Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's not a dog! Our weekend fun...

Friday night we headed to family fun night at our church. They have a new building with an indoor play area to rival any I've ever seen. The kids can climb and play while us adults take a break and chat.

Saturday morning we got up and headed to the zoo. It was a cool overcast day and we hit the zoo early to avoid crowds. Plus, most "extras" are free for the first hour and while we are members (which means we get a certain number of passes) it's nice to save them. We went into the children's zoo first and the kids decided to pay in the fountains. This would be great except mom and dad forgot a spare set of clothes. Benjamin was fine rocking his diaper but poor Chloe had to deal with us wringing out her shirt. Luckily it warmed up and the sun came out so she was fine but it was for sure a no go on the penguin exhibit (where they keep it about 50f). Other parent's tried to shoo their kids out while mine jumped around like wild monkeys but that was mostly to no avail. In the end about 10 kids plus mine were splashing around and laughing.

Afterwards, we decided to look into adopting a pet. Our beloved cat, Fat Joe, had to be put to sleep last month and we've all been missing having a furry friend around. We decided to visit the City Shelter first but their list of requirements was so long (see a counselor, waiting period, get a money order) that we nixed that idea. We stopped by PetSmart knowing they have shelter pets there and sure enough there was a no kill shelter with several animals for adoption. Stacey let Chloe choose and thankfully she immediately went to the cats. Dogs are fine and good but honestly I'm a cat person and they're just too much work with two small children to manage.

There was a litter of four kittens, domestic long haired cats. They were all boys and two were orange and two were white. I really loved one of the orange cats but Chloe chose the two white kitties (even after a bit of begging from mom). We've named them Chuy (original name Huey but we like Chuy better) and Crooked (he's a bit cross-eyed). They were skittish at first but quickly warmed up. They love to sit with Chloe while she pets them and Benjamin squeals with laughter when they roll around and play. It's been a long time since I've had a kitten and they are a lot of fun.

Sunday we headed to church then back home to lounge around. I roasted a turkey breast on Saturday and we've been having various turkey meals (turkey nachos=WIN). Overall, a nice weekend!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Gearing up for a fun weekend

As I count down the last 2.5 hours of work for the week, I'm getting excited about our weekend plans.

Tonight we're going to a family thing at church for people with kids elementary age and younger. They have an awesome indoor playspace (think McDs but cooler) and there will be much junk food and soda.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to go to the zoo in the morning then we're taking Chloe for a pedicure. Poor kid hardly gets to do anything "just her" these days and one of the local salons has kid sized pedicure chairs. I think she'll get a kick out of it. Then back to the house for a nap and maybe some movies on the sofa.

Sunday we'll head to church and possibly the Magic House afterwards. We haven't been in a while and I think Chloe's the right age to really enjoy it. I want to try the giant slide. The more naps and lounging.

Monday I'm off and hoping to finally get some sewing done. I have a project started for Chloe and have been itching to use my basically unused machine, purchased December 2008. Oops...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Too early to be sad and nervous

Chloe will miss the kindergarten "cut off" and will start school fall 2010. With that said, we've been reviewing school choice and will be living in a good district where she will attend. I feel a little mournful and anxious. Mournful that I will (barring superb luck or a winning lottery ticket) not be homeschooling and anxious about the schematics of having one child in daycare/preschool and one in kindergarten.

The center where the kids are now has a great summer program for K-6 but nothing for before and after school. I don't want to take Benjamin from where he is now. It's great there and I want Chloe to be in their summer program so I'm willing to schlep two kids to two locations.

I need to get more information but was told the YMCA does before and after care and from what I remember seeing in the past, it wasn't too expensive. The school district has half day kindergarten and it costs $2,200 to enroll in full day K. Yes, about $220/month plus before/after care. Really? Ugh.

I know it's a year away still but I'm already feeling sad about sending Chloe. I feel so silly about it. It's not like I'm home with my kids now but somehow it just seems so different.

An apology and promise

It's been a long time. I know. I'm sorry. I promise to do better.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Going political here... The 9/12 Project

I'm fed up with our government. I feel like we've been duped into fighting with each other instead of looking at the real issue; the over-bloated system that's been created for us. I'm taking a stand and fighting back.

The 9/12 project is not about political parties. It's about values, principles and the common ground I think most of us share. I want a better country for my kids. Heck, I just want my country to still be here for my kids. I'm afraid but I will not let fear take over and I will not let my elected officials control my life.

The 9/12 Project is about 9 principles and 12 values. You can find out more here.


America Is Good.
I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.


Hard Work
Personal Responsibility

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A day off with Chloe

Since Chloe seemed to fare the worst over the weekend, I decided to keep her with me for the day and drop off Benjamin. He actually cried when I dropped him off; I don't think he's used to me leaving with Chloe and not him!

We went back to the house and she played in the class room while I put away laundry and cleaned upstairs. It was really nice. She happily played with stamps, colored and played with playdoh. She put away each thing before moving onto something else and kept herself occupied for over an hour.

When I was done, we went out to get her a haircut (a trim) and for a quick run through the grocery store. Then we went back to the house for some lunch and a nap. I tried to take one with her but I guess having mom there was too exciting because she kept talking so after about 20 minutes I got up and left her to rest.

After that we ran to Target then to pickup Benjamin. I think he was really happy to see her and tried to play with her all night.

I didn't get as much cleaning done as I would've liked, but I'm glad I spent some one-on-one time with her. We both really needed it and I plan to keep her with me at least one day every other week. And next time I'm getting my nap too!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Working weekend and bragging about the hubby

This past weekend was my first working weekend. It was the first time I've worked a weekend in about 10 years and definately the first weekend I've worked since having kids. Not only did I work, but I worked 6am-6pm both days. Needless to say, it was a long weekend.
Stacey stayed home with the kids and I admit I was a little nervous. Not because he can't care for the kids but because there were so many factors in play (long workday, Benjamin is still young, he's tired from working all week, etc).

Not only did they do fine, they did great! He took the kids on Saturday to Monkey Joe's (giant room of bounce houses) and they had a blast. Benjamin took a nap without issue and Stacey said he really didn't even cry. He was happy to see me when I got home (Benjamin) but not overly clingy or fussy. Sunday they hung around the house and Stacey got all the laundry done and the house was cleaned up.

You want to know the best part? He didn't complain! There were no calls to me at work with him stressed, he didn't complain about the long days, the getting up early and he didn't tell me how tired he was when I got home or anything. I'm so pleasantly surprised by this I'm giddy.
I think chloe had a harder time with me being gone. She really didn't want me to go to work this morning and actually cried when I dropped her off. It broke my heart. I'm off tomorrow and am planning to do something just me and her.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A visit from friends

My EM friend Sarah came into town Tuesday night with her husband Dean and son Khai. They came in late so we basically said hello and I showed them to their room.

Luckily, I was off Wednesday so the kids and I stayed home and hung out with our friends. It was nice talking with Sarah and Chloe enjoyed hamming it up for our company. Stacey took the afternoon off work and the men talked shop (Dean is a QA tester for Activision games). We ventured out for dinner to the Mexican restaurant up the street. Yum!

They made the long trek from St Louis to Minneapolis (they stopped on the way back from Tallahassee, FL) over the night and arrived this morning.

We're planning to trip to Minnesota this summer to see Sarah and some other friends who live in the area. I can't wait!

Here comes the sun

We got our first and probably last big snow of the year this week. I think we got about 6 inches total over the two days. Chloe has been itching to get out in it and I'm really looking forward to playing outside with her this weekend. Luckily our backyard is pretty shaded so I think we'll have plenty left by then.

This morning the sun was shining and the snow made everything look clean and bright. It was just one of those great mornings. I took the kids to the new sitter before heading to work. Chloe was singing along to Here Come the 123s (thanks again Amber!) and Benjamin was staring dreamily out the window and smiling. She was excited to see her new friend Cameron (sitter's son) and it seems that getting the kids out of the house has been a good thing.

My work schedule has switched to 9am-6pm but Stacey has really helped out by picking up the kids after work so we at least all seem to land at home at about the same time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The arrival of Jesus from the birth perspective.

I will first note than i am not a Biblical scholar so if I bungle up anything, please feel free to correct me although I'm not really getting into theology here.

When we talk about Christmas and the "Birth of our Savior" it rarely involves any actual talk about the birth, but to me it's a little sad when you think about it.

Mary was a young woman. If I had to guess I'd say abou 15-16 years old. She was living her life and found out that she was pregnant without having sex. Ok that right there is pretty amazing. Her fiance (understandably) almost leaves her which will leave her in shame but luckily gets the message and marries her. Ok, so she's young, married and pregnant not by her husband. Right.

Now, this young, married pregnant woman finds out that she must travel on a donkey with her new husband to be counted for a census. Can you imagine how unfun traveling pregnant on a donkey must have been? Oh and she's left her family and I'm almost certain she's never been away from her mother, siblings, friends, etc.

Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem where Mary goes into labor... or perhaps she's been in labor while riding on the donkey... we don't know for sure. She delivers her baby with only her husband around. In Bible times women in labor would've been surrounded by midwifes and the important women in their life. They would've pampered, encouraged and supported her as well and been able to assist with any problems and gotten her started on breastfeeding. They would've celebrated with her.

Mary had none of this. She has Joseph and they were in a barn and the weather may or may not have been favorable. I seriously doubt she laid him in a manger like the popular song says. More likely she wrapped him up, they cut his cord somehow, and she put him to her breast (no GoodStart for the world's Savior).

I know it should be happy because after all she IS giving birth to our Savior, but I can't help feel a little sad that she had to do it without her 'women'.

By the by, if you haven't read "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant, I recommend it highly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My kids are different morning types

Chloe is much like me in the morning. She needs a few minutes before she's ready to talk, be touched or be civil in general. Once she fully wakes she's her usual active self but it just takes a few minutes for her to get there. However, we call Benjamin pop tart because from the moment he wakes, he sits up and is ready to go. His eyes light up and he puts on his ornery smile. He especially enjoys antagonizing his sister. His favorite activities are whacking her in the head with his hand or a toy and laying right next to her on her blanket so she can't move. He's laughing and she's hollering "Benjamin I need a few minutes; I'm not ready to play!"

Stacey is out of town until Thursday and despite having kept both kids by myself for a year, it seems so much harder now. I didn't get anything done in the house short of a hot meal (and no clean up). I also couldn't convince Chloe that since her Daddy wasn't home she could indeed scoot over in the bed so we weren't all crammed on one half while the other remained open. Had I moved there myself, she simply would've readjusted herself to be crammed next to me on that side. :)

Why Conservatives Should Enjoy the Inaguration

Article on Slate

This is a good article, but I do feel like today's events are a bit of a circle jerk for the liberal media. Also, Bush was chastised for spending half as much as Obama is on the Inaguration and ceremonies.
My take on the next 4 years is that Obama will remain the moderate he seems to have become already and will be praised for fixing it all when he's really just acted like a pseudo-conservative. Uhm, Rick Warren much?
Also, I see the media suddenly downplaying the 'terrible economy'.
Now, I am not blaming anything the media does on Obama and really I have no actual beef with him. I disagree with him but I don't think he's a bad guy.
In all honestly, I probably would've watched today had McCain won but only to see Palin. She's still my girl!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I may be at work, but we're rolling on with the homeschooling

We have been lucky (I won't say that too loud) to have finally found someone who is excited to do some school work with Chloe.

I got this cool CD for $50 and it has an endless supply of ideas, lesson plans, print outs and flash cards. Her site also has tons of free stuff so I encourage you to check it out. It also has recipes and ideas for setting up a home daycare/preschool if you're so inclined.

I printed off a bunch of things thinking it would last at least a week and they did over half of it the first day plus they made Chloe flashcards, did an art project and Chloe did some painting on her new easel from Grandma.

I guess I need to get more materials ready!

Since Jacky started Chloe's behavior in the evening has already improved and it's obvious she's getting much more attention and active play and less TV time than before.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Small reasons why Chloe rocks

Chloe is a great sister. She sings to her brother when he cries, she insists on kissing him goodnight and this morning I found her gently brushing his hair. She shares her snacks with him and is proud to tell others that he's her brother Benjamin.

She has such a great sense of self. She is happy in her skin and loves clothes that are comfortable. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she says "ME!" She sings and dances without feeling self-conscious.

Chloe makes sure to give me a piece of fruit everyday on my way to work. I'm munching a crisp apple as we speak.

She is wonderful to buy gifts for. She's grateful, appreciative and never asks for more. When asked about gifts, she request cool things like telescopes and hair ties.

I love the way her brain works. Looking at pictures last night, I asked her to identify one. When shown a picture of a bird, she said "It's a pidgeon". I had to laugh out loud at that one (she was right though).