Friday, May 28, 2010

Guess what's super fun when it's the summer of 1986 and you are 8 years old...but not so fun when you are 31 years old? A Slip and Slide. Ouch. Save yourself the pain and don't try it.
Percy is a big fan of balancing himself on the back of the couch. It is one of his favorite perches. I wonder how all the girls managed to synchronize their blinking with my attempt to take a photograph?

Naps are for sissies

He came out of his room screaming from a very short nap. I waited about 30 seconds to come out of my room and address the issue...this is what I found. I guess he wasn't quite as AWAKE as he thought he was.

telescope

Bella got an inexpensive telescope as one of her birthday presents. It's actually pretty cool. While Daddy and the girls were examining the moon at dusk, the lunatic was doing the following, about 100 times in rapid succession...


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why do the last couple of weeks before school gets out feel like an eternity? Childcare, Chauffering, cleaning, working, and sleeping are still taking precedence over blogging. Maybe one of these months I'll get around to posting about our cruise from April!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

9th Birthday

I can not believe that Bella is turning 9 today! It is insanity. Happy Birthday Bells! You are an amazing kid. You are so smart and kind and beautiful...it is almost unbelievable.

We are squeezing in pizza and presents tonight between school and swim practice, planning her birthday dinner and cake for Sunday afternoon, and her chosen outing of beach camping soon after school gets out! It's a busy time of year for a birthday, but she is loving swim team so much, that she doesn't even want to take a day off for her birthday.

Victory

I have finally foiled the birds and squirrels with a combination of bird netting and a hunting dog. The squirrels are afraid of Percy. The first day that I put the bird net up 2 birds figured out how to get under it and got stuck. They were screeching and flapping and then Percy tried to attack them (luckily I caught him before he could). Ever since then, the birds just sit on the arbor and look at the net. I have harvested a ton of grape and cherry tomatoes already, and there are hundreds more getting ready to ripen. Some of the grape tomatoes were so big they look more like romas.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Percy can not get enough of this type of attention. Leia happily complies.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Goofball

Seriously, no one can resist the appeal of these shoes. They see a lot of action. Someone is always coming out of my closet with them like buried treasure. This goofball was doing a self proclaimed "egyptian dance" while wearing goggles, a swimsuit, soccer shorts, and THE shoes. It will be a miracle if they last a month without having a heel cracked off or something.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pumpkin Farmer


I decided, why put off until tomorrow what I could do today. So, we talked about how long trees take to grow, and I offered up some supplies to grow something that would grow much faster...pumpkin seeds. She did everything by herself. Putting soil in her pot, planting the seeds, carrying it over to the spot where she insisted on growing it (same little spot where she was trying to grow a tree), and watered it. Cross your fingers that we'll be able to successfully produce a pumpkin for her. She's already planning to carve it for Halloween. I have grown a pumpkin in the backyard before, so hopefully that bodes well for our project.




Thursday, May 13, 2010

The gardener

For the past few days Leia has been found intermittently hunched over a little patch of dirt in the backyard landscape bed with a shovel and little pink princess bucket. She's been digging around and watering. Every time I ask her what's going on she says with a tone of dismissal, "I'm just working on something here." Finally this afternoon after spotting her hunched over her wet spot of dirt again with the shovel she explained that she was working on growing a tree. She said, "It's gonna be really great." "I'm just working on growing a tree right here." I asked her if she had planted a seed. She said she had found a seed and planted it. She's been watering the same spot for 3 days now anxiously awaiting progress on the "tree". I could eat that kid with a spoon she's so cute. Not sure how to handle the fact that no tree is going to grow there though. I'm thinking I'll give her some seeds, dirt and a pot tomorrow and let her focus all of this gardening interest on something with an actual chance of producing a result for her. So, so cute.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Miscellany

I feel like I'm only blogging about events lately. That's lame of me. Subscribing to this blog probably feels like being forced to endure a powerpoint presentation of someone's vacation photos.

There have been a lot of teacher layoffs going on around here lately. Someone told me today that a local principal was bragging that she managed to layoff all special ed personnel with the cuts and so didn't have to layoff any "real teachers". I've been stewing about it all afternoon. It's infuriating. I hope that decision and mentality comes back to bite her...HARD. Nothing like robbing children without a voice of their legally guaranteed services. It makes my skin crawl. I'm trying not to think about it. Also after spending several years (a lifetime ago) in the trenches on my hands and knees trying to help children with severe disabilities achieve real goals that would improve the quality of their lives...I take the sentiment that we aren't "real teachers" quite personally. I hope the parents of those students revolt.

The kids have started swimming 4 days a week. So far, we're surviving. Daniel has been showing up in the middle so that the little guys can go home and not have to stay for Bella's practice.

Xander is going through the terrible 2's hardcore. He talks non stop and yet so little of it is understandable that he is constantly frustrated and throwing tantrums. It doesn't help that he's only napping about 3-4 times/week now.

Bella has started solving and plotting out algebraic equations on self drawn graphs for fun in her spare time at school. Daniel taught her how to do it, and she's really taken to it...cough...nerd.

Juli and Bella have decided to do a switch. Juli was always the cleaner sister, while Bella was sort of wild and cluttered. Recently Bella's room has seemed to stay generally clean all of the time, while Juli's room often looks like a bomb hit it. Hopefully it is a phase...for Juli. Bella is welcome to remain orderly for the long run, lol.

Leia has been really funny lately. She's also been really emotional, requiring a lot of heart to heart talks about her feelings on every topic you can imagine. Her worldview is expanding and watching her try to make sense of things is often hilarious.

I decided to take a break from Percy Jackson between books 2 and 3. I've been meaning to start a biography of J.M. Barrie called Neverland that I picked up from the library last week. I haven't had time to start it yet though.

My stream of consciousness is now complete. Xander just walked in wearing only a saggy diaper and carrying a violin case...like some type of baby gangster. Time to change another diaper and gather everyone up for swim practice...again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Swimming

Leia started swim school last week to prepare for swim team this summer. And by prepare I mean...learn to swim. Luckily you don't have to know how to swim for the first month of swim team, and you practice 4 times/week. We hope to have her swimming ASAP, so we added swim school to hedge our bets. These photos were taken during her first lesson. She loves it! But that means swimming 6 times per week this month. Which is way beyond my ideal extracurricular schedule. I hate to have them that busy. I hate to be that busy myself. I only enrolled her in swim school for May, so after that it will be 4 times per week through mid July, just like her sisters. I would rather she not be doing swim team this year, but know that if I didn't allow her to join, she would not be a happy camper sitting out and watching her sisters practice almost daily. Today started her second week of lessons and she is going way underwater without a problem already...so I'm hopeful. She just needs to learn the actual physical technique of swimming. She has no fear of the water at all.

Medical Museum


I chaperoned Bella's field trip to the Museum of Medical Science last Friday. Thanks to Grammy for holding down the fort. The main events were: a cow eyeball dissection and lecture about vision, scavenger hunt through a large "inside your body" type of area, and a 3D movie called Planet You (I think). Then they had lunch at the park, and headed back home. Field trip time means we're spiraling toward summer. Boy am I ready!

Spring Recital



Bella and Julianne had their spring recital on Friday. J had one of her classic shyness/anxiety breakdowns, so I don't have a good video to post for her. I had to drop the camera and stand up with her so that she could finish the song. She started to cry a little right before she went up from nerves...and that just kind of threw the whole thing off and made her unable to concentrate on playing. She toughed it out though and finished the song...definitely proud of her for standing up there and continuing to play even though she was afraid and everyone was looking at her.

This officially ends music lessons for the summer. Our only plan for the summer is swim team for all 3 girls and a lot of down time. :)

Here is Bella's video. J's will be up later. She said I could record her playing it at home for the blog. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bugz Play



Julianne performed in her 1st grade Bugz Play last month. She was granted her requested role of firefly (if you ask me the costume looked more like a bumble bee, but I didn't mention that to her). The fireflies get to wave glow sticks around during their dance number...that is why she chose it. We had a terrible view, so I basically didn't see anything, and got one semi-decent picture. Video taping didn't go much better. The view is just awful unless you are in the first 2 rows of seats. We're just glad that Julianne was brave, performed her part without getting nervous, etc. That was the only important thing for our super shy little girl.

Slime

A few days before Daniel and I left for our trip, Bella Googled up a recipe for slime and asked us to help her make some. Well, you know you can't make slime for one kid, without everyone wanting to make some. So here they are, playing with slime.

Homemade Slime Recipe
Borax
White Glue
Water
Food Coloring (optional)
Ziploc bag
1. Borax is available in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Take a cup of water and add to it 1 Tbs. of borax (approx 4% solution). Stir until completely dissolved.
2. Make a 50% water 50% white glue solution. Take 1/4 cup of each and mix thoroughly.
3. In a ziploc bag, add equal parts of the borax solution to equal parts of the glue solution. 1/2 cup of each will make a cup of slime.
4. Add a couple drops of food coloring.
5. Seal bag and knead the mixture

Monday, May 3, 2010

I was in the bathroom getting dressed last week when Daniel came in and said, "You need to go take a picture of your son." This is what I found. The kid can not get enough shoes. If it even looks like a shoe, he'll shove his feet in there and try to walk in it. If they made dress up shoes for boys, I'd buy him some...but as it is...he's not going to appreciate all the pictures we've taken of his "shoe phase".
"Mom, please tell me that you are not documenting this for posterity."