Thursday, July 31, 2008

Arrgh, Charlie Brown!

I had one of those days, like the time Charlie Brown was trying to get through the door with a baguette and the ends kept getting chopped off, and then he kept buying new ones and doing it AGAIN. And he didn't realize he could just pick up the ends and still eat the bread, and kept making the same mistake again and again...

I just had these issues calling the exterminators - for the wasps - because getting them to get rid of them is the same as sending both kids to gymnastics for three months. And then I drove to Target with the kids only to get there and realize my wallet was at home on the counter next to the phone, where I had given the exterminators my credit card number. So I had to drive back and get it, and then drive out to Target AGAIN, because I had promised the boys we were getting lunch boxes for school, with thermoses, so they could have soup for lunch, and mac and cheese. And they looked at me with those wide, wide eyes...

And now they have a couple of nifty lunch boxes, and a couple of thermoses that were sold separately and were twice as expensive as the lunch boxes, and I forgot the wax strips for my legs and also the AAA batteries.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Baaa - aaaack!

Yesterday afternoon my cell phone rang, and my first thought was "who the *bleep* is calling my cellphone?" Because although many people today rely on their cell phones over their mainline phones, this requires A SIGNAL, and that is something we do not get here in our house. Unless it's on the back porch, standing on a chair.

Anyway, I answered my cell phone and it was Steve. And Steve told me he had been trying to call but couldn't get through. The number was not working.

And this is how we found out that the phone line to our house was spanning our front lawn instead of hiding in the trees.

Of course the internet and the phone go through the same cable. So we were without phone OR internet access for over 24 hours. I know you all tried to call and couldn't get through. Oh, the panic it must have caused. But I'm back now.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Supermarket

Did I already do a post about grocery shopping without the boys? Did I already mention that I can get there and back in just a little over an hour? And I don't have to visit the bathrooms? And I remember to get more of what's on my list? And I somehow spend a lot less money?

It's a little insane. I guess when the boys are with me I buy more "rewards" for myself. And for them. Because when they start screaming I NEED the pint of guacamole and the tub of rice pudding.

But now I don't have any snacks for watching TV.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sneaky Sneaky

We took a secret trip to NY.

Actually, it wasn't that much of a secret. It was a last minute trip though, so I didn't get in touch with all the people I was supposed to get in touch with, and only my family knew we were coming. This is why I have had one line posts for the past couple of days.

The drive up was terrible. 30 miles from home an accident turned the highway into a parking lot that we sat in for two hours. It rained heavily until Steve got behind the wheel.

The drive back up was much better, but I think I'm going to have to start taking photographs of us at all the rest stops we visit along the way because we end up stopping SO MANY TIMES. I used to be able to make it up without stopping once, as long as I didn't drink too much soda and started with a full tank of gas. But now, I kid you not, we can't go fifteen minutes without a kid claiming to need to pee. Even though we JUST WENT. I know because I just got settled and turned my audio book back on.

We stopped for lunch at a crowded fast food place. Steve got the food. When he got to the table I noticed that he had one chocolate milk and one regular. Steve confirmed what I suspected - that they only had one chocolate milk left. ONLY ONE! And obviously we have two chocolate milk drinkers.

So I simply didn't say anything about it. I opened the chocolate milk for Nick, and then opened the regular milk for Nathan, who immediately looked at me and asked "Is this chocolate milk?" And without a moment's hesitation I said "Yes! It's just a different kind." That's right. I LIED TO MY CHILD. And you know what? IT WORKED!

Sneaky me.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tick Tock

There just isn't enough time in the day for me to do all the things I need to do.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Clean Up

It's messy at our house. But on those days when I clean I find it absolutely depressing at how quickly the place gets messy. Food on the floor, spilled milk, various bodily fluids from boys and pets... I just wonder why I bother.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

No TV

Getting the boys to pick up their toys is... close to impossible. I find myself standing in the middle of the room barking orders, telling each boys what to pick up, where to put it, again and again because they move so slowly and get distracted so easily. It really is so much easier to clean up myself.

But I know it's important to get them to learn how to do it themselves. So I try any number of things to motivate them to get the job done. This week, if the toys are still on the floor when we come down that morning, there is no TV that day.

There are a number of reasons I don't think this is the best solution, and also a number of reasons I don't feel bad about doing it. This is the second day in a row I have had to suffer. Because the boys are a little sad when there is no TV. But they get over it. They play. They ask me things. They fight. They bump each other. They cry and they need me. And the things I do during their TV time - things like getting dressed, making dinner, folding laundry - all these things I now need to do while dealing with live, rambunctious little beings. Instead of the comatose, zombified little boys that TV turns them into.

When they say TV is a TOOL, they mean that it helps you get stuff done around the house.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's official


Last night, at about 2am, I responded to a crying Andrew and found him sitting up in his crib. He used to sit on his own as long as someone placed him in a sitting position. But now he sits up on his own. When he is half asleep.

He can also move fast enough on his belly so that... well, so that a person can tell he's moving. Unless he is thinking about getting somewhere, in which case he keeps trying to stand by pushing himself up on his toes, planting his face to the ground, and then just manages to inch backwards until he is in a corner or under a large furniture item.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Syrup

Nicholas has "adopted" another stuffed animal. He usually goes through phases where he loves one thing or anther intently. And this time he picked the Care Bear we've had for ages. He started carrying it around. It is his new baby. It is a "she." And he has named her 'Syrup."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cribster


How old should a child be before moving from a crib to a big bed? I don't really know because I moved both Nick and Nate as soon as I could to make room for a new baby.

Moving the crib from the boys' room to the baby's room was a pain. I had to take it apart to get through the doors. But in putting it back together I realized that when Steve had originally put the crib together back when I was pregnant with Nick, he had put the mattress in the lowest position. This would explain why I had to bend waaaaaayyyy over to put sleeping infants to bed without waking them. I wondered how other people had such high mattresses in their cribs and
how I managed to get the strange crib.

But then when I put the crib back together for Andrew I put the mattress up high. So when I put him back to bed I just had to PLACE him there. No bending over, no worries abotu waking him... SO GREAT!

But NOW Andy is starting to roll around and try to sit up and pull himself up on things and the mattress is suddenly WAY too high. So Steve and I went to lower it... well, Steve was lowering it and I helped.

And let me say... they made it WAY too difficult to change the crib height. I mean, the rail moves up and down, and that's easy, but adjusting the actual mattress height practically requires complete disassembly of the crib, and a very particular tool.

But anyway, it's down now, and when I look at Andy asleep in his little bed he looks so low to the ground I could laugh. It almost seems wrong.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Happy


Yesterday we got a message saying Steve's uncle was having a cookout. And I started dreading it right away. But I was so so wring. Because today we went and we had the best time. It was really great. I think I was worried about the boys, but they behaved wonderfully. I can't think of the last time we had such fun. In a group, I mean.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Thought


We think we've all come so far... but really, a grown up is just an adult teenager. During storytime at the library I listened to a group of mothers talk about a mother that wasn't there, and about how her kids are sick all the time, and she takes them out anyway, and about how awful that is... and I thought - HEY! They don't know what's going on there! I mean, I've been known to take Nick out with an awful sounding cold because if I waited for everyone to be 100% we'd never leave the house.

We've also found ourselves in a couple of places with sprinklers in the past few days, and we did not have bathing suits. My boys hardly waited for a yes or no before stripping off shoes and shirts and running into the water. And I let them. And I can feel the looks of other parents when someone else shouts " don't get wet!" or "You're wet enough!" I also know that I get looks whenever I put Andy down anywhere - the stroller is huge and the car seat too heavy these days, so I just pick him up. But sometimes I need to tie a shoe or pick up another child, so Andy goes down on the ground. And I can hear the gasps as his little legs hit the woodchips, or the grass, or the rug, or the sand.

My point is, parents are SO uptight about their kids in ways that just aren't that important to me. Do I want Andy eating woodchips? Of course not. But if he happens to put one in his mouth during the five seconds he's down there, he is probably not going to turn green and melt into a puddle of goo. And will my kids get cold on the way home? Probably. And it's 95 out, so they will probably be more comfortable than me. And then, when we get home, we'll change. And they may not look cool, but he, they are preschoolers and they don't know that. You might have packed the princess towel and the princess bathing suit with the pink hair ribbons, and you might have the sand 'n surf shoes with the water hat and the swim shirt... but hey, my kids are wetter than yours because they aren't afraid of getting wet and dirty.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On Time

Three mornings a week we head off to the pool so that one of the boys can take a swim class. This morning was Nicholas's turn. Afterwards we were heading over to the library for a special outdoor "walkabout" as part of the summer reading program.

So I was packing a change of clothes, towel, water, bottle for baby, sunscreen, etc.

And at 8:30 am I started trying to get the boys out of the house. And it took twenty minutes. The very last thing I did was have Nicholas use the bathroom, because every class he at least once has to get out of the pool and go. And as his class is only 30 minutes long, and as it takes at least fifteen minutes to get Nate to stop playing, to lug the baby and heard both boys inside the building, etc. and he ends up missing half the class. And as Nate and Andy were already in the car and we were running late, I thought I would save us a few minutes.

But it didn't save us any time at all, because as soon as we got there Nick said he had to pee ANYWAY. And I hearded us in where we waited behind this woman and her son for the rest room, and then they gave up and went upstairs but I couldn;t see myself dragging the boys up there... and finally I knocked on the door and NO ONE WAS IN THERE! Lights on, door shut, completely empty. I was a raving lunatic.

To top it all off, Nick then stood at the toilet and said he didn't have to pee after all.

So then we were ten minutes late for class.

I hate being late.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I don't get around like you get around

video

Andy is very close to crawling. This was taken a little over a week ago, and he now does baby push ups, pushing his whole body up and trying to stand on his legs. I haven't actually seen him crawl, but he can get clear across the room. And, as you can see, into anything.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

never again

I know, I know, it's Tuesday evening, so this post must be about the grocery store!

But wait, you haven't heard this one yet.

Today's trip was the worst ever. How is that possible? After the time Nate hit Nick over the head with soup? After that one time all three kids left crying? After the time forgot my list and forgot to buy milk?

Well, yes. Today was worse.

It took us 20 minutes at the deli counter to get a pound of sliced ham.

Nick spilled the bottle of water I had given him all over the floor.

Nate threw up.

We all had to turn around and use the restroom.

Nicholas walked right into one of those stupid freestanding displays they put in the middle of the aisles.

I then walked my cart directly into one of the stupid freestanding displays, knocking it over and sending forty glass jars of salsa crashing to the floor where they exploded in a mess of broken glass and jalapenos.

Nathan spilled HIS bottle of water on the floor.

I must have looked a mess because one of the checkout guys asked me how I was holding up and I couldn't answer him because I knew if I did I would start crying.

So the NEW PLAN is that I NEVER GO SHOPPING AGAIN. At least until school starts in September. Please send fruit baskets and care packages or my boys will starve.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Truth Stings


There are bees in our backyard.

When I say bees, I don't mean honey bees, or bumble bees, or any other bee that you might think of as GOOD in any way (because bees make honey and are dying off, just in case you didn't know.) No, when I say "Bees" I mean insects that sting, such as wasps, or hornets. They are all bees to me.

When we go outside I can see them. dozens of them fly back and forth and around about a foot above the sand that the swing set is on. The swing set. Of course these things are near the area designated for our small children to play.

I looked online to try and find a solution to my problem, and I came up with a "bee trap," which is a soda bottle cut in half, the top inserted upside down into the bottom, with a little soda or juice in the bottom. The insects are supposed to fly in after the sweet stuff and then get confused and not be able to get out until they drown in the soda. I made two and left them out a couple of days. Not one bee was captured.

My problem is that all of the sites being exactly the same way: "First, identify what type of wasp it is." And many of the sites then provide wonderful photographs to help you. The trouble is that the wasps in the photographs are not FLYING. The ones in my yard are. And there are many of them and they fly quickly, and when one lands on the sand it only stays there for a few moments before flying off again, and I can't get close enough to determine the exact shade of yellow or the size of the waist. I mean, these things STING!

The second thing the websites all say is "Spray the insecticide at the entrance to the nest." Which would be great. If I knew where the stupid nest was. Which I don't. The sites recommend going out at dusk and following a few bees, as they usually return home around then. Well, quite honestly, I usually forget. And when I do go out the bees are already in bed, sleeping. So the trouble is, I have no place to spray the insecticide. I HAVE been watching, but the wasps seem to dig tiny little holes into the sand. Many, many little holes. I tried spraying the insecticide into the many holes, and then onto the ground, but it didn't work. The bees are still there.

I just don't know what to do next. And even though the flying wasp bees have not yet stung anyone (this year) I do not like the idea that they are flying around. And I have a secret fear that they are actually yellow jackets, and that there is a huge, gigantic, car sized next RIGHT UNDER THE GROUND!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Let's Facebook The Facts

A couple of weeks ago I joined Facebook.

In case you don't know what Facebook is (Mom), it's an online community. This means that, once you join up, you get your own page. Your page has all the information you care to plug in - your name, your birthday, your religion, if you're single, married, dating, etc. You can add friends to your personal page. Usually this is done by searching for an actual friend or two, and then adding them to your list.

But something funny happens.

Say I add Larissa, who I know from High School, and Betsy, who I know from College, and Winston, my brother. I can go to their pages and read their stuff and look at their "Friends." I notice Betsy has a few people on there I used to know, and maybe we aren't that close anymore, but HEY! We used to be friends, right? And then a few of Larissa's "friends"send me requests to be "friends"... and yeah, I remember them. I wouldn't have ever said we were friends back then, exactly. I wouldn't have spoken to them if we passed in the halls. But I would definitely speak to them NOW if I saw them on the street. So, sure, I can be "friends" with them. And then I notice Winston is "friends" with this guy I went to school with until the fifth grade, so I go ahead and send HIM a friend request, and before you know it I get a friend request from someone who claims went to my grammar school AND my music school, and he remembers me, and he happens to be "friends" with my sister AND this other girl I am now "friends" with from both places, but I cannot for the life of me remember him. But what the heck - he's posted a school picture. He must be legit! So now you have a page with all these different people you used to know in one place, like a collection of your life. It's kind of like getting married, only the people here are not just the people you would invite to your wedding. They are the people you didn't know well enough. It's EVERYONE FROM YOUR LIFE.

My point is, people end up with hundreds of "friends" on these things, and I really begin to wonder what the purpose of these things are beyond collecting "friends."

Sure, there are other applications. I can take quizzes and post the results. (What Greek God are YOU?) I joined a group that revolves around reading and book reviews, and the best thing about it is that I can post the books I'm reading right on my page. I'm guessing there might be a similar group about movies. I also joined groups for my High School and my College, and that is great because I can then browse the membership for people I used to know and then invite them to be my "friends."

By far the best part of Facebook so far, for me, is Scramble. Scramble is a GAME you can play via facebook, and you can play alone or with other people. And what it is is BOGGLE. You get a square with some letters and you try to make as many words as you can out of the letters you are given, and you have three minutes, and you can't pause even if Nathan is tugging at your arm needing to use the bathroom or the baby falls off the bed. And when you do particularly well the game sends a MESSAGE to your "Friends" telling them that you have BEAT YOUR PERSONAL BEST, and now you are LEVEL THREE which is NOT GREAT, and now all those people you don't really know but kind of remember you, they probably think you are a moron because they do not KNOW about the PEEING URGENCY and the FALLING OFF THE BED and how you can NOT get THREE MINUTES OF PEACE, so it's... you know, extra challenging...

Truly, I'm addicted to Facebook, and I can sense the danger of embarrassing myself with messages to people I used to know and posting inappropriate items to my page by mistake. But I also think it's like many other online activities. I will be addicted. I will let myself be addicted. And one day - a few weeks from now - I'll get tired of it, and then four months will go by before I log in again.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Two By Nate


Nathan is now speaking a lot. He is, actually, speaking to himself at this very moment. And most of the time he can be understood, if not by the general population, by those of us who live here.

He is also two. I thought he had gone through this stage early, as though the phase went with size 2T PJ's. You know the stage. The one where each time he doesn't get his way he melts down. He no longer wants to do things himself, he wants ME to do it. Not Steve, ME. And whatever you do for him, there's always something a little bit wrong with it.

Tonight we had burgers for dinner. And I asked him if he wanted pickles ON the burger, or on the side. He said the side. I gave him the burger. "No!" he said. "Put it underneath!" It took a few moments to figure it out, moments where Nate emphatically repeated "Underneath!" Then I put the pickles on the burger.

Nate looked at it. "Oh, No!" He said. "Look what you did to my burger!"

I looked at it. It looked like a burger. "What?" I asked. "What did I do?"

Nate pointed at the plate in front of him. "You put salt and pepper on it!"

OH NO! SALT AND PEPPER! DEMON SPICES! And also NO I DID NOT! I swear, I used ready made burger patties and added nothing. But the thought of salt and pepper being visually apparent on the burger bun... well, I laughed out loud.


Also, earlier today I was trying to get Nathan to put on his pants. Instead, he slung them over his arm and held it out on front of him, bent. The expression on his face was serious and thoughtful. He looked to me like a short and serious waiter. But then he looked at me and whispered "I'm a pirate."

Because apparently pirates walk around with their pants slung over their arms?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Like Dreamers Do

I really want my kids to do well in school.

I mean, my kids are smart. They SHOULD do well in school. Because when you are a kid, that's what being smart IS. You get good grades, and you are smart, and if you don't... well, you aren't.

Nicholas is a smart kid. He can carry on conversations like few other kids his age. He has a vivid imagination. He can figure out computer games that I'm sure he won't be able to work...

But I'm already worried about Nick and school.

Because Nick is a dreamer.

I remember being in school and having a hard time. I would TRY to pay attention, but before I knew it my mind would be thinking of other things. I wasn't misbehaving, so the teachers wouldn't notice. And this is how a lot of kids get lost.

Now, I know Nick is four, but I've watched him in his swimming and gym classes - GYM classes, classes where he is moving around and it should be a bit easier to... not drift away in your head - and he'll be with it one minute and the next thing you know his class is on the other end of the pool and he's alone, spinning in circles. They moved him to a smaller group, the one with the smaller kids, so that he would have more personal attention and not wander off. He's doing a great job and now he's learning, but... you know. And yes, he's young, but SO ARE THE OTHER KIDS!

I can see it in a gym class, but what about in a math class? Poor grades will be the first sign that something is wrong, and then what do you do?

The thing is, I can't think of anything to DO to help the situation. And I guess I'm just worried. I don't want him to get lost or be made fun of. I just... I want him to have confidence and to know he can learn.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Swimmy Swimmy

I signed the boys up for swimming lessons this summer.

There is this lake near us, and our town has a little beach on it, and every year they give swim lessons, and every year we've watched the kids flock in the water clutching floaties and I've thought about how I need to get my kids to learn to swim. My boys are not taking swim lessons at this beach.

See, Nick was fearless in the water at the age of two. But all last summer he never went in deeper than his knees. So I knew he would need something different to learn in. Such as a POOL.

So now, three days a week, I'm at the gymnastics school, in their backyard where they have a pool and a couple of teachers. Nick swims Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Nathan has lessons on Wednesdays. Nick gets to go in by himself. I have to go in with Nathan. This means I need Lillian to watch Nick and Andy because, although I could convince Nick to sit quietly on the pool bench, Andrew might put up a fuss.

The boys are both doing really well. They are wearing special swim belts, but it's really just to give them confidence. Which, by the way, neither of them have. I have seem them both "swimming" without an adult, and they both get really panicked, but they both cross the pool that way. It's amazing. I wish they weren't so scared to do it.

I only signed them up for four weeks, mostly because I wasn't sure how the classes would be. I don't think they'll be experts by the end of the month, but I'm thinking they will, if nothing else, be a lot more familiar with the water. And maybe I can work with them on my own, if Andrew will let me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I hate grocery shopping

Seriously, grocery shopping is my least favorite 90 minutes of the week.

And it's not so much the kids. Sure, the kids help put the pressure on, because they are THERE, and every once and awhile one of them will let out a SCREAM OF DEATH and the whole store stops and stares at me, glaring at me with their eyes, sending me telepathic hate messages because I have obviously done something wrong to bring such awful children into the world, let alone a place where they sell FRUIT SNACKS and GUM!

No, it's the grocery stores themselves that drive me nuts. Or perhaps the companies that MAKE THE FOOD! Whatever it is, someone follows me around, notes the products I purchase the most, then NEVER STOCKS THEM AGAIN. Seriously. I fall in love with a couple of bagged salads and a month ago they stopped stocking them. The soda I love came out in a Caffeine Free version. I loved it. They stopped stocking it. Bagged potatoes? Gone. I swear I have never been able to buy the same brand of pickles twice. Dill pickle chips. That's all I need. But instead they seem to stock more and more Bread and Butter pickles. WHO (besides my mom) EATS THOSE AWFUL THINGS?

Whenever I can't find what I am looking for in the store it takes time. Time to look for it, to make sure it's really not there - sometimes the crazy store people get bored and move things around and laugh at the shoppers trying to find that brand of bread they got the last time. If it's not really there then I have to figure out what the best deal is. This one's cheapest, but THIS is fat free, and THIS one is organic and has the best packaging. And THIS one is grow locally, but also is kind of expensive... And by NOW Nathan has pulled three boxes of Mac and cheese off the shelf and is screaming because Nicholas is on HIS SIDE of the car.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my frustration. Honestly, that trip ruins the rest of my day.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Responses


OK, first off, I want to make it perfectly clear that Linda is NOT STUPID! The Stupid was referring to me. The photo of Linda and Andrew eating the caterpillar pillow was just a coincidental. Here is another photo of Linda with ALL the boys. I have made an attempt to correct the red-eye.

As for my foot, it DID bleed a little, but then stopped. I took an advil before bed Saturday. I soaked it in hot water a couple of times and this morning it was 98% better. I even ran on it today and I can no longer feel it. Unless I poke at it. Then it hurts.

Also, I KNOW it is not smart to plant grass in July, but we really need something growing there to hold the dirt in place. Every time it rains more and more of it ends up in our driveway. And it has actually rained 17 out of the last 21 days. The problem is, each time it rains the grass seed ends up in our driveway, too.

Finally, I do not actually have any poisonous hot knives. Our knives are usually one or the other. But leave it to my kids to find the worst thing around. Andrew is starting to inch his way to objects he wants. The first thing he grabbed was a wire, which he immediately put in his mouth.

To end, I would like to simply say that the 4th of July was not meant for dogs. Gunther climbed right in bed with me on several occasions over the past few days, as people use up the last of their fireworks.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Stupid Stupid Stupid

After a week with no hint of grass growing on the giant dirt patch that is our lawn, I went out and bought a second huge bad of grass seed. THIS time, I thought, I would do things a little differently. First off, I would turn over the soil so that the seed would have something to grab onto and grow into.

So I took one of those hand held rakes... the tiny hand sized pitchforks... and I started poking holes into the earth. And I sprinkled the grass seed into the little holes I made. But the thing is... that rake is small, and the lawn is HUGE. And I guess I started going faster and faster and less and less careful because I STABBED MYSELF IN THE FOOT WITH IT!

Not really my foot. My toe. The side of my toe. And one of the rake tines went into the side of my toe and INTO it, and just as I realized what I had done I heard - or felt - a sick crunch. And, besides the pain, the strongest thing I felt was I AM SO SO STUPID! I mean, I couldn't have done this if I had tried. And my kids, who were being so good, were treated to me shouting out words they have only heard me use in heavy traffic.

There is now a small, tiny cut on the inside of my toe. It hardly bled. There was no need for stitches or anything. It's the smallest tear. And it's only slightly pink and a little bit swollen. But it HURTS! I feel like the biggest wimp. I'm limping all over the place and I STILL FEEL STUPID!

Ugh! Stupid lawn!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Crazy Hail Storm Footage

From a couple of weeks ago.


video

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Origin Of Things


Today was rainy until late afternoon, and we were all going a little stir crazy, so I put together an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt for the boys. I wrote each letter on a sheet of paper and then taped it to an object starting with that letter, writing the word underneath. The idea was to familiarize the boys with individual letters, and to get them to start thinking about the sounds each letter makes. Some of the letters are easier to remember than others.

It's harder than you think to come up with a physical object you own for each letter. I had trouble with a couple of them, so come of my choices were... original.

When it came to the letter "I" Nick found the letter on the freezer. "Great!" we said. "Now what is it that starts with 'I?'"

"Freezer!" Nick said confidently.

"Um... no, try again," we said, and I pointed to the ice dispenser, which is on the freezer. "What does that make?"

Nick raised him eyebrows. "Um, Pizza?"

The funny thing is, we were drawn to this particular model of fridge because of the huge sign saying it could fit EIGHT FROZEN PIZZAS inside!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Fourth of JULY

When we were kids it was all about picnics on the beach and fireworks. But now that I'm an adult it's all about cooking on the grill and trying to have a couple of drinks and trying to keep the kids from stabbing themselves in the eyes with hot poisonous knives.

Happy Day to everyone.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

news flash

I would like to take it easy today, because I don't have much to say.

But I DID feel like I had to mention the new playground we found today. In our own town. I'd never seen it before. But it looks a lot like the really cool playground in Tennessee. The only catch is that it's down a very bumpy and uneven unpaved road behind a cemetery. I wonder why I've never found it until now.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I Told

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As I have mentioned before, once the kids are in bed I have FREE TIME. This means I have time which I have not allocated to anything else, although I usually have to use some of it to finish up a few things, such as putting away laundry, getting those last dishes in the dishwasher, etc. But once this happens, the night is MINE!

Or at least that's how it's supposed to work. What REALLY happens is that Nathan keeps getting out of bed and playing with his toys, and I keep having to go back in and put him back in bed. Sometimes I start watching a movie and I can hear him over the Monitor, jabbering, playing, and sometimes trying to wake up the baby. Which is when I shoot up and rush to get him back in bed because THAT IS NOT FUN!

When either Steve or I confront him in one of these out of bed moments we invariably start with "Why are you you out of bed?" And he always always ALWAYS replies "I'm cold!"

Actually, he said "I Told!" But as his parents, both Steve and I speak fluent Nathan, and we know what he is saying. "I'm Cold."

Except I think he might actually MEAN something else. Because there is no way on Earth that he can possibly be cold. Unless he has a fever. For the past three months. I mean, it's 80 degrees and I can feel the oilyness of the skin on my face. I can feel the weight of my hair on my neck. It's HOT!

But if I correct Nathan (you mean you're HOT) he corrects me back. (I'm Cold.)

Anyway, one day he'll get the hang of going to bed, I hope. And at least he will stay IN the bed. I don't mind his being awake so much, as long as he's in a place where he can, eventually, get tired and nod off.