Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Visitors

My cousin Wendy came to town and I got to see her and her cute family!

Halloween

Here is my obligatory "look at my cute kids on Halloween" post, almost a month late. Peter was an elephant like last year but without the cape. Peter wanted to be spiderman, and then he changed his mind and wanted to be a crow (with wings). I convinced him that he actually wanted to be batman because we already have a batman costume.



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tissues

I will say it up front: there are no pictures of costumed kids in this post. They are still on my camera and I will get to it. Eventually.

Collin just gave me a snickers bar and I gave him a tissue. Des bought Collin a little white board and he has been having a grand time writing on it and wiping it off with a tissue.

The problem is that he will only use a tissue once to wipe off his little board. He then crumples up the tissue throws it in his little garbage can. Every two or three tissues he takes his garbage can and dumps it in the kitchen garbage. Then he wants another tissue. I tried to convince him that the tissue could be used more than once. No go. I offered him a washcloth. After one use it was in the hamper.

So I decided to start charging him. One piece of Halloween candy per tissue. Either he will stop wasting tissues or he will run out of candy. Either way I win.

Tonight all uneaten candy is going in the trash. Candy is gross but it makes good money for a five year old!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Have Been Baking

This time of year makes me want to bake. Even though it isn't cold I still like the smell of banana bread in my kitchen. However, while I do make good banana bread (my biscotti was good last year too) I should probably not be allowed to use my oven for anything else.

I have been trying to learn to make bread. My first loaf a few weeks ago was kneaded by hand after I almost broke my mixer with the lump of dough that never did "window pane". It turned out with a good flavor but was very very dense.

My second try was the dutch oven method where you let the dough rise overnight and don't knead it at all. This was really easy and the finished bread was very pretty with nice big holes inside. Unfortunately it was sticky inside. So much so that it was difficult to cut.

Last year I bought these fabulous leaf cookie cutters in the after thanksgiving sales. I was very excited to practice for thanksgiving, try a new crust recipe and make a beautiful, crisco free pie. The pie is beautiful don't you think? Unfortunately the crust is hard and slightly crunchy and my apples were dry and also slightly crunchy. So, if anyone has a good crust recipe that doesn't involve crisco I would love to have it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our Own Private Air Show

Every year there is an air show in our area. It just so happens that a lot of it takes place in the skies above our house. In past years I have vowed to go away for the weekend because it is so loud and annoying but this year the boys and I enjoyed watching the planes from the back yard.

For a panoramic view we climbed up our swing set to watch. Here is Collin and Bunny.
Peter is a bit exited and I think a little scared.

Preschool Open House

We went to Peter's preschool open house/ice cream party. Here is Des and the boys playing in one of the classrooms.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Time to start watching the Food Network again

I have lost my will to cook. I think I am a decent cook, there are things I know how to make that turn out well. I love eating and I love food. But lately I have been out of ideas and willpower. My kids don’t like food. Mexican food = plain tortillas, Italian = plain pasta (Collin will eat alfredo sauce). Des and I have very different tastes, in the past I would make two separate casseroles with slightly different ingredients for each of us. I was the only one who ate the leftovers.

It isn’t that I haven’t tried; I made a list of all the dishes I normally cook and planned weekly menus. Now I look at the list and despair. My kids will only eat a couple things on the list and a week of mac and cheese can make you crazy.

What do people feed their kids? I have heard rumors of kids that eat real food, vegetables and all but I have no experience with it myself. Should I embrace “kid food” and feed them horrible non nutritious over processed junk like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, french fries, jello and whatever else kids universally eat? Or should I insist they eat what I eat and send them to bed hungry until they comply?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Collin's First Soccer Game

My mom got Collin onto a little soccer team. At first it was really rough but it is getting better. He has a hard time concentrating and doesn't really understand the rules of the game but he has a good time running around.


First Day of School

Collin had his first day of kindergarten last week. He is doing really well. We had a few little problems but so far so good! Here is Collin on his way out the door:



I also started school again. Des is watching the boys on the nights that I am gone. I have no memory of this so this must be what happens when I am gone!

Boats

In place of an actual vacation we went down to the harbor and went on some big boats. The boys had lots of fun.

We went on a big submarine. It was not quite as big on the inside, I can't even imagine what it would have been like to live on there.



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Swing Set

We bought a swing set and put it up in our yard.


Here is a view from the side:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mid August

We have survived almost all of the summer. There were quite a few things I wanted to post about and might still but didn't have time so here is a quick recap:

-Finished 8 week Physiology course. Got an A. Take that Physiology!

-Just about lost my mind with overactive sons. Bought sand for sandbox to keep them busy. House is now full of sand.

-Finally found a solution to stop the kids climbing up the fence. It took me and a school psychologist only a month.

-Paid $1200 a month to keep health coverage during unemployment. Wrote huge rants about crappy American health system in my head.

-Started studying for the GRE, which I take at the end of August, and discovered that I have completely forgotten how to do basic math.

-Des got a job! It is about five minutes away from his old job and will hopefully be more interesting.

-Today we bought a swing set off Craigslist and spent two hours taking it apart. Perhaps tomorrow we will buy some new bolts and put the darned thing back up in our backyard.

So that just about sums it up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Memory Game

I don't usually do this kind of thing (you aren't going to see any alphabetical lists about me any time soon) but I commented on Maren's blog so I guess I joined the game.

1. Add a comment to this post on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot…anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses.

If you leave a memory about me, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Collin's Last Day of School

Collin had his last day of preschool last week. They had a little presentation where the kids sang and then the five year olds got little certificates. They also had a pot luck out on their playground afterward.

This is the bus that usually takes Collin to school. Next year we will walk to the school around the corner.

Here he is singing his song with the other kids. Notice that he is doing the right hand motions, last time he didn't really participate.

Collin is showing Peter his playground.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Collin's Birthday

Collin had a birthday this month. I can't believe I have a five year old! We had a little party. Here is Collin and Peter with their friend Shayne.

We had cake.
He opened presents.
Here he is showing off his new skateboard.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fence Sitting


My little monkey children have decided that their new favorite thing is to climb up our gate and sit at the top, look at the garbage bins, and yell things at people walking past the house.

This is a problem. Not only does it drive my neighbors crazy it is unsafe in so many ways. The worst part is that I caught Collin actually climbing OVER the fence a few days ago. Really, once you get to the top what is the harm in putting your feet on the other side? We are already having trouble keeping him inside since he decided that he could open the front door (and the extra locks I put on it) and go outside by himself at 6am. Also, do you see Peter up there? He has never climbed like Collin but apparently he is a quick study!

I thought perhaps I would blog for advice but as fate would have it our behavior modification consult has finally come through. I have had a school psychologist at my house twice (!) this week making little signs, narratives, and reward charts. We are working specifically on this new safety issue and techniques for me to manage it. Hopefully when we lick this we can focus on all the other inappropriate things that led me to get the consult in the first place!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just for fun

I just found this site where you can look up campaign donations, by name, city, occupation etc.
http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/
Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Camping!

Last night we went camping! I haven't camped in nine years. I lived in a tent in a swamp for a couple of summers during college and backpacked through Europe and after that I had my fill of camping. I also became a wuss. I like sleeping in a bed and having a working toilet and a sink with soap. Des has slowly been stocking up on camping supplies from Target clearances so when the ward announced that there would be a camping trip this weekend we decided to go. It was pretty fun. The boys were a bit hard to keep track of and we did go through a lot of clothes and bandaids but over all I think it was a success.

Collin and Peter had a great time in the tent and especially enjoyed jumping on the air mattresses.
We had a yummy pancake breakfast. Thank goodness for camp stoves - we were only allowed charcoal fires because of the fire risk. Cooking over gas was so much faster.
There were lots of kids around so the kids kept themselves pretty busy.
We went on a little hike (I am out of shape and very sore) down an old road to a ranch house.
We met some riders on the way and Collin got to ride the horse! Peter (my animal lover) is still too afraid of the real thing to have a ride. Maybe someday.

4th of July

Or little neighborhood has a 4th of July parade so we went this year. My Bonnema came over and we walked to the parade. Actually we walked and the little boys rode their tricycles. I thought it would be faster than walking but it really wasn't. At all. We sat near the end of the parade root so it took a long time for the parade to reach us. By the time the Indiana Jones float reached us we were pretty tired so we went home. We had a barbecue and then Des went to a wedding and I took the boys to see the fireworks. Peter's preschool has a pretty good view so we went there. All in all it was a nice day.


video

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Quilt for Care's Sister

My friend Care (who is amazing) has this sister (also amazing) who is turning fifty next week. For her birthday Care is collecting 50 quilts for her sister to give to charity (since she doesn't like to be fussed over herself). I had this quilt top that I put together a while ago using 1930 reproduction fabrics and I kind of didn't like anymore. I finished it yesterday and it turned out to be really beautiful! OK, it is a bit bunchy but I am OK with that. I have such a backlog of unfinished projects it is nice to get this one finished. Next, Sydney's quilts!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The month of June in review

So apparently the only thing more boring than my regular life is my regular life plus one unemployed husband. I didn't realize how much having him going to and from work was part of my routine until he was here all the time. I feel a little bad because he is around and even if I just walk by it is like my very appearance is saying "so, how is the job search going?". I am sure this make him cranky but the only other option is for me to avoid him (and I can't avoid my house, I live here). On the other hand it is kind of great that I can just pop out to the store in the middle of the day and not have to bring the kids.

My new class is going fine. It is a lot of review at the moment. I will see how hard it actually is after the first test on Monday.

Des has (finally) finished his resume and has been applying to local biotech jobs. He wants to get a job in a slightly different area of expertise so we are figuring out how best to do that. I signed up for COBRA today and holy crap health care is expensive! But at least we will be covered.

I can declare a tentative victory in Collin's kindergarten assignment. I stood my ground and they have realized the futility of arguing with me. His teacher told me that "they will have another meeting, they will say that they still think that the special day class is the best idea, [I] will say 'tough luck, I want him mainstreamed' and they will relent and we will sign the papers". He says that he will support my decision. The meeting should be next week sometime so we will see how it goes. If only I knew then what I know now. If I had known then that putting him in the SEEC preschool was essentially signing him up for a special day class track indefinitely I would have never agreed to it. I would given the bare minimum of information during the evaluations so there wouldn't have been anything in his file making him appear nuttier than absolutely necessary to get services. I certainly wouldn't have given out copies of outside evaluations so freely. It is really sad that I feel this way now but the process has left me jaded. In the beginning I was desperate, trusting and uniformed. Now I am slightly more informed, much more guarded and very cautious. End of rant.


Here is a picture of my adorable kids playing outside and not fighting at all! It is rare but it happens.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ta-Da!

I did actually manage to get my clothes line put in. Here it is with three, yes three, loads of laundry on it (and line to spare!). It is really fabulous and it even spins around so I don't even have to move my basket when I hang my laundry.


Here is the thing though. It took a long time to dig the hole and five batches of concrete to fill it. The concrete part took an extra long time because it is really hard to stir concrete in a bucket with a stick. So a few days later my back still looks like this:


Honestly, we put sunblock on our arms and face and wear a hat but how many of us think to put sunblock on our backs where our shirt comes up a little when we bend over? Not me apparently. So my advice about digging holes and pouring concrete: put sunblock on your lower back and butt before you start because I haven't been burnt this bad since high school and it hurts.


So to take that last image out of your mind here are some pictures of my really cute kids.

Happy Birthday Des!

Des had his Birthday last week. Happy birthday Des, we love you!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Concrete

I am really tired. When I ordered the clothesline off the internet (they don’t sell any in stores around here) it all sounded pretty simple. Dig a hole, pour cement in, stick in pole. Hang up laundry on new clothesline and save lots of money on gas bill. So I started digging the hole today, I used my pick ax because I wanted the hole to be small but deep and our dirt is really dry and hard. I got about a foot down before I took my Bonnema’s advice and poured some water in the hole and took a break. When I came back it was SO much easier. The lady is a genius. I put some gravel in the hole and then tackled the mystery of concrete. I have never used concrete before so I called my dad for advice and so armed bought some concrete and mixed some and filled the hole about a third full as per the instructions. Now I am tired and don’t really want to finish.

Also, not related to concrete, Des’ company released its data this week and it was really, really bad. They only have that one drug so in about a couple weeks he is going to be unemployed. We always knew it was a real possibility but it still sucks.

What are you people in other parts of the country paying for gas? I paid $4.12/gallon for the cheep stuff this morning and was so shocked at the price that I only put twenty bucks in. It is time to sell the van; I only have two kids so it is really a waste.

Enough stalling. I am going to finish putting cement in that dumb hole.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bike Day

Every year Peter's preschool has bike day. All the kids bring bikes (or scooters or whatever) and helmets and the ride around the parking lot. It is lots of fun and the kids love it. The only problem was that they had it on a Wednesday which happens to be the only day that Collin doesn't have preschool. We also only have the one helmet. So when we went and all the other kids were riding bikes Collin went ballistic. Fortunately it is an excellent school with flexible caring staff and they let Collin use a school tricycles and helmets. He had a great time trying to get has little brother to "go faster!".

Updates and a bit of random stuff.

Last night I had my last test for my Anatomy class. My professor emailed me this morning telling me that I got a 94% on the exam which means that my A is secure and she will mail my reference (the one she wrote over the weekend because she is so on top of everything-I am amazed). This is great news and I am really relieved to have that finished and to have a little break from studying. For the record the I listed my last paid employment as my most recent job on my resume. When I have time I am going to put in a "volunteer" section to cover some of the stuff I have done while I have been "unemployed".

On Monday I had Collin’s IEP meeting. For those who are not familiar with the process it is the meeting that is used to draw up the legal document that outlines a child’s special education services. This meeting was the yearly review as well as the time to decide where he will go to kindergarten next year. I would prefer he went to his neighborhood school – right around the corner from our house. I have heard that our district is bad at integration so I suspected that they might suggest that he go to a special day class (segregated special ed kindergarten). The thing is, the closest non-severe (diploma bound) class is about a 45 minute bus ride away from us in a different zip code. This would mean that Collin would leave around 8am and get home around 4:30pm. Apart from my kindergartener being at school for a very long day we usually have therapy or doctor’s appointments about twice a week, not to mention when he has friends over after school. With that schedule when would we be able to do those? There is also the issue of exposure to the general ed curriculum and to his typical peers but I could go on all day. To make a long story shorter I did my best to educate myself and prepare for the meeting. When I arrived at the meeting I was handed a copy of the new IEP with “special day class for 100% of day” on the front page. We went over the goals that his teachers and therapists had decided on and then talked about his academic evaluation which was actually ten times better than I had expected (he is at or above grade level academically). Then we moved to discussing his placement, I said that I wanted him at his neighborhood school and asked what we could do to make it accessible to him, they said that he was more likely to be successful in a special day class and that we were out of time so I signed the part that said that I agreed to his current new goals and his current preschool placement but not to the kindergarten placement. We agreed to further testing (this is a more involved story) and to meet again to discuss placement. So there it is: another day, another crappy IEP meeting. I am not very happy.

I want to clear up something: it appears from the comments my recent posts that I might have given the impression that I am some sort of woodworking genius. This is not so. We painted the birdhouse that I bought from the pet shop. As for the t-stool and the scooter board I bought the top of the stool at Michael's and the leg at Home Depot along with the bracket to attach them. I bought a piece of wood for the scooter board and had the nice guys at Home Depot cut it down for me (they do one cut for free). I also bought the casters and some screws. I drilled some little holes and then used the nifty electric screwdriver I got for Christmas (thanks Dad!) to put on the screws. The t-stool took about five minutes and the scooter board a bit longer because there were a lot of screws. I then took some extra batting and a piece of fabric and attached them with a staple gun. See, very little woodworking required and even less genius.

Here is a picture of Peter waiting for his speech class to start. Isn’t he adorable?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Resume help!

I need asked my professor if she could write me a recommendation for nursing school and she agreed and asked me to bring her the forms, my resume and a letter with more information about me on Friday at lab. That is TOMORROW!! As is happens I haven’t updated my resume in seven years! Does anyone have any experience with how I should or should not address my current job (stay at home mom) in my resume? Or should I just let the employment gap speak for itself?

Oh, and we didn't have strep, just some weird little virus that was pretty much gone by the time we got to our GP yesterday!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fever

Last week Collin had a fever, it lasted one day and then he seemed fine. I asked him if his throat hurt but he said no. There was a case of strep throat in his school but I didn’t think anything of it because his throat looked fine. Then over the weekend Peter got a fever for a day and then was fine. Yesterday I started feeling bad after lunch, chills and body aches but no fever. I went to class and made it through the lecture and left. Last night I did get a fever for about 5 hours. I woke up this morning feeling much better. Then I noticed my throat hurt and I looked in the mirror and there is white gunk all over my tonsils! I looked in Peter’s mouth and he has it too! Crap. I think we all have strep throat. Collin has an ENT appointment this afternoon. Do you think the doctor can just write us one huge prescription? I hope so.

Birdhouse

Collin really loves cats. He keeps asking me for a cat. Unfortunately we are not pet people, I have a hard enough time keeping little boys alive, let alone animals (our fish lasted four days). However I do like wild animals so I thought it might be fun to put out a birdhouse and a birdfeeder for our local birds. Collin decided to paint it blue so he and Peter painted it (I did the extra decorations). I did a little research and found out that the best time to put out a birdhouse is fall or winter (since they have already made nests this year). Oh, well. Maybe the birds will use it next year.

Therapy Toys

Let’s see. It has been a while since I posted last. Same boring life I guess.
Last week I decided to build some therapy tools/toys for Collin. I made a T-stool for him to use at primary to help him sit still. It is a one legged stool so he has to concentrate to balance and it keeps his feet grounded. My little boy is so smart that he immediately wedged it between two little chairs and doesn’t actually have to balance it. It actually still helps and he has been doing better.


I also built this funny board on wheels thing. It is for doing “heavy jobs”. When he gets too worked up he can lie on it on his belly and push himself with his arms. I saw both of these things in Collin’s Occupational Therapists office and we thought they might be helpful. Honestly though the board has been less of a success. The boys just use it the way one would expect boys to use a board on wheels – they zoom around the house on it and run into the walls!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Latest quilt

My friend Lani is having a little boy next month. Here is the baby quilt I made for her. The fabric is "Baby Toile" and it is really fun. My favorite part of quilting is actually buying fabric. I have a little fabric buying addiction so I am happy to say that although I gave this quilt away I still have these fabrics in pink and green. Is anyone having a little girl? I need to use up that fabric so that I can buy more!


Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Pet Moth

A few weeks ago Collin found a caterpillar. I put it in a jar for him and we watched it while it made a little cocoon. Then yesterday night I looked in the jar and there was a moth! Collin was convinced that it was a butterfly because obviously that is what caterpillars turn into. He decided that we should let it go outside so that it could fly home. Here is the moth right before it flew away into the night.

Jen visits!

My friend Jennifer surprised us and stopped by with her adorable children. The boys had a great time playing together and I got my baby fix. Thanks Jen!