Friday, July 27, 2012

Catching up

Where to start? Mike and I are having a date night tonight! That almost never happens around here. Our church offers fairly cheap child care the last friday of every month so parents can go out and have some kid free time. Tonight we're taking advantage of it. We cashed in our extra change jar and everything. The plan is dinner at Chuy's and then a walk around Central Market to find some whole wheat pastry flour which none of our local grocery stores carry. Central Market always has live music on Friday nights so we'll probably hang out there until we turn into pumpkins and have to pick up the kiddos.

On Tuesday I did take the kids out for a very fun adventure. But I didn't take the camera so no pics. We went with our neighbor and her two little boys to a water park just north of Austin. Oh my word. They had so much fun. For an incredible three and a half hours. I've been feeling so sorry for myself this summer because I really wanted to take the kids to the beach for a couple days and we just couldn't do it. But I think they had more fun at this water park then they would have had at the beach. Plus, no sand in our shoes!

We've been sticking to the local library  a lot for free entertainment. On Wednesday I took the kids to story time. And then I remembered why we don't typically go to story time. Emma rolled around on the floor for thirty minutes begging me to take her home. And Jake sat looking at his own book instead of listening to the librarian. Also, when she started singing "i'm a little teapot" all the other kids got up and sang and acted like little teapots. Not my kids. Neither one of them would participate. I didn't even try to get Emma Mae to go along. But I did look at Jake and say "hey! stand up and be a teapot!" And he said he didn't want to. And I said "but everyone else is doing it." And he said he still didn't want to be a teapot. So much for peer pressure. Afterwards, they both colored their very own chameleon because all of the books that day were about chameleons. Jake managed two green scribbles before he said he was tired and would finish it later. Emma Mae loves to color so she spent the next fifteen minutes putting every color of the rainbow on this chameleon. Which will be very useful if he ever finds himself hiding in front of a rainbow.

Then on Thursday Mike and I took them back to the library to see a presentation on miniature horses. This sweet man talked for thirty minutes about the ins and outs of little horses while thirty or so kids rolled around, talked, laughed and caused general disruption. Then they took us all outside to pet the little guys. They were cute and now I would like to have one to go along with the chickens I really, really want to raise in our backyard. I think we might have to move to a farm.  I'm picturing a huge garden, chickens roaming freely and freely giving me their eggs, canning everything we grow and possibly milking my own goat. Or cow. I don't know. I'm dreaming of the life my grandmother's probably dreamed to get out of someday. Crazy.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer adventure #11?

I'm a little behind on our adventures. They are so numerous it's just hard to keep track. My favorite adventure was yesterday when I fixed Emma Mae her favorite turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch. She saw the mayo on the bread and flipped out. For ten minutes she cried about how mayo is not her favorite (even though I always put it on there and she has never complained before). She had to go to time out where I was informed that the only way to cheer her up was to get the mayo off of her bread. Finally, she came out and tried the mayo on the bread and declared that she liked it! It was a mayo miracle.

Anyhow. Last week we took the kids back to the botanical gardens because Jake has been begging to go back there since our last trip. He loves the dinosaur on the trail. The kids spent about ten minutes walking on these rocks around a koi pond. Mike and I were sitting on a bench marveling at them. Then I jinxed everything by saying that we should probably leave that spot before one of them fell in. And Mike said no let's wear them out here. And approximately three minutes later Jake fell into the pond up to mid thigh. Then Emma Mae fell in all the way up to her neck. Then they smelled like dirty pond water for the rest of the day.

I love these water lillies. I'm thinking of building a pond in our backyard just so I can have some. And some frogs. And a turtle.

Look at this little guy. I want one of him too.

After we got the kids covered in pond scum we hopped back in the car and went next door to the nature center. They enjoyed digging for dino bones.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Seriously? Could sister be any cuter?

This is how we found Jake the other night when we went in to check on him at bedtime. After we tucked him in it appears he got out of bed (shocking!) and donned his full Spiderman attire. He's wearing the muscle costume which is really hot plus gloves plus he is holding his mask in his hands. He had to have been 100 degrees underneath all of that stuff. Don't you love how he still has room for Crabby even when he's fighting bad guys?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Unexpected surprises

Today started off weird when I was halfway done with my shower and finally realized I had company. It was startling.

In other disturbing news, we are growing ginormous mushrooms in our backyard. Not on purpose or anything. I should have put something beside it so you could see how big it really is. This one is at least six inches across.

After my shower I spent fifteen minutes in negotiations with Emma Mae about bringing me her swimsuit. I asked her to go get it so I could help her put it on. She told me to go get it myself. I asked her to go get it again. She told me no. You get the picture. Apparently, the only thing that can "cheer her up" is if I get her swimsuit for her and help her put it on. But I did not cave. You cannot cave to the Emma monster. Or she will eat you alive. In the end, her brother talked her into bringing me the swimsuit so we could go swimming already.

Later when Mike got home it was time for my weekly trip to the grocery store. During the summer we are on a very tight budget. I don't tell you this to get sympathy or money from you or anything. I could get a summer job to make things easier. I have one word for why I don't do that-IDONTWANNA! I like being home with my babies. Even when a certain three year old argues about everything! So anyway, we had $60 to last us until next Thursday. Not tomorrow. The next Thursday. So I took my trusty list to the store and vowed to stick to it. I asked Mike on my way out if he wanted anything and he said "hershey's chocolate syrup." So I had to explain to him that chocolate syrup is a want not a need and he wasn't going to get it. Then he had to explain to me that I asked him if he wanted anything not if he needed anything. Symantics.

I managed to stick pretty close to my list at the store. I bought a pack of chicken legs that wasn't on the list but they were on sale and it just made sense to buy them. I can get two or three meals out of them. And then I passed by the fresh flower section of the store. Ya'll. They had the prettiest gladiolas on sale for $2.49. Down from $9.99. I mean, I would have been a fool to pass that up. So I put them in my cart. Then I headed to the hersheys chocolate syrup aisle and picked some up for Mike. Because I didn't even want to have that conversation when I got home. And then I put back the normal dog food I buy for Brady and bought him the generic store brand that was $2.50 cheaper. I know. Bad little mama. Make the dog suffer so I can have fresh flowers in the house. The total for the groceries ended up being $59 and some change. Talk about coming in just under the budget! Then I went home and checked the mail and we had an unexpected check for $55 in there. Funny how things work out isn't it?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pizza, friends and fingernails

Yesterday I was surprised by a phone call from Amy inviting us to meet her and the kids at Gatti Town. We never go to Gatti Town because buffets sometimes creep me out and the noise in the game room is sometimes overwhelming to a person like me. BUT, I always want to see my BFF so we went and met them. Also, the kids were driving me crazy because we have been staying at home the last few days. Which means there has been lots of fighting, crying, whining and carrying on. I thought we could use a little outing. And my sweet friend offered to pay for the kids. And it was mom's eat free day. Do you see how the stars all aligned for us and Gatti Town? And you know what? It was delightful. Amy and I got to catch up, the kids all played well together, and as far as I know no one got sick from anything growing on the pizza in the buffet line.

When we got home I took Emma Mae aside to examine her finger. The day before she told me that her finger was broken. I was all "oh, that's awful. should we cut it off?" being the sympathetic mama who has heard way too much complaining over minor ailments in my mommyhood. But this was Emma Mae and I should have known better. She really only complains about things that are pretty bad. Like broken glass in her knee, nursemaids elbow, or the inhumanity of older brothers not being very nice. Anyway. The fingernail on one of her fingers was completely bent back and merely holding on by a thread down at the bottom. My first instinct was to scream and make an awful face. My second instinct was to run away as quickly as possible until Mike came home to let him deal with the problem. But in the end I opted for the "oh my! that might need a band aid!" approach.

So after Gatti Town, the nail was almost off. I wanted to yank it free so badly. Instead, Jake led us all in a family prayer time. It was the cutest thing ever. It was all totally his idea. He said he felt very bad for his sister and asked if he could pray for her. So then he very eloquently asked God to make Emma's finger feel better and help her regenerate a new fingernail. (I love it when he uses regenerate in a sentence!) Later she let me clip off most of the dead nail and today the rest has magically disappeared. Let the regeneration begin!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer adventure #10

Yesterday we loaded up the kids to go out on our weekly adventure. The destination was Hamilton Pool just outside of Austin. We couldn't wait to swim in the cool clear water of the pool and maybe get wet underneath one of its sparkling waterfalls. So after an hour drive to get there we pulled up and saw a sign that said "no swimming due to high bacteria levels." Bummer. In hindsight, maybe we should have called first to see if the water was clean.

Luckily, the park ranger told us we could go in and hike around the pool and take pictures and stuff. Then we could get back in our car and drive a mile up the road to another park where we could take the kids swimming in the river. Back in business. You just don't want to drive an hour with two little kids to go swimming and then have to tell them "hey! just kidding. we're not getting in the water today."

So we made our way to the other park and talked to that ranger who said "sure you can go swimming! at your own risk! and we don't test our water out here!" Of course I was mildly concerned that the water we ended up swimming in was just a mile away from the water we couldn't so much as dangle our toes in without fear of becoming ill. But I just told myself that the water in a running river couldn't be as easily contaminated as the water in a stagnant pool. Right? Right?!

Also, I kept harping on the children to make sure they didn't swallow any of the river water. Or put their heads in it. And Mike told me to make sure we cleaned their ears out with alcohol when we got home. I thought that was a great idea because I wanted to make sure we killed any brain eating amoebas we might pick up from the water. And Mike was all "okay, sure. also it will prevent swimmer's ear." It tells you something about our personalities that he was worried about the common swimmer's ear while I was worried about brain boring amoebas and flesh eating bacteria. Especially since I had a couple of cuts on my legs from shaving and I was concerned the bacteria would make their way in through those, fester and multiply and I would eventually need a double leg amputation. It's a good thing I don't over react to certain situations.

Anyhow, the kids and Mike had a lot of fun swimming in the river. And I tried to act like I was having fun too. Even when I thought about all of the river snakes swimming around that we couldn't possibly see because the water was way too murky from all the flesh eating/brain boring organisms living there. We had a picnic lunch on the shore which didn't concern me a bit seeing as how there was no place to wash our hands except for the small box of wipies I happened to shove in our bag a few days ago. I'm sure it was perfectly sanitary and that wipes are able to kill flesh eating brain boring stuff.

My hubby surprised me on the drive out and back with a cd of the Rock of Ages movie soundtrack. People. This is some good music. Turns out that Emma Mae likes Guns and Roses. And as we listened to Every Rose has its Thorn I completely forgot about the fact that we could all be harboring life threatening micro organisms in our bodies and I just enjoyed the moment. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Musings from the children

Let's start the day off with the kids and I sitting down eating lunch together after church. I may have mentioned that our cat Zoe has developed a God awful tendency to poop and pee on the carpet in Emma's room and the playroom. And every time someone comes yelling at me that Zoe pooped somewhere I may yell something about "that stinkin' cat." Well. As we were eating lunch I saw Zoe headed towards Emma Mae's room. So I yelled at her to stop what she was doing and proceed on over to her litter box. Then I got up and shut Emma's door before she got in the room. So then she proceeded to enter Jake's room. I got up again, retrieved her and set her before her litter box. In the meantime the kids are at the kitchen table just carrying on. This is what I hear. Emma: "Zoe is a stinkin' cat." Jake: "Aww man, I hope that stinkin' cat doesn't start poopin in my room." Emma: "yeah, Jake. because she is a stinkin' cat with stinkin' poop."

I sent the kids to their rooms for rest time this afternoon so I could start getting things together for dinner. Not five minutes later, Emma is crying and Jake is telling her "I told you Emma!" So I went to investigate. This is Jake's version of events: "Well. Emma was supposed to be in her room but she came tip toeing (acting this part out) into my room. Then she got in my closet and all of a suddenly WABAM! she came up under my clothes and bonked her head." Keep in mind that every "l" sound in the above monologue is pronounced with the "w" sound. I made him repeat the story because it was so dang cute.

Fast forward to Mike getting home from work. He took the kids outside to play catch with Jake. Emma decided to be the coach. And Jake decided to listen to her. He would not throw the ball until she gave him the go ahead. Later, we came back inside to start getting dinner ready. Emma was whining about some unfair thing in her world. And she wouldn't stop. So Mike sent her to her room for time out. Then she said "No! I don't ever want to see your face." Whoa. Hold the phone. As Mike said who is this teenager occupying our three year old's body? She did go to her room crying hysterically and Mike yelled after her that she could come out when she felt happy again. And Jake deadpanned "I don't think she'll ever get out of time out again."

Friday, July 6, 2012

Veggies galore!

So I may have mentioned that I'm having some sort of mid life meltdown. One thing on my mind lately is organic food. I don't want to give my children pesticide laden fruits and veggies. But let's face it. They are way cheaper and we are on a budget. But then I started researching CSA's and I found one in Austin that grows only organic food and they deliver to several spots in our area. We decided to give it a try for a month. I was so excited to go pick up our box of veggies today! This is what we got. I immediately put some of the cucumber, tomato and spinach in a salad for dinner tonight. Mike was just as giddy as I was. I heard talk of some of the peppers and tomatoes going into a batch of salsa. Yum. I'm pretty good with squash, zuccini, okra and onions. I see a stir fry in our future.

However, I'm struggling with these guys. What do you do with eggplant? Especially long, skinny, freaky looking ones. If we put habanjero peppers in our salsa we will need a mouth extinguisher to eat it. What do I do with really hot peppers? Look at that miniature squash. Why bother? And after much research I discovered those gross looking purple brown ball things are beets. I vaguely remember my mama trying to get us to eat beets when I was little. I vaguely remember her not being successful. Got any good beet ideas? I found a recipe for a chocolate beet cake which sounds promising. I need help with the misfit vegetables. Please.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life in pictures

I'm currently in the middle of some sort of emotional/mental break down. I blame it on the book I'm reading. Organic vs. non organic? Buy local or not? Take my kids to feed the homeless? Turn our backyard into a community garden? I can't cope with all of the decisions. So instead I'll entertain you with pictures from Mike's parents last week.

Jake singing his little heart out in VBS last week. Emma Mae was lying down on the step four people away from him.

First time fishing with his Grandpa.

Emma Mae getting her nails done.

Grandpa, Grandma Sally and the kiddos.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

The older I get the more patriotic I feel. Flags make me feel good. Hearing God Bless America makes me tear up. We are so fortunate to live in a country where clean water, electricity and indoor plumbing are the norm and not luxuries. I am so thankful for our freedoms and grateful for the people who serve in the military to make sure we keep them.

I'm pretty thankful for these young Americans too. Even the rabid looking dog. Happy 4th!