit blogging into my daytime schedule because, and I mean no offense to any of you, I'd rather spend time with her than sitting here writing to all of you. :)

On a very happy note though, Dakota and I received our very first handmade (but not helped in anyway by us) Mother's Day gift from Kelton. It was incredibly sweet and made us both cry "happy tears". He was so proud of his gifts and we are so proud of him!

Check them out:

The inside of the cards. He drew us each a picture and then answered questions about what we like. He did take the easy way out and answered the questions exactly the same. Except for the "My mom's favorite color is blue" (which is true for Dakota but not me) all the answers he gave were mine. Pretty funny!
The outside cover of the cards. Dakota's has more flowers because he worked on hers first and started to run out of time while working on mine. :)
The photo in my frame.
The photo in Dakota's frame.

I thought it was especially great of his teacher to make sure he had two cards and gifts for us. Don't you just love the frame? It's so cool!

Anyway - I have a bunch more photos to share from the weekend and I promise to get to them soon. So check back again soon. You just never know when the kids will let me have 30 minutes of uninterrupted time for blogging! :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Happy Mother's Day to all of you!!
This is an oldie but a goodie - here's to us!!

This is for the mothers who have sat up
All night with sick toddlers in their arms,
Wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer
Wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying,
'It's okay honey, Mommy's here.'

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end
Soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at
Work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains
On their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and
Make cookies and sew Halloween costumes.
And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to
Babies they'll never see. And the mothers
Who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art
Collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns
On metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead
Of watching from the warmth of their cars.
And that when their kids asked, 'Did you see me, Mom?'
They could say, 'Of course, I wouldn't
Have missed it for the world,' and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids
In the grocery store and swat them in despair when
They stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner.
And for all the mothers who count to ten instead,
But realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with
Their children and explained all about making
Babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who
Wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go
Hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read 'Goodnight,
Moon' twice a night for a year. And then
Read it again, 'Just one more time.'

This is for all the mothers who taught
Their children to tie their shoelaces before
They started school. And for all the mothers
Who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons
To cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns
Automatically when a little voice calls 'Mom?'
In a crowd, even though they know their
Own offspring are at home -- or even away
At college -- or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids
To school with stomach aches, assuring them
They'd be just FINE once they got there, only
To get calls from the school nurse an hour later
Asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone
Astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they
Bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of
Recent school shootings, and the mothers
Of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors,
And the mothers who sat in front of their TVs
In horror, hugging their child
Who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their
Children to be peaceful, and now pray
They come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway?

Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and
Sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart?
Is it the ache she feels when she
Watches her son or daughter disappear
Down the street, walking to school alone
For the very first time?

The jolt that takes her from sleep to
Dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. To put
Her hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again
At 2 A.M. When she just wants to hear
Their key in the door and know they
Are safe again in her home?

Or the need to flee from wherever she is
And hug her child when she hears news
Of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are
Universal and so our thoughts are for
Young mothers stumbling through diaper
Changes and sleep deprivation....

And for mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all. For all of us.

Hang in there. In the end we can
only do the best we can. Tell them
every day that we love them. And pray
and never stop being a mother....

'Home is what catches you when you fall - and we all fall.'

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Photos of the Girl

I took the kids to the Picture People today. Kelton opted not to be in any photos which was ok because a couple days ago I realized it's been a year since I had any photos taken of Kaylen by herself. Oops! Anyway - between the coupons and a really, really great deal on framed and matted photos, I got 4 poses, two 11x14 frames and two mats to go in the frame for $19.45!!! Yay me!

The manager, who just happened to be our photographer, asked me to sign a couple model release forms. She is planning to put up a new wall display and wants to include several of the shots she took of Kaylen. The manager also told me that she is planning to forward the photos and release forms to the head office for possible inclusion in the next book or advertisement. Now I know national attention is long shot but I am pretty excited about the prospect of seeing Kaylen on the wall of our Picture People. You can bet I'll take my camera and get a few shots of it for her keepsake box. :)

Very fun!

Almost Summer!

Can you sense it? Summer is coming. Here is how I know;

Dakota has her last final of the semester tonight!!!


It's a "take home" (or in her case "take back to the office") 24 hour test. If you have a moment today/tonight, please send good thoughts her way because this is a ginormous work-load class with oodles and oodles of material. She has been studying for days for it and now it's time for her to shine! So please, think good thoughts for her, will you? Thanks!

(And PS...after she turns in her final tomorrow afternoon she will officially be in her fourth and FINAL year of law school! YIPPIE!!! Great job, honey! Really, really great job!)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sidewalk Painting

It was a beautiful day here today - and yesterday was equally so! Finally a couple days when I didn't spend a good part of it mopping up muddy tracks across the floors from dogs and kids. Nice!

Kaylen and I spent the morning in Kelton's classroom and then came back to spent the hour between our leaving the school and needing to return to pick up Kelton outside in the yard. We played hide and seek, tag and restaurant drive through (an all time favorite! One of their play structures has a window in it and Kaylen loves to sit inside and take my order. Funny how a mocha comes out looking like a football though. :) ).

After picking up Kelton and settling everyone in, Kaylen and I returned to playing outside. The sun was shining and you would have *thought* I would think "Hey - sunscreen on the daughter who is running around in her sleeveless party dress would be a stellar idea!" but, she is a tad bit pink on her shoulders tonight. *sigh* Was sunscreen hard to find? No. I bought a new bottle a couple weeks ago and it is sitting on the counter right next to the back door. My only excuse is I am out of the sunscreen habit....and I clearly need to get back into it.

As the afternoon wore on, the kids were getting restless so I decided to try out a new thing: sidewalk painting. I found a recipe in a magazine a couple months ago and I kept it for future reference. It was so easy and the kids had a blast!! Yes, it was messy but it dries to a chalky consistency and washes away easily. Two thumbs up from the mom and four thumbs up from the kids! This is definitely something we will be doing again.

The recipe is simple:
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
Food coloring

Instant fun! :)