Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Clifford's Animal Sounds
Little Racoon, Here's Your Spoon!
happy baby 123
Colors Foil Fun
Chickie Stop and Go
Where is Baby's Belly Button?
and one cannot forget Goodnight Moon
What are the kids reading?
Greener Grass -- it's SO good!
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The True Meaning of Smekday
Storm: the Black Sphere
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
First of all, darling husband who had been in a jury trial all week returned home. That alone is awesome. Then, after the varsity and jv (high school daughter and middle schoolers) (and Nolan) kids went to school we took Emmeline & the three of us went Christmas shopping. Hunky husband and I shared coffee, talked about our kids, hugely enjoyed our blossoming toddler, and stirred up love. Have I mentioned lately how incredible he is? I love my man, peeps!
Later in the day I picked up jvs, and they were giddy with excitement to be out of school. Everyone was in a fabulous mood; Dad got home early, driven by Chloe who just got her driver's permit; and we went out to eat (almost never do this but my oven is still broken).
Got home, bathed baby, watched Frosty, and kids fell into bed, bellies full & bodies exhausted from giggling so much.
I don't need gifts for Christmas; what more is there to have?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Our oven is broken, and has been for over two weeks. Thaaaaaat's right, six kids and no oven. The top works fine, and thus we have eaten our way through every stove top dinner recipe known to recipezar. Before this I wasn't even sure what salsibury steak was.
The repair man has cometh (after long bouts with waiting, calling, waiting, rescheduling, and his superb rendition of the characteristics of his SEVENTEEN DOGS) (I am NOT making that up) he said it would be a few weeks for the part to come in.
From here I am supposed to ease into a charming description of the really important things about the holidays, and traditions which make our home glow with Christmas cheer. And then I was going to post three cute pictures from our tree -- a popsicle stick baby Jesus with only one googly eye, and nostalgic handmade ornaments from preschool. I was even going to present a little ode to preschool teachers and thank them for these
But, alas. Somehow my brand new memory card (which I splurged on for my own self as an early Christmas present because you know it's for families memories, blah blah blah) popped out of my camera last Sunday. Just decided to bail ship and jumped, apparently. It was probably the taping of the baby running around -- it's quite dizzying. And I haven't found it yet.
No pictures and no special food.
Christmas will still come.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
After the last of my 'early kids' left, I meandered on, yes I did, into the garage to make sure the lights were off and to lower the garage door. Imagine my shock to see a MAN IN THE GARAGE. Readers, it was the trash collector who saw we had neglected to roll out our trash can. He spied it in the garage, and was getting my trash can instead of skipping us!
Can you believe what a nice thing that is to do? If our trash doesn't get picked up, well, it's pretty snarky with the dirty diapers and all. This man saved me!
Ok readers, let's pay it forward. Do something unexpectedly nice for someone, and let me know what it was!!! (or don't let me know, since no one seems to like to comment, boo hoo. Are you even there?)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We ran into a drifted bank
And there we got upsot
A day or two ago
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow
And on my back I fell
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh
He laughed at me as I there lay
But quickly drove away
Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young
Take the girls along
and sing this sleighing song
Just bet a bobtailed bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh and crack!
You'll take the lead
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
I also got an email asking for $10. for a class party fund. Odd, last year they collected about the same amount and parents were not told if the amount was fully used, if there was a surplus, or any information about the collected money. And, I don't think fifth graders need Winter Parties. I really don't! Make them stay on task until the verrrry last bell rings like we had it!
In fact, here is the low down of fees asked for in the last month:
$29. soccer coach gift, grade 3
$9. soccer trophy fund, grade 3
$12. aforementioned field trip, grade 3
$20. "minimum suggested" amount for soccer coaches gifts, grade 5
$24. soccer pizza party, grade 5
$30. soccer coaches gift, grade 7
$9. soccer pizza feed, grade 9
$10. soccer coaches gift, grade 9
And now ... our school foundation wants my family to donate $7,500 to help cover school expenses and "do our fair share." Yes, that is really seven-thousand-five hundred-dollars. I don't understand how they can ask this since public schools are free to the public. Yet every year the phone rings & they ask away...first they ask how your kids are doing, if they like the school year, then BAM, do you have 8K to spare?
Go ahead, call me Scrooge. Call me Cheap. Call me concerned that our school asks for money hand over fist, all. year. long. I insanely mentioned to the soccer mom collecting $20. from each of the 15 players seemed a lot, and she politely responded that $20. was the minimum amount she was collecting. Then in a later group email she specifically thanked the parents who gave more than $20! Someone has to bring up the fact that it's just too much money! Readers, what do you think? Have our public schools become too comfortable asking for money?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
As a mom of a very active 13 month old, I want to offer my most sincere thank you for placing the large, glass sided box of stuffed animals just beyond the check out aisle. I really appreciated it when checking out with my daughter, who thought the carnival-esque flashing lights were so enthralling she screamed and pointed to the box the entire time I was checking out. For those of you unfamiliar with the Winco experience, you bag your own groceries.
The second Em saw those animals they became the point of her being in the store. I offered her a roma tomato she had wanted earlier in the trip. She took a bite and dropped it, went back to fixating on the large, flashing box of animal joy. Her cries grew so loud that I quickly became that mom in the grocery store trying to control her raging child (now with tomato on face).
Luckily for Emmeline I have experience with this type of tantrum. I placed her on my hip and talked about the foods as I tried to bag them. Momentary success and quiet until ... rip, the bag tore as I lifted it, spilling the contents out. Back in the cart she went, and she promptly again fixated on the red, flashing box of wonder.
Her yelling increased and the store got quieter. That, or she droned out everything else. I got the acute sense people wanted me to pick her up, but I couldn't, because I was frantically bagging my groceries. A young man clearly childless glared at me. The checker informed me she used to shop alone when her kids were little. Good to know,thankyouverymuch.
Luckily I had three 50 dollar bills in my wallet and quickly paid the $149.97 bill. Except the checker didn't have open pennies and, now holding Emmeline who has somewhat quieted but still staring at that red box, I painfully waited for her to s.l.o.w.l.y unwrap a container of pennies. Ugh!
I gave the young, glaring, man the snake eye, and left the store. As we approached the box Emmeline started saying, "Dis, dis, dis" and pointing, leaning her whole body toward the animals just in case I didn't understand. Yeah, I get it honey, you think the box is neat. Let's look. We stopped and talked about the animals, and she giggled with joy.
Completely happy now, we headed to the car. Several bags ripped as I put them in the car, then, tragedy struck as a box of powdered doughnuts fell out. And opened. And not just any box of doughnuts, but one of three boxes for Nolan's class birthday celebration this afternoon. And since the classes are combined, I really do need all three boxes or there won't be enough.
I stared at the white doughnuts. It's been raining, and the asphalt is shiny dark black. The powdered sugar looks a little like snow everywhere. And the doughnuts look bizarre, like they were photo shopped into the scene. I laughed out loud. One lady who was in checkout right after me walked by and stopped. "NO WAY!" "Yeah, can you believe that?" (Cue Emmie protesting from inside the car that I dare talk to someone other than her) "Well, have a good day anyway." "I will, but I really needed those for a classroom party later today." She looked at me again. "ARE YOU GOING BACK IN THERE??????"
I laughed. "No."
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It's not like my son is doomed from this decision, but it still bugs me. It bugs me because if you are an Aggressive Parent your child gets advanced, and if you are a Nice Parent Who Doesn't Want to Offend an Even Nicer Teacher who has Dedicated 16 Years to Public Education, your kid is in easy math. I could have pushed it, and I didn't. I don't know why. Maybe I am tired. Maybe I think he will turn out great even if third grade math is too easy. Maybe I doubted my judgment.
Nolan, I'm sorry.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I do not immediately agree that this state park needs more trees. Oh well, let's have a field trip and plant more! It's November and still sunny for heaven's sake!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Anyway. All year my son excelled in math. 100% on nearly every test, and way ahead on the "computer accelerated math", where he usually also got 100% unless he had a technical foul. I did not suggest he be put in the year above him because he adored his teacher so much, (the man dressed as a human hot dog last Halloween, how awesome is that!) and I thought he was doing ok as a second grader. His teacher and I discussed that the following year, this year, he would be placed in the highest math.
School started, and three students were put in "high" math. Not my kid. When I asked his previous teacher what happened, he said placement had been based on IQ scores, and no teachers had been able to give input. End of year assessment? Educator recommendation? No.
Readers, does that sound right to you? It didn't sound right to me. I thought he must have his info wrong or didn't want to talk about it with me now, or maybe ever. After a year of *me* as a parent I might not want to talk to me either.
To make a long story short: my kid can't take the math he is ready for because his state wide IQ test was not in the top 3% for math. Go ahead and gloat, my homeschooling friends, I get it why people home school!
All week I have exchanged emails with his current teacher and principal. They patiently assure me he will get what he needs in his regular classroom. He can even do the fourth grade math when they feel he is ready for it. (He apparently already scored a 100% on the first unit test but his "show me how" explanations are weak.) Newsflash, people: it is easy to acquire a math text for fourth grade. They can put him on whatever schedule they want; he will already be doing fourth grade math at home.
To hear my child is considered not innately intelligent enough to understand multiplication and long division, the gutwork of fourth grade math, created a variety of responses: I am profoundly insulted. I know they are wrong. I cry. I scramble in my sleep deprived mind to remember his milestones: he did them all on time, and seemed to have a talent at puzzles. I remember his preschool teacher finding puzzles especially for him. He could read well before he started kindergarten. He was so cute and sweet then, the memory makes me cry again. And let's remember his second grade teacher's opinion that this year he should be in fourth grade math, and his high in class test scores. Yes, I assure myself, they are wrong.
I know this year of math will not really matter in the long run. I am trying to keep perspective. But what haunts me is on a larger scale - we are discouraging our children. We don't want to admit it, but we are. We wrap presents for them so the corners look pretty; we re-make the beds if company comes so they look more tidy; we straighten the knife if they set the table. And we allow them to hear they are not smart enough.
I am still working through this issue. For now I resolve none, none of my children will take state or nationally normed tests in elementary school again. If I had realized what there was to be lost they never would have taken them.
Readers, I am curious to hear your stories about these issues.
Monday, October 5, 2009
On a completely different note I took baby to the pediatrician today to check her ears since she WILL NOT SLEEP and is DEMANDING. Don't get me wrong. I tickle her, kiss her, read to her, play with her toes in wee little rows, etc. etc. etc. But the not sleeping is killing me: she will nap for twenty minutes and wake up SO CRABBY, as if she is sure she missed out on something fun. I know there are babies who wake happy in their cribs. Not mine. And her crib is nice, with toys and a soft IKEA baby blankie. And yes, sometimes I try to get her back to sleep and it has not yet worked. And yes, sadly, I have left her to cry in her crib for (wince) up to thirty minutes. I draw the line at a half an hour of a screaming 12 month old!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Onward: Baby Lamb took her first steps! And Daddy was even home to see it! Isn't she cute? By the way we have had that box of markers for almost a decade, no exaggeration.
And ... we have had birthdays. And dances. Dances which require shopping for nice clothes. And soccer games clashing with dances, and dances clashing with birthdays. Soccer games ON birthdays has been ok; they are only 1 hour or so long after all. Still plenty o'time to wear the crown and strut around the house as Birthday Royalty.
And with that I scoot off to roll out calzones for dinner before we trek over across to the far side of the city to watch a soccer game. Gotta get at least one more in before the rain comes. Good bye for now fearless readers!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Recently I brought Emmeline into her store to pay my dear friend a visit and buy a book for my son. She stopped everything and sat down in her charming bookstore to play with baby. After nearly an hour of exploring the bookstore it was time to go. In my arms Emmeline sized up my friend eye to eye, and slowly leaned her head into her, resting it on her neck and cheek. Then, she reached for my friend, I let my friend take her, and they hugged for one long perfect moment. Emmeline clutched the back of my friend's shirt while my friend rubbed Emmeline's back.
We both had tears in our eyes; Emmeline's instinctive gesture was just what my friend needed. Human compassion in it's most basic form. How much better the world would be if we all showed such understanding to one another!
Who can you hug?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
fettuccine with a four cheese red sauce and green peppers, tomatoes, and basil from the garden
salmon cakes or salmon fillet -- diner's choice as I prepared both
carrots, strawberries (not together)
Readers, what are you having?
Friday, August 28, 2009
If you touch her you can expect my eyes to narrow and flash, and I will yank her away. If you persist I will walk away. When I say, "Please don't touch her" that is what I mean. I know she is cute. But she is not yours for the touching. And I know you are a nice person who likes cute babies. But touching babies during a flu pandemic is a bad idea.
Please, don't touch my baby!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Three of my children have been gone for a week, the longest period I have ever been away from them. They are having fun, they are safe and happy. But we left at home are out of sync, and our family rhythm is gone.
I wanted them to go. Now I miss them and want them back.
Go, come back. Go, come back.
Soon, too soon, they will just Go.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Oh, dear readers, do not be fooled by the shine of happiness in her eyes. The picture was taken before she knew I was going to walk away and, I don't know, maybe tidy up the house a bit? The older kids were mortified; I couldn't stand the whining and calling of ma ma ma ma ma; she seemed like an animal on display at a zoo. And I took her out. And ignored the house, and watched my baby be a happy baby, going after puzzle pieces and lego animals.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Normal traffic in Joseph
Devil's Canyon, Oregon ... deeper than the Grand Canyon, but smaller overall. And waaay more boring. Seriously, don't go here. Long drive, small reward. Trust me. Don't do it.
He's on top of the world at 8100 feet
Waiting for chipmunks to climb up on them