Sunday, August 31, 2008

Grateful Sunday

Time to get back to grateful Sundays. I had fallen off the wagon.
This Sunday I am grateful for:
1. Mr. Handsome (see above).
2. My helper elf (see below). She actually made me crawl inside a kitchen cabinet with her today, and get the cabinet door closed...not an easy feat.
3. J doing such an awesome job of helping me teach her Sunday School class today. She provided thoughtful and accurate answers to all of my questions, while I attempted to keep the other students under some semblance of control.
4. B writing out her own talk on Baptism, and delivering it without any help today. She did a great job, and spoke loudly and clearly (she's already better than me at age 7).
5. Daniel's sense of humor and comedic timing. He's been good at diffusing my stress this week with well placed levity.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Maybe a 4 day weekend?

You have to look on the bright side right? I'm nothing if not optimistic.It appears that I will be spending my long weekend cleaning, washing clothes and sheets, charging batteries and Nintendo DSs, etc. I don't want to be caught with no clean clothes, a dirty house, and no entertainment in the event of a power outage. Sigh.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Nicest Thing

For some reason I was thinking lately about nice things that people have said to me. Don't ask me why. Maybe it is because it seems lately I've been hearing a lot about things that offend people. Sometimes it is surprising, as I am sure the offender in most of these cases has no idea that what they are saying could be construed as offensive. I've also been on the offended end of random stranger comments recently like..."You know what causes that right?", in reference to my 4 children. Ummm, yeah...why would anyone purposefully have 4 beautiful children? It must have been an accident right? I swear, if I hear that one more time...sigh. The man saying it had 2 children. Those children were a boy and girl bearing the exact same full name as he and his wife. I could have said something about the ego that must be involved in naming all of your children after yourself, but I didn't. I digress.

The nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me, actually came from 2 or 3 separate people, and was the same sentiment phrased in several ways. When we were selling our first home (a tiny little house in a questionable neighborhood), several of the people who came to view it said..."There is SO MUCH love here". They said it in sort of a gasping way to imply that they could feel...from being in our home...how much love we had for each other, and our children. If that is the feeling that my home evokes, I should not care that it is not always clean, has unfinished projects abounding, and is not fancy. I have already succeeded. Now, if only I could remember that, instead of being mentally bogged down by the rest of it, life would be easier.

Let me know that I am not talking to the air, and tell me... What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Crammy" & "Crappy"

I'm making my grocery list using the online ad as usual. L came into my room to greet the day and start laying down the crazy. She wakes up in turbo mode, there is no middle ground. I was explaining that Daddy had to go to work early for a meeting (international phone conference as usual, hence the 7am start time). She was looking for him. I told her that after we take "scissors" (sisters) to school, we are going to Grammy's house. She was excited to hear that, and started chanting "Crammy & Crappy house"...lovely. She's a delicate flower I tell you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Opportunity For Service

Dear Readers,

It seems that everyone I know in the blog world knows, or is indirectly associated with Stephanie Nielson of the Nie Nie Dialogues. I have to admit, I hadn't come across her blog until after the recent tragedy that has impacted her family, friends, and the blogosphere. It is quite difficult not to think about this sweet family, and all they are going through. Having 4 small children of my own...I can not stop thinking about them.

There is quite an extensive fundraising event taking place tomorrow. My closest indirect connection to NieNie, is through my friend (and regular commenter here at the Pod) Leslie. So, when Leslie decided to participate in the silent auction activities tomorrow, I decided to donate to her auction listings, rather than try to run my own auction here. Thanks to Leslie for letting me join in, and doing all the work. If you feel so inclined to help in the long recovery process of this sweet family, go to A Room Somewhere tomorrow and join in the silent auction, or click the donate button to the right. If you can't do either of those things...pray. Praying costs nothing...nothing but a little faith. Hug your babies.

Love,
E

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Days With The Babies

X discovered his feet in the past few days. He still feels no immediate rush to consistently roll over, or attempt any crawling maneuvers. He does spin in circles during his tummy time on the floor. He is still being held most of his waking hours, so I'm trying to wean him off of the constant holding.
He has also been playing with toys more and talking in his little man voice. Here is a photo of him talking and playing with a toy.
A late afternoon power nap on the love seat in my bedroom. He is obsessed with covering his face with blankets. He did this himself.
L thinks that if she covers her head with a blanket, no one can see her. I remember vividly my little brother doing the same thing 20+ years ago. I don't have the heart to tell her that baby blanket is not an invisibility cloak.

So far, L and I have spent our days this week taking care of X, playing games, building with Lincoln Logs and Playdoh, snacking/eating, and napping. We're going to have to start branching out soon. We can't stay home forever.

Monday, August 25, 2008

1st day report

B...
favorite thing: finding out my teacher and I share the same hobbies

J...
favorite thing: recess

I'm Torn

It's been 3 hours. 3 hours of alone. 3 hours of quiet. 3 hours of trying to entertain myself, because I've forgotten how to be alone. Nap time, it's great. I appreciate them taking this 3 hour nap, but I'm still a little bored. No one is asking for snacks, or to play Princess Yahtzee Jr. It's one of those moments in life where you have to find a new normal. It happens after each baby is born, and I've learned now that it happens as each of them starts school too. Don't get me wrong, there are millions of things that I need to get done. I'm just sort of trying to find a new routine, and a place to start. I'll bet my little J-bean is getting really tired right about now. I'm counting the minutes until I need to wake up the babies and walk down to get them...15 minutes...14 minutes. Oh for goodness' sake, it's taking forever!!!

First Day of School

Here are our obligatory first day of school photos. My lens kept fogging up from the crazy humidity, and I had an unknown smudge. So, these are not great photos, que sera.

J and her Kindergarten teacher. She got a little nervous at the last moment. Of course the smudge on my lens was right on her face in this one...grrr.

It's very, very strange having 2 tiny peas at home again. I haven't been alone with just little kids in ages (I had 2 babies at home of the same ages 5 years ago). When Daniel left for work this morning I felt like the grandpa on that commercial where the parents hand the twin infants over to the visiting grandparents and hop in a cab for a vacation. "Don't leave me with the babies!" I miss my girls. Maybe my house will stay semi clean now that they are in school. You have to look on the bright side, right?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Goodbye Summer

They are like a bunch of little old ladies. After they exhausted their water balloon supply, they took their chairs in the pool and started chatting.
This little dragon is not going to know what to do with herself come Monday morning. Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meet the Teacher

Yesterday was a busy day. We had Kindergarten Orientation at 11am. It went well. My only concern is that classes are so overcrowded that a new teacher is being hired and some kids will be drafted off all existing classes. I don't want J to get traded (I did in Kindergarten...I still remember it). Then, we ran to lunch and the grocery store (Grammy of course was along for all of this crazy business and watching kids during Meet the Teacher). We raced back home and tossed a load of kids and groceries in the house, then ran back to B's 2pm Meet the Teacher. It also went well, though she is in a portable this year. I don't really mind portables, and she didn't care either. We were excited that she has her own desk this year. K-1 had shared tables. We loaded her supplies into her desk, met her teacher, talked to friends who are in her class again this year, and came home.

Coach Daddy ran his first practice. It was a rainy day and only 2 other kids showed up. So, B&L participated in practice too.
Monday is the big day for back to school!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good- I consumed an entire banana (I hate bananas), and baked with all 3 girls without wanting to strangle anyone. They are very thorough banana mashers.
The Bad- Baking = dirty dishes
The Ugly- I ate 8 of these bad boys which is how I managed to consume the one banana...man were they good. At least they were mini-muffins and not full sized.

The Good- B folded and put away her own basket of laundry
The Bad- I feel like a horrible person for asking her to fold her own laundry.
The Ugly- The girl uses about 7 bath towels every week! Maybe now she'll think twice.The Good- The girls both worked on their workbooks today after a long hiatus.
The Bad- They did not nearly finish as much work as we had hoped this summer.
The Ugly- See Ms. Marker Face belowThe Good- The girls still want us all to be pirates for Halloween this year, and I think that I will be able to adapt this Esmeralda costume to be L's pirate costume (what do you think?)
The Bad- That leaves 5 more pirate ensembles to pull together (yes they expect the adults to be dressed as pirates too)
The Ugly- I'm not exactly a seamstress and I hate spending a lot of money on things with a limited use
Okay, my last name has been removed from my articles. You are welcome to click on over to Deal Spice, and read them there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poor Guy

He is not enjoying giving a "piggy wide" to "Dough-wa" (piggy back ride to Dora). He's also been forced to wear a pink flower petal headband several times recently, and he can't even fight back. Telling him that he looks like a stegosaurus with the giant pink petals on his head...did not ease his suffering.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Coming...

Next week, on this day my little girl will be a full time Kindergarten student. I'm feeling a bit weepy about it. Daniel wouldn't understand. So I'm here...venting it forth into the blogosphere. I can't believe it's here. I cried when B started Kindergarten, but she's always been my big girl, since she was 20 months old...and she was SO READY to start school that I couldn't help but be happy for her, even though I missed her being home. In that vein, I sense that the experience will be repeated with L. She shares her sister's independent, fear nothing personality. I expect she will march off to Kindergarten in 3 years and not look back at her weeping mother for even a second.

Oh but J, she was my baby for a LONG time (3.5 years to be exact). We still carried her around, and treated her like a baby when she was a very big girl. She has battled extreme sensitivity and shyness for most of her life, and she is changing so much now. In the past year, she has really come out of her shell, but I still fear Kindergarten. What if everyone is not nice to her? If she gets teased, she may run into a corner and cry for an hour. I hope she makes some friends. She's always had B as a friend, and hasn't needed to develop many other relationships. She's still so fragile in some ways. She is also so extremely perceptive and sensitive toward other people (that's the positive side of the sensitive/shy coin). I know that she is ready for school, I'm just concerned about the emotional aspect of the social scene she is about to enter. It makes me sick to my stomach. Sigh.

Monday will be rough leaving both of them down the street at school. It sounds strange to say I will be lonely with L&X to keep me company. It's true though. I've grown accustomed to being in the middle of a swarm of activity at all times.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Long Lost Foods

Do you crave foods that don't exist anymore, or that you don't have access to? I read a thread about this on another site earlier. I often think about foods that I can't have. Does that make me a food addict? Here are a few of mine...

1. Publix Moose Tracks ice cream. We don't have Publix in TX, so I ate some on our vacation...heaven. Also, Publix sub sandwiches (I'm wishing I had gotten one before we left to come home)

2. Jello Pudding Pops. Why, oh why do they not make them anymore?

3. Checkers Cajun Burger. Not only do we not have Checkers here, but they stopped making the Cajun Burger years ago. It was delicious.

4. Park Avenue BBQ (also in Florida) baby back ribs, fries, coleslaw, and lots and lots of sauce.

What foods do you long for?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Soduku

I don't know how you feel about Soduku. I'll say that I have tried (and failed) to figure out how to do it on two or three occasions in the past. I understood the rules. I just couldn't grasp the method of deductive reasoning involved. So of course I told Daniel it was stupid, and refused to try it again. I'm mature aren't I?

While on vacation, supposedly relaxing, I decided to pick up B's Nintendo DS and play a little Brain Age 2. My brain age is currently 35 (though one day it hit an all time high of 56...not a proud day). There is an extensive Soduku collection included in this game, so I decided to give it one more go. I solved my first puzzle in about an hour. Ping! (that's the sound of the lightbulb over my head turning on)

Since that glorious day last week, I've been channeling my inner mathlete regularly. On my last attempt a few days ago, I solved my puzzle in 16 minutes. Don't fear my awesomeness. Watch out elementary school Soduku players...I've got your number!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The PRESSURE!!!

It makes me nervous when I'm expected to have something worthwhile to say.

For example, I'm going to be teaching a one night coupon/bargain hunting class in my home next month for a group of church ladies (September 16 if you are local, and know me in real life). When they asked me to do it, I said, "sure, no problem". Now, I'm nervous that I won't be interesting or knowledgeable enough to do it. Not to mention the unfinished construction project of a wall in my family room. Don't get me started.

Example number two: After reviewing my blogs, I made it to the final cuts blogging about Deals/Money Saving on a particular blog network. I'm on trial (that's what it feels like) for 2 weeks, until they make a final decision. Now, to overcome the feeling that nothing I have to say is interesting enough...that is the problem. I finally posted my first post for them today. I would link it...but I'm under my real name there. Since I don't use my full name here...you'll have to email me if you want to see it for some reason.

The pressure to be interesting! THE PRESSURE!!! (faints)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Photos From Today

How cute are they?

Why do all of my children have a passion for mopping? They do NOT get that from me.
Testing out the new bikes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

HELP! I Love Onions

I love onions. My baby's digestive system...decidedly does not. I've had to give up onions for the past few weeks and it is really starting to get to me. I've run out of things to cook that don't have any onion in them. Any recipe recommendations? I'd kill for a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup right now...but I won't make it without onion. What would be the point? Sigh.

Hello? (a stream of conciousness)

Hello.
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Am I the only one who quotes song lyrics in my head regularly as part of my inner dialogue? Can you really call it "inner dialogue"? Wouldn't it really be "inner monologue"?

Sometimes when no one comments for a handful of posts...I start to feel like I'm talking to myself. Am I talking to myself?

Self...here's another question... Am I the only person in the world who didn't watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics? I didn't even notice they had started until I showed up at my parents house on Sunday and they were on. I'm too busy to watch.

Daniel went back to work today after being on vacation for over a week. It stinks.

I went back to exercising with my entourage this morning. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. J needs a new bike. Hers is way too small, and she ran over my foot twice this morning.

B&J are BORED and ready to go back to school. B was asking me yesterday, why when she's in school she wants to be out of school, and when she is out of school, she wants to be in school. I couldn't really help her with that quandary. The grass is always greener, I suppose.

B&J got haircuts this weekend. Now, they just need to pick out lunchboxes and they will be ready for school. I don't know if I'm ready for J to be gone all day. She's beyond ready though, so I think I will have to deal with it. How will L deal with it? I'm guessing not very well.

THE END

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Family Birthmark

Most of my children have had a birthmark that runs in Daniel's family. It has already faded on X to be almost invisible. I can't remember which of the older girls had it (I think one did and one didn't but I'm not sure which). L's is the most prominent and hasn't faded too much to photograph yet. Daniel's is almost invisible now (it seems that this particular birthmark always fades with age). So, I took a picture of it...for posterity. It has always been on the right side of their chests, same as their Daddy.

My Easy Granola

I've become completely obsessed with granola in the past month. I CAN NOT get enough of it. I'm just using a modified easy recipe. I have intentions to change over to possibly oat groats (if they will work, I need to consult my sister-in-law who uses oat groats a lot). I also want to try adding flax seed and/or possibly wheat germ. For now, this is what I've been using, because it is what I've had on hand...

I don't measure carefully...
3 heaping cups of Oats
1 heaping cup of Cheerios
3 TBSP brown sugar
cinnamon (not pictured just a couple of shakes if you want...I just ran out)
2 TBSP butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup applesauce
a handful of dried apples or raisins (I used raisins this time) *measure out about 1/3 cup of honey-I just throw on top, about 1/2 cup of applesauce-melt 2 TBSP of butter in a saucepan on medium heat, then toss in the applesauce and honey. Bring to a good solid all over bubbling. Let bubble for 1 min, then remove from heat.

-help your potty training kitchen elf put her pull-up back on. Then wash your hands again.-toss 3 heaping cups of oats in a bowl
-add 3 TBSP of brown sugar-add a heaping cup of Cheerios and a couple of shakes of cinnamon if you want, then mix-pour on your liquid and mix up until it looks like this...-spread it our on an ugly old baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about an hour

-mix it around every 15-20 minutes until it is evenly dried-give aforementioned granola loving elf some raisins in your measuring cup to appease her.-take tray out of oven and sprinkle on dried fruit. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container. Try to stretch your granola out for a week when what you really want to do is pour some milk over the top and stick a spoon in, and eat the whole container.Try not to be resentful toward your toddler when they decide your granola is better than cereal and try to eat it all. Next week, I may need to make a double batch to account for this problem.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Cleaned My Room

I feel like a 5 year old when I say that. It's true though. Today, I made another batch of granola. I really can't get enough of it. I took pictures of the process and will hopefully get a chance to post them later. Then, Daniel took L&J out to run errands. B&X stayed home. X sat in his seat and yelled at me while I cleaned our bedroom. He doesn't like to be put down, like EVER. Our room was bad...real bad. It's totally clean now, and I feel like a new woman. Now, how to get my dear husband to help maintain the clean and not cover the floor in all manner of electronics again? I'll figure that out later.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ready or Not...

Here come some vacation photos. I'll try to keep the number down to a minimum. It helps that I didn't take a whole lot of pictures on this vacation. I was attempting to relax and not feel the need to photograph everything. We had a good time...other than the long drive.

The view from our condo.This one was an accidental photo, but I like it.
Look! It's a rarely seen ocean creature...the pasty white nerdy engineer.
L and her best friend "Qui-wt" (quilt) enjoying the ocean breezes on the balcony. Can't leave home without it.
L also became thoroughly obsessed with the large clear glass door shower in our condo.
X showing off his awesome firetruck/flame socks that his Aunt & Uncle sent him (he hasn't grown into the matching Robeez yet).
X's first beach experience. He wasn't a big fan of the occasional piece of sand that got in his hair and mouth, but he did fall asleep in the shade.
X's first time touching the ocean. Try not to be blinded by my white thighs and baby gut.
L would have happily swum out to sea if we had let go of her. She's absolutely a free spirit.
B loves the ocean and declared that Florida was her favorite state because..."A...I was born here. B...the beach..." me: "What about Disney World?" "Disney World is in Florida?!" I guess that would be C. You would think in her 5 trips to Disney World she would have picked up the fact that it is located in Florida. Selective memory.
B&J and I took several shell picking up walks in our last couple of days in Florida. Now, we need to figure out what to do with all of our little shells and coral bits. Here is a rare shot of J smiling. She doesn't like to smile for cameras.
I'm not great at photographing sunsets. Here is the best I could do without looking up what camera settings to use.

Things we did...
*spent a lot of time on the beach
*swam in the pool many times
*went miniature golfing and out for frozen custard with just B&J (Grammy/Grampy watched the little peas) We all got at least one hole in one. I won shooting one over par, and proceeded to gloat about possibly joining the LPGA tour.
*went on a date to dinner and the bookstore (just Daniel and I)
*went as a whole family to Fudpuckers
*played Wii together with an ocean view
*listened to several books on CD and played card games
*sat out on our 16th floor balcony talking and enjoying ocean breezes