Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Of Those Days

Shortly after starting at our new church last year, I ran into a few other non-preschooling moms. Gasp! I recently heard a statistic that 90-95% of kids attend preschool, which puts us in the minority. And guess what?! I don't think my kids are going to be scarred for life, or academically stunted. The other moms and I decided to do a once-a-week 'school day' to get the kids used to playing and working together. We trade weeks teaching and babysitting the little ones, so in four weeks, we each teach once and babysit once. The other two weeks we can run around town footloose and kid-free for two hours. Whatever will I do when it is my turn!? OK, I think I might manage. :) Today was my day to teach and despite leaving early, I got there late. It involved my water bottle leaking its entire contents onto my supplies, thinking I might have lost my camera in the parking lot of a grocery store, going back to the store to check (no dice), going home to check for the camera (no dice), driving there only to get hopelessly lost, trying to call Jeff, calling my Dad to get the friend's phone number, and calling the friend so she could talk me to her house. It was super! But I got there, gathered my wits about me and we plunged in to our craft projects, made do despite the lack of supplies, and had a lot of fun doing it. The bonus was that when I got home I found my camera in the boys' room. I'm blaming Tyler for that one!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Random Pictures and a Tutorial That Will Change Your Life (Not!)

 James' Rendering of Lady Gaga: 1) I don't think he has ever seen a picture of her, and 2) That's a disco ball hanging from the top!
 Trying out the new umbrellas
Cuteness

More cuteness!
And here you have a handy tutorial for collecting eggs. You never know when you might have the opportunity to do this, so you might as well be prepared.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tyler Chases A Chicky In High-Def

So I really have no idea if this video is actually high-def, but it sounds fancy. To be honest, I am 31 years old and have yet to send a text message. I am a little bit behind on the technology. Now, on to the real reason for this post: because I thought you all would get a kick out of it, I took a few videos of Tyler chasing the 'chickies'. He is pretty good most of the time about holding them nicely...of course when I am taking the video he grabs her by the wings and the tail. Poor girl!





Friday, September 23, 2011

Walking in the Rain

Even though James could ride the bus, we walk to school. Its about a mile I think, and I am pretty sure I get more exercise pushing Katie and Tyler in the stroller while chasing after a kid his bike than I do when I am running! It is uphill, both ways...honest! Today it is raining and I debated whether we should drive. However, the parking lot at the school is very small and the township has put up no parking signs anywhere near the school. Since the kids don't really mind getting wet, and I don't either, we walked. We started out with umbrellas, but those eventually got ditched. We met Mom along the way and she went with us. On the way home, James was practically skipping on air, jumping in puddles and indeed, sitting down right in the middle of them. We jumped in puddles and ran in the rain. It was pretty darn fun, especially after my (very bad) day yesterday. Now I have a pile of wet clothes and three cuddly kids in their jammies. I can handle that!

PS. James is slooooooowly getting adjusted to school. The only time he gets freaked out now is the moment of drop-off, which we are working out. I am really weary of the whole situation, but I keep trying to see the small improvements and tell myself that 'this too shall pass.' Hopefully soon!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Like Having A Dog

The other day, the kids ate their lunch outside. They love having picnics when the weather is nice. I think it has something to do with me handing their food out the window...the novelty of it. Katie went and perched herself next to the chicken run to eat her bean burrito. I soon noticed all five chickens were standing at the fence looking very interested in the proceedings. I realized that Katie was feeding them beans through the fence. No wonder they were so excited, not unlike my brother's dog when he sees that Tyler has food!

Also the same day, Tyler mysteriously ended up with a chicken in his arms. Considering that the chickens were inside their run and the gate was still closed, I don't really know how he got it. I wouldn't be surprised if he scaled the fence, repelled down the other side and busted some ninja moves on that chicken. Surprisingly, he is the best (juvenile) chicken catcher around these parts. I think he does it only by sheer determination, because whenever the chickens hear him calling 'chicky, chicky, chicky, I want hold chicky!!!' they go running as fast as their fluffy little butts can go. Alas, they can't run fast enough for this crazy two year old!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Entertaining the Kids: Jeff's Way


One of the kids' favorite things to do with Jeff is to watch YouTube videos. They watch movies about horses, and animals, and airplanes, as well as an odd assortment of subject matter that Jeff manages to drum up. Police chases, anyone? It keeps them entertained, and distracts Jeff from trying to subject me to watching random videos like 'Teach Me How To Dougie' and a spoof of Def Leppard. Its a win-win! Ha, ha!

(Of course, there is an occasional scuffle!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Latest Shenanigans

This morning the kids got into an extended skirmish over whether or not you can marry your sister legally. It went something like this:

J: Tyler is going to help me on my farm when I grow up.
K: Me too!
J: Katie, it's illegal to marry your sister.
K: No, it's NOT!!!!!!
J: Yes, it is!
K: Nuh-uh!!!!!!!
J: Yes-huh!!!!!
K: Nuh-uh!!!!
(Repeat approximately 23 more times)

And then....

Katie, Tyler and I were at Target this morning. I always dread talking Tyler shopping, because he is in a stage where he doesn't want to be in the stroller or the cart or anything that restricts him in any way. He also has mad Houdini skills which allow him to wiggle out of any harness known to man. He recently learned that if he pulls up the bottom of the handle side of a shopping cart, he can squeeze through and escape. (You know...the part that folds up when carts are pushed together) He did that this morning, then proceeded to climb onto the bottom rack of the cart. After that, he got out and ran in circles. All of this occurred within about 4 seconds. I sighed, looked at him and said 'Tyler, you're a maniac.' He laughed, looked at me (while running in circles of course), and said 'I a may-eeeeeeeee-ack! I a may-eeeeeeeeee-ack!' Yes, Tyler, you are! An adorable little maniac, but a maniac none the less.

Quick James Update: He did OK today, not as good as Friday, but OK. I am so ready for this phase to be over and for him to just settle in. I have now bribed him with a carnival ride if he can go right to class with his class mates instead of to the guidance counselor's office first. I hope it works.

Friday, September 16, 2011

James Update

After about 11 days or so of school, James finally went today without crying!!!!! Every morning this week, he has complained about school, he 'hates' school, he doesn't like, it he's not going, etc.. When I pick him up, he says it was fantastic! Super! So much fun! Awesome! The best day ever! I am happy to say that this morning, he left off the whining, he didn't cry, didn't hold on to me, and he went right to class with his new BFF, the guidance counselor. She has been so great through this whole ordeal. Up until now, he has gone to her office before class until he can compose himself. Today, she walked him straight to class! I am hoping that next week he will just be able to go with the other kids and not have any problems.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birthday Festivities (In Random Order)


The Birthday boy himself!


Uncle Nate: He's always good for a picture


Tyler the cupcake monster: by conservative estimates, he ate at least five cupcakes, not because I let him, but because he kept sneaking them. (Or maybe adoring relatives were slipping him cupcakes behind my back?????)


(The man by the window is my neighbor who brought me the rolling pin of epic proportions.)


Dad in his typical Dad pose


The birthday girl twirling in her new dress


Said dress was finished at about midnight the night before...


How's that for last minute? :)


Katie and Harlei, our neighbor, frosting the cupcakes (I later found two cupcakes with the frosting licked off, and a few others in various stages of consumption)

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Big Guns


This is me.


This is my new rolling pin.

Any questions?

I know I should be posting birthday pictures, but that would require brain cells I don't feel like using today. Instead, I'll let you all admire the rolling pin my neighbor brought me. They called and asked if I wanted a big, heavy rolling pin. Sure, I thought. I love my french rolling pin, but it would be nice to have a heavier one for certain tasks. Well, when he showed up with this I about died. They weren't kidding! I should have known that it would be big, considering that he drives various vehicles that would probably fit into the monster truck category. However, I had no idea that rolling pins come large enough to require their own zip code. After busting out a pan of cinnamon rolls, I just might start carrying this bad boy with me whenever I go and lock up the chickens. Skunks, possums and groundhogs take warning. Mama's got a rolling pin and she knows how to use it!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Birthday Weekend

Today is James' 6th birthday. Yikes!!! And tomorrow is Katie's 4th birthday. Who's idea was it anyway to have them so close together? ha! Its like a double whammy, both my kids getting a year older at the same time. Pictures of the dual themed Princess and Cowboy b-day party to come...

Friday, September 09, 2011

Freeloaders


**Cheesy Picture**

Every night when I lock them up, I give the chickens a pep talk about how they need to stop freeloading and start laying some eggs! Its highly effective. Up until this week, only one of the chickens has been laying an egg. A few days ago, another started laying, though I am still not sure who. One of these days I'll catch her in her nest and figure out who it is. After building them nice, cozy nest boxes, do you think they lay in them? Oh, no! They each have their own designated spot.

PS. I don't know why I forgot to mention this, but guess what i found INSIDE the run the other night, when I went to lock the chickens up. A skunk!!!! Is our yard a designated wildlife sanctuary or something!? After building what we thought was a secure coop, I will say one thing: rodents can squeeeeeeeeze themselves in just about anywhere. The fencing has two inch openings and the thing is fully enclosed, with an apron buried around the perimeter. When I saw movement in the corner of my eye, I knew immediately what it was. I ran back in and got Jeff, who came out ready to reckon with the skunk. We gingerly approached the run, flashlight in hand, but couldn't get a good enough angle on it. While we were trying to get a bead on it, it disappeared. It was awesome! It was pretty much a repeat the possum incident, but with the added fear of being sprayed. We timidly opened the shed door and shined the flashlight in. No skunk. But its a shed, filled with stuff. We looked around as best we could and didn't see it. At that point, someone had to put their big-kid pants on and go in, so my big strong husband held the flashlight while I went in. Ha!!! :) Seriously, at that point I was pretty sure it wasn't in there, but Jeff thought it had to be. We looked high and low, with no sign of the skunk. At some point, my neighbor let her dog out and we yelled at her to get him back in. She came out and we were all shining flashlights around looking for the thing. We never did see it, or find out where it came from. All I know is that I am going to enforce the coop, and perhaps invest in a rocking chair and a shotgun with night vision and a silencer! :)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

We have had so much rain this month. Last night it rained so hard it woke up everyone but Tyler. I think we got more rain last night than we did during the hurricane. The creek looks like it is a bit higher than last week. Yikes! I saw on the weather site that nearby Neshaminy Creek is currently 8.5 FEET higher than the flood stage, and is expected to go up even higher. Schools were delayed or closed this morning, and that means that James didn't have school. I was looking forward to it since he seemed to be getting a bit excited, but we'll have to wait til tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Check It Out! The World's Most Beautiful Children!!! :)

I'm starting to sound like my friend Candi here, but I really think my kids are too cute for words! And I can say that, 'cuz I'm their mother! Jeff took the kids down to the newest attraction, a tree that was downed in the hurricane. I asked him to see if he could possibly get a picture of all three kids...together. And he did! Yay!! And here are the outtakes:



Jeff even brought his chisel and tools so he could carve their initials into the tree! I would never have thought about doing that.

One Day At A Time

James is still having trouble adjusting and has ended up 'hanging out' with the counselor every morning. He does seem to be improving a bit at a time, and I think he is (maybe...hopefully?) close to the turning point. Today was library day and he loved that. He also got to ride his bike to school today! He really liked that.

And a random but funny sidenote: last night we were watching Swiss Family Robinson and there was the part where the boa constrictor is wrapped around Fritz and trying to drown him. (Forgot about that part...) Tyler got scared and crawled into my lap. Katie, in her sweet voice, said 'Its OK, its just a snake, and he's just hanging around his neck.' I think she might have thought that they were just playing? Jeff and I were cracking up. Just a snake (that's 10 feet long!!!) and its just hanging around his neck (trying to kill him!!). Talk about understatement.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Breaking News! (A Week Late)

Here are a few pictures from the hurricane. Above is a picture of the basketball court which is normally...not under water. The creek is usually just beyond those trees.


Here is the footbridge we go over to visit my parents. That white thing to the right is some sort of concrete access point and is about 4 feet tall, for an idea of how deep the water was. The creek is usually way below that bridge.


Down thru the trees is where we normally go wading. The creek at that part is usually only about 6 inches deep.


More flooding


Another shot of the basketball court. One of the big trees we always walk past blew right over in the storm. A lot of smaller trees also fell. I am very grateful that there wasn't more damage. It could have been a lot worse.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Grange Fair and Second Day Update

A few weeks we went to the Grange Fair. Jeff and I are not really sure why it is associated with our township, which is pretty much non-agricultural, but I think they get more exhibitors from the other half of the county. Tyler had is picture taken by the newspaper guy, but it didn't make the paper. Oh, well, he was almost famous ;)


Hey, I could really get used to this thing!
Disturbing?!



Tyler loves animals. The other kids like them, but Tyler is particularly intrigued by them.


I told Jeff he could secure my eternal love by winning one of these for me, because nothing says I Love You more than a ginormous stuffed Rastafarian banana. He didn't even try to win one for me! Apparently my eternal love is not worth the trauma of living with a giant dread-locked fruit hanging in our living room. ha, ha!


This was a nice sheep. One tried to headbutt Tyler. He wasn't really phased. He just moved on to the next sheep.


Tyler and this cow got along famously. The cow seemed to like Tyler and Tyler didn't want to leave it.


Hi! Want to come home with me? I think I could convince my parents. Well, my mom anyway. Dad's going to be a tough sell.


Katie and her new friend


Kindergarten Update: James apparently saved up all his angst for today, because he had a rough day. Last night he couldn't sleep and this morning he kept saying he was 'nervous and frightened.' He is not afraid of his teacher, or the other kids, or the school in general. Its just that he doesn't want to 'be away' from me. He cried and didn't want to let go of me, and fortunately a teacher came up and took him from me. He couldn't settle down in class so he got to visit the guidance counselor who read him a book about being at a new school. His teacher said he did pretty good the rest of the day. I am sure after next week he'll be a lot more used to it and be able to be excited again.