Saturday, May 30, 2009

Parade Update

Q spoke with my brother this morning. It seems that Dave will be Obi Wan Kenobi tonight and will be in group #50. Aloha High School marching band will be group #51 and will be playing the celebratory music from the awards ceremony from "Star Wars 4: A New Hope" (the movie that we older folk know as the original Star Wars movie). Nice how that works, huh? Here's the music:

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Next Class - Read Any Good Books Lately?

I finished the "Teaching Children to Read" course I was taking. I got an A. Yay!!! I'm still working on the "Introduction to Family Processes" class, but am more than half way done. I figure that if I follow my plan, I'll be done by June 17th.

I really enjoy having two classes that overlap each other, so I'm anxiously anticipating the next class, which I will sign up for in June 20th. It's an elementary ed class entitled "Children's Literature." This'll be the perfect class for the summer. I figured out that for this class I'll have to read 71 books. Considering 40 of them are picture books, it's not as overwhelming as it sounds. There are some assigned books and some that I'll get to choose myself, but the class covers a wide variety of genres, so it'll be fun to get a taste of what's out there.

I also figure this'll be a fun way to spend time with my kids and will be a great thing to do while traveling to our various destinations this summer.

As I created my plan for it a couple days ago, I read that if I had read any of these books, I would need to reread them unless they'd been read in the last six months, so I went in, grabbed one of the five copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and sat down and started reading it to B and DJ again.

If you're at all interested, here are the assigned readings:

Modern fantasy -
  • The Black Cauldron, Lloyd Alexander
  • Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling

Realistic fiction -

  • Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
  • Frindle, Andrew Clements
  • Skinnybones, Barbara Park
  • View from the Cherry Tree, Willo Davis Roberts

Adventure/Historical Fiction -

  • Charlotte's Rose, A.E. Cannon
  • Seven Daughters and Seven Sons, Barbara Cohen
  • So Far from the Bamboo Grove, Yoko Watkins

Biography -

  • Lincoln: a Photobiography, Russell Freedman

Information/Nonfiction -

  • Children of the Dust Bowl, Jerry Stanley
  • Bet You Can't, Vicki Cobb

Of the books I get to choose myself are 31 picture books, 9 fairy tale picture books, 2 modern fantasy chapter books, a realistic fiction, a humor, a mystery, and suspense, and a biography (all chapter books), 3 chapter books from adventure and historical fiction, and 8 informational picture books (oh, and don't forget...a partridge in a pear tree).

I'm not sure if there's going to be a specific list to choose these from, but for the time being, if you have any suggestions for me of books that you or your kids have enjoyed that fit into these categories, I'm totally open to your ideas. I have my favorite picture books, but I would love to know what you enjoy. It would be fun to read these to T as he goes down for his nap and at bedtime at night.

Hmmm....I'm thinking a re-read of Twilight's gotta fall into place here somewhere. Wouldn't that just be a shame. Heehee! Life just keeps getting better and better!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Love a Parade

...but only if I'm with Z.

This weekend is the kick off of Portland's week-long Rose Festival celebration. One of the first parts of the festivities is the Starlight Parade.
I found out a few months back that my older brother, David (the one on the right in the photo), would be appearing in it. He's part of a charitable group that dresses up like characters from Star Wars. He, in the past, has been a Storm Trooper. Funny thing is, we used to play Star Wars when we were kids. He was always Luke or Han. We were sad to see him turn to the dark side. I understand that he's been working on a Jedi costume, so it'll be interesting to see which he'll be on Saturday night. My kids think of him as some kind of celebrity.

Last fall, when the high school's marching band was in full swing, Q was playing soccer. She never thought she'd get to play in the marching band, but it seems she'll get her chance this weekend too. She will be playing the flute (usually she plays bass clarinet) with the Aloha High School marching band in the parade. After the first practice she went to, she came home commenting on how much fun it was. Well, duh! That's what Z and I had both been trying to tell her. We both marched with our high schools back in the day.

One last little tidbit about the Starlight Parade. It was Z's and my first official date together--just the two of us. It was a BLAST! I knew that night that he was the guy for me. I could totally be myself and let my hair down around him. Someday, I'll share his side of the story, and when he know he was going ot marry me. If you haven't heard it yet, it's better to hear it from me than from him.

So, this Saturday night, we'll all be there with our dinner packed in the ol' picnic basket. Another parade with big Z!

Ponderings About Nothing Much

Forty more days!!! I'm taking five off for good behavior (and induction), so let's just call it a nice round 35, shall we?

Life is crazy as school wraps up. Can't wait to have the kids all home. Unless Lachlan arrives a bit early (quite a bit), there's a huge chance that not all the kids'll be around to see her that first night. With camps going on, either Q or G will be gone. That makes me sad, but I am determined that life needs to go on.

I got a phone call from the woman in charge of the 5th grade party up at the elementary school. I contacted her months ago and told her I wanted to volunteer to help and to put me "wherever you need me." Must have been 2nd trimester words. I know I have to be there for DJ, but putting me wherever is no longer an option. Maybe I should say, "Put me somewhere where there are no sharp objects" because I'm sure I'm going to pop. DJ is the one kid who's had more than one teacher during her elementary career who didn't want parent volunteers. This always makes me feel a bit suspicious. I'm sure they have their reasons, but it makes me wonder if DJ thinks I made the choice not to volunteer in her class.

Z was asked last night if he'd come along on a scout overnighter on June 26th and 27th. This made me laugh. I said, "You said no....Right?" There have been times in pregnancies past when I've packed up all our stuff for moves when I was eight months pregnant and Z has gone on scout high adventures and other outings. Those were days when I was much more adventurous (foolish). I'm no longer a pioneering kind of woman.

My first five pregnancies and births, Z only took the day of delivery off. We had my mom or my mom by marriage or friends there to take care of us once we got home from the hospital. It has been a wonderful blessing to have such great women in my life. I still think, in one way or another, that my mom comes to take care of us.

With T, Z actually took two weeks off of work. I LOVED it, but I as I listen to what's going on in the house through my closed bedroom door, I start to feel that I am not nearly as capable an individual as he is. He runs the house and kids as if he did it everyday. I feel useless, but to be honest, sometimes it's nice to be useless.

This time, we haven't even discussed what's going to happen. It's almost comical how unconcerned I am about things. I hope I'm not kicking myself later. The kids'll all be home, which I can see as being good and bad. Z says he's going to take some time off, which'll be easier with no kids or teachers at the school to have to deal with. I'm wondering if the house'll be crazy with all the family in it for that long. How will they all learn to be quiet again? They have to relearn that every time a baby's brought home. This all just seems to surreal. Whose life is this really?

We've discussed the 4th of July. Each year we have our traditions. I would love to see those carried on without me and the baby. I really want life to go on as usual. Plus, a day without the family here wouldn't be so bad. We'll see what Z decides to do.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fifteen Hours

While we were stuck in the traffic jam on the highway home from the beach, Z gave Q a bit of an assignment. I'm learning that timing is EVERYTHING. Her challenge is to create fifteen hours worth of music to burn onto CDs for our two trips this summer. Welllllll.....finals week is coming up for her. Do you think she wants to study? The CDs don't need to be done until the end of July, but you know, what you want to do almost always rules out over what you need to do, so....

To help us out, what are some of your favorite songs that you'd like to listen to on a major road trip?
In regard to the photo at the top of the post--that's gonna be me. You're just lucky you won't be able to see what's going on inside the vehicle:
"Maaaahm. He's touching me!" "T stinks! Will you change him?!" "Isn't there anything to eat? I'm STARVING!" "I gotta go!" Crying infant that needs to be fed (and changed) as soon as we hit the next rest stop.
I know you're gonna want to be along for this ride. Don't be too jealous.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Getting Caught Up with Some Photos

This is the silky fabric I'm going to make the blanket out of I was talking about a few posts ago.

Here's the finished nursing cover. These things traveled to the beach and back over Memorial Day, so they're looking a bit wrinkled. I took Q with me to find the cutest fabric we could find for the nursing cover. I think this is so cheerful.

Here's the nearly finished blanket. I sat in the car yesterday, while in a traffic jam, on the way home from the beach. I got so bored with it I had to put it away for awhile. I will finish it just not yet.

This is DJ being Anne Frank at school. They had to give a "wax museum" report. The kids sat completely still until someone pushed the"button" on their desks. They then "came to life" to tell us all about themselves.

Here's T at the zoo. It was a beautiful day! I'm finding the best days to go are the overcast ones. No one's there, and you can go at your own pace and not worry about losing kids.

Here's A and his buddies on the statues at the zoo. We were having our picnic lunch at the time, but the boys wanted to climb more than they wanted to eat. They're such cute kids. So glad A has such good friends.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Warning I Received Today

I just read this in an email from a good friend today. thought I'd better share with as many as possible.

"Today at church we were informed that there are men going around posing asLDS missionaries. They say they have a message to share with you and justlike our missionaries ask if they can come in. They visit with you for awhile and then one of them asks to use the restroom. While he is gone, theother one distracts you with conversation while other ransacks (sp?) the house. Then they leave. They have hit the Salem and Monmouth areas alreadyand it is only a matter of time before it gets to other places. The Bishop said if you have any doubt to be sure to ask them to show their ministerial cards. All missionaries are required to have them and it shows that they are in fact true missionaries from our church. If they can not provide this, do not let them in and please call the police. Thanks!!!!"

Each missionary is supposed to carry a little white book which holds a card signed by the President of the church (Thomas S. Monson). If missionaries come to your door, ask to see it before you let them in.

Saturday Shopping and Crafting

We got the house all finished and headed for the beach. The weather's been fairly pleasant--sometimes cloudy, but mostly sunny. Z was able to take the boys to the pool yesterday, while I took the girls shopping.

I am not a shopper. I liked to when I was younger, but now I just want to hurry through it and get on with life. Because I'm not much of a shopper, things kids need pile up, so we ran to Walmart and bought all the necessitites. Nice to have that done, but I think in the future I'll replace things a little at a time to save the budget. I need to re-teach myself to like shopping.
We went to the outlet mall. The guy in the parking lot let us park in R.V. parking. That was great because there was a spot right in front of us, so we didn't have to search.
We found Q a swimsuit at a store I would like to never set foot in again--Justice for Girls. I had never heard of it before but it was so girly it made me want to gag. Sorry, I know there are people who liek that kind of stuff, I'm just not one of them (must be my tom-boy childhood that brings that out in me. I guess I wasn't taught the finer things of girlhood). They had girl's sizes up to 18--most places, it seems, carry up to 16. We found the only one-piece swimming suit and found the only size 18, she tried it on, it fit, and we were off. She seems to be actually really excited about it too. We really felt like we had accomplished something.
Next we went and got our hair cut. I hadn't had it cut for many months and am usually really good and going in about every two months. I love my hairstylist at home. My friend Christy introduced me to her, and I just should have known better than to go to a complete stranger, but I thought anything was better than the mop I was currently sporting. After a night of sleep, I can honestly say this is the worst haircut I've ever had. I may have to go in and get it all cut off to make it right again--after all that patience growing it out. Ah well. Q kept her hair long but got her bangs trimmed and her long layers trimmed up. DJ won the haircut contest, though--hands down. They cut it short. Her natural curl in the back did just what it was supposed to. She looks so darned cute.

We finally made it to Safeway. We brought food to the beach with us, but there are always a few things we are lacking that we have to pick up. Thankfully, I had brought my coupons with me--I had a goal of getting them all cut out and organized this weekend. I got that done yesterday morning. I saved 56% off my final total. I didn't realize, because I don't usually shop at Safeway, that you can use up to four double coupons on a trip. I used three. I figured not bad for being out of town. I usually don't have my coupons with me at the beach, so usually I end up spending full price. It was so nice to spend $30 on $70 worth of food.

We finally made it home to some fairly sunburned boys--not terrible--just enough for some color in their cheeks. I got the nursing cover made. It whipped together really fast. I think it took less than an hour. I love the fabric that I bought for it. If anyone else is interested, here's the pattern that I used (thanks to This is a project I will happily make again--a $40 item created for less than $10. Oooh. I feel so crafty. I also got to work on finishing up the crocheted blanket I've been working on for awhile. It's been sitting in my room just waiting for the last touches. That's what I love about coming to the beach. The kids go off and do their own thing, and I get a chance to sit down and not worry about my house, so I can finish things that otherwise would be made lesser priorities. The blanket's still not completely done, but I still have today and tomorrow, so it should be done by the time we get home. YAY!!!
I have two more projects to do. One is for the girls to do, actually. They are making burp cloths. I bought some silky fabric--super cute. I just need to buy some soft fabric, and I'm going to make one more blanket. This might be the project that doesn't get finished before Lachlan arrives, but there are two vacations with time spent in the car soon after she's born, so one way or another, it will get done.

I will make sure to take photos of all these things, so you can see them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Love My Kids....I Love My Kids....I Love My Kids....

I have to keep repeating this because we're trying to get ready to head to the beach. They are furiously cleaning the house. It just becomes a bit stressful because there's the child who goes through and destroys any cleaning that's already been done. There's the child who picks up one thing at a time and delivers it and comes back, analyzes the rest of the room, overwhelms himself and then finally picks up one more thing to put away. There's the child who, no matter what I ask, has an optical spasm, and those eyes go rolling back. There's the child (no, more like children) who seem to get lost in their bedrooms. The books lure them in, and they just can't seem to extricate themselves.


I love my kids....I love my kids.....I love my kids.....

We may not get to the beach until Monday, but at least we're gonna get there. Right? Please tell me we're going to get there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just Stuff

Went and took my midterm and final today. The final was only twenty questions and SUPER easy. I couldn't believe it. Altogether, it took about half an hour to take both tests.

I went to JoAnn's and bought some fabric to make a nursing cover up. They sell for $35-40, so I decided I'd make my own. I found a pattern online and bought my fabric and other supplies (with a JoAnn's 40% off coupon) for less than $6.

We're heading to the beach tomorrow evening after Z gets off work, so I figure over the weekend I'll get some more studying done now that I'm down to one class and get my nursing cover project done. They say it takes 30-45 minutes to make. I'm excited to see how it turns out.

I also took Q and one of her friends swimming suit shopping today. How FRUSTRATING! You can't find a decent one-piece swimming suit anywhere around here. So, that wil be another thing to do this weekend. Hopefully there will be some down at the coast. My kids are suddenly outgrowing everything, so we will be looking for more than just swimsuits--thankfully.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Young Womanhood Recognition and the Wax Museum

Tonight was Young Womanhood Recognition night. The once a year celebration of the girls and leaders who have accomplished all of their goals in the Personal Progress program. Honestly, until it was time to go, I didn't even consider attending. It's for girls and their parents, but Q got hers last year, so I thought I'd just stay home. As time got closer, I realized that these were my girls getting their awards, and I'd better get there to support them and let them know that I still love them even if I'm not with them twice a week any more.

It was so great to sit amongst that group of young women. They are amazing people.

Q had been asked to lead the music. She did a great job. As I sat there watching her, I realized how grown up she is now. What a wonderful young lady she is. I am awestruck that she's mine. How'd I get so blessed? It's also hard to believe that she'll only be with us for another three years and then she'll be gone. Wait! I can't think about that. I will miss her too much.

Then there's DJ who will enter YW in September. Strange to think with all the looking up to Q that DJ has done, their younger sister will only be six or seven when DJ's gone from the house. Who will Lachlan look up to?

I took DJ to get a costume for her "wax museum" project that she's doing tomorrow. She's portraying Anne Frank. Goodwill had just what she needed--photos to follow--white blouse with a Peter Pan collar, plaid skirt, cardigan, and loafers. She shared her oral presentation with me on the way home. It will be so fun to watch tomorrow. I guess she's just one of four Anne's that will be there and is quite disappointed that she doesn't have dark hair for the occassion. Such a funny girl, that one.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer's a-Comin'

Wow! Time is passing so quickly! School here is out June 12th. According to my son, that's 17 more school days. It seems like after spring break I get all excited for summer and start making plans. This year's a little different as I'm planning to be out of commission for a bit of it, but as of today, I'm realizing that I'd better at least get a bit of a plan together.

I went and found the schedule for the free movies. They're Tuesday and Wednesday mornings starting at 10am. It looks like there are only a few we'll miss this year. I'm hoping Z will pick up where I leave off with taking the kids. I'm also hoping that T will be able to sit through them this year without too much extra work. It always seems like it's particularly hard between 1 and 2 years; at least it has been for my other kids.

One of the kids brought home a flyer from the school district for their free summer lunch (and breakfast) program too. This is actually what got me thinking about making plans. We started doing this when it was at Z's school one year. It has carried over. This year it's at Z's school again. It's open to anyone in the community and has been great for my preschool kids to learn how to get lunch at a school so that when they start school it's not any big deal for them.

So, in years past, we have had a regular routine for our summer days. One day a week we'd go to the library (and the fountain next to it); one day we'd go to a different park in the area; two days we'd go to the movies; for part of the summer Z has Friday's off, so we'd either take a family day trip or go to the zoo or OMSI. I'm just a spaz that doesn't like to be home when the sun's out. So, we get our jobs done and head out the door. It's also been our tradition to go get workbooks for the kids to work on to keep up on their skills when they're sitting around in the afternoon saying they're bored. I'm foreseeing a lot of these times with a new baby and a recovering mom.

Oooh, just thinking about these things makes me excited for summer! A couple other things we like to do--berry picking and jam making, running through the sprinkler, eating lots of popsicles, etc. We're awaiting a new basketball hoop for our backyard. The last one got trashed; we'd had it since G was 3-ish. He's now 13, so I figure that's a good life. I'm sure that'll be a big hit for the little boys.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Is There Something You Should Be Doing Too?

As I sat in the foyer at church today, I thumbed through the March "Friend" magazine. I ran across this quote:

"You have not failed as long as you have tried."
~Gordon B. Hinckley

Ah, such wisdom in such a few short words.

I came home and read this blog. Hmm. Thought maybe they might mean something to you too.

It IS Wonderful

We visited three wards today. The first was the ward where Z's sister lives. It's a BIG ward and so full of love. We walked in to find a room of friends--so comfortable. Z confirmed our nephew there, and we left just after the sacrament to get to our own ward, so I could fulfill my nursery duties.

We had five kids in the nursery today. I have the cutest set of triplets in there. We had the bin full of plastic food out, and the girls were playing with it when suddenly one of the triplets was standing in front of me with a small plastic plate with a plastic pastry lying in it. She handed it to me. I said, "Oh, is this for me?" She said, "Yes, it's your birthday cake." My reply, "Oh, then are you going to sing to me?" With one of the sweetest voices ever, she started in singing my birthday song. I blew out the pretend candle, and she swished away the pretend smoke in the air then we each took a pretend bite of my pretend cake. It was so sweet. Don't you just LOVE little kids?!

When our ward was over Z had to speak in the following ward, so I dropped the boys off at the house for lunch and naps and took the girls with me back to the church to hear Z's talk. For the sacrament hymn, we sang, "I Stand All Amazed." Things were going just normally until the very last part of the song. I felt blessed to be sitting where I was. Behind me, very clearly, out of the blue, a little girl's voice (I never did see this girl as she was sitting behind me) of probably about four-years-old sings, "Oh it is wonderful." We all sang a little more of the chorus and then she chimed in again with, "Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me."

All of a sudden, it hit me. This little girl was probably too young to read, but she knew this song. She knew that it, the Savior's Atonement, was wonderful to her. For some reason hearing that sweet little voice was like exclamation points on these words in my ears and heart. It also made me it wonderful to my children? Do they realize just how WONDERFUL it is? Again, I am grateful for small children and all that they share!

The Up-Side

I just read a friend's blog and found out that her daughter recently broke her foot. It got me to thinking about two years ago, and where I was. I'm feeling for her having to have a cast on her leg in the heat. But, here, in my opinion, is the up-side of wearing a cast:

  • You get lots of sympathy.
  • You have a great conversation piece.
  • People want to write cute things on it.
  • You get lots of attention.
  • It's okay to move slowly.
  • It's okay to lay around.
  • If it's your right leg, they don't let you drive.
  • I was fortunate enough to have my mother-by-marriage around nearly everyday to help take care of the house, kids and all the transporation.
  • Yah, I'd say you get pretty darned spoiled.

So, I got to thinking about my current situation (btw, this photo is from a month ago. I'm SOOOO much bigger than this now. I'm huge!). Here's the up-side in my opinion:

  • Ummmmmm....wait a minute....

I know there's got to be an up-side. Just a sec. I'll think of something.

Wait! I've got it!....

Something that looks a lot like this'll be the up-side.
Fifty one days and counting.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This is Me All Over

This is a little ditty that gets stuck in my head from childhood. I hadn't seen it in years, but it fits me today. Ugh! Beautiful weather, but so much to do, and such a large body to do it in. I just can't get bigger than this, can I? I think that every time, but without fail I just keep getting larger and larger. So many good things about today too, but for some reason, here I am going to bed while in my head runs "Whimper and whine, whine, whine."

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's All Happening at the Zoo

Yes folks, I do still have a camera (it's even the same one I got back from the guy who stole it and took it to California), and I do still know how to use it. Here's proof...

We, A, T and I, have been heading to the zoo a lot lately. We go at least two times a week. I just figured out that for our family to visit the zoo once, it would cost us $61.25. That includes parking. Yikes! A member ship for a year is $69 plus it acts as a pass to many other zoos around the country. We actually renewed this year for 13 months. I love that with this membership, we can go to the zoo any time we want to.

We also purchased an OMSI membership. We went there on Tuesday. For a child to get into OMSI, it's $9. INSANE! One trip to OMSI would cost our family $71 including parking. Membership for a year is $95. Again, this membership gets us into other museums in the United States. It's all just a pretty sweet deal.

Yesterday, knowing that A was going to be having a playdate with his buddies, T and I made plans to have some together time. So, of course, we headed to the zoo. T has simple tastes. He wanted to see the ducks. We only went to one area of the zoo--the "Great Northwest" area. I totally followed his lead and went at his pace.

We went to two areas with ducks and then turned around and returned to the first area again. Of course, we saw all kinds of things in between, but oh, the ducks. For some reason that's what thrills T. He just wanted to stand there and watch them.

As we were leaving, T wanted to see the train, so I took him across the parking lot to the World Forestry Center to see the old train that stands there. I love the simple joys of childhood. He was thrilled! He even got to touch it.

This morning, we woke to beautiful sunshine, so I couldn't stand to be home. We packed up, the two boys and I, and went again. Each time we go, we see a different area of the zoo. Today, we saw the chimps out eating their breakfast of bananas and apples out on their climbing structure. We also saw the elephants, penguins and a bunch of other animals.

Faux Pas?


I just realized that I posted about Weight Watchers and then posted a cookie recipe in the very next post. Just a little something for everybody, I guess. Oooops!

Hoping for the Best; Expecting the Worst

After G was born, and I saw how my sweet little (then 23 months old) Q changed, I came up with a new strategy for new babies being brought into our home. With each subsequent birth, the older child or children has received a gift from the new baby at the hospital.

When DJ was born, the kids were given baby dolls with diapers, etc., so they could do what I was doing with the real baby while I was doing it.

When B was born, my mother-by-marriage went to town. I mentioned to her what I wanted to do, and she not only gave all three older kids baby dolls, they were anatomically correct baby dolls to match their baby brother. We had a great time laughing over this. She went so far as to make front carriers for each doll and get them their own diaper bag, clothes, diapers, etc. It was really something.

As my oldest kids have gotten older, they no longer get a gift from the baby. They were not happy about this when T came along. Can you just see my 13-year-old son with a baby doll? Umm. I don't think so. Anyway, for A (and I don't remember clearly but possibly B), there was a box of fun little things to do. This box was kept up high, so I could get it down for him when I knew I was going to be busy with the baby. It was a special box that had to be put away when I was done.

My plan is to do this again when Lachlan joins us. T is the only one I'm worried about. So, I'm trying to come up with some little, unmessy things I can put in a plastic shoebox for his use when I'm feeding, changing, bathing, etc. Lachlan. Anyone have any good ideas? These have to be sturdy things that don't have too many pieces. I'd love to hear your input.
...Or, I could just hand it over to my mother-by-marriage again. It might be fun to see what ends up in the box.

Plans for Lachlan

I'm trying to get T ready for the idea that there's going to be a baby in the house soon. At this point, daily he points to his belly and says, "I got Lachlan; you got Bruce."

I've been receiving pamphlets, coupons, etc. in the mail. The other day, I received something that had a baby's picture on the front that looked just like a Hess baby. I showed this to T and told him that we were going to have one of those in our house. Don't know if it clicked, but what has followed since that discussion makes me think it did.

Yesterday, after dropping Q off at the high school in the morning, we drove past the soccer fields. T said, "We go play soccer. I teach Lachlan." He continued by talking about shin guards and cleats and how Lachlan was going to kick it back to him. Suddenly I realized that I sometimes comment about her kicking me, and he's felt her do it, so he's aware that she's practicing to play soccer with him.

Later in the day yesterday, T did something. I can't remember what exactly--spilled or something. He quickly told me that "Lachlan did it." He said she kicked it.

He's a funny little kid. I'm glad he's anticipating this little sister, but I'm sure he has no idea what he's in for.

Something For You to Try

Here's one for you--sooo easy. We make these for school lunches.

Cake Mix Cookies

1 cake mix
1/3 c. oil
1 egg

Mix together by hand until blended. Drop by teaspoon onto cookies sheet and bake at 350 for 6 mins.

You can also roll them in powdered sugar or throw in chocolate chips or nuts or whatever.

Yay! Weight Watchers!

No, I'm not doing Weight Watchers as a pregnant woman; although, I am one of those who think it would be a great thing--just add a number of daily points for the baby, and you've got it made. It's not a diet afterall, it's just a different way of thinking about what you take into your body everyday.

Well, although I am not doing Weight Watchers, I finally talked the man in my life into it. He's doing the men's version online--no meetings. There were three hang-ups for him. One was that everybody would know what his weight was if he went to meetings (not true), but to him the thought of anybody knowing what his weight was was absolutely mortifying (can't say as I blame him). Second was that he thinks the meetings are for women. Third hang up was the it costs money. We overcame the first two by doing it online, and the third one still holds true, but it's much cheaper online and once he's met his goal, he won't have to pay any more.

So, I'm acting as his counselor. At least that's what I told him I would do, but three days into this, he's pretty much doing it all on his own. He did call me about fifteen minutes ago saying, "Can I tell you what I ate today?" He wanted me to list it on the points tracker. He's totally into this. Yay!!! He also asked me to sit down with him last night and help him get food listed. They say one of the best things you can do to lose weight is journal it.

I have one more YAY thing about Weight Watchers. I remember the renewed feeling it gave me. I had gained control of a part of my life that I never thought I would control again. It empowered me. That's how Z seems to be at this point. When he called me a bit ago, he also asked me if I wanted to go out tonight. I don't remember the last time he wanted to go out. It's always been me needing to get away with him.

He just seems happier. Does that have anything to do with Weight Watchers, I don't know, but that's the only thing that's changed in the last little bit. I'm so happy for him, and I'm happy and hopeful that we'll get to keep him around for a whole lot of years.
Maybe, if he'll allow me, I'll post a few pics, so you can see the metamorphosis, but at this point, I think I'm just fortunate that he allowed me to blog about this much. So, we'll see.

The First of Many Posts for Today

I know that some of my blogging friends are very careful about what they share on their blogs for fear of readers getting the wrong impression of them. I, I'm sorry to say, am not cut from that mold. I'll tell you how it is. So, think what you want of me.

I figure from this angle, there are probably others out there who might suffer from the same kinds of problems that can benefit just as I benefit from those who so willingly share their lives on their blogs. This has been one of the distinct joys of blogging to me.

I'm trying very hard to turn over an old and very heavy leaf. I've had a couple wake up calls with my kids lately and feel that they are running my life. This is a hard place to be. With a baby on the way, I want to feel that all is in hand and that they are self-sufficient enough to be left on their own with their oldest sister in charge while Z and I are in the hospital for the day.

I love that my children are old enough that, this time, we can be totally self-sufficient. I trust my oldest children with my life. They can totally run the show without supervision--all except the driving aspect, but soon enough, that will be a reality too (I hope).

In the last few months, we have worked hard to make sure that housework is organized and assigned, and the kids are doing a great job. I haven't touched the dishwasher in weeks. The laundry and the garage are mine, but other than that, I have delegated all the jobs out. My four oldest children know how to do the laundry, it's just that I have some control issues there that need to be handled before I can hand that task over to anyone. Come summer, I'm hoping that will happen.

In the past, I would assign jobs as needed. No one was assigned a certain area; they just did what they were asked to do. Now, they each have a list of jobs that they get to do for a week. At family council on Sunday night, they rotate. There have been instances in which a good enough job hasn't been done, so that child's hung onto that job for an extra week. In one case, one child had such a hard time with the kitchen that it was hung onto for three weeks. By week three, all of our dishes looked new when they came out of the dishwasher. One child, even volunteered to do the kitchen for two weeks in a row because she did such a beautiful job that first week that I think she was enjoying the continual pats on the back she was receiving.

Regardless of all this, last night, I sat in a chair at the end of the hallway bawling my eyes out. I felt all day yesterday like I didn't want to be the mom any more. So, here we go with my honesty, as I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post. I have one child who is scared to go to bed. I have started the bad habit of sitting outside his bedroom door until he's asleep. This has been a HUGE waster of my time and something I won't be able to continue once a baby comes into my life. Part of the problem has been the older siblings telling him that the "bad guys are coming to get you," so he doesn't want to be alone. Can't say as I blame him for this, but it was one way that the older kids could get him to stay in his room.

While this was going on last night, I found that one of my other children had taken something he/she wasn't supposed to have and then bold-faced lied to me about having it. This is not the first time this has happened.

Do you ever get the feeling that some things are just never going to end; that this is a phase that will never be grown out of? I know that's not true, but with this particular kid, that same wall has to be hit over and over again. It's just very frustrating.

I'm not sharing all of this to tell you I have terrible children. I don't. I just have very normal children. We all make mistakes. But, I'm also sharing this to tell you what I've learned from this.

After getting into bed, I turned to Mr. Jim Fay. He and his partner, Foster Cline wrote "Parenting for Love and Logic." I LOVE their parenting philosophy and would like to be better at living in accordance with their ideas, but I find that every so often I need a wake up call. Last night was that for me.
I went to their website and found these great things--for one child's bedtime problems and for the other child, I found this, which fits perfectly our situation. Instead of letting this child work through the issues, we were just lecturing. That was getting us nowhere. We were carrying too much of the problem.

The other thing I realized was that too much of my precious one-on-one time with my kids was being sucked up by facebook. Not facebook itself, but sudoku. I could play that all day if given the opportunity. I love that facebook has bound me to so many people I have been out of touch with. I love the whole being in touch from day to day thing, but that darned game is what I would sit and play while sitting in the hallway waiting for T to go to sleep. Why couldn't I be sitting there studying? Too many interruptions to study by, but perfect for pausing a game. Then, when my kids got home, I was so wrapped up in the papers I was writing that I had no time for them like I used to. So, last night at 11pm, I deactivated my facebook account. So, if you're looking for me there, I'm gone. Find me here.

I'm hoping to get back on the same track I used to be on. I'm hoping to find time to reach out using this blog, but I'm also hoping to regain the time I used to connect with my kids daily.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother of the Year

A friend sent this to me. Thought I'd share. I especially loved the guy with the tatoo. This friend doesn't even know that I joke around about this all the time.

Does this Look Comfortable to You?

Me neither.

(This is not our baby, but this is what things are like in there at 32 weeks), and it feels like that too. The kids are having a blast watching my belly rock and roll on the outside.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why I Deserve Mother's Day

To be completely honest, I woke up this morning feeling a bit melancholy. I know women who avoid church on Mother's Day. Some, from what I understand, feel that they don't deserve it. That's kind of how I was feeling this morning. No real reason why, it's just the feeling that came over me. People like my mom deserve Mother's Day. Someday I would like to be of her caliber.

This afternoon, Q came down from her bedroom telling us about a huge spider (really the offspring of a huge spider that we met a few months ago) that was hanging out directly over her bed. She told me about it, and then went to tell her dad. I think she was hoping he'd do something to help it meet its demise.

I could hear her downstairs explain to him, "Remember the huge spider that was at the top of my stairs that mom sucked up with the vacuum cleaner?"

Ahhh! At last a reason why I deserve Mother's Day! For one moment in my daughter's life, I was the hero! Yay, me!!! Watch out! I'm wicked with a vacuum.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I am sooo trying this today. Looked easy. Thought I'd share.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What to Do?

I joined a group called a few weeks ago. When I signed up, I kind of cheated, since I'm always induced, and changed the due date to my hoped for induction date (probably around July 3rd). They send me an email once a week to tell me how much longer I have. This is a good thing since I can't seem to remember on my own. Here's what today's email said:

"You've just entered the single-digit countdown (only nine more weeks to go!). Make a list of what you'd like to do in these final weeks: See the new Oscar-worthy movie, hear your favorite local band, have lunch with your BFF, go on a romantic date with your partner. Whatever it is, do it soon because baby is right around the corner!"

Hmm. That gives one pause to think. I have so many things I have to do, but I'd really like to do some fun things too. I'm seeming to forget that once she arrives we will be pretty much inseparable for awhile.

Here are the things I have to do:

  • get an Anne Frank costume for DJ's report at school.
  • finish L's blanket (just cutting the last stray pieces of yarn after securing them)
  • one last week of tutoring A for my Teaching Children to Read course
  • a final for this course
  • eight more chapters in my Family Processes class
  • two midterms and a final for that one
  • finish up the family reunion plans (just a matter of making sure everyone knows their assignments)
  • figuring out food with my mother-by-marriage for our August family reunion.
  • continual loads of laundry
  • finish cleaning out the garage
  • plant the garden (mostly oversee the fam as they do this)
  • get carpets cleaned
  • write a bunch of thank you notes
  • go get a boppy
  • find a basketball hoop for the backyard
  • finish reorganizing the file drawer
  • opt out of the fifth-grade party I so foolishly signed up to help for when I was much less pregnant.

Sounds like a lot, huh? These are just the most important ones. There are others that should probably be done--like painting the boys' room, so they don't have to live surrounded by pink any more; get Q's ladder done for her loft, but I'm going to leave that one to Z; and put the retaining wall up in the backyard (another honey-doer). The happy thing is that I think most of the baby stuff is done.

I'm really clueless as to this summertime baby thing. With what the weather's been like here, you'd think it was March instead of May, so maybe I'll be just fine. I'm assuming you don't swaddle a baby born in July, which has been common practice with all the other six, so do I even need receiving blankets? Just to be safe, I'm going to go get some onesies and sleepers, but even then, will she wear them?

Here's the craziest part of all, and it just seems crazier the closer we get to having her....My family reunion is three weeks after she's born in Seaside. The week after that is Z's family reunion in Idaho. I hope I'm not going to be grumpy the entire time. We'll see. I love both families, but to be honest, I tend to be a pleaser, and I hope I don't feel torn between the baby and the families because the baby's going to win every time. I hope no one takes it personally and gets offended, but she's coming first, and I think if anyone were to stand in my shoes they'd do the same.

So, tell me, if you were going to be having a baby in nine weeks, what would you do now? What would you do for yourself?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu

Who doesn't have this on their mind lately? I found this yesterday. It relieved a lot of my concerns, so I thought I'd share it here.

Swine flu in Oregon: probable

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