Friday, August 29, 2008


"I am three, hear me roar!"

I just taught Kaylen to say this and she is walking around chanting it. Seems right. She has been a friggin' bear all day. The past few days, actually.

I have to wonder: is it harder to BE three or be WITH a three year old?


Three going thirteen, I think.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beach Time - again

"Again?" I can hear you asking. But yes...again. Only this time it was a day trip with the kids and without Dakota. Over the weekend, as reality came crashing in on our summer bubble of denial, I had a huge urge to run to the nearest beach and hide. The urge wouldn't go away so I started tossing around the idea of take the kids and going to the beach for the day. Seaside is only about 90 minutes away so it was totally doable. Monday I mentioned my idea to Dakota and Tuesday I made plans. I mentioned it to a friend of mine, Jeri, who commiserated with me about wanting to packed up her four kids (plus two friends for the older kids) and I packed up my two and off we went yesterday morning.

We left our meeting point at 9:25am and rolled into Seaside at 11:00am. Ahhhhhh!!! It felt so good - and yet so weird without Dakota. I've never been to the beach without her and it was strange.

The kids had made plans with what they wanted to do. All the regular Seaside stuff; the train, the peddle cars, the carousel, the arcade and the beach. I added going to my favorite place to eat, The Pig n' Pancake. And we got it all done. Including a trip to the candy store to buy Dakota's favorite fudge to bring back for her.

We meant to leave Seaside around 2:30 to avoid the slug-hour traffic through Portland but alas, before we turned around twice, it was 3pm. Plans were revised and we opted to leave town around 5:30 which would still allow us to avoid the traffic issue.

The kids and I arrived home at 7pm. I unloaded the car, bathed the kids, showered myself, read stories and put the kids to bed. They were asleep by 8:20. Not bad. After they were asleep I started a load of sandy clothes and unpacked our stuff. By the time Dakota walked in the door at 10:00, it was as if we'd never been away. :)

It was a great day and I can't wait to go back. I do so love the beach - the crashing waves brings me a sense of peace that nothing else can.

Color me happy. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Friend Jen

My (on-line) friend, Jen, writes the blog "Candle at Both Ends" which I love, love, love. Recently, her family has undergone a huge kick in the pants when her husband lost his job. Jen is writing a series for on the experiences they are currently living through. She is an awesome writer - and I encourage you to wander over to her page at the examiner and see for yourself.

Out of her last posting, I pull this (below) quote. I love it.

"About that -- about planning: planning is a comfort behavior. We like to map things out, although we know how quickly plans can change. We make lists. We search online for articles with bullet points or numbered task lists, telling us what to do.

When the rug is pulled out from under you, you fall to the ground. Quick and dirty. The job loss, the news that we were having twins -- these are more like standing in a calm sea, then being hit by a wave from behind. You go from standing firm with an eye on the horizon to crashing twisting swirling through the murky water, unsure of which direction is up. You can map out your life in infinite detail, but still a rogue wave can rise at any time, breaking upon you when you least suspect it in the form of a medical diagnosis, an unhappy spouse, the loss of a job, or even an extra baby stowing away in a carefully planned pregnancy.

But what do we do when we once again break the surface of the water, gasping for air? We make another plan."

And while you're there, check out her first posting: Busted Flat in Baton Rouge. And if you have a comment for her, please be sure to post it. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time on My Hands

I bet you can tell that Dakota is back in school, can't you? How many posts can I make in one day? A lot, as it turns out. :)

This past weekend we did what was probably our very last camping in the backyard weekend for the summer. It was so sad to put things away knowing it will probably be an entire year before we have camping fun again. We went out in style though - we had a camp fire and made s'mores. Kaylen had been wanting to make s'mores every time we camped (which we counted out to be five weekends. Felt like more than that though.) but we held her at bay most times. By the time we had dinner, built a fire, waited for it to get ready, made s'mores, ate them, cleaned up, had baths and then hit the sleeping bags, it was always later than we planned and a certain little girl would be a mess of toddler meltdown. Knowing this was probably the last time though we made sure she had her one last camp fire.

Cool Slideshows

I'm glad we were able to camp out so many times. It was really great family time and I can't wait until next summer when we can do it again!

(PS..keep reading if you haven't already. I have done 4 posts so far today. :) )

Deers Under the Tree

As I mentioned in a previous past, Dakota's mom and step-dad are getting ready to move into a retirement community. Since their house has been on the market for about a month, they have opted to leave the packing for the last second so the house would still have that "lived in" feel instead of "wow - there are so many boxes cluttering everything up" feel. As a result, the past few days have been hectic for my mother-in-law. I'm pretty sure she could use some Ephedrasil Hardcore to give her a nice boost of energy. As it is, I'm pretty sure she is hitting the coffee harder than usual. :)

With her move came the decisions of what to do with some of the stuff she is not taking with them. Among the things were a cement doe and fawn and a statue of a boy and girl. These things are now living with us and Kaylen couldn't be happier. The deers were here before (we bought this house from Dakota's mom when she moved in with her now-husband) and I can clearly remember how special they were to Kelton when he was little and it was hard for him to say goodbye to them when Dakota's mom decided to take them to her house. I think Kelton was 18 months at the time. And now, Kaylen is enjoying them. She likes to go over and pet them and the other day she said "Mama? Will you bring your camera here so I can take a picture?" As it turns out, she wanted to take photos of the deer and the boy and girl statue. I let her and she did a great job.

And I have to admit, it's nice to have the deers back. I've missed them sitting under the tree. :)

Small Deer

Shedding like a Snake

Oh my gosh. My daughter sheds her clothes like a snake sheds their skin. It's probably not very nice to compare her with a snake but I think you might see my point.

I just wandered around the house picking up. Among the books, blocks, puzzles and assorted toys (Grandma was here sitting with the kids) I also picked up:

1 ballet outfit
1 pair of undies
1 pair of long pants
1 pair of shorts
3 shirts
a pair of tights
Dora two piece pajamas - in two different rooms
soft ballet shoes
hard ballet shoes
1 sunhat
one pair of mittens - in two different rooms

Our house is not that big. I was gone at my appointment for 90 minutes all told and the house was clean when I left.

I told you she was a skin shedding snake.

My sister says Kaylen's love of changing her clothes is payback for when I was a child and did the exact same thing. My mom used to wash all the clothes I would discard. She was a better mom than me. I just shove them back in drawers and closets. I mean really - how dirty can they be after that short amount of time?

I remember loving a book when I was a kid. I think it was titled "Mary Changes Her Clothes" My sister doesn't think that was the title but the gist of it was a little girl who changed her clothes a zillion times a day. I wish I could find that book and share it with my daughter.


I thought this week would be less full than previous ones but I'm seeing that isn't really the case. I guess that's good. It makes the time go by.

Yesterday was a lesson in "When things go wrong." or maybe more accurately "Days are full of surprises." It was just "one of those days" and it never really did get any better. I survived though and even though I struggled with many situations the kids had a great day, played well and really seemed to enjoy being with each other. They had their sad moments but overall, they had a really good day. I'm glad for that. It makes it all worth while.

Today's lesson might be "Life is like a litter box. Just when you get it all scooped out, someone comes along and makes more work for you." :) I actually had come up with a few other metaphors that made me (and my twisted mind) laugh but really - they weren't all that true. It's just more to do. That's all.

The heat pump guy is coming in about 30 minutes to do the annual check-up and cleaning of the heat pump (for those not in the know - a heat pump is a furnace/air conditioner all in one. It's more complex than that but broken down so *I* can understand it, that's what it is). I've been trying to line something up with the guy all summer but through a comedy or errors, it hasn't happened until now. That's ok - at least it will be done.

After that (or while he is still here, depending on how it all plays out) Dakota's mom is coming over to watch the kids so I can take yet another trip to the dentist (I was there yesterday but now I am going back to the "specialist"). I swear, if they can't get this stupid appliance of mine right this time around I'm going to call an orthodontist and see if they will do it for me. It can't be as difficult as this place is making it. I've had this thing for 30 plus years and I get a new one made every four or five years and it has never been the frustrating experience this has been. I've been working on this for SIX months - which is crazy! In years gone by it has been two, maybe three, visits over a three week period. So if they can't figure this out, I will have to go someplace else. It's not like I can just *not* have this appliance. Believe me. And I know orthodontists make this type of thing all the time. Still - wouldn't it be nice just to have it done right today? Why yes, yes it would, thanks. :)

From there - I'm just not sure how the day will play out. Hopefully that will be all the "big" stuff and it will be an easy afternoon and evening. Figners crossed.

Wednesday and Thursday should be fun days. One of the days we will go over and have lunch with Dakota and the other day I'm planning to take the kinds to the beach for the day. It will be a long day but I think it will be fun, too. The kids have already outlined all the things they want to do so it will be busy but I'm looking forward to it. It would be looking forward to it MUCH more if Dakota could come along - a stolen day before Kelton heads off to first grade. Oh how I am not looking forward to having him gone all day. Not that I'll be sitting home wallowing - I've already signed Kaylen up for ballet/tap dance class and I plan to get involved in activities at Kelton's school.

It's going to get busy. But then, I guess that's what life does.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summers End

Autumn has come. Summer is no more. At least, not in the real sense of the word and all it implies.

Dakota starts classes tonight and I will once again be alone with the kidlets all day and all evening and well past their bedtime. Truthfully, I'll be alone until about 30 minutes before my bedtime. Actually, I'd usually already be in bed by the time Dakota comes through the door but I'll stay up so we can have a teeny tiny bit of face time. It sucks.

Yesterday was a hard day for all of us. It was hard to watch the clock knowing the end was coming. The kids had a really hard time saying goodnight and good-bye last night. Dakota was as well. There were many tears from different people at differing times of the day yesterday. Change it hard. It will be four long days before Kaylen sets her eyes on her other mommy. Kelton will probably see her for 15 minutes in the mornings because he is an early riser. This will go on week after week after week.

Yes - we've done this before. For three years we've done this. And it has never, ever easy. Yes, this is the last year we'll have to do this particular dance. It still isn't easy.

The kids are older. That part is good. I'm going through this all again with a three year old - again. That part sucks and for those who have gone through the terrible three's, you know of what I speak. Kelton was three when we started this journey. Now Kaylen is three. I've had two three year olds to deal with mostly alone 24/6 during a three year period. There is a special place in heaven waiting, I have to believe that. :) Three's. Ugh. It's a hard age.

And if today isn't hard enough....let's just add to it that today is (would have been?) my mom's 70th birthday. And oh hey - if those two things aren't enough let's just pour this one top: Maddie the dog chewed through the fence in a back corner of the yard and escaped. Three hours, a trip to Home Depot (where I loaded in fence boards between the kids car seats and where Kelton, inside the store, decided he didn't need to listen to "Don't touch" and ended up knocking several very long, very loud metal pipes onto the floor bringing people running from all directions. Oh yes - it was a stellar moment!), many cuss words, bent nails and way too much frustration later, the fence is fixed and secured. Not exactly the way I wanted to start this adventure but hey - life is what it is.

So here we are. Year four of law school. Year four of being, in essence, a single parent. I'm not really ready but...ready or not here we go.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Beach: In Photos

(I love the song that I chose - I just wish it was in present-tense. So when you listen to it, change it in your mind, ok? Thanks. :) )

And here are a few of my favorites from the slideshow:

Obama Names Biden as Running Mate!

If you haven't yet heard, Barack Obama has named Joe Biden as his running mate!

Here's to January 2009 bringing Hope and Change to this country. We sure need hope for a better future because the one we have staring at us - well.....let's just hope, and pray, and VOTE for change.

Here's a YouTube find that is worth sharing called American Prayer.

"We, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!"

"When you get to the top of the mountain, will you tell me what you see.
If you get to the top of the mountain, remember me."

Moving On Up

Dakota's mom and step-dad are moving in a week. Not far but from their home to a retirement community which, of course, means downsizing all their "stuff". We headed over to their house today to pick up a mommy and baby deer statue for the yard as well as some crystal stem ware that, while we certainly don't *need* it, made sense to keep in the family.

While we were visiting, Kelton decided to help himself to the various promotional items left by the real estate agent. Oy! That boy and his love of all things paper. :) We let him look through it but then he had to leave his beloved stack of printed material behind (which this mommy is none to sad about!) for people who come to see the house.

It's going to be a strange transition for all of us next week as the move takes place. I'm sure it will be a good move for them - it's just so strange.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life; Post Beach

Well...we're home. And not all that thrilled about it either. The countdown is on for back to school. Dakota starts back studying this weekend and classes start Monday. Kelton starts school on September 3rd.

Change is in the air.

It's hard to pretend it isn't happening. The rain is falling and it just feels, and smells, like autumn. Won't be too many weeks before the Halloween decorations make an appearance.

I spent six hours today cleaning and organizing but I have yet to download photos from the beach trip. I will - I just had to get things done today. I've cleaned out and straightened up Kelton's closet and dresser and then set about the chore of having him try on last years school clothes as well as the ones I bought him for this year. And guess what? I was so wrong about the size he would be wearing this year. See...I buy ahead and end of season sales (so that means I buy a year in advance) and store things in bins in the garage so that I always have the next size ready to go. He wore a size 6 in kindergarten so I assumed he would be a 7 for first grade. Ummm..yeah. Not so much. He is still a 6. So instead of starting the school year is shiny new clothes (which I'm sure is way more important to me than it is to him) he will have three new shirts and two new pairs of pants and a few shirts and pants from last year. Damn!

Oshkosh sizes small so size 7 pants and shirts fit. Every thing else I have in 7 is miles too long. The good part is that he will have clothes to grow into (and, at this point, wear for second grade). The bad part is I had picked up some really great clothes that I have been waiting to see him in for first grade. Not exactly life altering, I know but disappointing (for me) none the less.

Then, after getting Kelton's room organized, I was taking things out to the garage to put into bins to pass on to Kelton's cousin when I discovered that in order to get things put away where I needed them to go, I had to do some organizing in the garage. From the garage I moved back inside and completely overhauled the linen closet (because well...I had to make room for the new towels we bought). Inside the linen closet is also all the lotions, powders, cold medicines and acne cream tubes. So all of that needed to be sorted through (and all the post-date things tossed) and organized.

Before I knew it - a solid six hours had passed. Thankfully the kids are recovering from their beach trip and had a low-key day so they stayed busy playing with their toys or watching TV so I could work.

Not exactly a slow-reentry for me but it sure feels good to have so much taken care of. Next up will be downloading and sorting through photos.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Waves Crash

Can you hear that? It's the sound of the waves crashes against the sand as seagulls fly overhead. If you listen really carefully, you can hear the sound of distant voices being carried hither and yon through the wind.

The ocean. The beach. The coast.

Yes, my friends, that is where I am at this very moment in time. The kids are sleeping (it's been a big, big day for them), Dakota and reading and I logged on to check the price of Nautica towels. (Oh my goodness - we must have some and, as it turns out, they are affordable. Yay!!! The condo we where we stayed for a couple nights had the towels and we both loved, loved, loved them.) We were supposed to be home tonight but yesterday afternoon we made the decision to stay another day. We could have stayed in the condo - it was a nice place to be - but instead opted to move to a hotel that is right on the beach.

I gave Dakota a semi-bad time about needing a place ON the the water but alas, the joke was on me. I need it too. The condo had a view but there was a row of houses between us and the sand and it is just so not the same. (Did you catch that Dakota? I said I was wrong right here for many, many people to read. It doesn't happen often but I was so, so, so wrong. It matters. :) ).

One of the best things about the town where we are is that there is a child play center connected to the nearby casino and you can drop (for a small-ish fee) your kiddos off for up to 4 hours and go play (presumably at the casino but you can go off-site). It was awesome!!! The first time, we left them there for about 90 minutes while we checked out the casino (I just don't get the whole slot machine/gambling thing. I lost my $10 in not time at all. Dakota played her $10 and walked away with $12.) but today we dropped them for the entire 4 hours while we went and explored local shops and the outlet center. Talk about luxury!!!!!

The kids had a good time though Kaylen had clearly hit her limit at 3.5 hours. She completely melted into a puddle the second she saw us. Something about losing Kelton and being scared. We never really got the whole story but after a good cry and lots of snuggling, she was fine.

We head home tomorrow and I have a ton of photos to sort through before I can find oh - I don't know..about 100 to share. :) It's been GREAT even though the weather has been anything but. It's rained most of the time but I don't mind. Yesterday we had a spectacular thunder and lightning storm for most of the day and practically all night. It was something else!!!!

More later....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Baby, It's Hot Hot Hot!!

We hit 101 degrees in our backyard yesterday. Today we are supposed to be 104 however recent information says it may get even hotter than that. UGH! These are the days I am so very, very thankful for getting the heat pump three years ago. We stay nice and cool in the summer. I spent several years dreading summer in this house and sweating buckets upon buckets. Let me just say again; air condition is GOOD! :)

Today was Kelton last day at his most recent day camp through the community center and while it wasn't the experience I had hoped it would be, all told, he still had a good time. Mostly though because, as he put it "The teachers are hot!" Oh yes, my son has already been bitten by the "cute girl" bug. And he always, always, always goes for the older girls. I can't for sure say he hasn't always been like this but he has certainly ramped it up lately. Just call him Romeo. He even tried to tell me that he was going to date one of the girls. I broke the news that he would be *at least* 16 before he dated anyone to which he said "Well ok - but don't tell them, ok?" Oh dear.

Back to today though.....being the last day, the parents and younger siblings were invited back an hour before the ending of camp to play in the spray park. We've never before played in the spray park so both kids have been eagerly anticipating today - and they were not disappointed. It was so hot outside that the cold spray (and blasts) were a welcome activity.

Brenda (her kids were in the camp, too) and I decided to cool down at one point and ran through the spray, too. We were soaked! No worries though, I was almost completely dry in less than 15 minutes. Did I mention it is hot here?

Check out the fun!

Kelton waving.

The spray park just waiting for the kids.

Kelton and Kaylen playing.

Squinting in the bright sunshine.

And because it's going to be so hot here for the next few days, we decided to run away to the coast where it is predicted to be in the 70's. Perfect! Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

If You Build It, They Will Come...Eventually

Or so it seems anyway. :)

When we lived in our last house, it took a couple years, and a nicely filled feeder, but finally the hummingbirds arrived. I loved watching them and was sad to leave them behind when we moved.'s taken six years but guess what we have again? Hummingbirds!! Dakota planted some red flowering beans and for some reason, even though we have had plenty of red flowers in our yard in years gone by, that did the trick. We have two hummingbirds who come faithfully every mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I am mesmerized by them and look forward to their visits. I can't be sure, of course, but I think they might be mates because they will feed for a bit and then go sit on a branch of a nearby lilac tree and groom each other. I had no idea birds did that sort of thing but these two - they come and go together every day. It's sweet and I am loving it.

I tried to get a photo of both birds but as soon as I got close enough, one flew away. Still, pretty cool that I got this one. :)

Clothing Choice Ideas

Remember garanimals? Maybe you wore them as a child or maybe your child is wearing them now. They are fantastic. In the label is an animal and all the kids have to do it match up the animals to make an outfit. The concept is pure genius and I am so, so glad they brought them back.

Here's where I think they could improve their line of clothing: they need to make something like seven pants/skits and tops that all mix and match together (currently you can get a couple items that are interchangable but I need more!). They could make spring, summer, fall and winter sets and moms like me could buy entire sets. With those seven outfit choices, a child could mix and match and make untold number of combinations. There would be no need for other articles of clothing (well - fancy dress up stuff but in the day to day stuff - no need). They couldn't go wrong with whatever pieces catch their fancy for the day. There would be no more outfits that would make a mom want to stay inside with the curtains pulled. We could take our children out proudly and everyone could comment on how adorable they look. We could, for once, proudly say "She dressed herself!" instead of offering it as an explanation when people stare at, first our child and then, us.

And if you could see what my daughter is wearing today - you would know exactly what prompted this posting. OY! And there is no talking her out of her choice. Today is one of those days I wish she would insist on wearing her ballerina outfits. I've gotten used to the stares, the smiles and the giggles when I take her out all decked out in her tutu's.

So for everyone in real life who will be seeing her today - please remember I had nothing to do with it. Nothing.

Come on Garanimals. Don't let me down.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Did He Hear?

When Kelton asked if he could have the very last chocolate chip cookie this morning, I said "As long as you do not say anything to your sister and as long as you eat it where she cannot see you, then yes, you may have it."

What he must have heard was: "Sure - but please, run into the living room and eat it directly in front of your sister while saying "I got the last cookie!" because honestly, I have all the time in the world and I won't mind her having a tantrum and I certainly have time to make a small batch just for her."


I have no clue why I didn't originally say "Let's break that in half and you both can share the last cookie."

What is wrong with me??? I usually see these things coming. I guess I thought he would sit at the computer and scarf the cookie and Kaylen would be none the wiser and I might succeed in getting real food into her this morning.

Oh - and then I had the (pre-made) dough on a cookie sheet ready to go (the oven was preheating) when what happened? Oh right. Maddie the dog jumped up and ate the dough.

Add the spider crawling across the ceiling when I got out of the shower to this morning and you have the recipe for the exact perfect morning for which I always hope.

(and what is with the stupid spiders??!?!?!?! I get that the temps are climbing again and inside is cooler and all but come on!! I even had one crawling. on. me. last night while we were watching the season finale of Boston Legal, Season 3 (so sad it's over!! Season 4 comes out late September though - YAY!!!). I screamed like a girl, flung the spider off of my shirt. Dakota was laughing hysterically (to her credit, she did kill the thing. Yeah yeah - they should be set free outside but my rule is; if you are stupid enough to come into my home, you pay the price. And the body gets flushed so it can't call its friends. So there.). Yuck yuck yuck!!)

Here's hoping the day gets better from here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day Camp, Take Two

Kelton started his second day camp of the summer. This time around it's only a three hour program through the community center and those who have sent their children through there have been happy. Day number one did not impress me all that much but I am hopeful that even though I am not thrilled thus far, Kelton is having a good time.

For starters, we arrived about 10 minutes before the official start time (along with a couple other moms and kids) and the door to the room was opened for us by a girl who was certainly still in high school. I was asked to sign Kelton in and she took my paperwork. Then she disappeared and came back and few minutes later and said rather rudely, "We aren't ready. Come back at 9." Ummm...ok. So we all went and stood in the hallway for about 8 minutes.

After we successfully signed Kelton in and said goodbye Kaylen and I took off for a while. When we returned to pick him up at noon he appeared with his clothing seemingly covered in red paint and various chalk colors. No biggie - I assumed it was washable paint and would come out. (Umm...did you catch that "I assumed" part. Hmmm...the jury is still out and the clothes are on their second washing/stain removal cycle. **NOTE: I got the stains out! Yay me! So I’d list it as “kinda washable”. ) But then the really interesting part happened: Kelton starts talking about ghost stories and body bags dripping blood from the “killed people inside”. Talk about puppets that come to life to kill people and people chasing other people with chainsaws to kill them.


After hearing it completely through for the second time (because I wanted to be sure of what he was telling me) I said “Wow – that wasn’t at all appropriate to talk about with a group of 4-6 year olds.” Kelton said, “Oh it was just the six year olds.”

Yeah – no better, thanks. Especially now that my three year old heard it all. Lovely.

I picked up the phone and dialed the number for the camp director. She picked up and I explained who I was and why I was calling. I gave her the name of the counselor who had told these stories to my six-year-old child. She seemed concerned enough and assured me she would look into it.

I then called my friend Brenda whose children are enrolled in the same day camp session and asked her what her six year old was saying and reported that I had placed a call. Brenda, after talking with her son, did the same an hour or so later (giving time on purpose for the director to talk with her staff member). She was told that the staff had been talked to and it was certainly NOT part of the activities for day camp (umm…yeah – kinda figured that since they are four, five and six year old!!!). She assured her it would not happen again and apologized.

So – that part has been taken care of but now my child has the images in his head. He doesn’t seem particularly stressed out (and in fact says he liked hearing it all. Which doesn’t thrill me either.) but seriously? Who in their freaking right mind would tell stories like that to six year olds? Dakota and I have been very careful about filtering this kind of thing and it bothers me immensely that a teenager has taken all our work and flushed it down the toilet. Yeah yeah – the most influential people in a child’s life are their parents, I get that and yet…this….this was just so wrong on so, so, so many levels.

A big part of me is furious that the reckless action of a teenager has taken away my child’s innocence in this arena. He now knows what a body bag is and he has an image of blood dripping from it. Perfect. Just what I wanted for him. NOT!!!!!

I get that she is a teenage and certainly not versed in the ways of childhood development but seriously. SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, she has been talked to and yet, that doesn’t do a damn thing for erasing it from my child’s psyche.

Apparently, next year, instead of saving up money to send Kelton to day camp, we should just take one of the many Vegas vacations available. I mean, by then he'd by seven. What's a showgirl or two after stories of bloody body bags and chainsaw massacres? *sigh*

Saturday, August 09, 2008

School Supplies

We went shopping for Kelton's "Back To School" supplies this afternoon. Wow - where those aisles crazy! Parents and kids alike grabbing supplies and checking off lists. Kids asking each other "What school do you go to?" and "What grade are you in?" Parents asking "Do you know where there might be more #2 pencils?" and "Where did you find the hand sanitizer?" It was crazy making and yet - fun. Kelton was asking if he could have everything under the sun (No, honey. It's not on the list.). I did splurge and buy a couple packages of glue sticks, crayons, Elmer's glue and washable markers for the house... how could I not when most of the things were $0.22!

I get the whole "baby wipes, hand sanitizer and Kleenex" thing but Ziploc Bags in the quart size? Why? What could they possibly do with that many Ziploc bags? I guess I should be grateful they aren't asking us to purchase diet pills or anything else completely nutty for the back to school crowd. :)

After getting the school supplies we bought Kelton a new pair of school shoes. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I discovered he would need a size 1. Really? We're in the boys to men sizes already? Didn't he just start wearing size 13? Two more sizes to go and he and I will be able to share shoes. (!!!!!)

Kelton decided against a new backpack. He has a good quality one from the latter part of last year (his Spider Man cheap-o backpack only last about half the year before the zipper gave out) and he is happy to use that one again. I was very proud of him for that decision because I had thought he would want a character one. Plus it saved about $20 so that's really good. :)

Back to School time. Hard to believe it will be here in three short weeks for my little First Grader.

Coffee, Anyone?

I'm tired. More than tired...exhausted. We have been on the go for a week solid now with precious little downtime. I so completely get why people have espresso makers in their house. My little coffee maker is having a hard time keeping up with the daily caffeine requirements of both Dakota and I.

Let's see....last Saturday we went to the new park grand opening, cleaned the house from top to bottom and packed. Sunday we drove to my brother's house making a stop to see my sister on the way. That afternoon there was a family gathering at James' house. Monday we met cousins for playtime and then dropped the kids with my sister while Dakota and I slipped away for a few hours. Then back to my sisters for a much larger (than the night before) family gathering. Tuesday we went to the beach, to Chuck E. Cheese (to play games) and then out to dinner. Wednesday we drove 5 hours home, unpacked, settled in and then went out to Azteca for dinner. Thursday we went to the Children's Museum and to a park. Friday Dakota and Kelton saw a movie while Kaylen and I went to Build-A-Bear and then we went to the river-side sandy park to play for a while. Today we ran errands, grocery shopped, paid bills, balanced the checkbook (well..I paid bills and balanced while Dakota kept the kids happy and busy). Then we ran over to Dakota's mom's house, then to Blockbuster, to the gas station and then back home. And Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights we camped in the backyard.

Can you see why I'm so tired?? So umm...yeah...espresso would be good.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish the kids adored me in the completely obvious fashion that they adore Dakota.

Intellectually, I get why they are different with her....but emotionally? stings sometimes.

I know I'm not alone in this feeling. I know others of you can relate, right?

So Far Behind

I have so much to share - it's been a busy week - and the further I get from the actual days things happened, the more I realize that I need an upgrade of system memory for my brain. Thank goodness for photos. Those will at least jog my memory and help. Though I guess the downside to that is that there are hundreds of photos waiting to be uploaded and sorted. Hmmm...maybe relying on photos to capture it all might not be the best way. *sigh*

Here's what we did yesterday:

Yesterday morning we took a trip to the Portland's Children's Museum, which thrilled the kids more than I can say. They adore that place. We were supposed to visit the one in Everett while we were up visiting my family but silly us; we neglected to check the website to find out they were closed on Mondays. That will teach us. (I will tell you that for me, I think the Everett Children's Museum is much, much better than the one here. And no one is more surprised by that than me. Everett? But seriously - it is. So if you are up in the area, I would highly recommend it.) So anyway, we went to our Children's Museum and spent 2.5 hours playing and having a good time.

Cool Slideshows

On our way home we suddenly decided to head over to Lacamas Park, a place I have heard about but have never before been. There was a play area but more than that, it's on a lake and it has a trail that goes completely around the lake. It's 1.2 miles and I am here to say that that is a looong way for a 3 year old to walk. But we all made it (with a few piggy back rides thrown in). It was beautiful - especially the waterfalls we discovered.

Cool Slideshows

By the time we left there, it was dinner time so we stopped at Subway (I cannot remember the last time we ate there) and picked up dinner. Once we were back home and unpacked from our day trips, Dakota and I decided to throw any and all sanity we may have had left right out the window. We decided to set up the tent and go camping in the yard.

Such a big day for us all....and you would *think* that the kids would have gratefully fallen into their sleeping bags and crashed within seconds but'd be wrong. :) It took a long time for them to settled down but finally, they were out. Dakota and I set up the laptop out there and watched two episodes of Boston Legal before I couldn't stand being awake for another second. It was only 9:30 but we were all too happy to crawl into our sleeping bags and close our eyes.

What a fun-filled day. It's hard to believe Dakota's week of vacation is almost over. In two short weeks, she heads back to school. Where did the summer go???

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Home Again

After a very long five hour drive home, we arrived back in our own world late this afternoon. I have a bazillion photos to download but in the meantime, I'll share some photos that my niece took and sent to me.

The four kids at the petting farm.

Kelton and the baby cow.

The baby cow licking Kelton's hair.

The baby cow licking Kelton's face. :)

Playing in the pool at my sister's house.

My sister and her niece and nephew (Kelton (6 years) and Kaylen (3 years)) and her grandchildren (Mikayla (7 years) and Parker (3 years)).

More to come....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Island Life

I now, I know - you're missing me and wondering where I am disappeared to, right? Yeah well - a girl can dream that she is missed. :)

We're up visiting my family and having a great time. Right now I can hear everyone downstairs playing the Wii Mario Cart game and after they have had enough of that we're going to head out to a local beach to explore. Yesterday we were supposed to go to the local children's museum but after getting there, we discovered it was closed on Mondays. Nice. Since we were meeting cousins we ended up at the McDonald's play land for a bit and then moved to a park that had a free petting farm. So much fun! A baby cow licked my hand but really went to town loving up Kelton. So cute but sadly, not knowing the fun times we would encounter, I left the camera in the car. Bummer because those would have been some great photos. :)

From there we headed over to my sisters and abandoned, I mean lovingly dropped off, the children. Dakota and I ran as fast as we could...err...I mean drove safely and slowly, to the local outlet mall and enjoyed some child-free shopping time. Picked up some back to school clothes for the boy and a few things for Dakota. It was a nice break and something we rarely get. (Thanks, sister of mine!)

Then it was back to my sisters house for a family evening of fun, dinner and birthday party for my nephew who turns three on Thursday. It was a lot of fun and hard to leave at the end of the night.

So - all in all, we're having a fabulous, albeit exhausting, time! I love being up here. It will always be home to me.