Monday, March 26, 2012

Threatening each other with As Seen on TV....

When Brian and I are up watching TV at night, one of our favorite things is to make fun of the crazy infomercials and the products they sell. 

Last night this product was being advertised during every commercial break...

And Brian was finding it increasingly annoying. He started making comments like, "I just pity anyone who would buy something like that!" So just to play devil's advocate (and because I love to tease him) I said, "Maybe I should get one. You keep telling me I need a Bluetooth... and they are saying this is even better technology than Bluetooth!" 

Brian looked consideringly at me for a moment and then said, "If I come home some day to find you with one of those things on your head... you just might wake up some morning wearing a Snuggie!"

Oh. Well played sir, well played.

pssst... It's really funny because I have a fairly well-known if somewhat irrational hatred of the Snuggie. "Oh no... I'm not smart enough to operate a remote control while wrapped in a blanket... oh! If only this blanket had sleeves!"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A conversation...

Me: So... I take it you let the children make lunch unsupervised today?

Brian: Yes. I mean No.

Me: Huh?

Brian: Yes, the children made their own sandwiches today, but not unsupervised. I was in the kitchen the whole time.

Me: .......

I don't know if I'm surprised or not.

Six on Saturday

Woo-hoo! Two weeks in a row. I think we might have stumbled onto a system that works here folks....

Things that made me happy this week:

1. Modern Medicine/Health Insurance

This week I have been sick with another sinus infection and a double ear infection. It's mostly just annoying the crap out of me. I haven't had so much as a sniffle for over a year and then I've had two sinus infections this year! And it's March people! It's really irritating. 
Anyway, off rant on to the gratitude part. I am very grateful that I have a doctor (that I like) to prescribe an antibiotic to kick the sinus infections trash and health insurance so that I can afford to go see him and get the medicine.  

2. Kneader's

Just like last month when I was sick I am loving all the yummy soups at Kneader's and that they are a five minute drive from my house... and that they have a drive through window.

3. Myra and Candice
These are some of my knitting friends and on Monday we had a knitting play date. Oh and we let the kids hang out together too. I had so much fun and they are one of the reasons I am most looking forward to moving back to my dad's when we are remodeling the house.

4. My son

This kid just makes me smile. He walked into the room where I was lying on the couch and feeling horrible, and asked if he could get me anything. He's been so concerned about me and wants to help make me as comfortable as possible. I smiled and said, "Oh Jake. What am I going to do with you?" He thought about if for a moment and then replied, "Shave my head, slap a fake mustache on me and send me off to boarding school?" His quick wit often takes me by surprise and I laughed and laughed. And laughter is some pretty great medicine...

5. My fighting skills

No, I haven't taken up cage matches or bare knuckle brawling. 
What I mean is the skill set that Brian and I have spent years honing called "how to fight fair". And while it doesn't make me happy at the time of the argument, I am always grateful for our communication skills that allow us to have disagreements, deal with them and get back to regularly scheduled life in a relatively short amount of time. 

A couple of weeks ago we had a little spat (over who knows what now) just as it was time to put the children to bed. Things got a little heated for a few minutes and then we settled down and talked out whatever the problem was, and twenty minutes later he was tucking the children into bed and I was doing up some dishes. He told me later that as he was tucking Jake into bed, Jake expressed concern that we had been fighting. Brian took the opportunity to talk to him about the fact that parents can have disagreements and get frustrated with each other, but that it doesn't mean that we don't still love and respect each other. Jake digested that information with his usual seriousness and then told his dad, "Okay. But just so you know, from what I heard just now... Mom is way more mature than you are."

I've been telling him that myself for years now... 

6. Special Days Out

I really ought to come up with a more catchy title... but this is what we've got so far.

It just so happens we have a perfect amount of people to make this work in our family without having to do any difficult juggling. Brian and I switch off each month, and then we rotate through the kids every three months and it works out beautifully.

In January Brian and Jake went to the car show and had a blast.

 Last month Evie and I went to get her hair trimmed and then to lunch and a movie.

 This month it was Daddy and Lila's turn.

They went to breakfast at Hi-hop (IHOP) and then went shopping for new church shoes and tights. Brian also got her some little flower earrings to wear with her Easter dress, and he did good! Lila had a blast hanging out with her Daddy and getting to have Mac'n Cheese for breakfast.

Next month is Jake and me. I'm already trying to plan something that will be at least as cool as the car show...
 And Evie can not wait until her turn in May with her Daddy. In fact the day we got back from our special time she said, "I can't wait until it's my turn again! Because next time I get to go out with Daddy!" I won't deny that stung for a second, but the truth is they see way more of me than they do Brian and I am glad that she loves her Daddy so much.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A giant tub of cheese puffs and delayed gratification...

Yesterday I bought this giant tub of cheese puffs. 
Not because I like cheese puffs, because I really don't.
What I wanted was the container, and this was cheaper than buying an empty jar this size anywhere I could find...

 I dumped out the cheese puffs into plastic bags, peeled off the label and washed the container and lid. A little paint, construction paper and electrical tape later and we have our new family vacation fund!

Brian and I have wanted to take the kids to Disneyland for the past two years, but there always seems to be some place else to spend the money. Car repairs, new clothes, wheelchairs... 

We sat down with the kids and talked about the idea of slowly saving the money as a family. We talked about the principal of delayed gratification, giving up something we want right now so we can have something we want more in the future. Brian set a great example by putting in the money that he was going to spend on a new hat and telling the kids how he would rather be able to go on a fun family trip with them than have another hat. Everyone ran to get their piggy banks and we talked about how every little bit will add up. 

Lila thinks that putting coins in the jar is all a fun game. But Jake and Evie really get it. In fact, after Brian put in his hat money Evie said, "I know! On popcorn Fridays, instead of asking for a quarter to buy popcorn I can put it in our Disneyland jar!" That made me so happy to know that she really understood the lesson her dad was teaching her and found her own way to apply it in her life. 

I know that when we finally have enough and get to take this trip my kids will appreciate every second of it knowing that they helped to make it possible. 
Plus it's Disneyland! 
We love Disneyland!

P.S. I am realizing that for all the times I have been to Disneyland, I've never actually planned a trip there myself. Any tips, tricks or info you can share about making it the best trip we can would be greatly appreciated. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Six on Saturday

I am making a new goal to post at least once a week. I will post at least once every Saturday, and to take the pressure off it's going to be very formulaic. I am going to write about six things that made me grateful or happy throughout the week. And isn't it funny how often those two emotions go hand in hand. Think about it, you can't be sad if you are feeling truly grateful...

1. Knitting
(P.S. This picture also makes me happy. Almost giddy happy...)

I know, I know... it probably seems like knitting takes up a disproportionate share of my time (and maybe that's a little bit true) but it just makes me so happy. I'm also grateful for the opportunity I've had to teach a class at my LYS (local yarn store). It's allowed me to make a little bit of extra money (always helpful with a growing family) and share my passion for all things fiber.
 Happy, happy, happy!

2. My Sister

I know, I blog a lot about her too. But she just makes me so very happy, almost all of the time. I love the time we get to spend together right now, because I know that this won't always be the case. Plus when you have someone who's likes and dislikes, sense of humor, and strongest feelings line up so harmoniously with your own it is such a pleasure to spend time in their company.

3. Skype

It's a small world after all! Thanks to this amazing technology we can talk to my brother and his family in Maryland, and Brian's parents clear over in Denmark. It helps to feel connected to them even when we are separated by so much space and time. 

4. Jesse Stone

I am both a Tom Selleck and a police/detective show fan.
Seriously... I could watch that mustache man for hours. 

 5. The Hunger Games

Brian and I just finished reading the first book last night, so we are ready for the movie. Yea! 
I love reading aloud to my husband, both because we get to share stories together and because he rubs my back while I read. Sometimes we switch... but he usually falls asleep if he reads. So more back rubs for me! Happy!

6. Voc Rehab

We are in the process of getting a conversion van for Brian and are thrilled at the thought of how much better (read easier) it will make our lives. As frustrating as it can be to wait and jump through all the red tape involved in getting government help, I am truly grateful for agencies like Vocational Rehabilitation that are there to help us get funding for things that would otherwise be out of our reach. Hopefully soon we will have forward progress to report on both the car and the home front, but until then I deal with the waiting by focusing on being grateful and happy instead. 

Jake's teacher has a great quote by the door in their classroom.
 "Attitude is everything, so pick a good one." 
That's my goal for this week, a good attitude.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

She's a peach...

Twenty four years ago my mom was pregnant with baby number three, also affectionately known as "the tie-breaker". This was back before you could find out what gender your baby was through ultrasounds. My brother and I had been fighting for roughly nine months over whether we would be getting a baby brother or a baby sister. I was hoping for a girl, and Josh was tormenting me by insisting that he had a psychic link with the baby and it was definitely a boy. I cried myself to sleep on more than one night thinking that I could soon be the only sister to two stinky, yucky boys. (Please remember that I was only eight years old for most of this time, I have since changed my opinion on the yucky-ness of boys...)

We were sent off to school and then went to our next door neighbors' (my friend Tami's)  house for the afternoon while our parents were at the hospital having the baby. Josh and I were on pins and needles, and still bickering about who was getting their way over the gender of our new sibling. The phone rang and my friend's mom said, "It's a girl!" Tami and I began to scream the way that only nine year old girls can, and jump and dance around the room. Josh burst into tears. Bitterly disappointed tears. (He was only six.) I don't have a clear memory of what happened after this but knowing myself, and nine year olds in general, I am sure there was some subtle rubbing of salt in the wound as I exulted in the fact that I got my baby sister! 

Family came and took us up to the hospital to meet our new sister, and Josh pouted the whole drive there. Soon we were standing at the nursery window gazing with awe at the most beautiful baby in the world. Well, I was gazing in awe. I'm pretty sure Josh was mostly scowling at her for having the nerve to not be a boy. But then our Dad brought her out of the nursery so we could meet her. He held her down where we could see her and Josh reached out and gently rubbed one finger across her forehead. Someone asked him, "What do you think?"  "She's a peach," he said softly. At the time he meant the soft downy fuzz that new babies have, but I think he was also foretelling about what a sweet and good little sister she would be. Hmmm, maybe Josh was a little bit psychic after all.

Happy Birthday Caite! 
You are still a peach. 

Twenty four years ago I was lucky enough to get a sister, today I realize how lucky I was that that sister was you! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

My poor little boy...

Thursday night before bed Jake wanted to talk to me about how nervous he was feeling about the 3rd grade program he had to perform in the next day. He has been really struggling lately with anxieties and stresses, and we have been working very hard to help him learn coping skills for dealing with them. We had a good talk about how it is perfectly normal to feel nervous before performances, but also about how it is important to face down our fears and not let them control us and stop us from having experiences in this life. He seemed to calm down and went to sleep easily enough....

Only to wake up the next morning sick as a dog. Cough, fever and chills, sore throat and no voice, and a big case of disappointment that he wouldn't get to be in the program after I had talked and hyped it up the night before. (Seriously? Can't a mom catch a break?!) We went to the doctor and he was diagnosed with RSV. No bueno, but at least with no babies in our home anymore it wasn't as scary as it could be. He spent a quiet day alternately dozing and playing on his DS. I rented him a couple of games for it and he's spent the last three days playing it pretty much non-stop.

Saturday morning we woke up to the doctor's office calling to tell us that his strep culture had come back positive so he had strep in addition to the RSV and they were calling in a prescription for him. I could write a couple of paragraphs about my day here, but suffice it to say that I went to the store to get a few groceries and pick up his medicine and didn't realize until I got home and was putting away said groceries that I had forgotten to get the medicine. Sigh.... it was a long day.

Sunday and Monday were spent quietly in recovery mode. More playing on the DS... but I guess by day four even Nintendo can get a little boring. This morning Jake asked me to teach him how to knit. Inside I kind of sighed a little bit, I've tried to teach him several times over the past three or so years and each time he gets frustrated and wants me to hold his hands on every. single. stitch! And then I get frustrated and call a halt to the whole thing. But I just smiled and told him to go find his needles and the cone of cotton yarn and he could make a dish cloth.

I think 8 must be the magic number. (Either how old someone should be before you try to teach them to knit, or the number of times it takes them to learn... you take your pick.) He got it! It clicked! And now he is a knitting fool. As a matter of fact when I called him to dinner tonight his response was, "Just let me finish this row..."  

I don't know whether to be proud or scared. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Missionary Life

Today the kids were gathered around the table writing letters and drawing pictures to send to their Grandparents who are serving a mission in Denmark. Brian was reading the weekly email that his mom sends aloud. In the first part Terrie said that it had been a busy week and they were really looking forward to their P-day. Evie interrupted him to ask, "What's a P-day?" Brian explained that P stands for preparation and that it is the day of the week when the missionaries do their laundry, shopping, errands, ect. so that they can work on sharing the gospel during the rest of the week. Lila wasn't buying that. She said, very matter of factly, "Nu-uh. That is it day that they get to go pee-pee." Hmmm. I feel bad for her Sunday School teachers... oh wait. That's me.
As they were finishing their letters Evie glanced over to Jake's paper and asked, "Why are you writing in Danish?" Jake chuckled and said, "That's not Danish, it's cursive." Evie, looking skeptical, replied, "Well they're not going to be able to read it."