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Archive for April, 2010

This week Dave cleaned the garage and found some old walkie talkies.  Mikey, who loves anything that could even vaguely be associated with the military, immediately recruited Marshall to play with him.  They walked all over the house and yard testing them out.  I felt like I was in the middle of a Verizon commercial. “Hello?  Hello?  Can you hear me?  Can you hear me now?  How about now?  Can you hear me?”  Of course, they were close enough that they didn’t even need the walkie talkies.

All of this talking, static and beeping peaked the twins’ interest.

Jacob really wanted to play with the big boys.  They were too busy testing the parameters to let Jacob in.  Eventually, he did what all of my children seem so fond of doing, he tattled.

“Mommy, I want to play with the Rollie Talkies!”

It doesn’t matter how much we correct him.  He always says Rollie Talkies.  I figure he’s just being politically correct.  Or maybe he’s got a soft spot for those in wheel chairs.

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I have a few new readers today.  We should do one of those ice breaking games.  Except I loathe those ice breaking games.  Instead, I’ll let you leave a comment.

The new readers have found their way here from the great vast Internet.  I’m sure you guys are parched.  I’ll offer you some yummy bread and wine.  Everyone loves wine (and this is still going on, let’s share a case).   I’m pretty sure that whatever you were looking for, you haven’t found. Believe me, I’ve spent quite a long time today looking for it.  I searched here on Word press, and on Google.  Did you know that you can refine your Google search to only blogs?  I don’t really know why you’d want to, but you can.

My new readers were looking for things like:

she has a good sleep I don’t know what directed them to my blog.  I haven’t had a good night sleep since 1997.  I might have obscurely mentioned coveting wanting a good night’s sleep, but I haven’t actually had one.

or maybe it’s this one: bermuda grass identification.  I may have overwhelmed my readers by writing about my yard more than should be literarily possible (yes, I just made that up), but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten quite that technical.

and this one just hurts: taller daughter.

And looks like I’m developing quite an international following.  Besides Emma, (who is nominated for a Mad Blog award, you should go vote now.  Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you’re done.)  it seems like I have the  scientific-crowd-who-speaks-a-foreign-language looking for anatomi tubuh.  I looked it up on Google, but I wasn’t able to figure out what language it’s in.  Turns out that probably has something to do with this.

and whoever came looking for cool middle names you are very welcome.  I’m not sure if Danger and Adventure are cool enough for you, but you are welcome.  Or maybe they are too cool.  If you were looking for something like Ysabella or Imagine, then mine might be a little too cool for you.  It could be worse, our babies were very close to being Lewis Danger and Clarke Adventure.  Dave vetoed them though.  Turns out, he’s not quite as cool of a husband as I am a wife.  Nonetheless, if you and your husband are now arguing over Danger and Adventure, I’m sorry.

and WAAAAA.  I feel for you.  I really do. I have twin toddlers who happen to both be sick right now.  Sister, I know.

and soaking wet children.  I don’t know what to say to that one.  Hopefully the 4 of you aren’t pedophiles.  If you are, I’m glad for dave being a little bit paranoid.  And if you aren’t, I’d appreciate an explanation.  Why were you looking for soaking wet children? and did you find them?

Google what were you thinking with this one? Floor mirror with drawer? Not really my expertise.

My favorite: What is overactive ovaries? Well, I guess it’s me and my amazing ovaries which spits out two eggs at a time.   I guess this might be a good place to start if you too have over active ovaries.

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Being a Good Daddy

When we moved into our house everyone gave us chairs.  I’m not sure what gave everyone the impression that we needed chairs.  Maybe we look like the sort of people that need to sit down.  Or maybe we look like the sort of people that like to sit down.  Whatever the reason, we must have given out the impression that we were short in the chair department.

We were given a reclining rocking chair, a red step stool, 2 fold out chairs, half a dozen folding chairs, a small kid’s recliner, 2 childrens rocking chairs, a dining room set and 2 kids wooden chairs.  Our very large “formal” room was full of chairs. for awhile we called it “The Chair Room”.  Eventually everything found a place in the house except for the kids sized furniture.   Then the room was called “The Little People Room”.  And then all of the little furniture found a place.

Since we had several small chairs, they’re all over the house.  Most of them have books and blankets on them to encourage impromptu reading and cuddling.   I think the only rooms that don’t have little chairs in them are the bathrooms.   Honestly though, I should put some in there too. Our bathrooms don’t seem to have the normal occupancy of one, but rather an average occupancy of 2-3.   I can’t seem to pee in peace!  With a small chair in there at least the kids would have somewhere to sit.  Knowing my kids though, they would be fighting over who got to sit in the chair.

Mostly who sits in the little chairs is Marshall.  Marshall may technically fit, but I doubt that an almost ten-year-old was in the design specs for these cute chairs.  Dave has fixed the legs a number of times.

This weekend Dave has made quite a dent in his to do list.  Besides being an auto mechanic, a sprinkler installer, a gardener, a plumber, an electrician, and a fix-it man, he’s also a furniture repairman.  He fixed the rocker on the chair and left it in the middle of the hallway.

Nathaniel circled it like a wary animal encountering something strange in the wild.   He walked all the way around it and then turned around and walked around it the other way.  He tapped the rocker with his foot and watched it rock and then he tapped the other rocker.  He pushed the back of the chair and watched it rock.  I told him to sit in it, he looked at me like I was crazy.  I’m not sure if he expected the leg to collapse or it to bite him.  Dave told him to run up and get his dolly.

Nathaniel ran upstairs and returned with Jesse.  I thought for sure that he’d put her in the chair and rock her like crazy.  Instead he sat down and rocked her gently on his lap.  I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m being a Daddy.”

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Beautiful

I’ve blogged once or twice about my bread making prowess.  I don’t think anyone really cares about how beautiful my bread is, but I do.  I’m still not a master, more often than not, my bread turns out edible but not very pretty.  But this bread was so beautiful.  It was hard to cut it up.  It looked like I could have bought it at the bakery.  Really, that’s what matters.  Who cares what it tastes like if it looks that beautiful?

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I remember weighing myself when I got pregnant with my oldest.  I don’t know if it was intuitive of me, weighing myself with a pregnancy test in one hand,  but it would be the last time I’d see the scale so close to 100. I really should have commemorated that with a picture or something.  I was 108.  It would be my lowest adult weight.  Maybe that’s not true, maybe if I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, it would just be a blip on the scale to my adult body.  I  was barely out of puberty.  Heck, I was probably still in puberty.

During that pregnancy I gained 60 pounds.  Yes, 60!  One of my mom’s friends helped to prepare me to leave the hospital without losing any weight.  Miraculously, I think I pushed McKayla and 30 pounds out.  The best diet ever!  And that’s pretty much where I stayed, hovering around 130.  130 might seem ideal if you’re normal height, but I’m only 2 inches from being able to claim little people status.  I figure pretty soon, I’m going to start shrinking, and by the time I’m 70, I’m going to apply to be classified as a little person.  Two kids, a divorce, and a bachelor’s degree later: hovering, closer to 140, but hovering.

Then I was getting married.  I joined weight watchers.  I started running.  I hit an adult low, 122.  I felt pretty darn good about myself.

And then 1 month after the honeymoon, I was pregnant with twins.  I realized I was pregnant because of the debilitating morning all day sickness.  There was no way that I could continue running. I had a hard enough time standing upright, let alone trying to run.  I abandoned the Couch Potato to 5k on week 5 day 3.  And with the help of prescription drugs, the morning sickness slowly started to fade.  Dave tried to convince me to continue running, but I really wasn’t interested in running with a monstrous belly. I was really more interested in Neapolitan shakes from In-N-Out.

Eight months later, I birthed 2 beautiful healthy little boys.  And let’s just say that I hover around a slightly higher number on the scale now.

This is my year though.  31 is the new 30.  This is the year of claiming my body back, because there doesn’t seem to be any more babies in my over active ovaries’ future.  This is the year of the runner in me, if I have to drag her kicking and screaming out of my soft momma body.  And today, for the first time since before the twins, I completed week 5 of the Coach Potato.  For the first time since high school, I ran 20 minutes, non stop without feeling like I might keel over and die at any second.  I’m not saying I have my pre-pregnant body back, but I definitely have some endurance.  It’s rather exciting!

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We are studying California history.  For some reason in California all 4th graders are expected to make a mission.  I don’t know why.  There are lots of things that 4th graders could make:  presidios, forts, 3-D maps, Capital buildings, shoe box dioramas of the Donner Party complete with cannibalism stew.  I’m really not sure why all 4th grade teachers have their classes make mission models. But we do.  I’m sure it’s probably in the California standards somewhere.  If Marshall was interested in making some other kind of model, I’d happily let him, because here at BDB Academy, I have the authority to do pretty much whatever I want.  But alas, he’s had his heart set on a mission since going to the county fair and seeing the missions lined up in the Kids building.  Mike on the other hand has already started making his presidio.  He of course has decided that the Spanish are lacking in some defense, and is planning some improvements.  It will be less presidio, and more supreme army fort! (complete with fist pumps)

Since we started reading about the missions, Marshall’s been bugging me to make one.  We’ve finished the unit weeks ago, but I haven’t gotten my act together enough to start the construction project.  I was able to procrastinate divert his attention for a few days by making him choose which mission to do.  He was a little flabbergasted that he had to pick just one.  He was trying to convince me to let him make a small model of each one.  I don’t know if he planned to also make a large-scale model of the state of California to put them all on or if he planned to decorate our whole house in early California Mission motif.  I refused.  It seemed like both too much work and clutter.  After careful consideration he chose Mission Santa Clara.   But we’ve already been there, I made him pick a different one.  I told him that after he constructed the mission and wrote a report, we’d take a day trip.  He decided to pick mission San Diego so we could take a side trip to Legoland.  This required to much planning and money.  I vetoed it and coerced helped him pick, with some sly hints, “It’s by the beach” and “they have an amusement park” and “it rhymes with fuse”.  He chose Mission Santa Cruz.

I was really at a loss on how to build this mission.  I may be crafty, but I wouldn’t call myself creative.  Give me a plan to follow and I will.  Ask me to make the plan, pattern, or recipe and I’ll probably refuse.   The curriculum we’re using suggested making it out of sugar cubes.  I didn’t think the County Fair would appreciate having an ant smorgasboard, nor did I want to hold onto a ton of sugar until the fair.  It seemed like a recipe for disaster.  I could see the dog trying to eat it, the cat licking it, Nathaniel succeeding in eating it, and Marshall crying.  I thought about popsicle sticks, but that seemed like so many sticks, and so much work.  I found an amazing website that sells paper kits.  They send you a pdf file and you print the mission out on cardstock.  Cut it apart and it folds into an exact to scale mission.  Viola, easy!  It just seemed like cheating.

I was procrastinating.

Marshall found a book at the library all about Santa Cruz mission.  And at the back of the book,  directions on how to construct your very own mission.  It came complete with dimensions and everything.  We gathered supplies and he started cutting away.  Rather quickly it began to take form.  By day 2 he had gotten as far as he could.  We needed some roofing materials, and there the project lays, waiting for me to make my way to Michaels.  I sure hope that it doesn’t rain.  The padres and Ohlone Indians will be rather wet.

It’s been sitting by our kitchen table.  It’s also rather tempting for a 2-year-old boy, especially one who loves to play pretend.  This morning I found Nathaniel with an army guy trying to play with the mission.

Me:  Nathaniel, you can’t play with that.

Him:  It’s mine. (as he tries to fit a much too large army guy through the door)

Me:  No, it’s Marshall’s.  Please stop.  That guy is too big.  You’ll break it.

He left.  A few minutes later he was back with a smaller guy, lego Darth Vader.

Me:  Nathaniel, that’s Marshall’s leave it alone.

Him:  I have a smaller guy.  (touche)

Me:  I know, but it wasn’t built to play with.  Go find something else to do.

A few minutes later he brings a large helicopter (you can’t see it in the picture, but it’s what he’s looking at, hence his back to me).  The helicopter comes complete with sound effects and army men.

Me:  What are you doing?

Him:  I’m landing.

Me:  No you’re not.

Him:  Am.  In here (points inside the church.  I’m not sure how the padres would feel about that!)

Me:  NO!  This is Marshall’s you’re going to break it.

Him:  I not!  I play!

Me:  This wasn’t made to play.  It was made  to look at.

Him:  Why?

And for that I have no reason, because in 4th grade, that’s what we do.  We make missions, send them to the fair and hope for a ribbon.

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Brothers

Having a brother can be like having a best friend that lives in the same house.  And some days it can seem like your arch nemesis sleeps in the bunk below you.  Hopefully, there will be more memories of the former rather than the latter.

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Just a normal Tuesday

  • 6 loads of laundry
  • the dishwasher loaded and emptied and reloaded
  • some latin and guitar lessons
  • The library and story time
  • 24 books checked out
  • a short jaunt to the post office
  • a trip to Costco, lunch included
  • Marshall is about half done with his mission diorama.
  • Mckayla is half done sewing a tote bag.
  • Michael rediscovered the encyclopedias, a fort diorama has been plotted.
  • McKayla, off to civil air patrol in her dress blue uniform.

and here’s another one because it’s not often we see a genuine smile.

or a laugh that’s not laughing at us.

  • and a baseball game, complete with some able catching

and some pretty stellar pitching

    • and of course, lots of tom foolery.

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    Last year I joined the PTA.  I worked quite a few school events (Even after I pulled my kids out of school, I got phone calls until mid May asking for help).  I volunteered 10 hours a week at school in the classroom.  I was team mom for Mike’s soccer team.  I volunteered to be the team mom for Marshall, Michael and McKayla’s baseball teams.  I made 2 baseball banners by hand, from scratch.  I led Marshall’s cubscout den.  I hosted the annual homeschool Valentine’s party.  The list just goes on and on.

    This year I decided I’d let other people have the opportunity to volunteer.  This is “the year of not volunteering”.  I haven’t offered my services for anything.  Not even assistant to anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do plenty of stuff, I’m just not responsible for much.

    Sometimes “the year of not volunteering” bites you in the ass.

    Like when you’re asked at church what you’re doing to use your spiritual gifts.  Um, nothing.  I replied, I’m sorry, this is “the year of not volunteering”. I’m reserving my spiritual gifts for another year.

    It is also rather depressing when you are participating in a research survey over the telephone and realize you’re not very active any more.

    Her:  Have you attended a school or town hall meeting in the last year?

    Me:  No.

    Her:  Have you participated in a political group in the last year?

    Me: No.

    Her:  Are you part of a group that can make a difference in a political arena?

    Me:  No.

    Her: Did you call or write your congressman?

    Me: Nope.

    Her: Have you given a speech in the last year?

    Me:  Does talking to my kids count?

    Her: No.

    Me:  Well, no then.

    Her:  Have you marched in a rally?

    Me:  No.

    and it went on and on.   And at the end of the call, I felt like I needed to volunteer in some kind of political something.  Maybe that’s really what the survey was about.  They weren’t gathering data, they were trying to subtly shame and guilt us into taking a more active roll in politics.  If that is the case (since I operate on guilt) after a few more of these “surveys”  I probably will eventually be shamed and guilted into forming and/or heading some kind of political activist group.  Because that’s how I roll, I don’t just achieve, I overachieve.

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    And it’s over

    Please mark this as a first.  It may be the neatest egg dyeing experience ever.  This was the first year that entire hands and sometimes even appendages were not dyed a combination of blue, purple, and red.   This was the first year that not a single child spilled egg dye on their clothes.  We did loose an egg to the dog.  And quite a few ended up with a few cracks in them. But the dog is like a canine garbage can and the cracks make the deviled eggs more festive.

    We made Resurrection cookies, which is the easiest and yummiest recipe explaining the resurrection that I know of.    Marshmallows (Jesus) wrapped in Crescent rolls (the tomb) and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (myrrh).  Bake as directed on the package and

    abracadabra! Jesus dissapears from the tomb.  (Note to self, use mini Jesus’ (aka marshmallows) next year.  When the sully teen pointed out that Jesus did not dissapear from the tomb but rather oozed out of it, I quickly replied “Um, No! He left behind the holy spirit!”  How’s that for quick thinking.  But it doesn’t matter, the under 8 crowd was very impressed with Jesus’ magic. And Jacob emphatically said that he loved the holy spirit, it was delicious!  With traces of Jesus and the Holy Spirit all over them, the kids are sent upstairs to brush their teeth and go to bed.

    If you are a parent, this is when the real fun begins.  All of the Easter stuff is found from it’s very clever hiding place (next to my bed).  5 baskets are assembled.  174 eggs are stuffed with a small fortune in candy.  174 eggs are hidden.  Then the fun really begins.  We hide the kids’ baskets and then tie a piece of string to them.  We then proceed to unravel it all over the lower floor of our house.  This makes for an amazingly colorful spiderweb.  The first kid’s maze is easy, but by number 5, it becomes a more aerobic activity.  It’s like Chinese jumprope for sadists (or maybe it’s masochists, I can never remember which is which.)  Or maybe it’s like that scene from Entrapment with Cathrine Zeta Jones, but with less gymnastics.  Nonetheless, it involves lots of ducking and clever foot placement.  And then finally, it’s bedtime for the parents.  We of course bring scissors upstairs with us in case of an emergency.  That way we can cut our way to safety.

    McKayla was very unhappy to have to work for her basket.  She tried in vain to convince us to forgo her yarn maze.  She even offered giving up her Easter basket all together.  We of course refused to leave her out.  We tried very hard to make her experience the most adventurous. We made sure she went from room to room and then back again.  She must have had to go under the table quite a few times.  I figure I’m really doing her a favor, it’s like preburning Easter candy calories.


    Mike on the other hand, was the most excited to play.  He ran from room to room, jumped over furniture, scurried under tables.   He didn’t even bat an eye or cry a tear when he was last to find his basket.  He was happy to roll up the yarn.

    Marshall was a kid on a mission. Nathaniel refused to put down Mr. Potato heads popcorn.  This is the favorite toy lately.  Why?  I have no idea.  What you can’t see in the photo is Frank the Cat.  He kept walkign back and forth in front of the kids.  It was almost like he was taunting them.

    Victory!  It belonged to the toddlers for quite awhile.  This gave them a lot of time to go through their baskets.  It also gave them a lot of time to scope out all of the hidden eggs.

    And as soon as the last kid raveled up the last of the yarn, perused the last of the treasures in their baskets, the hunt was on!  Faster than it took me to hide the 174 eggs, they were gathered.  The pagan festivities were over and we went off to church.

    May your Easter have been blessed with our amazing Savior who rose and conquered the grave.

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