Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mosiac Meme

My first meme! (click on meme to find out what the heck a meme is)



1. Sara
2. Pretzels
3. 1998
4. Blue
5. Catherine Newman
6. Iced Cappuccino
7. London
8. Tiramisu
9. Happy
10. My Family
11. Waiting
12. Lizardhippie

Here’s how it works:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. Choose 3 columns with 4 rows.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to? (or, What year did you graduate high school?)
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.


If you have a blog, post your own meme. Make sure you leave the link in the comments section!

And We Never Left the House

Abby and Avery are sick today. That makes sense, though, if you consider that Ethan was sick Friday night into Saturday, Daniel was sick Saturday night into Sunday, and I was sick Sunday night into Monday. Like clockwork, Abby started feeling bad last night. Avery started his sickness a couple hours ago, and has been asleep ever since.

Remember that Full House episode where Jesse's twins got sick for the first time? The parents were taking the twins temperature every two minutes, sleeping beside their cribs, and just generally freaking out. Is this how it was for you when your first child was a baby? I can't really say it was for me and Daniel, but then again, I can't say it wasn't, either.

Now when our kids get sick, I'm definitely not sleeping beside their beds, but I am not getting any sleep either. If I do manage to get them in bed, sleeping soundly, then I'll usually wake up every hour or so to check on them, or if I hear even one little peep. Daniel sleeps at this time. If I'm not waking up every hour to check on them, they're usually waking me every hour and making me very, very crabby. Daniel continues to sleep. It's like a newborn all over again, but even more demanding! Daniel - no comment.

So, back to today. I was still a wee bit sick yesterday & today, and now these whiny, sick, pitiful kids are driving me crazy. No one was even dressed before 10, the dishes aren't washed from breakfast yet, and the TV has been on all day. To top it all off, today was picture day at Abby's school, and she missed it. Now she's going to be the weird kid with no picture in the yearbook, the comment reading, "picture not available." Don't you always wonder about those kids? Like, why didn't they have a picture in the yearbook? Were they vampires? Now you know - they were sick on school picture day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Apples & Pumpkins - Meet & Greet Monday

This weekend we went to the apple orchard and picked our own apples. I figured that was the last weekend to do this, since you have to pick apples in September, right? Next weekend will be October, and thus belongs to pumpkins.

Nonetheless, the orchard already had their pumpkins out. The kids were ready to pick a pumpkin and take it home, but I convinced them to wait a week (for pumpkin month). Abby said she was going to make a "lantern" when she finally got a pumpkin.


They were heavy little pumpkins, too...


We finally got the kids to leave the pumpkins. Thank goodness, because every single time I type "pumpkin" I spell it wrong.

There were two friendly donkeys (burros?) at the farm. They liked to whisper jokes in each other's ear. I think Avery overheard the joke this time:


This next section will be entitled, "The Apples of My Eye." Why?


Oh.

Wait! Before we head to the apples, we need to take a potty break - as indicated by this "pee-pee dance":


Finally, we picked those apples!


We picked the heck out of them!


And gathered a peck of them! Don't you just love my apple orchard poetry?



And, just look at our loot!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Baking With Abby

Today Abby and I made cookie-brownies. Of course, just one desert wasn't enough, so we had to combine brownies and cookies. This is how baking with Abby goes:

Step 1: Show off the exercise moves you learned for P.E. today. Demonstrate each and every exercise, and explain why each one is your very favorite one. Make sure you do the splits, as you explain that everyone in the class can do them but you, since you are the only four year old in the class.

Step 2: Bemoan the fact that you are still only four, and have not yet taken in cupcakes like the other kids who have turned five. Ask your mother about 6 times in a row when you will be turning 5. Make sure you say each time, "But when will I be five?"

Step 3: Say your memory verse from class about 20 times in a row, changing the reference numbers each time.

Step 4: Ramble on and on about how much you talk. Explain that you talk a lot sometimes, sometimes you do not talk at all, and sometimes you talk to yourself. You might also add that you sometimes talk to other people, and sometimes pretend there is a person beside you - just for good measure.

Step 5: Tell your mother just how delicious that dinner "thing" looks, again and again. After a while, begin to shout and jump up and down as you tell her that this particular dinner "thing" is your very favorite.

Step 6: Finally begin to make the brownies. Surprisingly, this is the shortest step of all.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Terrible, Just Terrible

Daniel and I were talking the other day about "the terrible twos". I know everyone has heard of them, and been warned, and probably dreads the day their child turns two. But you know what? I think it's all a big lie. My babies are awesome at age 2 - adorable and sweet as can be, learning everything from talking in sentences to counting to jumping.

I mean, the day my baby tries to jump and actually gets their feet off the ground, instead of that deep knee bend-to-standing up thing they do... Let's just say it's the cutest thing a two year old can do. There is also that sweet little irrational fear thing two year olds go through. One day they love trains, the next day they bawl and shake when they hear a train whistle.

Just recently (while still two), Avery saw some jet planes fly over our house while practicing for a local airshow. We were outside, and granted they were loud, but not that loud. He throws himself on the concrete, screaming, and turns around in little circles until they fly away. Too bad Osama Bin laden isn't a two year old, we would definitely have him if so.

However, the day your babies turn 3... RUN. Really, RUN. It has been my experience and Daniel's that kids are not just terrible at three, they are ridiculously bad. It's like overnight they realize that they are no longer babies, they no longer have to just tag along with their mom, they actually have their own opinions. They start to like and dislike things - really, really dislike things. Like having to take off their bicycle knee pads to change clothes. Or seeing their seat belts twisted. And, of course, going to bed without a cup of water beside them.

I saw this with Abby, too. I had to punish her more hours of out the day than I can even count. Chances are, if you came over to our house while Abby was 3, she was in her room being punished for not cleaning up one mess or another. I'm not exaggerating - she literally spent the majority of her day in trouble. Then, when she turned four, it all sort of stopped. She suddenly was more mature, better behaved, and more enjoyable to be around.

Unfortunately, Avery turned 3 last week. In fact, right now he's supposed to be in his room taking a nap. He's actually sneaking out of his bedroom door. So, I'm bracing myself for another year of having a terrible three. The worst thing? After Avery turns 4, Ethan will be 3 just a couple months later. Anyone wanna trade kids for a couple years?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Man, I'm Old.

For those of you who have school-age children, you probably know about "See You at the Pole." For those of you who don't, let me explain. "See You at the Pole" (aKa SYATP) is an annual event where students gather at their school flagpole at 7 in the morning to pray. It happens on the 4th Wednesday in September each year.

I remember when I was... *ahem* a lot younger, and I woke up early to gather with the other homeschoolers in my town around the post office flagpole. (Yes, I realize how sad that sounds, Daniel) The sun hadn't even risen yet, so it was dark and cold (well, cold for the desert, anyway). SYATP was just such an exciting thing to do. The idea that I was there, praying around a flagpole at the same time as thousands of other kids in my time zone - well, it just amazed me.

It's been 18 years since SYATP started, and it gets bigger every year. The strangest thing is, I was actually a part of the event when it first went national. Do you realize how old that makes me feel? I can't even imagine how my kids will feel in a few years, when they find this out. They are going to think I'm a fossil or something.

Any SYATP memories for anyone else?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Confession Time

My confession? I enrolled my boys in daycare. Two days a week, for 3 hours, while I'm in class. My second confession? I feel really guilty and ashamed of the fact that my kids are in a daycare. Abby has never, ever been to daycare - in fact, she has only twice been babysat by someone other than her grandparents.

I don't really have a problem with people putting their kids in daycare, but for some reason I don't like the idea of my boys being there. Fortunately, I have a very smart friend who has a child in daycare, and she talked me through the decision. Her experience has been positive. It seems that I'd never really heard anything good about daycares until I talked to her.

So, today was their first day. Avery walked right in, started playing at the lego table and was happy as can be. Ethan had a death-lock hold on my neck the entire time I was there, then I had to hand him off to the teacher. He cried, like he does every Sunday when I leave the church nursery.

When I got back, Avery yelled, "Mommy!" and was so excited to see me. Ethan, however, didn't even notice I had entered the classroom. He just walked around and played, then the teacher told him I was there. He didn't run to me, yell, "mama!" or anything. He just reached towards me. Gee, I was hoping for a little more excitement when he saw me!

So day one is over. Now if day two just goes as smoothly...

Friday, September 19, 2008

33333333333333333333333333333333333333333

Avery's birthday was yesterday. Despite the title of this post, he only turned 3, not 333333333333333333333333333.

He had plenty of cake, ice cream, and presents, as all birthday boys should. Here he is singing himself "Happy Birthday":



He really enjoyed the opening of the presents. See how intently he studies each one as he opens it?


I really can't believe that my baby is 3 already. With Ethan coming right behind him, it seems like Avery has grown faster than any of my other kids. Can you believe he went from this:


To this, in only 2 short years?


How bittersweet to see your babies grow up right before your eyes. I definitely want him to grow and be healthy and turn into a happy adult one day, but it's so hard to let them slip out of their babyhood...

The Storm






Let there be light! We have electricity again, after only 5 days! I guess I shouldn't complain at all, since we're all safe, as well as our house and our cars. But our trees... That's a whole 'nother story.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It Sure is Dark With No Lights.

I'm really sorry for no postings this week. Ohio (where I live) unexpectedly had hurricane Ike destroy quite a few of the trees here. Well, I guess some people knew this hurricane was coming (without the rain, by the way), but since we haven't watched TV in over a week, we had no idea. It got really windy Sunday, broke a lot of trees, tore down power lines, and left us without electricity. We're going on day 4 with no power here, but my mother-in-law does have power. So, I won't be blogging as frequently as usual until we have power ourselves, but I might be blogging here and there. I'll post some pictures of our Ohio hurricane damage later this week.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How Much is Too Much?

Well, since September 11 happened over 2 years before Abby was born, I've never really mentioned it to her at all. Today I thought about what happened, where I was when I heard about the attacks, how the day went, etc. I wondered how I would deal with it if it had happened after I became a mother - would I have been more afraid, more patriotic, or what? But all this I thought in my head. I didn't say anything to the kids, but I did think in my mind about how I would explain the significance of 9-11 to my kids if I needed to.

Abby went to school as usual, but on the way home today she mentioned 9-11. She told me that "7 days ago," three jet planes had crashed into a tall building far away. She had heard this in chapel at school. Her school has a school-wide chapel every Thursday, so the message had to be appropriate for Kindergartners through middle school or high school.

Now my question is, did I want her to know this at age 4? Did I want her to know less, or more of the details? Is it really the school's place to tell my daughter about September 11? I'm not sure how I really feel about this, but I do know that I want my kids to stay innocent as long as they can. They don't know that people murder people, terrorize people, or even hate people. I like it that way - after all, they're only 4, 2, and 1. They have plenty of years ahead of them to learn about how evil and hate-filled the world can be.

So what about you? Have you ever had a teacher or someone similar tell your kids more than you wanted them to know? How did you handle it? Do you think I'm wrong or right about sheltering my kids from terrorist activity for a few years?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weathering

We're having our home tested for weather-tightness today. I don't know if this is normal or not, but I'm hearing a lot of "wow!" and "I've never seen that before!" We'll see how it goes...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Things Have Changed

Abby got her first "Bee Card" at school last week. That means she got a warning for bad behavior, for those of you not hip to the Kindergarten scene.

The reason (at least according to Abby)? Because she was having a hard time making an upper-case E, and got upset and refused to try any more. So, Daniel practiced with her that evening, making E after E. She did great.

The next day, she had problems making a lower case E. After she showed us how she was supposed to make the E in class, we realized that it was nothing like the E we've always seen. I e-mailed her teacher and asked what type of handwriting they use, and asked for a paper describing this elusive E. She sends a booklet home with Abby today, explaining how to make "pre-cursive" letters.

Pre-cursive? I always thought regular letters were pre-cursive. Daniel would like for me to add that he has never (supposedly) even written in cursive. He thinks regular letters are just fine, thank you.

So now Daniel and I have to learn a new style of writing along with Abby. But I wonder, will this affect my kid's ability to read books with non pre-cursive letters? Generally, I think handwritten letters mimic times new roman, arial, and other common computer fonts. Pre-cursive does not. Pre-cursive is also what kids are learning these days while learning to read.

I saw on a website that you can actually download pre-cursive fonts for your computer. Apparently, the "inventors" of pre-cursive thought about reading being a problem, too. Maybe if they just change the computer fonts, pre-cursive will make sense. I personally like the old-fashioned pointy M and N...

What do you guys think about pre-cursive? Is it a keeper?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Poor Thing.

THIS is why Abby has to get up so early on school days:




Just kidding! Her school is a good 6 miles away...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baby Vampires and Tramps

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Halloween at your house or not, I think costumes must be discussed. In my day, we were happy dressing as Raggedy Ann, with a red mop on our heads, a gingham dress, and bloomers. Boys were generally action heroes or something like that. My kids have been the following in the past 4 years:

  • Tigger
  • A Renaissance Maiden
  • A Sock-Hopper
  • Japanese
  • A dead Skunk
  • A Scarecrow
  • Cinderella
Not necessarily politically correct, all of them, but somewhat acceptable and appropriate for kids.

Today we received a costume catalog in the mail. There were some very... interesting costume choices in the catalog, such as this beauty:





























The "Cheerless Cheerleader." I was wondering, is this appropriate at all for a kid? It comes in a size 7/8. I personally would not let Abby wear this, even at age 17. I consider this a "tramp-pire" costume.

Let's see what else they have to offer:




























Awww..... A slutty angel costume! I wish I had seen this before Abby's Christmas play last year! She played an angel... And here is a fairy costume. What girl doesn't love a nice fairy costume?



























So, celebrate Halloween or not, but maybe you'd like to objectify your little girl anyway. If so, buy from Costume Express.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Umm... Okay....

I don't know why, but this is what passes for fun in our house. At least it's exercise.



video

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

... So What Would You Do?

As most everyone in the US surely knows by now, Sarah Palin has a chance to become our country's first woman Vice President. She's a mom of 5, she has a special needs baby, she's a Christian, she's educated, she's successful - pretty much what lots of women strive to be. Yet she still does and will continue get flack for being a woman. Is she strong enough to run the country should the need arise? Is she experienced/educated/smart enough?

Regardless of what she really is or is not, her teenage daughter appears to be pregnant. Imagine you were just chosen as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, but your teenage daughter had just told you a few weeks ago that she's pregnant. What would you do? I mean, aside from being mad at her - how would you handle the situation? Would you be graceful or would you fall apart?

I tend to see situations like this as worse than they really are. If this were my child, and I was pushing abstinence-only sex education in schools, I think I'd feel like my career is over. However, as merely an observer of Palin and her family's life, I don't think it's as bad as it might seem to some. I'm sure as adults we can understand that sometimes our kids don't listen to us. Sometimes kids make bad choices. Sometimes we can tell our kids again and again, only to have them do it anyway. By the way, Palin herself was pregnant before she married the "first dude."

Also, many people are upset that Sarah Palin has an infant son with Down Sydrome. According to an article I read, she had the baby while governor of Alaska, found out early in the pregnancy that the baby would have Down Sydrome, gave birth, and returned to work 3 days later. This news has caused lots of mixed feelings among mothers, it seems. First of all, there are some people who feel that fetuses diagnosed with Down Sydrome should not be. There are also many mothers upset that Sarah Palin went back to work only 3 days after giving birth. In fact, Palin herself said that when she was 8 months pregnant, she woke up one day and felt contractions. She went to the doctor, was told to stay at home for bedrest. She had a speech to give that day as governor, and so she went to the speech anyway, despite what her doctor suggested she do. Some articles say she noticed that her water had broken and was trickling during the speech...

There are lots of mommy issues involved here, but really, what would you do? Why can't people accept that she wants to work and have a politcal career, and just expect her husband (the First Dude) to take care of the kids? Why can't she head back to work aftter 3 days if she feels able? After all, it looks like her maternity leave wasn't even scheduled for another month. I really don't see why mothers have to look down on other mothers who choose to work. On the other hand, I also don't understand why mothers who choose to work have to look down on those who do not.

The truth is, it's no one's business how she went into labor, when she went back to work, or who watches her kids during the day. As long as her kids are healthy and happy and safe, why can't we leave her alone?

Motherhood. It makes you nosey.

 
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