Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our latest visitor

I thought it was a fluke that this guy was on the garage roof last week. Unfortunately, we've seen him there several times since. The freakiest thing ever was when we closed the garage door while we could see him and he disappeared INTO THE ROOF! Apparently, he climbed up the tree and dug through the roofing and is living in the attic over the garage there. He's damaged the gutter there obviously as well. Mice were seriously ENOUGH. What am I supposed to do with this guy!?! I'm so freaked at what he may have done to the stuff I actually have up in that attic. We can't get to it right now because of the construction stuff blocking the way to the entrance. EEEK!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Turn off week

2 weeks ago, the kids came home with a flyer about "Turnoff week". The school was challenging the kids to take a week off from TV, computer games and game consoles (wii, nintendo etc). They have done this before and you would not believe the amount of whining and complaining and ANGER my kids had over it. However, just as in years past, I was determined to make it happen. Goose is the challenging one, he LOVES the computer. He would play on there all day everyday if I let him.

Well, I don't know what the difference was this year, but we had the easiest, and most rewarding turn off week ever! I think there was an average of one kid each day asking if they could watch a movie or whatever it was, but there wasn't even any whining when I said, "no, its turnoff week." Just an "oh yea" or "ok." The older kids came home from school and played outside, made crafts with stuff in the recycling bin, read books and played games together. It was a beautiful thing.

I don't know if this is a local thing, or if it is national or whatever, but I am curious if you have done this. If you haven't, I totally recommend it! Tank's TV addiction has been thwarted, Goose realizes that he likes to do other things besides the computer! And Sweetie got to share her love of arts and crafts with her siblings. Those 3 actually sat down together and played a game of Chutes and ladders! And this was AFTER turnoff week had ended! Goose and I were talking about it, and he said, "you know, last year I had some pretty strong words about having to do turn off week."

yes, I remember, but its not so bad this year is it?
"No, its not bad at all."

So, here are a few statistics to get you motivated to try this experiment:

Number of minutes per week parents spend in meaningful conversation with ther children: 38.5
Number of minutes per week average child watches TV: 1,680

Hours per year the average american youth spends in school: 900
Hours per year the average american youth spends watching TV: 1500

Over the week, here are a few things we did:

Went to the bookstore and bought new interesting books to read throughout the week
Practiced piano, much more efficiently than during other weeks
melty bead crafts
balancing bird craft
Went on a walk
Jumped on the trampoline
Went to the arboretum
rode bikes
played with friends
learned to rollerblade
played card games
played board games
made cookies

Need more inspiration, check this out: YIKES!!!:

"If you watch an average of 31.5 hours of TV each week (which the average person in the US does) and you value your time at minimum wage of $5.85 an hour, you are spending nearly $800 a month ($798.53) to watch TV. That comes to nearly $10,000 ($9582.30) a year."

Ok, enough. :) I'm sure you get it,

now just do it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm such a "Molly"

As background, the house next to us has an upstairs apartment and a downstairs "apartment" that the owner has been renting out ever since we moved in. There's been a lot of turnover which included some very sociable neighbors, and lots that have mostly kept to themselves. About 3 weeks ago, we had some new neighbors move in the upstairs apartment. My kids were so excited to find out that they have school aged kids! About 1 week ago, someone moved into the downstairs apartment, and she has 2 school age kids too! Too add to the craziness, a girl up the street has realized how many kids all live here and she has been coming down to play with them too. All of the sudden, our "old" neighborhood is full of kids congregating at my house. That could be a post all by itself, I'm not totally sure what the unwritten rules of conduct are for neighborhood playmates. However, for this post, I'll bypass my insecurites about that and focus on how I just really find myself feeling like one of those classic old tv show moms...

First of all, I'm now the stay-at-home mommy day care for neighbor #1. Then, my neighbor #2 laughed when I gave her the equivelant of a mommy calling card with my phone numbers and kids names on it. She just moved back here from New Orleans, apparantly they don't do that type of thing there. :) Yes, its corney, but its also practical. Neighbor #3 decided she wanted to get to know the girls her daughter was playing with so she set up an impromptu birthday outing for her daughter. She said she would call when they were done, but I hadn't heard from her by 8:30 pm!! I finally just went to pick the girls up, and she was sad to see them leaving so early. At 8:30 pm!! We had been out on a date earlier and she asked where we went. Well, our "date" was a really informal "men's cookout" at our church building. We ate dinner, chatted and played a game of family feud! We really did have a fun time, but for some reason I felt silly explaining it to her. On top of that I had to leave quickly because I was going to a movie with some girlfriends. what movie? 17 again. Suddenly all the girls around the table start saying, "oh yea, that's the movie with Zac Efron!" Yikes. They're like 7 years old, they aren't crushing over Zac are they?!! again, YIKES. (The movie was really cute by the way, predictable, but cute and totally worth it to see Zac's smile again... :) )

I think what it comes down to for me is that there was an awful lot of meeting of new people these last few weeks and I need to get comfortable in my own skin so that I don't feel so strange being myself. It really is fun to have some sociable new neighbors, and they all seem really nice. Now to figure out all those unwritten rules for neighborhood kids...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So, I got the book.

Yea, the one that I posted about a couple weeks ago, "The Ultramind Solution". It was completely intriguing to me and actually not totally what I was expecting. The author is a M.D. and he goes into detail about all the vitamins and minerals and what their action is in our bodies and what happens when you have a deficiency (not a blatent deficiency like rickets or scurvy, but rather sub-ideal levels). He also goes into detail on what happens when you take in toxins of various sorts. As a wanna-be nurse, the detail was captivating. Basically the whole book was taken up by all this explanation of why he recommends the ultramind solution. What is the solution to having a clear mind? I think he has a list of 7 things, but my take away message was this:

Take in good foods and supplements.

Clean out toxins.


He speculates that a large portion of the population has latent food allergies... meaning the effects of eating the foods are not life threating and severe the way acute allergies are, however the long term effects can cause inflammation, memory fog, and possibly even ADHD etc. Part of his plan includes a trial period of eliminating high frequency allergy foods like dairy and gluten. What surprised me was that he also says to re-introduce them after 6 weeks to find out whether or not you have an allergy. When you've cleared them from your system, the reaction will be much more noticable when you try it again. So, if you're not allergic, enjoy your wheat and your dairy!

I've found the secret to eternal youth! Vitamins, minerals, good foods, and exercise. :) So, I totally recommend the book. Read it even if you don't plan on changing your diet forever. It will make you more aware of good and bad things that are out there, and tune you into what you are doing to your body.

My own personal goal is to try to eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of high fructose corn syrup I have in the house. I've already tried to eliminate trans fats, but thats another big one. On top of that, I will drink more water and take my multi-vitamin everyday. I'm considering some extra vitamins, but I still need to investigate that further. Eventually I may try the full 6 week program, but I'm not quite there yet. I could probably do it for myself, but I don't know if I could handle implementing it with my kids or keeping to it if I ONLY did it for myself.

As a side note, he has recipes, a schedule and all sorts of helps available to download at this site:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beauty sleep.

Never a dull moment around here. ha!! I went to go to bed and found my Tank in my bed. With a sleep mask. Gotta love her.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The year in review... a tribute to Twister

Happy Birth Day
9 days in NICU
"Its good to be home"
Tiny little hands
Part of the family... pulling funny faces

"Hey, I'm good at the funny face stuff!"
SOOO precious when they sleep
"Hey Mom, you've got something on your face, let me get that for you"

Always with the tongue out...
"Just call me fuzz head"
"Binky, blanket and bear... I'm good."
"I have the coolest brother in the world, he's already showing me how to do this stuff""Twister?! "
"Oh yea, up on TWO!"

* Happy birthday baby! I love you!!!! *

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wish I caught it on video

Today I was feeding Twister his dinner. He had some bread in one hand and a piece of cheese in the other. I broke off a few pieces bread and set them on the tray.

What's a boy to do? Both hands were full.

He leaned over and licked it off the tray.

Maybe its just me, but it sure had me laughing!!! :)

Can you believe he is having a birthday this week!!??

Friday, April 3, 2009


On this past Sunday, I told Benson that his tail brake light was out. After that time, Benson has worked every day for stinkin LONG hours every day... So, it wasn't the first thing on his priority list. Until Wednesday that is... he got pulled over by a cop who gave him a warning for having his tail light out. A warning? Really? I didn't know it was actually a ticketable offense, but whatever. Just a bit ironic to me. He went to court today and his other offenses were "dismissed" since he got a new license, registration and had proof of insurance. I'm not sure if a bill comes later, but so far, we haven't paid for that event.

ANYWAY, I wanted to tell *MY* awesome cop story. This was almost 7 years ago when we were living in Utah. I had *just* had Sweetie, and I remember my Mom was still there helping out. Benson was at work as a telephone network person... As I sat at home, I got a call from Benson, he told me that he had locked the keys in the car and needed me to come open it up for him. He then added that it was fairly urgent as the car was running, and he really needed to get moving because the police phone lines were not working and he was responsible for fixing it.

So, "what is the problem?" you may ask... the only car available to drive was under a centimeter worth of dirt because it hadn't been driven in months. It was also un-registered since we weren't driving it and we were on a college student's budget. I left the baby with my mom and went to check if the beast would start. It did start, and with a few swooshes of the windshield wipers and lots of window fluid, I could see through the front window enough to drive the half mile to Benson's work. He was waiting for me out front and we got the car open, and he ran off to fix the telephone lines.

As I was pulling out, I noticed a cop behind me. I remember feeling totally guilty for driving the unregistered car, and sure enough, the cop noticed and pulled me over.

License and registration please...

"um, here's my license, but the car isn't registered, but the ONLY reason I am driving it is because my husband locked his keys in the other car when it was on! We haven't driven this car in months, look at the dust!"

"just a moment" . He takes my license and goes back to his car. I sit there thinking about how it was all Benson's fault and my baby who was probably going to wake up and start screaming for food, my Mom was probably wondering where I went and what was taking so long... blah blah, all those things that you think about when they walk back to the car..."

here he comes...

"Ok, here's your license. You need to register this car. Even if you aren't driving it, it has to be registered... blah blah blah... (I'm nodding and agreeing and being as pleasant as humanly possible under the circumstances...) However, our police lines are down, so I can't get hold of anyone for issuing a ticket. I'm going to let you off with a warning."

Did you catch that? The police phone lines were down, so he couldn't issue a ticket. The only reason that I was driving the car was because the police lines were down when Benson locked the keys in the car. Apparently he hadn't fixed them yet! IRONY!

Oh, and I think maybe we've finally learned our lesson about not registering cars. (rolls eyes at herself).

Yes, irony.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Messing with Illustrator

What do you think? For Mother's day?