Monday, April 27, 2009

DVR is a wonderful thing. It has me a much more relaxed person. I'm not wasting my late nights surfing channels trying to find something interesting to watch. I simply pull up one of the shows I've recorded and enjoying skipping commercials -- and weather alerts.

It has also taken the term *instant gratification* to a new level. My toddler has no concept of time, so when he wants to watch Curious George, Dragon Tales or The Backyardigans, I am able to grant his wish (or demand). I'm sure this is an issue I'm going to have to deal with at some point as he becomes more demanding, but for now I'll take 30 minutes of time I can spend doing something constructive around the house.

Hopefully, that time in the near future will be spent planning a home addition. We'll see how this week goes...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It has been a cranky few days in my household. All week I've encouraged Anna to work on a social studies project that was due Friday. Of course, she's known about it for a few weeks -- we've also known since the end of March. She did spend a little time each day finding some of the information she needed to do the poster. But little did she -- or I -- realize how much time it would actually take to complete the poster.

Anna pulled the first late night (of many, I'm sure) finishing the project. She was up until midnight, but I have to say she was quite a trooper. Normally, she's a whiny drama queen when she has to do something and she's tired or just doesn't want to do it. But it wasn't until midnight, when she was writing her teacher's name on the poster, that the tears appeared. With all the maps and other random pieces of information she had to find, it was her teacher's difficult-to-spell name that sent her over the edge. But the tears didn't last long and she was finally able to go to bed.

While I was not happy with the fact we were up until midnight -- which meant I was really up until 2 a.m. because I still needed some down time -- it was OK the next morning. When she was walking out the door to school, she stopped and said (unassisted or guilted into it), "Mommy, thank you for helping me on my poster." It was said very sincerely and without any sarcasm.

I'm very proud -- and very glad she chose Oregon for her project since we had all kinds of resources to pull from!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We had a fun but exhausting Easter. For days leading up to the weekend, I was excited to try to make what would be an inferior version of Bakerella's cake pops. I had high hopes that our Easter egg pops would be adorable, but I should've known better. The highlight of the experience was the fun I had with Anna, neighbor Kristin and her daughter.

As for Easter, we made it to church and enjoyed a nice service. Then we returned home where I immediately prepared the sweet potatoes and awesome banana pudding -- all while wearing my heels. My feet were killing me, so I changed clothes while I made the kids keep on their Easter clothes. I'm so mean...

Our annual Easter picture was not the best one we've taken, especially since we had to take it inside due to the rain and Jeremy was upset for some reason.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jack turned 5 today. In some ways it's hard to believe he's growing up so fast, and in other ways, it seems like he should be older. He was only 1 1/2 years old when I began working part time, so we've spent more time together than I was able to spend with the older two kids during their preschool years. Of course, the older two spent those years with D and I know that was great for them.

I love all my kids, but my relationship with each of them is different. Anna, my only girl, is my emotional, drama girl who helps me remember how fun and silly it can be to be a girl. Jeremy is my serious boy, and I enjoy spending one-on-one time with him because we actually talk and he is able to be a little silly and mischievous. Spencer is the baby and that's a whole post on it's own.

Jack is my buddy. We just hang out and talk about random things (Mommy, our house faces north and Grandma's faces south, right? -- How does he know this stuff???). He has always been eager and ready to help me in the kitchen. He is so observant and absorbs so much that I'm very interested to see how well he does academically.

He's a sweet, funny kid who seems to be a best friend to many, and I hope he carries that with him through the rest of his life.

Happy birthday, Jack!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I have been exhausted lately and Daylight Savings Time isn't helping. Not only is it taking superhuman effort to get the kids in bed and asleep before 11 p.m., but now I have to buy a new alarm clock.

When I bought the current clock several years ago, I loved it. Nice big numbers used to be large enough for me to read without my glasses or contacts, but over the years, I think those numbers have decreased in size. The clock also reset itself if the power went out without the need for backup batteries.

Even better -- it automatically adjusted the time during the spring and fall time changes. At least it did before the U.S. government decided to mess with the time change weekends. This change wasn't a problem at first because there were several news stories about how a certain weekend *used* to be the night to fall back or spring forward. But now that we are a few time changes removed from the government's helpfulness, no one talks about it as much anymore.

And that is the reason I have to buy a new clock. The media failed to mention -- at least any of the media I saw/read -- that the time change would've occurred this past weekend rather than a few weeks ago. So when the alarm clock started singing at 6:45 a.m. the other morning, I kept hitting the snooze until 7:15ish. When I realized D had crawled back in bed rather than started to get ready for work, I asked him what was going on. Yeah, it was actually an hour earlier than what our clock said. So wrong!!

So I was awaken much earlier than I should've been and for an anti-morning person, this is grounds for trashing the failed electronic. To make matters worse, evidently Leap Year was involved because this time change occurred Monday morning instead of Sunday morning, and now the date on the clock reads April 6.

It has caused more confusion that it is worth. So when I take one of my many trips to WalMart or Target, I will be shopping for a new clock.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tonight was Jeremy's turn for a little one on one. Evidently at some point I promised to take him to Chili's and he didn't forget. So we spent the evening dining on junk food. I have to say Chili's chocolate molten lava cake is really the best dessert I've had anywhere -- not including the snickers fondue at The Melting Pot. That was in a category all its own.

Anyway, I felt I needed to end the evening with a little pep talk since he kept having run-ins with his siblings earlier in the day. What were my words of wisdom? You can't control other people's actions but you can control yours. AND your siblings don't wake up in the morning thinking about how they can make him mad that day.

Sounds pretty solid, right? Wrong. According to Jeremy, he has heard Jack in the middle of the night saying, "what can I do to make Jeremy mad."

So I just told him he needed to be less serious. I'm not sure that heart to heart was a roaring success, especially since he started fighting with Jack about three minutes after we returned home.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I took a walk down memory lane this evening. Fifteen years ago in May, I graduated from college and moved into my own apartment. It was a wonderful time -- I enjoyed my small apartment and its peacefulness. And that fall when the new TV season launched, I was able to sit quietly each evening checking out new shows like Friends and ER and getting hooked on some that had already been around a few years like Law & Order -- before there was a Special Victims Unit or a group to deal with those with Criminal Intent.

Yes, I watched ER from the beginning. I remember many of those "special" episodes -- Love's Labor Lost or Doug's return. But over the years I got a social life and gave birth to children, both of which interfere greatly with TV watching. In the past few years, Friends said farewell and Without a Trace provided more entertainment that ER. But since I'm still a fan of Jack McCoy's, I check in on L&O every now and then.

Tonight my daughter and I spent the evening watching the final episode of ER. Yes, it was past her bedtime, but sometimes you have to make an exception when you are having a bonding moment. But it became quickly evident that while I had a few brief moments of emotion remembering certain characters or incidences, Anna is definitely her father's daughter.

She has not had the life experiences I have had. Lost loved ones as I have. Or felt the great disappointments I have. But ER still managed to make her cry while I sat there and laughed silently at her.

As for the question that was posed during this evening's special look back, Dr. Gates or Dr. Ross? I have to go with Dr. Ross.