Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunday morning I stayed home with a sick baby while the rest of the family went to church. Before I started doing some work on the computer, I thought I'd check out some of the Sunday morning news shows. I happened to catch Howard Dean on Meet the Press. It was very scary, and it made me very angry. He actually said democrats should vote for the person who could beat McCain. What kind of sense does that make? Shouldn't a person vote for the individual they believe is best suited for the job? Am I too much of an idealist?

I vote the issues not a straight party ticket. I hope there are others out there who are more concerned with where a person stands are the different issues than what party they are affiliated with. Unfortunately, Dean's belief is not unique to democrats because I know there are republicans who feel the same way. I just haven't personally heard it voiced on such a national platform.

Last night I finally had time to share Dean's comments with D, and it still made me frustrated. However, later he was channel surfing and stopped on the Colbert Report. Now I'm able to laugh about it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I started out this morning needing a hot chocolate and a heavy coat. By late this afternoon, I was in desperate need of sunscreen and a nice shade tree. Rumor had it that the madness that is pre-k enrollment began last night with some parent actually camping out overnight. By late in the day, I believe the real story was that they arrived at 4 a.m. -- still ridiculous.

I was informed at 7:30 a.m. that there was a VERY long line, so I sent D over since he was ready to walk out the door to work. I made Jack's sandwich for school, opted not to finish drying my hair or curl it and then headed out the door, leaving the kids with my mother-in-law.

We were number 34 out of 40, so it was a close call. I may not get my preference of the morning class, but at least he's in. If I didn't already have two kids in the school, and it wasn't right out my back door, I'd say forget it, and either enroll Jack in one of the other elementary schools and even go with a private program.

They have three years to find a solution to this madness before it will be time to enroll Spencer in pre-k. Between now and then, our district's new high school will hopefully be completed and more space will be made available at the elementary schools. I really don't want to spend the night in front of a school just to get my child in pre-k. I may go for private school then.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I love Spencer, but this fourth child is going to wear me out! Not only did he not start sleeping through the night until he was FIFTEEN MONTHS OLD, but he has this incredibly strong urge to climb into bath tubs fully clothed. Normally this would not be a problem, except he does this immediately after I have finished getting him dressed in his pajamas after he has already had a bath and someone else is still in the bathtub.

Tonight I finished dressing him and put him on the floor. He took off running, and I stayed behind to put away the basket of folded clothes in his room. Soon I heard Jack yelling from the bathroom, and I knew immediately what had happened. I ran into the room, and there sat Spencer in the bath like there was nothing wrong with taking a bath in your PJs.

This is at least the third, maybe fourth, time he has done this. The first time it was funny. The second time it was mildly cute. Now it is downright irritating, and it doesn't help when D starts laughing. Fortunately, for him, he took it upon himself to get dry clothes and change Spencer so I didn't have to do it again.

I know I will look back on this and laugh -- maybe even tomorrow -- but for now I just keep thinking I have got to remember to close all the bathroom doors when anyone is taking a bath because that kid is FAST!

Monday, April 21, 2008

We survived. This was one of the more hectic weekends we've had. I made it through Friday night at the Omniplex with I don't know how many hyper elementary-age girls and very little sleep. Whoever arranged the schedule and thought it was a good idea to put younger girls in the planetarium at midnight wasn't very smart. That only gave them an opportunity to rest/nap, so they got their second wind about the time lights were supposed to go out. Regardless, Anna had a great time, and I'm glad I went with her.

She and I were the only ones in her troop who skipped the human body exhibit, and I'm OK with that. I'm sure it's a very educational experience, but there were plenty of other things to see and do. While the other girls were looking at the bodies, Anna was flying in a flight simulator. None of the others got to do that. So she wasn't upset about missing the bodies.

After only three hours of sleep (even though I'm not sure I really went to sleep - I think the clock just skipped those hours), we loaded up and headed home. D was already packing up the other van with camping gear. So I helped him get everything ready, and sent him and the three oldest kids off to a Boy Scout campout.

Then Spencer took long naps all day, so I was able to sleep all day. Oh, yeah. He's 17 months old. He doesn't do that anymore. So we played for awhile, and then I put him down for a brief nap. I tried not to fall asleep because I had to go to my aunt and uncle's for lunch with the rest of the family. Then I had to go buy a birthday present for a friend of Anna's. Then I headed out to the camp site, which was just a little south of the metro. Yeah, they were really roughing it in the wildernes. Actually, they didn't have any nice amenities, so it was pretty primitive. But it was also very conveniently located.

I helped Jeremy earn an elective by roasting a hot dog, cooked Spencer and Jack hotdogs, and visited with the other parents. Then I loaded Spencer up and headed back to town where I picked up a pizza for myself. After I gave Spencer a bath and put him to bed, I spent the evening watching Into the Wild, which I may blog about later, and folding the huge pile of laundry on my couch.

Sunday morning, D got the kids home in time to bathe them and get them to church, where we volunteered in Spencer's nursery class. Then Anna had a birthday party to attend. It wore me out just recapping it. Now I have to get ready for this week because I have plenty of work to do at the office and to prepare to enroll Jack in pre-K which will involve standing in a ridiculously long line at a ridiculously early hour. I wouldn't do it if convenience or money weren't an issue. So I better stop writing and start moving.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Brownie is about to become a Junior Girl Scout. Next month she will participate in a bridging ceremony, which will be the next step in making the transition. With that event, she will have gone farther in the organization than I ever did. Actually, staying in it longer than a year was probably more than I ever did.

Anyway, on the drive home tonight from her badge ceremony which doubled as a potluck dinner, she was asking me how many activities she could participate in. With four kids, we have to limit the number of activities because it's already crazy around our house, and we only have two kids who are old enough for most sports or service groups. And it's only going to get worse.

Although she would love to take ballet or tap and she wants to learn how to speak Spanish, she is smart enough to realize, that those are activities that can be enjoyed in summer programs. By the time we got home, she informed me that she plans to stay in Girl Scouts and soccer throughout school. That's good to hear because those both mean scholarship potential -- it will be even better if she can keep her grades up.

Now, if I survive Jeremy's academic career...at least he really enjoys Boy Scouts.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Yesterday was Jack's fourth birthday. I can't believe he's already four, but then again, I can't believe he's only four. Even though he's only been communicating for a couple of years, he can carry on a pretty good conversation. I enjoy hanging out with him.
The older two kids were already in school when I started working part time, and Jack was only a year and a half. So I have spent the most time with him. My relationship with him is different than with the Anna and Jeremy. He's my little buddy.

He had a great birthday weekend. We had a bowling party with friends on Saturday and family came over on Sunday. D took the kids fishing so Jack could try out his new Spider-Man fishing pole. Evidently, he was very upset when he did not catch anything. But he has decided that he needs to go out on a boat to be able to catch fish.

He was thrilled with all of his gifts, including the cards. He would open each envelope and patiently wait for me to read the card. However, I had to remind him to open the gift that went with the card because he would try to move on to another gift. But he was always very polite and thanked everyone.

For several months, Jack has been talking about being four. And now that he is officially four, he tried to tell me he was three. He was doing a certain task, that I will not mention, and he wanted me to do it for him. I told him he was a big boy he needed to do it himself. At this point, he told me he was only three years old. I'm not that sentimental about my little boy growing up. I was not going to give in.

Anyway, another birthday has come and gone, and we are in the birthday-free zone until November!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spencer is the fourth child, so every time I notice that his speaking skills are not quite up to the level of a child of similar age but one who is a first or even second child, I'm not too concerned. Jack hardly spoke a word until he was almost two -- maybe even two and a half.

This morning, Spencer went beyond the basic "uh, oh." As he watched Veggie Tales, he removed his pacifier and repeated after Larry the Cucumber, saying, "Bob." It was a very exciting moment. I've tried to get him to say Anna or Daddy. He kind of says Momma, but it's hard to know if he actually means me. So I'm ready to declare "Bob" to be his first official word. Thank you, Veggie Tales.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Way to go, Kansas! I am genuinely happy for Bill Self and the Jayhawks. It was a wild game. Fortunately, I was able to watch the end of regulation since Medium was over by then. What an incredible three-point shot to tie the game. That was an amazing game! And I'm proud to say I picked Kansas to win it all!

Now you OSU fans can speculate all you want about whether Self will leave Kansas for his alma mater, but I would be shocked if he did. OSU has a great basketball tradition, but Kansas is consistently one of the top programs in the country. I just can't see him leaving that anytime soon. D said maybe, now that he has his national championship, Self would want to go back home to help rebuild OSU. I said that it's kind of selfish to get your national championship and take off. I hope OSU gets a great coach that can get them back to the Big Dance -- I just hope it's not Bill Self. I just don't think it's the right time. Think of Roy Williams. It took many years before he left Kansas to go back to North Carolina. Give Self some time and he'll come back home.

But for now, let him enjoy the moment.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Since I'm supposed to be doing real work, I'm blogging instead. I went back and filled in the movies that went with quotes. So if it's just been driving you crazy, scroll down to see which ones you missed. Thanks for playing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Life was so much easier when the writers were on strike. Now I have new episodes of shows to watch, but the kids still have homework and they need baths and they need to get to bed at a decent hour. How can I fit it all in? I must find a way to fit a DVR into our budget. Oh, yeah, that's right. We've never really created a budget that we could stick to.

Anna brought home her practice test for the math and reading tests all 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will be taking next week. I'm not sure how she does it, but out of 30 questions, she only missed three. For the past couple of years, when she would take unit tests, she would only miss one or two questions. And as far as I know, she wouldn't really study.

We can only hope that when it comes time to take the ACT, she will still possess this gift because it would really help when it comes time to apply for scholarships. However, I plan to make sure that when she is in high school she develops good study habits because that is what knocked me for a loop when I entered college. I rarely studied for anything in high school and did pretty well. I wasn't valedictorian, but that was OK. My brothers had already gone that route, so I played the role of the athlete. However, I was in the top 10 percent of my class, so I wasn't a slouch academically. Anyway, when I went to college, I had horrible study habits, and I wasn't very disciplined about going to class.

So hopefully, Anna will do a little better than I. Jeremy on the other hand told me today that he plans to go straight from high school to work as a video game tester. According to him, you don't need to go to college for that. Thank goodness he has a few years to think about it.
I was near breakdown yesterday and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. However, I won't see the other side until next Tuesday. The worst is over, though, and it's all downhill from here or you could say it's all old hat. I wonder how many phrases I can use? I'll stop now.

In other news, I finally broke down and allowed the two oldest kids to purchase Heelys. It actually worked fairly well because I only spent $20 on each pair with Anna and Jeremy paying the balance on the rest. We finally found some reasonably priced Heelys and they were willing to spend their own money, so that is why I finally relented. Of course, Jeremy didn't have as much as he thought, so he is learning a lesson about debt. But he's working very hard to pay it off quickly.

I'm very proud of Anna because she's always been a spender. As soon as I would give her any money, she was ready to buy something. But for the past few months, she has done a great job of saving money. D and I've talked about buying the kids these banks that are divided into spending, saving and charity -- or something like that. But I don't know that we necessarily need to spend our own money like that. I think they kids are getting the idea so far. They even seem to listen when we talk about tithing. So hopefully they'll do a lot better with their finances than we have. We're not broke, but we could've made better choices over the years. And that's what you always want for your kids -- better than what you had and to make better choices than what you did.

One last note about the Heelys, poor Jack wanted a pair so bad, but his foot is too small. Plus, I don't think he's quite ready for them. I was trying to comfort him with thoughts of the birthday presents he'll receive soon when Jeremy tried to cheer him up by saying that maybe he'd get Heelys for his birthday. Yeah, that really helped.