Monday, August 27, 2007

Outgrowing the buggy (almost)

Today I made another effort at going for a morning walk for exercise. This is no small feat when you have to dress & feed kids first, prepare buggy snacks and drinks and assemble the buggy, all before 9 am if you want it to not be too hot. Oh, and really, they should have on sunscreen too.

Anyway, we went for a 2 mile walk, but the difference this time was that L insisted on riding his bike instead of riding in the buggy. (Known to most people as a double stroller, but I call it a buggy.) (By the way, the Dreamer Design double stroller is completely worth the money if you walk places often with 2 kids.)

The thing is, he was fast enough on his bike (w/training wheels), that it went great. He didn't get tired either. Though he did scrape his toes trying to stop on a hill about 1/2 mile from home and decided to ride in the stroller after that since his toes really hurt, so I got to drag a bike behind me after that (and then put it on the stroller, which was awkward but easier).

So it seems like the end of an era is really approaching. The weight limit on the buggy is 100 lbs, so I knew the end was coming, since we are about 12 pounds short of that between them, but the idea that he will be big enough to consistently get himself around without the buggy soon is astounding. He is my oldest, my baby, but he isn't a baby anymore. Another step of independence.

L grew up in jogging strollers almost. We had a single and he loved to ride in it. Then after H was born, we got the double and they loved to ride in it together. They both love to ride in it, with their water, snacks and toys, touring the neighborhood in style while I puff along behind them. So many memories there.

It seems just a few more years and he'll be riding his bike easily, without training wheels, all over the place, not needing me following him and helping him with crossing streets. I can see it coming and I can't believe how fast time is going. How did he get so big?

Oh and I got the official bound copies of my thesis in the mail this week! So cool and official! :)

Tim Taylor moment

Well I guess the perfect follow up to my Heloise moment is a Tim Taylor moment. I spent about 5 hours on Saturday working in the yard, trimming bushes, weeding, and such. Well, I got a little lax about watching the power cord to the hedge trimmer and the photo is the result. OOOPS!

I didn't get an electrical shock until I had already disconnected it from the house and was freeing the cord from the blade, so it was just residual and minor. I finished the bushes by hand clippers afterward.

I called my dad to ask how many power cords he had cut thru and he said just one, but several times. Hee hee. So apparently it is repairable, which is good, since my DH is lamenting his nice power cords' injury. (He has several other nice cords, so I'm not sure why it's such a big deal, but hey, I don't love tools like he does.)

My dad did say that they once got an estimate for getting the bushes trimmed by a service, and it was upwards of $5000! So he said whenever he was trimming bushes after that, he just thought about all the money he was saving by doing it himself. :)

From that perspective, I could probably buy a few nice new power cords for DH. :) (But I couldn't replace the memories, he'd say.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Mini Heloise Moment



Before & After Shots of one of the lovely bleach stains in my carpet that are now gone thanks to the genius who invented a method for removing the bleach from the carpet. Possibly the coolest thing ever! Bleach Stain removal website

Icing on the cake

Until now, I did not put frosting on stuff. This was not because I hate frosting, but because frosting hated me. I usually managed to turn baked goods into trifles when I tried to frost them. So I just didn't use frosting.

My friend has a blog with her beautiful creations at it: Create Cakes. I told her I would love to learn how to put frosting on a cake without tearing up the whole cake and she said she'd teach me!

This photo is the finished product. It is my own, monogrammed piece of cake heaven. I learned all about how I need a few good pieces of equipment in addition to my new skills with the frosting/icing. (I don't know if there is a difference between those words yet.)

I was very happy with how nice the frosting looked. Here is a photo of the cake before the decorative frosting was added. Isn't it amazing? It is tapered slightly on the top edge because I learned 2 methods of frosting, one on each half of the cake and to make them look better for a finished product, the slight tapering of the top corner was necessary. It is a beautiful frosting job, I think. :)

I had a lot of fun learning to frost a cake so it looked pretty. And then practicing basic dots and writing skills to make the decorations. It was fascinating. I may even take more classes at some point!

We decided to do some baking challenges of our own, being inspired by those Daring Bakers and Weekend Cookbook Challengers. We picked out our own recipes we've always wanted to make and will blog about them and compare pictures and challenges. Our first recipe will be a flourless chocolate cake. So I will be starting another blog devoted to my cooking adventures. It will be fun! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Discrimination

Today we went to the pool as part of a playgroup thing our church does. I'm trying to make new friends. I'm really trying here! I am talking and meeting ladies, though none of them have seemed to be new BFF yet. You never know when you will find a wonderful friend. I'm still looking for one here.

Well, this post is about how L tried to play with some little boys his age at the pool and the bully said: "We can't play with you. You don't go to our church." (Which we do, case in point, we were there.) Excuse me? What? My mama bear instincts kicked in, but all I could do by the time I got there was to hug my son and try to find something else for him to do. Well, I spent the next little bit trying to figure out how to deal with it, because other moms hadn't noticed or done anything and I did not like what had happened. I did not like it, no not one little bit.

And then it happened again apparently when I was out of the pool having a snack. This time, L came up to me about to cry: "Mama, those boys won't let me play with them." Grrr... Why are kids mean sometimes??? I managed to behave though and nicely talked to the kids about how we had just moved into the area, were new at church and had left all of our friends behind in Utah. How L didn't have any friends and would like to try to make new ones. I think I did pretty good, considering. The bully said "I have plenty of friends, I don't need any more." Grrr. I responded that maybe it would be nice to find a way for him to have some friends and be included in their games and he found another kid who was playing by himself and told my son and him to play together. They were both happy about that arrangement it seemed, so I went back to tending H, who just wanted to fill up a bucket and dump it out.

Of course, I watched kids twice grab things out of H's hands and run off with them. Grrr. Again, where were their parents, and what are they teaching their kids? They weren't things that belonged to the other kids, they weren't things that they had been playing with previously. Why? When it was time to go and we were about to leave, the bully ran up and said: "L! We didn't recognize you with your goggles on!" Well, at least that was an attempt at an apology. I told them we were getting ready to leave but could play another time. Arrgh.

I was seeing RED y'all. I had been ready to storm out of the pool area, dragging my kids behind and never go to church again. I was ready to find that kids mom, whom I never did figure out who she was, (lucky for her) and yell at her until she begged forgiveness for having such a child. I had a lot of angry thoughts. It wasn't really the best mood to be in for trying to make friends, but COME ON! Who teaches their child that they only play with kids from church that they know?

On the car ride home, I attempted to turn it into a discussion of what we could do to be friendly to all and not be like the bully. L pretty much understood and it was a decent conversation about being friends to all kids and expressing our feelings and thinking about the feelings of others.

It made me think about what some people must feel in Utah where most everyone belongs to the same church and ends up hanging out together, though usually I think it is unintentionally. I don't have tons of experience there since I lived in student land, but I'm sure it isn't any more pleasant than my experience was today.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Book Signing

This photo is of Stephenie Meyer, talking to the person in line before me as she was signing books.

I have recently become a fan of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. They are fun books, and I have really enjoyed them. While I was visiting my folks, Mrs. Meyer happened to be in their town for a book signing promoting the release of the 3rd book. I decided to go to it, having never been to a book signing before.

It was different from what I expected. There was a Q&A session, which I didn't know about, and so I hadn't thought of any questions. Then for the signing, it was quite literally, have your book ready, she will put in her signature and your name in one book and then you are done. There were maybe 300 people there, so the need to get people thru the line quickly is understandable to some degree, but it wasn't anything like what I thought. I had thought of phrases to have her sign, I had thought of talking to her about my opinion of the latest book, but those weren't what happened. It was still a neat thing to do I think.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Road Tripping USA


I haven't posted in a while... We've been enjoying our long road trip. We've been to all of my grandparents homes, the beach, fishing, visiting my old childhood city, my sister & now we are visiting my parents.

It's wonderful to see my grandparents playing with my children and enjoying their exuberance. In contrast to other people who have complained about them being "too loud".

Seeing my kids enjoy the beach for the first time was amazing. It is the beach that I went to almsot every summer of my childhood, so I have great memories there. Playing with them and introducing them to this was so much fun.

We also went to Angel Oak, this fantastic 1400 year old tree. The kids loved playing around it, though you can't play on it. That's a tricky one.
I have loved the relaxed feel of allowing us to just be ourselves and stop worrying so much about others' expectations. The relief in my son's voice when I explained to him that we weren't going to use time-outs or punishments anymore... it was amazing. And while it does take more thought to have reasons and explanations and take time to talk about things, it has been really wonderful.

Golfing with my family was also alot of fun. I guess I could have been blogging in detail about it all, but I usually blog when I feel the urge of something interesting to post. I know my life is interesting, but it is just regular to me. It's the amazing things that usually motivate me to write a blog post. Maybe I should be writing more. I'm not sure.






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