Monday, August 30, 2010

If I had a million dollars... I would probably spend it all on preschool, shoes, and diapers

Preschool.  Katie loves it.  Mommy loves it.  Our budget?  Does not love it.  We've decided not to send Katie back for the *actual* school year that starts next week, but I still hope that we'll be able to send her next summer (the summer before kindergarten starts).

Oh, something EXCITING that happened last Saturday...

John was getting ready to go to a powwow up north and I saw a red car pull into our driveway.  Now, we do have friends... just not many of them.  And none of them drive a red car.

And Katie, being the smarty she is, remembered that it was a red car that crashed into the back of her Grandpa's car the week before and thought that whoever it was had come back.  She was worried that they were going to hit one of our other cars.  We reassured her that they probably would not return to our house and park in our driveway just to hit another one of our cars.

Turns out that I was right.  (Katie was relieved.)

It was actually one of our old neighbors (who used to live kittycorner across the street from us when I was a kid) who had seen our car parked next to the garage for awhile and wondered if we were looking to sell it. 

Our answer? 

Yes, yes, YES!  (That car has been sitting there for probably 6 months, if not longer, because we need to put a tire on it and the tires for our car are very spendy.)

How did he happen to spot our car and wonder about its availability?  Well, apparently he drives through the area every once in awhile (I kind of think it's to check out his lawn*) and spotted it just sitting there.

*I wonder if there was a condition written into the house sale that the new owner must maintain the lawn to the standards of the previous owner!  If so, he doesn't have anything to worry about.  The new owner edges, eliminates weeds, spray paints the grass so it's always a vibrant green (Just kidding.  I've never actually seen him do this.  I just wouldn't be too surprised if he did), and he takes out any leaves that dare to land on his yard.  In the fall.  When there are bucketfuls of leaves yet to drop off of the trees, this guy is out there ready to defend his lawn from the invasion.)

So now I've got to figure out which payment is for which car.  This normally wouldn't be a problem.  Just pull out the statement and check it out, right!  Oh, if only.  But no.  We bought two cars on that fateful day; two cars of the same make, model, and year.  So, I've got to track down the payment invoice, pull out the title (that has the matching bank name), and search for the teeny tiny color description, and THEN call to see what the payoff total is.  Ugh.  Which is why I haven't done it yet.

But I will.  This week for sure.

Because I saw Frank drive by our house again on Sunday and I have a feeling he's a persistent guy.  And an early* riser. 

*Early = before 11:00 a.m..  I mean, we're up and everything but we're still in cozy jammy mode.

And if he stops by early (like he did the last time), I don't want to have to make a mad dash to the bedroom to change out of my jammies and into real clothes...

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm a Winner! (But I still don't have the mad skillz of a photographer. Oh well.)

This is a long post but I find that I'm a pretty wordy poster.  Just ask my mom... she stood for about 5 minutes tonight listening to me tell a story that would have been about a minute long if I had just gotten to the point.  Which I never seem to be able to do.  This post is evidence to that fact.

So, remember this post?  Where I won some excellent gift cards?

Well, a few days ago I got an email from Chocomize for my custom chocolate bars (I can't wait to use this!) so I knew it wouldn't be long and was waiting in eager anticipation.  Because on Thursday I came home and found an envelope from Dumb Mom... my giftcards had arrived!  Along with this card...

This cute, creative card with a really nice note inside!  I was just thrilled to have won the contest... I didn't expect to get a card *thanking me* for reading her blog, and for entering the contest too!  And I know, from reading her blog, that these are her actual kids.  Which means that she probably took this picture herself.  And had it made into a card.  And, well, I was impressed.

Katie and Jake don't usually cooperate when I want to take a nice picture of them together like the one above, and my photog skills aren't very advanced so I can't even make them look like they are sitting nicely so this kind of snapshot will probably have to wait till they are older... or until Jake is old enough to bribe (even if Katie is in a diva mood and doesn't want to be photographed, she will usually cooperate if I promise her a few extra minutes of extra play time before bed... or a marshmallow).

But I do have these pics... (and when Katie is older, like say in her teens, I'm sure it will be fun for me to pull them out and reminisce about these younger years... and wish for them back.)

Katie was playing with cans.  Please don't ask me why.  I don't know.  I unloaded groceries and they were on the table... and then they were hers.
 Katie was playing with these and wanted me to play with her, so I did.  Although let me tell you... it's tough to play when your "person" is a can of soup.  So the name I chose for my can of soup was... wait for it... it's so out there you won't believe it... Soupy!

And when Katie asked what the cans second name was (because don't cans have two names?), I picked Cassandra*.  Katie liked the name so much, she started to use it too and her can was dubbed Cassandra Soupy.

This is kind of my "go to" name.  In my stories, if Katie doesn't want the character to have the name Katie, I use Cassandra.

Oh, and yes, she's wearing her Halloween princess costume.  And crown.  And probably her "tall shoes" too.

Jake loves to climb on Katie's bed.  He climbs up onto the foot board, then onto the bed, then he slides off and does it again.  And again... and again (sorry, couldn't resist).  
 This is how *my* pics turn out... a gifted photographer I am not.

Jake gives hugs.  First he hugs, then he hangs on to you while he goes limp.  Katie usually ends up falling down. Yep.  It's funny.

Got home from work one day and Katie came out to see me... wearing *my* "tall shoes".  I wore these to work one day last week and wore flip-flops home... and Katie grilled me on the where-abouts of my tall shoes.  I have to hide my shoes from my 4-year-old.

Jake likes to color.

He likes to color and I like triangle shaped crayons.  They don't roll onto the floor and under the table.  Whew!  (There's still no special crayon that won't color on the floor though.  Wish they would get going on inventing that one.)

Grammy was watching a video on my phone.  The kids were sitting with her so sweetly.

Till I took the phone so I could get a picture.

More coloring.  Notice the location of all of the crayons?

Yep.  Katie still has a problem with that one word... the really tough one to pronounce.  Oh, yeah.  SHARING.
She also told me to stop taking pictures... she was too busy working.

Jake.  Just watching TV.  Oh, and John's legs.

Me and Katie stopped at this house on our walk the other day.  I love these flowers.  But not enough to grow them in my yard.  Although with the big hit that was the summer garden, maybe I'm ready for these next year.

THIS is another example of what happens when I try to get them to sit still for a picture.
Oh, Katie got dressed in a purple and yellow flowered shirt and matching purple pants.  This was a complete outfit.  But she must have thought it needed a little extra... something... because she decided to add this denim dress and her yellow "tall shoes".  She's already got her own style and it's looking better than her mommy's.  Sad but true.
Awww.  Another hug!
Katie is giving Daisy a kiss goodnight.  Daisy is a electric keyboard nestled lovingly on the pillow and snuggled under Katie's princess blanket.  Jake is the blur in the foreground.
Reading with Jake.

Katie doing "exercises"... that's why her arms are blurry.  She was moving them around.

Jake really likes to read.  He'll come over with a book and you better take it because he's going to either drop it on your lap or wave it around near your face just before he climbs up for a story.  And setting it aside while he gets comfortable is better than getting tapped in the face with the edge of a book while he settles himself.  Voice of experience here.

That's all for now.  I'm going to call it a day.  And it's been a pretty good day...  No one got time out, no one got hurt (although Jake did get his leg stuck between the wall and the top rail of Katie's headboard... and I can not figure out what he was doing to get stuck that way) everyone liked the dinner I made, and both kids were asleep by 9:30.  In my book, that's a pretty good day.

I'm posting this later in the week and today was still a good day (even if it wasn't the good day I posted about above).  No one got time out, John made steaks for dinner (and cleaned up), Katie and Jake played outside a bit before bed (and Jake only got a little hurt after falling off of the scooter John was pushing him around on), and I did my workout early.  

We had a good evening after "Mean Mommy" put in an appearance to put away toys (and when I put them away, they go away for awhile, usually after I ask someone to pick them up a few times and get no response) but once Katie was reminded that she didn't do it when asked, she got over it.  It didn't hurt that we started scavenging in the kitchen and spotted cucumber slices on our salads just begging to be eaten!  

Katie had fun playing with grandpa and grandma for awhile tonight and I was glad it worked out since our schedules are pretty opposite all week and she thinks her grandma and grandpa are extra fun.  

This week we've got two play-dates at Donavan's (one is during a Pampered Chef party and I'm hoping the kids behave themselves!), Jake has a well-check appointment, and it's Katie's last week of summer pre-school and they're fitting in two field trips instead of one.  Busy busy busy.

Oh, and Jake apparently does know the word "mama" but chooses not to use it but tonight he was a little tired and as I picked him up to put him to bed, he clung to me and put his head on my shoulder and said "mama" and no one heard it but me... let me tell you, it was the sweetest moment of my evening.  I'll have to try coaxing it out of him more often... maybe Costco sells marshmallows in bulk?  I had better check because as bribes* for Katie and Jake, I might be needing more.

*Okay, so the kids don't get marshmallows that often.  They're mostly for me and have replaced chocolate chips as my "food drug of choice".

Friday, August 20, 2010

Farewell Kayla (otherwise titled "Grandpa had to call the "Cobs" on Car-Crunching Meanies")

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

The good news is that our family got together to celebrate Kayla before she heads to college out of state.  We got together at Grammy and Grampy's for dinner (hot dogs, beans, chips and salsa, watermelon, and I could go on... lots of food) and had fun talking and trying to unlock the secrets of the Blackberry (apps and settings and calendars, oh my!).  Aunt Colleen showed me a couple of apps I had to download and the kids played everyone sat around the living room chatting*.   

* Except Cole.  He hung out downstairs and might have had a nap.  This hasn't been confirmed but he was dressed in comfy clothes so it's totally possible.  He did rejoin us after about an hour.  He was missed.  Especially because the kids seem to like being chased and picked up by their feet.  (Ahem, Cole and Uncle Mark!)

Paigey also did a Beyonce impersonation of Single Ladies.  Have you ever seen something so cute (there were no lady gyrations... the moves were all G-rated!) that all you can do is grin... and when it's over you want to see it again?  This was one of those things. 

So as we were getting ready to roll our full tummies out (and maybe that was just me...), *now here's the bad news* dad got a call from John saying that someone had hit dad's Suburban.  Parked Suburban.

In the summer, dad parks it in the street but not close to the corner or anything, and someone in a red car came around the corner, hit their brakes, and plowed into the back of it.

Then the driver turned off his headlights.  And zoomed away.  

I know.  So.Rude.

John filled us in when we got home and my dad called the police (or as Katie says, "the cobs") and waited outside with Katie for them to arrive.  Katie had to get her jammies on first and she was *so* excited to see the police and she was *so* afraid of missing their arrival that we had to get her jammies on in the living room as she watched out the window.

We didn't wait long till the officer arrived and took dad's statement.  Katie and I walked over so she could get a close look at the "cob" and the officer stopped talking to my dad and turned her attention to Katie.  Katie was thrilled.

She shook Officer Bridgett's hand and Officer Bridgett chatted with her for a few minutes.  And then...

She offered to let Katie sit in the back of the car.  Where the (possibly dirty, possibly pukey, possibly drugged out, possibly injured) bad guys sit.  You can imagine my relief when Katie politely declined.  Or maybe just violently shook her head "no".

BUT when she offered to let Katie sit in the FRONT of the car, right in the drivers seat, and she didn't want to do it, I felt I had a duty to push her out of her comfort zone.  Not too much, just a little.  Which is why I held her while *I* sat in the drivers seat.  And looked at the computer.  AND pushed the switch to turn all of the lights on.  *grin*  I'll just say it was fun.  And pretty cool.

We finally got out and the officer told Katie she could call the police at any time and someone would come.  She also told my dad she would follow up on the car-crunching meany* who hit his bumper.  

* So maybe she didn't use those exact words, but she was probably thinking them.

Then, as she pulled around and passed our house again, Katie waved and waved and Officer Bridget turned on the lights AND started the siren for just a second.

Too exciting!  For Katie, of course.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Katie wants to call the "cobs" on me.

Katie has been in rare form this week.

She's been screechy, demanding, whiny, and a little bit naughty.  She's been pushing her brother around and getting very bossy.

She's also been cuddly, silly, sweet, huggy, and funny.  She's been patient with her brother and spent time playing with him and reading to him.

I guess I would say that it's been a roller coaster of a week.  

(And while I used to like roller coasters, since I've gotten older I've realized that roller coasters are DANGEROUS.  (Really.  What was I thinking in my youth?)  So when I say it's been a roller coaster of a week, I don't mean that in a good way.  Because similar to a roller coaster ride, there's been lots of screaming/screeching, arms waving in the air, and bumps.  Don't feel too sorry for me... it wasn't too bad, just not too much fun.

However, based on the actions of the week, I didn't plan on taking the kiddos out till Saturday when we were going to a birthday party for one of Katie's friends, Donavan, until Grammy called and invited us over for dinner.  

Of course I had to accept.  I may have mentioned how much I like her cooking a time or twenty on this blog and, after my usual question of what's for dinner (because for some reason I can't go somewhere and not know what the meal plan is*) I quickly said I would be there.  

And I even brought the kiddos with me even though I'm sure Grammy and Grampy really just wanted me to come so we wouldn't be distracted by two cute kids running around like crazies.  Which they totally never do**.

*Slight exaggeration... trust me on that.  And don't ask my mom.
** Trust me on that too.  Really.  Never a nut house here.

So dinner was a favorite of mine.  Pot roast, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and broccoli.  (It was delicious, of course.)  And as I sat there wondering why I ate so much (I didn't wonder for too long because, um, I TOTALLY blame Jacob.  He didn't finish his meat or his potatoes and I couldn't just let it go to waste, could I?  It might have also had something to do with the fact that I had seconds...) I also rued the fact that we would have to leave before 9 so I could get to Target in time to pick up John's medicine refill before the pharmacy closed.

So I was stuffed AND I would have to lug the kids out of the car and into the store and try to avoid a repeat of this trip to Walmart all while picking out a cute, creative gift for Don's birthday, talking to the pharmacy person to get John's refill, AND picking up a few grocery items.  And before leaving, I would need to find room for my Grandma's homemade APPLE PIE!  

Luckily Grandma mentioned that they would watch the kids while I ran out for a bit.  What a relief.  And I didn't feel too bad about leaving Jake with them because so far during our visit he hadn't caused any damage to their house or belongings.  (Huge sigh of relief.)  Katie's never a concern because she is usually so well behaved (the Walmart visit mentioned above?  The ONLY time she's caused any trouble when we've gone out.  It was probably all of the chocolate I gave her... and she was hungry for dinner.  Not a good combo.)  So I got to go to the happiest place on earth (move over Disney) all by myself!

Even though they were behaving well when I left, I still didn't want to tempt fate so I hurried... Ran in, got our stuff, picked up some fun art supplies for Don and got back to find the kids... behaving.

And learned that the pie Grandma grabbed out of the freezer wasn't pre-cooked so it would be awhile.  But that was fine with me.  The kids were having fun and (I think) Grammy and Grampy were enjoying our visit.  And the house smelled really good.  There's nothing like the smell of baking apple pie to make someone who was previously full miraculously find just enough space in their tummy for a slice of home cooked apple pie.  With ice cream.

Finally it was done.  We ate it about 5 minutes after it came out of the oven and it was fabulous.  The crust was flaky, the pie filling was perfectly perfect... it was delicious.  I'm getting hungry for it all over again.  So good.  And I shared with Jake but he doesn't need to know that most of the bites I gave him were ice cream... and not much pie.

We finally left at around 10 and headed home.  Got the kids to bed and did my shred.  Not an early night.

Saturday was A BLAST!  Well, not all of Saturday.  The morning was pretty much life as usual for a Saturday. But the trip to the miniature golf place where we were celebrating Don's birthday? Awesome!

We had cupcakes and juice (if you didn't already know, consider this a PSA that red frosting is not attractive when it sticks to your teeth... and your tongue) and Don opened his presents and then the kids played miniature golf!  

Well, Katie played and I "helped" till she got tired of playing (probably somewhere around the 8th hole) at which time I took over the club and her purple ball.  She enjoyed walking along the brick "walls" around the holes, jumping down off of the brick "walls", and watching all of the other people there while I tried my hand at something I hadn't done in at least 15 years.  It was so fun!  

After we completed the 18 holes we went to the BUMPER BOATS!  I went on with her and tried to steer away from the fountain and the cave because I wanted to avoid a soaking.  We came close enough to get a little wet but not too bad.

Then we went over to the GO KARTS.  I think I was a little slow but she didn't mind.  We were both grinning from ear to ear.  

Who knew that 4-year-olds could be so fun?!

We went back to the bumper boats for the last ride and Katie went on with one of the older girls at the party.  Kiera (I don't know how to spell her name so I took a stab at it) steered into the fountain and cave and came off of the ride soaking wet.  Katie loved it.  She didn't look thrilled as they were heading under the water but coming out of it she was smiling.

Finally it was time to go and as we said goodbye, Don's mom told him to give Katie a hug.

There was a moment where the kids just looked at each other but then Don walked over to Katie with his hands at his sides.  Katie stood with her hands at her sides.  They stood about an inch apart, just looking around each other, for a few seconds.  Long enough for us to get the giggles while watching.  Then they both turned and walked off.  I'm still laughing about it as I type this.

On the way home, Katie wanted something... I think she wanted to play with the Make-a-Mess app on my phone.  I told her she had to go home, go potty, wash her hands, and then she could play with it.

After being told that I was a mean mommy (tell me something I don't know because I had probably already heard that 6 times already this week... let me see... two scoops of ice cream is plenty=mean mommy, you can't go downstairs because Grandma and Grandpa are sleeping=mean mommy, you can't take all of Jake's toys to your room=mean mommy, pick up your toys=mean mommy.), Katie said she was going to tell on me.  She was going to tell Grandpa that I'm mean.  And I was okay with that because I'm pretty sure Grandpa has heard it all before.  Then she threatened to call the COPS on me.  Hmph.  I wasn't impressed with the threat.  After all, I still had the only phone in the car and she wasn't going to get it until she went potty, washed her hands, and changed her clothes.

Then she decided to change the topic.  She said, "Mommy, if I see someone running down the street with money in their hand, I'll call the cobs.  Not the CORN on the cobs Mommy... the police."  I laughed.  To myself, of course.  I got the idea she was calling a truce and didn't want to upset the delicate balance.  That happened a few minutes later when she said she again demanded to wear her wet dress all day long and I told her no. *sigh*

Sunday was a quiet day.  We didn't have anything planned AND the weather was so beautiful.

I did laundry while the kids played, Katie did my workout with me *grin*, the kids colored and no color ended up on the walls (kitchen floor, yes, but not the walls), and the best thing about today?

The kiddos got along.  

Ahhhh, bliss.

Now I'm off to have some ice cream and then to bed.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Weekend That Would Not End (a belated posting)

So.  This is a post I wrote about 3 weeks ago but didn't post because I thought about something else I wanted to write about more than this awful trip to the store.  So I didn't want to check for spelling errors and I didn't want to even think about it anymore.  Till I wanted to link to it in another post and realized that, oops, I hadn't gone back ever.  So here it is.

This felt like the weekend that would not end.  For real.  Not completely in a bad way, it just felt long.  Like time had been suspended.  That's not usually the case.

On Saturday I took the kids to Walmart (we had a gift card and needed milk and bread.  I waved sadly at Target as we drove by).  I know.  Both kids.  To the store.  By myself.

But I figured that since Katie is usually so easy to take anywhere, I could handle Jake if he got fussy.  Hmph.

And things worked great for about the first 10 minutes... mostly because I bought an 8 pack of miniature Hershey's bars and shared with the kids as we we rushed through the aisles to get our necessities before their enjoyment of my distraction ran out wandered the aisles, looking for the things we needed.

Things were great until Katie got out of the cart to try on some sandals and cute white shoes.  She was having so much fun "on the outside" that Jake started to fuss because he wanted down.  And by then, my distraction wasn't as exciting as the possibility of freedom.

So I held him while Katie finished up (while he pretended that his head had gotten so heavy he was unable to support it on his tiny baby neck and he flopped over to the side.  Luckily he's pulled this before.  Luckily-er I've been working out so my arms have gotten strong enough to take this in stride.  He kinda leans at a funny angle till I can get him upright but at least he didn't go crashing to the floor.)  I finally got him to sit in the basket while we walked to the front of the store.  We turned to the right to go to the home stuff and clearance when Katie decided she wanted to hold on to the outside of the cart and ride on the bottom rail.

Now, normally I let her do this.  We haven't had any accidents since the time when she stepped off of the cart at Kohls and got run over... resulting in some pretty serious laughing (me) and alot of irritation and stomping of feet (Katie) when someone (me) just couldn't stop laughing.  But it was sooooo funny that I just couldn't help myself.  Anyway, after that we instituted the "tell me before you need to get down... you ride at your own risk" rule.  No problem since then.   And if she looks like she's getting uncomfortable, I just remind her about "that time she got run over" and she holds tight until I can bring the "ride" to a complete stop.

Well, this wasn't a normal time.  Jake was in the basket and he looked like he was about to get a little rambunctious so I really had to keep an eye, and possibly a hand, on him so I could catch him if I needed to (I really need one of those child leashes) and I had to say no because I didn't think I would be able to watch her well enough to see if she needed the "carts hurt when they run you over" reminder.  So I said no.

And it happened.

My sweet girl.  The sweet, precious, well-behaved girl I know and love... well, she actually screeched at me! A loud, high pitched scream.  And then she started to tell me LOUDLY that she wants to ride on the cart and that I'm a mean mommy.


I figured out pretty quickly that our trip was at an end so (after I picked her up, still steaming and crying, and put her in the cart with Jake) we headed to the checkout where she cried and cried some more.  Jake did not like having her in the basket with him so I had to hold him while he had another heavy head moment.

So to recap:  I was listening to Katie crying, trying to balance Jake in my arms, digging for my gift card, waiting for the register lady to call the key master because the gift card didn't process correctly the first 6 times she tried it, and finally we escaped.  Not fun.

I expected to listen to this all the way home but once we got outside it was like the clouds parted and my children turned back into their usual sunshine-and-candy sprinkle selves.  We loaded up and on the way home had a very interesting conversation...

Katie:  Mommy, you know why I was so crabby at the store?
Mommy: Not really.  Why were you so crabby?
Katie:  I was very tired and it makes me cranky.
Mommy:  Well, that's good to know because if you're tired and cranky, you can go to bed right away when we get home.
Katie:  Well, there were four reasons I was so crabby mommy.
Mommy: Oh, really.  What were they?
Katie:  I not tired now mommy.  I wanted to leave and go home.
Mommy:  Oh.  *sigh*

Then Jake started to cry.  And Katie complained that Jake was crying.  Then I turned the radio up and she complained that it was too loud because she was trying to sleep.

At this point I decided to give myself a mommy time out.  This only means that I don't have to respond to the whining... I do still have to listen to it.

Katie did end up going to bed early on Saturday night... but not early enough for mommy.

Sunday we went to a Norwex party.  She was a gem.  Her usual self.

Sunday night?  Same wonderful kid.  I mean, she and Jake were reading together by themselves!

I guess she can't be sweet without some of the sassy.  Kinda like that commercial with the sweet and sour candy.

But if she cuts my hair while I sleep... she's going to time out.  And it made me realize how lucky we are that she's mostly sweet and only a little sour.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award? For Moi?

First I'll say that my font color got really wierd on this post.  I don't know how to fix it and I don't know why it did this so apologies in advance.

Stacy and Carol from Intentional Conscious Parenting gave me the Versatile Blogger Award and (I'll admit, it was about two weeks ago and I was so busy just basking in the glow of the award that) it took me awhile to get busy with my post!

Here's what they had to say:

It is our pleasure to give you the Versatile Blogger Award today!  Thanks for sharing your recipes and insights into your parenting world.

You can see the announcement at:
Congratulations, Carol & Stacy

Thank you so much Carol and Stacy!  This is my first ever award!

I'm supposed to:
1) Thank the person who gave me the award. Thank you Stacy & Carol!
2) Share seven things about myself.  (If you've read my blog or had to sit through listening to me try to share *anything*, you'll know that these will be pretty wordy "things".)
3) Nominate 10 newly discovered blogs, and let the nominees know about the award.  (These are newly discovered for me... all within the past year or so.)

Some things about me you may not know!

1) My grandma had to remove all of the dolls from the guest room so I could stay there while house hunting.  I told her that the basement was very comfortable and I really wanted to stay downstairs but really?  The idea of sleeping in a room full of dolls freaked me out a little.  Grandma figured this out and put them all away for the length of my stay.  Um, who hasn't seen Puppet Master, Chucky, or any other number of shows about dolls/puppets that come to life to kill?

2) I love to wait until the kids are asleep before I get myself a bowl of ice cream... because there are some things I just don't want to share.  And they crowd around like baby birds starving for a meal and they can eat faster than I can.

3) I went to the community college and took some fun courses (English and Psychology) but didn't pursue education there because my math skills were (less than) non-existent.  So awful that I wasn't even at the point where I was taking math for credit yet.  If I had conquered two more no-credit math classes, then I would have been on the books.

4) I wanted a c-section with my first pregnancy but the doc said no.  I ended up having an emergency c-section and decided right then that I needed to plan it for my second.  It was the best decision I made, even though it might not be right for everyone.

5) I feel guilty that I work outside of the home when John stays with our kids.

6) I made up a song for Katie when she was a baby and she still asks for it.  And I still sing it on demand.  Now she sings it to Jake.

7) I like SyFy movies.  Mostly the ones with mutant animals (this covers about 70% of SyFy movies) but I also like Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, movies about killer weather, and movies where there's a heroine with superpowers.  Oh, and I loved that one movie where the hero could see who the robots/aliens were when he wore some special sun glasses.  Yep.  Those kinds of movies are just the thing for a quiet Saturday afternoon.  (As long as they aren't too scary in case Katie is around.)  But nothing too gross or with the remote possibility of realism.  No "lost-in-the-woods" movies for me, thanks.

Now I get to share some blogs I enjoy reading because they make me laugh, give me some great ideas for around the house, or motivate me to improve something. 

In no particular order (except for how they show up on my Google Reader) the 10 blogs (and I could have listed waaaaay more!) I'm sharing are:

1. Knock-Off Wood

2. Parenting By Dummies

3. Striving for 31

4. Once Upon A Mommy

5. I'm a REAL LIFE Mom

6. june cleaver nirvana   (Hey Mom... This is the blog I saw the pizza buns on... and this recipe doesn't call for... *shudder* SPAM.)

 7. Mrs. Yellow Hat

8. Chez Larsson

9. A Slob Comes Clean

10. Small Notebook

If you do visit any of the ones I've listed... I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Remember those bushels of tomatoes I joked about?

Yeah, I laughed when I mentioned having to give away bushels of tomatoes.  I laugh no more.

We've got three (THREE!) tomato plants and they all seem to be doing *very* well.

This is one section of the huge tomato corner of the yard.  
In addition to the "regular sized" tomatoes, there are two other plants with cherry tomatoes that are flourishing (and so heavy that I think they will crush the wire thing they are growing around... seriously.)

Here's a close up of the grapes.  Now imagine this spanning about 6 feet tall and about
15 feet wide (if not more!) and you'll have an idea of how it looks.

This is the pumpkin plant that seems to have outgrown the garden.  
And it's taking over the back of the yard.  There's also a vine growing toward the fence with the grapes. 
I hope our neighbor, Max, thinks it's super cool to have our pumpkins growing in his yard. 

Here it is again from a different view. You can see the grapes on the left and the vine growing into them.
(Just ignore the mini van on the right.  I don't think we should move it just now as the pumpkins have attached their little vines to the bumper.  Note to self: Move the van away from the pumpkins next year.)

Here's an *actual* pumpkin.  Who knew we would actually be successful in growing them!  This pumpkin also just happens to be growing on the vine currently attempting to reach the other side of the yard.  I posted those pictures above.   John's currently mowing around the vine.

And here's a more obedient vine, growing inside of the garden.  
It looks like we'll have a pumpkin on this one too!

Here's the watermelon plant.   And a real, live, actual WATERMELON is growing!  This was a shocker.  
I can't wait to see how this tastes!

Here's the watermelon again.  Same one, looks like we've only got one so far but it's lookin' good!

I love, love, LOVE my cucumber plant.  It's growing so well; I think I've already gotten 10 cucumbers off of it... and it seems like there are more to pick each day.  There's one ready to eat showing at the bottom of this picture.  Yum

Just a funny shape for the cucumber.

And finally, my pepper plant. 
These have been really good on tacos.  
Unfortunately, I'm not really into cooking with peppers but I've been able to give some away.  I don't know why I grew this plant... I guess I wanted something I wouldn't be too disappointed about if it didn't work.  I did *not* need to worry.

So that's it.  The quick recap.  I think we'll end up harvesting tons of tomatoes this week alone - John's already been pulling cherry tomatos and he and Katie eat them up quickly.  I'm more excited about my cucumbers and that watermelon!  And if we can get two pumpkins, I'll be thrilled... the kids can decorate them for Halloween and we won't have to buy any.

On another note, I think Katie has a hearing problem.  Her talking voice and her yelling voice are strangely similar.

On yet another note, I just pulled out the brand new package of mint chocolate chip ice cream I bought today (the only flavor I really like, all others are merely tolerated) and opened it up.  And then stared at it because it didn't look like mint chocolate chip... Sure it was mint green but someone had played a horrible joke.  Someone had switched it for mint chocolate COOKIE.  This was not funny.  

I know I tossed it into my cart and I realize that the ice cream maker isn't required to include a disclaimer, although something along these lines (which would have been helpful in bolded, red font... underlined) would have been helpful:
 *This is not mint chocolate CHIP.  It's the evil cousin of mint chocolate chip.  Do not buy this if you're expecting minty chocolaty crunch, because you will not get it here*
Because if they had included this disclaimer instead of relying on me to, ahem, more carefully read the flavor name on the container, I would not have bought it.   I would have stayed true to my mint chocolate chip goodness and not turned to the dark side.  Because I'm eating it as I type... and I'm thinking that *maybe* I could *start* buying two ice cream flavors...  Because *maybe* mint chocolate cookie isn't evil.

Maybe it's just... misunderstood.

Katie goes to the Dentist with Much Objection. (To put it lightly. Like, the lightness of a feather as opposed to the not lightness of a very heavy, very dense rock. A rock surrounded by cement and further weighted down with chains...)

So the last time we talked, I went on and on about our Farmer's Market field trip.

Here are a couple of pictures:

Katie had decided that she didn't want to walk anymore.  She got down and sat on the ground.  *Cringe*  She got up pretty quickly when I told her that people pee on the sidewalk downtown.  It's (probably) not true but it got her moving.

She still managed to pull out a smile for me...

We were all pretty tired by this point.

And after posting about the walking and the eating and the shopping, I was tired out and I just couldn't bring myself to rehash the terror that was Katie's dentist appointment.

But it's time.  I'm ready...

So, we were leaving grammy and grampy's house and I jumped the gun.

I made the mistake of telling Katie that she was going to get to go to the dentist (!!!) right now! and how exciting is that!?  In retrospect I maybe should have waited till we were in the parking lot of the dentist office and I should have distracted her with something shiny and maybe some candy so she wouldn't see any teeth related pictures there.  But I didn't.

In my defense, I figured I was golden.  I figured that since Katie had listened to Donovan tell her about his dentist visits - he's 5 and has already been to the dentist more than once! - and she seemed interested, and when I asked her if she thought she would like to go to the dentist, she said yes, that there was nothing to be worried about.  (And I was a little relieved she seemed so okay with this when Donovan was talking about it because, well, um... I had already scheduled an appointment for her a couple of weeks ago.)

Turns out that Katie was not interested in coming within a million feet of a dentist office.

She started to cry.  And scream.  And yell at me.  The Whole.Way.There.  At least 20 minutes of non-stop, ear-splitting shrieks and screams.

It was not a stellar experience.

At one point she even said she didn't want to go to the dentist, she would go to the doctor instead.  (Totally shocked me.  She never wants to go to the doctor either but she's got good reason... shots and strep tests and more shots are never fun for kids.  But no reason to be afraid of the dentist!  She's gone with me and her grandma and been fine watching everyone.)

We finally got there and I had to carry her in.  Gave her name to the receptionist over the sound of her cries and sat down in a far corner of the waiting room.  (Not that it spared anyone from hearing her.)

The dental hygienist came in and sat down next to us.  Katie cried some more.  The hygienist was really nice but no match for a 4-year-old's fears.  We did go into the room and she was able to count Katie's teeth while Katie sat on my lap, but no cleaning took place.  Katie still scored a new toothbrush, floss (that will end up in mommy's bathroom drawer - it was good stuff!), and a sticker.  And she didn't even have to get her teeth cleaned for it all!

We headed home.  Me with a sigh of regret that I'll need to take more time off of work to take her back (after today's reaction I would much rather be at work than at the dentist) and Katie with her loot.  And my assurance that we wouldn't go back for "a whole week"*.

* For Katie, "a whole week" can mean an hour from now, a month from now, or a year from now.  I'm not sure if she realizes that we do, indeed, need to get this done.  I don't think she'll be ready even if we did wait a year.  *Sigh*

Next up?  Jake's well check where I'm sure there will be shots.  Arg.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Fun Farmer's Market Visit (also, Fresh Linen and Puke don't mix.)

This was it!

Finally the day for us to go to the Farmer's Market.  Everything was ready.  I had a half day of vacation from work, John was picking Katie up early from school and he and the kids were meeting me at work at 12:30 so we could park and walk over.

He called me at 12:23 to tell me he was outside and I heard Jake crying.

Then I heard John say, "Jacob puked."

I was all, "How bad can it be?  He hasn't had lunch yet so it can't be terrible.  We'll just wipe him up with wipies and be on our way.  Easy peasy." and walked out of the office with a spring in my step.

After all, we'd only rescheduled this day five MILLion times (okay, maybe it was five... five times) with my work and finally, FINALLY everything seemed to come together and we were going to have a fun family outing even if it hurt.

I walked outside (still springy) and saw my family standing on the sidewalk.

"Oh," I thought, "How nice!  They were so excited to see me that they had to step outside to watch me as I walk out!  I wonder who's going to give me the first hug!"

My next thought was, "Hmmm, why does Katie have her frownie face on?"

And still my next thought was, "Where are Jake's pants?"

Now, these thoughts came quickly.  It didn't take too long for me to put it together.  And let me tell you...  Puke + car + baby = fussy and smelly.  Katie doesn't like crying or stinky smells.  Neither do I for that matter but I managed to keep the gag reflex down as I put my bag in the back of the car and got a whiff of Jake's shorts and just the general... smelliness that seemed to have taken over the interior of the car.

It was B A D.  And we got to "enjoy" it all the way home.

And I laughed through my grimace remembering that I thought we would be able to fix this with wipes.  I laughed more when I got into the back seat and saw that  John had already tried to clean up the mess with wipes - there were about 20 of them on the floor of the car - and it must have helped a little but even wipes were no match for puke.  If he'd had a hose or something, we maybe could have cleaned out some of the gross mess but we did not have a hose.  So the car stunk all the way home.

So, to recap, no one was glad to see me, everyone under 4' was crying, and the whole way home was pretty miserable.

Then Katie asked when we were going to the Farmer's Market and I hated to break the news to her but I had to tell her that I didn't think we would be able to go, but we would try.

She cried.  Because if there's one thing she dislikes, it's not being able to do something (or not having a definite and right - in her book - answer on something she's had her heart set on, and this was one of those things.

We got home and put Jake to bed.  John took off the car seat cover and I threw it in the wash.  Katie walked around chattering away and asking questions.  And was getting a little huffy over not being able to go on our Farmer's Market trip.

Then... out of nowhere... came this awesome idea!  I could bring Katie to the Farmer's Market and John could stay home with Jake!

He and Katie both thought it was brilliant (okay, that might be over-exaggerating) and my status as the best Mommy EVER was reestablished (definitely not over-exaggerating!).

Of course, the more the merrier so I invited Grammy and Grampy to go with us and they just happened to be available.  We picked them up on the way (unfortunately, even after a hearty spray with some air freshener, the car still had that faint smell of puke.  Now it was just Fresh Linen-scented puke but Grammy and Grampy didn't complain one bit) and got a parking spot.

We walked about 9 blocks out and hit every booth.  It was a lot of walking.

We ate hot dogs at one of the street vendor stands where the topic of conversation was how the lady next to us had her purse stolen that morning.  And I spilled mustard on my pants.

And we shopped.

I bought bananas, strawberries, blackberries, toasted almonds, dried apples, and soap.  Grammy bought some onions and some honey.  She might have picked up something else but I don't remember because I was too busy trying to convince Katie that "big girls walk" to the car, they don't get carried.

This worked for awhile in conjunction with the cookie I used as a bribe shared with her.  But pretty soon she decided she was too tired to go on.  And I carried her... piggy-back.  Not really something I would recommend.  I mean, it wasn't too bad for the first three blocks, but after a that she had gotten pretty heavy (I was happy when she finally settled her hand placement to a location *not* wrapped around my neck.  Supporting the weight of a toddler with the same part of my body that needs to remain unobstructed so I can maybe breath a little was challenging, to say the least!).

We were about 3 blocks away when I finally convinced her to walk on the side of a planter, like a balance beam.  After a moment of panic when I realized we were out of balancing ledges, I make up the "Let's run till mommy's out of breath and exhausted AND tired of saying, "Don't step on a crack!  Don't step on a crack!"  Luckily I've been doing that 30-Day Shred or I might have ended up on the ground.  Oh, remember all of the stuff I bought?  Grampy carried my (very heavy) bag the whole time.

We finally (FINALLY) made it to the car.  I had a fun time looking at everything and the stuff we bought was pretty good (we've already finished the strawberries and blackberries though... and the bananas are almost gone too.  TWO bunches of them!  Jake is a banana fiend!).

So, I would say this was a successful "field trip".  We dropped Grammy and Grampy off at home and headed out to Katie's dentist appointment.

And that is a story for another day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mommy Fail? Not a chance! (This time anyway)

Katie came to me on Tuesday morning and said, "Mommy, do you have my nickels?  For the nickel jamboree today at school."

I told her that was tomorrow and she said (doubtfully), "Oh, okay...  Are you sure it's tomorrow?  I don't want to miss it."

Then I told her to check the calendar in the kitchen.  The calendar she can't read yet.  The calendar that's so high up on the wall she can't really even touch it.  (This is intentional.  She may be a big girl but she still likes the sound of paper as she rips it into tiny pieces.  My calendar is paper.  Therefore, Katie should not come into contact with it until she's at least 10.)  Duh.

I heard her in the pantry yelling to Grandpa that "Mommy says it's tomorrow."  She still sounded doubtful.

And even though Mommy said she was sure it was Wednesday and not, in fact, today... Grandpa got her a baggie of nickels for the jamboree *just in case*.

Just. in. case.

And what does that tell you about the level of trust bestowed upon my by my dear daughter and my dad?  Hmph.  Maybe a little lacking... and through NO fault of my own!  I've never forgotten to get her stuff ready for a school event, or to pay the school for something she wants to do... Never ever.  (Although I did kinda forget to make Katie's lunch on Monday night but got it together on Tuesday morning in time for her to have the usual jelly-no peanut butter or she won't eat it-sandwich, chips, and a pudding cup.  I usually try to include some fresh fruit* but there was no time to cut up strawberries...  and since I don't think she realizes that I usually get that ready the night before, I doubt she would use this as an example of a semi-Mommy fail sooooo, I'm not counting it either.)

* Arg.  Just remembered that I forgot to buy bananas when I was at the store on Monday night.  I looked at them about 20 times but wanted to get them last so Jake wouldn't want to eat one (or 10) before we checked out.  And I forgot them completely. *sigh*  I sense a grocery trip coming up soon.

But I was totally right and I knew it.  Not because I'm so up on all of the pre-school happenings but because they kindly scheduled all of their stuff on Wednesdays.  (A silent thank you is being sent right now to whoever decided that consistency was key when scheduling events for kids when mommy works and has enough trouble remembering what she's got going on that day... or just what day it is.  It's always nice to know that if Katie goes to school for one day, the next day she's got a field trip.)

I still checked the calendar though, *just in case*, because there's always that chance that I'm wrong.  (I wasn't wrong.)

So, by the time I went to bed on Tuesday night, Katie's lunch was packed and in the fridge, the check for her tuition was in her bag, and her $5 in nickels is in a cute coin purse, also in her bag.  There wasn't too much room when her small-ish bag also holds:

Change of clothes

Also, and I've only rescheduled this 5 times!, we're planning on going to the Farmers Market on Thursday.  John and the kids are picking me up from work early and, barring torrential rain or horrible heat... or both, we'll be wandering around looking at veggies and soap and salsa, (oh my!) for the afternoon.

Until we need to leave for Katie's dentist appointment.  Her very first dentist appointment!

We've talked about going to the dentist before and I've learned that if there's one thing (besides the doctors office) that Katie is adamantly against having anything to do with, it would be the dentist office.  Which is strange because she's never had a bad experience there.  I took her to one of my cleaning appointments and so has Mom.  She was fine.  Sat in the chair and hung out and talked to me (I couldn't answer but the dentist assistant did).  Nothing scary there.

So I thought it would be a great time for her to get her teeth checked but when I mentioned that it was time for her to see a dentist, she started to cry.  Hard.  She was very upset. <---- Understatement.

Sooooo I haven't actually told her she's got an appointment.  I'm hoping she won't ask why we're dropping Jake and Daddy off at home and not us.  I'm hoping she'll just assume that I need to have my teeth cleaned.  I'm hoping she'll be so tired from the Farmers Market that she can't summon the energy to freak out.

At the very least, I'm hoping she'll save her freaking out until we get to the dentist and she's in the chair and they can show her that it won't hurt to have the dentist look at your teeth (at least at her age with her new little teeth... but two crowns later and I can say that sitting in that chair with the dentist looking at my teeth scares me.  They usually find something that needs fixing.  I hold off because a. it's too expensive and b. I don't want to have someone poking my gums with Novocain.  Mostly b.  Then it gets worse until I can't put it off any longer and it's more expensive because they have to do two crowns instead of one and the cost of crowns is roughly $600 EACH, and shouldn't you get a discount if you have to have two of something?  They're in there anyway just drilling and scraping away...  *deep breath*) for a few minutes, get her new toothbrush and floss, pick out her sticker and go!

Oh well.  At least if she's freaking out, her mouth is wide open (mostly from the yelling and screeching) which usually helps when the point of the whole thing is to see all of your teeth.