Friday, September 28, 2012

Quick 5

Welcome, Friday.  And end of September.

1.  I know I've been a little slow on the draw, but I'm finally getting around to giving Alaina some solid chores.  She's been in charge of putting all the toys away at night (much to her chagrin) for some time now, and she makes her bed.  But everything else has been (and still is) easier just to do it myself.  I'm mending my ways, and first up has been putting her in charge of putting forks on the table for dinner each night.  So I say, "Alaina!  Come get forks for everyone!"  She says, "Okay!  Joya!  Come get your fork!" and promptly delegates that one utensil to Joya.  Joya loves to be included, so I haven't nipped it in the bud, but I'm a little afraid that Alaina might turn out to be something of a Tom Sawyer.  If she starts handing over more than one fork, I'll know that there is a discussion we should have.

2.  Thanks to our early Christmas present from Lee's parents, we now are the proud owners of our first piece of furniture from IKEA!  Our kitchen is pretty, but has very little counter space.  Which translates to very little work space.  So I'd been looking around for an island for our kitchen, and lo and behold the great behemoth that is IKEA had exactly what I had in mind.  So we trekked out there last Saturday to pick it up, and Lee spent most of the day putting it together.  We haven't gotten much use out of it yet, because the surface needed to be treated, and that involved several coats with six hours in between and a recommended 72 hours before using it completely, but I can already tell that it is going to make a huge difference in food prep.  Yes, it takes up much of the floor space in our kitchen, but all that floor space was being used for was a "swimming pool" by the girls.  (They liked to rub around on it after they got their jammies on each night.  Consequently I haven't had to sweep the floor much.) 
Before...the empty space
After...welcome island
3.  We had a family adventure after Cubbies on Wednesday night.  Usually either Lee or I take Alaina, and the other one stays home with Joya.  However, due to some scheduling errors, we all had to go last Wednesday; Lee had a class and I volunteered for the AWANA Sundae night.  After I had collected the girls, we discovered that it was raining Noah's Deluge-style outside, which is quite rare around here.  I didn't even realize it was going to rain that night.  We didn't wear jackets.  So Lee ran to get the car while I waited with the girls.  He got as close as he could, and waved for me to come out.  I couldn't get both girls, and clearly they were going to need to be carried through the storm.  So he ran back, grabbed Alaina (who started screaming the minute they hit the downpour) and I ran with Joya.  I knew I was about to get wet, but I was shocked at how much rain there was and how hard it was coming down.  We jumped in the van and closed the doors and then buckled everyone in.  Alaina was completely distraught (unnecessarily) and Joya and I looked like drowned rats.  Joya was completely cool with it; Alaina was not.  Apparently we have confirmation on which girl has the sense of adventure.

4.  One of my favorite things to do with the girls right now is sing along to "Home" by Phillip Phillips.  (Or "Oliver's Song," as Alaina calls it.)  During breakfast each morning we listen to the local radio station to hear the Mindbender, a fun little contest they do.  And of course, they usually play a current hit.  Lately we'll hear "Home" at least three times a week.  And thankfully 50% of the lyrics on that song are "Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh."  It cracks me up to see both Alaina and Joya singing their little hearts out.

5.  One benefit to having a big, ugly, very dead tree in our front yard: I get visitors at least once a week asking if they can cut it down for us.  They're so sweet.  In related news, I think it is very strange that it is the end of September, and the trees are all turning the appropriate shades, which means everything is shutting down for the winter, and yet our lawn is greener than I've ever seen it.  We've had two non-consecutive days of incredible rain, and apparently that was all it needed.  On the plus side, it makes our house look a little less ghetto for all the people who are coming to see the house that is for sale next door.  I almost want to go to each of them and say, "Don't freak out about our house.  We're working on it." 

Well, it's about time to bust out the electric blanket.  Guess you know our project this weekend. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quick 5

Ah.  That lovely time of year where you need to bundle up in the morning, and then short sleeves and maybe even shorts in the afternoon.  I don't really know how to dress my girls these days, but we're getting by.

1.  Because I know that inquiring minds want to know, I had my 17 week check up this week.  The baby's heartbeat was strong and immediately heard, which always makes me feel better in these days where I don't really feel any movement.  I think I feel movement, but it's still a little hard to discern from the other normal rumblings in my abdomen.  Anyway, the real important piece of news is that I scheduled my ultrasound for October 25th.  They couldn't get me in before then, and I told the scheduling lady I could be patient.  I'll be 22 weeks then, which seems unheard of these days for an ultrasound.  Most moms are so anxious to get in, and schedule between 18 and 20 weeks.  I was a little concerned that we would be missing a window for important measurements, but the doctor informed me that the real reason they schedule an ultrasound between 18 and 20 weeks is because it gets to tricky to terminate after 20 weeks.  That was so offensive to me, that I'm glad I'm waiting until 22 weeks.  Now no matter what they find, they know that there is no way I'll ever terminate.  Keep that in mind, mommas.  They want to find problems before 20 weeks so they can kill it.

2.  We're pondering school choices for Alaina for next year, and have a friend at church whose son is having a great experience with a charter school in Douglas County.  That prompted me to look into charter schools in Jeffco, and there is one close by.  Then I made the mistake of asking Facebook friends their opinions.  Not that I don't appreciate the time those who responded took to answer, or their wisdom, but it really opened my eyes to what I'm looking for when I post a question to the Facebook universe.  Some of the responses that people wrote I could have written for them because I knew what they would say.  And I really only found one to be encouraging.  That's what I was looking for: encouragement.  And really, when you ask for people's opinions, aren't you really looking for opinions that already kind of match your own?  Ones that will bolster the one you have growing in your mind?  So in the future, I need to either phrase my question differently, or just buckle down and individually ask the people whose opinions I'm REALLY looking for, because there were just a few people I was hoping would respond.  (My friend Becky would like that, with her new take on Facebook anyway.)  All that to say, thank you for responding, if you did.  I do appreciate that you care enough to weigh in.  The worst part is, I think, how I feel like if I make a choice different from what you've advised that you'll think less of me.  But I'm choosing to believe that we're all more adult than that anyway.

3.  This week I found myself having to ask Alaina for forgiveness for becoming angry with her.  Yes, she was acting in a less than desirable manner, but I didn't need to go overboard the way I did.  So I apologized and she graciously forgave me.  Then she sang me a little song that went like this:

When you feel so mad
That you want to ROAR
Take a deep breath...
And count to 4!

Thank you, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, for teaching my 4-year-old some anger management tricks that she can wisely pass on to me.

4.  Lee surprised me with these beauties on Wednesday:
September 19th was the 9th anniversary of the day he proposed to me.  That was a good day.  And so was this past Wednesday when he brought me these pretty roses.

5.  I know we're behind the times, but Alaina and Joya have finally joined their cousins in their love for Micky Mouse Clubhouse.  We don't have cable or satellite, so we've not had access.  But I stumbled across a DVD at the library, and Alaina was most excited.  And now Alaina walks around the house singing, "La la la la la la la la la" and Joya walks around saying "Oh boy!"  Such a cheerful influence.

I hope you all embrace the first day of fall with open arms. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quick 5

My word.  It always surprises me how cranky SOME people get when I skip a week of the Quick 5.  Sometimes things just aren't newsworthy, people.  Maybe if you would all stop by or call or send us stuff I'd have things to write about sometimes.  I wonder if my friend Becky gets this kind of grief when SHE skips a week. 

1.  Last week was just completely uninspiring.  We made it through a week.  The End.  But all of a sudden I'm feeling all sorts of inspiration.  Not really writing wise, but I bought my first can of spray paint yesterday and suddenly I have so many things I want to do with it.  I've got a Pinterest-y craft in the works to make some artwork for my walls, and then I remembered this old wooden shelf in my basement that I was about to throw away because it's a little too 1990s.  But with a coat of black spray paint...

2.  I recently put a full-sized pillow in Joya's crib.  When I did that with Alaina, she stopped moving all over the bed at night and began to sleep in just one place.  It was great training for moving to a big girl bed, and it became very handy in keeping her covered at night.  The pillow takes up about a quarter of the crib; Joya now sleeps in the other 3/4 of the crib, still all over the place.  And she still moans at night when she gets too cold because she's wiggled out from under her blankets. 

3.  Alaina has been complaining about her shoes lately.  When she goes to Cubbies they ask that she wears closed-toed shoes, so she has been wearing her sneakers after a summer of sandals-only.  She said her shoes were too tight, and I believed her because I know kids grow.  So we went to the shoe store and I had the dude there measure both of the girls' feet so I'd know what to look for.  Turns out Alaina needs a 9 1/2 these days; her other pair was a size 8.  No wonder she was complaining.  Joya needs a size 5, and I've been shoving her little feet into size 4 for the past week.  Mommy fail.

4.  Alaina has discovered the joy of Mister Roger's Neighborhood.  It all started with a new show on PBS Kids called Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, which is produced by the Fred Roger's Group.  It's a completely updated version of that old show, but they've posted some of the old shows on and Alaina found them.  Which led to borrowing a Mister Roger's DVD from the library.  And most surprising of all is that she actually watched the whole thing.  Those shows were WAY less stimulating than today's shows for kids, but Alaina was able to focus on the whole thing.  I really don't mind "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" running through my head.

5.  MOPS started at our church last week.  But I don't want to talk about it.  I'm going to forget it ever happened, and pretend that it really starts on September 24th.  So tell all your friends: the Valley View MOPS group starts on Monday, September 24th at 9:30am.  Childcare is provided.  :)

Peace out.