Saturday, May 31, 2008

School's Out For Summer

I love no school! I love no homework! I love being able to go out and walk at the crack of dawn instead of having to get everybody ready for school. I love the chance to get my act together, and organize things around here, ie- new plans for monitoring TV / video game time, and kids helping out with chores. We have a new plan for the summer which involves a quarter a day, when everybody does their chores, keeps the TV stuff in check, and cleans up after themselves. The idea is a family outing at the end of the summer as a reward. As it's only the first week of this system, it's so far so good.

I decided to get all of the check ups done during the first couple of weeks of summer, so as to not have to worry about any of that rot during the school year, and after the baby is born. (4 weeks till my due date people! Joy of joys, I can't wait to be unpregnant!) So I took all of the kids to the dentist on Thursday, and all of them to the eye doctor on Friday. Lydia will be getting glasses (as we had suspected that she might). She is slightly near sighted. Ross and Mark are fine. Mark really wanted to get glasses. He even tried to fool the eye doctor. He wouldn't read a single letter or number for him. The stinker! The doctor wasn't fooled, however. Apparently lots of kids his age think it would be cool to get glasses. He got his situation figured out by asking the usual "Is this one better, or that one?" Also, they have those things where they look at the back of your eyes or something. Anyway, Mark was so upset when the doctor pronounced him as fine, that he pouted and cried for about a half an hour. I did not give in and let him get window pane glasses, just for his orneriness. The doctor suggested that I could, and let the insurance pay for it, but I didn't think that would be a great plan.

Anywho, the kids are all outside playing in their wading pools, at the moment. Ahh blessed silence. Have a lovely!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Secret Game

My last entry reminded me of this. At my parents' house, the TV and hence the X-box and PlayStation type things are all in the basement family room. Trent was into playing Final Fantasy for a while. For some reason, he started calling Final Fantasy "The Secret Game" to my children. Ross and Mark liked to go and watch him play "The Secret Game." You can imagine the look on the doctor's face when Ross was telling her about how his uncle takes him into the basement and plays "The Secret Game" with him.

Friday, May 23, 2008

School Journal Entries

It's always fun, at the end of the school year, when the kids bring their school journals home, and you get to see what kind of things they write about in class. There are always some entries about their home life. It's interesting to see what they are telling their class about you. Here are a few of Mark's entries this year. (The question occurs to me: "Renae, why don't you scan these things in? It would come out much better." The answer: "I'm lazy. The camera is much faster than the scanner.") There are always some things that warm your heart:

Captions above: "I like family night. 'Let's play hide and seek'"
Caption below: "I like my home"
-Sweet huh?

And then there are the other journal entries:

Caption: "My dad is mean to my mom"

Ha Ha Ha!!!!
I asked him about this one. It's about a Sunday, back in November (before I was too pregnant to run) when we were leaving for church. I had forgotten something in the house and had to go back for something. Bruce decided it would be funny to drive off slowly while I was trying to get in. I ended up having to jog down the road (in heels) while trying to hop into my seat. It's funny now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Too Many Things to Do

I don't know how other people do it. You know the parents who have 5 children, each involved in multiple sports, scouts, piano lessons, who are involved in PTO and so forth, and they have real jobs too. There is only so much busy-ness that I can stand. I have my four (almost five) children, plus two extras everyday before and after school, and I teach only a couple of piano lessons a week. I have a guilty conscience because I don't do the whole PTO thing. I try to help out at the schools (My kids are currently in two separate schools. We will have a few years in the future when we will have kids in four separate schools.) as often as I can. But it isn't much, because I have to find a sitter every time I want to help. I've not been in on the planning / fundraising (other than having my children peddle the over priced junk that they ask us to do from time to time) hastle that PTO must be. Ross does scouts, Lydia does activity day girls & piano, and they all do Tae Kwon Do, which isn't bad because they all go at the same time. I lived through one season of kids on different soccer teams, and I hated it. The thought of driving to all of those practices and games which are never at the same time, and often not even at same location makes me feel crazy. I sometimes have a pang of guilt for not signing the kids up for baseball or soccer, but then I think that a lot of children are just too over scheduled. Plus the mere idea of three different practice / game schedules make me want to scream. I don't know. Anyway, I'm rambling. Some mothers are just tougher than me, I guess.

The reason for this rant is because it's the last week of school. It seems like they cram all kinds of things into that last week. Last night was Mark's kindergarten program, and a band meeting for Lydia at the same time. I called the band leader and got her permission to not attend the meeting, so that we could go to Mark's thing. Today was fun day at Ross & Mark's school, which I helped out at. I stopped by the grocery store, on the way home to pick up some odds and ends and some cookies to send with Lydia tomorrow for an ice cream party at her school, which I am also helping out at. I then spent about 2 1/2 hours cooking dinner for today and tomorrow, and I made muffins for breakfast tomorrow. (Why not just have cereal tomorrow? I admit, it would be easier, but then there would be more dishes to do tomorrow morning. This way, I just have a few milk cups to throw in the sink, and wash off the table, and I'm done. I'm not bothering with plates for muffins.) Tonight is activity day girls at 6:00 and scouts at 7:00, luckily Bruce is taking the kids, I think. Tomorrow looks to annihilate me. I'll have to get up early, get everyone ready to go, including myself & Justice. Load everyone up in the van, and drive Justice to my in-laws (about 20 minutes away) for the day. Then we'll go back to our neck of the woods, drop Lydia off at her school, and proceed to Parkside where I'll sit through 4 hours worth of award assemblies. Next I'm off to Lydia's school to sit through another award assembly, and then to finish the school day off with an ice cream party. The thought of sitting through all of those award assemblies makes me want to poke my eyes out with a hair pin, but the kids love to see their parents at school, and to them this is an important event. Next we pick everyone up from their various schools, drive back to Grammy and Pa's to pick up the J-Bird. Come home in time to meet Blaine's mother and get rid of him, just in time to give a piano lesson, then rush everyone through dinner and a costume change to go to Tae Kwon Do. Then home to get everyone ready for bed, read stories, tuck them in, and fall down dead.

The thing that gets me is that there are parents out there that live like this every single day. I'd die!!

I had to pass on helping out at Lydia's school's fun day, because between yesterday's piano lesson and doctor appt, today's fun day, and tomorrow's gallivanting, I've exhausted my baby-sitters. I also have miss Lydia's recorder concert tomorrow, because it's at the same time as one of those dumb award assemblies. Friday is my brother, Trent's graduation. He is going to state for track, so I'm wickedly hoping he won't be back for graduation, so I won't have to go. Graduations are boring enough without four kids to deal with. I'd be happy to miss it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chloe Fatsoey

Can I just say that, a few minor quirks aside, she is the best dog in the whole world! She's 100 lbs of pure bred Labrador. (I didn't have to pay a cent for her. She was my cousin's dog until they moved and couldn't take her with them.) We've had her for three years now, and I've never once regretted getting her. She is great with the kids. Justice tries to use her as a step stool, ride her like a horse, and practically loves her to death, and she never so much as growls at him. In fact she's probably cleaned more snot off of his face than I have.

Anyway, I just feel like dedicating a post to her. She's recently starting to show the beginning signs of arthritis, ie. stiffness when she gets up and she's started gimping somewhat after a long walk. (I've just started her on a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement, which supposedly should have her feeling like a puppy again in about a month or so. We'll see.) Mind you, I am pretty hard to keep up with on a walk, especially for someone who is 7 1/2 months prego. Since I can't run anymore, walking is one of my only forms of exercise these days, so I try to make it count as much as it can. (12 more weeks of non running, I can't wait!) I'll walk her for an hour to an hour and a half at as fast a clip as I can. I've been wearing her out, I think. She's taken to stopping dead in her tracks, and refusing to go anymore as soon as we reach our driveway. But she's always excited to go again the next time.

She apparently sees Bruce as the pack leader, followed by herself, and then me. It's funny, but she barks 100 times more when Bruce is gone, than she does when he's here. She goes into over protective mode when he's not home. She drives me nuts sometimes! If the windows are open, she can hear things like 10 blocks away and she stands at the window and barks at everything. I swear she barks at the leaves blowing through the yard sometimes. Last week I put the recycle bin out at night instead of waiting to put it out the next morning like I usually do. So, when I let her out to go potty before bed, she saw this big shape at the edge of the yard. She tore off after it, barking like mad - at the recycle bin. Goofy dog.

Anyway, I hate the thought that someday she's going to get old and die. We'll have to replace her. But as much as I'll want another lab, I probably won't be able to afford another pure bred. Plus, I'll have to deal with a puppy. Chloe must live forever! Okay, I'll shut up, sorry for chattering about nothing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mark and I at the Zoo

I got to go with the kindergartners to the zoo yesterday. It was a great day. The cool thing about the kg field trips are that most parents are still excited about going on field trips with their children, and the school lets whoever wants to go come along. Therefore both kg trips to the zoo, that I've been on (I missed Lydia's because I was sick, and her grandpa went in my place), I only had my own child to look after. So, it was some great one on one time with my Mark. He discovered that the penguins can swim right under the sidewalk in their house. He had a great time running back and forth tracking them. He wanted to take pictures of every animal there, so I let him mostly. We got a bunch of blurry pictures of animals with their heads chopped off. But here are a few of the ones that turned out. Here's Mark pretending to be a spiderman.

This giraffe was cracking us up sticking his tongue out.
But, of course, this was by far my favorite animal at the zoo!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Bit of This and That

I just haven't been in the mood for blogging in the past few days. Not much is new around here. Just the same old same old. Here are a couple of tidbits from the past week that I thought were mildly blog worthy.

I picked Ross, Mark and Blaine (one of my everyday extra kids) up from school on Thursday (they usually ride the bus). As we were walking out, two girls (neither one of them were the love note writers) from Mark's class ran up to him and said "Mark!!!" and hugged him. Is it him or does he just go to school with some silly, crazy girls?! Whatever it is, he could make a mint if we could bottle and sell it!

Saturday Justice had one of those miniature basketballs in the house. He was aiming for the pictures on the wall. You could tell that he was trying to hit them. Naturally, I took the ball away. He then went into the kitchen, dragged over a chair, climbed onto the stove, and dug a golf-ball that I had taken away from him a few days earlier, out of the cabinet over the stove, where I had stuffed it for the time being. "Oh, I don't think so!" I said, and took that away too. Well, undaunted, he goes into my bedroom and got out his father's prayer rock, with every intention, I'm sure, to knock down / break my pictures on the living room wall. Drat him!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ross and the Vacuum Cleaner

I was telling the kids about this one yesterday, and we all laughed, so I thought I'd write it down for posterity. Ross was probably somewhere between 1-2 years old at the time. We had an ancient Kirby vacuum cleaner; it was probably made in the 60s. It was REALLY loud, and it sucked so hard that you really had to use your muscles to push it across the carpet. In fact, it was so old that in order to use the hose, you had to detach the head of the vacuum, and attach the hose in it's place.

Anyway, Ross and Lydia used to get the hose out of the closet and put it to their noses to play elephant. One day, I attached the hose to the vacuum so I could clean the couch or something. I attached the hose, and then walked away to plug the vacuum in. While I was away, Ross picked up the end of the hose and started to play elephant. I plugged it in. Too bad for Ross, the switch was in the on position. So here he is playing elephant, and all of a sudden the thing makes a huge "RRROOOAAARRR!!!" and starts to suck on his face. He freaked out!! He wasn't hurt at all, so it was really funny.