Archive for September, 2008
I took Alex to Daisy Scouts last night. I started out as co-leader of the group but stepped down as I just don’t have the energy for it yet. She had a lot of fun and although things are not very organized I am sure that given time the co-leaders will work it out.
Mac was, of course, with us since he refuses to be left behind. I’ve threatened to take pictures of his “Daisy Scout days” so I can use them when he become a teenager Those along with the pictures of him with his favorite pink bunny ought to work quite well!
After the meeting I was really glad to get home and get everyone ready for bed.
Books and Songs — Mac selected a current favorite to read — Dora’s Costume Party. He is so excited about Halloween and now that people are starting to put up Halloween decorations he is thrilled every time we drive through the subdivision. He points out every “ghoulie” as he calls the various monsters and asks if we can take pictures of them
Here is a photo of some of Mac’s favorite neighborhood “ghoulies”:
Alex brought a sweet book My Friend Bear which continues the story of Eddie and Freddie that began in Where’s My Teddy? I like the illustrations in these books and the stories have a bit of humor and a sense of imagination that I think appeals to both kids and grownups.
After books Mac and I snuggled for a bit and he talked to “Crocodile”. I have no idea where this whole Crocodile thing came from (maybe he watched too much Oobie when it was still on TV) but one day he created a new friend called Crocodile and I have to act out the part. I make my hand into a bill-shape and that’s Crocodile. Mac makes the same shape with his hands when he wants to be one or two Crocodiles also, or sometimes he decides to be snakes. But mostly I act out Crocodile who listens to whatever he wants to share with Crocodile on any given day, gives hugs and kisses, tucks him in most nights, and generally acts the part of a not-so-invisible friend What is really funny is that now he has Grandma and Grandpa making Crocodiles and sometimes even Daddy — pretty soon the whole family will be full of Crocodiles at Mac’s beck and call — grin. So last night he chatted with Crocodile about going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and about Halloween. I was half expecting him to ask Crocodile what he was going to dress up as! And yes, we do get some interesting looks when he wants to chat with Crocodile in restaurants or other public places — but he’s only young once and I don’t like to squash imagination in either of my children. I feel you need a good dose of imagination to get through life in one piece!
Alex had fallen asleep when I went to tuck her so we didn’t read anything together last night. She was rather out of sorts and has a cough so it’s just as well she fell asleep earlier then usual. Typically, even after I tuck her for the night I often find her under the covers with books and flashlight — which reminds me so much of myself as a child that I don’t have the heart to discourage her
Back to work!
We went apple picking last weekend but since I hadn’t started blogging at that point, I wanted to still share it even if it’s a few days late.
We take the kid’s apple picking every Fall at Eckert’s – we also go pumpkin picking there every year and that will be coming up in a couple weeks. I must say that this year was probably the most fun we’ve ever had going apple picking as both kids were old enough to really enjoy it and have fun. It was busier then I had ever seen it before but they managed to crowds well and we didn’t have to stand in line too long waiting for our tractor ride to the orchard. Alex and Mac loved the tractor ride — lots of bumps! In the orchard they happily ran around picking apples (mostly Red Delicious and Golden Delicious) from the small trees whose branches were so heavy with apples that many times they touched the ground. Perfect height for little apple pickers:
Both kids enjoyed eating apples right off the tree — it was really cute to see that almost every child there was snacking on an apple while they picked:
I thought this was a cute photo — Mac contemplating his selection — is this one just right?!
We had a hard time convincing Mac to leave apples for everyone else — he wanted to keep right on picking. Eckert’s should hire him, he was going to town on those apple trees
One last photo of me and the kiddos: (My hair looks terrible, I know — sigh. The doctors are not sure why it’s falling out but they think it’s related to the surgery and how sick I was for so many months this summer but it’s really frustrating and I hate my hair right now. They say it will grow back — eventually — hopefully!)
Once we convinced Mac to stop picking apples we rode the tractor back and had lunch at the country restaurant. Alex and I had fried chicken, Mac had his usual chicken tenders (one of the three or four things he actually eats) and Robert had a sandwich. Mac was getting tired and a bit wild but overall it was a really nice day and we are all looking forward to returning in a couple weeks to pick out our pumpkins
Our Books and Songs last night — Alex brought a dinosaur bookfeaturing Aladar (from the Disney movie) and Mac brought a book called Firetruck. Both had flaps and things so we read and flipped flaps for a while. Then Mac and I snuggled. He was so tired he didn’t talk much except to make sure he was going to Grandma and Grandpa’s the next day and to inform me that Grandma had pancake (his word for cake for some reason). Then Alex and I read some more of Alanna. She has been really enjoying this time each evening as we snuggle in her bed under the covers and I read. She points out various “sight words” that she is learning and we talk about how unfair it is that Alanna has to disguise herself as a boy to become a knight — but that is the world she lives in. I’m reading Brisingr right now, about half way through it at this point. I’m rather glad that I didn’t spend the money to buy it and got it at the library instead. It’s not terrible but it’s not very impressive so far either. I liked the first book, despite feeling that it had every cliche possible in it in terms of a fantasy novel/hero’s quest, but the second one seemed to drag for me. And I hear there will be a fourth when it was originally supposed to be just a three book series — hmm.
It’s been a fairly quiet day which is nice, albeit much warmer which I could do without. We went to church this morning — the kids enjoy going to the Sunday School and I get an entire hour of solitude during Mass. Got home and did the usual Sunday chores — cleaning, laundry, etc. After lunch I took the kids up to Toys ‘R Us so Mac could pick out a video — his reward for finally being potty trained. Yes, my son who I was beginning to think would never get potty trained finally got there — yhea, no more diapers, no more pull ups! So we’re standing in Toys ‘R Us and he debating which video he wants. And debating. And, 15 minutes later, he’s still debating. Hmm, picking out the video may take as long as the potty training at this rate! He really wanted another Baby Einstein video, which although he has technically outgrown, he still loves every single one of them in his current collection. I pointed out the many other choices that he would also enjoy — Thomas, Wubbzy, Scooby Doo (oh, wait, that’s more Alex, sorry Mac I got distracted), Diego, Dora, etc. We even got as far as the check out with the Laurie Berkner video (he loves her music) but at the last minute he looked up at me and said, “No, not this one. Baby Einstein please.” So back we went for another round of debate about which Baby Einstein he wanted. Since he has most of them you wouldn’t think that would take so long, but he had to agonize over the 2 or 3 that he didn’t already own — the choice had to be just right! He finally settled on one about shapes and we even made it through the check out line this time He is now in watching his new video — the first of many, many viewings I’m sure.
I need to get the house straightened up a bit, the Grandparents (Alex and Mac’s not mine) are coming for dinner tonight. We’re doing pork chops, baked potatoes and cole slaw. I wish I could eat the cole slaw, it’s one of my favorite foods in hot weather but I don’t know if my digestive system could handle it after the surgery. I have to be careful about what I eat since my body is not able to handle some foods as well as it used to which can be very frustrating. But there are many things I can still enjoy and that’s a good thing!
But, for the record, I hate cleaning. I’d so much rather read a book!
The weather has just been gorgeous today, I love these days when it’s not too hot and not too cold — just right!
I went to the kid’s sale this morning — I’ve never been to this one (it happens twice a year) so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was packed! I didn’t look at clothes much since I’ve managed to stock the kids up for winter pretty well already through various garage sales and a trip to the second hand kids store. I was hoping to find a nice winter coat for Alex but they either didn’t have them or they were long gone by the time I wrangled my way through the crowds to that section! However, I did have some good luck. The first thing I saw when I walked in the room (a school gym) was a rack of Halloween costumes and right there looking out at me — a horse! Alex has been asking for a horse costume for next Halloween (she plans ahead my girl!) but there are not a lot of horse costumes out there. The ones I’ve seen tend to be pretty expensive for our budget. But there was the cutest fuzzy horse costume — in her size no less. It was still a bit more then I planned to spend on any one item — $15. So I decided to look around and if it was still there when I came back I’d make a decision. So I went through the toys — my goal was to find some toys for “Santa”
I found a Lightening McQueen remote control car and a bouncing Tigger for Mac. Even better I found the exact robot he has been asking for everytime he sees it at Target — at a great price. I found Alex a Paint a Pony Bank art kit and a pair of snow boots (those won’t come from Santa but she will need them). So I went back to the costumes — yep, the horse was still there. I took it along and got into line — the very, very long check out line (it took a half hour to get through it so it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked). I debated the horse for a while but decided it would make Alex very happy and if it was big enough it would last her two Halloweens and it really was a good price since it looked brand new.
When I got home I showed it to Alex — guess who has yet to take it off after “trying it on just to make sure it fits” I’m going to have a heck of a time convincing her to take it off at bedtime I suspect! She has decided to be a horse this year so Mac now gets to be the dinosaur that Alex was last year. He’s quite happy about that so all is well.
After lunch we baked cookies — Halloween ones with black cats — they taste pretty good for being premade The kids worked on some coloring pages for a bit and now we’re off to play outside since it’s a beautiful day.
Long afternoon, Mac seems determined to either say “no” to everything or ask “why” over and over and over — please tell me it’s a phase <sigh> But the day ended nicely with a long walk through the neighborhood to see one of our favorite doggies — Hooch. It wears the kids out a bit before bedtime Which is still a good hour off at the moment since it’s the weekend.
And what did our cats do on this beautiful day? Sleep, of course, on pink pillows no less This is William Oranges and Joel Gray:
It has been a busy week and I’m rather relived to have made it to Friday!
I took Alex to her riding lesson last night. She has inherited my love of horses and has begged for lessons since she was old enough to talk (and trust me, she started talking young and has never stopped since!!). So she started lessons last Spring and has loved every minute that she is around the horses. She rides a wonderfully patient Appaloosa named Patch — who at 30 years old is probably wondering why he hasn’t been allowed to retire to a pasture rather then being expected to train yet another generation of young riders. I took some photos last night that I wanted to share.
She looks so small on Patch, but she has gone from riding on a lead line to riding on her own at a walk and trot and even practicing over the bars on the ground (precursor to future jumping).
And if you’re not busy riding there are all the animals to visit — cats, dogs, horses, etc.
Or, if you’re my son, rocks to collect!
They both had a great time as usual — nothing better then an entire farm/stable to explore!
We got home just in time for our evening bedtime ritual. All the books say that a bedtime routine is important to kids — ok, I’ll accept that even though I never had a bedtime routine as a kid beyond being told “go to bed” The books also never mention how difficult it can be to work out a routine — we’ve been through numerous variations over the last few years. But I think we have finally hit on a routine that works for both kids — although short it is not! We call it Books and Songs
Once everyone is dressed for bed and teeth are brushed we settle in on Mac’s bed. Each child brings one book to be read to both of them. Last night Alex brought in one of her library books — Mama Mine, Mama Mine by Rita Gray, a very sweet book set on a farm with each baby animal asking their Mama when she will return and ending with a child asking the same of his Mom. Mac picked out Today is Monday by Eric Carle — each day a different animal is shown eating a different food. It’s very simple but the illustrations are classic Carle and Mac loves doing sound effects for “Zooop” as we repeat the various days throughout the book.
After books I sing my variation on “Hush Little Baby” and a shortened version of “Amazing Grace” (which I have sung to the kids since they were first born).
Then Alex goes to her room and I spend a few minutes snuggling with Mac. Last night we talked about Santa — he’s very into the various holidays this year and has been planning what to talk to Santa about for at least two months now. Last year he wouldn’t sit on Santa’s lap much less talk to him — this year I suspect we’re going to have to drag him away! Mac told me he wants to ask Santa for “many, many toys” but when I suggested that perhaps he should narrow that down a bit he settled on four — a robot (Wall*E is a big favorite right now), cars (as if I don’t already have enough to step on and fall over in his room already , a Baby Einstein video (he’s technically too old for these but he adores them anyway) and a Rolie Polie Olie video (he has been missing it since they took it off TV and I guess Rolie Polie Olie is kind of like a robot so it ties into that fascination). At least those all seem doable, especially compared to Alex’s requests for remote control dinosaurs the size of small houses and every Breyer horse in existence — sigh.
After tucking Mac I’m off to tuck Alex and read a few pages out of whatever “older” book she is asking for — we’ve done scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, stories from Greek Mythology, and a lot of books about dinosaurs and horses. Right now we are reading (a few pages each night) a young adult book — Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. It was recommended by a friend and the premise sounds good — Alanna wants to be knight which, because she’s a girl, is not allowed so she trades places with her twin brother Thom (who wants to be a wizard rather then a knight). Alex has been enjoying it so far — magic, adventure, what’s not to like
And thus completes the saga of getting the kids into bed! But I do love reading to them and I think it’s well worth the extra time. Once everyone was settled I was able to sit down and finish the book I’ve been working on Cockatiels at Seven by Donna Andrews. This is one of my favorite mystery series and I’ve enjoyed every book in the series. I like that the fact that they tend to upbeat and humorous. Meg’s (the main character) family is hilarious and every time I open the next book in the series I love to meet up with them all again. I have found that I can’t read the more graphic mysteries that I used to like when I was younger — nowadays I tend to want my reading to be lighter. I’m not sure why that is entirely except that having gone through so much in the last few months I find myself searching for things to make me feel better and reading has always been a means of escape for me.
Onward to the weekend — which is supposed to be beautiful so I need to come up with some things to do with the kids to keep them outside and busy!
My very first Friday Fill-In’s
1. Cooler weather, fall cooking and Halloween are some of the things I’m most looking forward to in October.
2. Sometimes I wish I had more time to enjoy my kids while they’re still young.
3. They have brought back so many toys from when I was a younger and that’s why there is a saying, “never say never”!
4. When I’m down, I curl up on the couch with a book.
5. Work (unfortunately) is where you’ll find me most often.
6. A rainy day is good for baking cookies, making crafts with the kids and reading.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to dinner at Cracker Barrel with the family, tomorrow my plans include a kid’s clothing sale (Alex needs a winter coat) and Sunday, I want to get the kids to the park since the weather is supposed to be beautiful!
I read a fair number of blogs but I can’t say I’ve ever felt particularly inclined to blog myself. I’m not sure why, in the same way that I’m not entirely sure why I decided on this day to actually sit down and write something. I have read that I should blog about the things you know, the things that are important — that would certainly be my children, our cats, our lives in general, reading (how I love to read!), occasionally art (even though I’m art challenged — my life is centered around those things.
So that’s my goal for this blog — to put down the things that make me happy, to not feel a year from now that I’ve somehow lost another year to the mundane minutiae of doing the same things over and over. If my life passes me by whose fault will that be if not mine. It’s the sort of thing I lay awake at night and worry about — that and why has Sprocket (our oldest cat) suddenly turned into the Howard Hughes of felines!
He looks normal enough doesn’t he?
So there you have it, a blog that no one will probably ever read but I’ve set a goal to write something here every couple days, even if it’s just for me.
Onward . . .