Monday, October 27, 2008

Zero Tolerance

Well DH is gone for 4 days and 3 nights to a Education Technology Conference in Seattle. He told me that he is learning technology stuff. He has his own hotel room with a big flat screen tv and two beds. He gets a big allowance for food each day and he gets to hang out with the big wigs from the school district. It's a blessed life he lives.

I already miss him. I've been stressed about him leaving and dealing with our four children all on my own for a couple weeks now. I don't like sleeping alone. He has a cell phone but the battery is old and it keeps dying. So I didn't even know for sure that he made it there tonight until 10:30 pm and he left from work around four. I had to convince myself not to worry.

As for dealing with my kids I decided I could do it one of two ways. One way would be just let them do whatever they want and be layed back about the rules or enforce zero tolerance on misbehavior. When DH gets home late or is gone for maybe two days I go with the layed back approach and we have as much fun as possible. Which is what I think my older kids were expecting. But I decided I wouldn't last the four days if I did that. So I was more strict today than I usually am. I wanted them to be clear on what I would put up with right away. It was a long day. But by bedtime all whining had completely stopped and for the most part everyone was doing what they were asked the first time I asked and I didn't have to get after them. I should be more like this all the time but sometimes it's hard to see the line between being mean and being a stern disciplinarian. I feel like I am pretty consistent with my kids and that is why they noticed a difference in my attitude today.

DH told Cor that he is the man of the house while he is gone and once Cor remembered that he was happy to do whatever I asked him. He wants to be just like his Dad.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This I could do without

As I have mentioned before I volunteer at my kids school. It's fun but I went today and my oldest daughter's teacher once again had to make a joke about my height. This is a life long trial for me but my every interaction with her has a joke at my expense. She seems nice otherwise and my daughter loves her. So I will smile and take it, I guess. I am so non-confrontational.

The last two years Ballerina had a runny nose every two weeks and it would last two weeks. No runny noses for months now and I figured out it is because she stopped sucking her thumb. Like a normal kids she would touch everything everywhere we went and then stick her thumb or other fingers in her mouth. It took me a while to notice but she stopped sucking her thumb all on her own. The endless runny nose is something I could have done without last year but now I don't have to deal with it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sometimes I've got it and sometimes I don't

I don't really believe in fate and I try not to be superstitious but sometimes I think the universe is messing with my head.

Last month I had two weeks following my (.) that I didn't break out even a little bit. That was the longest I've gone with clear skin in as long as I can remember. It was heavenly and I wanted to tell people about it but I was so afraid that if I said something it would break the spell. This month a week had gone by and no breakouts. Since I am not superstitious I thought I would tell my husband how grateful I am that I haven't broken out. There can't be any harm in being grateful right? It couldn't have been more than six hours before two large and painful pimples started to emerge under my skin. Errr!

Yesterday I was in Freddy's and I hardly ever shop there but there was something I wanted to get there. I only had one kid and all the clothes in clearance were an additional 40% off. I looked through my size quickly and pulled out a couple pair of pants. The khaki/jean like pair I tried on first were so cute but slightly too big. Then I tried on a pair of jeans but they were slightly too small and when I checked the size on those and it was because they had been hung in the wrong section and were one size too small. I am pretty petite but this "Vanity Sizing" is getting seriously out of hand. Too the point, I was kind of bummed because I haven't much in the way of pants lately. I was just going to forget it because I didn't have a lot of time. Em was in the dressing room with me and she asked me why there were extra clothes in there. Indeed, someone had left some clothes in there. I looked through them quickly. There were the khaki pants in one size smaller and they fit perfectly. They ended up being $17. Too long, of course, but Dh says that's standard for me.

The other day at JoAnn's I got was going to buy a handbag that was made for holding sewing supplies. It was on sale from 19.99 to 9.99. They have a new computer system that wasn't letting the new price be entered manually. It took the woman more than ten minutes of arguing with the computer screen and somehow it gave the handbag to me for .99 cents. I asked her if she wanted me to pay the difference and she told me just to take it. I felt guilty for a few seconds.

Friday, October 17, 2008

People I meet when I walk down the street.

Right now my form of exercise is walking. I walk the kids to school in the morning and I walk to pick them up after school. The round trip is about 1 1/2 miles. Total I get in 3 miles a day maybe a little more. I like walking because I don't have to be awake or feeling coordinated to do it. I have a double stroller for Ballerina and Em to ride in. Mya and Cor ride their bikes or scooters. On Tuesdays I make them walk using their two feet because after school I have to drive to pick them up to take Mya to piano lessons. You'd think they were gonna die to have to walk. They think it's so boring and takes so much longer.

The majority of our walk is along one of the main roads in our little town. It's Lock... and it has the famous great wall. It's a long straight road and for quite a length there is a tall, ominous cement wall on both sides of the road. It separates the houses from the noise of the street. It was prettier when the vines and plants would grow over it but they cut those all down which I was grateful for because even though it's uglier there is less trash and fewer creatures living in the brush.

The best part of this walk is that I see something of interest almost every day. Nearly every day we pass a little old lady (lol) walking her little fluffy dog. But really the dog is walking her. It pulls her along nearly choking itself and then whenever they pass by any people it loses control and she has to lift it clear off it's front legs with the leash. If I were her I would eventually have to shoot that dog. That's what us country folk do with annoying, disobedient pets.

There is the crosswalk lady we will call Joy. She is probably in her fourties and she has been the crossing guard for many years. She is quirky but in a friendly sort of way. She is vigilant about the kids safety. This morning she told me that she saw two strange men (non-regulars) walking near the school with their dogs. She knows everyone so she keeps an eye out for the unusual. She was hoping it was the nice weather that brought them out. Today was cold and foggy. She is funny. I decided I was so grateful that she is always there watching out for our children.

Then there is the beautiful African woman who has very dark skin and a beautiful voice. Her kids are all gorgeous like herself. Everyone likes her but I think everyone, like myself, is enchanted with her accent. The majority of the population is caucasion or hispanic so that makes her fascinating.

Then there is another Mom who I see a lot. She has two girls and a boy. She walks as much as I do. Her older daughter has flaming red hair which is unusual for their family. I'll call her Terry. I really like her.

After school I walk home with some of my friends and neighbors kids who live closer to the school then we do. I just make sure they get going in the direction of home in a timely manner. On the days I drive they are left to figure it out for themselves. Everyday seems to be some kind of drama for one of the kids. I try to patiently help them work out their little problems. One of the youngest boys that is in Kindergarten has won my heart. He loves to tell me about his day. I want to hug him everyday but I haven't because I don't know how he would react but I think he needs it because he home life is kind of odd right now.

Everyday I pass by my BFF's house with the red door. Right now there is a Jolly Jack-o-lantern on the porch and two pair of cute rubber boots. One pair for Anth and one for her daughter that we call LB. This morning I saw black smoke coming out of their back yard but from what I could assess it was a controlled burn and I could see from the cars parked out front that her Dh was home.

There are several trees that hang over the Great Wall and one is a Walnut tree. Yesterday I saw an older Asian couple using a long pole with a hook on the end to pull walnuts out of the tree. They got a grocery sack full. I found it amusing and smiled as I passed them. They said some greeting that I couldn't understand because I only speak English. Too bad I wish I could have talked to them about their walnut pilfering.

I hope to share more exciting adventures of people I meet when I walk down the street with you until the weather gets too terrible that I don't dare go out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cozy Baby Quilts

Here are some baby blankets I made recently. This one was using the extra fabric from one of the other one that was jungle animals. I like these quilts that have cotton on one side, batting in the middle and flannel on the other side.

I am experimenting with different kinds of yarn to tie it but I am still not totally happy with the way it turns out. I was the quilts after they are done to see what it does to the yarns and trim them up if they get frayed. These were all for baby boys.

A Hiding Place. A True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book lived up to it's title. I (or my kids)lost it 3 times.

Well I kind of waited to read this book because I assumed it would be too sad in parts. It was but extremely inspiring. I felt like I could be a better person after reading it. I would recommend it to anyone. I have my own copy but plan to give it to a friend.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Volunteering at the School

Well my good intentions finally resulted in some action this year. I haven't been very active at being involved in my kids school only because I would have to find Ballerina and Em a place to go. Now that Grandma S is watching the girls on Tuesday mornings and Deena will watch them another day I can go to the school and be a Mommy Helper. Tuesday I went to Cor's class. The teacher had me test the kids on their sight words. The kids were each so cute and they immediately started calling me teacher. They were so impressed I was Cor's Mom. Total celeb status in no time.

Wednesday I went to Mya's class. The teacher had me take kids to the computer lab. The kids can't go without an adult so I just hang out with them and watched what they did. That was good because my kids will benefit from using this Math program called Whizz but I had to pay for it and that was the last day to pay. One of the boys in the group knows me from church so he gave me the low-down on everything. It was funny. It's interesting how capable most kids are on the computer and others had a really hard time and needed a lot of help.

Since I went to Cor's class in the morning I stayed for lunch after that. I ran over to Dairy Queen and got some gross chicken strips and fries and a Pumpkin blizzard. The blizzard was awesome but filling, I could only finish half. Because I was there Cor got to invite 2 friends to eat lunch with us in the pod. His friends were so funny. One boy was telling me all the bad words he is not allowed to say. Mostly he would just start the word but not finish it. And they were trying to guess how tall God is. I asked one boy what he was going to be for Halloween. He said his family didn't really celebrate Halloween but all the other holidays. He said that love holiday was his favorite (Valentine's Day).

Speaking of computer skills Ballerina is getting really good at clicking around on I have to watch her because sometimes she right clicks and gets the computer really messed up. My kids mostly play Starfall and Webkinz but now Mya and Cor will have this math program they can play with at home too.

Other noteworthy accomplishments, I cleaned my bathroom today. My bathroom gets seriously neglected and it was nasty. It took me a couple hours. I washed the walls and baseboards, etc. I scrubbed the toilet and shower. I wiped down everything and washed the floor mat. I would have done a before and after picture but I'm too embarrassed about the before picture.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Here's my Sister St

Here's my sister St. and her Husband St. hanging out with Gavin Degraw. I had to look up who the heck Gavin Degraw was but they won this lunch with him ad tickets to his concert from a radio station.


It's always fun to get another persons perspective and more fun when it makes you rethink the way you look at things.

My sister's husband is half Phillippino and one of his cousins from the Philippines was recently visiting them. My sister said this cousin (woman) thought it was so funny that everyone in America wants to be darker with all the sunless tanning lotions, sun bathing on the beach and tanning salons. Where she comes from everyone wants to be darker. They think white skin is beautiful. She said all the beauty products there claim to have a lightening agent in them. She said after trying several different kinds she discovered that it doesn't really work but everyone keeps using them. So it proves we always want what we can't have. Even though my brother-in-law grew up in America he thinks white skin, like my sister's, is beautiful and he doesn't understand why she uses the sunless tan lotion.

Next example was a conversation I had with a neighbor on my way home with my two little girls in the stroller. He was telling me that they reminded him of his grandkids. He said his youngest daughter just got married so they were officially empty nesters. I told him it felt like a long time until I would be doing that. I thought he would say something like I should appreciate my little ones while I have them at home but instead he said it did take a long time. He seemed releived to me. That made me laugh.

This morning Em was sitting on the floor asking me if I was serious. I asked her, "Serious about what?" She said if I was serious about making cup-o-noodle for lunch. Up to that moment I had not considered how strongly I felt about cup-o-noodle.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My "Beef" with Heroes

So far the new season of Heroes looks like it might be pretty good. It will be hard to beat the first season. The end of the last season left me with the feeling that the show could do without Mohinder and they could just find someone else to do the deeply powerful narrating. So here is my problem with the new seasons so far. Maya who just found out her old boyfriend was freak, woo hoo, big surprise and falls right into the arms of Mohinder. Mohinder who was our moral compass has become completely obsessed with himself and his new powers. Just like Sylar he is looking for something to conquer. In walks Maya in her newest slut apparel. She just snuck over the border but somehow has enough money to buy new skin tight, revealing clothes. "The company" must be taking good care of her. Mohinder looks her up and down like a piece of meat which is apparently all she requires to fall in love with a man. It's sad that she is being stereotyped this way. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck...couldn't they come up with something better than that. This has to be one of the reasons I don't watch much tv very often. They always bring in the ultra-cheesy sex icon (soap opera-esque) to keep people watching instead of just developing a really good story. Hopefully the story will improve in the coming episodes.

Get it "beef" and Maya is a piece of meat. I know it's kinda funny.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What I did today

Here's a list of the things I did today (Wednesday):
  • Got up
  • Dressed
  • Woke up Mya and Cor
  • Ate breakfast and checked email.
  • Helped Ballerina and Em set up play-do
  • Walked Mya and Cor to school, Em and Ballerina ride in the stroller.
  • Dressed Em and Ballerina.
  • Called a friend
  • Paid bills
  • Balanced check book and savings account.
  • Checked rewards card and ordered some free gift cards.
  • Labeled my tomato sauce that I canned yesterday.
  • Switched the laundry and started a new load.
  • Changed into stretchy pants and t-shirt (out of exercise clothes).
  • Curled my hair and put on a little make-up.
  • Made and ate lunch
  • Cleaned up computer desktop
  • Emailed my sister
  • Switched laundry
  • Empty, filled and started the dishwasher
  • In the process of cleaning the kitchen-it is a huge mess from canning
  • Talked to DH on the phone-very rare that I talk to him during the day while he is working but no emergency he just called to chat while he was Principal for the Day.
  • Picked a bunch of tomatoes at varying degrees of readiness and put them on the counter to finish ripening.
  • Emailed a friend.
  • Printed October Calendar and taped it on the fridge.
  • Talked to a friend on the phone.
  • Got Em and Ballerina Otter pops.
  • Walked to school to pick up Mya and Cor
  • Drank a large glass of ice water
  • Checked Mya and Cor's school papers.
  • Signed up for kids Book It Program online
  • Helped Ballerina get a snack.
  • Emptied Dishwasher, refilled and turned it on.
  • Switched the laundry
  • Put the salsa and tomato sauce away.
  • Handwashed the dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher
  • Tried to untangle Em's necklace.
  • Took some drugs for my lingering headache.
  • Got a text from my brother that his wife is in labor, will deliver soon, sent a text back. Baby #4 for them-2 boys and 2 girls.
  • DH came home and brought us a bunch of pencils and pens that they can't use at school and post-its shaped like light bulbs. Woo Hoo!
  • Switched the laundry
  • Trimmed the ties on 2 baby quilts
  • Talked to my brother K. on the phone
  • Talked to DH outside for a while
  • Ate Stew for Dinner. DH was the winner of the bay leaf. Who ever gets the bay leaf in their stew is the winner. They don't win anything they just get to feel victorious.
  • Cleaned up dinner
  • My brother J. called to announce they had the baby. It was a girl, 8 lbs. 3 oz., 18 1/2 inches long. He said she is short and fat. She has had her eyes open for the last 2 hours. He just sent me a pic on the phone with her eyes and mouth wide open. So cute! They live in Utah and he said that they had 5 other babies born in the hospital right about the same time so it is pretty hectic there.
  • Going to show DH and the kids the picture
  • Read through grocery store ads till Ballerina came and rearranged them for me.
  • Started folding laundry
  • Paid DH's tuition
  • Checked emails
  • Finished folding the laundry and put some of it away
  • Read scriptures with the kids, prayed and tucked everyone in. Usually I read to Mya and Cor but lately I won't if their room isn't clean. I thought this would be good motivation but it has not worked. I guess money is the biggest motivator right now.
  • Switched another load of laundry
  • Finished putting folded laundry away
  • Ate a cup of yogurt
  • Read my newest cooking blog that I co-write with Anth (I have yet to contribute anything) and someday it will be the greatest cooking blog in the world.
  • Tried to figure out where that beeping sound was coming from
  • Going to watch Jericho, Season 1, Disc 5
  • Goodnight