Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bubble Fest 2008

It's only 1pm but I swear it feels like I've been awake for about two solid days. It's been a busy day that actually, for me, started at 3:30 this morning. That was when Kaylen started having nightmare after nightmare after nightmare. She's been having a good number of them recently and they never fail to make for one tired mommy the next day. And a very tired little girl as well. I asked her why she was having so many last night (not expecting a response) and she looked at me and said "Because you no squirt that smelly stuff on my pillow to make them stay away." Ok then. You can bet tonight her pillow will be well sprayed with lavender spray (it's our "this will help you have good dreams" tactic and well - it does seem to relax them and let them fall asleep faster).

But anyway...we had plans to meet some friends at the park this morning and then from there we went to our neighborhood library for Bubble Fest. It really had potential. I mean, it could have been great but it was a bit on the chaotic side and, thanks to the sun shining in the morning for the first time in about a week, it was packed. The kids managed to have a good time even if they didn't have a chance to visit all the stations or do all of the bubble activities.

The best activity by far was something called "the bubble cup". The took a plastic party cup, punched a hole for a straw to fit through near the top, covered it with a cloth (secured with a rubber band), added dish washing detergent and then sprayed the cloth with water. The kids blew through the straws and like magic the bubbles formed snake-like shapes and cascaded over the sides of the cup. So totally fun - I even had to try it for myself. :)

There were other things like the bubble wall, frozen bubbles, smoke bubbles, bubble station for playing, painting with bubbles, etc.

And you know I took photos. :)

And after the bubble fun, we headed inside to check out a new selection of books. The kids love to have stories read to them which makes racking up the hours for the summer reading program pretty easy. :)

Label Me

I'm not taking about how you would label me, or even how I would label myself, and I'm not talking Thermal labels but rather labels for kids clothing. I'm thinking seriously of finding some that I can put in and on the coats, lunchboxes, backpacks, etc belonging to the kids in the hope of having lost items find their way back home. I remember finding a cool website not all that long ago that had pretty fun ones. So my question is this; if you label your kids items, how do you do it? Do you use the old standard Sharpie pen (that's what I do now) or do you have some other method?

I can't tell you how many things I've had to label lately. I sure don't remember my mom putting our names on anything but now it is required for day camps and schools. It makes sense, I'm not questioning that. I just want to find the easiest way to go about it.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Roll It, Baby!

Something like 50% of the population can roll their tongues. It's genetic. I know that some of my siblings can do it but not all. I know my mother could not.

I cannot.

Both my kids can. And Dakota can.

Kelton discovered he could do it a couple months ago and Kaylen figured it out last weekend. Amazing.

So not fair. I want to be able to do it too.

Can you roll your tongue? What about your kids?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Finally...An Update

Am I here? Am I really here? I'm afraid to think it might be so but just in case, I'll be cutting and pasting to a Word document every few minutes. You just can't be too careful these least not with the way our internet has been here and gone and here and gone. I haven't had a status update for the "big fix" on which the four Comcast trucks down the street are working but I know they are still there and have been for hours.

I'm actually relieved to know it's a problem outside these four walls because it means it is nothing I have done and nothing that a child has downloaded or done that is causing trouble. Always good to know because I was not sure of that at all at 7AM this morning when I heard "MOM! Come quick! There is something really wrong with the computer and I need your help!" And for the record, I really, really wish he would save that line for *after* my first cup of coffee. I'm just saying. :)

So anyway, where was I? It was Friday was a long time ago now. :)

We did end up camping in the yard for not one, not two but THREE nights. After a fun weekend, Dakota decided on Sunday to stay home Monday and enjoy another family day. That meant we all camped out for three nights (with Sunday night being quite chilly out. Brrrr!). I know some of you requested photos but alas, I didn't take it. I was too busy just "being" in the moments instead of recording them. We have managed to develop a new routine of sorts and start the kids watching a kid movie around 6:30pm in the tent (on the laptop) which is really fun! We don't usually sit around having a family movie night and I think we all are enjoying it. Maybe that is something that will transition to the autumn months as well - Friday movie night. Sounds fun and I know lots of you already do something like that with your kids.

Saturday during the day we went to a Bark-BQ which was basically a dog fair. Vendors, dogs for adoption, swimming for dogs, fun races for dogs, etc. It was fun but I think our favorite part was making friends with all the dogs. :) After that, we made a quick IKEA run (well - if it is ever quick to go to IKEA which I'm not sure it ever is) and then headed home.

Dakota and I got some good reading time in while still juggling the kids and their various needs and desires.

Sunday was both restful and hectic. In the early hours Dakota and I got in more reading time but by 11:00 we were in fast forward motion. Dakota was bathing dogs and I was cleaning the carpets and then we did more cleaning and tons of laundry and well - before we knew it the day was practically over. That's when Dakota decided to stay home for another day. YAY!!!

Monday we decided to head out and go to our local museum of science and industry. It was really fun! We packed a picnic lunch so we could spend our money seeing a show in the planetarium called "The Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket" which the kids really, really loved! We were traveling through space and learning about the planets and I have to say, the kids were mesmerized! We spent a few hours playing around with everything and then headed home.

So - it was a busy (what else is new?) and fun weekend around here.

Natural Hazards Warning and Kelton. Makes sense to us. Hee hee! :)

Books, Books and More Books

Nine books. Yes my friends, that is how many books I have read so far this summer. Nine. And I am ready to start book number ten.

Considering I haven't read a total of nine books in the past...oh I don't least six and a half years I think that is pretty impressive.

I love reading. Love it! I adore escaping into new and exciting worlds. But once the kids come along there just wasn't time or energy. I read a couple here and there but I would struggle to get through them and then wonder what happened to my passion for reading. Well fear not - it has been rediscovered! Now that the kids are getting older and are able to self-entertain better, it's easier to find time to read. Mostly I read on the weekends because finding time during the week is difficult at best. But the summer weekend bring less expectations for getting everything that needs to be done, and more time for just hanging out on the patio reading. Don't get me wrong, we have a long To Do list for summer things but the lure of the books is hard for us to ignore. We are both enjoying out leisure reading time.

There is nothing like escaping into a good book. I mean, it's not like I'm taking away from, oh I don't know, finding an acne cure. The laundry, cleaning and yard work; yes. But that can wait until Monday. :)

The Last Lecture

Maybe I'm the last person to find this out but I was saddened today to discover that Randy Pausch passed away on Friday. If you haven't seen the YouTube vesion of The Last Lecture or seen the interview on Primetime, I would encourage you to do so. It is life changing.

They are running a special tonight at 10pm on ABC. And - if you click on the link for Primetime you will easily be able to access a lot of clips and videos, including The Last Lecture.

Life changing. It really is life changing.

Can You Hear Me Now?

I'm just going to say this: It's not my fault.

It's not my fault that I haven't been able to update the blog - the blame lies squarely on Comcast. :) There is a problem in the line from the main box somewhere in the neighborhood which means our home phone and internet access is spotty at best.

They are hard at work on it as I type so hopefully it won't be long before I can get back online and post an update.

Hang in there! :)

Friday, July 25, 2008


...because it's Friday, you know where we can be found; camping in the backyard! :)

Last Day of VBS

Kelton has spent the week going to vacation bible school and he has loved it! He really wishes it would go on and on and on and you know, I do to. Not because he was gone all day - far from that because I missed that little guy - but because he loved it and I found it to be a nice way to start and end a day.

Yesterday when I picked him up he looked like this:

All the kids look similar. They painted their faces to reflect the fact they are all in a tribe together. The tribe of God and the tribe of the world. Unity. A sense of belonging. Always good things.

We returned to the church later for an ice cream social and a little program of singing and being together. It was really nice and, as Dakota mentioned, way nicer than anything put on my Kelton's school this year. :)

Kelton didn't want to get up and sing with the rest of the campers but that didn't stop him from singing' he just sang from his seat. :)

It's been a really great experience and it's been a great jumping off place for some good (and sometimes intense and thought provoking) conversations at home. Kelton can't wait for next summer and neither can Kaylen. She decided that she doesn't want to be left out next year so she already put in her request to attend. (To be fair, she was given the option this year. She opted to stay with me instead.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another Day...

It's been another jam-packed, whirlwind day but I am just too darn tired to tell you about it. I'd like to say I'd post in the morning but we'll be off and running early once again. Hopefully I'll be home for a bit in the afternoon and can post something more than a lame excuse as to why I'm not posting.

I will leave you with this tidbit daughter has given up her hatred of the car seat and has seemingly resigned herself. She will even, on occasion, complain the straps are not "tight enough". Yeah, I know. You could knock me over with a feather too. That was a long year (plus) of car seat hell.

I'm not sure her new obsession is any better. In fact, it's making life incredibly difficult at times. It's her under.pants. She hates them. Not a mild dislike oh's hatred through and through. She will scream like a child possessed at times and it's gotten to be quite ridiculous. Yesterday she was having a fit and a half over finding a pair that met her approval and I was about to go insane. I had long since left her in her room saying "Well - you have to wear a pair so find something you can deal with, finish getting dressed and then come find me." I could hear her screaming "I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!" over and over. Finally I said "Who exactly are you talking to?" her reply? "MY UNDER.WEAR!!"

Ok then.

She did finally put on a pair. Backwards. And then went on to say "I'm wearing them backwards and you can't make me change it!"

Guess she showed me.

This girl is something else.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sharing a Favorite Blog

I have a favorite blog and I wanted to share it (well - I have several but this one stands out for me right now). I've known Fern for almost seven years (we were on the same pregnancy board all those years ago) and while we've never met in real life, we've stayed in touch here and there and kept up with each other. She has a blog and it is a slice of heaven for me. She is honest (brutally so) about ...well...everything. She openly shares the good, the bad and the very ugly about parenting and she never fails to make me feel "something" even if that something is incredibly relieved that I only have two kids to drive me crazy (she has 4...a six year old daughter, twin 3.5 year old boys and a 1 year old daughter...and she is a freelance writer trying to work at home and tend to the little ones). Mostly though - she makes me laugh. I love how bold she is with the truth.

I take issue with people who pretend life is rosy and grand with kids (and yes, I take issue with myself sometimes because I fall prey to the "post only the good stuff so that random and rare person(s) who doesn't understand, or has never been a stay at home mom, or is too far removed from the whole "in the trenches with the kids" thing won't judge me, roll their eyes and think "therapy, woman. Get some therapy because clearly you are an unhappy miserable mess.") because let's face it - life with children is rarely rosy and grand. It's hard work. It's isolating. It's maddening. It's crazy. It's wonderful. It's the best thing and the hardest thing all rolled together in this incredibly messy ball of sweet and sour that children are. And Fern....well she puts fingers to the keyboard and puts it all out there. And I love her for it.

I'm betting you will too. :) Check her out: Candle at Both Ends

PS..Don't leave just yet....keep reading; I posted about the day right below this. You can hop over to Fern's when you are done. Hee hee. :)


"Stay at Home Mom" my hiney!

It's been a busy here, there and everywhere day and I am wiped out. Kelton had vacation bible school day camp at 9am so we left about 8:45 to get him there and settled in. After that, Kaylen and I stopped by the vet's office to pick up hairball medication for the cat and then came home. After about 40 minutes we headed out to a dentist appointment for me which was clear on the other side of town. Thankfully we were early enough that the horrible road construction projects between here and there didn't make us late.

The appointment did not go as planned so now I have to return in three weeks for another fitting for a dental appliance. Not that I'm counting (HA!) but this makes six months of trying to get this appliance made and fit correctly. I'm trying not to come unglued over it but seriously - I've had a dentist appointment of one sort of another at least every three weeks for six months! (Thankfully we have an HMO-type dental plan so I'm not being charged an office visit for each and every appointment.) Just getting there though is no easy feat what with schedules and needing to find someone to watch and/or pick up kids ( I can take Kaylen with me but two is too much). I am really hoping that this next visit will be it otherwise, I just may blow a gasket. It's no ones fault, blah blah blah but still. I'm done with it.

So anyway - we left there and stopped at Supercuts on the way home to get little missy's hair trimmed. Or....was that cut completely off? I'm unclear as to what the stylist heard. It's short. Much too short but the good thing about hair is that it grows. I'm sure it will be fine in two.....three weeks. :) I'm really not sure what she was thinking about the bangs. WOW! I thought eyebrow length was the norm but they are way, way shorter than that. Oh well.

The bad part about that is I have been promising Kaylen that I will take her in for a photo of her in her ballet outfit this week (she wants to do it without Kelton there). Ever since she saw her friend, Katie, have her photo taken in her ballet costume, Kaylen has been really itching to have her photo taken in hers. I'm so ok with that because this is a stage that I will want to remember long after she has given it up. So...we'll make the best of it and if they don't turn out well, it isn't costing me anything but time and patience (thank you Picture People free coupons!). I'll just have to make a return visit with another coupon for another day when her hair is a little longer. :)

We came home for lunch but it wasn't too long before Kaylen was begging to go to the park (or "the park-ee" as she took to calling it today). We had to stop by the shoe store to pick up another pair of ballet shoes (she has worn out her second pair already) anyway and there is a park across the street so off we went!

Before I knew it it was time to go get Kelton. We got there in time to see and hear him singing songs with everyone (so darn adorable!) but before long it was over and we were headed out the door. Kelton quickly melted down into a puddle of way too tiredness when he saw that Kaylen was given a cheesy two page coloring book at the vet this morning (it's really a clever little ad for Advantage Flea products). Good heavens would would have though she had been given the key to the castle and he was being sent to live off the land somewhere. The tantrum that rang out loud and clear was unbelievable. On one hand, I get that it's hard to be left out of things (heck- as an adult I still struggle with that) but was a crappy coloring book and the kicker was, Kaylen said she would share hers with him and he could have it (she colored one little section) but he was having no part of it. It was U-G-L-Y.

Finally he got himself together (you know, after mommy lost her cool and all *sigh*) and when I asked if he was proud of his behavior he looked at my with huge eyes and quietly said "No. I'm not."

SCORE! I think that was the first time he has ever had that reaction. It usually is met with a defiant look and a million reasons why he was right in his behavior. And then, get this - he apologized to me with no prompting. YES YES YES!!! The event was ugly but the aftermath proves that we are finally getting somewhere.

Kelton came home and promptly crawled into my bed and barely moved for about two hours. Not asleep but not really "of this world" either. This all day day camp stuff is kicking him hard.

While the kids vegged, I ran around like a wild woman trying to put order to the house. I was still running when Dakota arrived home from work.

What a crazy, wild day. Certainly no "staying at home" for me today. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Quick Back-Track Over the Weekend

When I last spoke of the weekend it was Friday and the kids were making s'mores and getting ready for bed. They did indeed fall asleep in the tent which made both Dakota and I pretty excited that maybe, just maybe, this would be the night when we all could camp out together (she's had a few camping nights with Kelton in years gone by and I had one with Kaylen the weekend before last but never have we all been out there at the same time). As they slept, we plugged in the laptop and watched a movie (hmmm...which one? Oh right "Definitely. Maybe." It was a very long two hours - I'll just leave it at that. :)

Once the movie was over, we headed instead to get ready for bed. We were quickly followed by Kelton who was crying and complaining that he was cold (he was....we were cold out there watching the movie. It was, after all 56 degrees). No matter how we tried to assure him that we would snuggle him up with more blankets (and Dakota) so he would be warm, he held firm to wanting to sleep in his own bed.

With a heavy sigh, we agreed and then went out to bring Kaylen in as well. She stayed asleep and I'll tell you what - she was very unhappy to find herself in her bed in the morning.

In the morning, we all went back out to the tent to enjoy some time in the sleeping bags while we made plans for the day. Dakota had learned that Blockbuster was having a customer appreciation day with carnival-like games and a bounce-house style slide. It wasn't until 1pm though so we all got ready and headed out to a park for a while to burn off some kid energy. We ended up in the attached dog park where the kids were delighted to make new puppy friends. There was even a pup named Jaxon (spelled the same way as our Jaxon). It made us all happy and sad but it's hard to be too sad around all that puppy energy. :)

Soon it was time to head to the carnival thing. Oh the joy that was had!! Kaylen would yell "MORE MORE!" every time she came down the huge slide and Kelton cleaned up with prizes. His best was the dart throw to pop balloons. They were in heaven!

After that we headed home and just hung out. We made a second attempt at sleeping outside and lo and behold - IT WORKED! All four of us made it through the entire night! I thought Kaylen and I were done around 5am when she woke up in a puddle (which is so completely out of character for her) and I had to take her in the house, clean her up and get new jammies on her. I suggested we climb into her bed (it's a queen sized bed) which was met with crocodile tears. She wanted to go back to the tent! So, armed with waterproof coverings and towels, we headed out and she promptly fell back to sleep.

Sunday morning found us playing with Kelton's Martian Matter and making gooey aliens galore. It must be a tent-related activity because both weekends Kaylen has specifically requested that activity. Funny.

It was a quick slide to Grandma arriving to play with the kids while Dakota and I went out to a movie. I finally got to see Sex in the City which I really liked (I never saw that actual show but I liked the movie a lot anyway but let me say - some of those clothes had me rolling on the floor. Seriously?? Wow!). Dakota liked it ok but she did say "Well - it wasn't Indiana Jones, that's for sure." Still - it was very, very sweet of her to take me to it (she arranged everything - Thank you, honey!).

We arrived home, sent Grandma on her way, gathered the kids and put them in the car and headed over to meet Grandma, Grandpa, an aunt and an uncle at the new retirement community that Dakota's mom and step-father are moving into. We had the grand tour and saw their new place. It's quite nice but it's all a little strange and it's moving quite fast. We only learned of the plan to move last Monday. They are excited and that's what matters.

We made a grocery store run after that to buy lunch items to pack in Kelton's lunch for the week because today he started his week long Vacation Bible School Day Camp. It runs from 9:00-3:00 and it was a HUGE hit. Huge huge huge hit! Oh my gosh - he was so happy and animated and incredibly exhausted when I picked him up. After resting a bit this afternoon he started singing silly, fun songs and sharing bits and pieces of his day. He made a wish tonight that he could go to day camp "forever and ever". I'm so glad he is enjoying it and as a bonus, not only is he there with Carson, a friend since babyhood, but as it turns out, one of the boys from his day camp last summer is there as well. I could not get over how much this little boy had changed and grown. Wow. I'm sure Kelton has done the same but I just don't see it with him.

Kaylen and I spent our day running some errands, going on a bike ride (I walked), getting work done around the house, Kaylen got some Kelton-free computer time and watched a couple favorite shows. It was all so weird and quiet. But good. A really good day.