Friday, August 31, 2007

Bragging on my boy

Evan is such a sponge, it is amazing to watch his thirst for knowledge. He has moved beyond the more self centered physical pursuits of a baby and toddler (example: learning to walk) and is now extremely fascinated by the world around him. He needs to know the names of everything. Each truck or car that drives by must have a specific type. Numbers and letters surround him and he must point them out to me to share his joy in them. The deep dark things of the world fascinate him. We have to stop and look down drains and grates. He loves tunnels and caves.

With very little effort on my part Evan has learned his shapes, many of the colors, to recognize the numbers 0-9 (we are working on higher numbers now), he can recognize the entire alphabet, he knows all the names of the planets along with other celestial bodies, and on and on. I have lost count of all the different distinctions in moving vehicles that he can recognize and point out. He is starting to get interested in anatomy. We checked out a dinosaur book and he is fascinated by all the different kinds (I sense dino mania in my future). I am really beginning to think that my mother in law is right and that he will end up perusing a career in science of some sort.

I think the funnest part of all this is that I am allowing him to decide what he is interested in and what he wants to learn. I am not one of those parents that played music to my unborn child so that he would add a few extra IQ points to his score. I think that maybe I am just happy that he is not affected mentally from his low oxygen saturations early in life and the possible brain damage that can happen from being put on the bypass machine. I want him to want to learn and I hope to teach him to be able to think on his own so that even if I do not know something he can figure it out for himself. I think that this is one of the most exciting parts of being a parent, being able to shape and teach such an eager student.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sunburn lessons

Thanks for all the tips and well wishes in regards to my poor legs. One important thing I have learned is that the aloe vera gel that you can buy in the store is nothing like getting your aloe vera right from the plant. I have had an aloe vera plant for most of my marriage but our plant was killed this winter by a sudden hard freeze. I had not replaced it since I had not really used it for more than minor burns from cooking accidents. I thought that the gel would have the same exact effect as the plant with the bonus of not needing any care on my part to keep the bottle of gel alive. The gel stings!!! They have some sort of chemical, probably an alcohol of some sort which hurts worse than the burn. I am not sure how they can sell this stuff as a sunburn aide.

I slept with some cold wet rags on my legs last night which helped a lot pain wise. It only hurts when one of the kids tried to sit in my lap when my legs are crossed (it was my inner calves that got the worst of it due to my habit of sitting cross legged a lot) or when I am trying to change a diaper with them on the floor. It seems that they love to wiggle and end up kicking me right on the sunburn. That seems to be the way with kids, no matter where the injury is suddenly that area becomes the repeated victim of a rambunctious child.


We went to the beach today with one of my mom friends and her kids. It was quite fun and the boys had a blast. The only super bad thing about the day was that I ended up with a sunburn. I am normally very careful about slathering on the sunscreen (as a child I got a lot of bad burns and I finally decided that I did not like getting bad burns and increasing my chance at getting skin cancer) but I forgot my legs. Normally when we go to the beach the water is so cold that if you do wade you don't wade for very long. This time we went to a new (to me) beach where there was a creek that made a nice shallow pool of fresh water for the kids to play in. I had to roll up my pant legs so that I could get in the water with the boys and keep the daredevil harry from going into the deeper areas.

Here is a little secret: I had not planned on showing off my blindingly white legs because I had not shaved them recently. Now I will not be shaving them for even longer. I am going be be wearing long skirts for awhile.

Here is Evan all decked out in his cool shades. He fell in the water multiple times and ended up with a lot of sand in his diaper. I think he kind of looks like a college frat boy in this outfit.

I was drawn to this outfit because it looks like one of those old timey bathing suits. Harry turned it into a bathing suit and it's one piece construction kept Harry's diaper sand free. He is also wearing Evan's water shoes from last summer. Poor Evan had to go barefoot since I had neglected to buy him a pair for this summer. They are very handy shoes, if you go to the beach a lot, which we don't really despite the large number of beach pictures that I have been posting lately.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School is back in!

You may be wondering why I am so excited that the first day of school in my town was today. I am so thrilled because it means that the little gets get the parks back. The local "day camps" (aka glorified day care centers) love to take over the parks for hours on end and was always frustrating to come to the park and find bored tweens hogging the little kid play areas. I had to worry about rambunctious older kids squishing my little ones. It was so nice to go to the park and see only little kids around. The park was also a lot cleaner to boot. I am going to enjoy the park time now.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday cuteness

This week has been pretty boring so I am having a tough time coming up with something cute that the kids did this week. A lot of my time has been me trying not to scream at the boys and keeping my temper firmly in check. They are coming down from the vacation and getting pretty much whatever they wanted while they were at Grandma's house. Another thing that has been driving me nuts is that Evan is on a physical therapy break. His therapist is in Switzerland visiting her family for six weeks. I am fine with the break, they are good for Evan but it leaves me at loose ends as far as my schedule goes. I am just so used to having that in my week that a week with nothing planned is a bit disconcerting. I had a thrilling dream about having a flat tire and watching my husband change it, I think that pretty much sums up my week.

On to the cuteness. Evan is now tall enough that he is too tall to be using the five point harness in his car seat. I finally took it out and he is using the car seat as a booster seat with the regular seat belt. This bothers Evan to no end. All his life he has been buckled into a car seat. He keeps telling me that his car seat is broken now.

Harry loves to wander around the living room with a clear toy box on his head. It is his version of playing peek a boo. He also has this new game with me where I put a pen in my mouth and then will take the other end into his mouth using only his mouth. He also loves it when I spit the pen out.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Can you believe it?

It has been a whole year since I wrote this. I can't believe how fast the year has gone by, it is so amazing how much Evan has grown. When we were at my inlaw's house all the boy cousins would take baths together. Evan was actually chunkier looking than his cousin. He has gone from below the 5th percentile in weight to average. It was a hard road but I am so glad that the journey is done.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finally a real post

I have been kind of mum the last few days. Sunday evening my back started killing me, probably due to me standing forever while making a batch of peach jam. I tried to rest my back (as much as a mom with two young kids can any way) but yesterday I had to get on with preserving the peaches or they would start rotting. I decided to take the easy way out and freeze them for future use in peach crisp. I think we have enough fruit spread to last us for awhile any way especially since my mother in law is threatening me with apples when we come for Thanksgiving/Harry's second birthday (which are the same day).

I am finding a certain amount of satisfaction in my domestic endeavors. Some people claim that becoming a stay at home mother is mind numbing but I am finding joy in expanding my domestic abilities. I have been working on my cooking. When I first got married we had a pretty limited diet and despite my parent's attempts to teach me cooking I still was a pretty mediocre cook when I got married. Canning fruit is an off shoot of my newly found interest in cooking. It is very satisfying to look at the results of all that rather boring labor. Cleaning has a similar amount of drudgery to it but it never stays done, five seconds after you have finished picking up the living room some little child will be there right behind you undoing all that work. Fruit will stay done and you can enjoy it months later in the cold of winter.

Now I am not going to become some sort of crazy homemaker that can turn a dust bunny into a fun craft, but I do want to learn to improve my skills at the job I am currently working at. The hard part is that there is no real motivation other than personal satisfaction. I wish that I coudl get a raise or a promotion from all my hard work. A gal can dream can't she?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It is a party!!

There is a party going on over at Growing a Life. Flybaby is turning one and Damselfly wanted to celebrate. Go on over and check it out there are a lot of cute things to win, stuff that everyone can enjoy.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What I did on my summer vacation

I am home again. It is good to be sleeping in my own bed, I hate sleeping on air mattresses (although they are better than sleeping on the floor). We are now trying to get organized and clean up the house. It always seems like no matter how clean the house is when you leave, unpacking the car destroys all that in a matter of seconds.

We had a lot of fun during our vacation. We went on a small hike in some old growth redwoods. The boys loved running along the path and touching the trees. Harry did quite well with his little legs and only needed to be carried at the very end. There are no pictures since everyone forgot cameras.

Evan and Harry had a blast eating the fruit in Grandma and Grandpa's garden. My inlaws have plums, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, apples, raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries (wild and thorn less), blueberries and strawberries. Blackberries, raspberries, peaches and plums were in season in a big way. Evan and Harry each ate several plums every time they went out in the yard in addition to numerous blackberries that I would pick for them along the way to the plum tree.

It was a bad week for the drones in my father in law's bee hives. He found several drones that had been booted from the hive for having tattered and worn out wings. Since they are sting less he brought them out to the boys so they could get a good look. Evan kept dropping them when they were put on his hand because they "pickled".

Croquet was all the rage. Evan was even able to get in on the fun when his Uncle and Daddy tried to teach him how to play. Sadly his stellar career as a croquet star was cut short when he hucked his ball down the gully into a thicket of blackberries and poison oak. For some strange reason no one was willing to let him play after that.

The boys had a lot of fun playing with their cousins. Evan even joined in a game of dress up. My niece would take him dancing down the hallway and Evan would beg for more.

We had a blast at the beach. Evan spent most of the time digging in the sand. Harry was freaked out by the waves and cold water but eventually the little dare devil decided that the icy cold water was fun. We could hardly keep him out of the water at the end. He tripped running away from an extra big wave and fell in the water. That worried a bystander who talked to my husband about all the dangers of the ocean. I guess it is nice to know that people care, but I was right there next to him the entire time between him and the ocean at all times.

It is good to be back but I will not be relaxing I have a box of plums and several boxes of peaches to turn into jam.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My new addiction

Hi my name is Awesome Mom and I am addicted to making jam. My addiction started when I had a ton of strawberries that were going bad quicker than I had expected. I had a box of pectin in my cupboard (I am not sure why) and I decided to make some jam. Then Evan's physical therapist gave me some apricots which were begging to be made into jam, it turned out heavenly. I wish I could hide the few precious jars and keep them all to myself.

One of the reasons I was so excited to make the visit to my inlaws was that they have a large orchard with tons of fruit trees. We barely missed cherry season when we were there for the reunion but now we have peaches, plums, raspberries and blackberries in season. I did not manage to find enough raspberries for jam but got a nice raspberry and peach jam recipe. I can't wait to taste it on some toast. I am hoping to bring home a bunch of peaches for some more jam. I think that I need a twelve step program before I go nuts and fill the garage with jam jars.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vacation posting

I have snuck away and I decided to do a little blogging. The weather is lovely here on the coast, it actually gets quite chilly in the evening. We thought ahead and brought blanket sleepers for the boys. I am enjoying a chance to really catch up with my SIL. We have always gotten along quite well and she is a great person to chat with. She also confirmed her pregnancy with their third (and final) child. I think that Harry will miss being the youngest grandchild, a post that he has held for all of his life.

Church was interesting today. I actually got to threaten Evan with not being able to go to nursery if he did not behave in sacrament meeting. That is a card I had not been able to play before because even if he did not have to be there in nursery I still had to go to run things. I was a bit worried that Harry would freak out that I was not in nursery with him but he did not care one bit. It was Evan that gave me the trouble. He had a diaper change right after Sunday School. After I finally got that squared away and got back into Relief Society not five minutes later Evan was back with the nursery leader claiming that he needed a diaper change. After checking him and confirming that there was nothing there I gave up hope of an adult lesson and just stayed with the kids in nursery.

I have been missing the adult classes while I was stuck in nursery, but Sunday School cured me of that. It was a rather dry lesson and it was all I could do to stay awake. I guess it would have helped if I had even knew what scriptures we were studying but having been in nursery or wrangling a kid made sure that I forgot long ago where we even were in the scriptures.

I got a chance to wear my lovely new high heels to church. I loved that they made me tall enough that I could look my husband directly in the eyes. Other than that I was glad to take them off. I forgot how much they hurt your feet after wearing them for awhile. I am still planning on wearing them to the wedding but I doubt they will replace my flats for normal wear. I am not sure how women can wear them all day year after year.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation time

We are leaving tomorrow for a week at my inlaws. Evan has been harassing me ever since I mentioned that a trip to Grandma's house as in the future. He can't understand why we can't just hop in the car and leave right now. He also now has an incredibly tenacious memory, a good night's sleep is no longer enough to make him forget about something. I doubt I will be doing any blogging, they have dial up and it takes forever to simply check my email. Here are some fun links to entertain you while I am away. Enjoy!

  • A shirt that combines two fun things, knitting and pirates.
  • The Navy really knows how to have fun while on deployment.
  • A great pillow for a fun practical joke.
  • More Monty Python, but with a hilarious twist.
  • What stars would look like if they were normal like us.
  • The hot new cell phone.
  • This is what happens when someone has a lot of time on their hands.
  • It is never too early to turn your child into a geek.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


My previous rant was not at all about the dental insurance company. Our dental insurance while not stellar, as far as coverage goes, they still have been very prompt with approvals and taking care of bills. I heart our health insurance in a big way. Sometimes it is a bit slow with things but they have an unparalleled coverage. We have not payed a penny out of pocket for any of Evan's medical care. There are co-pays for prescriptions but only if you use a civilian pharmacy.

We do need to figure out a better system for health care, but I am not really sure I trust our government to run the health care industry. There are waiting lists for care in places like Canada and England. People can die while waiting for diagnostic tests or surgeries. Patients are denied services because they have a slightly higher BMI than the rules say they may have to get treatment. I am also not certain that we would have the level of innovation that we enjoy in the US. There are so many non invasive treatments available for heart defects that are not available in other countries. I wish that there was a clear solution to the health care crisis.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A billing nightmare

I have expressed my annoyances with the dental school that we used to get Evan's teeth taken care of but my frustration level has now reached a new high.

We got a bill for the services rendered. We knew that a large portion of the bill would be covered by the insurance so we just ignored it, waiting for them to send us the real bill that had our portion on it. My husband did take it in with him to work so that the gal that helps people out with insurance issues could check on the status of the insurance claim. It turned out that a claim had not even been submitted.

We then get another bill, telling us that we were past due. Of course that freaks us out a bit so the insurance gal calls the dental school and tries to get them to tell her what is going on. They ignore the calls. They also ignore calls from my husband. Once my husband steps up the frequency of calls they finally call ME! at HOME! (in the middle of my attempt to nap) which is not where they had been directed to call.

I engage in an inane conversation where we establish after several repetitions that I am not happy that we are getting bills that are saying past due and I am very unhappy that we are getting bills before the insurance company is billed. My favorite quote of the conversation was "Well I am not the one sending out the bill, it is done by computer" I had steam shooting out of my ears at that point. I didn't care who precisely was sending the bill or how it was sent. I cared that it was being sent and that they were threatening our credit in the process. I did not want this bill to go to collections.

I found out after my husband got home from work that there were other issues that I had not had a chance to be told about. Apparently there are some lines in the bill that are quite shady, teeth that were worked on that I was not told about ect. They also stuck in a charge for the gingivitis visit. I knew that we would have to pay for that since it was beyond out coverage but I had thought they would bill us in a different bill instead of hiding it in with the bill for a different procedure. They are going to get an earful from my husband and a complaint filed against them with the insurance company. We are so not going to be using them ever again for any kind of dental work at all. I have had it and am tired of being talked down to and being cheated out of money.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stream of Consciousness

I have been having sleep issues for the last few nights which are probably related to feeling crummy due to my mild cold. We will be leaving on Saturday for my inlaw's house and I am having a hard time getting motivated enough to even think about getting ready to go. This vacation will be the start of a vacation from physical therapy for Evan. His therapist is taking six weeks off to go see her family in Switzerland. It will be nice to have more mornings free but also it will be frustrating to have to plan more things for the kids to do. Quiet mornings at home are anything but quiet. They are both so used to doing things in the morning that if I try and stay home I get crying and whining galore. It drives me nuts, but it also drives me to exercise more and longer as the kids are very good during long stroller rides. I have gone walking for two hours and Evan will ask for another walk as soon as we get back in the house. Maybe I will be able to remove a few ponds before my sister's wedding. A girl can dream.

I need a nap, but often when I fell this tired I will sleep too long during the day. That only adds to my sleeping issues as I am not tired in the evening when I need to go to bed. Evan is also giving up naps, so I can't even count on much quiet time. Often if I try and even just lay down to rest while Evan plays in the living room I end up getting smacked in the face with books and toys that he is trying to get me to look at. Harry has become a destroyer of books. He thinks that tearing out pages is fun. I now have a library book that needs a lot of tape. I also have library books that are long overdue. I will try and go tonight with out the kids so that I can find something fresh to read. It sucks being all out of books to read. Maybe if I had something to read I would sleep better at night.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I may already be a winner!

I was just checking my email and apparently I have won a large sum of money from the Irish lottery,£475,318(GBP) to be exact. A surprising thing is that they do not even ask for my bank account number so that they can wire me the money, all they wanted was my name, phone number, mailing address and marital status. They may have been just phishing for a date instead of the typical scam that is looking for money.

I also recently was sent an email telling me that my Paypal information needed to be updated. My first big warning that this was a scam was that it was not sent to the email account that is registered to my Paypal account. I have several different ones for different kinds of email. When I clicked on the link I checked out the URL. It was not a Paypal address but the actual web page was convincingly accurate which would fool an unwary person. I forwarded the email to the fraud department of Paypal.

Maybe next week I will get the change to help a Nigerian businessman get his large sums of money out of the country. A girl can always hope.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday cuteness

Evan had a ladybug land on his arm awhile back. I took his arm and showed him the ladybug which quickly took off and flew away. Now Evan thinks that any flying insect is a ladybug. We leave the back screen door open so that the kids can go in and out while I make dinner. A few flies make it in the house as well. Now whenever Evan sees a fly he tried to encourage the "ladybugs" to land on his arm.

Friday evening while my husband was off at a church activity the boys and I broke out the stickers. The ones that Evan took off of himself Harry would take and put on his tummy.

"Hmm which one would look good on my belly button?"

"I will put it right here!"

Evan reluctantly allowed me to take this picture of him with a few stickers on his face.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A crazy day

I have had a pretty mixed day today. I am sick but it is not flat out awful sick. Mostly I have a dry hacking cough caused by post nasal drip.

I had been dreading The Great Dress Shopping For L's Wedding. I hate shopping for dresses. I hate going into malls to shop. I am so super picky, plus the dress had to match her wedding color theme (fall colors), so I felt it would end up being a huge ordeal. My husband had the day off today so I figured I would suck it up and start the process. I didn't want to end up not having something nice for the wedding and have to shop for something at the last second. I felt my best chance at success would to be leave both kids and my husband at home.

Much to my amazement I found something! It is a skirt/shirt combo in a beautiful deep purple. It is made from a sheer fabric so it feels floaty. The only downside is that it is sleeveless, so I am going to find a brown cardigan to go over it. The sales lady that rang me up was very enamored of it, so I knew I had a winner. I will have to get final approval from my sister but even if it is not quite right for her wedding I may just keep it any way, I like it that much. I also found some nice shoes for the wedding. They are classic looking pumps. I decided to go form heels after 10 years of not wearing them. I wanted to be a bit taller in the pictures. I am going to have to practice walking in them as I have lost the knack. I almost twisted my ankle just trying them on.

My day took a bit of a nosedive when I came home. Both kids were super cranky all afternoon. Harry was especially bad even though he took a long nap. Both boys have the runs so we have been changing diapers like crazy. All the shopping gave me a nasty headache that has not been touched by medication but the pain is not too bad as long as I am not hearing my children shriek like monkeys while they are fighting. Hopefully now that both kids are in bed and sleeping I will be able to ditch the headache.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I am not getting sick. That touch of soreness in my throat is a figment of my imagination. My stuffy nose is not really there. Just because my kids and my husband are sick it does not mean that I will get sick too. No no no no no no I am not getting sick and that is my final word on this matter.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


There is nothing more refreshing after a long walk while pushing 60+ pounds of children in a double stroller than some grasshopper cookies (the Keebler version of thin mints) right out of the freezer.


Evan did not start walking until he was 21 months old. I missed out on some fun stages in toddlerhood that I am now getting to observe with Harry. The funnest stage that I seem to have missed was the whole running off and then pretending not to hear mommy stage while doing something gross (like eating something found on the ground). It is also fun watching Harry run around the house with his sense of purpose. He always seems to be doing something super important (to him).

Something that really tickles me about Harry is watching him copy Evan. Evan will be coloring and then he will use the crayon to put dots on the paper. Seconds later Harry will start dotting his paper with dots too. Evan will kiss the TV when a character comes on that he really likes. Harry now does the very same thing. The screen is quite gross now. When I was a kid I never liked it when my younger sisters would copy me, but now I see it with different eyes and it makes me happy to see it.

Harry also has a sense of fearlessness that Evan still does not have. Harry loves to throw caution to the wind and rushes headlong into things. The other day at the park I was busy helping Evan on the swings. I look up and Harry is at the top of the big kid's play area ready to go down a very tall slide. Before I can say anything he starts going down. He was soo excited when he got down that I just had to laugh. Toddlers are so much fun!