Saturday, April 29, 2006

Guess what we're doing today?

And by "we", I mean Jason & Emma. I'm just the cheerleading photographer.

Now guess who's tired. I'll give you a hint, it's not Emma!


Have I mentioned that George is a noisy sleeper? I think I have. I'm not sure because I'm a tad delirious this morning. He was making noise all night and ready to be up by 6:30 this morning. That is VERY unusual for him, I normally have to wake him up at 7:30. Oh well, happy Saturday!

Oh, and there is a trade off. George and I were getting these
before 8 o'clock this morning. I figure they're justified on mornings like these! They are, right? Right?????

Friday, April 28, 2006

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The routines that mom broke

George had a rotten afternoon yesterday. And it's all my fault. You see, I know his limits. I know his routines. I know how many errands I can run per day and still stay in his good graces. I know when he needs to bring his comfort items with him to stay centered. Yesterday, I disregarded everything I knew, and our world came tumbling down. It all began with the slippers.

On Tuesdays, we pick up Emma from school an hour early, in order to go to George's speech therapy. Yesterday, he brought his slippers with him. Not on his feet, just carried them. Held them and cuddled with them on the way to Em's school. Once there, I did the unthinkable. I didn't let him bring them into the building. I don't know what I was thinking. Full on tantrum the whole time we were there! Compounded by the fact that the kids were on the playground (I usually try to get there before they go out, because we don't have time to allow George to play). So, I haul a screaming George and sweaty Emma out of the building and head towards my next mistake of the day.

A friend of ours had borrowed a binder full of children's DVD's for a trip they made about two weeks ago. I had the brilliant idea of stopping by her house on our way to George's school to pick them up. Which would have been fine except we had enough time to go in. Which would have been fine except we didn't have enough time for George to get over his shyness and then play with every one of the hundreds of toys they have in their living room. Just as he was getting comfortable, it was time to go. So, I haul a screaming George back to the van and on to his therapy session.

Yeah, that session didn't go so well. Ms. Edwards carried the screaming boy into the classroom and closed the door. Then, I got to break the news to Emma that we wouldn't be playing on the playground because I was fairly certain that the session wouldn't be lasting as long as usual. So, I hauled a sobbing Emma to the van to get her library book and snack. Fifteen minutes later, a tearful George ran out of the classroom and we left the building. Then came the last big mistake of the day. George and Emma ran, as usual, on the lawn outside the school to the sidewalk. Except when they were almost there, I realized that George wasn't going to stop. Thank goodness I park on a quiet street and it was after normal school hours! I grabbed him when he was only a couple of feet into the street, but I didn't untense and he didn't stop crying until we were home.

Needless to say, I was exhausted last night and we stayed home most of today. All because of a pair of slippers and my stupidity!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What will we be?

I just asked Emma what she wants to be when she grows up. Not surprisingly, she says "a veterinarian". Honestly, I hope this is what she becomes, as I think she would be fantastic at it and would also love being surrounded by animals every day.

Mom says George is probably going to be a writer. Hard to say, since he doesn't communicate much yet, but there is something about the way he observes his world that makes me think she may be right. I can easily see him doing something that involves a lot of thinking, a lot of creativity, and not too much interaction with others. Of course, Jason thinks he's going to be an architect, with all the towers he's continually building (out of blocks, out of pillows, out of sliced hot dogs.....), and that would be cool too.

Jason and I firmly believe in Peter Pan, so we're not sure if we'll ever actually grow up. But our next career move that we're working towards is to own what we like to call a "Second Chance Ranch". We want to find some land with a barn that we can convert into kennels and run a non-euthanization shelter and adoption center. Fits right in with Emma's goals, yes? We could combine our wish of living in the country, having lots of animals, working from home, everything. Luckily, we don't have the goal of being rich!

And now I bring you random images of this afternoon!
That frog face just cracks me up, I don't know why. It's broken off one of the kids' gardening tools and has been laying face up in the rocks for the last few days. Maybe I'm just odd. And the picture of Emma is for Gramma, showing off her very Eugene-like tie-dyed shirt that they sent her. Wait till you see George's surfer outfit!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Playing Hooky

We're either the worst parents in town, or the coolest. We kept Emma out of school today. Not because there was anything in particular going on or wrong; but because Jason had the day off, the sun was shining, and we wanted to! We decided to treat her with a trip to the zoo. We didn't tell her we were going there until we were almost there. And she was all concerned that we didn't have our member passes with us. But sneaky Mommy had them in her purse, and Emma held hers the rest of the way there and repeatedly counted the number of times the word "zoo" is on the card. (There was great excitement all around when she found one hiding in the fine print!)

Unfortunately, this was apparently "Take your daycare/preschool to the zoo" day, but we weaved around them and found the quieter areas. I love going to this zoo because it's a very natural setting, for the most part, and yet you can get very close to most of the animals. Speaking of animals, here are the craziest ones I found today:

Isn't it a beautiful place? The purse Emma's wearing is her zoo purse. In it she carries her zoo treats so she can feed the animals. She's so careful to make them last through the whole zoo, that often we end up bringing some home. I love how interested she is in animals. Pretty typical, I suppose, for a little kid, yet she's so maternal and loving towards them and also interested in knowing all their specifics. We saw a baby penguin today and she was fascinated by the fact that it had fuzzy feathers instead of the darker slick ones on the adults.

I admit that we don't just go for the kids. Jason and I love looking at the animals, too. And the whole place is so peaceful (when it's not overrun by daycares and the orangutans aren't screaming at each other) that it's simply a great place to spend a couple of hours, walking around. We need to find more places like it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

2 2-year olds

Forgive me if I don't write much today. I'm babysitting. And when I'm done, I will have a lot of cleaning to do.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Brain Candy and Escapism

Today's blog prompt was to write about favorite books:

Whenever life gets stressful, or I don't have too much time but need a little escapism, I go to the library and get what I call Brain Candy. Books that are enjoyable but don't require much thinking. LeVeryl Spencer, Barbara Delinsky, Nora Roberts and other writers of liiiiiiiiiight mystery/romance can usually be read in an afternoon. Lately, George has gotten to the point where we can make quick trips to the library after exhausting him at the park, so I've been able to peruse the New Additions shelf. Notice I said shelf. It's a small one, maybe three feet long? One shelf. Sigh. But, I've certainly read books I never would have before.

But my favorite authors are definitely Jodi Piccoult and Dean Koontz. I can recommend just about anything they've written, though they are vastly different. Piccoult writes about subjects that are very timely and presents them in such a way that you relate to every character and see every side of the issue. Very thought provoking. Koontz is crazy and ranges from monsters to psychological thrillers to spiritual mysteries. Other faves: Anita Shreeve, Elizabeth Berg, Anna Quinlen...gosh, I read a lot of women writers, never realized that before. I admit that I'll read just about anything though, I get sucked in pretty easily. Even if the book is boring, I have a strange compulsion to see it through to the end. I've actually had to pay late fees at the library because a book took me so long to drag through!

Completely random note:
My favorite part about staying up late these days is listening to my son. When he was born, we originally had him in our room. It didn't take us very long to move him into his own room because he is the NOISIEST sleeper!!!! He snores, snorts, moves around, sighs, it's amazing he doesn't wake himself up. But his current nighttime habit? He laughs. Great big belly laughs that erupt periodically for up to half an hour sometimes. Man, I wish I knew what he was dreaming about, it sounds like fun!

It's official!

How cool is this?!

DSU198Finding Inspiration Around You In this class you will take a look around your home to discover many new ways to present and design your layouts. These will serve as inspiration not only for your day-to-day scrapbooking, but also for those times you have “scrapper's block", or when working on a theme album. In this four week class, you will create as many as eight layouts, using different items and ideas from your world to compliment and enhance your photos and journaling. Non-program specific. Instructor Meg Beverly. $30

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I challenged my scrap blog friends to write about inspiration today. Then, my day got stressful and I never got around to doing my writing. So, I've been reading theirs for the last half hour or so. And I have found so much inspiration!

I have never been the type of girl to have many female friends. Maybe one or two close ones, but mostly, I hung out with the boys. They are way more fun! But being part of a primarily female on-line community through my hobby has allowed me to get to know so many wonderful women, without the games that women often (sadly) play when physically together too much. I truly feel that I have gained many close friends through this medium, and it amazes me.

I just wanted to publicly say thank you to all of them for their inspiration to me both artistically and personally.

Now I'm going to go back to being a couch potato with my husband for a while. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No more rocks, please!

These are the last pictures of rocks, I promise! But gosh, it feels good to have this done! Now we have a clean area for the kids to play and we can move on to the NEXT project!! Okay, I really have no idea what that will be. Don't worry, I'll try not to inundate you with boring pictures. I planted some tomatoes and sugar snap peas today, I hope it's not too early in the season. I only dug up a small area to see if they would take. If they do, I have all kinds of other things that I want to plant, just to see if I can manage to grow anything.

Jason's opinion is that I should have Emma plant anything I want to harvest. Her thumb is amazingly green! She planted bird seed about a month ago in a small pot. It proceeded to sit out on our deck and get SNOWED on. Now? Yeah, it's growing like crazy. I don't what it's going to be, but it's about 8 inches tall with little white flowers, so Emma's happy.

Projects of a different kind. With Emma no longer napping, keeping her busy is a full time job. She's so darn smart it's hard to remember that she's just barely five and can't completely entertain herself yet. So if you have any great craft ideas, let me have 'em!

And George is a project in and of himself. He's doing so much better with his socialization. I can take him to a store and he'll actually walk beside me! Unbelievable, trust me. And we work day to day on little words. We can see the ideas starting to click, and he does more for his speech therapist than he does for us, so there is some progress there. We've decided with his therapist that next fall they will run more tests to see the extent of his developmental delays. We're all hoping that a summer full of fun and mental stimulation will encourage him in his progress.

Jason continues on with the teaching. They are horribly understaffed, so he's had opportunities to be the primary teacher several times already, much earlier than normal. And he still loves it and hopes to be fully qualified soon.

I'm busy writing my class whenever I can find some spare minutes. It's going to be on DSP's June class schedule, so I need to finish soon! But I'm excited about that and curious as to what kind of interest it will garner. I hope it appeals to a wide range of people/abilities.

Wow, this ended up MUCH longer than intended! I hope a couple of you made it this far! Tomorrow I'll think of something short and sweet to say!


Monday, April 17, 2006

Handling change

Well, I didn't like it and I didn't get much done and I'm exhausted, but we survived the surprise extra vacation day. It actually would have been a fun bonus except that it rained all day and we all wanted to play outside. But it was good practice for getting back into school day routines, right?

Like many families, mine thrives on routine. My kids get hungry at certain times, sleepy at others, and expect playtime in between. So, altering those basics throws us all off. We did all the normal things today, but George kept looking at Emma as we all drove away from her school, obviously wondering why she was still in the van. And at home, they were both fairly floppy and lethargic with the grey weather and no plans. And I did get some chores done, but instead of spending that time with my thoughts, I spent it with Emma "helping" me or me helping her with a craft project while trying to get some sewing done at the same time. I broke two sewing machine needles today. Lack of good concentration maybe? And here it is, not yet 8:30 in the evening, and I'm ready for bed. I didn't do much, but it wasn't as expected.

So obviously, I don't handle change well. I handle it. I don't mope and throw a fit (although sometimes I want to). But I don't like it. I like my plans that I make each day. I like to feel like I've accomplished them. Oh well. There IS school tomorrow. I checked. Twice. Night all!

Because she's brilliant

Emma received a new book last week. It's called "The Hoppameleon" by Paul Geraghty. It's a very well written and amusing. The title character is this little guy ------------------->

He's a very odd looking fellow with a very odd problem: He doesn't know who he is. As we go through the book, he creates a name for himself based on the other creatures he meets and the qualities he shares with them. Example, he hunts like a chameleon and hops like a grasshopper, thus "hoppameleon".

Anyhoo, with each page he adds to his description, creating an everlengthening and parent-tongue-twisting name. As he hops off at the end with a friend, happy with his name, I asked Emma if she thought he really was a ".........hoppameleon" (I don't want to ruin the story for you). I had thought she would respond that, no, he's just a frog.

Well, she did, in a way. She looked at me and with a laugh, replied, "Of course not, Mama, he's a red-eyed tree frog, of course!"
Of course.

Back to School...just kidding!

So, I took Emma to school this morning, all excited to be there after a long week of vacation, and SURPRISE, they have one more day off! I read the calendar wrong apparently, although it never occurred to me to check if Spring Break would continue through Monday. So now I have one more day of full-time kiddos to entertain and my cleaning plans have gone out the window (oh darn!), we'll have to do some playing and enjoy this extra day instead!

I have more to write, but we're going to go plant some flowers in the rain....check back later!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Almost done!

Because really, you were dying for another backyard update, right? The first load of rock is in! Here's a picture (Gracie and her frisbee are an added bonus for your viewing pleasure):

If you have no idea why this is so exciting, click on the link to the right that takes you to our old blog site and scroll through March's entries to read the drama of the 238 sq. ft. dig. We have to get another load of rocks (the quarry is closed on the weekends, so it won't happen till Jason has another free lunch hour). And the gym thing will probably move around a bit so we have more room for the sandbox, but man! It's nice to be close to done! And now we can concentrate on getting the rest of the yard back in shape. Last year we have the greenest yard on the block, and it's killing Jason that we're falling behind some of the others this year!

And for those of you that remember our baby trees, it appears that several of them have survived the vicious attack of our neighbors' lawn mower (they were helping us our while we were out of town last summer, gee thanks), and there are little leaves all over the place. Time to de-crabgrass that area and give them some breathing room. Hopefully, we'll get all this work done soon, because it's 88 degrees today and I'm already dying. Heck, we've got a good 30 degrees to go until we hit full heat!

Well, that's enough excitement for you today! I'll try to share the backyard drama in small doses from here on out, I wouldn't want to overwhelm you with the emotion and thrills!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Aren't they cute?

Is there an echo in here?

One of my most-used nicknames for Emma is Distracto Kid. Her brain is so full of stories and thoughts, that she forgets she's on Earth at times. Today is one of those days. On the swings at the park, I had to remind her to pump her legs, because she'd get so caught up in watching other kids or talking to her friend that she would slowly drift to a stop. And I'm pretty sure that I've had to repeat every single thing I've said to her.

Emma, can you please bring me my camera?

Sure. What?

Can you bring me my camera?

Oohhhhhh, okay. Your camera?

Yes, it's on the desk.

Okay. [takes a few steps] It's on the desk?


My camera?

No, my camera, the silver one, by the computer.

Oohhhhh, okay. It's on the desk?


Okay! I'll get it!

The cure for the common cold

Sense a theme in my posts these days??? I hate being sick, because I always get sick after everyone else in my family is done being sick, and then I pass it back to the kids and the cycle starts over again. Emma told me this morning that I should go back to bed. HA! Wouldn't that be lovely? When I told her I couldn't because I had to care of her and George, she told me, "Don't worry, I can watch George, I'll put him in his room and close the door." Now there's a solution!

So I've been gathering home remedies for the various symptoms that accompany a cold. Personally, I like to drown myself in vitamin C and take zinc lozenges like ColdEze. Then the bliss of Nyquil at night. Here are some new ones I've found:

Eat garlic raw, put it in your mouth and chew. (Gross!)
Fill a glass with warm water and mix in 1 tsp of table salt and gargle several times a day. (Again, gross!)
Take a bath with a few drops of cinnamon in the bath water can relieve congestion. (Different, I've never thought of cinnamon as being especially vaporous.)
Garlic juice made by adding few drops of garlic oil to a teaspoonful of onion juice and diluting it in a cup of water is helpful for common cold. (Oh my goodness, gross!)
Drink ginger tea. It can be made by boiling ginger in normal tea. (I do like tea when I have a sore throat, although I usually use lemon/honey or a mint variety.)

What's up with all the garlic? Normally, I love garlic....On my french bread, in my spaghetti sauce, or otherwise cooked. But raw? Garlic juice? Bleh!

I'm off to have a nice cold glass of garlic oil and onion, no, maybe a glass of orange juice. I'm boring like that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Funny is good

Well? What do you think of my new digs? In pursuit of more customization and comment-ability, I'm jumping on the bandwagon. I feel like a member of the cool group now! Best part of this? It has spell check! Thank goodness! Before, I always had to proof my entries in Word or an email (because I am a lazy speller who should really be better due to the sheer number of books I read).

I've imported yesterday's entry, but all others will remain on the old site. From now on, though, this will be the place to come for updates. Please bookmark accordingly! I still have some work to do on adding links and such, but I'm learning .html language as I go, so please be patient!

My blog prompt today was humor, because my head cold has settled in my sinuses and I am having a hard time keeping mine! So, here's my take on humor:

Don't you love it when both of you have a cold? When one falls asleep, the other has a coughing fit. When the other falls asleep, the first blows their nose. Then, when both are sleeping, the stuffy nose snoring contest begins!

Food, glorious food!

Gosh, I'm sorry, ma'am that my two-year-old is screaming at an ear piercing level. Maybe if you hadn't gone to the 12-Item Express lane with your 23 items and equal number of coupons, oh and if the clerk hadn't had to go over to the cigarette area to find you your Marlboro's, and you hadn't written a CHECK, we would have been done with our shopping and out of the store before my tired, hungry son had a meltdown. But sometimes, this is the way it goes, know what I mean? By the way, we might all be able to move faster if you would quit turning around and glaring at me and get busy putting your CHECKBOOK away into your suitcase, I mean purse, and GET OUTTA MY WAY!!!!


Thanks guys, I had to get that out of my system!

So, with warm weather comes the season where I feel less and less like cooking in a hot kitchen and more like playing outside with my kids. Consequently, I have a hard time thinking of meals that sound interesting. Have any good ideas for me?

Tonight we're having pork tenderloin and I'll use the leftovers to make sweet and sour pork in a couple of days. That's about as adventurous as I get! Most days, J comes home to find some random meat on the counter, waiting to be BBQed. Luckily he loves to grill!

I forgot to check if the store had any artichokes in. Mmmmmmm. I love them. Jason called them Martian Brains and thinks I'm insane, but I love 'em! I have got to find a farm stand around here this year so I can get some fresh produce. I'll eat just about anything that's fresh off the farm. Okay, I just ate lunch, but now I'm hungry again! Guess I'll end this random collection of thoughts!

I'll leave you with yesterday's layout. Another one using pic from Emma's photo shoot last week!
Hard Out page kit by Lauren Bavin, Custom Color Chipboard Alphabet by Lauren Bavin