Monday, August 31, 2009

it wasn't pretty but it's done

Today was the first day of school. All summer long I dreamed about this glorious day and how the kids and I would come together in this beautiful symphony of learning and love. I poured over my notes, created a week of lessons for Cameron, made copies and gathered supplies. I went to bed last night in eager anticipation.

And then, Hayden woke up at 4:30am. No problem, a quick little bottle and back to bed, then a couple more hours of sleep.

And then, Cameron woke up, panicked about something, calling for me. No problem, I just climbed into bed with her and tried to fall back asleep, because honestly, at this point I just wanted to sleep. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. For the next two hours she would lean over me and peek behind the blinds to see if the sun was up. For Cameron, if the sun is up, she must be up. Finally after 2 hours of this interrupted sleep and the constant smell of urine from her very full Pull-up we went out to the living room to watch Little Einsteins. I groggily got breakfast for the kids and coffee for myself and then dutifully ran on the dreadmill. Our goal was to start school at 9am and I was determined to meet that goal!

I shooed the kids out of the house to ride bikes at 8:30 so I could finish cleaning up breakfast and set out our schoolwork. It was at this moment that Hayden decided to let loose and fill up her diaper. Being the overachiever that she is she also sent poop up her back. We hustled off to her room to clean her up, change her, clean up the changing table, start a load of laundry and then clean my hands. Nine o'clock was approaching quickly!

Finally, we were ready. I took a picture of the kids and we sat down for prayer and Bible. Cameron was psyched about preschool. She was so attentive that I ran out of activities for her. This has got to be a fluke. I'm sure tomorrow she'll be taking off as soon as I give her the green light. Both kids had forgotten how much time and attention goes into a school morning. We have school from 9 until 12 with a snack and break at 10:15. Highlights of the morning include listening to geography songs and coloring their maps and learning about chimps in science.

After lunch (fishsticks.... my kids are crazy about fishsticks right now, ugh!) I sent them off to play and got back to the business of keeping house. There were floors to clean and the load of girl laundry to finish. And then of course, computer time, a wonderful reward for such a long morning!

So there it is, our first day. Only 179 more to go... they won't be pretty but they'll get done. Along the way there will be laughs, tears, discoveries, and fun, and I'll try to keep you updated about it all... now please excuse me while I get another cup of coffee.

Monday, August 24, 2009

3 year olds are weird

I remember when Jason was 3 years old and he would do really strange things. We have pictures of him wearing only underwear , climbing up a staircase, with a stuffed animal sticking out of the back of his undies. Jason was an orderly, neat little 3 year old, he played with imagination based in reason. Cameron is a completely different kid. She plays with imagination based in craziness. Tonight she was marching around the driveway in her "fishing soldier" costume.

She was re-enacting a scene from Tom & Jerry, by yelling out "Bu-shay bushika!" (the line is supposed to be "Touche, pussycat!"). This came from an episode where Jerry was trying to become a mouseketeer (like Musketeer, not a Disney kid). She would pull off her hat and take a deep bow every time she passed by me.

I'm sure this makes very little sense as you read it, but to me it is hilarious. She has adopted quirks from other movies also. Tonight Jason was explaining to me why Cameron has started closing the door after she leaves a room, apparently that habit was picked up from Charlie & Lola.

The other day when Darren was fixing the sprinklers she insisted on wearing her bathing suit and running through the water. And then she needed goggles. There's nothing funnier than a kid wearing goggles.
These funny times really get me through the rough spots with her. I ought to document the meltdowns as well as the good times, but somehow pulling out the camera is not my first thought when we're in the middle of a Hurricane Cameron!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

if at first you don't succeed...

Every once in a while we'll pull out Jason's bike to see if he can ride it. Last night, Cameron was riding her beautiful princess bike around the garage and Jason got it in himself to give his bike another try. He and Darren set off down the sidewalk, and what do you know.... he did it! The hardest part is getting going and we have those pesky dips in our sidewalks, but within a half an hour Jason was riding like a pro. He even rode down to the mailbox to pick up the mail for us.

Also yesterday Cameron did more weird things with her hair.

She is a major source of embarrassment for her very mature older brother.

And Hayden continues to be adorable.

Friday, August 7, 2009

b hawk

Cameron says the weirdest things. Lately I've been pulling her bangs back into a clip or a headband so that she can see and hopefully grow out her bangs. The other day she called the pulled back bangs her "b hawk". I guess it's like mohawk, only for bangs. Little weirdo!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

edible art

Today we had a delicious art lesson. Cameron and I whipped up a batch of chocolate pudding. While it set we cleaned off the table, stripped off the kid's shirts and found some colorful paper. In less than 10 minutes the kids were happily settled in to make pudding art. Jason made a truck of course and Cameron declared her piece to be a family picture with a few friends included. The art quickly turned into snack time as the painting decreased and the licking increased. The kids decided this was by far the best art project we have done!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

arting results

Here are the final results of yesterday's arting experience. Jason made a street scene complete with truck and In n Out while Cameron made a roller coaster. Enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Last night Cameron announced, "Mom, I need to do some more arting." We had a good laugh and then got her supplies out. Cameron enjoys gluing pictures into a notebook. At back to school time I stock up on notebooks (usually 10-15 cents each) and gluesticks (20 cents for a two pack). Then I spend a few minutes cutting out pictures of kids, animals and toys from catalogs and magazines. I did this when Jason was 2 and 3 years old and now Cameron is enjoying this activity too. She calls it her "family album".

We're also starting a long term art project today. A while back I bought a 2 pack of artist's canvases at Micheal's. I got out all of our acrylic paints, paintbrushes and plenty of newspapers and set up a painting studio for the kids. Jason is diligently working on a background for his cool car creations. Cameron is diligently working on smearing every color together in a big brown splotch. They were very excited to learn that they could let the paint dry and then paint over it some more. I'll take pictures of the process... after all, arting is a process!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

cheap chick

Tonight I spent $35.20 on groceries for this week. I'd like to say that I did it all with coupons, but in fact I didn't use any. This week we'll be eating from our pantry and freezer, making meals from all the odds and ends that get forgotten or ignored in the deep corners. I bought just a few supplies like eggs, butter, flour and coffee to stock up the basics then added in a few extras like lunchmeat and fresh vegetables to round out my menu plan. I went through the freezer and took stock of what meats and frozen vegetables were lurking there, then I went over to the pantry and pulled everything to the front. It's amazing what you can find when you look! I'm looking forward to a few meals this week, especially spaghetti with sauce made from fresh tomatoes from Nanny and Pops' garden.

This summer I decided to really get down to the business of saving money with coupons and store deals. I've discovered that there's really no need to pay full price for beauty/ health items ever again, and there's always a way to get these things for free. Last month I worked on a deal at Rite Aid and soon I'll be getting a $25 gift card and a voucher for a free package of diapers just for buying the things I normally would but taking the time to register for their rewards program.

My favorite and most thrilling savings come from the clearance racks at my favorite stores. I scored a pair of jeans for $5 at Target recently and I can't tell you how good that feels (actually it feels just like the time I found a pair of jeans at Old Navy for $5...). I love finding kids clothes for less than $3 and in fact I've actually put things back because $4 felt like too much! Saving money has become a game in our house and it's pretty fun. Please post your money saving tips and stop by my new favorite blog