Friday, June 30, 2006

Three, three, three posts in one!

Okay, so I've been quiet the last few days. I'll try to cover the last three day's worth of blog prompts in this one entry.

First, what has made me laugh lately? One of the reasons I married Jason, is because he makes me laugh out loud every day. I can't for the life of me think of what exactly he's said recently, but I know he's cracked me up. George continues to have a laughfest in his sleep almost every night around 10:00. His big, belly laughs make us laugh out loud. I love that he obviously has very happy dreams. And Emma? Well, she's BIG into knock, knock jokes right now. So I'll share the one she told me in the van the other day. Just a warning, she's five. And she doesn't totally get the whole idea yet.

Knock, knock.

who's there?


Boo who?

Now, the punch line would normally be something like "why are you crying" or "boo hoo, I'm so sad!" But that's not her style. Here's her version:

Boo hoo, there's a pineapple on your head and you slipped in the mud!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Hilarious, isn't she?

Second, exercise goals. Well, of course that leads me back to the previous prompt about what makes me laugh! But really, I've noticed that I've been feeling exceptionally sluggish lately. And I think it's because we haven't been taking our evening walks. We normally walk 1 1/2 miles every night after dinner. But because of Jason's work schedule, his bout with the flu, and icky weather, we haven't walked in over a week. I didn't realize how much I enjoy those walks. It's a good time for us to talk about the day or the future, we see our neighbors, and stretch our legs a bit.

And ever since he became an instructor, Jason's gone from exercising every morning to two or three mornings a month, if he's lucky. The instructors work longer hours than the rest of the soldiers and are expected to exercise on their own time. And of course, maintain standards in order to be an example to the students. Well, it's awfully hard to find that extra time, especially if they want to have any family time (or heck, sleep) at all.

All in all, we need to find some time!! Got any?

And lastly, if you're still here, how does the weather affect my mood, creativity, and outlook on life? Well, for starters, I'm melting. We're just getting into the muggy 100 degree weather and it's already sapped all my energy. I haven't done anything creative in days and it's really hard to stay enthusiastic for the kids all day. Luckily, I have really great kids. We have a fairly strict routine with a good mix of activities and "down time". They seem to need the periodic breaks throughout the day as much as I do. The swimming lessons have helped tremendously. They get us out of the house relatively early, before it gets too hot, and get us active. So much better than just sitting around until we all feel ready to start the day!

So my goal for the next week (there is a week break in between swim lesson sessions) is: stay active! Go to the park, for walks, anything... and do it early in the day before the weather has a chance to steal our energy!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Name Game

This one is from Lani, otherwise known as Jovi Girl!The Story behind the name: Tell us about the reasons you gave your child the name you did. Or it could be a pet or the story behind your own name or a friends name.

Emma was named years ago, over a decade ago actually. I have always loved that name and every Emma I had ever met was such a sincere, friendly, happy person. I loved the old fashioned feel of it and it just felt right. There was never any debate as to what our first baby's name would be, once we knew it was a girl.

George we debated a bit more. It is a family name on Jason's side, but honestly, that wasn't why we originally thought of it. We have a very feminine last name and wanted our boy to have a solid boy name that wouldn't be shortened into something that sounded silly with it. (The fact that we often call him Georgie will be ignored for the moment). Jason's name choosing system was that it needed to be one that sounded right when paired with "King" or "Sir". Sounds strange, I admit, but it really helped us rule out some choices! King Matthew just didn't have the same royal feel as King George!

But before both of those critters, there was Gracie. And she named herself. You see, I wasn't quite as in love with her as Jason was when he brought her home from the pound days after our wedding. It took us a day or two to name her, as my contributions to the choices were, shall we say, less than kind. In my defense, she was UGLY when we first got her. Dirty, it was obvious she had recently had a litter, hyper, you name it. But she loved to play. And one of our first fetch sessions inside our tiny apartment led to her name. When she plays, she is so focused on the toy, she sees nothing else. Including walls. She jumped, or fell, off of our couch (that she proceeded to EAT the following weekend...another story for another post), spun towards the hallway to follow a ball, and ran face first into a wall. It didn't faze her though, she reoriented herself immediately and ran down the hall. Her full name is Amazing Grace. We call her Gracie.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekend Blogging

ArtCMom's Prompt: If your house caught on fire or were in a flood, hurricane, etc....besides your family- what 1 or 2 items would you try to save and why?

I would like to say that I would be wonderfully organized and would grab my CDs of pictures, my purse, the Important Papers file, clothes, car keys, shoes, my entire computer, my husbands uniforms, my make-up (don't want to scare the neighbors, you know), etc. But truthfully, if anything catastrophic does ever happen, I don't really care if my pj's are a bit too revealing and I lose every picture I've ever taken. Okay, that will break my heart for a while, but life does go on, and this last year or so is VERY well documented on the web!

My husband, our kids, our dog, and the kids' special blankets. That's all we need.

Man, it twists my stomach to even think of this happening. I feel so sorry for anyone to whom this has been a reality. The fear is unimaginable. But thinking about it does bring home exactly how much STUFF we have. And how completely unnecessary most of it is.


Speaking of stuff, I want to thank Jason and Mom for their birthday gifts. When I told some of my friends what I had received, I had to laugh. Because, you see, Jason got me a really cool, stylish, comfortable, WIDE computer chair. And Mom sent me gift cards for a couple of stores. So, obviously, I'll be able to sit here and chat with you all that much more and let the lower half of me sssssssppppppprrrrrrreeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaadddddddddddddd.

And then I can go shopping for new clothes to accommodate the new girth! Yipee!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Birthdays ending in Zero!

The prompts for yesterday and today were: 10 things to do before my next birthday ending in zero and the best 10 things I have accomplished since my LAST birthday that ended in a zero. Well, as of Sunday, it will be one year since my last birthday that ended in zero, so I'm going to have to do some thinking about that second part. 10 accomplishments in one year is a lot to ask around here!

So we'll start with the future. Jason has only one thing he wants to accomplish before his next Big-Zero, ownership of a '69 Dodge Charger. That's the make and model of the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee, for those of you unfamiliar with this particular strain of pop culture. If he does nothing else but save up enough for that, he'll be happy!

What do I want to accomplish? That's harder, most of my accomplishments revolve around the kids. But, I'm hoping that we have our ranch by then, or at least live in a rural area. (If the directions to our house include the words "turn off the paved road...", I'll be ecstatic!) I would love to have a few more publications under my belt and possibly some of my business dreams will be reality by then (you with me, Bethy?). I hope I'm earning enough money by working from home/over the internet that I am still able to be a stay at home mom in nine years. I would like to have taken a "real" vacation by then, too. One that doesn't include kids, lodging that belongs to a family member, or microwaved food. Mostly, I just hope to have a healthy, happy family and continue down this crazy road we're on!

What have I accomplished in the last year? Me personally? Two scrapbook pages published. Made it onto the Digital Elite Team. I'm teaching an online class at DSU. Non-scrapbooking related??? I've found a new Ben & Jerry's flavor to love (Dublin Mudslide, if you're interested). Ummm, something else that doesn't include my kids???? I'm happy with life, does that count?

I'll try to think of more, I'm sure I've done something. Give me a couple more years, okay?

For the Grandparents

Fun in the pool!

George found the water jet

Ain't no way this kid will drown!

Master of his domain, in the "deep" end!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


The wonderful people at the pool have taken pity on George and my scalp! They've given us permission to use the baby wading pool during Emma's swim class!! Technically, it's closed until afternoon open swim time; but as they said, there's nobody around to see us, so who cares? So, for the next month, both my babies and I will be getting tan every morning from 9:20 to 10.

Okay, Emma will get tan while George and I slather sun block on in the hopes of reducing the burns. Yeah, lucky him, he may look just like Jason, but he got my skin. He's so white, he's practically see through. His little naked romp through the backyard the other day earned him a pink back, shoulders, and *ahem* tushie.

Back to swimming lessons...they ended them today by letting the kids go down the two tube style water slides they have in the deeper end. Mind you, Emma weighs basically nothing. And the slides are steep. And have water running down them to make them extra slick. She went shooting out of those things and skimmed across the water like a skipping rock! She didn't actually start going into the water until the lifeguard/teacher caught her and lowered her down. It was hilarious!! And she can't wait for tomorrow!!!

Today's prompt was about compliments.
I would say the highest compliment you could pay me would be to tell me I'm doing a good job with my kids. I think I am, but everyone needs reassurance sometimes. Especially when one kid is pulling your hair out.
Then, of course, lie and tell me I'm gorgeous and you can't see any wrinkles or white hair. 'Cause I'm shallow like that.
And value my opinion. I'm not asking that you agree, but agree that my opinions are valid. That tells me you value me and think I have a brain in my head. That is the best compliment.

Swimming Lessons

Just a quick response to the comments from yesterday. Did Emma enjoy the swimming lessons?

Heck YES!!!! I knew she would, she has enjoyed them every summer. She was just nervous about a new place with a new teacher, etc. As soon as we got there, she was fine. And afterwards? She didn't stop talking at the top of her lungs for an hour. Ask Jason and her Gramma & Papa, she just had to call them and tell them all about it!

And today, she came bursting out of her room shouting, "Today is tomorrow!! I can go back to swim class!!!" So yeah, she likes them fine. We're even going to a friend's house to swim today after lessons, so she'll get a double dose. And George will get to go in their pool. And me. Eek. I guess swim suit season is officially here, huh? But I haven't lost those five pounds yet!

More later, after our adventures!

Monday, June 19, 2006

If I never left the house...

What would happen (or have happened) if you didn't leave your house today? How far-reaching would the effects of that action be?

That was my blog prompt this morning, and darned it all if I haven't stumped myself! I don't think the effects would have been very far reaching really, just on me and the kids. But then again.....

If we hadn't left the house, Emma would have given in to her fears about the first day of swimming lessons and possibly never gotten over them, thereby never learning to swim. And far off in the future there may be a moment when it is crucial that she has that skill. So not beginning that learning process today may have endangered her life or that of someone else.

If we hadn't left the house, George wouldn't have been so angry and jealous of his big sister playing in a pool and I would have several strands of hair still in my head, rather than his fist. And those strands would someday soon have turned white, aging me that much faster. Better to be bald, I suppose.

If we hadn't left the house, I would have paid a bunch of non-refundable money for unattended swimming lessons and I would be angry. And my anger knows no bounds. (Just kidding, I am a very mild-mannered person, especially when it comes to budgets and planned activities. Really. I am. I never stress.) (Jason, be quiet.)

If we hadn't left the house, we wouldn't have gone to the park before lunch and the kids wouldn't be as sleepy for naptime as they were today. And I wouldn't have interupted this blog entry for several minutes to go cuddle with Emma. Which would have left me feeling as if something were missing. Which would have made me sad. Which would have left me no choice but to lay on the couch eating chocolate and reading a trashy novel. Hmmmmmm. Might have to do that anyway.

If we hadn't left the house, we would all have been on each other's nerves by the time Jason gets home from work and he would walk in to a very unhappy household. And he would feel guilty for leaving the house each day. And he would go to work feeling bad tomorrow. And he would get in trouble for not leaving his personal problems at home. And he would get fired. And.....oh wait, you don't get fired in the Army. And they're actually pretty good about letting soldiers deal with personal stuff when they need to. But they might make him work off his frustration by doing a few extra sit-ups. And really, who wants to do extra, or any, sit-ups?

All in all, I'm pretty glad we left home today!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Guess what we forgot!

I'm sorry, I've been horribly remiss in my blogging duties! Now that school is out, I find myself with far less computer time. Swimming lessons start tomorrow, though, so I'm sure I'll have stories to tell! For now, a censored version of an email I sent out to family this morning.

Guess what we forgot to drain and put away yesterday?

Guess who found it?

Hope you're having a great Father's Day!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finding Peace

This is what I challenged my blog pals to write about and it was also my theme for the day. Last night was spent dealing with misunderstandings and frustration and I felt the need to release it all today. Don't worry, all is fine! Friendships and business dealings in the virtual world are as fraught with drama as those in the "real" world. But they have the added impediment of not being able to read body language or vocal inflections. So meanings can get lost, words can be misunderstood, and feelings can get hurt. And the waiting for email can be agony. But it does come, and if you are patient, problems do get solved.

So today I needed to relax, and remember who I am. And who my kids are. In some ways, I am lucky that it's pouring rain today. Normally having the kids penned up all day would drive me to distraction. But today, I needed to focus on them and play a bit. Did you know that the Candyland game can last virtually forever if you continually get the wrong cards? And that jumping on the bed is good for your health? (So Emma informs me.) We've had fun.

Stepping back and regrouping is good for everyone I think. It is so easy to get fixated on a little issue until it is all you can see or think about. I have found scrapbooking to be such a great creative outlet and it allows me to get down all my memories and emotions. I love sharing these stories with friends and family. Lately I've also been doing a private art project along different lines. I thought I'd share what I created today in honor of the Finding Peace theme.

Journaling: Finding peace within myself, letting go of unimportant details, paying attention to me, and my family, things that can make me happy. Like rain, and flowers, and kisses!

I hope you all are having a peaceful day, and are remembering what's really important in life.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Specifically mine. With the exception of my drug addict-like reaction to an unread book in the house, all my current addictions are computer related. I have found a way to finally feel like an artist, and I am reveling in that freedom and fun.

My brother wrote a blog entry a while back about our family's early entry into the computer world. We grew up in Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the computer. Our father studied computers in college before they really existed. We had at least one home computer as soon as they were available, and one specifically for "the kids" by the time I was in Jr. High. We went to the same high school that the founders of Apple Computers had, so our school district was well equipped very early on.

The internet system started emerging by the time I was in college (at least that's when I became aware of it). I remember "chatting" over the Gopher system that connected universities. It was such a thrill to feel that connection!

Now, of course, some of my best friends are ones that I have never truly met. (Not yet!) I log on as I walk through the house turning on lights, getting coffee started, and well before I can really be considered awake. There are several digital scrapbooking sites, blogs, and other art related sites that I visit daily; and I frankly think that I would go into convulsions if I couldn't.

It is so amazing how the world is changing and shrinking. Of course, it makes vacation plans a lot harder to make. I want to go visit my friends all over America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa! Where to go first?
Oh, and the mouse count is up to ten!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Score Card

Just a quick update:

My van was run through the dishwasher today. We're now in the middle of a HUGE thunderstorm.

Both front and back lawns have been mowed. Front one needs it again already.

Daddy has taken Emma out of the house during naptime twice now. I keep forgetting to take advantage of that time and sleep.

Oh, and the mouse situation? As of five minutes ago, it's mice - 0, Jason - 6. Yay!
(EDIT as of Friday morning: mice - 0, Jason - 7)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Books from Childhood

Did anybody not love Goodnight Moon? Now that I'm a mommy, I read it every day. At least twice, but usually more than that; plus reciting it from memory while George turns the pages as I unload the dishwasher, put on make-up, walk through the house, eat... you get the idea. But I remember loving it too. Something about the simple rhythms and rhymes.

But really, I find the "goodnight nobody" page a bit unnerving. Just me?

If you look closely at the picture, you'll see the corners of the book are cut. That's because Emma used to chew on this book. She chewed on a lot of books. Luckily, she grew out of that, because I hate to throw out books, even the chewed ones.

Following Glynis' example, I've started reading Charlotte's Web to Emma. That was another one of my favorites as I got a bit older. Emma is fascinated by it, because she's had the movie for a couple of years. It actually is very true to the book, down to the smallest bit of dialogue. (Charlotte's Web II is a travesty of animation, don't waste your time or money.)

I loved, and still own, all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Chronicles of Narnia, Louisa May Alcott's books, Shel Silverstein poetry (especially the book "The Giving Tree", makes me cry every time), The Poky Little Puppy, and so many more. They all sit on Emma and George's shelves now, along with countless others. I can't wait to read some of them again with my kids. In fact, I'm going to go dig out the Narnia books, I want to read those again now!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Home, Sweet, Home!!

Jason knew exactly what I would want as a souvenier! The trip yesterday went smoothly for all of us. Jason had a row to himself on the plane, so it didn't feel too crowded. He was up for 24 hours yesterday, so he was justifiably exhausted by the time we got home. But then again, so were we all. The kids spent most of the day in the car and didn't get naps, but handled it all really well.
I am so thankful to have family near the airport. After 2 1/2 hours in the car, we were able to go to someone's home, have a snack, go for a nice walk, visit, and check flight info. We left my cousin's house shortly after when we knew Jason's flight had landed and as we walked into the International baggage claim area, he was emerging from customs. Perfect timing!! The kids came unglued! Well, actually, they came glued. Stuck themselves to their Daddy and didn't let go. George literally climbed up Jason and got himself onto his shoulders (his favorite seat), and Emma hugged him so hard she cut off circulation to his legs! Oh yeah, I was excited too! We are so glad to have him home.
We lucked out with traffic and got out of the Metro area fairly quickly. We stopped at McD's shortly after to let the kids go crazy at a Playplace while Jason and I inhaled some food. All in all, the day was long, but good. Oh, and guess what I saw out my window this morning?


Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Little Tattle Tale

Okay all you parents out there, I need advice! My 5 year old was taught repeatedly in preschool to let the teachers know if any of the students were doing something wrong. They kept a close watch on behavior and manners. And I reinforced it by asking her, when she would come home with tales of hitting, if she had told the teachers. I wanted to help her become someone who walks away from violence, instead of reacting. And similarly, her teachers were big on using words to solve problems, instead of physical interactions. So basically, what we've created is a tattle tale.

Which I don't mind to some degree. I always want her to feel she can come to me with problems. And she helps me keep an eye on George (although she does feel the need to tell me of even the smallest rule infractions, all day, every day). The problem arises when she plays with her friends. There is a family on our street that has a daughter close in age to Emma. On a street full of boys, this little girl is, by default, Emma's best friend. This family is nice enough, and I'm glad Emma has a friend close by, but their rules and behavior are much different from ours. I could go on and on about that, but suffice it to say that when the girls get together there is a LOT of tattling going on. Again, I can deal with that....when they're at our house. But when she goes over there and complains to the other mom about bad behavior, well, it doesn't go over quite as well. And granted, she's VERY quick to tattle.

Which brings us to my question. How to temper this impulse? I'm trying to teach her to talk to the person breaking the rules first, not to run straight to the adults. But as we all know, little kids don't necessarily obey other kids. I don't want Emma to be a whiney kid that complains to the adults, every time something doesn't go her way. But heck, I also don't want her getting hit! It's so hard to teach that fine line between dealing with something yourself, and getting someone else involved. How did/do you do it?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Honey Do List!

So, Jason's away for just a couple more days, but I happen to know he's checking this blog regularly. Do you think if I post my Honey Do list here, it has a higher chance of getting done? Or maybe it's the guilt from being away for two weeks that will do it.

The grass. It is long.
The weeds. They are longer.
The mouse in our garage. Lives on.
The cars. They are dirty.
The mommy. She is tired.

Looking forward to Monday. Don't miss your flight, okay?

Friday, June 02, 2006

One thing we did today

Educational plans

What would I study if I could go back to school?

I would love to take more classes in Linguistics. I took one accent and dialect class and it was FASCINATING. Studying the roots of the different English dialects was amazing, I'd love to do more.

I wouldn't mind finishing out the Theatre degree I started. I actually think I'm only a couple of credits away. But when I switched schools, there were no Theatre classes so I couldn't take those last few.

I never conquered German. I would like to feel like I could have a real conversation in another language.

I need to study Web design and technology. If we ever get our ranch, I'll need it for advertising. Then again, Beth can do that for me!

Someone else mentioned photography, I would like to do that too. I'm good, but I would like to be great.

More Literature classes, I loved those.

Oh heck, just being back on a college campus would be great! There is always so much energy and you can feel your brain cells expanding!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Meme of 5

Alright Pat, you got me to play, but don't say I didn't warn you!

5 things in my fridge: The first things I see when I open the door are - moldy green beans, the biggest container of Country Crock my husband could possibly find on this planet, milk, multiple kinds of cheese, a bread drawer full of bags containing one roll or one tortilla or one bun or one slice of bread.

5 items in my closet: Make-up to hide dark circles and make me not look deathly ill, my husband's uniforms, various clothes left over from my working days that I somehow can't get rid of, shoes for fancy clothes I never wear, toys we're hiding from the kids for various reasons.

5 items in my purse: Hahahahahaha! I love how you termed it "my" purse! I have four teddy grahams and assorted teddy graham limbs, Emma's sunglasses, Kleenex, Sesame Street bandaids, and an empty juice cup (not mine).

5 items in my car: Two full-size Magna-Doodles (the two car-sized ones are in the house, go figure), 5 million kid CDs and a dozen adult CDs with dust on them, my cat-eye sunglasses, Emma's school ID that we no longer need, and a tarp. What?

5 people to tag: I'm so not subjecting anyone else to this horror!! However, anyone that chooses to may do it, and let me know so I can come laugh at your messes!


When I gave out the prompt this morning, I thought that I'd be writing all about Emma's first day of summer and all that entails. Well, we've had some other firsts today, so I'll just make a list.

Today was Emma's first day of summer vacation.

DSU 198 launched for the first time (of many, I hope).

Today was the first time I was able to have someone outside our family watch George (while he was awake) without him screaming until my return.

I locked myself out of the house for the first time. The spare keys were inside. Convenient, no? Luckily, we haven't yet fixed the lock on one of our doors that is fairly easy to pop.

I signed my first born up for Kindergarten.

I completely forgot that today was Thursday and that George has speech therapy on Thursdays. For the first time, we were late. (Good thing I know the cops' hiding places!)

As much as I don't want to venture out into the muggy heat, I may have to use our new lawnmower for the first time. I'm afraid the lawn might swallow our kids and it's scheduled to thunderstorm off and on for the next few days.

It's only 2:30, I kinda hope there aren't anymore firsts today, I'm tired!