Friday, April 30, 2010

Of ballet shoes and rainbows

I love real rainbows. I see one and it just fills me with a kid’s excitement all the way down to my toes. Someone asked me once how I knew my Wonderful Amazing Husband was "the one." I can't even remember who asked, but I remember the question. Now, this is a rather cliché question really. I guess there are lots of stock answers; I will let you fill in the generic blanks. But for me, the best way to truly explain it is I wanted to show him a rainbow. You see, when something is truly beautiful in life, you can't keep it to yourself. It needs to be shared or it loses some of its beauty. I knew he was someone I wanted to be with for the rest of my life when I saw a rainbow and the very very first thing I wanted to do was share it with him. In fact, I could hardly enjoy it myself until I did.

I was reminded of this a few days ago. I was off on my alone time (another reason my husband is wonderful and amazing - he insists I go off on my own a couple hours a week to read in a coffee shop or walk around target without kids. Wonderful!) I walked into the parking lot of Panara (my favorite place to sit and read) and there in the sky was a magnificent rainbow. At that very moment I was so very sad that I was alone. I honestly had to stop myself from flagging down all the strangers that passed me, (most of them not even glancing up to the beauty above them) and demanding they LOOK UP! It was one of those rainbows that is so bright you can see all the individual colors. And you just know, if only there was not something in the way, you would be able to see a glimmer of the gold at the end of it.

Now I will admit, I don't cry in movies - but the fact that I could not share my rainbow brought a tear to my eye. Luckily I have a cell phone. In a hurry I text-ed those sitting at home and asked if they could see it too. Oh joy of joys they could! I had been rooted to the spot, unable to move until I could share my rainbow. And un-safe as it may have been I walked into the story backwards so I could watch it as long as possible. I was content. I had shared my rainbow.

Alright - another Alice question for you all (ready Diana?) Did Lewis Carroll create Humpty Dumpty or did the rhyme come first and he simply used the character? Did you all know it was Humpty Dumpty that talked of Un-Birthdays and not the Mad Hatter at all? He even made Alice do the math for him (365 days in a year – 1 birthday = 364 un-birthdays) Yet several re-creations of the story I have seen have given full un-birthday credit to the Mad Hatter. Did you also know that the Mad Hatter and March Hare come back in the second book as Haigha (rhymes with "Mayor") and Hatta the white king's messengers? At least the characters look the same in the illustrations. The things I am learning reading this book! Such as that "Outgrabing" is something between bellowing and whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle: however, you'll hear it done, maybe-down in the wood yonder-and when you've heard it you'll be quite content. I bet you all didn't know that!

I apologize dear readers. I am feeling rather chatty today. And when happens, I rarely stay on track and tend to jump around all sorts of places making almost no sense at all. I shall make up for it and show you some pictures of my prima ballerina:

She was sooo excited to go to her first class.  And she did wonderful!

She was 100% comfortable being in the room without me, she did everything they asked her to do and by the end she had several little girls asking to stand by her and putting their arms around her shoulders.  The girl knows how to draws others to her!
My big four year old ballerina! 

She is already counting the days until Monday night again so she can go to class.  I have a feeling Mondays are going to be the new favorite!  She also met a new friend who is going to be starting at her new school with her in the fall.  I was excited about that.  Always nice to have a friend on the first day.  Makes it a little easier - on mom at least!

Ah, I hear drumming.  That can mean only one thing you know - you see:

The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown The lion beat the unicorn all around the town.Some gave them white bread, and some gave them brown;Some gave them plum cake and drummed them out of town.
Mmmm, plum cake sounds good!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hat Quote Goes Here:

I looked to find a good one.  But I have discovered I have no patience today so I apologize, but you shall have to come up with your own! 

I will share however, that I have decided to become a hat person.  At the risk of sounding conceded, I think I look good in hats.  Or perhaps it is the draw of not having to work so hard on getting my hair to look like I did something to it...   Now I am not talking here about baseball hats.  Those I hate and always have.  No, I am talking about hats that you look at and think, “I like that!  I wish I had it in me to wear that” Well I have decided that I do.  I shall buy my first the moment it goes on clearance for 75% off.  I may desire to be a hat person...but I am also painfully frugal so since a hat does not fall into the "need" category I refuse to pay more then $4 on it (which is about what this hat will be once it goes down all the way).  If by chance I miss this one (though when I really have my eye on something at Target I rarely miss my lovely 75% off number.  It is a talent of mine.  Then I may have to give up and pay a little more.  But for now, eye on the prize!   Oh, and along with my soon to becoming hat-ness I am also thinking that come Fall I shall also be a scarf person.  That one may take a little more work.  Since they have to be tied a certain way and it takes a bit of a learning curve.  But hey, I figure if I can become an expert at tying a Moby Wrap, a scarf should be cake right?

My big four year old had a lovely birthday.  Would you like to see?  Ah, hold on - my coffee needs warming for the 3rd time.  Why must it get cold so fast!?!  I know it is just my dead mouth nerves right?  I make a hot drink for my wonderful husband; he takes one drink and has a blister for the rest of the day.  Yet I can drink it no problem.  I do wonder if there is something wrong with me. After all, shouldn't human mouths blister at the same temperature?  One would think...and yet I can drink it directly out of the boiling teapot.  Yes, yes, fine!  Come on people, I don't drink it out of the teapot itself.   I wait until it boils, put a tea bag into my cup, pour said boiling water into the cup and take a drink.  And you all laugh when the directions on the little snack bags in the airplane read "open bag, eat nuts." It is because of people like you!  And yes, you know who you are.  It is fun to see the faces of those at Starbucks when I order my drinks at 200 degrees though...

Oh yes, pictures! 
 My silly girl!  We went to the zoo.  Her choice, then it was McDonald's for lunch and home for a movie rest time. 

She so badly wanted to feel the giraffes.  It was the whole reason she wanted to go to the zoo and she was so excited we got to do it first thing!  

After rest time friends and family came over for hot dogs and mac and cheese for dinner, cake and rice crispy treats for dessert 
and of course...presents!

A good birthday.  And my baby girl is 4 years old now!

We have dubbed Sunday nights our family movie night.  Sunday naps always come late because of going to Grandma and Granddad's for lunch and before, I would stress that often Ayla would sleep until 5.  But now, I let her/them sleep as long as they need too.  Then we play outside a tiny bit and come back in for dinner and a movie.  Half way through the movie we stop it, jump in bath and get ready for bed.  Then it is back to cuddling on the couch as we watch the rest and then into bed.  It worked beautifully last night and we were all in bed by 9:30!  It is nice to start out the week heading to bed early.  5:30am comes all too early Monday morning!

We changed up our living room this past week.  I am loving it!  I went to Target (the land of plenty-of-deals) and found some 75% off items.  A small bistro table and 2 stools for only $25, and a storage ottoman that can also be used as a seat for $14.  So my large desk got trashed and now the table and one stool is my desk.  Much less room for clutter!  And the bookshelves are now out of the way and not creating more chaos.  I always love it when I can make changes that help my brain rest.  A restful brain is good!  

Though on the other side of that, a lazy brain is also not good.  I have decided the time has come for me to go back to school.  I have one class to complete and who knows what else to make up for time lost.  My kids are asking less of me now so I feel I have some time.  In fact, right after I write on here I shall email the Admissions office at APU and ask them what my first step needs to be.  Wish me luck!  The idea of going back to school gives me some anxiety, just because I don't know what exactly it will involve.  But I have been forgetting things and I feel it is mostly from too many small things to keep track of, and not enough actual brain work-outs.  What better way to work out my brain then to finish my BA! 

Perhaps my hats and scarves will be a sign of the new student in me.  They do feel rather student-ish.  I may also have to add to my coffee budget since I can imagine class and/or homework will require it!

Alright, I am thinking of it right now and have the motivation.  So I shall quickly close so I can get that letter off and my adventure started.  Pray it goes well!

Friday, April 23, 2010

"It's hard to be brave, when you are only a Very Small Animal." -Piglet

I don't feel very brave today. I am not really sure what I need to be brave for...but I do know that I am not very brave for it. Perhaps I am tired. Perhaps I am simply grieving a tiny bit in that my baby will be 4 tomorrow. Perhaps...oh I am not sure it is any use in perhaps-ing. Unless I need to put a name to my un-braveness for some reason or another, some days that is helpful. But today I think I simply need to be.

I will likely be very busy tomorrow, so I think - though I wasn't planning it I shall tell you a story. Would you like to hear a story?

4 years and one day ago a little girl was born!

4 years ago exactly I was already in the hospital. Most of you know what my pregnancy was like with Taylor, but in case there is one or two that do not know - I had/have a condition called pemphigoid gestationis. I won’t bore you by going into the details, but know the only way I can explain it is horrific. It is itchy beyond imaginable. It is truly painful enough to send a person insane without treatment, and I am not exaggerating. If you want to know more, here are a couple sites (The second link has pictures just to warn, though mine was far worse then any of the pictures shown).

At 37 weeks pregnant we still didn't know what I had. The doctors were stumped, we knew it was auto-immune since it responded to steroids but we didn't know how the baby would be. I had been warned to expect my baby to be covered in spots when she was born. The itching had gotten so bad on that Saturday night, that Ryan took it into his hands and called the doctor telling them something needed to be done. I was crying and shaking uncontrollably because my body could literally not handle the stress the itching caused. The night-call person told us to head to the ER and up to the maternity ward, the doctor would meet us there. So we packed up. I can remember Ryan picking up the car seat and clipping it into the car. "Just in case" he said. We spent the next 3 hours at the ER waiting. They insisted we go through the process instead of just sending us up to maternity since I was not already in labor, not sure why. We were admitted and the ER doctor had me put on a IV of benadryl. It didn't do much for the itching, but it helped me rest a little. They kept trying to get a hold of our doctor, but it turned out he was out of town that weekend. We were begging for an induction, I had reached the end. I could not handle three more weeks of this and I have no doubt the baby would have been in distress had I tried. But since I was barely 37 weeks the OB office had not yet sent over my paperwork. The hospital wanted to hold me over night so that they could get that information and know what my doctor wanted to do. I think this crazy, spotted, blistered; pregnant girl crying in their office freaked them out. But they didn't know what I had, so they didn't know what was/was not safe without referring to my paperwork.

My doctor was scheduled to be back first thing Monday morning. I told them I wanted an induction the moment they got his OK. I remember being in and out of awareness all day Sunday, sometimes people were there, and sometimes they weren't. I couldn't focus on anything anymore but staying sane and feeling my baby move. That let me know she was ok. That night, about 1:30am, as I lay awake and my amazingly wonderful husband lay sleeping on the hospital cot nest to me. I felt something different. Two spontaneous muscle movements, a little painful but not bad. Then without warning I was laying in a puddle. My water had broken. I called the nurse, they tested it and sure enough - Taylor was on her way! Labor started out pretty light. The hardest part was that I had not really slept at all for several days. My mom was called and she got there about noon the next day. Just in time for hard labor to kick in. There was a team of specialists on-call; equipment waiting just outside the door and a nurse from Children's Hospital had been brought in. No one knew what I had, so no one knew how the baby would turn out. I had bad back labor, but having everyone there with me gave me the support to make it and just before 4pm Monday April 24th Taylor Joelle Reynolds was born! 6lbs 2oz, 19 inches long with bright red hair. No spots, no blisters, breathing, crying, kicking, perfect! She was a little bruised up but nursed wonderfully right away. I was a mom!

They gave me a steroid shot in my IV while I was in labor but that only lasted about 24 hours. By the next day my spots and blisters were back, bad. I had them all over my hands, my feet, my legs, everywhere but my face. Taylor was tiny and growing tinier. She went in for her three-day check-up and we were told she had lost too much weight. She was down to 5lbs 10oz and was always falling asleep when she should be eating. She had Jaundice. We had to take her back to the hospital. All Friday night we were up while she was under the lights. I would sleep for an hour, wake up and pump as much as I could, then nurse as long as she would. Sleep for another hour, wake up, daddy would give her what I had just pumped while I pumped and nursed some more. They told us that she would have to be under the lights at least 24-48 hours. By morning, at about the 15-hour mark her numbers had gone down into the safe area and we were told we could take her home! The doctors were shocked she had gotten better so fast.

Exactly a week after she was born I was sitting with my baby and Ryan was on the computer. He sits up suddenly and almost yells “I know what you have!” He had found a picture that matched, the Dermatologist confirmed that he agreed. It was three more months, three rounds of steroids and three hours of treatment by a naturopathic type dr. before I was finally on the mend. I was told I had a 93% chance of getting it again with my next pregnancy. I didn't!

Here - shows you how tiny she was.  That is a newborn onesie and it is swimming on her: 

Tomorrow Taylor will be 4 years old. I can't believe it, but isn't that what all moms say on their kids’ birthday? Funny how the days can seem so long sometimes, yet the years disappear before you can blink. My fiery redhead is not always so fiery. She has a soft heart for those that are hurting, she loves making those around her smile and LOVES to draw or do projects/crafts, play dress up, do somersaults on mom and daddy's bed, read books for hours and hours and help mom make cookies as a surprise for daddy! She wants to be a Ballerina/Astronaut someday (oh, and also a mom) and is learning to get along with her little sister.

So Happy 4th Birthday to my Taylor! I love you very much. I am so proud of the little lady you are becoming and I am so excited to share the many years ahead with you as your mom. You may be getting bigger now, but you will forever be, my Baby Girl.

I love you for always and forever, Mom

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sleep, baby, sleep!

Sleep, baby, sleep!
Thy father guards the sheep,
Thy mother shakes the dreamland tree,
And from it fall sweet dreams for thee;
Sleep, baby, sleep!
Sleep, baby, sleep!

Yeah, it is not going to happen. Want to bet? Why on a Tuesday? Why can she not have trouble going to sleep say...on a Thursday when I am alone with children while Ryan works late. But see, Tuesday is my date night, so she will be up late tonight no matter what. On a Thursday, I could exchange not getting a break at naptime for early bedtime. I suppose it is rather selfish of me. After all, I get a break tonight no matter what so it doesn’t REALLY matter. It is the principle perhaps, or my ever human need to complain, or perhaps I just need some..... I have been told that I talk about tea way too much on here (or that is the idea I am getting from the "so you really like tea huh" comments.) Therefore, I shall liquid that will remain nameless for reasons of not annoying my readers. But I will add that I take it with cream and one spoon of sugar!

Silence. Could it be? I don't dare check, time will tell! My big one is in the living room with a friend at the moment. Jack is visiting while his mother goes off to an appointment. Jack is almost 3 and has been a good friend of Taylor's for a good year and a half now. They are watching cartoons slyly as I try to get the little one to take a nap. I have been dashing to catch her every time I hear the doorknob to he room turn. Squeaky doors are such blessings when you have toddlers! It is the little things right? So far I think it has remained a secret that a friend is over.

I have lost the cord to my camera...err my wonderful husbands' camera. So as much as I am itching to show you pictures of my lovely garden and beautiful children I cannot! The pictures exist, just not where anyone can see them unless they want to squint at the tiny screen. I have bad luck with cameras! First, my little point-and-shoot refuses to turn on no matter how many times I change the battery. And now I have lost not one, but TWO cords I had for the other one. I have trouble enough taking pictures as it is! I always feel as if taking pictures takes away from me enjoying a moment. I am so concerned about someone looking the right direction or saying "cheese" in just the right way I forget to savor the moment and end up with ok pictures and no memories of the actual event at all! Lucky for me, I have wonderful people in my life with wonderful cameras and a truly exquisite God given talent that I am sadly lacking.

So it has now been a little over a week with no processed desserts at all. I am proud to announce I have not cheated even a little, even once. I have not changed the rules in between or figured "just this once." As long as I can have coffee hot beverage I am just fine. Funny, have you ever moved a clock in a room you are familiar with? (Yes I am going somewhere here.) See, when you move a clock you realize just how often you looked at the time. A small little shock goes through you every time you look and the clock is not there. I have felt the same with dessert. I didn't realize just how much I was having until I stopped. All of a sudden when I want something sweet or I am just bored I will catch myself looking for a small smackerel of something. It is the same shocked feeling every time I remember I can’t have it, as looking for a clock that is not there. I really had it THAT much? It was just a jellybean here, a piece of chocolate there. The ice cream in the freezer, the cookie dough in the frig. And the list goes on and on. I have decided that my fast shall break on Saturday, a day early. I know, I know - my reason is that it is Taylor's birthday. I shall not go overboard. I shall have just one piece of cake. And then after that I shall start eating only half of what I would have before. For instance, I would have in the past grabbed two cookies or a whole piece of cake. Mind you, I generally stopped at two cookies or one piece of cake, but I shall take it a step further and take one cookie and half a piece of cake. I figure, if I really want more I can get up and get more. But often I don't, and that will cut down on my dessert snacking. I will also keep my desserts to social settings only. There is no reason for me to snack alone. But now I can have something on LOST night and not feel guilty, or our family Sunday lunch, or cookies with my wonderful husband on a date night.

Ha! I checked and she is asleep. Yay!

The kids are now off the play in the playroom. They are searching for Jacks lost Thomas train. It was left here a while back and the girls recently found it. "Gack, Tain?" Ayla always asks when she finds it now. The girl was making me laugh today. Over and over she was saying something and I could not for the life of me figure out what it was. "Wanday mama? Wanday? WanDay mama!!" I finally realized she was saying "Rainy day" and she was so excited to put a title on what she was seeing outside. She is going through a naming everything she sees phase. I love these phases!

I have come to a conclusion, after today we will have LOTS of May flowers. The April showers were more like April torrents today, coming in sheets and buckets. Ayla thought it was grand, I was a little apprehensive driving in it. But we all survived! Yay, they found the train. Taylor is very excited about that. Now Jack is making me cookies. Pretend cookies are absolutely allowed even on a dessert hiatus.

Speaking of, those leftover strawberries on the counter are calling my name. I think I shall have to go answer that call. They shall, after all, go so nicely with my cookies!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise. -- Winnie the Pooh

As do people! I am sore today. I am not sure why, perhaps it is the gym, but I didn't really do anything out of the ordinary yesterday so perhaps it is just me. I am now on day 5 of no processed dessert at all and I have lost 2lbs! It is sad to me that dessert can make that big of a difference. I am still having coffee and tea and one dark chocolate dove piece after lunch and dinner. But nothing else, no jelly beans, no cookies, ice-cream or cake for a full two weeks. I am mostly doing this because I felt it was a part of my life that was falling out of control and that is never a good thing. I eat good, healthy meals and I feel I am pretty good with portion control. My downfall is dessert! So that is where I am cracking down. I am also working hard to go to the gym twice a week (the only days I have the car) and do an hour of cardio and a few weights. It feels nice, I love it when I can do this for a week and already feel a difference in myself. That, and it goes along with hating it when people are un-happy with their weight/body/health and yet they never do anything to change that, just complain. I will NOT be one of those people, so off desserts I go! The gym is so therapeutic to me. I am in a better mood the rest of the day when I get an hour just moving and sweating. Love it!

Well, it has finally happened. My mom used to say she wanted to raise kids that have opinions (I suppose it is a shared pet-peeve of ours, those that can never make a decision). She just didn't realize that in so doing, she would raise kids that had different opinions from her! Well, I am not sure when this realization hit her, but my almost 4 year old has declared this to be her time. Taylor has started giving me fashion advice. Now, of course my first thought as she gives me the "look" taking in my clothes for the day is to point out that for herself she has chosen to wear a white shirt with green flowers covering it, matched with brown pants with pink polka dots...but no. HER clothes go apparently. "Mama, you are wearing a white shirt and almost white pants. You should wear a different color pants. You shouldn't wear those together." Or "mama, you need new pants. The ones you are wearing are too small on you." Well fine then! More motivation to take it easy on the jelly beans? Perhaps she just has something against pants?

Well, so far I am proud to announce that the girls sharing a room have been a huge success! Taylor's sleeping has gotten better, and they are playing with one another more. All toys being in one room has cut down on clutter in my house and did I mention they are playing better with one another? I will turn around to no kids in the room with me and immediately run to find what danger they have discovered...only to find them playing happily! Oh the sense of joy and relief is overwhelming. And I hold on to that feeling every time I have a weak moment wondering if any other baby is in our future. The thought of starting all over makes me tired - they are finally getting easier. Easier is good!

All right my dears - it is a short post today due to a lovely friend coming to visit me this morning. I shall close with (and everyone together now) My stoutness exercises. I try to do these at least 12 times a day. Ready?

When I up, down, touch the ground,
it puts me in the mood.
Up, down, touch the ground,
in the mood for food.
I am stout, round and I have found,
speaking poundage-wise,
I improve my appetite,
when I exercise!

I am short, fat, and proud of that,
and so with all my might,
I up, down, up-down to
my appetite's delight.
While I up, down, touch the ground,
I think of things to chew.
With a hefty-happy appetite,
I'm a hefty-happy Pooh!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why is the queen red?

And here I wish I could tell you half the things Alice used to say, beginning with her favorite phrase `Let's pretend.' She had had quite a long argument with her sister only the say before -- all because Alice had begun with `Let's pretend we're kings and queens;' and her sister, who liked being very exact, had argued that they couldn't, because there were only two of them, and Alice had been reduced at last to say, `Well, you can be one of them then, and I'll be all the rest."
We have started "through the looking glass" and of course I am just breathing it in so far.  This book is far less popular, though everyone knows of tweeddledum and dee, (not to mention the jabberwocky) and they all come from this one.   But I have one question: why is the queen red?  When I think of chess I usually think of black and white pieces, not red and white.  Do I just have the wrong sort of chess set?  Are older chess sets made with red and I am just ignorant of this fact?  Or does it have nothing to do with chess at all and I have only just read the first chapter of the book and getting way ahead of myself?  

I have another question: what is Wednesday week?  You see, when spouting off the things for which the black kitten needed punishing, Alice said that she should save all of the punishments up for Wednesday week. I looked online and all that popped up at first was a band by that name.  I didn't have the time or energy to look further then the first page so that is why I am asking you, my brilliant readers.  Do you know what Wednesday week is?  It is a concept that sounds interesting, saving things up?  I could tell my children that they can only fight on Wednesday week and perhaps that would cut down on the arguments in this house?  Ah well, worth a shot!

Oh the sun is out!  Truly lovely, as it has been raining since last night.  Oh and it was a delicious rain too - lots of wind, the rain pounding down sideways.  I expected thunder or even hail at any moment!   It made for a cozy kind of evening (when we were not out in the rain that is) and although I am very ready for warmer weather, I loved my last gasp of winter.
We had a birthday party for uncle last night.  A fun evening of balloons and bubbles!

Love it!  My baby girl will be 4 in less then 2 weeks.  We are going to spend the morning at the zoo if anyone wants to join us.  She wants to feed the giraffe.

She worked so hard to pop that balloon and oh when it finally went so was so proud!  Funny, the things we want so badly to be able to do as kids.  What was the purpose exactly of popping the balloon?  I'm sure she didn't know, but uncle and daddy were popping balloons so she had to pop them too! 

Ayla loved chasing the bubbles and so wanted to play with the bubble gun Uncle had gotten as a birthday present.  They love going to auntie and uncles house.  So many fun things to do!


"Do you hear the snow against the window-panes, Kitty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again." And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about -- whenever the wind blows -- oh, that's very pretty!"

We should all think like this.  Joy, perhaps that should be the title of my post.  This is joy, at least to me. It is real imagination and seeing peace, love and innocents at every turn.  Some may argue that it is not real, practical or even right.  That I am looking through rose colored glasses thinking that this is a way to look at life at all and that ignorance will be my downfall.  But I disagree; this is how things SHOULD be (though I am well aware they are not).  I am not a trusting person naturally.  Some people instinctually trust everyone until someone gives them reason not too - I do not.  I am cynical and questioning naturally so perhaps I see this as something I so long for because it seems so far from me.   Perhaps the best way to explain it is this looks like heaven to me.  Some people get grumpier and "older" with age.  I want to become more innocent and childlike the older I get.  I shall have to think on this more - it opens up a whole world of possibilities after all! 

May you all be blessed this day!  Blow bubbles, re-seed a dandelion, pick up a penny off the ground and shout with joy at such luck you had to find it!  Take a moment to leave behind the exhaustion that comes with living too much and trust that for a moment, right now, you are blessed and everything is going to be ok.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

There's a tiger in my book, And a lion in my book!

There's a tiger in my book, And a lion in my book
There's a sneaky alligator I can spy on In my book
Sometimes all I need, Is a book to read

There are pirates in my book, On an ocean in my book
There's a sorcerer with secret magic potions In my book
And to learn where the story will lead, I just read

On a quiet day I could go outside and play
But there's adventure in my book, So exciting in my book
Turn the pages, See the pictures, Read the writing in my book
Yes, sometimes all I need, Is a book to read

Quick - what is this from?  Guesses?  Yes!  You are right, of course deep down we all knew the answer right?  I always laugh when I see the PBS add "read to your child 15 minutes a day" 15 minutes, that's all!?!  Mind you, there are days like yesterday for instance where we are so busy that we probably didn't make 15 minutes...though even on that day we were close.  But they were at grandma's in the evening and I have no doubt she made up our time. 

So today is our day off.  About three weeks ago we had a hard day and it was announced (not sure by whom) That we needed a day off.  So, I got out a calender and flipped it to the month of April.  I asked Taylor to point to a day and she chose today!  We started the day with making banana bread bread together and reading stories. Then Taylor got to pick a show and now they are watching one of Ayla's choosing.  We will most likely play outside next.  The rules of today; we can stay in PJ's as long as we want and we don't have to get anything accomplished...though I should probably think of lunch soon.  Day off or no, daddy still has to eat! 

But first things first, my beautiful children:

We took a picture taking trip to a local ranch-ish house.  There were horses that Ayla insisted were actually elephants ("El'phant! There!") and lots of things to climb and explore.  And best of all?  Lots and lots of dandelions!  (which thanks to our childrens seeding talents will have quadrupled in about two weeks) We had fun.  

From left to right: Molly (our pastor's daughter, almost 3) Taylor (Mine, almost 4) Ayla (Also mine, 2) and Mia (daughter of dear friends, also 2)

 I love how different they all are.  We have a dark brunett, a blond, a redhead and a curly lighter brown.  they all love playing with one another.  Perhaps in 10 years we can take another picture of all of them again in this exact pose. I love love love to see picture like that, and to see how personalities are the same through-out time and place.  We are who we are that is for sure! (Didn't Popeye say something to that affect?)

So I have started on a quest - no sadly, it is not that sort of quest.  Though quests like that are certainly exciting!  No, my quest is rather dull in comparison.  But important to me all the same.  I am on a quest to make my house more organized (I know, I have been on this quest before.  Honestly I never stopped, I am just now re-doubling my efforts) And to decorate my house.  It looks rather droll to me at the moment, and I think that needs to change.  So all you decorating savy people, do you have any tips?  I feel very impotent in this area.  I honestly have no idea where to start.  I spent some time looking at books last night, but I have trouble visualizing my house when I look at these examples.  I know I want to paint, but I am not sure exactly what.  I know I need more decorative pieces in my living room, but I don't want things to be over-crowded.  So I am at a loss.  I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey!  But I will be victorious!   Hmmm, Ayla just gave me a small piece of silly-putty.  Where oh where did she get that!?!  Ah me, this child....ok she just gave me another one.  hold on, I have to investigate this: She wont take me to it, she has a stash and she is not willing to share it.  I will just have to get sneakier.  You must be sneakier then your children!  My parenting tip for the day.  

I apologize for the delay.  First we played in the back yard, then Taylor had "A great idea!" and so we went on a walk.  PJ's and all!  Once we were home of course we had to swing on the swing and sing the swinging song and then draw with chalk a bit.  So it has been a good hour and a half at least.  Now I have pizza dough in the bread maker and kids are drinking ice-water watching sesame street.  Is it a special day or what!?!

Funny, I have discovered that while playing in the back yard kids want constant entertainment.  I can't just sit and observe.  We have to be racing, playing pirates or taking care of the garden.  However, in the front yard they could care less what I do.  They are off exploring the dirt, drawing with chalk, riding the tricycle and finding worms and aphids (Taylor spent some time this morning taking aphids off our rose bush) The toys are the same.  They drift from one yard to the other - there is chalk at both.  Perhaps it is because they are used to being in the front with daddy while he works in the garage.  It is more normal to be on their own.  

So back to my decorating efforts.  Perhaps I should take picture and have you all make suggestions.  Of course no one is allowed to get offended if I choose not to use your ideas.  I wish I could have like 8 different people come and decorate and choose what I like from each.  That is the problem - you see, I am very opinionated...I just have no idea what my opinion is.  But oh I know what it is not!  I will beat this yet, though I have a feeling it never really ends.  I need a house that changes with my mood, is that possible?  

We did change one thing, we moved the girls into the same room this last weekend.  Taylor has been going on and on lately that her room is cold and creepy and she is scared in there at night.  So she is now in with her sister and the extra room is their playroom with ALL the toys.  That's right, I took all toys out of the living room and bedroom and they have to stay in their home now.  They get homesick you see, if they are out of it for too long.  So they are happiest and play the best in the playroom.  It is always good to keep your toys happy!  Otherwise they may break or run out of batteries or accidentally get lost.  Toys get lost when they are not played with properly.  I know these things!  It is simalar to socks, but see socks run away because they think feet are smelly.  Sadly all feet smell at one point or another which is why we are constantly chasing after our socks!  My socks get holes in them rather often.  My wonderful husband says that it is because I hardly ever wear shoes, I think it is because they are airing themselves out.  Or perhaps it is because they are forced into the same laundry hamper as his socks!  Yes, that must be it.  MY feet don't smell bad after all!

Ah, I am getting sleepy.  That is what I get when I have to much time off. A sleep deprived mother can continue as long as she never stops.  But take a moment to breath and it all comes crashing in!  So to prevent a crash I think I shall go and start grating cheese for our pizza today.  

As I take my leave I beg you all, read to your caterpillars 12 times a day, for if you do not they shall grow spots and start spouting off Shakespeare while standing on their heads.  And we can't have that now can we!
So please, for the love of all that is Tuesday, read to your caterpillars! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A windy windy windy day, this is a windy day today!

I just ate too many jelly beans.  Why do always lose track and eat to much when it comes to those fruity buggers?  I beleive a cup of tea may be in order to slow the demise of my stomach, hold on a moment while I get my water heating...................................................................................................................................
......................................................................................there we go.  Water is heating, kids are resting and I have a moment to myself to sit down and think on all things life related.  My life in the past week or so has suddenly become less complicated and terrible busy all at once.  I am honestly not even sure what we have been doing lately, however I do know that I am behind on laundry (again) and we have not had even one morning at home yet this week.  No, I am wrong, we were home Monday.  But Monday was a bit odd since I was not sure the whole time whether or not I would have a it didn't feel open and free.

My life has become less complicated since we bowed out of a few commitments/obligations - mostly church related - that have been taking away from needed family time.  Seasons in life are rather interesting, some seasons things just seem to drift by.  No one is in a hurry, no one takes offense, no one really seems to notice in general.  And then other times?  Oh it seems as if the whole world is watching and waiting...for what I am not sure but they are not waiting very patiently!  This season is a mix tea!  Err, I mean water.  My water is done, I have to go make my tea hold that thought.  Disaster!  Calamity!  I have only 2 tea bags left!  Well, not in all.  I mean I still have lots of tea both in bags and out...but I only have two bags of my current favorite tea left.  Would someone in Lemoore like to volunteer to get me some more berry plum black tea from Fresh and Easy?  I would greatly appreciate it.

Anyhow - what were we talking about again?  Ah yes, the seasons of life....and I have lost my train of thought.  But it was for my cup of tea so it was worth it.  Airplane! Airplane!  up in the sky? going overhead? I am channeling my daughter...sorry you didn't get that.  No, I am not crazy!  Oh, oh!  But hold on a sec and I will write what my lovely redheaded daughter said to us the other day.  I wrote it down as she was saying it between peals of laughter and bumps in the road (we were going to Grandma's house at the time).  I had been telling those in the car of the cat I had seen a few days earlier.  It had been an odd color and rather large and I had been contemplating whether or not it could have in fact been a fox or a mountian lion.  From the back a small voice piped up:

"I have a fountain lion.  It was in the jungle, we saw it on a field trip."  Of course hearing this makes the parents in the car chuckle and make side remarks about how cute the small one happens to be.  I believe one of the grown ups must have asked what a fountain lion looks like because she went on to tell us: "It looks kinda like a bear.  It was in the jungle.  Me and Caroline (a schoolmate) and the boys and girls had to carry it down.  We carried it to its family and when we did a little bear ran over and bit me on my leg so someone else did that one." (why were you in the jungle Taylor?) "I wanted to explore that jungle, and explore and explore and while we were there there was a little tiny earthquake but the ground didn't shake a lot, just a little and then it stopped all by itself and then we stopped it for it....but don't tell anyone else cuz it is a secret.  And then we saw a mountain lion and we had some muscles with us in a box so we put the muscles on so we could carry them down..." And she went on and on until I could no longer keep up writing!  I feel as if all the words above should actually be all together with no spaces in between.  She never stopped even to take a breath!  Constant entertainment these children are.  I'm sorry my small one, I couldn't keep your secret.  It was too funny!

I have been less scattered lately.  Today I believe I am a deep purple.  I feel at rest and rather cocky (a dangerous combination) perhaps it is the tea?  The sun has come out to play!  It has been resting most of the day, too much time out in the last few weeks it needed a break.  I am not against a break.  I simply consider it a excuse to make soup for dinner and drink hot chocolate.  And yes, I shall enjoy it while I can for I know it will not last!  All too soon even hot chocolate will lose it's appeal. 

I have been at the gym more lately and have loved it. I have been doing an hour on the elliptical runner burning between 530-600 calories according to the little counter, not sure how accurate it is.  Through life I have in fact discovered that I have an slightly different view of health and being healthy.  I know some of it comes from the fact that I am lucky enough to be genetically pre-disposed to being more slender then not and I was blessed/cursed with crazy stubbornness.   I rarely lose battles of will against myself.  I also realize that I am one of those blessed to enjoy exercise and even consider it a hobby.  Now, please don't take this the wrong way.  I am not thinking of any one particular person as I write this. As most of you know 99% of woman want to lose weight.  And a good percentage of men as well.  I have been there, I was at one point 30lbs over where I should be, and successfully lost it.  Either by diet or exercise or breastfeeding and chasing toddlers...or a combination of the two I am not sure.   But I will admit that lately, I have grown tired. I am so completely proud of anyone in my life that works hard to be where they know they should be but I have also discovered I have zero patience for anyone who is a chronic complainer and not doing even a little bit to change.  Now, conversation about what you are doing, rejoicing over achievements met, even voicing disapproval over goals not achieved do not bother me.  It is the "yeah, I should lose weight" or "yeah, I need to start being healthier" that tend to itch me.  If you know you should, then do it!  One of my very first posts on here I talked on how it is a little known fact that eating healthier is actually cheaper, not more expensive as the myth tells.  I believe here in the valley the obesity rate is around 40% (I could be wrong, that is a grapevine number) and that baffles me.  Why?  Laziness?  I can come up with no other answer and it saddens me.  Please, I am not trying to put on any "holier than thou" front.  I am truly saddened.  I want to do something, but I have no idea what.  I go to walmart to shop and I want to yell at the parents of small children who have nothing but junk in their cart.  I want to educate the kids that play outside my house, the parents of the kids at Taylor's school when I see the lunches the kids bring.  Ok, so I am taking this too far.  I know it is none of my business and there are kids that will not eat anything but a corn dog, cheeto's a juice pouch (contains 7% real juice!) and oreo's every day for lunch...and maybe it is a turkey corn dog...but really! 

Alright - off my soapbox (for the moment).  And again, I do not mean to offend, but if a blog is not for spouting my own opinions on matters at hand then what is it for? 

Ayla is up now, and she is asking for bubbles to be blown for her.  So I shall close - I have a new favorite book character.  The Duchess in Alice makes me laugh everytime she is in it.  Shouldn't we all look for the moral in every situation as she does?  My favorite of her quotes so far?

"Be what you would seem to be -- or, if you'd like it put more simply -- Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

Take it to heart, better advice you will not be quick to find!