Monday, June 30, 2008

A Busy Fun-Filled Monday

By 8AM, I was working on my second load of laundry, the kids had been fed, the dishwasher was running, I was showered and dressed, the kids were dressed, one child was watching Dora and the other was playing a computer game. And it just got busier from there.....

It was a day filled with tons of painting, coloring and drawing. Some dress up was thrown in for good measure as well a nice round of "build something really big with blocks and then smash it down!". I'm sure there was more stuff but frankly - my brain has turned to mush. Bedtime was a blessing and a half tonight, let me say that.

This afternoon Kelton asked that I make sidewalk paint so he could paint on the patio (some days a person just can't get enough of painting, I guess). I obliged because - well, it's not like I had read more than a paragraph of the book I had sat down to read about a million times. So he and I went into the kitchen to whipped up some paint. Next time I should remember that the more food coloring I add the richer the color will be but the more it will stain the skin of the children using it. *sigh* Oh well - I hear Incredible Hulk green is all the rage for an accessory color. :) (Sorry - no pictures of that. But it was quite impressive, let me tell you.)

Yes, it was a busy, hectic, fun-filled day. And tomorrow promises much of the same. There is no such thing as a lazy summer day when you have young kids.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's In a Name?

Don't call her Kaylen. In fact, don't call her a girl. She would very much appreciate it if you would call her "Kelton James Jr."
It was incredibly hot yesterday (101 in our yard - ugh!) so for dinner I decided that it might be nice to go to Red Robin for dinner. No prep work, cooking or clean up to be done by us - sounded perfect for a miserably hot day. We had just finished a big water shooting game and were in our swimming suits in the backyard so we all came in to clean up and get dressed. We sent the kids into Kelton's room to get dressed (the kids share a dresser so Kaylen clothes are all in there, too).

We were laughing out loud when Kelton escorted Kaylen out dressed up in all of his clothes (plus shoes). They both declared that she was no longer Kaylen - she was Kelton James Jr!

What could we do? We let her go like that and they were both giggling themselves silly. I have to admit, it was pretty darn cute! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Zoo Day

Today two friends of mine and all our kids met out at the zoo for a few fun filled hours. The whole adventure started out a bit dicey when I missed the exit to the final of five freeways to get from our house to the zoo (which makes it seem like the zoo is about 5 hours from our house but's only 30 minutes. That's Portland for you. The freeway system over there makes me want to slam my head into a wall over and over and over. *sigh*). I've been to the zoo before. Many times. I have never missed the exit before. It's the same exit to the same freeway that takes us to the beach every time we go. I'm no stranger to the exit. I just wasn't paying close enough attention to driving and instead was trying to get the kids to settle down so, ironically enough, I could get us there safely. It was a noble attempt, I'll give me that.

I ended up somewhere in downtown Portland. I went through China Town and, at one point, I could even see the hospital on the campus where Dakota works. I just couldn't find my way through all the one way streets, heavy traffic (for 10AM!) and construction. I placed a call to Dakota in the hopes that she would know the area far better than me. She did not but she did have access to maps and mapquest. With much frustration on all sides (and it sure wasn't helpful that we would lose the connection through the hills and dense trees) we finally managed to get the kids and I to our destination. Thirty minutes late. *sigh* If you know nothing else about me - know this much; I can't stand being late. It's just not in my DNA. I had even left home 15 minutes prior to the time I should have had to leave to get there on time. So if you factor that in, I was 45 minutes off my projected arrival time.

But - arrive we finally did and my friends and their kids were good sports about the whole thing - more worried about us then about all of them standing around waiting and shivering. Thank you, you guys. Really and seriously. Thank you. For everything.

After getting through the gates we got down to the serious business of getting from point A to point B and all points beyond. Not easy in a packed zoo when you are traveling with four strollers and two walkers (and two were stroller jumpers - jumping in and out without notice) but we manged not to lose anyone and I think we all had a pretty good time. Stressful at moments, but a good time none-the-less.

The kids - ready to rock and roll.

Kaylen petting a goat. One of her goals for the visit. The other was seeing the elephants and, as I learned on the way home, she had added giraffes and penguins to her wish list. I wasn't aware. Sorry, baby girl!

Kelton petting a goat.

Experiencing the Dino-Walk! That was really cool and fun!

One happy, happy boy! As it turns out, it was his favorite part of the trip.

The spitting dino. A huge hit with my two wild children. :)

Cool, eh? And it is only one-third of the original size. WOW!

The super fast slide in the dino area. All the kids loved it and went many, many, many times.

The dino dig.

Kelton and Little Ms. Robinson (Lost on the reference? See post below this one.)

Watching the turtles.

Another photo of Mr. Happy Boy

My monkeys playing on the monkey swings.

Watching the geyser.

The Three Amigas!
My friends Melanie and Jeri (and me, of course)

Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson!

Kelton is in love. Well - as he puts it "I'm in crush!" With a friend's 12 year old daughter. That's my boy - going for the older women. :) It never fails that if there is a girl who is older than he is, he will follow her around like a puppy and then later declare what I had already figured out. "Mom, I really like her!"

The 12 year old, I'm sure, was more than a little amused by it all. My son even went so far as to write down our phone number and give it to her.

We are in soooo much trouble with this kid.

We shouldn't be surprised. This really, really should not shock us at all. We've watched it coming since he was about oh......four months old. And definitely by six months. Once he figured out how to fix his gaze on someone he would lock in on all the pretty girls and just stare at them with a huge smile on his face while he batted his long eyelashes. And everyone would gush over him.

I must say - he was an adorable baby but more than his looks, his little flirty personality really drew people to him...and me. Which I really didn't enjoy. I would often wonder how I, an introvert, managed to give birth to such an over the top extrovert.

So here we are - almost 6 year later - and the boy is still going after the older, pretty girls.

Let me state again, for the record: We are in serious trouble with this one.

Oh! And I forgot to mention that, under the guise of being "too hot and sweaty from running and playing" my son took off his shirt. No doubt something he has seen on television at one time or another. *slapping my forehead and shaking my head*

We met our friends at a park not far from our house so the kids rode their bikes and I walked.

The shirtless wonder. :)

Sporting his shirt and head wear. I guess if your sparkling personality isn't enough, go for the giggle factor. :)

I wish I had gotten a photo of him giving her his phone number. I was too caught up in trying to overhear what he was up to and didn't even think to snap a photo. Next time - because, there will for sure be a next time. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Heart CraigsList!

This time though - I wasn't buying. I was selling! Even better than buying when it goes as quickly and easily as it did today. Within 90 minutes of hitting "publish" on my four ads, three were gone and one is spoken for but it will be tonight or tomorrow morning before she can get here to pick it up.

Ninety minutes. When all is said and done, I will have made $80.

What did I sell? No - not the kids. They have been unbelievably good today so they got to stay. :)

We said our goodbyes to the following:

This was Kelton's First Birthday gift from us. It was sad to see it go but the kids are just too big for it. I had planned to sell it last year but Kaylen wasn't quite ready. This year she helped me move it to the front yard for the new owner. What a difference a year makes! Sold for $35.00.
The much beloved turtle sandbox. I bought this at a garage sale for $5.00 when Kelton was 15 months. I sold it today, five years later, for $15.00. :) In case you are wondering, it's usually far, far cheaper to find kid toys are garage sales than to get them from someplace like Craiglist. I'm just saying. :)
This picnic table was "free" with Kelton's baby swing set. It has never been outside and was in fact used only a couple of times for coloring art projects when Kelton was two. Other than that, it's been folded up in the garage and tucked away. We have a bigger one in the yard for the kids to use. I believe we paid $1.00 for the bigger one at a garage sale when Kelton was about 5 months old. Maybe it was $2.00. :) Again - garage sales are the way to go! I sold the little table for $15.00.

We're waiting for this one to be picked up. It was Kelton's 3rd birthday gift from Dakota's mom and step dad. Kelton never really played on it much. Kaylen used it much more but this weekend she said "This can go too, ok?" I guess she was done with it. :) Selling it for $15.00.
So all in all, a productive 90 minutes for me. :)

Tagged for a MeMe

I was tagged by Shannon from The Other MotherHood. Her blog is private but she is a regular visitor here. goes...more than you could ever possibly want to know about me. :)

How long have you been married? Married: 13 years. Together: 14

Where did you meet? a local bulletin board system. This was pre- AOL/Yahoo/etc chat rooms. This was a board run out of Seattle for the GLBT community.

How long did you date? Before what? :) I would say we saw each other for about a week or so before she came to stay over and never left. :)

How old is she? 42

Who eats more? Hard to say. Depends on the day. :)

Who said “I love you” first? Oh my gosh - I don't think I can remember on the spur of the moment like this. Dakota? Do you remember?

Who is taller? Dakota. By 6 inches. No kidding. I'm that short. :)

Who sings better? Birds. :)

Who is smarter? Wow - whoever came up with this game sure is looking to cause problems in relationships, aren't they? :) I would have to say that I am street smart in regards to real life stuff and Dakota is definitely more book smart. We compliment each other well.

Whose temper is worse? Mine.

Who does the laundry? I do. Though to her credit, Dakota will toss in a load here and there and help fold. But I win this one hands down. :)

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Dakota

Who pays the bills? I do.

Who cooks dinner? Dakota. At least, this has always been the deal. Then along came law me put it this way; when Dakota is home, she does. When she isn't, I do.

Who drives when you are together? Me.

Who is more stubborn? Probably me. Though let me tell you - she has a stubborn streak as well. :)

Who kissed whom first?'s been 14 years...I'm thinking, I'm thinking! I'm not 100% sure but I have a feeling it was Dakota. :)

Who is the first to admit to being wrong? Dakota is never wrong. Just ask her. :) :) :) (You know I love you, honey! *wink*)

Whose parents do you see the most? Dakota's mom and step-dad. We live four hours from mine and about 4 minutes from hers. :)

Who proposed? Dakota did. It was a surprise move and I was blown away. We'd been dating for about a month and we had just that weekend moved her stuff into my place. We were at a country dance bar in Seattle.

What’s her best physical attribute? Everything. Seriously. But I think I'll go with her eyes. I just love them!

Who has more friends? Hard to say on this one. I'd say she does since she has so many co-worker and law school buddies. As for good friends, I'd say we are probably close to equal these days.

What are you most proud of her for? Having the determination to go after her dreams while still balancing all the adult responsibility stuff. She is also one heck of a great partner and mom to our kids.

Who has more siblings? I do. I have three brothers and a sister. Dakota has two sisters. I grew up with mine, Dakota's siblings were all but grown and gone by the time she was born essence, she was an only child.

Who wears the pants in the family? At different times and for different things we both do.

And now I'm supposed to tag others but how about this instead; if you want to do it, do it. If you don't, that's cool too. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Monday

It's been a busy day full of everything and nothing. This morning I was out bright and early doing some serious weed pulling that had to be attended to. Those darn "side of the house" areas that are tucked away and well...forgotten. They manage to grow some serious weeds...and a few starter trees that had no business growing where they were.

From weed pulling I came in, cleaned up a bit, got the kids ready and headed out to the eye Dr to pick up a copy of my lens prescription. From there, we headed out to the mall so that I could get a pair of prescription sunglasses. My eyes, which have always been incredibly light sensitive, have been killing me in the sun but the clip-on sunglasses I bought last summer distort everything horribly and make me queasy (and I can't really see without my glasses) so clearly prescription sunglasses were needed before I lost my mind.

This is the second summer for wearing glasses full time and I was miserable last year with the clip-ons but thought I could deal this time around since my vision has settled down (and in October I got a new prescription which made a huge difference in my seeing-ability). Turns out - nope. The clip-ons just don't cut it and going without sunglasses has been pretty bad.

So I went to B*inyons with a great coupon (50% of lenses plus 50% off frames). I still spent *GULP* $200. OUCH OUCH OUCH! And I picked inexpensive frames. Seriously inexpensive. The coating for the lenses was only $20 so the rest of the cost was the lenses themselves - and it was half off!! WOW! And then, after forking over the money - it was a three hour wait to get my glasses. We waited, the kids and I. We waited and waited. We hit the library, had lunch at McDonald's, played in the play area, had ice cream and finally it was time to go back.


There was a scratch on one of the lenses and they had to be remade. They would be ready around dinner time. I had briefly thought of leaving them until tomorrow but I did end up going out tonight to pick them up. The second time was a charm and I now have sunglasses to wear. I'm happy about that - it will make driving so much easier. :)

OH OH OH!!! Did I tell you I read an entire book this weekend???!?!?!?! I know I didn't so here goes....I read a book this weekend!!!! It was so. much. fun!!!! I haven't been able to have that much dedicated reading time in forever and it was glorious! What did I read? Light, fun stuff..."Confessions of a Shopaholic". If you haven't read it - it's fun reading. I found it at a garage sale for fifty cents. Yay! And good news for me - there are several more books in the series and a few other non-series books by the same author. Happy happy!!!

Reading is good. :)

WARNING: Political Posting Ahead

The rule is that one should never bring up religion or politics in polite conversation. Well.....ummm.....whoever said I was polite? :)

I saw this on a blog I read and I just couldn't resist posting it here. I'm a Democrat through and through. That should surprise no one. I could never, ever be "the other" because to do so would be to say that I don't matter...that my relationship doesn't matter....that my family doesn't matter. It would be to say that we don't deserve the same rights as other families - that it is ok to treat us as less than. It's ok for my children to not have the same legal protection as other children. I can't say that. Can you?

No party is perfect. I get that completely but still....
I'm just saying.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

First Day of Summer Vacation Means.... photos!! :)

I took the kids to the Picture People this morning in the hopes of getting a photo of Kelton alone. It's been a long time since it has been just him in a photo and I wanted to have a picture to commemorate the end of his kindergarten year. As it turns out, neither Kelton nor Kaylen could abide with her *not* being in some of the shots so....

Sweet, sweet ,sweet!

Muscle man! This is Kelton's favorite pose because he thinks he looks "amazingly cool and super tough". I got a sheet of two 5x7's and framed one for his room. He is thrilled!

This pose was Kelton's idea. Isn't it just too much? :) I kept hearing little "I love you, Kaylen!" and "I love you, too, Kelton!" coming from them. So cute!

And I have to once again sing the praises of Picture People. With their club membership giving me one free 8x10 and $10 off another sheet and their coupon giving me a free 10x13 and 25% off portrait purchases I was able to get all three sheets for *insert drum roll here please* $5.30. I love their membership cards - they are so, so, so worth the $39 (and you can use one of the $10 off to buy the membership card so really, you can get the card for $29 and on it you get three free portrait sheets, a couple percentages off and a few $10 off coupons to use. I'm telling you - it's the way to go! And don't forget the coupons they have all the time on their website for a free 8x10 or 10x13! Those ROCK!! And now that the studios have gone digital, there are so many fun ways to enhance your photos....and no, this is NOT a paid advertisement for them. I just love going there! :)

If you know me in real life and live here, I have some great coupons to share for a free photos. We'd both win - you'd get a free photo and so would I. Let me know if you are interested. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Last Day of Kindergarten

How in the world did the end of Kelton's first year of school come so quickly? These past nine months have flown by. He is so excited about being a first grader (which he can tell you happens at 11:25 this morning. That's when the bell rings, signaling the start of summer vacation.).

I go back and forth - thrilled for him but so sad that this year is over. Next year brings even more changes - such as a full school day. Wow.

Here are some photos I took this morning and then a few from his first day of school back in September. Amazing. Oh - and yes, he is wearing the same shirt. He had me go back into the files to see what he wore on the first day - he was sad he didn't have the same sweatshirt and shoes though. :)

Showing everyone that he is going to be a First Grader!!

Kelton and Mom. Getting ready to get in the car. Did I mention he gave up on the bus before the end of September? He only rode it when I absolutely could not take him - like when I had appointments. I've enjoyed dropping him off every morning. :)
Waiting outside his classroom door.
With his friend.
Another friend. (I didn't get pictures of everyone but we managed to get several. He is a well liked kid. :))
Chatting up the music teacher. He was definitely a highlight in Kelton's school year.
Kelton with his teacher. What a great year its been!

And now a look back to that very first day:

Eager to go.Kelton and Mom.
Riding the big yellow school bus.

We have come a long, long way this year. He has done exceedingly well in school and has had a lot of fun. We could not be more proud of him if we tried. Kelton, my son, you have rocked your kindergarten year. Congrats, baby! :)

And for fun - let's do a side by side comparision:


Is it just me or has he lost a lot of that baby-ness in his face? *sigh*