Monday, March 30, 2009

Mommy wow, I'm a big kid now....

We went to our ENT's office for our official "all clear" for John's ears. His last tube had come out of his ear. John was in quite a mood all day, he was just really turning on the charm. Normally he is a tiny bit standoffish.

When the nurse called him she said, "John?".

John jumped up off the couch and said, "Thats me! I'm the big boy! ...and look I have a spiderman on my shirt!" The nurse was laughing and the whole staff peeked their heads in the exam room at different times to see the "big boy".

The nurse weighed him and John told her that yesterday he was small, but today, he is big. I was cracking up.

The doc checked out his ears and gave him a lolly. Then he went for his hearing test. The kid loved it! who knew? He felt so special with all of us staring at him and clapping for him during his test. He cried when we had to leave... I found it so ironic, usually taking them to the doctor is like pulling teeth...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Its not gone but I think its fading....

Update: Still sick... its appalling. I think I might be 8% better than I was yesterday. I'm not sure what to think. On the plus side we have only been sick twice this year. But, this one has lasted 3 weeks!! I think it might have been flu, I never got tested, but this was the first year I skipped the shot..... regretting that now....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The icing on the cake....

Have you ever had one of those days.... those days where you have that ominous cloud over you from the beginning? And there is this one defining incident that just is the icing on the cake? Its not like its the worst day of your life, its all the little things. And there is this one moment where you can see the whole day just circling the drain. We had one of those today.....

We are sick, yes STILL... its the same thing, we just haven't shaken it yet. We are so sick and tired of being sick and tired. The fatigue is awful. So anyway we are grouchy to begin with. We woke up this morning and I was so tired and desperate I stopped to get a McNasty coffee. (yeah, I am a coffee snob, but its the only thing I am snobby about.... well except fabric softener, that's the other thing). Things had started that slow side downhill.......

But see, in spite of it all, I rallied and made this awesome baked pasta dish in the afternoon. I was so proud because I had gotten a really expensive provolone cheese that normally would have cost me 17 dollars for 2.50! I had sorta pinned all my hopes on this pasta dish. This pasta dish would be that one redeeming act, the thing that I could look at and say "see, it wasn't all a loss".

It was rainy and the not-yet-taught-its-manners dog was in the house. I set the pasta on the counter to preheat the oven. Then I walked away. HUGE MISTAKE! I heard a crash and a thunk. It was the thunk of all my Pyrex hopes for the evening hitting the floor. The dog had grabbed our dinner off the counter and this monster casserole dish had hit the floor, shattered, and put a great big gash in my floor.

Now of course this is the moment that all of my kids rush in because they need milk, need me to change the channel on the tv, need $500! That was the exact moment I gave up. Today was just going to be a sucky day and I needed to get zen with it. I hustled everyone out, cleaned up my masterpiece and threw it all in the trash. Made some hot sandwiches with alphabet soup and declared it a TV free for all.... which bought me a little peace in this day. I decided to ignore all the mommy guilt for kid zombies in front of the TV for a few hours.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Romantic night out......

Brian and I decided to do our make up valentines day tonight.... and we took the kids. It was quite something. I started the morning out right by writing a romantic message for him on the bathroom mirror. It said "sandwich" in a heart. I knew he would forget his sandwich that was sitting on the top shelf of the fridge, so see it was practical AND romantic (Give me a break, I put a heart around it). Of course the night before he gave me a really nice expressive card that had like a whole two paragraphs of hand written text. I am such a lucky girl, but I kinda felt like a schlub.

So we went out to a nice restaurant around here that is definitely more fine dining than family faire. We are all still feeling kinda puny, so it was great of Brian to suggest it for tonight, it saved me making dinner. The bad part about it is that we all had stuffy heads, so the kids had no sense of volume control during dinner. Their ears were stuffy and they thought they WERE being quiet. Once the piano player started it wasn't so bad. No one even heard John shout "I ate Kermit" after he ingested my frog leg or heard him quack when Brian ate his duck.

Emma swore she wasn't hungry at all when she had the overpriced plate of food in front of her. In all fairness it was a very meatbased meal and she would be a vegetarian if left to her own devices. But then she ate five dinner rolls. She is such a hoot.

Chloe went to the powder room during dinner and apparently there was an incident. To my horror, she came back to the table swinging her pink panties through the dining area for all to see, saying (loudly) "I got some poop on them, can you put them in your purse?" That was special, I very quickly grabbed them and tucked them in my purse. We should really take the kids with us more often.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Face Paint Fridays and Moody Gardens

I had promised to paint the kiddos faces for days. Today I lived up to it. They were so thrilled. John went around all day hissing. He was a sneaky snake. Emma told me she was afraid they would kidnap her into the penguin pin.

After we were properly painted, we headed for Moody Gardens. It was a blast, we renewed our membership there. I was glad we did, they are raising the rates in a few months.

John looked at me during the visit and said with SUCH a straight face,"Mommy, they are staring at me because I am such a handsome boy". (this is what I tell him all the time). I died laughing and agreed of course. We had such a great day. Everyone had a great time and we had lots of good memories at the end of the day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

livestock show and rodeo

The kids and I went to the Livestock show here in town with some friends. We hadn't seen our friends for awhile, and it was awesome to hang out with them. We are blessed that even when we don't get to see each other as often, things never get awkward.

The kids had a blast! an absolute blast. They LOVED it. So did I.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Be Vewy Vewy quiet... we are hunting leprechauns

The bait: tiny cups with bread and honey, and a tiny cup of milk.

The trap: very ingenious box and stick (dvd case) method.

We will let you know what we catch tomorrow.....

Children's Museum

Chloe's face painting today was very artistic, and scary.... We headed out to the Children's Museum. it was fun but super busy, I have never ever seen it that busy. When we pulled up at 10:15 am there was a line to get into the parking garage. That has never happened before.

We had such a good time. We went with friends and it was so nice, it was one of those times when all the kids personalities complement each other, even John didn't feel left out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Schlitterbahn Family Fun

We went to Schlitterbahn today to buy our annual passes, and it was almost surreal. Outside the temperature was in the fifties and it was on and off again misty and rainy. Its not the sort of day that just screams swimming. It was unnaturally cold for Texas in March. Of course last week it was in the eighties all week.

We got our swimsuits on underneath our sweaters and when we went outside we could see our breath. The kids found this absolutely hysterical. The whole day had this feel to it as though we were getting something over on Mother Nature. Until May it is the indoor heated part of the park that is open.

Brian tried to take all the kids on the big twisty tube waterslides that are several stories up in the air. John and Emma were the only takers, my little adrenaline junkies. They loved them. Chloe loved the more sedate slides that were a little closer to the ground. She and I also LOVED the torrent river. You float along in your float, and every once in a while a big wave slaps you around. We floated around it so much I still have that feeling even I as I write that I am in the current.

We came home exhausted in that way that only a day of water fun can make you. It was so much fun, we are making it a regular stop on our family fun schedule.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Notable Picture Books for the Year

The Notable Books in the Language Arts Committee, sponsored by the Children’s Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English, selects thirty titles each year that best exemplify the criteria established for the Notables Award. Books considered for this annual list are works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written for children, grades K-8. The books must meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • deal explicitly with language, such as plays on words, word origins, or the history of language;
  • demonstrate uniqueness in the use of language or style;
  • invite child response or participation.
Picture Books

Chen, Chih-Yuan. (2008). Artie and Julie. Alhambra, CA: Heryin.

Choung, Eun-Hee. (2008). Minji’s Salon. La Jolla, CA: Kane/Miller.

Cottin, Menena. (2008). The Black Book of Colors. Illustrated by Rosana Faria. Toronto, Canada: Groundwood.

Gravett, Emily. (2008). Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Johnson, Stephen T. (2008). A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Reibstein, Mark. (2008). Wabi Sabi. Illustrated by Ed Young. New York: Little Brown.

Rumford, James. (2008). Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad. New York: Roaring Brook.

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. (2008). One Boy. New York: Roaring Brook.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chester, Our new favorite book

This is our new favorite book series. All the kids love the sense of humor in these, but Emma finds it fascinating. Chester is more than a picture book. The story is told with two dueling authors. Author 1 is Mealnie Watt with her black type. But Chester her cat, comes back and rewrites, and re illustrates the book graffiti style with is thick red pen.

This book starts as the story of a mouse in a house. But Chester kicks the mouse out and rewrites the story of how awesome he is with his red pen. Melanie and her mouse fight back with their own "revisions". It is a scream, and we all laugh even though we have read it a million times now.

She also has written Chester's Back, and Scaredy Squirrel series

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Driven to Distraction

Okay, I don't normally delve into journalistic endeavors here; But this article affected me. These situations happen with greater frequency and the reason is glaring and obvious to me. As a society and as parents we are absolutely driven to distraction. Email, Blackberries, laptops, cell phones, finances, jobs, relationships, activities all demand our time. They don't politely linger asking, they barge in and demand our attention. It is no longer that we could, if we had to, multi-task. We are almost expected, or required to multi-task every hour of the day. We don't even sleep as much as our parent's generation. This frantic pace we have set to life is inhuman and my cybernetic implants are taking a long time to ship from ebay. I can't keep up, and I am not sure I even want to.

I can't imagine the overwhelming grief and guilt that these parents experience. I find it difficult to imagine anything that could be done to these parent that would be worse than what has already happened to them. How can you possibly be more distraught than you would be every morning when you viewed that empty chair at the breakfast table, or the empty bed every evening? It seems redundant, and cruel to consider criminal charges; especially for those that have other children who would experience both the loss of a parent and the death of a sibling.

It should beg the question of the rest of us.... how distracted are we as a society? as an individual?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lemur Lunch

Saturday we ran some errands, did the craft at Lakeshore, took stacks of books out at the library, then tucked into a Lemur Lunch at the local soup and salad buffet joint. I love it because the kids eat for .99! and its a healthier (and cheaper) option than McDonalds. The kids love it because they get to eat like Lemurs (fruits and veggies). After Madagascar movies, the Lemurs have become a beloved family favorite. Thankfully so far, no poo flinging.....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Packages are fun

Today Chloe's bday gift came in the mail. We ordered her Thundarr the Barbarian toys... Ookla, Princess Ariel, and Thundarr.

As always the kids had the most fun with the packaging....

Chloe wrote "cat" on the box and loaded it up with toys for BeBe the cat, she told me she was the kitty UPS woman.

Emma used the label as a "repair man" badge, and fixed chloe's box.

Then they put the cat in......

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wildlife Park Field Trip

We had such a good time today at the wildlife park. We got there a bit early (unprecedented, I was thrilled!). One of the animal keepers let us know that they had just had a baby giraffe last night! The news crews were on their way out, it was very exciting news.

We went into the petting zoo portion and ran into this momma pig... poor thing... It reminded me of when I was nursing and pregnant at the same time, I felt like mine dragged on the ground too...

Then we went on the tram ride to feed the animals out of buckets.. it was so much fun.

My favorite moment of the day... Chloe had dropped her bucket for the second time. The first time I had given her my bucket of food, but there were no more available. She was especially embarrassed because the little boy behind us had pointed out that she had dropped hers twice. Emma reached over and gave Chloe a hug and said, "Here Chloe, you can have mine, I got to feed lots of animals already and I can help John." It was the sweetest thing. I love it when they do these things without any encouragement from me. It makes it very authentic.

EVERYBODY loved the pony rides!!!! I love days like these, it feels like we are on vacation, just having so much fun.