Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lots and lots of blood...and some saltines for me.

Those of you who have kids, or work with kids, or just know kids, know that they all come with their own little personalities and tendencies.  Its a funny thing to observe your own children and see that just because you all share DNA, the individuals in your family tend to be, well, individuals.

There are many personality traits I could discuss here, but for the purposes of this post, I will focus on coordination and accident attraction.

My oldest, while a bit knock knee'd, is rather coordinated and athletic. He rarely gets hurt, and if he does its because he is trying some daring trick or diving catch.

My second oldest does not sit still and is constantly moving and somehow manages to never get hurt, although those around her within arm's length tend to end up 'accidentally' wounded.  Spinning, leg kicking, and other rather abrupt gymnastically motivated movements tend to pose threats to innocent bystanders.

My baby, who is almost 4 now, tends to be age appropriately coordinated.  She often catches herself if she trips while running too fast though, and any 'accidents' she has been involved in have either been the result of her older sister being oblivious, or her mother displaying large amounts of grace as she slips on the ice and sends her flying through the air to the asphalt or cement below.  Yes that happened twice.

I guess it is inevitable that one out of four would inherit my coordination and tendency to attract accidents.  That child is my third. She is 6 years old, and if she continues on the path her mother took, she will end up a fine upstanding young lady. If she makes it past age 10.

When I was a kid, if it was going to cause lots of pain or blood, I was the one that got it.  I got attacked by a feral cat, took off many layers of skin on my elbow in a bike accident (I still have a significant scar), had an emergency appendectomy, got my thumb closed in the hinge side of a bedroom door during hide and seek (yes it was broken, and yes it hurt...a lot),  stepped into snow boots that were filled with staples, got 'bounced' into a salamander cage that split my head open and bled profusely (actually a very funny story for another blog someday), got thrown off the top bunk and got my ear ripped part way off as I landed on the sharp ear of a piggy bank below, and got a pick up stick shoved into my left eardrum...which has never really worked right ever since.  Those are just off the top of my head, and I am sure I could think of more. Despite my propensity for attracting accidents and scars, I was a fairly successful athlete in school....after I outgrew my knock knee'd skinny legs.

Anna, being only 6 years old, is well on her way to carrying on my legacy.  Though there is hope for her in her teenage years, she will still not be completely out of the woods as, like I mentioned before, I tend to be involved in very embarrassing clumsy accidents even still.

Though she has not yet topped my list, so far in her short life Anna has: Crashed head first into the corner of the kitchen cabinets, creating a 'dent' in her forehead that can still be identified if you look closely because anytime she hits her head, she hits it in the same exact spot.  She has multiple unexplained bruises on her legs, has to get spacers for her mouth because her thumb has made the palate misshapen, is ALWAYS falling down, can NOT do jumping jacks (I really must get that on video, it never fails to produce laughter for spectators), is almost ALWAYS the brunt of my second child's flailing extremities, managed to break a snow globe with her head while dusting, and today, severely cut her foot on a stray shard of glass from said snow globe while attempting to get dressed for school.  We aren't talking about a tiny little flesh wound.  No. This severed some horrible little major vein on the ball of her foot that bled exceedingly great amounts of blood all over the jacket on the floor beneath her and all over her blue jeans. And her hands. And some emergency toilet paper. And about 5 paper towels.

Thankfully it stopped bleeding with painful pressure, and I was able to bandage it with Neosporin and large band aids, but I have a feeling too much jumping around will cause it to reopen and be a problem.  I am now going to the school to check on her and see if there is any cause for further alarm.  Too bad my stomach just settled from the first round of bandaging....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

My cute kids were killin' me this morning. We went on a big trip to Yellowstone National Park yesterday. That place never fails to deliver for me. I LOVE that park.  In case you were wondering, we saw 2 wolves, a grizzly bear, a black bear, a coyote pouncing in the snow, lots of fluffy white elk, and lots of skinny buffalo...long winter, they are starving.  Anyway, we got back around 7:00pm last night, and I was tired so went to bed shortly after we got back and cleaned up.  I am thankful I did, because my sweet babies bounced in one by one starting at around 7am.

Anna was the first. She came in with her arms stretched out and said, while walking toward me like a Mode magazine executive, "HAPPY Mother's Day!" in her best sophistocated accent.  Then she ran out of the room and did it ten times, giggling hysterically in between takes. It was a very amusing show.

Lily, who was oblivious to the fact that it was Mother's Day, or what that meant, came in to snuggle into my bed with me. :) As she is the baby, I can not resist a good snuggle.

Jada, who went to bed sick, came in to have her fever checked and to also snuggle onto my bed.  Jada is a naturally good hugger and snuggler, so also a welcome visitor.

Dallen came in  but sort of stood by the door waiting to see if the masses of girls would allow a break for him to sneak in.

Once they were all in there the big kids told me I had to stay in bed and could not get up. Jada was to take my order, and they would make me breakfast in bed. They made 8 grain wheat toast with butter, a glass of milk, and a bowl of peaches.  It was adorable to see my oldest and only boy beaming with pride as he brought me their handiwork. He was so sweet and nice. Pleasant and fun...he made me a special book that he gave me and I will always treasure it.

Gregory stayed home from church because he somehow got pink eye...very odd.  I came home to a plate of salmon and asper-grass with rice for lunch. :) Brownie points to the big man. It has been a great Mother's Day weekend.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The high school just around the corner from my house has a child development class that opens its doors to real, live, actual three and four year olds for teaching purposes. The high school girls get to practice teaching pre-school aged kids, and learn all sorts of things in their interactions. It is free to anyone who wants to enroll their child, and is about an hour and a half of free time for mom, so I decided to sign the girls up to participate. They get to go to 'school', and I get 90 minutes of quiet time.  Its a win win win all around.

SO, yesterday, I got to pick up two boys that are also enrolled in the class. One of them was The Boy Wonder (previously nicknamed Charisma, but this one fits too...he's like a super hero happy guy, and it sounds more masculine). The other was a new personality that we don't interact with as much. I think we shall call him...The Whirlwind.  He has ample amounts of energy, and hops from one subject to the next...super-fast.  I think all three and four year olds have these attributes, he just seems to pick up momentum as he goes. I love this kid.

Mixing three and four year olds in a group is always a treat. You never know what they will say to surprise you, and they often catch you off guard.  Many times they say things that make you choke on your own spit until you realize that you were clearly thinking like a grown up and that is where you went wrong.  The ride to the school was particularly entertaining as the two boys sat in the second row, closest to my driver's seat.

Whirlwind started off the conversation:  "Whooooaaaaahhh!!! Did you saw dat?? There was a cat out there.  I have a car.  Boy Wonder, did you see the cat?  He was like (motion of what cat was doing). Heeheehee.  I'm going to sit by Boy Wonder at school...Oooh did you saw dat!!??? Holy cow you guys! Did you saw dat car?? It was PINK!"

Boy Wonder: "Haha...yeeeeaaah! It was SUPER pink! You are the cat and I am a super alien bug and I chase you!"

(Insert cat and chasing noises)

Daredevil: "You guys are CRAzeeeeee!"

Boy Wonder: "I am hard! I am Suuuuper hard."

My brain: "???"

Whirlwind: "Hee hee yeeeahhhh!"

Boy Wonder: "I am really super hard!"

Me: "Umm...are you hard like...a...rock?"

Boy Wonder: "No I am a Scorpion....they are really super hard"

My brain: "OOOooooh...okay. whew."
Me: "Heh heh, yes...they are indeed."

Whirlwind:  "I like dolphins. And Sperm Whales....cuz Sperm Whales are really big and make cool sounds like Oooooah! OOoooah."

Boy Wonder:  "Yeah and I like ORkas. Orkas are reeeally cool."

Whirlwind: "Sometimes Killer whales."

Boy Wonder:  "Yeah Orkas are those. They're types of dolphins. And they say Ooorrrr ooooorrr Ooooooor!"

My brain: "Holy crap how do these kids KNOW this stuff?? They are 3!!!"

Whirlwind: "WILD KRATS!"

My brain:  "OOOooooh...okay. whew."  ( For those of you who don't know, Wild Kratz is a nature cartoon where they teach kids about animals. It makes sense that they got their facts from this show.)

Boy Wonder: "I like the Wild Kratz."

Diva: "Boy Wonder is going to sit by me at, Whirlwind is."

Daredevil: "No I am!"

Diva: "No I am!"

Me: "OOooookaayy! We're at school, now everyone wait for me to come and get you out and we will hold hands in the parking lot.

I then walked them to class and got them all checked in and returned to my perfectly quiet car.  It was warm and I closed my eyes and did a little giggle. Then I took myself out to lunch and went shopping.  I even had time to read some of my book....and ponder what a great blog entry that trip to pre-school was going to be. . .

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

boys and girls, loving eachother....

As most of you know, I watch 2 little girls during the weekdays. They are lovingly referred to as the Daredevil and the Diva. Their respective names are quite a reflection of their personalities. Today, I add two new personalities to the mix. I have 2 boys today who are so awesome. They seem to balance the drama with the girls with their interesting and linear observations.
Upon the arrival of the second boy, the two girls and the first quiet boy were watching Strawberry Shortcake. The girls were of course arguing over who got to 'be' which character in the show.  Daredevil was Strawberry, and Diva wanted to be Pupcake..or Custard.  Then the second boy announced loudly, "Dogs chase cats!....hee hee....well they DO!"  It was about that time that they, all four, started playing 'chase' around my living room.  I turned off the movie because, well, no one could hear it at that point anyway, and all that extra noise just seemed nonsensical.

Boys add a new dynamic that I must say I really appreciate.  The quiet boy, we will call him the 'Mouse', he happily plays any game anyone suggests. He easily gets along with everyone and goes along with most everything.  He has an appetite for few of the snacks in my house except for cheese and gogurt...he never turns those down.  This, along with his quiet disposition, has earned him his nickname. Don't get me wrong, he has his occasional 'silly-time loudness', but for the most part, he is a sweet little mouse.

The energetic boy, who has awesome auburn-red hair, blue eyes, and always a smile on his dimpled face, often brings a certain liveliness to the party. Its like a ball of positive energy rushes through the door when he arrives, and everyone in the room suddenly gets transformed from 'hum drum' to 'happy and excited'. We have all met people like this.  They are the ones you make sure are coming to your party, because then you know it will be a success.  While he is still only 3, he has a certain Charisma. So I will call him Charisma. Somehow, because it ends in A it seems a little feminine, but this boy is ALL boy. Star Wars  and guns...and lots and lots of sound effects.  In a few years, I am certain the Dare Devil and the Diva will be arguing over who gets to take him to the Girls Choice dance.

Anyway, it is fun to have these boys here to balance the drama as I said before. The girls seem to forget all about who is pretty, and who has more friends, and they  This balance is not one I seem to be able to identify amongst adults...I dont think adding men to the group of women makes the women just suddenly quit caring about their competition and 'play'.  Unless maybe they are in college. . .Perhaps it is less about boys and girls and more about personalities...that I can see in the adult world...but I wonder if I watched them long enough, if I would be able to gain insights into the boy/girl balance.

I will let you know if Charisma and the little Mouse teach me anything of any significance in this department. Until then, I will keep a list of all of the funny things they say and see if I can make a little quote book at the end.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zah zah zah Zumba!

That was quite possibly the single most entertaining event I have ever attended.  And not because it was so spectacular that I couldn't contain myself, but rather, because of the interesting social dynamic that was present.

Anyone who read my previous Zumba post knows that I am fashion challenged, but I never knew how important fashion in exercise was until the 'Wake Up Your Life Zumbathon' in Helena.  Girls were there of all shapes and sizes and, thankfully, in all sorts of different types of apparel, but there was CLEARLY a bar set that many reached, but a majority did not.  I think if we were in Los Angeles, this would not have been the case, but in Helena, Montana....there are not many who can achieve the high level of  'cool' that is the Zumba crowd.

The problem, I think, is a lack of sunshine.  When I moved to Montana from sunny California, I noticed this fashion deficiency and actually welcomed it, because I could never really keep up with the west coast vibe anyway.  It isn't just a Zumba thing, but it became exceedingly evident and clear at the Zumbathon that we in the north of the Mountain Standard Time Zone simply do not have what it takes to be 'cool'.  I'm not sure how clear that was to any of the native Montanans, but for a transplant like me, it was obvious.

True Zumba girls walked around in 'packs' sporting their best Zumba gear, which included $60 Official Zumba pants, $40 Official Zumba 'shirts' (I use quotations because they might not qualify as 'shirts' unless you are on the beach.), and some sort of wrist or head band with bright florescent colors.

You could tell who was 'out of date' because some people had official Zumba pants, but they didn't have this year's tassels that hung from the knees and butt cheeks of the more up-to-date Zumba-ers.  Most of the Montana instructors got the memo that camo pants with bright orange tassels were the proper attire for the evening. This group walked around together with power strides through the crowd bumping anyone with the audacity to be standing in the wrong place as they tried to get through.  I was silly enough to be standing in the same spot for 20 minutes while waiting for things to start when I was bumped over by the seriously intent group who clearly had something more important to do than to worry about the little people down on the floor that might have gotten in the way.  It was like a flashback from high school where the Cheerleaders had a pep rally to get to, and all of the regular student body had to part the red sea for them to get by or else get bumped into the wall as the 'important' people go by.  Usually the importants would smile and say 'ooh! sorry!' with a shining smile, and the innocent bystander was supposed to smile back and wave, because, hey, they TALKED to you.  This time, however, I was older than the 'cool kids' so I wasn't nearly as impressed.

The special guests of the evening were really famous.  My friend and I had VIP tickets so we got to meet them AND go take our picture with them. Except, we had NO idea who they were.  Once everyone figured out that the guy wearing the blue sweat suit,  that was walking around for an hour before the thing started, was the guy we were all waiting for, the line to meet him on stage got very long very fast.  It was DeeJay something and this girl named... Marcie??  All I know is I thought maybe she was Christina Aguilera in disguise because she had long blonde hair and wore a very fashionable hat.  Anyway, I guess they invented Zumba or something.  The main thing is that our instructors were REALLY excited to meet them, so we pretended to be excited too.

Turns out Marcie IS an amazing dancer, and she is really nice.  The DeeJay is...well...very attractive without his shirt on.  He took his shirt off half way through the hour and a half Zumbathon to inspire the masses to keep going....and it worked.  Married women, young women, old women, and women who prefer women, all screamed in a wild frenzy as he disrobed and flexed his amazing abs.  My friend took one look and said, ''Somehow, he reminds me of my laundry.''  I said he reminded me of my husband, so I won the witty funny comment contest on that round.  Don't tell Greg I said that, he'll remind me that I look reeeeeally wide in my photo with the DeeJay, and my dream of washboard abs has never, ever, been achievable....not even BEFORE kids.

Anyway, I managed to make it through the entire hour and a half without needing assistance from the paramedics on site, and I was reminded of how much I used to love dancing to fun music.  I think Zumba is 'the biggest exercise craze since aerobics' because women like to go out dancing.  Their husbands either won't take them, or are terrible dancers and simply shouldn't take them.  Its like girls' night out with weight loss benefits.  I'm pretty sure I lost 5 pounds in that one hour and a half session and I can't complain about that. Plus all the laundry I got done using only my eyeballs...

So, a big shout out to all my Zumba peeps...thanks for the party! "Holla!"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Karma and the Laundry Fairies

When I was a kid and my parents would go out and leave my older sister and I home alone, my mother would often say to no one in particular, while looking around in the air, "I wish I had some little fairies that would magically clean up the dishes from the table while I'm gone....'' Which was 'code' for, ''Girls, please clean up the dishes while we are gone.''  We, of course, figured this out eventually by the disappointed face we got when she came home and the dishes were still sitting on the table.  I'm a little slow on the uptake, so I didn't get it for the first few times, but eventually I figured out that I was one of the little fairies she was wishing on.  Even though I eventually knew what she wanted, sometimes I would pretend like I didn't, and poor mom would sigh and do the dishes herself when she got home while we feigned ignorance.

Now I am 34 and have 4 little 'fairies' of my own, but they are too young to get it when I wish aloud, to no one in particular, that I wish some nice little fairies would wash my dishes while I go out.  Either that or they are feigning ignorance like I did. Its only right that the mother's curse hit me in multiple ways right? This is Karma I think. I mean, I've never studied Karma or the religion associated therewith, but I'm pretty sure its a 'what goes around, comes around' sort of thing.

So, now I am convinced that Karma is thwarting my wishes with the laundry fairies. As a kid I notoriously hid dirty laundry under beds, in closets, where ever I could find to stuff it so that my room appeared 'clean'.  Is Karma really a fair thing if it comes back four-fold?? See, I think I could be completely content and happy if there were little laundry fairy elves that would come in the night and wash or repair all of the laundry that we left out the day before. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Hey, do you remember the story of the old man and woman who left leather out on the table over night, and little fairies or elves came and made shoes out of the leather for them? They sold the shoes and got rich because each night the little fairy elves would make more shoes for them? Then the old people lived happily ever after or something.  Anyway, maybe the 'fairy elves' was 'code' for ''They enslaved their children and made them work all night to do the work they didn't want to do.''  This is an 'Aha' moment for me....

If my children appear really tired tomorrow, but they are wearing really clean and fresh smelling clothes, I have NO idea how that happened. It must have been the laundry fairies, come to deliver me from my miserable piles and piles at last.  My kids are too short to reach the washer still, so it couldn't be me enslaving them all night....I swear I don't have a front-loader....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Most Boring Post Ever.

Today is as good a day as any to blog again. I figure I really have nothing of importance to say, just a few commentaries on life, so no rush. I hope you all don't mind if I abstain from telling you of my every waking moment. That's what Facebook is for I suppose.
Anyway, I have been pondering a few things lately.  Wondering if I have gleaned any really good wisdom or insight into anything of relative value. I decided I have not. In fact I'm not so passionate about really anything. It seems like I need something to really strike me as funny, or really make me mad, or really be intriguing for me to find reason enough to blog. I am not so moved lately. Do you think that means I am just boring?  Allow me to take you on my brainstorming journey. Perhaps you can help me decide what is most interesting to read about and I will then feel motivated to write about it. Here are some ideas for topics in random order:

1. The Diva is back at my house...they have managed to run away and get lost for a very scary 10 minutes, she refuses to eat tuna fish sandwiches or call Andy by his real name regardless of how many times we tell her its not 'Danny', and she and Daredevil are back to the competition and silliness. The Daredevil constantly has marker on her face or hands or body (or my walls) somewhere because no matter how many times I throw away markers, they reproduce like rabbits and find a way into her hands.  I want brownies.

2.  We spent Spring Break in Billings at an indoor water park. So. Much. Fun. Plus I am proud of myself that I stayed at a hotel and didn't completely freak out about sleeping in a bed that who knows how many people before me slept in and did who knows what. Not to mention the paranoia I have about bedbugs and other disgusting creatures that tend to lurk in such places.

3.   No matter how many Zumba classes or eat-only-spinach days I have, I am not losing weight. I think I will buy a rowing machine. I like those.

4.  I might be developing an addiction to books, and my new Nook makes it WAY too easy to buy the next in the series with the click of a button.  Greg says I will need to go on rations or start budgeting ONLY 2 a month or something.  And, WHY CAN'T YOU SHARE BOOKS!? They said we would be able to lend and share, but no books actually COME with that feature. Very irritating. Unless you want to borrow the bible.

Well sadly, that's all I've got.  I shall post this and hope for something better next time :)