Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Backing Up

Have you noticed all those photos I've posted lately? Trust me - there are hundreds more that I've taken in the past couple of months but do you think for a single second that I have backed up any of my photos since that day when my old hard drive bite the dust? If you are guessing no, then *DING DING DING* you are right!

You would think I would learn, wouldn't you?

What I think I need is a system that automatically does an online backup for me. Something that would just do it every day without my ever having to think about it.

Wouldn't that be an awesome service?! I'm sure I would probably find something like that out there in the world but I'm equally sure that I wouldn't want to pay the service fees.....or would I? I guess it depends on the fee. $30 a year? I'm there! $130 a year? No thanks.

I guess I really just need to commit to a weekly back-up time.

Yes. You may laugh now. :)

And I am going to plug in the external HD and get busy backing up my photos.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Parent Teacher Conference

Yesterday, at 7:25am, I attended Kelton's Parent Teacher Conference. Dakota had planned to be there as well but alas, the "flu-like symptoms" had other ideas. Instead of getting ready to go, Dakota crawled back under the covers and so the decision was made that I would go alone.

I took care of the immediate needs of the children and left Kelton a list of things to do to get ready for school and the times they were to be done by. He did a great job and they both did a nice job of letting Dakota sleep.

Kelton has two teachers and he is in a second/third split class and they are taught leaning to the 3rd grade level.

I am happy to report that he is doing an amazing job! He excels (and is above grade level) in math and reading and is doing fine in everything else. His spelling and penmanship is a challenge but one his teacher feels he will overcome with time. The spelling, we hope, will be helped once he starts speech therapy in the next couple of weeks.

We always knew he had trouble with speech (sh, ch, th, etc) but up until now no one seemed that concerned. I asked his previous teachers and they assured me it was normal and he would outgrow it. His doctor never seemed concerned. His teachers this year are concerned and feel it is impacting his spelling. I am glad they pursued it because it was something I took note of this summer while working on his school books with him. For instance, instead of saying "math" he says "mass". If I say the word, he can spell it correctly but when he hears himself say it, he spells it "m-a-s-s". The speech therapist did his evaluation a few weeks ago and he should be able to start speech by mid-November. Everyone involved thinks he should have it corrected in short order. It's just a matter of teaching his tongue proper placement.

His teachers really enjoy having Kelton in their classes (though he does need to work on his social butterfly/"chatting up a storm" tendency. Again - so not a surprise to his moms!) and feels he is thriving and doing extremely well. He is one of the top three students in the second grade group and is doing better than some of the third graders.

His reading and comprehension is amazing (and even more still if you consider the speech issues. His teacher commented on that several times). I said that we have been reading to him every day since before he was born and they looked at each other and said "We can tell. We can also tell that he is very well loved and cared for. He is a really terrific little boy."

It's so nice to hear that your child is doing so well.....and to know that the way he is being raised shines through in such a positive light - makes all the sacrifices worth it.

Absolutely worth it.

Way to go, Kelton! We are so very proud of the person you are.

Rain Walk

I have no idea what day this took place - I think Monday but I can't be sure. Looking back the days blur one into the other. Whichever day it was the rain was pouring and, thanks to the fall leaves clogging the storm drains, puddles were everywhere. We were all going a bit stir crazy from being in the house for days on end (Kaylen and I two days longer than Dakota and Kelton) and Kaylen, who bounced back from being sick Saturday, was begging to go somewhere. Dakota hit upon the idea of a rainwalk for all of us. Dogs included.

We bundled up in raincoats and boots and headed out into the storm. Jordan, our 12 year old Dalmatian, was less than amused by the rain but the love of a walk soon won out and we were on our way.

Around the neighborhood we went - the kids stomping and splashing in every single puddle while Dakota, the dogs and I tried to avoid being hit with splooshes of water.

About 3/4 of the way around we came upon a section that was amazing! The storm drain clearly was clogged as the puddled stretched a good 1/3 of the way across the road and the depth was the height of the kids boots. Oh the fun!

They splashed and splooshed and laughed.

Finally, we worked on locating the storm strain and Kelton, Dakota and I took turns clearing out the enormous pile of of leaves. Once we had broken through the drain took on a tornado effect (or flushing toilet, as Kelton called it) and before long the street was cleared of the massive puddle.

Once we arrived home the kids dumped out their boots and we all laughed at the amount of water that they had acquired. Kaylen, at one point, said "Mom! I have a swimming pool in my boots!" She was not kidding. :)

It was a fun walk and it was really great to breathe some fresh air. Once at home we tossed the frozen children into a warm tub and then settled in to watch movies. It was a fun adventure but it left three of the four of us wiped out and ready for a nap.

Back Among the Living....Mostly

It takes more than flu (or flu-like symptoms) to keep Dakota away from her beloved Halloween. Actually, she is feeling much better today and since this is the day of her departments Halloween Party she headed to work in full vampire fashion. Seems appropriate since she has felt very pale for almost a week now. :) (get it - pale. vampire.)

I find it amusing and fun how into dressing up for Halloween she is. Between Dakota and the kids, Halloween is a big deal around here. Personally I've never been one for dressing up however even this year I am joining the ranks by dressing up as an prison inmate. (It's a costume we have on hand and - joy of all joys! I actually can fit into it again!) I'd much rather have been a witch but all the costumes I saw for that just didn't do it for me. Maybe next year.

Tomorrow is Trunk or Treat night at Kelton's school. I'm hoping the rain will hold off during the event but even if it doesn't, we have a nice alternate plan and I suspect that the dressed up trick or treaters will show up no matter what. At least, I know my two little goblins will! They have been eagerly counting down the days to this weekend all month.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Note from the Sick House

We've sick. All of us. For days.

According to an email conversation with the kids doctor, she feels we have had H1N1 though as far as the dreaded "piggy flu" goes, it hasn't been as awful as I had expected. Which leaves me wondering if it is truly what we have had or if we've had a run of the mill virus. It didn't knock any of us on our butts like I expected though it was certainly no fun.

We've gone through lots of Tylenol, Motrin, Cold and Flu meds, alcohol (for wiping off the thermometer between uses), Vicks Vapo-Rub, etc.

Poor Kelton - he seems to have a localized skin reaction to the vapo-rub. He has a rash all over his chest where we have applied it. All these tiny bumps that remind me a lot of acne. We haven't put any vapo-rub on him in days and the rash is still there. Perhaps he needs a little salicylic acid to take care of it. :) Just kidding! I know it will go away on its all of this will.

It hasn't been all bad though - Dakota and I have been able to spend some hours watching old episodes of 90210 which has been fun. And speaking of which...time to go finish the episode we were watching before the kids demanded some of Dakota's time and attention.

I hope you all are staying healthy. Take your vitamins, drink lots of water and wash your hands every chance you get.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Handsome Boy

Isn't he adorable? :) One of the best things I have ever created in my life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tis the Season.....

....for decorating pumpkins. :)

Just look at this great project that Kaylen made at MOMS Club this morning. It was so easy and a lot of fun. Very festive.

PS: I can explain the orange shirt under the red jumper.....sorta. You know how your job as a parent is to raise strong people who are sure of the choices they make? With this girl I am well on my way. She is as strong-willed as they come and quite sure about her clothing choices. She is her own person to be sure. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn Fun

It was one of those moments that you just can't say no to. We had experienced some really heavy rains on Saturday which caused many, many leaves to fall to the ground. On Sunday, the lawn was covered in fall leaves and the kids were really wanting to play in them. It would have been a grand idea except for the small fact that the leaves were soaking wet.

On our way to the car I told them we would have to see but it might take a few days before they were dry enough to play in (I skipped the part about rain expected for the next week). When we arrived home late in the afternoon no one was more surprised than me to see that the leaves, while still wet here and there, were perfect for playing.

The sun was shining brightly, too brightly as you can tell from the squinting going on in the photos of Dakota with the kids. (Poor Kaylen looked like she was in need of anti wrinkle cream from all her squinting!)

It was a perfect time for a romp in the leaves!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ta Dah!

Here is the actual ad that Kelton is the star of:

Pretty darn cool. Kelton is so excited to take it to school on Monday. :)

Shake Your Groove Thang

Today I did something new. I attended a Zumba/Yoga class. Let me tell you - it was an experience. If you don't already know what Zumba is here is a quick description:

"It's an exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements set to a hypnotic Latin rhythm"

An hour is a really, really long time when you are trying like crazy to keep up with steps that you don't know and that move so fast you can barely focus on them. I would say it made me feel old and wishing that I was home instead researching something equally as exciting as say.....the best colon cleanse. But the truth is, I was in a class with 12 people and at least half of them were older than me. We're talking *older* than in grandmotherly. How they managed to keep up is beyond me. One of the older newcomers and I would catch each others eye and make a look of "Are you kidding me?!?!?" Those giggle filled moments are what kept me going.

Kaylen was with me as well but for the Zumba part she was playing with the other kids. I have never before in my entire life wanted her to need me to help her with something. I was trying to send telepathic thoughts to her to pull me from class and give me a break.

No kidding - the songs come right after each other and it's a constant hour of moving and grooving.

After the hour came 30 minutes of yoga. Now that is more my style. Calm, relaxing yoga poses. So much better. Kaylen, my little yoga master who works out to her Kids Yoga DVD often, joined me on my mat and we did the poses together. She is really quite good and I loved how intent she was on getting them right.

I am already feeling the stiffness and soreness. It's almost like a badge of honor though. I did it and I survived.

Will I go back? Probably. But I'm still going to put myself in the very back row. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boing Boing

You may have noticed that my posts are lacking words these days. Yeah - I noticed that too. It actually wasn't intentional it just came to be that when I was sitting down to post I had nothing to say so I let the pictures speak for themselves.

I'm struggling to make sense of all my thoughts these days. They bounce around balls on ping pong tables going every which way. There is just so much going on inside my head that when it comes to talking or writing, I just don't have the energy for it.

It's really all I can do to keep all the balls of my life in the air right now. Oh who am I kidding? Those balls are raining down around me constantly. I'm just trying to grab them and toss them back into play as fast as I can. It's exhausting.

And not sleeping well isn't helping.

Ping pong balls indeed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chestnut Festival

Turns out it was about as exciting as you might imagine. It did, however, sport a great maze which we had fun running through several times.

It was a beautiful day and we had a good time being out and about even if we discovered that roasted chestnuts taste....well.....awful. :)