Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Walking water experiment - it actually worked!

I saw a post for a science experiment that I tried with the kids this past weekend.
Take 3 cups.
Fill 2 with water, and leave the third empty.
Using food coloring, color the 2 with water.  I chose yellow and blue, but you can use any colors you want.  Set them up in a row, with the empty cup in the middle.
Roll up 2 paper towels into skinny snakes, and put each with one end in the water and the other in the empty cup.
Result:  The water should walk up the paper towel and fill the empty cup.  The color will be the appropriate combination color (yellow and blue make green), and the water level should be even in all 3 cups.

I figured the color would turn out as it was supposed to, but I honestly did not think the water would be even in all 3 cups.  That's a lot of water to move out of each cup, and I really thought the level would be significantly lower in the middle cup.

I set up the cups at about 3pm, and Emi predicted that the water would be green (I am impressed that she actually knew that!).  When we went to bed that night, there was a little bit of green water in the middle cup, and Emi went to bed thinking she was the smartest person in the world.  The next morning, the water level was equal in all 3 cups!!  I am shocked... it really moved that much water out of each cup.  Even 30-somethings can learn new things!

Monday, November 10, 2014

October recap

Hana's Elsa pumpkin

Emi's Hello Kitty pumpkin

The Frozen sisters
Those of you that know me, know that I LOVE Halloween.  Last year I started a "Spooky Town" collection, and I hope to add to it each year.  This year it was setup on the mantle, but if it grows I may have to find a table to build the town on (yippee!).  I did not decorate the outside of the house this year, so Mr. 6 Ft Spider hung on our wall inside the house near the kitchen.  The first few mornings I think I even startled myself when I came down and was greeted by him. 

Last year, the girls only made it to 3 houses and then said they were scared and started crying.  So I did not have high hopes for this year's outing.  But we spent the evening with our good friends, and there were about 9 kids total Trick or Treating together, and it was great!  The girls scored a bunch of candy, and it made me so happy to see Hana especially running top speed from house to house and getting really into it.  I wish I had gotten it on video:  she was scaling hedges, walking through front lawns, and even revisited one place again because she didn't want the night to end.

It was probably August when Emi said she wanted to be Elsa for Halloween this year.  They had it all planned out: Emi would be Elsa, Hana would be Anna, Bear would be Sven, Chewie would be Olaf, and Daddy would be Kristof.  Oh yeah, the afterthought - Mommy would be a troll.  How did I get the bum end of this year's costumes?  But then the next week Hana really got into the Incredible Hulk and said for over a month that she was going to be the Hulk for Halloween and she loved him because he "smashes" and would punch the air.  So I got their costumes:  Elsa for Emi and the Hulk for Hana.  When I brought them out and said it's time to try to them on, Hana started crying and said she didn't want to be the Hulk anymore.  Either the costume scared her, or she remembered Emi's birthday party when we did face painting and she thought her face got itchy when she asked to be the Hulk.  Good think I think ahead (and mostly didn't want to get stuck without finding these sold out Frozen costumes anywhere) and got an Anna costume, just in case.  Don't I know my kids well?

All in all, we had a great October.  Emi had her first field trip with her Kindergarten class to a working farm and pumpkin patch.  Since each kid needed a chaperone, we were able to bring home 2 pumpkins which both kids were very excited to decorate.  They both turned out very cute, and I think we need to paint the pumpkins from now on.  It's SOOOO much easier and less messy.  The farm did tell us that if you save the seeds, dry them out, keep them and plant them in June, we should have pumpkins by Oct.  I have saved our seeds and we'll see if we get any next year!  I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The summer comes to an end

Here we are at the end of August.  Hana's bday is tomorrow, and after the annual Concert on the Green at my parent's neighborhood, the summer will officially be done.  A lot of people have been asking me if I have enjoyed being at home and if I am going to go back to work soon.  I think I eventually will, I just don't know when.  But I don't miss my old job (although I miss the people and "working" in a generic sense), which tells me I made the right decision.  I achieved my goals of bonding with the kids before Emi started kindergarten, and getting the sleep issue fixed.  Our sleep issue is not 100% fixed, but it's better than it was.  Actually, we just passed our problem onto our 2 year old (great parenting, huh?) and Emi now sleeps in her room and rarely comes into our room now.  But there are other things that I didn't have time to do!  I am ashamed to say I only made it to the gym once this summer (but I plan to go on Thursday... oh who am I kidding, I say that every week).  I still have a handful of recipes that I want to try out, I need to rid our house of all our baby items (for about a week I started wanting another one, then that passed pretty quickly), I need to paint the kitchen trim, and I need to paint the bookshelves.  So lots to keep me busy!

Here are some highlights of our summer:

We kicked things off with Emi's graduation from Pre-K.  They actually marched in alphabetically, but backwards, so Emi was first in I'm proud to say no tears, but I did get those tingles in my nose as we waited for her to march in.

 Here is a pic of Emi on the last day of dance camp.  She really enjoyed it, so we are going to start her in dance class this week.  Someone this weekend said that I am in for a ride - lots of shoes, costumes, $$, as this studio is very into getting kids competition ready.  Oh oh, I can totally see myself turning into a dance mom, I have that crazy obsessive personality.  I have pulled both girls out of swim class, as they both are doing great and I honestly don't think it's worth it unless they are at Murray Callan, which was an amazing school that I miss a lot.  We have enjoyed the pool a lot this summer, and I tell time by when the pool pump kicks on, which sounds like a plane starting up!  If I am still lounging or on the iPad  when it turns on at 11am (like today), I am in trouble and need to get my butt in gear to be at least a little bit productive that day.

We celebrated 4th of July locally, and found an amazing spot to watch the fireworks.  Both girls made it through the entire show without getting scared and no tears (thank heavens, since I love watching fireworks).  The next week, Aunt Kara came to town to visit before her conference.  The girls really bonded with her, and cried for an hour the afternoon she left.  We now have another Facetime buddy that they ask to talk to all the time.  

Emi had been passing out invitations she made at school to her Birthday Pool party since April, so it was a bummer when her Bday party got rained out and we had to celebrate inside.  I think everyone still had a good time; and Aunt T, Jess, Caden, and Jordan all came to surprise Emi just in time for her bday.  Their visit was nice, and it was good to catch up with Jordan one on one, since it had been such a long time since we had seen her.  I can't believe she will be 21 this fall, where did the little 10 year old I met in 2003 go?  We took her around LA (btw, how is it that kids these days don't know who Jack Nicholson and other great film stars are?  They had no clue who most of the Hollywood stars were!), toured SDSU, visited Scott's office in Riverside, and had a packed week. Emi got a bike for her bday (since she had a balance bike we didn't put the training wheels on), and on the first day she was riding around all by herself.  I feel like we do experiments with our kids to see how they handle things, and adjust based on the outcomes.  Anyone else feel like that, and I guess that's just how life works, except as a parent the experiments aren't on yourself anymore...

Around the time of Emi's bday, Bear was diagnosed with diabetes.  Dogs get that, who knew?!  But he was drinking lots of water, and was having accidents in the house and in his crate when we left him at home, which was uncharacteristic of him.  Jokingly, I said it seems like he has diabetes, and lo and behold that's what it turned out to be.  Aunt T said that he did seem sad and lethargic when they got here, but he was back to his normal self after the first day of starting his insulin shots.  So now I am a SAHM mom and a doggie nurse.  I am just waiting for the day that I accidentally stick myself with that needle instead of him, bound to happen one day I'm sure.  So now we are at the vet every other week to check his sugar level, until we find the right dose of insulin, and he gets shots twice a day. My mom came to stay for a few days while Scott was in Phoenix, and my dad was in Alaska.  We celebrated my Mom's bday here, and Bear sure had a lot of female company/pampering that week.

Here is a pic of Emi's first day of Kindergarten.  Hana is all about wanting to be like her big sister.  I asked her what she wanted for her bday, and everything she mentioned is what Emi has (a backpack, legos, play-d'oh), so I am out of original ideas of what to get her.  I think she likes having Emi sleep in her room, and is so proud when she "slept in her bed aaaaallll night long", even though she never had that issue (but I reward her, too, with stickers and prizes when she hits a milestone such as 8 nights in a row).  Scott says we are creating little consumerist, but if it keeps them out of our room until morning, I'm all for it for a bit.

So even though it seems like I have been a SAHM for a long time, we have had events or visitors almost each week, so we haven't gotten into a routine yet.  Scott's surgery is next week, so Sept will also be out of the ordinary with Scott at the hospital and then at home for his 4 week recovery period.  I am glad that I won't be working to be able to focus on him and take him to his PT sessions without any other stress or commitments.  All in all, it's been a great summer, and I look forward to seeing what fall has in store for us!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Just slow down!

School called on Wed and sent Hana home with a little stomach bug at 9am, and she ended up having two sick days this week.  GREAT - My plans for getting things done during their school days just went out the window.  Too bad I wasted my one day alone this week and accomplished absolutely nothing, banking on the fact that I still had 2 days to get my project of the week done (which was to start painting the bookshelves).  And of course, she was acting normal (which means crazy).  Who are these kids that you see on Tylenol commercials who sleep all day and are slow moving?  Mine have never had a sick day like that.  But spending the days with Hana, and without Emi, made me realize how much I was missing the small things with my family. 

My interactions with the girls seemed to revolve around getting ready to go school/work, getting ready to eat, getting ready for bed, getting ready to go somewhere, etc.  I never really slowed down to enjoy just being with them with no distractions until now.  When we're pressed to be somewhere on time (yeah, that never happens) or I had work to finish, or anything else that meant "hurry up and just do XX", I found myself loosing patience with them and yelling.  I felt irritated a lot.  I felt rushed, and like I couldn't seem to get anything done the way I wanted. 

We didn't really have anywhere to go or anything to do until we had to pick up Emi from school.  So every time she said "Mommy, come play with me" I said ok.  I learned that her doll is named Teeny, that she's really good at doing the animal jigsaw puzzle set, and she's really bad at playing the matching game by the rules (she's a little cheater, we are going to have to keep an eye on this one).  At one point, she took all of her shirts out of her dresser which would have really pissed me off a few weeks ago because I'm sure we would have been trying to get dressed to go somewhere.  But today I just went with the flow, and watched her lay each of her shirts out on her floor and pretend that each was one of her friends from school.  She had them all get dressed in their bathing suits for water day (which the poor thing missed because they send her home sick) and had them line up to go outside.  She then brought then all back in when water day was over, and when I said it's time to go downstairs for lunch she folded all the shirts and put them in a pile to put back in the drawer.  See, she really does know how to fold and clean up, she's just been keeping that hidden from us all this time!

I learned that when I slow down to enjoy spending time with the kiddos, I have sooooo much more patience with them.  I have begun to see who I can be with them, and what I have been overlooking and taking for granted.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bodies in motion...

It's been 3 full weeks now, and I am definitely still adjusting and figuring things out.  You know the saying "bodies in motion stay in motion", well I am absolutely that body they are talking about.  I have noticed that if I come home and sit down, even to check news while drinking coffee, I am most likely still sitting down trying to squeeze a last drop out of that coffee 15 hours later.  I get nothing done on those days!  If I come home and don't sit down, I may start 10 different projects and not finish a single one, but at least it feels like it was productive day.

I had a goal, that each week I would do 2 things: complete a project and try/cook one new recipe each week.  So, I should have 3 of each done by now, right?
Projects (doing good on this one): reupholstered the kitchen chairs, completed 5 PDUs for my PMP renewal due Dec 1 (only 55 more to go, woohoo), assess finances.  I started 2 more little ones, so as long as I don't sit down, I think this is achievable.
Cooking (not so good with this one): I think I have cooked about 3 meals total.  And that means I have defrosted dream dinners and Scott prepared at least 2 of them.  I hate cooking.  And new meals means I have to actually go to the store and get ingredients, and put them together, and follow more than 3 steps.  That is so time consuming! Plus, I think this was a goal during my maternity leave with Emi 5 years ago, with no new meals cooked during a 4 month period.  I'll give this a few more weeks and we may need to reassess this goal.

Overall, things are going well.  We had a friend in town last weekend, and I got more cleaning done in the 2 hours before she arrived than the 3 weeks I've been home!  We had a little get together for friends on 4th of July weekend, which was fun.  I think we are definitely enjoying the summer (and the pool) so far, so as long as I get up after writing this, I may complete my goal for this week, which is to organize my closet for the first time since moving in 1.5 years ago!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

SAHM: week one

I decided to leave my job and career for a little bit, and try my hand at being a SAHM.  Originally, I was thinking it would just be for the summer, then thought that this might be permanent, then thought that this would just be until Hana goes to school full time, then that this might be permanent, then that this would just be for the summer...  I guess we'll see how things go, and base it on my sanity level and the budget (in that order, of course).

I am transitioning into being a SAHM, which feels a bit like cheating.  For the first 2 weeks, the girls are in daycare 4 days a week.  Then, they will go 3 days a week until Emi starts kindergarten mid August.  We may drop Hana down to 2 days a week around that time, but I am very concerned that she needs the socialization and that being at home with me everyday may make her stupid hamper her readiness for school.

I was super motivated on week 1!  I put Emi into a 3 day dance camp Mon-Wed, since she has been asking to take ballet for a while now.  So this was a good opportunity to try it out and see if she doesn't cry and actually let's me leave the room likes it.  My packed agenda on day 1 ultimately ended up with a fail...
7:30am - Take girls to school, drop off work laptop/badge at UPS and say goodbye to the last 10 years of my life
8:00am - Go buy tights for Emi's dance camp.  RANT OF THE DAY:  stores need to open earlier!  I thought Kohls would be open early, since this is the store that was open 24 hrs the month of Dec, nope.  So I walked to Walmart (got my excercise for the day in), but they didn't have what I was looking for.  I figured by the time I got back to Kohls they would be open, nope.  So walked to Marshall's and Ross, not open.  Back to Kohls, still not open.  I gave up and went home.  How am I supposed to run errands and save gas if stores are not open after dropping off kids at school?  It's not like I am dropping them off at 6:30am, geez.
9:00am-11:00am - cleanup office area and shower, the entire time thinking "I need to make sure I leave early enough to find tights"
11:00am - back to Kohls, success at the first store, no need to go to Target and all my backup places I had in mind.
11:30am - Wow, I've never been early to anything in years. What do I do?  I'll eat my lunch early and get a Whopper Jr. at BK.  It only takes 3 minutes to eat this.  Now what?  I'll just get Emi 15 minutes early, I'm sure they are done with lunch too.
11:45am - They haven't even started eating lunch!  Why is she pretending her lunch bag is a sword and dueling her friends?  They are supposed to be eating already!
12:00 - Get Emi dressed, eat lunch on the way to dance camp.
12:30-3:30 - Great time at dance camp, no tears.  She loved it.  Good, we can come back tomorrow!  Killing 3 hours of time is hard. I have no desire to do any more window shopping (did I really say that?) and ended up reading in the parking lot for an hour.
3:35-4:00 - Emi is asleep in the car on the ride home. Plan:  I'll let her nap in the van while I clean up the house a bit, then we'll go get Hana and make dinner before Scott comes home.
6:15 - Phone ringing, crap, it's daycare asking if I was going to pick up my child.  What actually happened: I cleaned up for about a half hour while Emi slept, the pool guy showed up to do wall repair, it wakes Emi up and I forgot to unlock the door so she's stuck in the van.  Scott texts to ask if the pool guy is there while Emi screams that she can't get out of the van. Try to get Emi to finish her nap, but she is being Emi stubborn, so offer to lay down with her and fell asleep until phone wakes me up (Emi never went back to sleep, btw).

Overall a good day, minus the $22 late fee and lifetime of guilt I will feel for being late to pick up #2 at daycare.  Day 1was not a success, but the week got better, and the alarm on my cell phone for every step of my day is my new best friend.  Day 5 (my first with the kids at home with me all day) was great, although I still did not cook dinner that night.  Baby steps, right?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Moving to Temecula!

     Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted. I know, I said I would keep up with this, but since I joined Facebook there really isn't much of a point to my blog anymore. But, since we decided to buy a house, move, and put our house on the market this holiday season, I thought it was time to start blogging again. This might be just for me to document the stress levels, and home improvements, and to tell our friends and family if we have survived the rest of 2012.

     So... Scott has been commuting from our house to Riverside every day for almost a year. It's a 1 hour, 15 minute commute each way. Thus, we decided to move to Temecula. I had put the reality of moving off for almost 3 years, and we are outgrowing our house, so we decided to take the plunge. We started house hunting in June, put an offer on a short sale in September, and finally closed on the house just days of Thanksgiving. Buying a short sale involves a bit of drama, and our emotions were a roller coaster for a few months. But in the end, we got a house that I thought was a long shot, and I think it's going to be fine once we all adjust to the changes. Since closing on the house, we have been cleaning, painting, and changing the carpets. Let me tell you, we can't get anything done with 2 kids running around. And one of Emi's outfits is all yellow in the back from head to toe as a permanent reminder that we tried to paint the bathroom yellow with 2 kids running around. Yes, we fixed the butt imprint that she left on the wall.

     Tomorrow the movers come, which has been the cause of my stress these past couple of days. It feels like we have so much to do, and I didn't know where to start. Every time someone asks how packing is going, my response has been "we haven't started". Here we are the night before the movers come, and we finally started packing today. Thank God for Scott, he keeps things together and got a lot done today (and tried to tell me what I could do to help). We are still not done packing, and we figure as long as the movers can get everything big moved, we'll do the rest ourselves over the next week. We still have the kitchen and our room left, so it shouldn't be that bad...

     Things are even a bit more stressful because tomorrow is the girl's last day at Childtime. I think I am taking it harder than they are. Emi now refers to it as her "old" school, and knows she start the "new" school next week. But I am having a hard time breaking these ties. I have spent the past 2 nights trying to make crafts for the teachers, and making sure our xmas cards are done so I can leave one for the school tomorrow. Yes, this is what I have been doing instead of packing...I think it came out really cute, though. So, I will try to get about 4 hours of sleep, wake up early to go to Walmart to get cupcakes for the girls to take to school to celebrate their last day, and supplies to try to finish up the crafts tomorrow (yes, while the movers are here I will be working and doing craft in the corner). The movers are going to be here at 8am. Wish us luck, and I'll let you know how this all turns out!

PS - This is my second move, and the first was cross country. But that didn't feel as stressful (surprising, given we had just gotten married, sold a house, bought a house sight unseen, and then drove cross country). I wonder if it's because we have kids now. I am definitely worried about how they are going to adjust, how they are going to sleep, if they will run into walls in the night trying to find our room, etc. Yup, that's what's making this more difficult! Darn kids...