Friday, April 23, 2010

When we got back from Hawaii the next morning the kids got up for school feeling like it was 3:00 in the morning. I was proud that everyone got to school on time. After they left I checked the messages and looked at the calendar. Whoops.

Turn the page and the week was filled with doctors and dentist appointments, school functions and another weekend away with a Little People of America Convention. The first day back I tried tackling the unpacking in addition to trying to set up a good cage situation for our chinchilla family of four. It didn't help that all the kids wanted to bring their friends over to see the the babies in the middle of the mess!

One of the things on the calendar was chaperoning for Ashley's field trip the day after we got home. Hmmm...I remembered signing up a looong time ago...didn't even know where we were going but OK. So the wash stayed in piles in my room and I went to the Arlington Nature Center with Ashley's class.

It was actually a cute field trip and even though we lived on Arlington for 10 years I didn't even know this nature center existed. Here's the kids getting instructions.

Our group was taken inside to start making thier nature necklaces out of plaster of paris.

Next our group leader took the kids outside for a "migration" game. It was cute the kids were all ducks migrating from one pond to another (carpet squares) and us moms were representing all the hazards that can make their journey deadly. So we got to run around and try and tag the kids and get them out.

In the middle of the game one of the kids called out "frog! Frog!" sure enough there was a frog frantically hopping around trying to escape getting stepped on.
The rest of the time kids kept trying to point out and rescue animals from lizards to lady bugs.

After our game she handed the kids binoculars for the natures hike, real ones, real heavy ones, real heavy ones that hung down to Ashley's knees. So I tied up the strap for her and we were on our way.

We walked down a long slope after receiving our instructions of what not to touch and what we "might" see along the nature walk. She pointed out specific plants, weeds that have seeds that curl in your hand as you watch and plants that you can eat.

As soon as we got to the bottom the kids pulled out their binoculars and watched the rabbits.

Surprisingly one of them hopped around like he could care less that a bunch of students were squealing and gawking at him. His friend next to him is doing a pretty good job of hiding but the kids still saw him.

This plant tasted like salt. She had the kids lick their finger and then rub it along the leaves and then taste it. MMMM salty. Ashley liked that.

Then we made it to the pond where the kids got to see a duck family with 10 little ducklings.

Back at the nature center we got a lesson about the different kinds of birds and their characteristics that help them eat whatever they feed on.

She pulled out a possum they had as a pet and we got to feel what a possum feels like. Since the one that eats our cat food probably wouldn't appreciate us trying to pet it.

The snake started a round of screams as she passed it over the heads of the students letting whoever wanted to to touch it.

Next they painted their necklaces...

and got ready to go back on the bus with friends.

The next day Taylor had an awards ceremony at school.

He got a special pin for getting straight A's. Way to go Taylor!

The next day we were off to Valencia for the Little People of America regional conference. We haven't gone to many conferences and when we have it's only been for a day. Since it was local and only went over a weekend we decided to go. Here is Taylor's favorite pasttime during the convention.

The first night we came in to a movie night for the kids while Jeff and I got to talk to some of the other parents. After a busy week we ended up laying on the floor in the children's room with our kids and watched most of the movie before we took everyone up to bed. (Jacob kept saying "you can go now")

The next morning Jeff and I went to some of the doctor's meetings, Jeff went to a men's group and Ashley was in the kids room making crafts.

What made the whole trip worth it was a free doctor's visit with an orthopedic specialist for dwarfs. He examined the kids and gave his assessment of their legs. I guess they don't straighten legs unless their is a problem and he said right now the kids look fine. Whew.

That afternoon Jacob played some Bocce Ball. He signed up with his friends. The 3 Jacob's

"Go Jacob."..."No not you Jacob, or Jacob...the OTHER Jacob."

Well they lost thier first game and were out of the tournament but we weren't too sad because it left more time for swimming.

Ashley and Jacob had a lot of fun with friends new and old in the pool. Taylor got tired of swimming and fell asleep on the chair :). Ashley's new friend Chloe.

That night we got dressed up and went to the banquet dinner. It was a Hollywood theme so we walked down the red carpet and got to meet Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.

While we were milling around we got to meet the dwarf who kicked Adam Sandler on Bedtime Stories (Jeff picked him out) and the Red headed secretary who works in the office on Pit Boss (if you've ever seen that show on Animal Planet).

And now for some everyday pictures...

Jacob had to do a drawing or something representing a scene from a book they read in class called "Deep Dark and Dangerous" I guess there is a part where the girl is looking out her bedroom window into the pond and a skeleton emerges from the mist. Jacob's idea was to create the scene with legos and take a picture rather than trying to draw it. So here is his version of it...

This is the ketchup and ham sandwich the the boy I watched for a friend this week insisted that he wanted for lunch. I agreed to pick him up from pre-school and keep him for an hour or so. Once I made his lunch he complained he "doesn't eat fruit" "didn't like that juice" (though he had never tried it before). He didnt' say anything about the pretzels though because I had pre-approved those with him. In fact I had to talk him out of a ketchup and pretzel sandwich and get him to agree to just have them on the side. I told him he could just eat what he liked. He looked at this plate for like 30 seconds and said he wasn't hungry. Never took a bite.

He did find and demonstrate every noise making toy in Jacob's room. Jacob was glad because he had to demonstrate them as well as soon as he got home from school.

This is the cage of our crazy, sneaky escape artists. These chinchilla babies keep finding ways to get out of the cage. I clipped screen all around the cage and it seems to work for awhile however if there is a gap or anything they will find a way out. We thought we had it figured out pretty good until late last night when Jeff saw one of the babies in Churro's upper section of the cage! We had NO idea how he got up there. He would have had to escape and shimmy up the cage and climb in with Churro!

They seemed to be fine together but we took him out and put him back with mom and then searched around the kitchen for the other one. They had pushed off the hay feeder and it looked like that's how they were escaping. We coralled them and put the hay thing back and then thought we were done. Sure enough one of the babies escaped as soon as we pushed the cage back. He had found another hole. Now he was under the piano. So we secured every side and think we've figured it out because they were all still in the cage this morning.

So I think we're all least for now.

This morning was pajama day at school. It seemed pretty fitting since Jacob was up 1/2 the night after he had a bad dream and never went back to sleep. (I found him playing video games and he said he had been watching TV since 4:30 in the morning.) Ashley had been hanging out in pjs the whole day before because she stayed home sick so she just had to switch pjs and then get ready for school. As Jacob was getting ready to leave I realized his legs needed to be hemmed. What's OK at home isn't OK for public so right as we were leaving I pull out the sewing machine and fix them up. (Thanks again Amy)

And now for some mom moments...

Jacob was having me type an end of the year speech that was supposed to be highlighting his time at Mark Twain. This was the first time anyone had seen it and it was due that morning (I was only asked to help type it). It was so atrocious Taylor paid him $2.00 to allow him to let his teachers at school be able to read it in it's undoctored form. I tried to give him some pointers but it still left the house pretty substandard. There were phrases such as "look at me now...I'm a chick magnet and I have tons of friends..." and "I will miss you buddy o buddy! Bye, bye and good night..." and the one that made me cringe the most since he was referring to the teacher who would grade it " Now in 6th grade, I eagerly go see whose class I’m in. I see my name under Mrs. Bowyer’s name and my smile turns into a frown" he then goes on to tell about how all the kids consider Mrs. Bowyer the meanest teacher at Mark Twain. So...we helped him doctor it up before he left the house.

Ashley always complains that there’s “nothing to eat” at home even after I give her a long list of food options. She just doesn’t think what we have to eat is “exciting”. Well yesterday she was complaining that ALL her friends get “special” things in their lunch except her, and she informed me that she was tired of sandwiches. All my suggestions of what she might put in her lunch besides a sandwich were soundly rejected. I asked her what kind of things they had in their lunches. She said chicken nuggets and quesadillas and they were still hot. Well, I don’t know how they kept them hot but I told her we could put those things in her lunch. She ignored me and went on “Hhmmmfff…but they have special things.” Well what other special things? “They have noodles and chili!” “Do you want noodles or chili???” (I know she doesn’t like either). She ignored me again “Well…they just all have special food!!” Realizing I wasn’t winning we dropped it. I bought her an extra snack to put in her lunch today to eat at recess and she seems to be happy…for now.

I was coming home from our RS birthday dinner last night and called the kids to see if everything was OK. It was 8:30 and Jacob answered. I was irritated when Jacob told me that Dad wasn’t home yet, Taylor and Ashley had been fighting and Ashley spilled her soup all over and nobody had cleaned it up. I was getting mad and asking to put Taylor on the phone when Taylor got on it sounded like he was crying. He was laughing. Jeff was home and had put them up to it. I got home to a happy family with Ashley who had done her homework without anyone having to remind her. I was very pleased.

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