Friday, June 29, 2007

You're the Inspiration...

I really enjoy going back and reading my blog - it's even better when I find a series of posts that were written on a daily basis. So, since I posted yesterday I have to post today. :)

But what to write about? Thank heavens for YOU! I went to visit Deb's blog and found this wonderful list which she stole from Lara's blog! Now it's my turn. Feel free to steal away - just call it your 'inspiration'.

45 Things About Me

1. Are you taller than your mom? My gut instinct was to say yes, but I think the actual answer might be no. I always thought that I was 5'8", and my Mom always says that she is 5'7". Then the Doctor said that I am 5'7", so that would mean that I am the same height as my Mom, but I don't think we are the same height at all. And the more that I think about it, the more I can't decide who is really taller than who. But does this really matter? Especially when you consider that I am ADOPTED.

2. What color is your car? Short answer: Green. But it's really more of a teal. And sometimes it looks really green. But sometimes it looks really blue.

3. What is the closest thing to you that is red? I have a t-shirt on that has red 'collegiate' type letters on it that spells out America.

4. What is your ringtone? Oh When The Saints Come Marching In. It started as a joke because I thought it would annoy The King when I assigned it to his phone. But it didn't appear to annoy him, and then I realized that not many people use it as a ring tone so I kept it because at least I would know that it was MY phone that was ringing.

5. Are you sick? How to answer that? Some people are convinced that I am 'sick in the head' but, other than that... no. I'm not sick.

6. Do you have a favorite pillow? No, but I am NOT a fan of feather pillows. Way too squishy.

7. What is your favorite game? Oh gosh - I do love a good game of Scrabble, or maybe Scattergories. But the games I play most often are computer games like Zuma and Luxor.

8. Had a nap today? No. Neither have my kids - maybe they need one. It's highly unlikely that I would take one - I am not a "nap person."

9. Gold or Silver? I am definitely a big fan of the silver, for everything. But as far as jewelry goes, I probably wear gold more often than not.

10. Is there an animal that creeps you out? I don't care for insects of any kind, but I guess that I would have to say that the animal that disturbs me the most is a mouse. They have an uncanny knack of running in 8 different directions at once.

11. Who was the last person you rode an elevator with? If my memory serves me well, it was with my two daughters, and their friend Laura. It was a crowded elevator, my kids were closest to the buttons, there were buttons that NEEDED to be pushed, and ALL of the kids refused to push any of the buttons, even on request. We must've been in The Twilight Zone or something.

12. Did you go ice skating as a kid? Yes! My Mom took me almost every winter to a small rink at Murray Park.

13. Ever have stitches? Yes, my Mom slammed my middle finger of my left hand in the car door when I was about 5 (?) years old. I still have the scar. I have also had a couple of surgeries, and I believe they used stitches on the INSIDE, but the outside was always held together with staples or tape so I guess they don't really count.

14. Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Limeade. Followed closely by Root Beer. Followed closely by Code Red.

15. How long ago did you kiss someone? Well gosh. Thanks for pointing out what is so OBVIOUSLY wrong with my life. I don't know. I do know it was sometime this week, but other than that, I don't know. How SAD is that?

16. What's something you want to do before you die? Overcome depression. I want to be HAPPY.

17. Have you ever caught something on fire? A close call when I was a kid - I had a candle burning in my room and I fell asleep. It burned down to my dresser, and burned a large circle on top of my dresser, but then it went out. A guardian angel must've been watching over our family that night. I've caught lots of things on fire ON PURPOSE - but this is the only accident that comes to mind.

18. Have you ever seen a ghost? No. It's one of those things that I have always wanted to see, but I'm guessing I would be completely freaked out if it ever actually happened.

19. Have you ever seen the northern lights? No. Add that to my list of things I would like to do before I die.

20. Do you know how to use chop sticks? Well, yes. I know HOW to use them. Do I do it well? HECK NO.

21. Name something good that happened today. I ate breakfast.

22. What room are you in? The Kitchen... well, maybe it's more of The Dining Room. I'm at the Kitchen Table that is in our Dining Room? Well, you get the idea.

23. Are you worried about something you can't control? I worry a lot, probably more than I need too. Most of the stuff that I do worry about I think I can control - so then I worry about whether or not I am actually going to control it. But, there is one thing that I can't control which is almost always on the back of my mind and it involves my husband's job. I am always afraid of another job lay-off. I know I need to let it go, and I try too. Sometimes I even think that I HAVE let it go. Then it sneaks back up and bites me on the butt. Ugh!

24. Do you like to exercise? No. But if I have a walking partner I do find it more enjoyable, and I think I would like to start swimming this fall - maybe when my kids are in school.

25. Ever been in a car wreck? Yes. Once as a passenger when I was in 5th grade, my friends mom rear ended someone. Once I scraped the side of my car against the side of someone else's car because I made too sharp of a left turn - the 'rents don't know about that one. Once I actually managed to get my Mom's huge mini-van stuck in a drive-through at Iceburg in Salt Lake City. That was totally embarrassing. Apparently though, it's happened before, and they finally tore down the fence that kept causing all of these "traffic jams." Another time, a car made a left-turn into my car, and completely totalled it. It was a hit-and-run, and once they caught the guy, they let him go because he was from Mexico and he "didn't know better" even though he had a Utah Driver's License! Don't get me started... Oh, and another time I was fooling around with my friends and I hit a barricade (one of those easel type ones with the flashing lights on top?) - it got stuck under the car. And then there was the time that my car slid off the road and into a tree during an ice storm. You know, I think I should've just answered this question with a "Yes" and left it at that.

26. Are you wearing nailpolish? No. I like it, but it always starts chipping off 24-hours after I apply it. What's the point?

27. Favorite color? Sunflower Yellow is the likely choice, but I also like a deep red.

28. Innie or Outie? Mine is definitely an innie.

29. Ever been to Canada? Yes. Glacier National Park was probably my favorite trip because I remember most of it.

30. Sweet or Sour? As a general rule, sweet. But as a kid one of my favorite treats was a lemon. Yum.

31. Sun or Moon? Well, I am a happy person when I open all the blinds in our house and let that beautiful sunshine come pouring in. But honestly, I really enjoy watching the Moon.

32. What shoes did you wear today? Shoes? We don't need no stinkin' shoes.

33. Favorite eye color of the opposite sex? I suppose I should say brown because that's what The King has, and I DO like them. But green eyes are pretty darn attractive too.

34. Most important quality in any relationship? Tough one. Deb said honesty, I'll go for that right now.

35. Favorite movie? I just watched "Music and Lyrics" and really enjoyed it. But probably an all-time favorite is "The Parent Trap" starring Haley Mills. Lindsay Lohan sucks.

36. Time of day you were born? 12:06 am. Does this explain my owl tendencies?

37. Do you know your blood type? Oh yes, O-. Universal Donor, I am.

38. What would you spend 5000 dollars on right now if you were handed it? I would share it with The King so he could get a new computer. But I would hope that while he would get a computer that fits his needs, he would also not spend all of it, so that we could start rebuilding our savings account.

39. Name something you are grateful for! My family - particularly over this past week because they have been putting up with all kinds of nastiness from me. I am very lucky that they still love me.

40. Did you grow up in the city or country? Salt Lake CITY.

41. Would you ever consider going on a reality TV show if offered a large sum of money? As in, I get the money just for going on it - not having to WIN it? Probably. But I guess I would have to consider what type of reality TV show it is. If I'm required to get naked - HECK NO. It wouldn't help their ratings anyway. *smirk*

42. One of your dreams? To be at peace. Period. I know, I'm asking a lot.

43. Hugs or kisses? Hugs. But if we're talking strictly candy here, it's Kisses, all the way.

44. You have 10 dollars to spend in the dollar store. What do you get? The possibilities are endless, but I'd probably end up in the paper/school supplies section. Or gift wrap - sometimes they have really good deals on wrapping paper.

45. Slurpee flavor? Something fruity - I think Banana is my favorite. No "soda" flavored ones, and definitely no "pina colada" ones. Did you know I used to work at 7-Eleven? So did The King. The best part of the job was picking the next Slurpee flavors. Or maybe it was checking out guys with my gay co-worker. *evil grin*

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Give me strength, Give me silence...

If only the headache would go away I might actually feel that I might be able back a little bit of control over this thing called life.

On Tuesday, I had to go to the dentist. I do not like the dentist. To make a long story short, I had to get 4 fillings, and I've had either a headache or some mild mouth pain ever since. The pain does seem to be decreasing, and I have experienced something like this before so I am not necessarily worried. But I am tired of being in pain. I have been told that I have a high tolerance for pain - this may or may not be true - but when it is constant (even if it is only a dull ache), it wears on me.

Mix in a moody 7-year old who refuses to do anything you ask/tell her to do. I am so tired of fighting her. I know that ultimately I must continue the battle "for her own good" but let me tell you, it's killing me. We've bribed her with a scooter, we've offered her cash, we've even offered one-on-one time with Mom or Dad. It just doesn't seem to work. We've done it the hard way before (YOU WILL DO WHAT I SAY WHEN I SAY IT) and none of us really seemed to like how that went. But gosh, the nice way isn't working, so what else is left? The only punishment I haven't tried is to take her books away from her - and I really don't think I can bring myself to do that. Punish my child by not allowing her to read? That just seems wrong on so many levels. There must be a better way.

However, this attitude MUST BE STOPPED. My sweet 4-year old is picking up on certain behaviors and I don't like it. The Princess doesn't like it when her attitude gets shoved right back at her by her little sister - but she doesn't seem to realize that the little sis is only mimicking her big sis.

The King, unfortunately, has been picked on by me because I am feeling so awful. I am simply not a nice person to be around right now.

I have mostly been keeping to myself, which allows for a lot of time to analyze myself, my behavior, my family, my household, etc. I don't really like what I see - most of it having to do with me rather than other people. It's time for a change - but where on earth am I supposed to find the strength to make this change. (Yeah, yeah, I can hear the churchy people now - "Your strength isn't on earth! It's in heaven!" This may very well be true...)

I am tired; I am salty; I require *silence*.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I find it hard to believe that the last time I posted was June 12th. It really doesn't seem like it was that long ago. Time flies when you are busy.

So let's see if I can rehash what we've been busy with over the past week or two.

Wednesday, June 13th was the first day of a free art class at the library that The Princess was interested in. I was able to sign her and Laura (a friend) up for the class, and I drove them there while Laura's mom watched The Dragon for me. I was grateful I had my portable computer - it gave me something to do. The class was a sculpture class - their projects will be displayed at the library upon completion of the class. I think the girls had fun, but it wasn't quite what they were hoping for. The "clay" was some of that stuff made by Crayola that is kind-of like a light-weight foam when it dries. While it's fun, it's not like real clay, and you can't really 'sculpt' with it. Ah well.

On Thursday, June 14th, The Dragon had her second day of preschool. She was quite willing to go, but was disappointed that she wouldn't have dance afterwards. I dragged The Princess to a couple of different stores with me. We were searching for Ball Park hot dogs. They were on sale - $1 a package. It's a good price, but of course, I can usually get them for that price or less. BUT... this week if you bought five packages, you got a coupon for $5 off your next shopping order. Which of course, you can use to buy 5 more packages of hot dogs, and then get another coupon for $5 off of your next shopping order. We have a lot of hot dogs in the freezer.

Thursday night, was The Princess' coach-pitch baseball clinic. Yep, she loved baseball enough that we signed her up for another 'season.' Laura's mom signed her up too, so the girls are very excited to be on the same team. Laura's mom called me right before the game and was telling me that she wasn't sure what she was going to do for dinner. I said, "Come on over, we've got... " (can you guess?) "... HOT DOGS!" So they did. And then we all rushed off to the baseball clinic where The Princess was very happy to show Laura how it was done. They both hit the ball, they both worked on catching and throwing the ball, and Laura was initiated by catching a bad bounce with her face. No blood though, so it was a happy ending.

By the time that Friday, the 15th had arrived, I was exhausted. I didn't want to go anywhere, do anything, but alas, it was Art Class again. I managed to get the girls to their class, The Dragon to the baby sitter, and zoned out with my trusty computer at the Library. That night I
had plans to go to a crop - but I really didn't want too. I was SO tired. But I hadn't been to a crop for a while, and I had a feeling that a night out of the house would do wonders for me, so I went. I had a good time, and I got a few pages done. But I was still tired.

Saturday morning I felt like killing myself because I DID NOT want to GO anywhere. But I had too - the girls had swimming lessons. So, I did what any good mother would do, and got dressed, got them dressed, and got out the door to go to swimming lessons. The Princess is catching on so quickly - she even went down the water slide! The Dragon is doing very well too - she is becoming more and more willing to put her face in the water. YAY DRAGON!

After swimming lessons were over, I was feeling a little more adventurous, so, remembering that my friend Merry Noelle (Dubby - do you remember the Sandoval's?) lived in the neighborhood, I decided to drop by and surprise her. It was so good to see her again! It's crazy that we only live 10 (?) miles away from each other but yet we never get together. Hopefully we can change that a little bit this summer!

By the time we got home, a few hours later, I must've been feeling a little better because I suggested that we all go to Lagoon-A-Beach, which is a water park. We have season passes to Lagoon, and the 'beach' is included. We had never been to the water park before, and I didn't want to go for the first time with just the girls - so the King somewhat willingly tagged along. Boy, it was an adventure. We had to wait in line to get into the park (though the line did move fairly quickly), then we had to stand in a line to get a locker, then we had to stand in a line to rent tubes and get life jackets for the girls, then we had to stand in another line to PICK-UP the tubes (they gave us the life jackets), then we had to find a spot to spread out our towels, etc, and then we could finally go play! I think everyone's favorite part was the 'lazy river' where we could all just float around on our tubes with the girls on our laps. The Princess was brave enough to bop around the river on her own - thouigh we made her stay very close by, and even The Dragon liked to be down in the water, hanging on to our legs for a few minutes. The water was COLD though. Very cold.

When my feet were decidedly numb and the girls were a lovely shade of blue, we decided it was time to pack up. Once we were out of the water, the girls declared they were STAAAAAAARVING, and they needed food NOW. We didn't give in at that very moment, but we did stop at McDonald's on the way home which made for very happy children.

Sunday, was of course, Father's Day. The girls had a great time making cards and coloring pictures for their Dad. I tried to let the King have a relaxing day as possible (with the exception of me asking him to please rinse The Dragon's hair because I always pour water and soap into her eyes). I tried to arrange to cook dinner for him, but he ended up cooking most of it. I also made a cake for him, but he didn't even try it until the next day. I also made arrangements for a e-card to be sent to him on Father's Day, and I know he got it because of a confirmation email they sent to me. But he didn't say anything about it - which is OK. But.... I dunno - I hope he had a nice day - I tried - but I kinda have the feeling that maybe I didn't do a very good job or it wasn't up to his expectations. I love him very much though, and I think he is a great Dad. Happy Father's Day! My Mom called at about 6:00 that night wanting to know where we were - she thought we were coming to dinner. I had told her that we would NOT be coming to dinner because we wanted to spend the day with The King - but apparently she didn't remember that. She was waiting for us - they usually eat at about 5:30. I felt bad, but it's not my fault.

All in all, I had a nice day - and I bet you all are thinking "Great! The Queen finally got to stay home and rest for a day." HA HA HA! Nope. We went to church. I am still awaiting my day of "let's do absolutely nothing" - it will arrive... eventually.

Well, my friends, I still owe you another 7 days of updates, but it is now 12:45 in the morning, and I think an eyelash just got stuck in my eye, so you will just have to wait on pins and needles to find out what happens next in our grand adventure.

Will The Queen ever get her day off?

Will The Princess ever be willing to practice the piano?

Will The Dragon ever let her Mom read another book to her?

Will The King ever feast on chicken again?

Stay tuned for our next episode!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I just have one question for you: Who am I Where am I and Who are these Kids? That was one question, right?

We have been so busy! It's been a lot of fun, but sometimes I think I forget which way is up. Or down.

Sunday was a quiet day. I was lazy and didn't go to church. Neither did The Dragon. The Princess went with a friend. We had dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's. Nothing else really took place that day - and that's OK.

On Monday, we had a very brief session of "Mom's School" and then we took off for the library for The Princess' dance class. Yes, that's right, her dance class is at the library. Salt Lake City has a program for kids, that offers a variety of 6-week classes throughout the year for free, or at most $10. It's nothing fancy, but it IS fun, and the kids DO learn new skills. So we go dancing at the library. What do you do at your library? Read? ;)

At dance, we discovered that one of her classmates had signed up for the same class - they were thrilled to see each other. As a bonus, this classmate has a little sister who is the same age as The Dragon, and we discovered that both of them were signed up for the same dance class too - on Tuesdays though. Oh, the ironies!

The Princess loved her dance class. They have a "boy" teacher which The Dragon thinks is hysterical because "boys don't dance!" They each made up a 'move' to represent their name, and put on quite a show. It was lots of fun to watch, and The Princess said she had lots of fun dancing.

After that, we headed to one of the local elementary school to partake of their free lunch program. Any child, ages 18 and under, can eat there for free... all summer long. Some meals are better than others, but my kids think it's a fun treat. They really love the chocolate milk.

We traveled home, at which point I made the kids do their piano practicing with the promise of letting them play in the wading pool afterwards. Practicing was a breeze, and they spent the next 3+ hours turning our backyard into a mud pit. To say they had a great time would be an understatement.

The King came home and BBQ'd pork chops for us. Yummy! He's a really good cook.

That evening I went to the grocery store and bought 15 boxes of cereal (primarily Chex and Total), plus two gallons of milk, and got two more coupons that were each good for a free gallon of milk on my next visit, and spent only $15.55. Yahoo! I love a good deal.

Today was a little bit crazier. Heck, a lot crazier.

Up at 8 am. Started getting the girls ready for the day. Grandma calls, she had a piano lesson cancellation so we are welcome to come and take the empty spots. Perfect, except we'd have to be there by 9 so The Dragon could have her lesson before preschool. Made it to her house by 10 after 9, The Dragon had a very short lesson, and I rushed her to preschool at 9:30. Back to Grandma's so that The Princess could have her piano lesson. Then The Princess and I did her math assignments. As soon as she finished, we rushed out the door to pick up The Dragon 20 minutes early from preschool so she could go to her first dance class. Made it to the dance class 5 minutes early, where The Dragon was reunited with her friend from the previous day, and they had a fantastic time twirling all over the gym. We're a spontaneous kind of family, so after that, we decided to have a play date with our friends, and headed to their house for lunch and fun. About two hours later, we were on our way home, where the girls (exhausted beyond belief) started to fight, but protested loudly when I suggested "quiet time." The Dragon proceeded to scream as she walked in the house, went upstairs to use the bathroom, gather up her blanket, walk back downstairs, and as soon as her head hit the couch - SILENCE. She had passed out. In the meantime, I had called The King to see if he was interested in attending a free concert tonight. He was. So we made plans for that, but that wasn't going to be for another 5 hours or so... what to do, what to do. The phone rang. My neighbor wanted to know if my kids wanted to go swimming. I explained the situation, and we decided that it would be much easier if all of her kids came over here and we let them play in the wading pool again. So they did. And it was crazy and fun and wet and cold and we discovered that there was a wasp nest in the outdoor toy container. LOVELY! So we killed it. Then The King came home and we cleaned up the yard and our friends went home and I actually cooked some food (if Hamburger Helper qualifies as food) and we ate the food, and then we sat around and digested our food for about 20 minutes until it was time to get in the car and go to the concert which was really really awesome (more details in a minute). After the concert, we came home, put the kids in bed, and I started typing up this very long adventure. Did you get dizzy or confused reading about our day? You did? GOOD! Now you know how I feel!

OK, so you at least deserve the details about the concert that we attended. It was an a capella group named Tminus5, and they were awesome. It was such a fun concert, the girls were laughing and giggling, I was rockin' to the beat, and The King was busy tip-tapping his toes. It was held at a park, the weather was beautiful, we sat on a blanket (well, The King sat on a chair), and everyone had a great time.

And now, all I want to do is go to bed!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

One Year Ago Today...

... we moved into our house. Yes, the 10th of June was moving day. I am glad that is over... for lots of reasons. The bad news is, we still have stuff in boxes. Ugh. Some of the "stuff" is probably stuff that we can get rid of. But some of the "stuff" I really do want to keep, but we just have no place for it. So sad. I'm hoping to decrease the number of boxes over the summer. Wish me luck!

On Friday, Mom's School was pretty much a complete flop... we went to IKEA instead. I wasn't thrilled with the store. I've been to IKEA before, and I know what type of furniture, etc, they have to sell, so it wasn't that. But they also have a "kid care" center, and when we went to drop off our kids, they had FOUR (count 'em FOUR) kids in the center, and said we had to be put on a waiting list, a LONG waiting list. When we finally were called back, they did have more kids in the center, but still - FOUR!?! I don't know what the child care laws are, but one person is certainly capable of taking care of more than four kids. And there was more than one day care provider working. Whatever.

The food could've been better - like if they had actually had what was on the menu. And, note to self, next time, skip the "display" floor and just go the main floor where all the stuff that you actually want to buy is.

On the plus side, we went with one of my friends and her 3 kids, so it went a lot more smoothly than if I had just gone with my kids by myself. It wasn't a bad day - but it wasn't what I had hoped it would be.

Friday night, The King went gaming. That means that me and the girls get to spend a nice peaceful night at home. Yeah, right. The Princess tormented The Dragon which caused The Dragon to bite The Princess - and everything went downhill from there. This is not normal behavior for our family, this is just normal behavior for when Mommy's in charge and Daddy is nowhere to be found. *sigh*

Saturday was interesting. I finally found swimming lessons that fit with our schedule, and that I could afford. This month we are only doing Saturday lessons, which means we get 4, 45-minute lessons for $15. Anywhere else, the same thing would cost about $28. As a bonus, The Princess is the only one in her swimming class, and The Dragon only has one other little girl in her class. Wow! $4 (not quite) an hour for private (or almost) swimming lessons! That's a deal.

So anyway, we went to swimming lessons, and the girls seemed to have a good time. While there were some protests about what the teacher asked them to do, it really did go quite well. The kids were drenched when they returned to me (including their hair), so that makes it a success right?

Immediately after swimming lessons, I dropped The Dragon off at a friends birthday party. Thankfully she was willing to stay by herself, so I got to go home and relax for a little bit, during which time I accomplished nothing.

An hour and a half later, I picked up The Dragon, brought her home, and the kids had lunch. The King felt that the kids, The Princess in particular, were being a little bit bratty so he wanted them to take naps because we had an activity planned for later in the evening. He got them settled in bed, and they slept for THREE HOURS. Wow. The King chose to take a nap too - I picked up a few things, talked on the phone, and played computer games. It was a peaceful afternoon.

After everyone woke up, we got ready for our evening adventure - a Salt Lake Bees game! The first inning was really exciting! Then the Bees got, um, stung? Baseball is definitely more exciting when your team is winning. We were really happy with our seat selection (The Princess got tickets from her baseball team earlier this year so they were FREE), and it was 'Oreo Night' so the girls had a lot of fun watching a giant Oreo and Milk Carton dance around the field, with an occasional glimpse of the "Bee." We had a winning sticker in our program, so we got a free double scoop of ice cream, which was probably more like a quadruple scoop of ice cream - Bumble Bee Ripple flavor (Banana with Fudge 'Ripples'). The kids went nuts over this unexpected treat. After the game, there was a "Kids Run" where the kids got to run the bases, and then there was a photo op with the "Bee." And then, (we love freebies), they gave us multiple packages of Mini Oreos! Wow! What a night.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

I Need A Bigger Vocabulary

It's getting hard to talk around here. Gone are the days where I can lovingly gaze at my husband and say, "Hey Hon, how about we get some I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M after the K-I-D-S go to B-E-D.

No longer can I tell him where the C-O-O-K-I-E-S are, or where I hid the C-A-N-D-Y stash.

Tonight, ALL Sonic Drive-Ins are offering free Root Beer Floats to their customers from 8:00 pm until Midnight. Don't blame me if I didn't post this earlier enough, it's only 9:07 for you east coast folks, so you have over two hours to go and hook yourself up. It's not my fault you don't check my blog for updates every 10 minutes. :)

Speaking of updates, my Feed doesn't seem to be updating as frequently as it should. Weird.

But I digress. The problem in The Castle is that our little ones have developed vocabularies that are almost as big as ours.

So now, in order to plan a trip to Ye Old Sonic, I must now confer with my husband in a way that might sound something like this:

Hey! During the hour which is normally reserved for bedtime,
there's a place where vehicles frequently enter and exit known by the
name of Sonic that is offering at NO cost a certain something
that is beer but not with another frozen substance that would float within.

It's not that they (particularly The Princess) couldn't figure out what I'm trying to say, but hopefully it's garbled enough that they'll get lost somewhere in the middle and not really know what I'm trying to say.


"Mom's School" Update

Day 2 of 'Mom's School' was draining. The Princess threw a fit very early on because the picture she tried to draw of a 'blue bird' looked like an 'eel.' She would not stop screaming. I decided that most of the catastrophe was because she had stayed up way too late the night before when she went to see the play... and of course she didn't sleep in. So I sent her to take a nap.

The nap helped a little bit, but the rest of the day was still challenging, and her "screaming fits" drain me. I find myself completely empty and useless for the rest of the day.

Day 3 of 'Mom's School' went a little bit better, though The Princess tried to have another screaming fit. This time I lost it and went off on a tirade about what mental hospitals were and how I was going to have to take her to one. This is NOT one of my proud parenting moments - OH NO... not even close. The good news is, she stopped screaming.

But life isn't meant to be easy. Shortly thereafter The Dragon decided to lock her bedroom door. And pull it shut. With everyone on the OUTSIDE of the door. And then we get the joyful (NOT!) discovery, that her bedroom door has a lock on it that requires a key. And we don't have the key. Long story short, eventually The King came home from work and struggled long and hard before he successfully jimmied the lock. There is no doorknob on her bedroom door at the moment. And that fact is not bothering me AT ALL.

We also had to venture out into the hurricane to go to Grandma's house for piano lessons. I told the girls they were "this close" to spending the rest of the afternoon in their bedrooms, or in the case of The Dragon, MY bedroom - and if they didn't want that to happen they would have to have excellent behavior at their piano lessons. No whining, no crying. They had two choices: Do exactly what Grandma told them to do, or ask nicely for more help to do what Grandma told them to do. Ironically, it worked. The piano lessons went off without a hitch. Success!

Day 4 of Mom's School is taking place as we speak. The Princess was doing math, she came to a review problem that upset her. She was told that "Megan had 15 marbles and two boxes. List all the ways that the 15 marbles can be put into two boxes." The Princess got a good start, until she got about half-way done.

"Oh noooooo!" she wailed. "How am I supposed to do this? Inverse Operations?!?"

I looked at the problem. She was upset because she head reached the point where you could put 8 marbles in 'blue' box and 7 in the 'red' box, but from then on out, you were using the same numbers -- just putting them in different boxes.

"Yes," I replied, "you need to use inverse operations."

Here's the thing: Inverse Operations? Before she started Kindergarten, I wouldn't have even know what 'Inverse Operations' were. Sure, I would've known how to do them if someone had stuck them in front of me, but the term 'Inverse Operations' meant absolutely nothing to me.

Now she's entering 2nd grade. Her workbook has a page entitled "Introduction to Algebra." I don't think I had ever heard of "algebra" until I was in 6th grade, which was when I had started "pre-algebra."

In a way, I think it's good that she's learning the terminology to go along with the math. In upper grades I was often frustrated because I didn't know what certain terms were, and didn't know how to do certain things until I had my "Duh!" moment and realized that what they were asking me to do was something I had been doing since 3rd or 4th grade. I just never knew what it was called.

But still, it's strange hearing all of these "big words" coming out of your little one's mouth.

On another note, all of her teachers generally despise using the workbooks that they send home for "practice" and now I know why. (Which is why they send them home, because they use other stuff in school). You get math problems like this:

Jimmy has 9 stamps on his card. He gets 8 mores stamps. How many stamps will he have to carry over to a new card?

Well gosh, the answer could be just about anything since they don't bother to tell you how many stamps fit on the card in the first place! If you look at the rest of the page, your best guess would leave you to believe that 10 stamps are supposed to fit on a card, but there's no proof one way or the other. I tested The Princess by telling her a certain number of stamps could fit on the card, and each time she came up with the right answer, so the concept was sound. But the question sucked.

Anyway, all in all, I thought that Math would be the hardest part of 'Mom's School.' Ironically, that's been the easiest part so far. I've been pulling out pages from a variety of workbooks, and The Princess does 4 or 5 of them each day. I give her a mix - a review of stuff she learned in Kindergarten, to the stuff she will be learning in 2nd grade (3rd grade level). Counting, identifying patterns, simple addition, simple subtraction, telling time, counting money, interpreting graphs, simple fractions, place holders (ones, fives, tens, hundreds, thousands), adding two & three digit numbers, subtracting two & three digit numbers, plus a little bit of multiplication.

We're on a roll.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Honesty Is The Best Policy OR The Power Of Guilt

I went shopping at Kohl's a little over a week ago. They usually have a fun selection of t-shirts that are available for the wonderfully low price of $5. I like to stock up.

I get home, we get busy wearing t-shirts, days go by. Eventually I pull out the receipt to work on our finances, and I realized that we weren't charged for one of the t-shirts. I wondered why I hadn't caught the mistake at the store, and I think the reason was that I had done one of those general calculations of "this should cost me approximately $XX amount of dollars" and since the total was in that approximation, I never missed that it was $5 off. What to do? What to do? I could just keep the t-shirt, after all, I gave it to the cashier to ring up. It's not MY fault she missed one.

But, my conscience wouldn't allow me to do that, so I packed up the kids and headed to Kohl's. I'll be honest, this wasn't the only reason I headed to Kohl's - I had earned a $10 gift certificate during my t-shirt shopping spree and I wanted to spend it.

At the Customer Service department, I told them my story. The cashier was a little surprised, but rang me up for my $5 t-shirt AND let me use my gift certificate to pay for it. Bonus: when the t-shirt rang up, it didn't charge me tax. The cashier told me not to worry about it (Woohoo! Guilt free!).

So we finished our shopping trip by buying The Princess a new pair of tennis shoes. They are a very sparkly silver, with pink acccents, and a picture of Tinkerbell. And they light up. And they were on sale, so they only cost me $15 (with my coupon) instead of the normal $40 something.

And I am guilt free.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

The First Day Of Summer Vacation

The Princess had her last day of school on Friday. She was very sad that school was out for the year. Sad that her teacher was leaving, sad that she wouldn't see her friends almost every day, sad that she wouldn't be doing math (HA! Fooled you! She wasn't sad about that at all!), sad that she couldn't have chocolate milk every day for lunch. You get the idea.

I've been determined to not waste the entire summer away. I started "Mom's School" today. It was an interesting experience, but basically I kept the kids involved with activities of my choosing from 8 am until noon. It was exhausting!

We all got dressed, ate breakfast, and did the various grooming needs such as brushing teeth and combing hair. We made beds (well, mine didn't get made), we did laundry, we did math, we had story time, we played a game, we even accomplished our piano practicing! At noon, "Mom's School" was officially over. I made lunch for the girls, and then they had a bit of free time. Around 2:30 we headed over to the library and signed up for the "Summer Reading Program." Now the kids are lying on the floor watching a TV show - the FIRST one of the day!!! - and it's 4:15 (approx).

It was very busy, and I'm tired. But, I managed to keep the TV off for the majority of the day, plus The Princess practiced her math, and they both practiced the piano! That alone made it worthwhile. I'm going to try to keep this up all summer but it ain't gonna be easy. I rebel against any kind of routine. :)

Tonight, The Princess will go see "Thoroughly Modern Millie" with Grandma and Grandpa, after eating dinner at their house.

The Dragon, The King and I are going to head to Wheeler Farm for the libraries "Summer Reading Program Kick-Off Party". It should be pretty fun too. I hope!

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Introducing... The Web Site!

When I find something that I am interested in, I tend to go overboard with it. Therefore, I have been fairly reclusive over the last 72-hours because I am obsessed!

I created a family website. I used to have a website. The King used to have a website. We even had a wedding website. We started a family website - it never really got finished. 9 years later, I decided that maybe it was time we had a website. So I made one.

It's fairly basic, but it will do. It offers the following:

1. One stop shopping for all four of our blogs. I know that some of you are signed up to my feed, which is nice and all, but now you have quick access to one site to see whose blogs have been updated - since not everyone in our family had a feed. By viewing our website, excerpts from the last 3 postings to each of our blogs are displayed. If you wish to read the posts, or just access our blogs, all you need to do is click on the link and the appropriate page will be loaded in a new browser window. Sweet, huh?

2. A brief "introduction" to each member of our family. It's kinda silly, but the girls helped write each of theirs, so maybe they are slightly amusing.

3. Photos. Everyone loves pictures. We now have a photo album. I will only be updating this once a month, but it will contain 15-20 pictures of the 'highlights' of the month... with captions! OOOOH! AAAAH!

3. Our real names. I dunno, I have issues with the name thing. Do I use our real names or continue with the pseudonyms? I just can't decide which I prefer more. So, our first names are used on the website. Nothing more, nothing less. I'll give it a trial run.

4. A really cute picture of a house that I drew all by myself on the computer. OK, so it's only a stick figure house, but I think it turned out cute, and it's the cutest thing I have EVER drawn on the computer. Ever.

So, come visit us. Let me/us know what you think. Let us know (gently!) if you discover any major errors with it. It looks really good on my computer. And supposedly, it's been tested for use with a variety of other browsers, but you never know. So if there's a problem, maybe I'll try to fix it. Maybe. But only if you tell me about it.

The web address is:

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Ready For A Laugh?

You have GOT to go check this out. It's The Pink Princess' blog, and it's updated today... by me.

Go check it out. Seriously.

Click HERE for a good laugh!


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