Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday spookiness

Here are our little spooks pre-costume. I'll put up pictures later when we get them dressed for Trick or Treating. Jake finally consented to wear the lion costume I bought him and Emma is going to be a cow because she cannot express her opinion on the matter yet. We invited some of our friends over to go trick or treating with us so they should have a marvelous time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Divine Miss M

Just when I think I've got this pre-school thing down okay, a day like yesterday happens to put me right back in my place. Let me start off by saying that I really do love each and every one of the ten little kiddos in our class. They each have their unique personalities. Some are sweet, some are compliant, some are daring and some, like Miss M, are what I would call very free spirited. She marches to her own drum to the extent that I don't think she can even hear anyone else's drum. This is what happened yesterday at play time. These are the facts and they cannot be disputed.

Due to the enormous amount of rainfall we had yesterday, we were not able to go outside to play at recess. When the weather is bad, we have a big gym that we can take the kids to and they can run around, play with balls and parachutes and the like. Unfortunately, we have to share the gym with other classes so it gets kind of crazy sometimes. We are constantly doing head counts to make sure no one has wandered off.

Yesterday, Leslie and I had nine heads to be responsible for. During every head count of our thirty minute gym time we came up with nine heads. Right up until it was time to go back to our classroom. We counted and only came up with eight heads. While Leslie herded the other kids to keep them from getting away, I did a loop around the gym looking for Miss M whose head was not accounted for. I could not find her which made me sick at my stomach. We knew she had to be close by because there is really no way a child could get out of the gym without someone seeing them. I looked in the girl's bathroom and she wasn't in there. About one minute later, one of the other teacher's yelled across the gym that she had found them.

It seems that our Miss M and a girl from another class had gone into the other restroom. I ran across the gym and looked in the restroom and just stared in shock, amazement, anger, and I have to admit, a little bit of hilarity at these two little girls. They were both completely naked, wet and shivering. They had decided to take a shower together during play time. They also found a plunger and went to work on the toilet. Apparently it needed some fixing. This all happened in the span of about five minutes. I could not believe it. Looks like we'll have to start tethering the children together for playtime which could make for some interesting stories later.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I think Mr. Crab's feelings may be hurt

Mike and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary on Friday by taking Jake to Sea World for the first time. Why take the boy to celebrate our anniversary you ask? Because I had a free adult pass that had to be used by the end of the year and basically there were only two days left of the year that we could go. Friday was beautiful weather so we decided to go then. I'm so glad we did. The weather was gorgeous, crowds were minimal and we all had such a good time. We started off at the dolphin feeding pool where I adamantly told the guys that we were only going to be buying one $5 tray of fish. When that was gone five seconds later I sheepishly got back in line for another tray because we needed some good fish feeding photos. Here's what we got.

I know it's hard to tell, but that really is my arm feeding that cute dolphin.

Here are the pics I took of Mike and Jake feeding the dolphins.

Wow! You can see their faces and stuff. Neat.

Next, we saw sharks and jellies and fish, OH MY! The entire time we were there Jake kept asking where the penguins were. Ever since Mike let him watch March of the Penguins he has been talking non stop about penguins. So, when we finally made it to the penguin encounter our little boy was amazed. Here is the wall of penguins.

Can we just take a minute to talk about the size of my upper arms please? I know I'm too critical of myself sometimes but seriously how does someone relatively small have such ginormous upper arms? They look like something you should put on a stick, deep fry and serve at the state fair. I'm just sayin'.

We bought Jake a stuffed penguin that he has named Bobby and I'm afraid that Bobby may be taking over Mr. Crab's job of Jake's best friend. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. Mr. Crab has been with Jake from day one. He has seen Jake learn to crawl, walk, eat solids and a number of other things. And now I just feel like he's being tossed aside for something newer, younger and shinier. Bobby better watch out or he might find himself wearing cement shoes at the bottom of an iceburg or something.

Anyway, other highlights from the day included the sea lion, otter, walrus caper which was really cute. That was followed by the most amazing show of human acrobatic moves combined with diving and some dolphin and beluga whale tricks that I've ever seen. We were all in awe although we wished there was a little less human and a little more dolphin action going on.

We ended the day on a really fun note that was completely Mike's idea because I thought it was going to spell out absolute DISASTER. We took Jake on his first log ride. Actually, his first amusement park ride of any kind. He was a little skeptical but when the ride was over and we told him what a good time he had, he agreed whole heartedly. He just didn't want to do it again. And that's okay.

We had a wonderful time and I am so pleased that Jake loves ocean animals at this early age. It makes me so happy that he allows a crab and a penguin to join his cars with him in bed every night. I would love to show him the greatest show on earth someday-you know the one where you're on a boat in the Pacific and thousands of Common Dolphins come out of nowhere and joyfully leap, splash, jump, bowride and basically show off for awhile. But, since California insists on being too expensive for us to ever move back there I guess we will settle for an occasional trip to Sea World and some pictures of my arm feeding a dolphin.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Diet Diaries

Okay, it's nice to see the number go down slightly. I did absolutely nothing different this week. In fact, I think I worked out less and ate worse because Friday was our wedding annivesary. Chocolate molten cake is very, very good. My short term goal is to get down to 130 before Thanksgiving and maintain that until after the holidays. Then, come January 2nd I'm going to really get down to business and try for my goal weight of 125 by Emma's first birthday in March.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I know it's not Wednesday, but yesterday when it WAS Wednesday I forgot it was Wednesday. So anyhow, here are some wordless wednesday pictures of the kiddos and my sweet parents when they visited last weekend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Diet Diaries

Oh dear. It looks like I've gained another 2 tenths of a pound. Those first three pounds just melted right off and now I've hit a plateau. I might have to do something drastic like start eating salad or something. Thoughts please?

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's not easy being green

Due to all of the rain we've been getting lately Jake and I have developed a new past time. Frog hunting. I guess I should really call it frog finding seeing as how no one dies in the process. Unless the little froggies die from trauma when we let them go, but I believe in my heart that is not the case.

We have tons of little bitty baby frogs in our yard and flower bed right now. I love the natural world and want to instill a love for it in our kids' hearts too so everytime I see an opportunity to get a closer look at a living thing I try to take it. Unless it's a spider in our house and then it must die.

ANYway, Jake has been having a lot of fun catching baby frogs and then letting them go. He's very gentle with them, calls them "little guys" and is not in the least bit scared of them.

Imagine my surprise a couple weeks ago when I saw a full grown frog on the playground at work and decided to share my love of the natural world with our three year olds. I really thought they would love it and would think I was the coolest teacher EVER! So I caught the froggie, called all the kids around me over and opened my hands to show them my find. As I awaited their appreciative ooh's and ahh's what I got instead were shrieks of fright, running away and a general sense of mayhem. I could not believe they were freaking out so much and looking at me like I was a monster of some sort rather than the coolest teacher EVER. Evidently, my little frog friend was taken aback as well and he lost the entire contents of his bladder all over my hands and shorts. There I stood with frog pee all over me trying to act cool like it wasnt' FREAKING me out because I was trying to get the kids to be calm. And there stood my friend/co-teacher Leslie looking at me shaking her head saying something like "that frog just peed all over you." Yes, well that is the price I'm willing to pay to turn teachable moments into nightmarish scenes that these kids will probably be remembering in therapy someday. It's like I always say "Play hard or go home." I don't even know what that means but I am so proud of my little boy for not being scared of frogs. He may be afraid to go on a hayride but he can pick up frogs with the best of them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Death of a Salesman part 2

You may remember our not too distant encounter with a Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman. After that day, I vowed to never let another salesman into our house. I even thought about hanging one of those "no solicitor" signs up by the front door. I didn't do it because somehow they seem rude and I didn't want to scare off the neighborhood children who come by to sale jumbo sized buckets of cookie dough every year. By the way kids, you cashed my check weeks ago, where in the world is my dough?

Anyhow, a few days ago I opened the door to see this man standing a good ten feet back looking sort of scared of the 110 pound yellow puppy we keep around. It was time for me to start dinner, I had two kids pulling on my legs and all I heard was how he wanted to clean the carpet in two rooms of our house for free, no strings attached. I admit I was skeptical. So I said, thank you, but no thanks. He kept on. He was persistent. He assured me that there would be no strings attached and he just wanted to do this for free advertising for his carpet cleaning service and if they did a good job maybe we could tell our friends and neighbors. So. I SAID YES. Not even thinking of the Kirby guy from yesteryear.

Five minutes later as the "technician" was knocking on our door, Mike came up behind me smirking and saying you know this is gonna be those Kirby guys again. I was mortified. I told him it most certainly was not and that these kind people just wanted to clean our carpets for free. And then I opened the door. And I saw Dustin standing there with his Kirby vacuum cleaner box in front of him. Smoke may have come out of my ears, I'm not sure. I was just so mad. I just looked at him and said "you're NOT going to try and sale me a Kirby vacuum cleaner." He actually started laughing. I had to tell him all about our former visit with his kind and told him that we were not interested in purchasing a new vacuum cleaner and that even if we were there was no way we could afford a Kirby. I told him not to bother coming into our house because he was just going to make me mad.

He stood there smiling. Then he begged me to let him come in, clean the carpet and he promised not to talk to me because he wanted to leave us with a good impression of Kirby. I let him in. He did a fairly good job of not talking to me for the first five minutes. However, as I was cooking dinner he would come in ever so often to tell me some sort of lame joke. I swear Kirby must send all of their salespeople to the same comedy school. After thirty minutes, he was finished with the carpet and had me come inspect it. I admit, our three month old carpet was apparently filthy. He had twenty white circles of paper filled with dirt and dog hair from our playroom. It was disgusting.

He then started the sales pitch for why we should buy a new vacuum and I had to remind him that we had no money for one. He just told me that we were Kirby's target market and that didn't have to pay for it all at once. There was a monthly option! Of only $40 a month! And it would more than pay for itself because we would no longer have to pay people to come clean our carpets. He thinks we pay people to clean our carpet. How sweet.

To make a very long story a little bit shorter, before he left he offered me the rock bottom/no profit price for a brand new Kirby. $980. My friends, I have never wanted anything so badly in my life. One of my deep, dark secrets is that I love to vacuum. So I took the piece of paper with the once in a lifetime offer on it and showed it to Mike. He looked at me and said "okay." I said, "really?! we can get it?" And he said sure we could get it but then we wouldn't be able to put in a backyard because our money would all be gone. With a dejected heart I crawled back to the Kirby guy and told him to leave and never come back again. I believe my words were "Dustin, get thee behind me." In hard times, we pull from the word of God to find strength.

So now I try my best to vacuum with a happy heart every time I pull out our Dyson. It's a good machine, but it's no Kirby. If only those neighborhood boys would come back with my cookie dough I think everything would be better.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

The backyard saga's

When we moved into our new house there was no backyard. Well, there was a space with a fence around it, but it was just filled with dirt. Since then, our dirt has grown a multitude of different colored weeds. Some of them are quite pretty. However, we want grass. And flowers. I want flowers.

Anyway, a few weeks ago when our friends Mike and Ivy came out to visit us from California they took us to a nursery and bought us three trees. We got a Texas red oak, a crepe myrtle and a lemon tree. They also helped us come up with an overall plan for the yard. It will be really nice if we ever get it done. Considering the fact that it took almost three weeks to get the trees in the ground (because as it turns out our dirt has a layer of rock under it), I'm thinking that we may have our official unveiling of the yard sometime in 2011. Meanwhile, I'll document our progress. This promises to be almost as riveting as my diet diaries. So, here's what we started with:

The first thing we did was to seal the fence. I got half of it done before we ran out of sealer and have not been able to finish it since it has been raining cats and dogs here ever since.

Then, Mike dug hole number one and planted the red oak.

It's branches are a little wonky right now, but I'm sure it will be fine once it outgrows this awkward teenage stage.

Next, he attempted to dig hole number two for the crepe myrtle but ran into the solid layer of rock. So, we decided to plant that tree in a raised bed rather than go rent a jack hammer to try and break up the rock. Now, I think we're going to have to put a box around the oak to make them look similiar because my OCD is not liking the different styles out there right now.

Next week on the backyard saga's: topsoil, how much do we need and what's it gonna cost? i'm telling you, this is good stuff.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Diet Diaries

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Emma Mae

Emma has officially started crawling! She's been practicing for several days now. Unlike Jake who took off as soon as he tried it the first time, she has had more of an evolutionary process to the art of crawling. She started off with the typical rocking on all fours, then started pulling herself along the carpet with her hands and finally progressed to the official crawl state. I'm so proud of her! I'm posting a picture of her in what I think is one of THE cutest brands of little girl clothing ever-Rufflebutts. If you have a little girl, you should check out their website. So cute. The clothes are on the pricey side but they have occasional sales. Of course, I bought this outfit on sale and it is much cuter in person. Someday, I'm gonna take a photography class. And someday, Emma is going to stop squinting when I bring out the camera.