Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bookies

The kids love to go to the library and I DO like to take the boys, but Caroline just grabs books off the shelf and runs amok, so in Thornton I didn't get to go very much if I wanted to go without her.  Here, Joe is readily available so we've already been to the library twice and found some new favorites.  They're such favorites I just wanted to post them, in case you guys are looking for good kid reads.

Rhyming can shoot a book from "cute" to "favorite" because it's much more fun to read, remember (good for "reading" with your eyes closed because you're so tired), and for the kids to remember and "read" along with.  "Edwina" not only rhymes, it has a good moral and an adorable ending.


"Piggies" rhymes but might not be my favorite because the pictures are lightly colored and, to me, look washed out, but the kids love it and the story is cute. Caroline drags this book around and wants you to read it every time she sees you sit down.

"Fast Food" is the 2nd Saxton Freymann book we've checked out, he does hilarious things with produce!  This one rhymes so, of course, I love it, but we also loved "Food for Thought," which incorperated shapes, numbers, colors, and opposites (but no rhyming), so it was more educational for the kids.  Looking on Amazon, he has LOTS of books, so we'll be checking all those out!


"Dino-Pedia," for any dinosaur lover out there.  It has a few things I love that I haven't found in other dinosaur books.  No, it doesn't rhyme...  BUT it breaks the book nicely into sections: 1. A dino overview for all us lame-o's who can't remember the difference between a saurischian and ornithischians (lizard-hipped and bird-hipped dinosaurs), or whether the Jurrasic or the Triassic came first; 2. Discovering dinosaurs, which covers dino habits and habitats in a general way; 3. an entire section on meat eaters, highlighting the most famous; 4. an entire section on plant eaters, highlighting the most famous; and finally 5. a dinosaur dictionary, which lists every dinosaur ever discovered - there are over 1,000, with about 20 new discoveries every year! No wonder I can never remember them all.  I appreciated all the info, but I REALLY appreciated the awesome illustrations - it makes it seem like every dinosaur is the BEST dinosaur. We'll probably renew this book until the library won't allow us to, then just buy it for ourselves, it's VERY good.  Duh - that's why I added it to my list!

Finally, I DID agree to read book 5 of Harry Potter to Patrick.  So far so good - and we're pretty far! Page 385.  It's much less action and much more teenage angst than I had remembered (I remembered I disliked the last 2 books more for that reason) so there's been more questions like "why is Harry so angry all the time?"
Harry Potter has actually helped us talk to Patrick about the recent tragedy in Aurora.  We have already had numerous discussions on choices and consequences, our spirits being created as good but having the agency to choose for ourselves, and that bad choices do not necessarily make you a bad person but you can repent (like Snape).  Then discussions about how many bad choices make a person a "bad" person, or is there such a thing? How bad is "bad"? And of course I don't have the answers because Heavenly Father will figure that all our in the end, not me, but isn't it good to have such big conversations so early on?  I was glad we'd already discussed all this because as Joe was reading the news to me I was having a hard time controlling my emotions, but Patrick was asking what was going on and why. THANK GOODNESS I didn't have to answer, I just started "well, sometimes people make choices..." and he took it from there and explained it to US.  It's one of those times I'm grateful it's not our choice to ultimately mete out justice, and that no matter WHAT crazy things happen we can be together again so even tragedies here on earth have a happy ending in Heaven. I know that's all WAAAAAY off topic of kids books, but I think it's important that books not only entertain, they TEACH.  And what could be more important than teaching our kids eternal truths even in difficult situations? Not much.  There's my soap box, I'll step down now and you can go jog yourself to the nearest library for all the good stuff I listed up top.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

knitting

I said "tomorrow" on my last post, but writing again Saturday was about good enough because we ended up on an adventure on Wednesday and Thursday!  Joe's sister, brother-in-law, and their son Jacob flew in on Wednesday but unexpectedly missed their morning flight so rather than wait for them to regroup and drive down to Pueblo we drove ourselves to Denver, stayed in our house (still ours until July 30th) and had a very nice visit until we drove home late Thursday night.  Yesterday I have no excuse for :) 

But I've mentioned a time or two I wanted to knit a baby blanket, or that I finally DID start knitting, and here's the progress so far:
Pretty good, eh?  At least pretty big, eh?  It has an alternating square pattern that's hard to see, but it DOES have texture (even if I'm not talented enough to do colors). I felt sure enough after the ultrasound that we're having a girl that I picked purple, but the longer I knit the less sure I am!  If we have a boy I will BUY a blanket for the new baby and Caroline can just have this one because I'm not spending another 3,000 hours knitting something in blue. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sweet dreams

We bought some new beds!

First, we threw out our old king-size mattress in Thornton because it was super-duper old and partially eaten by a dog that is since long-gone to the ex-girlfriend who helped buy the super-duper old mattress. That mattress SERIOUSLY needed to go. Here, we're renting from family-of-my-family and they had a king-size mattress we could use the in the meantime, so we're been sleeping on that.  "That" is about the same comfort level as a slab of granite.  I didn't know they even MADE beds that level of "firm," I thought they'd figure you could just buy a sheet of plywood and sleep on it instead! Or tuck some sheets around the box springs!  But nope, it's a bona-fide mattress and we've been killing our backs on it since we moved here.  Specifically, MY back has been killed, so I suggested we do a little shopping this weekend.  We ended up with something-or-other from Denver Mattress - the "Telluride," I believe, but each mattress is named for a Colorado town that has no correlation to the mattress amenities, so who knows what it's called, I just remember it wasn't the "Pueblo." All I know is it is WONDERFUL. Telluride is nice, too, but this mattress has saved me.  Individually-wrapped springs so you don't disturb the whole bed when you toss and turn - which I have done none of! I woke up after 6 hours in exactly the same position I fell asleep in! In fact, it's why I'm writing this near midnight, because I have had such good sleep I wake up feeling rested in the morning! So now I'm all rested from last night and making bad choices staying up late.  Ahhhh, c'est la vie. And my back is much better, thank you.

The less-condusive-to-sleep bed is THIS:
Well, the one we bought is silver with a green tent, but YAY! Now the kids will NEVER go to sleep after we put them in their beds! We couldn't help ourselves (and we could hardly pull the kids off it when it was time to go), but it was perfect - we'd been planning to build our own bunk beds because we didn't want something full-height, but we did want cool features like a slide and/or a tent, and this has BOTH! And, let's face it, do-it-yourself projects usually cost more money rather than saving you some.  I LOVE DIY, but that's the honest truth (see my knitted blanket next time, it's run me $25 so far when I could buy a cute new blanket for $15 at Target). Plus it fits Eli's toddler bed perfectly underneath, so we are SET!  Now I think I might get crafty and stitch together some awesome changeable tent flaps, like a Jurrasic scene so they could hide and play dinos all day.  Then again, I might just have a baby and call it "good enough."  We are not picking up the new bed until our house is bought and paid for, carpets ripped out, reinstalled, and all the walls painted (previous owners were smokers, thanks Mr. Camel), but we are on the edge of our seats (or beds) to get it home.

By the way, I love how they couldn't decide who would be using this room in the photo.  Little kid furniture, with a baseball glove and bat (obviously for an older kid who would be too big for the slide), decorated with sleek built-in shelves filled with frames, which you just wouldn't do in a kids room.  Those cubbies would be filled with books or toys, not breakables.  If we can't please everybody, we should try to please nobody, hm? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

I choose...

To feel good about your housekeeping skills, watch Hoarders.
Then make your husband watch Hoarders so a) he is addicted to the same weirdo show that you are, and b) he, too, thinks you are a domestic goddess (comparatively)
If you want to feel awful about your housekeeping skills, read organizing blogs.  Seriously, who is THAT put-together?

I choose Hoarders.

Eli update

video
Eli is lots of fun to talk to these days, and he turned out to be pretty fun to interview (even though it's not any kind of age milestone for a traidtional-type interview).  He really does love juice and goldfish and the Avengers, though he seemed to lose his focus about Captain America.  From our many packing boxes we made Patrick and Eli C.A. shields, which they decorated and then flung around the yard at attacking trees and squirrels and such, so he DOES like him, he's just not obsessed like he makes out to be.  Here's some Eli-isms:

-Running into people on purpose, saying "I boomed you!"
-Talking SO LOUD.  It's often embarassing and almost always annoying, but it sure is his style!
-Wrestling his siblings.  Not because they want to, just because they're there to sit on and squash.
-Doing anything Patrick does - coloring, dinosaurs, trucks, building blocks, and watching Avengers
-Eating the BIGGEST BITES.  Every single meal he amazes us with how much he can cram onto a single forkful and, consequently, into his mouth
-Getting into trouble with water, whether it's turning on the hose, the sink, or finding a random puddle, he ALWAYS is making a mess with it. The only time he doesn't get wet is, of course, the splash park.
-Terrified of dogs of any shape or size.  Dogs the size of a housecat are just as terrifying as ones the size of a horse.  He is not afraid of housecats, even Sampson, Kari's neighbor cat who bites.
-Bedtime/time-out champion.  He doesn't make a peep, even when I put him in timeout for extended periods so I can cool down, and no matter WHAT time I lay him down he just asks "is it my naptime?" and doesn't make a fuss. It is WONDERFUL.
-I lied, he DOES fuss about two things at bedtime/naps: WARM CHOCOLATE milk (HE has to push the microwave button, he HAS to sit on the counter while it nukes, and HE has to add the chocolate mix), and his toy gun.  It's a cap gun so you can pull the trigger, and he uses it to "shoot the brown bear." Can't sleep without either of those two items, but it's a small price for zero fights.
-Terrible eczema.  It's been more than a year of terrible-ness, so I think he may have it for life.  I envision him moving to a wetter state when he gets older, there's just no hope in Colorado.
-Being obsessed with poop.  Are there other toddlers like this, I assume? He needs to see (and smell) Caroline's poopy diapers, he relishes checking her diaper for me if she's funky, he alone can flush his poop down the potty, and he identifies each potty break - "I poop a spitting cobra!" or "I poop a fossil!" or some other such interesting thing.
-Being cuter and more live-with-able than I think a 2-year old has a right to be.  We often have to remind ourselves that he is only two; he's very "mature" for his age (so, like a 3-year old). Minus the poop obsession.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

At long last, a picture

While getting a picture of Kari's kids with numbers (you might know the ones to which I am referring) Patrick wanted to draw some numbers and take some pictures of his own!  He's obviously age 4 and not 3, but he was copying me (complete with polka-dots), so we'll just pretend those are the kids' ages.  Cute stuff, eh? And by "cute stuff" I'm mostly referring to Caroline's pigtails, which are SO CUTE to me, she's finally getting enough hair for a decent hair-do!

As Eli says when he's excited, "HoorayHoorayHooray!"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Too true

Last night Patrick freaked out because we asked him to say the dinner prayer and he declined, then halfway through Joe saying the prayer he changed his mind that he DID want to say it but Joe finished the prayer anyway.  So tonight Joe gave him the chance to redeem himself.

Joe: Patrick, will you say the prayer for us tonight?
Patrick: Life is hard.

Whaaaaat?!? What kind of a repsonse is THAT? I laughed so long it lasted all the way through the prayer (which he eventually did say).  He explained afterwards:

"When I start saying the prayer than I wish someone else would say it, but when someone else says it then I wish I could."

Good insight, little man.  Life is hard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

No fear

Caroline loves the park, particularly the slides and ESPECIALLY the swings, which both produce "wheeeeeeeee!"s of joy from her.  Now she's taken to saying "wheeeeee!" when things are fun or exciting in general.  Dance party with mom? "Wheeeeee!" Rocking her high chair extra hard at the table? "Wheeeeeee!" And yesterday she fell down the two stairs into the dining room and, face down on the floor, came a muffled "wheeeeee!" 

Eli continues to be scary athletic and not afraid of, or hurt by, much of anything (except the furnace/vent system in the basement, which he is terrified of). At the park Joe had hung him up on a large wheel, it just spins in a circle about 6 feet off the ground while you hang on for dear life, and Eli slipped off and fell smack on his belly.  We, of course, had "oh, no!" looks on our faces but Eli just looked up, spit, and laughed "I got bark in my mouf!"

These kids are daredevils.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's a Pueblo thing

I hadn't realised how many differences I would notice between Denver and Pueblo, but every day there's something that I think "THAT'S different! It wasn't like that in Denver..."  So rather than keeping that mental list running (it's just more mental clutter, which is the LAST thing a forgetful person needs) I thought I'd write it down to get it outta there.

1. Jaywalkers.  Maybe every now and again someone would be crossing 120th Ave outside a crosswalk, but in Pueblo it is practically on every street.  Terrible jaywalkers, too!  They don't hurry across and wait for a nice break in traffic, these people seem determined to be hit by cars because they plod across as cars are heading straight for them.  It's crazy.

2. Slow speed limits.  Maybe this is why jaywalkers are so unhurried, but around town the limit is 25 mph, 35 on a "fast" street.  WHAAAT? I constantly find myself on the speeding side of things simply because "25 mph" is not in my driving vocabulary.

3. Red lights are a suggestion.  I've heard Utah drivers are bad because they all think Heavenly Father will protect them and they can run that red light anyway. I imagine this (Pueblo) is what Utah is like.  There have been at least 3 times when I was sitting at a light and looked up to see that MY light was fully green but SOMEONE was full-on blowing through the red right in front of me.  I'll need to keep an eye out!  Maybe they should employ more stop-light cameras to issue tickets to get people to knock it off.

4. Bugs - WEIRD here.  There were some miller moths in Denver, maybe I'd get 3 in one room on a bad night, but our first night here I killed 32 moths in our laundry room. Yipes! Flies here are BRAZEN (or unbelievably slow) and don't take to shooing, they stay put thank-you-very-much.  They hardly flinch until you actually touch them. It makes them easy to kill, but do I WANT to be able to kill you with my bare hands? No!  Make it a challenge, at least make me get the flyswatter to chase you.  And then the ants... there are anthills here and there but the ants seem to find no need to stick close to home and EVERYWHERE you sit/stand there are ants just wandering around.  WHY?! Go HOME! And stop crawling on my feet.

5. Yard fountains.  I understand they make for some landscape architecture, but there's an inexplicably high proportion of houses that we looked at that have a 3-tiered water fountain smack in the middle of a typical yard.  SO WEIRD!

6. Drive-through "Loaf N Jugs." It's a fantastic idea, but I've never seen one before in my life; now I live in decent proximity to not one but THREE of them. Everyone else seems to think they're a fantastic idea, too, since they are ceaselessly busy, so I haven't tried one yet because I hate drive-through lines more than I hate actually walking into a store.  You never know WHY that person in front of you is taking so dang long because you can't listen in!

7. My LEAST favorite "Pueblo thing" - cancelling without notice.  Joe had a one-on-one meeting with a guy from church, who never showed.  I hauled the kids to a mom-and-tots group which had been postponed a week without notice. Joe had 2 meetings scheduled prior to his regular work shift so he went in an hour early for them; BOTH had been cancelled! We met Kari for her ward's park day but she and I were the only ones who went to the park!  Basically I am unimpressed at how often people show up for the things THEY plan, and then even less impressed at how good they are about giving a warning that they might not make it to said plans.  Pueblo, it's time to SHOW UP.

That's about it, now my bed's ordering me to do the same thing: show up.  Nighty night.