Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back To School Shopping

Grandma came down for the afternoon and we took the girls back to school shopping. It's much easier with Grandma, she helps entertain the kids, or takes one to look while I take the other. And she is inclined to buy stuff for them too. What's not to love? I've been waiting to do this because I was hoping the sales would get more intense now that school has started. I don't know if they did, but I felt we got some good bargains.
The girls were not happy about all this shopping. You'd have thought we were taking them to listen to Emergency Test Signal Broadcasts all afternoon. They DID NOT want to go. Thing 2 asked what her reward for putting up with this back to school shopping expedition was. "Some wonderful new clothes that I'm buying for you, so you don't have to wear your pajamas, or super tight, short clothes from last year to school!!!"

She was unimpressed.

Beware the "NEXT BLOG" Button

I believe I got a couple of nasty Trojan Horses and a few other toxic viruses by hitting the Next Blog button. I was just whiling away some free time, thought I'd see what other people were up to. Next I know, BAM!! My computer is SCREAMING at me that it's infected.

I have a guy I called, who thought he'd fixed it after working on it for an hour, then whoops, up comes a really bad infection that had just been lurking. He had to take my computer and wipe it.

Beware the NEXT BLOG button!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First day of school!

This morning excitement was running high, once I got them up. They were both tired after staying up so late the past couple of nights, and I let them sleep in 15 minutes longer than I originally intended. But they were going great after I did wake them up, and we buzzed around quickly and walked out the door ten minutes early. We found their classes, and I eventually had to kiss each one good bye.

I came home and exercised... and felt lonely.

It's a little after 11:30 am. Last year I had a half day kindergartener, and at this time we'd be walking home soon from school, deciding what to have for lunch and what to do with our afternoon until we walked back over to pick up her big sister from 1st grade. I go to pick up Thing 2 in about an hour, she has half days for the first two weeks, a testing period for the teachers and an adjustment period for the students.

I am more worried about Thing 2, going from 1/2 day to full day school, and having a teacher we don't know. This teacher is described as "the teacher everyone hopes for" and is "strict but fair." I just worry that the strict part will be hard for my little muffin for a while, who has a tendency to speak out in groups. I like her willingness to say the funny thing she's thinking, but I realize that in school that sort of behaviour is sometimes distruptive, and often is somewhat curtailed. I just hope curtailing it doesn't hurt her feelings. We had hoped that having this teacher would be good for her because last year she expressed real problems with other kids around her being disruptive when they were supposed to be sitting at their table doing work. She is kind of a Noise Nazi. I realize the irony of my daughter being upset by other people making noise, while I'm trying to protect her willingness to speak out, but I like to believe she is just already exhibiting an awareness for the appropriateness of speaking your mind during a group learning session on the rug, and keeping quiet when everyone is supposed to be quietly working at their desks. Her kindergarten teacher was quite good at keeping order, but even so there were moments at Thing 2's table when she was so busy shushing everyone she wasn't getting much done. Can't wait to pick them both up.

--- Later
School went very well for both girls, no problems in either case. I think we're going to have a good year. Here's Thing 1 with her teacher.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to school eve

We've spent a couple days at Grandma and Grandpa's house to finish out the summer. This is MY vacation. I stay up late talking to my folks, I sleep in late while my folks watch the girls, my mom cooks, and takes me shopping... it's a little slice of heaven.

The girls and I made snickerdoodles one day.

We went to see my sister and her family and dogs. The horses were out in the pasture, and we were kind of in a rush to get back to town, so the girls couldn't ride. We'll have to go up again and do

We got home late tonight, which was a mistake because tomorrow is the first day of school and my 1st grader is so excited I think her head is going to pop right off. She was in morning kindergarten, so this is going to be a big change. We packed their lunches, and laid out clothes for tomorrow, and they were making plans about what to do if which one woke up first... I told them please go back to sleep if it's before about 6:30, I'm not sure I could handle that much excitement before 7:00.
Tomorrow is a big day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chidren's museum

In desparation to not let our summer fade away without a fight, I took the kids to the Children's museum yesterday. Thing 1's favorite thing to do is the stop motion animation. I took a video of one of her movies.

I have spent this whole day uploading entry by entry my journal about my girls. They have been fabulous, playing with each other the whole morning and have hardly had the TV on at all. But I kind of feel like I wasted the day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Girls on bikes

Momentous day yesterday - Monday... BOTH girls finally let go and took off on the bicycle, no help from me (except in the starting and stopping, that's still a little shaky.) I've been trotting alongside helping with corrections for a while, but this is the day when they sort of grasped that they didn't need me, and took off on their own. I got phone video, videocamera video, and stills of Thing 2. Since she was crowing on the phone with Daddy when Thing 1 really took off, and since the phone is my easiest way to send video to the computer, and it's like two in the morning (I've been up hulu-dot-com-ing) and I'm too lazy to upload the real video right now. Maybe later. But they both did it! Huzzah!

Hubby felt bad that he missed it,(not that I blame him), he's in North Carolina I think. We've been working on this off and on for a couple of weeks. I felt since nearly the beginning of this endeavor that they almost had their balance, they just need a little practice. I think he felt they weren't nearly as far along as I did, so he was surprised today when he got the video that I'd let go completely. I wasn't surprised at all. But then I've been running along side a lot more than he has.
Thing 2 really mastered it first, and was very proud of herself. Thing 1 had a lot more fears about it, but reported that she said a strengthening prayer, after which she got brave and took off without all the whimpering and shaking she exhibited earlier. Whatever it takes, sweetheart.

Monday, August 17, 2009

School countdown

Only 1 week until school starts.
I am so sad. I am not ready for this.
I want another month, at least, to do all those fun things I wanted to do all summer.

But realisticly, I probably wouldn't get much more done than I have the first three months of summer. I am not even sure what I want to have accomplished that I didn't. I did:

1) put the girls through two sessions of swim lessons

2) clean out and organize the garage

3) clean out and organize the cellar

4) took the kids to Vegas

5) wrote a play for the family reunion

6) attended the family reunion in Jackson

7) took the kids to Lagoon 5 times

8) worked on riding bikes w/o training wheels

9) attended a couple of concerts at Red Butte

10) battled a nasty head cold

... Nope, that's about it. For nearly three months.

So. Swimming lessons - our first session was group lessons at Steiner... which were fine though Thing 2's teacher wouldn't let her wear goggles, which caused some problems. The second session was private lessons from a delightful kid, I will not go back to group lessons if I can help it. I think they learned a lot more at the private lessons, and they weren't so much more expensive as I'd have thought, and the girls get to stay afterward and swim in the pool. But the pool is usually terribly crowded, and it is oppressively hot there, but I guess I'm willing to put up with that. I was hoping to get some private lessons periodically during the winter, but I was told the teachers will be busy with swim team, and won't be available for private lessons. Though I can join the swim team. I'm just not sure they'll swim that much.

The next two items about cleaning I completely owe to my sister. If not for her neither of those cleaning/organizing things would have happened.
The Vegas trip was due to Hubby's conference there. The play I wrote for the family reunion was due to my mother hounding me, sitting behind me while we wrote it together. THe family reunion was great, had a lot of fun.
The Lagoon thing has been a trial. Season passes are NOT CHEAP. Last year we went quite a bit, my good friend had season passes with her kids and we all went a lot. This year, my friend didn't get season passes so it's just my little family, and I can't get them to go. The girls certainly don't want to, and I'm reluctant to go on weekends when hubby's here because I can't abide the huge crowds. During the week, when it is just me and the girls, I cannot talk them into going to the amusement park. They are tall enough to ride most of the rides WITH AN ADULT. Which means if hubby isn't there, they're stuck on the kid rides, which they tire of quickly. It has been such a cool summer that a couple of times when we went it was too cold to spend time in the pool area.
The concerts we attended as a result of donating to the radio station we get 6 tickets. The girls love attending a concert with us, it is a real aerobic work out for me to take them. The concert that hubby and I attend by ourselves is much more relaxing.
The head cold took two full weeks of energy, either too sick to do much more than sleep on the couch or feeling well enough to move about in a sort of undead zombie state, just one step away from the couch. The girls got a lot of TV, DS, and Wii in this summer while mommy recuperated. Which is what they're doing now, while I write this and balance the family and company check books.
The summer has slipped away without me really feeling like I connected and entertained the girls. Most of the fun or accomplishments we've had has been either forced on us, or I've forced on the kids, or has sort of been initiated by someone else. I've been sick, I sleep in late, I putter around on the computer and around the house. And next thing I know, school is back in session next week and I'm going to have two full day school kids.

I am going to miss my baby terribly. I am, however, going to enjoy the time to get things done. The whole summer has been like that... good and bad.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Broken heart

My friend Kelly has a blog.
She has posted some of her favorite blogging friends on her blog.
One of them I started reading, she is just so funny, and clever, and I want to adopt her as my little sister, only I'm not nearly cool enough to keep up with her.

Theirs are the links in my sidebar.

I started watching her shortly after her divorce, as she stared re-dating and old boyfriend, who apparently was in love with her since before her husband. I don't know the story, I haven't read that far back in her blog. But this new (old) guy just sounded so grounded and great, and they seemed so perfect and cute together, and he clearly loves her dearly, and through her quippy, smart writings she is gushing about him... So perfect!

Then I read her blog last week to find he died in a plane crash, with his dad and brother.

I sobbed. I hugged my kids. I called my husband, I have been telling people about the sad story of this nearly total stranger... My friend's blog tells a few more details, it is just such a tragic story.

It is so frustrating that there's nothing I can do... this lovely girl, with so much sorrow... it just hurts to think about her.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Humor rating

I keep in email contact with an old boyfriend. He lives a state away, and has a son a couple years older than my oldest, and a daughter within a year's age of my youngest.
He wrote me once lamenting of the problems he was having - he had been playing Duck-Duck-Goose with his kids, and had stubbed his toe rounding the circle and had broken it. My emailed reply was a couple paragraphs of various combinations of the letters "H" and "A." Of course I apologized for my lack of sympathy.
He later replied that it was refreshing to get my response, most people were horrified about the whole thing, I don't know exactly why... maybe that he'd injured himself playing a children's game, maybe that he was actually playing a children's game... I'm not sure.
Another friend told me he judged people's sense of humor by asking them to watch a movie with him, now I can't remember which movie it was, but I think it was Raising Arizona. That, or Buckaroo Bonzai. Either way, I passed, as he and I had seen the movie together and had loved it.
I just read a blog by someone I like to read about how her daughter made her first book in kindergarten. While all the other little girls write about kittens, puppies, unicorns, her daughter wrote about how she Barfed... or Borft in her spelling. The teacher didn't find it amusing. How can you be a teacher of children and not find tat sort of thing hysterical? Humor is the best defense of a kindergarten teacher.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My life as a salesman

I sold our car in one day.
After it sat in front of our house for about three weeks with "For Sale" signs in it, I listed it on I had three calls on it, and one offer. All in the first day.
I think the trick is listing it at a reasonable price. When I browsed for other cars of this type, I was finding prices as high as three times what I was asking for what looked to me to be comparable vehicles.
I also learned that if you severely underprice baby items, people will practically beat down your door to get to them. We had a nice double side by side jogging-type stroller that I listed for $50. I probably should have listed it for $150, because I swear about five seconds after I hit the "Submit" button on the add, I started getting calls. The first lady really wanted it but wanted to talk to her husband. No sooner did I hang up with her when an Asian lady called and badgered me to take her offer, to the point paying me there and then with paypal. I said okay. Then I found out she lives about an hour and a half away and wants me to meet her in the middle. I should have backed out of the deal, or told her that I'm charging 50 cents a mile delivery. But I'm way too sweet for that.

Oh, and she works until 4:00 pm so we can't do it before that. Which had me driving in rush hour traffic to meet this person so I can deliver something I should have gotten at least twice as much as I asked for... if only I'd have done my homework o pricing that one.

I had to quickly go to the website to mark the stroller as sold because my phone was ringing off the hook about it.

I also sold the girl's old tiny bicycle, and just now sold their train table with all the train stuff that went with it. I am feeling like quite the salesman!
I have a couple more things to list, but they're seasonal and I think I'll wait untl the season is right.

On a different note.

I was watching Hulu – streaming television. Thing 2 caught me. She wants to watch. So I switch from the death and violence crime show I'm watching to a show I think she might possibly like. There is a series about Merlin I’ve seen a few episodes of, so I brought up that page and asked, “Do you know who Merlin is?”

“Yeah,” she says. “My Grandma.”

So we’re watching Merlin. There is a Fast and Furious commercial. Thing 2 puts on her best announcer voice and says “It’s Fast, and Serious!”

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thing 2 turns 6

We celebrated Thing 2’s birthday, an event which deserves an entry.

Long ago, last May, when I figured out we wouldn’t be attending the end of the year school bounce party festival, my Sis-in-law mentioned Kangaroo Zoo, which is a big bounce house place up by them, about 20 minutes away from us. I made plans to take the girls there, in compensation for missing the party while we were in Vegas.
Of course we didn’t get out there.

But later Thing 2 got invited to a birthday party there and we got to check it out. It is really nice, in my opinion better than the other bounce house option in town.

She had so much fun Thing 2 agreed to have her “friend” birthday party there.

But first, for her REAL birthday, we went to my brother’s office and watched the 24th of July parade from the window of his office with his family. Halfway through Thing 1 got bored and asked if she could play her DS, which she brought with her. She plays that darned thing way too much… but that’s another story. After the parade, my folks came over and took Thing 2 and Thing 1 to lunch at Thing 2’s lunch place of choice, McDonalds. I stayed home and slept, as I was still in the throes of that nasty cold. Later they watched the kids again while Hubby and I went to dinner as a celebration for his birthday - only one month behind his real birthday. That's probably a record for us!
We had Thing 2’s official birthday party with the family on Sunday evening. She wanted Spaghetti, and raw cauliflower. Those where her requests. It was a really nice party, we ate inside because it was so hot, and just angled the swamp cooler over the heads of the people in the kitchen.

The following Saturday, August 1st, we had Thing 2’s friend party at Kangaroo Zoo. We probably could have squeezed it in the 25th of July, but since we just got back from Jackson the 19th, it didn’t seem like much time to get everything ready, and we’d also heard some of Thing 2’s favorite people would be out of town for the 24th. So we went with August 1st.
There is a little girl at church who Thing 2 plays with sometimes, we'll call her Eeyore. Saturdays her big sisters watch her while her folks have other commitments, and if we do anything with Eeyore, we have to pick her up. The disadvantage of course is that she's there, miserable, until the end of the party. So I picked up Eeyore and we headed to the bounce house. I had worried that Eeyore might be a problem because she is notoriously unhappy about anything and everything, and being in a situation like this where she's a year younger than everyone sounds like trouble to me. And sure enough, we had barely got our shoes off when Eeyore started moping. Of course there were a bunch of other kids there that Thing 2 knew from school, and she wanted to play with them. Eeyore was the youngest, didn’t know anyone but one other little girl from church, and quickly decided to be absolutely miserable. She spent 90% of the party moping, crying, sniffling, and shuffling around at foot of the slides. The slides were too scary. They were too big. Everything was too scary. But the one slide which she liked that she refused to go on herself. The other 10% of the time when she wasn’t acting clinically depressed is when either I or the mother of one of the other party guests was playing directly with her. But of course that gets old quick, I had to take pictures, and the other kid's moms wanted to play with their own kids too. But with Eeyore there’s just no fixing anything, there’s no cheering up, just maybe a slight lessening of the despair.

If you ask Thing 2 now about her party, she says it was fun, but that it was bad that Eeyore was so unhappy. As we were writing our thank-you notes, she said she didn’t know what to say to Eeyore. She didn’t want to remind Eeyore of the party at all because she seemed so miserable at it. Thing 2 bemoaned she didn’t get to play much with anyone, because she had been trying so hard to play with EVERYONE, and keep everyone entertained. My niece went off to play with Thing 1 the minute she arrived, so Thing 2 hardly saw either of them. She didn’t get to play with the one little boy who came, who is a real sweetie, since everyone else was so needy.

It was a party that was easy for me, since I didn’t have to do much more than arrange it and make cupcakes, then take pictures. But for Thing 2, having that many people running in different directions to entertain, I think it wasn’t as much fun for her as a party at the house, with half as many people, would have been.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pictures in my lockets

Been really busy. Maybe I should do a catching up blog after this one.
But first I wanted to write that I finally took about half an hour to go through old pictures to find some good little photos to put in my lockets. I have three. One, with room for just one photo, was one of the few things that wasn't stolen when our house was robbed and my jewelry was the primary loss. It wasn't there because I was wearing it to my grandmother's funeral we attended right before we left for the vacation we were on at the time of the robbery. It's a big black pearl.

The second one my husband bought me when I confessed to him that a beautiful simple gold locket he bought me on the mother's day right after our first daughter was born was one of the things I missed the most of the jewelry that was stolen. The replacement is a heavy silver locket, about as big as the end of my finger, from the last knuckle to the tip. It's shiny, plain, and lovely.

The third he bought me recently, for my birthday, I believe. Some of the other jewelry that had been stolen had come from our engagement trip to Scotland, we found a place where there is a "Heather Gems" factory. They take bits of heather, dye them, polish them up, and kind of make a stone out of it. They're like really fancy fine grained wood in a rock. I hadn't had a locket from there originally, just a pin and some earrings, but he bought me a beautiful locket, mail ordered from Heather Gems in Scotland. It's a red "stone" set in silver on the flat locket. He also bought me a gorgeous pin and some earrings, but that's another story.

So I've had these lockets anywhere from five years up until a year ago, and I think my girls have stopped climbing on my lap to look inside. They gave up. So I raided my photo bin, found a couple of pictures, and cut out the heads.
It's hard for me to decide which photos to cut up. I am not a scrap booker, and don't like cutting into photos at all anyway. I justified my photo picks by hoping that I have digital copies of the ones I cut up, and can reprint them later. I hope I'm right.

It's nice to have this taken care of..
The summer is slipping by and I'm not getting much done.