Miscellany 2

I found a banana in the peanut butter jar the other day. Apparently Caleb had tried dipping the banana into the peanut butter, it didn't work, so he shoved it all in there, closed it and put it back into the pantry.

We were in the car coming home from picking up Lily from school and she was shaking her Weekly Reader very annoyingly. When I asked her to stop, she said "Mom! I'm trying to make a movie!"

The kids are at Nana's house for a week! Woo hoo! James was also off yesterday for Memorial Day, so we spent all day eating four different flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and watching the first season of My Name Is Earl. Today James is out of town over night at his job (boo!), so here is how I've kept myself occupied:
1. Woke up at 10 and ate Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream for breakfast.
2. Surfed the Internet for 3 hours.
3. Went to the bank.
4. Worked on a puzzle to build my brain muscles for 2 hours.
5. Ate strawberries and corn flakes for lunch.
6. Took a nap.
7. Considered doing the laundry, but nah, hopped back online instead.
I miss the kids, but man do I like to sleep in and not have to negate arguments all day!

New Pets

It has come to my attention recently that staying at home caring for two young children can be monotonous and boring. I have had pets all of my life, and so have my kids mostly. We were all getting "pet lonely" because our apartment requires a $400 deposit to have a pet. Boo!
The other day we received in the mail a check for past child support (I know! I almost fell into my new garden in shock!) and I decided to get the kids and myself a pet.
So off to the pet store we went.
Caleb wanted a hairless rat. Ewww, no.
Lily wanted a chinchilla. This girl is gonna be high maintenance, I can tell.
Then I saw the guinea pigs. I asked the pet store lady about them. She said yeah, they're great for kids, very tame, make cute noises, eat out of your hand, easy to maintain, etc. I told her once we had two hamsters, but one was accidentaly dropped and, you know.
So we became the proud owners of a guinea pig named Lenny.
As we were leaving, Lily carrying the animal box, she leans over her shoulder and shouts "I promise I won't kill this one!" You should have seen the looks of pity Lenny recieved.
We took him home, set up his cage, and watched him run into his box. And never come out.
I've caught him a few times and the kids and I have held him, even fed him little treats.
But other than that, he sits still in your lap, or runs into his box and hides.
This guinea pig isn't living up to the cute pet I had envisioned! Not even one cute noise!
I am determined, though.
Today I was in the kitchen washing dishes and the phone rang. I guess it scared Lenny because he made a chirping noise. His first word! Awww!
This will take time, but I think he will be a good pet.

This weekend we also acquired two baby red eared slider turtles. They are so funny! We just lay there and watch them chase each other, look at us, climb on top of each other trying to get out of the aquarium; they even eat funny. I'm kinda liking them, and James is too. He won't admit it, but he's a sucker for animals.

Oh. We caught a caterpillar outside and the kids wanted to keep it in a box to watch it morph into a butterfly (why did I have to open my big mouth?). So we put it into a box with leaves and branches and stuff. It was dead five hours later. Oh well.

Evil Bank Tellers

Do you remember the days when your parents went to the bank drive thru and you got all excited because you knew the person at the other end of that vacuum tube was going to send out suckers for the kids? Your mouth would water just waiting in line for your parents to do whatever they did with their money that didn't grow on trees, and by the time the suckers came you could already hear the crackle of the wrapper coming off that delicious sucker.
My question is, why don't they send out suckers any more?
You know they have the money to buy them. Seriously, how much does a bag of suckers cost? Not much at Dollar General. There's gotta be some petty cash around there somewhere. And, how many people actually dare to take two toddlers with them to the drive thru (besides me)? Do they not send suckers to see the parents' faces fall when they realize the snotty bank teller has not sent suckers to temporarily pacify their screaming children? Are they trying to lose customers?
C'mon people. Think of the kids!


One Year Anniversary

I just realized that March 12 was this blogs' one year anniversary, which is saying something because I have never kept a journal/diary/kill and or maim list for more than a week. I'm surprised I've kept my husband for as long as I have. To celebrate, I have composed a list of facts about yours truly because most of this blog is about the kids, and well, it's my turn!!

1. I'm almost finished reading the entire Bible.

2. I like to read, even though I rarely get the chance.

3. I believe in spirits, though I've yet to see one. But there was this one time when I kept feeling a presence run into my room and stop at the foot of my bed and "watch" me.

4. I have had dreams of events happening years before they happen. Like the house we moved into when I was 15; I had dreamed about it two years before. It looked exactly the way it did in the dream.

5. I have deja vu often, mainly about trivial stuff like James and I getting into a fight or getting a phone call at a certain time of day.

6. Therefore, I believe in people who have an ability to "feel" certain places and what might have happened there, but I believe it is a talent from God and He severely limits it. I believe it's not anything particularly paranormal, but simply God allowing us to use different parts of the brain together or separately. I don't believe in palmists, future-seers, mystic ball readers and those kooks at the end of those 900 numbers.

7. I like to think complicatedly and ponder things that most people don't get when I try to explain it to them.

8. I like to see things accomplished in an orderly, manner, i.e. laundry (washing, drying, folding, putting away), dishes (same), vacuuming, getting the kids up and dressed, etc. I like to do those chores myself not to get them done, but because it satisfies a certain OCD part of me.

9. I have a sequence I follow while showering, and not much interferes with it. I shave one body part every three days; hardly ever do I shave all parts of my body in one shower session.

10. I like the sound of someone typing, James playing his guitar, running water, wind chimes, and silence.

11. I like office supplies; paper, pens, spirals, binders, envelopes, markers, stamps, etc. I will often rifle the office supply isle at Wal-Mart just to look at the stuff. I like the smell of paper, erasers, new tires and new swim floats.

12. I hate the sound of someone rubbing the feet on the carpet, gulping, slurping, smacking, and any repeated nuance coming from a toy.

13. I have started several stories but never finished them, including six or so autobiographies.

14. I know I want to go to college, but not what for. I would like to work with finance but I don't really like numbers and math. I thought about psychology but I really don't want to hear about other people's problems. I would like to study the brain, but it's too complex.

15. The left side of my body is smaller then the right.

16. I taught myself to type by memorizing where the keys are, not by putting my hands on the keyboard in a sequential order and remembering "N is to the bottom left of J, which is under my right index finger."

17. Yeah, not many people know what I'm talking about.

18. I like to sleep, and for me to sleep well I have to be in total darkness with a fan being the only sound I hear.

19. I keep my nails short because if they are long, I am obsessed with keeping them clean and it starts to really irritate me.

20. I think a certain connection is formed in utero between a mother and her child, and men are just SOL.

****Notes From Mom****
Number 7 is true. Most of the time when you try to explain something, I'm thinking "What planet is she from?" But I often think that about Taryn too. Zac I understand. I may not agree, but I understand.

Mother's Day 2007

My Mom
By: Lily

My mom has white hair and blue eyes.
She is 12 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds.
My mom likes to wash dishes.
My mom is happy when we help her with the dishes.
My mom's favorite TV show is Scooby Doo and Princesses.
My mom is very smart. She knows all about me and my brother.
My mom likes to eat broccoli, meat and mashed potatoes.
It really bugs my mom when we do stuff wrong.
If my mom could have one wish come true, it would be for Jesus to make the kids be good.
My mom is special because she makes cookies.


Those Genes Look Good On You! 2

I had Lily's parent-teacher conference the other day. Her teacher commented that "Lily is the most interesting student I've had in a long time!" You should have to raise her, lady. You have NO IDEA. Trust me. Apparently when Lily transferred to her new class, she already knew all the stuff her new teacher was teaching the rest of the class, so Lily has been a little bored. They draw in a journal every day (I'll post pictures up later, she wouldn't let me take the journal, something about waiting until the end of the year, I think she just wanted it for herself, give it back!!) and Lily draws in 3-D, which her teacher said is very unusual. She also draws depth and draws letters in block form, also very unusual. But what was really cool was Lily scored a 676 on the STAR Early Literacy test, while the rest of her class scored in the 300-500 range. Whoop whoop!
This all brings me to questions like....
How do you raise an overly smart kid?
How do you keep them busy?
Do you follow their lead?
So she really does understand the Spanish she's been jibbering?
Is that why she's been hel! on wheels since the day she was born?
Did those falls off the bed when she was little have anything to do with it?
Can she get a job now?
Uhhhggg. This is all kind of overwhelming. But I do want to give a shout out to Nana who starting teaching her the ABC's at the age of 2. Kudos!

A Little Miscellany

I woke up a couple of mornings ago and found a whole roll of toilet paper unrolled into a half-filled tub of water. Apparently the kids had tried to take a bath but couldn't find the stopper, so they plugged the drain with the only sensible thing they could think of. (If it stops up the toilet, perhaps it will stop up this drain! We are geniuses!) So I spent the morning digging soggy TP out of a nasty drain, then I had to plunge it because some of it was still out of reach. Okay, I just didn't want to stick my finger in that far. So sue me! Caleb has also discovered the absolute joy that comes from pouring cups of water onto his foam mattress until it is thoroughly soaked and I have to drag it onto the porch to dry all day. The only reason that kid still has a butt is because his dad gets home at 4:30.

I have gotten tired of rinsing out sharted underwear, and have been trying to figure out a way to get out of this duty. I can't keep a pull-up on him because he uses it like a diaper and I'm back to square one changing him all day. Plain underwear is sharted in on an average of every 45 minutes. (In case you're wondering, "shart" is when you sh*t and fart at the same time.) Then it came to me....
I can just yank it out and replace it when it gets sharted on! Awesome!
So I get out my Kotex and put one on him, and it goes literally from his belly button to his lower back. I am a genius! All day went well, with the pad not sharted on, until we go to get him dressed for bed.
"Uh, babe?"
"Is my son wearing a, uh, pad?"
"Yes he is."
"Umm.... ok."
James is so good about going along with my experiments, although realizing his son wore his sister's shoes, had pink toenails courtesy of Nana, found an old purse of mine that he liked AND was wearing a maxi pad all day probably hit him a little below the belt. Poor guy.
Back to the pad. Caleb had peed in it. A good quart or so, which means he used the pad all day like a pull-up/diaper. Square one again.
And then it hit me...
Shorter, but still there to do it's job, it just might work....
I've given up on potty training for a while. Peeing is down, but pooing just isn't. He's started doing the poopy dance again, which is good, but when I sit him on the toilet he cries and carries on but doesn't poop. I've tried eveything. Candy, cookies, trips to the park, a new toy, horror stories about constipation, nothing works! And I'm tired. So, Daddy has poo duty for a while. He's even tried the you-need-to-feed-the-toilet story, I know it's so gross, but so far nothing.

James and I started a garden yesterday. I now have 18 plants at my mercy. Oh, and I found out yesterday that all 18 are annuals, meaning they don't last more than a year. I'll have to dig them up next year and replant them. Ggrrrr.


Conversation With My Body

Body: "Um excuse me, are you busy?"
Brain: "Why no, can I help you?"
Body: "Gee, I hope so. Uh, what is this?"
Brain: "What is what?"
Body: "You see that blob of orange mush over there in my stomach? What is that?"
Brain: "Oh, that would be a carrot."
Body: "A what?"
Brain: "A carrot. You know, the vegetable."
Body: "Dude, we haven't had a vegetable since we were seven. What's up with that?"
Brain: "Well you see, lately there has been a lot of fat lying around, metabolism isn't doing it's job too well, and let's face it, you're having trouble getting up the stairs in one piece."
Body: "Oop! That is not true! How dare you say that!"
Brain: "How often do you bring your clothes downstairs so you won't have to go back upstairs to get dressed?"
Body: "That's just good conservation technique."
Brain: "Yeah right."
Body: "Aahh!! What's that??"
Brain: "Looks like more carrot."
Body: "You can't do this to me!! No fair!!"
Brain: "Get used to a lot more vegetables AND fruits AND exercise. Need to get this fat moving around here!"
Body: "EXERCISE?? No, no I can't. I went for the water thing but I absolutely cannot do exercise. Nope."
Brain: "I have to get the fat moving because it's taking a toll on emotions and self-esteem. You're not doing a quick enough evacuation job."
Body: "Yes, I... I mean... I'm just pacing myself!!"
Brain: "Three years? That's called procrastination."
Body: "Pacing! Not procrastination!"
Brain: "Whatever."
Body: "Please! I swear, I'll.... I'll make you pay for this!"
Brain: "Really."
Body: "Yeah! You better watch your back, cause here comes a big... big COLD or something!"
Brain: "Careful, my pet. I can cut the oxygen supply real quick."
Body: "You... you wouldn't dare!!"
Brain: "Try me."
Body: "You're mean! You're... CRAZY!!"
Brain: "Just get that fat moving."
Body: "CRAZY! CRAZY!!"

That Holy Feeling 3..... And Then Some

Okay. So we've gotten moved far far away. Getting settled into a new routine, one of which is going from $2800 per month salary to $1600 a month. Yeah. So, we're trying to conserve whatever we can, cut whatever corners we can.
One biggie has been electricity, because with the summer starting I have this anal fear of a $400 electric bill. These last couple of days haven't been scorchers, but they haven't been pleasant either, at 69% humidity. Plus, our room is upstairs. I finally relented and let James turn on the air for a few minutes in the evening so he can get to sleep.
Yesterday, it was soooo muggy and hot I finally said to myself, Screw it! Turn on the air. God will provide for us. So I turned the air on. And guess what?
James came home that evening and announced he was getting a $2 raise!! Whoop whoop!! Hallelujah!!

Last week we went fishing with the kids at the local pond. We used corn and caught small perch, which wasn't much but the kids loved it! So did James; he's such a kid. When they caught one, we would all gather around and feel it's scales, etc. Well, they did. I don't do scales. Then the kid who caught the fish got to throw it back. A few days later we were driving somewhere and Lily saw that Caleb had a scab on his knee and said it looked like scales, to which Caleb replied,
"Well, I guess you haffa frow me back."

Today while leaving Walmart after another grand adventure, Lily asks me,
"Mom? How's it going?"
Are you kidding?? You escaped from the cart, terrorized the lobster, poked holes in packages of meat, picked up every box of cereal on the aisle wanting to (loudly) buy it, and added various items to the basket which weren't noticed until we enter the checkout line. (I SWEAR I didn't put those magnum condoms in there.... poor cashier.)

Last night James and the kids made cookies. He bought some pre-made dough and the kids helped him put it on the cookie sheets. When they were done I learned James had used the ice cream scoop to spoon the cookie dough, leading to the creation of brown-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside monstrosities. They loved them. Yuck!!

We've been trying to teach the kids more bedtime songs because I'm getting tired of singing the same two over and over again. Last night we taught them "This Little Light Of Mine" and "I've Got The Joy, Joy, Joy." Caleb's rendition:
"Dis little life off mine
I'm gonna let it thine
Dis little life off mine
I'm gonna let it thine
Let it thine Lord let it thine"

Potty training is regressing. Caleb has stopped doing the poop dance, so I can't really tell when he needs to go #2 anymore. We've been changing pull-ups now for about a week, because rinsing out skidded underwear is SO not my thing. James was changing Caleb last night and Caleb kept swinging his legs around, and finally James said "If you don't quit I'm gonna lite your butt up!" to which Caleb replied "But ders no fire in der!"