Monday, July 27, 2009

Really trying....

Why is it that every time I have tried to do some school work (other than the huge scanning pile - which i did get complete but have not organized into electronic files yet) something stops me? For instance I actually tried to work on my blackboard account but could not remember my log in password. Then I tried to look at the CD rom that goes with the Health oriented Chemistry textbook. Can't get my school laptop (read the only one I have that has a CD drive in it) to connect to my home internet. My last effort came today when I was trying to make a powerpoint showing that I know all the "hiding my cell phone behind obvious things" trick but I could not access the pictures I needed. Is God trying to tell me not to worry about school or is it the technology gnomes that are foiling my heroic attempts of getting ahead?

Things I love....

There are a gazillion reasons I love summer (and my break from teaching) but I know the thing I will miss the most is spending time with my girls (obviously).

The second most missed thing is staying up on the dishes and laundry. During the school year on Saturday mornings I wake up to clean an over run kitchen. Sometimes it it takes two dish washer loads to get all the dishes done. (Against the minimal environmentalist in me we have tried the paper dishes but that means there are bags of trash versus dirty dishes. A no win situation.) I realize that Wednesday/Thursday is when I tend to 'lose' control. When/if I ever have the money I will hire some one to come in on Thursdays to take things back to ground zero for me so that my every weekend does not start with a mass cleaning session.

I can't overly complain about the laundry during the school year as it becomes a chore of the Mister. He washes and dumps them on the couch (this drives me nuts but I usually don't have the energy to finish it myself or complain about it at that time). Then during the middle of the night (usually toward the end of the week or when his end of the couch gets full) he folds them. They still take over the entire couch but are neatly folded. At that point it is each man for himself on putting them away (except I get the bonuses to do mine, the general house stuff - towels, dish towels, etc. and the toddler's clothes). Again I am not the responsible party for the most of it so I really can't complain. I know he enjoys this aspect of the summer too.

So I am enjoying the upkeep of these things while I can. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Morning Mania

I have apparently failed in teaching any of my girls how to have a mellow Sunday morning. They know to let my get my coffee consumed before the chaos ensues but for some strange reason Sundays are the exception to this rule. (The toddler will even chant "Mommy's coffee" as I am sweetening my cup.) Sounded like I was on the right track. Where did I go wrong?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Potty Training

I cannot wait until she is fully trained! Right now she refuses to wear a diaper or big girl panties so she runs around naked. This makes for easy pottying but a nervous Mommy. I have decided to NOT do the pull-ups this go round. I think that should save money but I tell you an unsteady pottier in a set of cloth panties really makes a Mommy apprehensive.

As I mentioned in prior posts we have the portable potty chair and the potty seat insert (both in the Dora flavor) but she wants neither. She climbs onto the potty face first. Standing bear crawl style over the bowl she shoots a foot through to the other side and pieces her way to a sitting position. Then she scootches until she is forward facing. Still holding herself up from taking a swim by her little hands. It is funny to watch and if my video did not involve a naked toddler I might post it here.

I hope I can get her all the way trained before I go back to school. Meaning this could be the last set of diapers I ever buy....... <3

Current list of Wants....

Things I want a right now and reasons why....

*I want the Beans to all the way potty trained so I don't spend over half my remaining summer days in the potty with her.

*I want the Mister to pick me up a diamond anniversary band on his travels out of the country for out 10 year wedding anniversary. I think I deserve one!

*I want to sign up for Jazzercise. I did it years ago and really miss it but have not extra fundage for another monthly bill. :(

*I want my house up north to sell and to get a good deal on a house down here. Tired of apartment livin'. Not bad really but I am just too old for it.

*I want my lessons planned out and a lab fairy to visit for the set up and clean up of labs at the right time. I don't think I will mind teaching the same subject all day but I dread doing labs only b/c of the prep work that goes with them.

*I want a "good' camera so I can take artsy like pictures. I love extreme close up type pics but my camera always does them fuzzy.

*I want to find a home church here.

*I want a self cleaning kitchen.

*I want to be independently wealthy so I can stay home and be a Mom to my girls all year how I am in the summer. As they continue to grow I want to stay the most important person in their live.

*I want a girls weekend with some good friends. No kids, just fun.

I am sure I could think of more but these things would be an excellent start!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hooked on Improving

This is another post for the Hooked on Fridays over here AND I am actually including house type stuff this time!

First, we all remember my tomato issues (click here for a refresher), I have upgraded my 'redneck patio garden'. We have two topsy turvy planters (as seen on tv) as well as several bigger pots - some with tomato cages! Don't be alarmed about the detergent bucket, this was the Hubby's idea to fill that with water (remember we are on the second story of our apartment = no hose) so that the girls can help water the plants from onew location instead of running through the apartment with water. We are uptown now! lol If only I get a tomato harvest..... Anybody with any other suggestions for survival of these plants, please let me know.

Second, my toddler whom I have nicknamed Spiderman as she can scale flat surfaces with ease, has found the 'treasures' that were on top of the older girls' desk (gymnastics trophies, medals, ribbons, Little Miss crown, etc.).

These momentos/awards needed to be moved to a safer location as they hold sentimental value to the Oldest and could potentially harm the toddler when she pulled them down on her head (hey, at least I am giving her a totally flat/clear surface to stand on once she scales her way to the tippy top of the bookshelf component). I had originally envisioned a wooden shelf with a dowel rod track jigsawed into the support but as we roamed through Home Depot (a shopping experience which I always detest - I never know where to find anything and it drives me nuts...) we stopped in the shelving aisle and came up with a better idea (of which we decided was very appropriate to test run in the apartment). The pre-fab shelving unit supports have openings that a dowel rod could be slipped through. For about $10 and very little effort, I think this looks nice. It has more room for medals and ribbons (although I have several without strings that are not displayed here....) but when more trophies come home there is only so much rearranging I can do. This will do for now, I suppose.

Next, even though we have lived here a full year now some things are still not the way I want them. You know, can't find them when needed, etc. My spices were one of those things. I found the perfect spot for them in baskets in a alcove type place on the wall dividing the kitchen/living room but they were in the baskets all willy nilly, no rhyme or reason, just there. Since I have to climb a chair or step stool to get to them, looking through multiple baskets while balancing on top of something was annoying. So, I had my big girls along with a friend who had spent the night do a little alphabetizing/categorizing of them. Ahhh.... now I know exactly where to look for what spices. Maybe this will help the multiples of the same spice I have. Maybe you can never have too much ground ginger but I have 4 different styles/brands.

These all transpired while doing repetative "normal" tasks like picking up the Leap Frog Word Whammer along with the 2 alphabet sets that go with it. For some reason in addition to climbing things the toddler prefers these strung all over the floor and not in the basket so she dumps them out when she passes. Yes, they really hurt when you step on them too. Probably not as bad as Legos but a close second.

At least you can say I haven't been bored this week! I wonder what all I will tackle next week. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Am I a bad Mom?

One of my friends has something like the following in her bloggy header "She is probably a good mother just not a good advertisement for motherhood." I kind of feel like I might fit that description. As a species us women especially mothers constantly compare ourselves to one another. (This is a gender flaw that DH says makes women rarely win those voting reality shows as well as will not become president.)

Anyhoo....the first reason for my sub par maternal feeling is I don't feel the need to schedule every second of every day for my children. Seriously, a friend of mine has her children's days planned up to September and the kids are 4! I personally have been enjoying this summer of simplicity with mine. Maybe I am a homebody or maybe it is b/c I still do not have a large friend base here in my "new" state (new as in we have now been here a year and I still really don't have a large set of friends.....I guess that is another post in and of itself). The girls and I have been sharing household responsibilities as well as trying to cook a lot of different foods from scratch. Just made my first cheesecake from scratch the other day. :) So am I a bad Mommy for not planning daily outings or crafts every single day? Are my girls going to grow up lacking?

I have also come to the realization that this year we will not do birthday parties for the girls like we have in the past. With us still paying for the house up north at this point there is really just no room in the budget for us to do things like we have before. I hope this does not scar them for life. I know I am being dramatic but....I feel like I am failing them (yet again). I guess if the house sells this could change but with gymnastics season beginning on the oldest's birthday weekend, if I have not planned in advance it probably won't happen.

I don't sit around the 3 hours a day my oldest practices gymnastics. Does that mean I am a bad Mommy? Heck, I am even missing the transportation provided by the gym to get her from school to practice. I have to taxi it both ways. If it were just me I don't think I would mind too much but lugging the toddler and the Middie for the taxi run is just annoying.

I could be considered a bad Mommy b/c after the portable DVD player died after 5 long years of service and several trips (car and plane) I supported my DH when he purchased two portable DVD players (one for each big girl = no more arguing over what to watch). But even more so b/c this morning they have vegged out with their own player. How many movies are too many?

Am I a bad Mommy b/c i don't have the extra funds right now to put my soon to be 2 year old in a class of some sort? At this point in their lives my other two they had taken gymnastics (Mommy and me type class of course) and swimming. #3 is really missing out.....

Well, I think that is probably enough Mommy bashing of myself at this point. I will save this post no longer...posting and letting it all go...ooosa ooosa oosa

Friday, July 10, 2009

NOT hooked on....toddler edition

Since I could not 'unstack' these pictures from the Dora ones, I have created another post of them. Here goes....

I have learned that my toddler is not so much into pop-up books. This is a pictorial representation of what she has done to every pop-up book in our home library.

Although she is very fond of this nonpop-up board book. I do love Dr.Seuss but this is a disturbing story line.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Busy summer days

How is it that I can find a whole days worth of nothing to occupy my days all in my apartment? Playing on FB and checking the blog/email/BHB periodically are guilty pleasures that I indulge in when I pass by my laptop or I don't know what to do next. Another on going challenge is attempting to potty train (or at least indulging in her asking) the toddler. Nothing has actually gone straight from her body to the toilet bowl yet but things are very warm when she asks to go so I am trying to keep at it with her. I have pulled out the plastic panties while hanging at home today and she has wet one pair even though I am taking her to the potty every 30 minutes. She goes in the pants THEN tells me. I am not sure how to reverse that process.

I have reorganized the girls' closet so I have more shelf space above the hanger clothes. What to put there? Don't know just yet. Our next mission was to save their DVDs from the storage spot as it always was too tempting for the toddler tornado. Now they have 3 empty desk drawer waiting to be filled again. But alas, looking something for something toddler friendly to fill them.

Tomorrow we are attempting to (gasp) leave the house and go to the beach. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hooked on Friday...toddler edition

Don't forget to drop in to see what others are Hooked On over here....

My toddler is all about Dora so today's Hooked on goes out to her with a sampling of our Dora empire. (*Note: she did not get all these toys but these have been collected over the past 8ish year from her sisters' Dora days as well as her own.)

First the important potty training devices all Dora-fied. We have the seat that sits in the normal potty (her preference at the moment) and the stand alone potty. She likes to destroy and reconstruct this as it is modular. For instance the base can be a step stool and the other pieces can be used in other means as well.

Of course we have the Dora house with all the furniture. You will have to forgive me for not setting it up for you but I am happy no pieces are out right now as they are walking hazards.

I would bet we own about 90% of the plastic figurines and about that much of the larger dolls. Here they are peeping out of one of the drawers. There are at least 3 like this. I specifically pulled out the tennis Dora in honor of Serena's recent win.

I think we are only behind by one DVD from owning all of them and I bet that will be purchased soon. We rock the Dora fiesta CD music in my minivan. Yesterday, when stopped at a red light the three girls in the middle row were loudly singing with the CD (which I had cranked up for them) and the man in the pick up truck nest to us gave us a look. I could not interpret the look. I think to him it was like a car wreck b/c he could not look away. I was proud and embarrassed all at once.

So as you can see we are big time hooked on Dora here.

Hope you have enjoyed a look into my life!

Hooked On Friday Party

Check out what the others are hooked on here.

This week I have been hooked on scanning paper copies of the lessons, labs and other useful papers for my teaching arsenal into PDFs. Then the PDFs will be used in my blackboard as well as having the papers in 'copy ready' form. (See prior post describing blackboard.) In my district the paper copying is electronically out sourced which means I need a version I can send through cyber space. No more old fashioned c&p for me. Kind of bitter sweet.

Here is the stack so far. It continues to grow larger.

Here is the beastly scanner, printer, copier that I have been canoodling with for my digitizing.

Speaking of growing and since that is not the most entertaining thing to be hooked on I also want to share my tomato plant story. In May-ish we bought a planter box and decided to try to plant some tomato seeds (2 packets - 1 beefeaters, 1 cherry variety). I had "help" planting by way of my three girls so half the box was the packet of one type the other half was the other packet. Those of you who are agriculturally savvy can predict where this is going.

Here is the box and the growth after just a week.

A little crowded, eh? So I try transplanting them into anything I could recycle into a big enough holder. Here you have my "redneck garden". Some I left in the planter but joining it are two milk jugs, Gatorade bottle, butter tub, Sam's club cheese ball vat bottom and two pots I had from other things.

So, what do you think are they going to live to die? What can I do to help?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rock On Caillou's Parent

The beginning of today's show had this dialog.

Caillou's Mom: Today is your Father's and my anniversary. It is a very special day.

Caillou's Dad: And we have a very special surprise for you too....a new babysitter!

Awww yeah.....:)

True 'dat

So as a revisit to some of my goal posts (he he he, I said goal as in football but

In no particular order......

I have been scanning my little heart out of school papers in an effort to go green in my files (not really...more of a convenience thing but it is a bonus environmentally so I will go with it). Not finished yet but that is the precursor before doing the blackboard goal.

I have a binder with baseball inserts and have begun my coupon sorting. DH requested to departmentalize it. I rationalized that he had a say in the organizing being that I will most likely ask him to find the needed coupons while I kid wrangle.

I have successfully completed 3 new recipes since returning from the north: Crockpot turkey breast, Noodleless Lasagna, and Taco Soup. All 3 are crockpot recipes too taken from this site. I LOVE this site!!! You should too.

The girls' chore chart (well, excel spreadsheet that stays open on my laptop) is underway. The Middie is empathetic as usual. We recently had a toothpaste and toilet bowl issue but I really don't want to talk about that right now. The Oldest is really into it though. I consider it a math lesson too. I have to admit she is a GREAT helper. She unloads the dishwasher, toddler wrangles, cleans the table and highchair after meals, folds laundry, etc., etc. She really impresses me.

I have purchased and received the Twilight series as I wanted but have not yet reread as 'prescribed'. I read what is available on this Stephanie Meyers' site of Midnight Sun. I want to read Twilight with the Midnight sun together. I am already planning on a personal day for November 20th - New Moon any one? :D

I still do not have my weekly schedule down as I had hoped (traveling kind of got in the way) butt so far I am feeling quite accomplished with what I have done so far. I will keep y'all posted though!