Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snaggle Tooth

hmmm. Blogger is making this picture look funny. Anyway, so as you can see, Jake lost his first tooth! Actually, this was taken on Friday and he lost the second one on Monday. So now he's snaggle X two! He got me a little choked up the other day. He said: "Now I'm becoming human!" As opposed too???? what?, I said. You already are human! ( i hope) "No Mommy! I'm becoming a grown up human!!", he said. And for a split second time just seemed to stop. My heart fluttered a little bit because what he said was absolutely true. Even though he's only 6 and even though it was just one tiny little tooth. That one event changed him. Even if ever so slightly. Do I sound over dramatic? Well maybe a little. But like I said, it was just one fleeting moment in time and then we went back to celebrating. As my mom used to always tell me, you have to be an adult for a very long time. Hold on to being a kid for as long as you can. She was so right.
Besides playing tooth fairy, we have been busy, busy, busy around here. Last week we went to the pumpkin patch, had to get the truck smogged, it failed (TIP: if your check engine light is won't pass smog no matter what) so we had to get that fixed {$383 dollars later for a $10 part} then back to the smog check place, Jake started After School Club on Thursday and then we headed out for our Halloween camping trip Friday.
I would upload some pics of our activities, but I'm feeling lazy and they're already on Facebook anyway :) But the camping trip....Oh my goodness. It was just so much fun. A lot of work, but FUN. I'm not generally a fan of camping in an RV park. I mean, having a camping trailer or an RV is great (I'd love to have one of my own!), but I'm not a huge fan of the RV park experience. Usually (the times I've been anyway) it's a bunch of old people who sit in their trailers all day and only come out to smoke or walk their dog. This trip was not like that. At all. There were tons and tons of people. And lots and lots of kids. There was always something going on and always something to do. They had contests for the best decorated rig/campsite, pumpkin carving contests, costume contests, crafts for the kids, free popcorn and caramel apples and apple cider. The kids went trick or treating. The adults dressed up and went walking around too. It was like one giant party with every one there for the same reason. It wasn't just for kids. It was fun to see everyone out and talking to each other and walking around the park and seeing just how creative some people can be. Definitely want to go again next year!
I mentioned up there also about Jake starting After School Club. He's been doing much, much better at school than the last time I had written about it. He seems to be the kind of kid that starts of a little slow and then excels up the mountain in the end. Kind of like the tortoise in The Tortoise and the Hare. The after school club was formed after several of the parents complained that their kids weren't getting the foundation of the things they needed to be learning. (me being one of those parents) So they came up with this 'club' to get some extra help. So far it seems great. It's with another teacher that is tenured in elementary education, has been teaching 1st grade for several years and is extremely structured. Which I think is exactly what Jake needs. I found out that up until last week, all the first graders in his class were being given 2nd grade work. Except for math, she really hadn't been 'splitting' the class like she should have. So no wonder they were struggling so much. We are already seeing a huge improvement from him at home and at school with his work. I'm all for giving kids a bit of a challenge, but it's nice to know that they are actually being given something that is within their own means and seeing them be able to excel and progress. These first years of school are an important foundation. If they have to struggle so hard now (to the point where they just want to give up) what does that do for their self esteem? What does that do for the challenges they'll face later? Building self confidence is so important! Wow, I'm rambling. Anyway I'm just so glad that the school listened to what the parents had to say and that we're seeing an effort made to change it. I don't expect Jake to be an A student. But I do expect that he try his hardest and that he be given the tools he needs to succeed. I think we're finally on the right track now. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Season of Scare.

Is it mean to find great joy in scaring the heck out of your own kids? Maybe. But, dang it's fun!!
I realize this story might not come across as funny when reading it. It might just be one of those 'had to be there' type stories. And if it does, let me apologize in advance. But it's one that needs to be written down so I don't forget. It was pure and classic hilarity and fright at it's best. And I should have had my camera out, but didn't. And I should have had the video camera out and didn't do that either!
Yesterday afternoon seemed to be a typical Wednesday afternoon. Dinner was in the oven, the kids were outside playing and Pete should be home any minute. Right around 5 o' clock, the phone rings and it's Pete calling to say he's on his way home and should be there in a few minutes. He also adds in to not let the kids know he's coming and for me to open the side door to the garage.
"What's going on?", I ask.
"Oh nothing. I just bought this scary mask and I want to see if it scares the kids."
Awwwesome I think to myself. However, I'm wondering just how 'scary' the mask really is. I told him that Megan and I had already been to the Halloween store today and I'm not sure how scared she'll really be because she wasn't at all scared in there. I also make sure to tell him not to open the garage door because then they'll for sure know he's home. We want this to be a pure surprise attack. (evil parents that we are)
So, he gets home and goes directly into the side door of the garage. The kids have no idea he's home. He grabs this ginormous game bag made of canvas. (A game bag is for putting the meat in when you're hunting so the meat doesn't go bad.) This one was big enough that it went all the way down and covered his feet. He cut a hole in the top for his head and put the mask on over his face. (I will be taking a picture at some point for reference) Megan and I were sitting in the house. I was trying to keep her occupied so she wouldn't see him coming. He came in through the patio door and didn't say a word. Just looked straight at us and kept coming closer. Poor Megan just froze. She didn't know what to think. Then she just started screaming and then laughing and then screaming again.
But that's not really the funny part of the story.
During all this, Jake is still playing outside and has no idea what has just happened and has no idea Daddy is home. We had to get him too. It just wouldn't be fair to poor Megan. Who, by the way, was very relieved to see her daddy under that sheet and mask.
So I went out front and called Jake to come in to "finish up some homework". Pete was hiding in costume behind the front door. Jake reluctantly came in and didn't even notice the big monster standing behind him. He walked towards the back of the house to use the bathroom. At the end of that hall is a big mirror that looks all the way back to the front door. He looks up and all of a sudden notices the big scary monster creeping up behind him. Oh my gosh, I don't know why I didn't have the video camera out! It was the funniest thing ever. His eyes got HUGE he says very quietly, "oh no....oh no!! Ah. Ah. Ah. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!" As he runs for his life to the bathroom looking in the mirror the entire way. I mean, ironically, it was exactly like in Scooby Doo when Shaggy and Scooby are so scared and Shaggy says "ZOINKS!" and their legs move to run as fast as they can, but they go no where. You know what I mean? It was exactly like that. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to puke. It was classic. The kid thought he was done, for sure.
When Pete finally took the mask off and Jake came out of the bathroom he was so embarrassed. It was cute though. He took it in stride and then was all, "I wasn't that scared." Yeah right. But he did laugh. He was a good sport.
Megan on the other hand....You know, I really didn't think she was that scared. But apparently it totally freaked her out. Pete had taken the sheet thing off and wrapped the scary mask inside of it and then just set it on the stairs. Well Megan would. not. go up there. At all. You couldn't even see the mask, but she knew it was there. She was like, there's no way I'm going up there till you get that thing out of the house! We had to put it in the garage and tell her we threw it away! After that she was fine.
So, is it horrible of us to find such pleasure in this? Some might think so. But don't we, as parents, have the right to play 'Boogie Man' every now and then just for fun? Isn't it written in the Parents Handbook?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are you ready for Halloween?

Happy Monday. It's feeling a lot like fall around here. In fact we're expecting rain tonight lasting through the end of the week. I almost feel like I need to turn the heater on. But I won't. There's just a little chill in the air. I'm a summer time girl, but the older I get, the more appreciation for the fall season I get.
So the fly, that was gross. I think it's under control now. It was so bad that for a moment I wondered if there wasn't something dead and rotting in my garage. I know, that's disgusting, but there were just that many. It must have been their last hurrah before the cold set it because they seem to be gone now.
Can you believe Halloween is just around the corner?? This year I'm feeling much less prepared for fall than ever. We have no costumes yet for the kids, we haven't been to the pumpkin patch yet, and I went looking through Megan's drawers for a long sleeve shirt and found nothing but a bunch of tank tops. Not good.
Speaking of Halloween, what are your kids going to dress up as? Originally Megan wanted to be Tinkerbell and Jake wanted to be Bumble Bee from Transformers. But after looking at some of the costumes, their prices and then just how cheaply they are made....I just can't do it this year. I'm not going to spend 80 bucks on two costumes that aren't even that cute. We're going on our Halloween camping trip on the 24th. So I think it would be fun for all of us to dress up since my mom and mike will be. I went looking online yesterday for fast and easy costumes we could do ourselves. I think we've settled on the Scooby Doo gang. Pete will be Fred, I will be Daphne, Megan will be Velma and Jake will be Shaggy. And we just happened to have a big brown dog that will serve as Scooby. The outfits should be pretty easy to put together. I'll just need to track down a blond wig for Pete and an orange turtleneck for Megan. Oh and I guess a purple dress for me. We went to the thrift store yesterday...I couldn't believe they didn't have a costume section. Unless they're all already gone?? Megan is very upset that she doesn't get to be Daphne. Being the girly girl she is, she's no fool in knowing that Daphne is the pretty one and Velma is the smart one. But she would make such a cute Velma!! So Velma it is. :) I think it will be fun. Pete said, "why can't I just be Pete?" BECAUSE THERE IS NO PETE IN SCOOBY DOO, YOU DORK! I really can't wait to see him in blond wig and an orange neckerchief. ha ha!!! I've got 11 days to get this stuff together. At least Jake's costume is easy. He already has shaggy hair so all he needs is a green shirt and brown pants.
Anyway this is getting boring and I really have nothing else to write about now. So that's it for now!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Send help. Or at least fly paper, maybe?

Megan and I were at gymnastics last week. I was sitting talking to some of the other moms as we noticed just swarms of nasty flies in the building. It was quite disgusting. There's not much else that kind kind of just turn you off to a place than a bunch of flies. Well ok maybe there are a few worse things. But seriously, flies are just gross. Anyway we were all remarking about the flies and one mom pipes up and says, "oh yes...October is the worst month for flies". Huh. I'd never really thought about it before. I mean we live in Tracy. It's a cow town. Literally. I live around the corner from a dairy farm. There are flies. There are always flies.
But this lady really must have known something because OH MY GOSH It's like our entire house is being invaded by these nasty flying beasts. I am not joking I just stood in my kitchen for the last twenty minutes and killed no less than 50 flies. I am not exaggerating. Well, maybe a little. I just cleaned it all up last night and now I feel the need to go over every last centimeter with bleach. And the thing is, as soon as I think I've got them all, haha! I am triumphant! another one dive bombs my head. WHERE THE FREAK ARE THEY COMING FROM?! What the FIRECRACKER?! There is another one!!!!!
Someone please save me. Because if Megan opens the patio or garage door one more time and just stands there with it wide open I just might really lose it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mid week blahhhs

Happy Wednesday?
hmmm...I don't even know anymore. I've been sick. Sick for over a week now. And I'm over it. Only I'm not. You know what I mean? I'm sick of being sick. And every time I think I'm feeling better, I don't. Oh yes, I'm having a little sicky pitty party. I sort of wonder if I've had the dreaded H1N1 Swine Flu. Because dang...I've had colds, and I've had 'the flu' but this has seriously kicked my butt. Only I guess I'll never know if it was the swine since unless you're like hospitalized they aren't testing. They're just immunizing.
Anyway, I'm trying really, really hard to feel better. I even took chicken out for dinner tonight. I just really don't feel like cooking it.
Isn't it funny how when Mom is sick, everything just keeps on ticking. But when Dad is sick...forget it. The world might as well be coming to an end. Moms are just not allowed to be sick. Ever. Apparently.
On a better note....we had a fabulous time in Santa Cruz this weekend. I actually really WAS feeling better Friday when we left. Pete and Megan had been sick too, and they were most certainly better. I still had a bit of a headache, but I didn't dare say anything because I really, really wanted to go. Is that stupid? Well, it may have proved to be in the end. I took some Tylenol and went about the day. The weather was perfect when we got there. 85 degrees warm and sunny. It's actually kind of rare for Northern California coast. It was lovely.

The kids got half naked, ran in the waves, dug for sand crabs, made sand castles... It was excellent.

My two step sisters, Kelly and Shannon showed up later that night. It was great to see them since I usually only see them 2 or 3 times a year. Saturday we headed over to the little town of Capitola.

It's a fun little beach town with little artsy shops mixed in with high fashion mixed in with down and dirty surf shops. Typical beach town. There was supposed to be a woman's surf competition but for some reason the sea was dead that morning. No waves at all. It was kind of eerie. After an authentic Mexican lunch in town we headed back to our beach. It was another great afternoon. Not quite as warm but still nice. Sunday morning was more of the same. Only it was a bit cooler. I think this was the downturn of my sickness. I felt fine all morning, but all of a sudden sitting on the beach that day, the wind picked up a bit and my ears got really, really cold. I think that was a very bad thing. I was miserable all the way home. :( At least I was able to enjoy the weekend.

So really, that's all that's been going on around here. Today was the first day all week that I didn't have a fever. I'm looking forward to the weekend again and hoping to be all better by then. Someone has to clean this house up, you know!
Oh and I did finish up the picture portion of my Week in the Life project. Now it's just time to get creating. In all honesty I sort of just want to scrap the beach pictures. But I think I'll still do the entire week too, because I love my album from last year. I also just ordered some supplies to start my December Daily album. Anyone else doing that again this year?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Week in the life

I keep telling myself I need to blog. I walk around 'blogging' in my head all day and then I never find the time or make the time to come sit down and actually do it. I have all kinds of things running through my head, sometimes it's quite overwhelming when I want to let it all out.
Anyway, first things first. Thanks to Beth and Nicole for inviting me and our online buddies to do another Week in the Life project. I had so much fun doing it last year so I'm glad to be doing it again. I'm fining that so many of the pictures are very similar though. I guess I do the same kind of things still. Haha! Here are a couple favorites from the past few days:

This last one is of Jake doing his homework. I can not get over the difference between Kindergarten and 1st grade. I mean, I expected it to be more work and of course harder.....but this hard??? He's doing well except in reading/spelling. But um...the spelling words he has?! Oh my goodness. Last week they were who what when where why how find... The whole W-H thing really confused him but he didn't do too bad with those. But then this week the words are ate eight flour flower hole whole meat meet no know. I'm sorry, but those words are extremely difficult for a 6 year old who learned everything phonetically in Kindergarten. E-I-G-H-T???? That's like impossible to sound out. The kid can sound out things really well. He surprises me sometimes with the things he can spell when he really tries. But getting him to understand why e-i-g-h-t spells 8..... dude, I don't even know. I'm glad they're not doing super simple stuff, but besides being homonyms, these words are like totally random. What happened to learning why things are spelled certain ways? Like putting an E on the end of a word makes the vowel a long sound? Short vowel? Long vowel? Consonant clusters: ch, sh ph even??? I actually looked up the curriculum the school district says it uses for language arts. There is a 24 page list of spelling words for the first grade. I printed it out and went through the entire thing and only found a few words that he's actually had as spelling words and all the others are no where to be found. I even looked on the 2nd grade curriculum (because he's in a 1st/2nd combo class) and they weren't even on that list. Where is she pulling these words from?? My niece is in 2nd grade (at the same school) and her words haven't even been that hard. Hers have been like: from, hand, friend how, stand. Um, those are pretty easy. I'm not one of these parents that thinks I'm better than the teacher, or that I know more than she does. I DO NOT. But I just do not understand how I'm supposed to help him be successful if the things that are asked of him seem so far out of his reach. Last week with the who what when where why words....I was practically in tears. He doesn't seem frustrated at all. But me...I knew he just wasn't getting it. Plus, he had to learn those words in 3 days since it was a short week. (The teachers had a staff day on Friday) I mean, that's like setting them up for failure.
I know what you're thinking: Talk to the teacher!!
I have. Well sort of. I wrote her a note on Monday stating that I'd like to talk to her one on one. She did write me back stating she would call me sometime this week. I'm trying to give her the opportunity to follow through. I haven't heard anything yet. If I don't hear from her by tomorrow, I will be going in unannounced. And if that doesn't work, I will be going to the principal. I'm not the only parent who feels this way. There are only 8 1st grade students in his class and I'm pretty friendly with most of them and it seems we all seem to be having the same issues. Something just isn't right.
Whew. I'm glad I got all that off my chest. I've literally lost sleep over this. Ridiculous, I know.
In other news, Pete, Megan and I are all sick. We've all got colds and have felt pretty crappy all week. I made us all home made chicken soup last night for dinner, hoping that it would make us feel better. We're supposed to be headed out to Santa Cruz tomorrow to spend the weekend with my dad at the beach house they've rented. We are all super excited. I just hope we feel better tomorrow! I think we're on the mend though. I'm not missing out on a weekend at the beach!