Saturday, August 07, 2010

Summer update

I start school again on Monday so I figured I might as well update this now while I still have time.
This summer was great. I took school off for three months so that we could travel around the country with our travel trailer. We were gone for seven weeks. I think we hit 25 states. Felt like we hit more. Started out in Washington, drove to Indiana for a week so the kids could spend some time with daddy's side of the family. Then we drove onto Virginia and saw friends along the way. We spent 10 days in Norfolk and got to see lots of things. Williamsburg, two theme parks, DC, Annapolis, a naval museum, the beach and lots of friends. From there we drove to Tennessee to see more friends and then to Colorado to see some cousins I hadn't seen since before I graduated high school. From there we went down to San Diego for a week so the kids could have some more time with their daddy before he deployed. Then back up I-5 to my parents house where I parked the trailer for a few days and fixed everything that had broken on the trip. "Working the kinks out" is what we will call it. Overall the trip went smoothly and wonderfully. A few things broke and there were a few unexpected huge expenses, but all in all, I would do it again in a heart beat. In fact, when I graduate in a couple years I would love to rent the house out for a year and travel the country. Just me and the kids and the dog this time. We missed her something terrible. So next time she will get to come along. The kids did so wonderful in the car. We did 12- 13 hour days and the kids usually only got out twice to stretch and eat. But I have been training them for this their whole lives. :)
Next summer I want to take a trip up to Alaska. I think it would be wonderful.
The kids have changed so much this summer. Bug is a little jabber box. Her vocabulary is really flourishing. Although she has some favorite phrases. "NO!" "That's mine!" "Me too!" and "Ummm...because" when she is asked a "why" question. Everything her brother does, she has to do too. Bear will tell me he wants to go to the park. Bug pops up with, "I want to go to the park too!" Bear will say, "I am a boy." "I am a boy too!" She just adores him and yet she takes great pleasure in bossing him around and acting like the princess. She put on her shoes the other day but didn't snap them all the way. She walked across the house and went and stood in front of him, pointed her toe out to him and looked at her foot and demanded, "Oah, button my shoe please." And he lovingly bent down and did it for her. He would do just about anything for her. He is wrapped around her little finger. And she knows it.
They love each other so much. Every morning they wake up and whomever wakes up first will crawl in bed with the other and give them a good morning hug. What a sweet way to wake up. They have their moments. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I think they will kill each other with dirty looks. But two seconds later they are best friends again.
Their social skills took on a new level this summer. With meeting so many new people at all the campgrounds we stayed at, they got so used to talking with strangers. We got to my parents house and one of the neighbors came over to say hi. Bear walked right up to him and said, "Hello Sir, my name is Bear. This is my sister, she is two and I am four. We just drove across the county and now we are home." It cracked me up. And of course Bug ran up and put in her two cents. "I drive across country too!" I might need to work with them on not over sharing information.
Bear is on a growth spurt again I think. All of his 4T clothing is starting to be high waterish on his skinny body. He blonded up somewhat on this trip, but Bug is a little toe head now. She got tan and blond haired.
Bears independent kick has reached a new level. I can't do anything for him anymore. He gets up on his own, gets dressed without me asking(some of his outfits kill me to let him walk out of the house the way he does), has to brush him hair by himself, open the car door by himself, buckle himself in. So on and so forth. I am glad that he wants to do this stuff by himself. The part that drives me nuts is that it takes four times as long. So when I am in a hurry to get in the car and get going, he is so stubborn about "doing it by myself mommy! I am four now!"
The potty training went down the tubes. Everything she had accomplished was lost on the trip. But I guess that is to be expected with all of the changes. We are working on it again. She is doing fine with the potty part. Not so fine with the poop part.
She loves to read books now. He loves to "read" to her. Him and I are reading the Laura Ingalls books now. He loves Laura. I started them both in the summer reading program through the library. They are having fun trying to fulfill the goals that have been set.
This fall we are going to try and stay busy. I am going to start them both in swim lessons. Every place we stayed had a pool and the kids had a blast. I bought them noodles and they were swimming around on them by themselves. Bear is still a little nervous though. He is my nervous Nelly. And she just jumps in head first. And I am not just speaking about the pool. Life in general, she just has no fear. He has to sit and think and talk about it and him and haw around. However he did start riding his two wheeler this summer. He went from his skuut bike to a big boy bike and only spent about an hour total on training wheels just so he could learn how to pedal. The pride on his face when he figured out what he was doing was beautiful to me. He was so nervous about me letting go of him. So I told him to aim for his sister and go catch her. He loved that idea and didn't even think about me and where I was. I let go of him after a couple feet and he went about 30 feet chasing his sister. He stopped and looked back at me and got the biggest smile on his face. So the next time I held on to him and gave him a "go push" and I told him to come and chase me. He laughed so hard while I ran in front of him and down the street. He caught up with me and then just passed me by and kept going. That night he figured out how to turn and how to start off by himself with out a "go push." Now we are working on using the brakes instead of his feet. :) Bug wants so badly to be able to use the skuut bike, but she is still about an inch too short. I give her a year before she is on a two wheeler, she is just so darn determined and unafraid. She gets up on his 16" bike that still has training wheels and trys to ride that.
Eventually I want to start Bear with piano lessons. I am still working on getting a piano for him.
In October we are going to take another mini vacation down to Southern California. Disneyland will definitely be on the schedule this time.
I am glad to be home. It is nice to be able to move around and have a full kitchen to cook in. And doors on the kids doors is nice too. For me and them. But I feel restless. I don't know why yet. I changed a lot on this trip. Internally. I learned a lot about myself and made some decisions in my life. I am stronger now. Ready for a new chapter in my life to begin, whatever that may be. It was a good summer.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Day Four

Today was day four of our drive. We have made it to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The first day we went from Mukilteo to Coeur D Alene Idaho, we did it in eight hours. I didn't leave my parents house until ten. I have a sneaking suspicion that my dad was doing everything he could to delay our departure. I actually made it to Issaquah to stop and get gas before I realized I had left my wallet at my parents house. Sooo, my dad had to bring it to me. The rest of the day went with out incident. When we got to Idaho I noticed that everyone was in Cammies and missing teeth. Kind of creeped me out. The camp wasn't too nice either. Not as nice as they portrayed in their website. Half of the toys were under water and there was an incredible amount of mud. But it was really quiet and lovely in the mountains.
Day two brought us to Billings Montana. Seriously the most beautiful part of the country I have ever seen. I want to live there. I want to drive back there now. That day we were in the car for almost 13 hours. Long drive through the Rockies. But it was just gorgeous so I didn't mind.
Day three we ended up in Rapid City, South Dakota. Total tourist trap. But I love it. That means lots of stuff for the kids and me to choose from. We got the trailer unloaded and unhitched and then headed up to Mt Rushmore. They both fell asleep as I was driving up the mountain. Bear woke up right away but Bug needed a few more minutes of sleep and dozed in the stroller. Bear was amazed with the faces and could name three of the four right off the bat. We hiked around a bit and then got some ice cream. We then walked into the gift shop and met a man who had worked on the faces. He was like 140 years old. It was pretty cool talking to him. Then the kids met a local author who signed some books that he had written and illustrated for them. We then headed back down the mountain to one of the coolest things I have ever done. It was a drive through wild animal park. There were elk, wolves, reindeer, long horned sheep, mountain goats, black bears, and buffalo. All walking around free in their own habitats. We had a bear walk about a foot from the Jeep. I was a little nervous, the kids thought it was great. Then at the end, you get out of your car and go see all of the babies that were born there. That was incredible. There were about 30 bear cubs all playing and nuzzling and licking others ears. At the end, there was a man in a bear costume. He was sitting on a bench very still. Bug saw him and took off running. She got about four feet away and he moved to greet her and she realized he wasn't just a stuffed bear. She freaked out. Screamed bloody murder and flew back to me. I think it startled the bear a little bit. She wouldn't even walk near him to get to the car, but once she was at a safe distance, she very politely turned around and called out, "bye bear" through her continued sobbing. Since you can't pet any of the animals there, we went to a petting farm that had every animal under the sun. Bug went wild, that child loves animals. We did pony rides and sat with cows being bottle bed. Then we were walking around a herd of sheep, big sheep came running past us, I grabbed the kids in close because these guys were huge. They were full grown and at least up to my hip. I thought it was a little odd that they would let such large animals out and about. Bear and Bug got to pet one of them, then it took off. They ran around for a few minutes scaring children and turkeys. Then some dude comes running over and herds them all into a pen. Turns out another family had let them out. The son had been climbing on the fence, fell into the trough and while getting him out, they let the sheep out. It made for a few minutes of excitement. We then hung out with the goats. Bug had a blast. Bear did too until we tried to feed them and the mommies all started head butting each other. Noah was reminded of a Little House episode with a goat that headbutted people bending over. He informed me he was not going to be caught bending over in there. We got back to the trailer with enough time for a walk, dinner and bedtime routine.
I slept in this morning until four thirty. Every other morning I have been up at three with us underway at three thirty. Yes, I just said underway. Some things never leave you. :)
We were in the car for eight hours today. And had a time change in there too somewhere. We saw the badlands and that was about it. We saw a lot of grass. And some more grass. South Dakota is pretty, just kind of flat. The place we stopped at was fun. It is a Jellystone park so they have a man in a Yogi Bear costume walking around. Once again Bug flipped out. I don't know what happened from Santa last year to the Easter Bunny this year.
Tomorrow we should end up in Illinois. So far everything has been going great. No major problems, knock on wood. Kids have been doing great. Gas mileage sucks though. But this is so much easier than shoving everything in the Jeep and then toting it into a hotel every night to pack it back up in the morning. This is the way to road trip. And all of the people that we have met so far have been awesome. The kids are just talking to everyone and being little social butterflies.
And I know what I want for my birthday. At this park they have a pillow jumping thing that is the size of six gymnast style trampolines. I watched the kids this afternoon run around on it while I took pictures. I then decided to give it a whirl. I think we were up there for another hour. I could not stop laughing. I was jumping so high that I was launching the kids into the air. I have not had that much fun in a long time. We had so much fun that we went back tonight after dinner and smores to jump some more before bed. I would tear down my house in order to install one of these things. I might just have to break down and get a trampoline.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


My Bug. My Fancy Face. My hip monkey.
You are stubborn.
You are sassy.
You are bold.
You are sweet.
You are full of life.
You are fearless.
You are hardheaded (I know I said stubborn, but just having one of those words in here does not cover the amount of hardheadedness you possess.)
I do not know how God fit so much personality in one little body.
You don't stop from the time you wake up until the time you lay down at night. You are constantly on the go. Checking everything out. Trying new things. Climbing on everything you can. Putting everything in your mouth still. There is not ten minutes that goes by in the day that I do not have to ask the question, "What are you chewing on?" And then you happily spit it out and carry on to find something else to stick in there.

You are the best hugger. I swear, you wrap your arms and legs around a person and squeeze with all of your might. You hug like you mean it.

You adore your brother. You love to get him in trouble too. Noah could be across the room and if you get hurt you still blame it on him. His first response now when you start crying is to shout, "I didn't do it!" You two fight and squabble and pick on each other and then two seconds later you are hugging and giggling. You love to wrestle with him too.

I call you little mama. You love babies. Real and fake. You want to hold them and mother them and take care of them. And you are so sweet most of the time. I was holding a baby the other day and you told me you wanted to "hold it please." You spend your days with your babies. Dressing and changing diapers. Feeding and burping. And pushing them around in your stroller.

You are bossy. So bossy. It doesn't matter how big the person or animal is. If you want them to do something, by golly you are going to get them to do it. Whether it be your brother and cousins, bossing them all around, or your 160lb dog. You take a very firm voice and your get your little bossy finger out and start pointing it. "EAT Tela!" "Come HERE O-ah." And most of the time they listen and obey you. Doesn't quite work with me though. You will make a request of me and then end it with an "Okay?" "Go for a walk now and take books. Okay?" And it isn't I am asking permission okay, it is an are you going to do what I said okay.
You love animals. At the farmers market you had to get out and say hello to every dog. At the petting zoo you just sit with the animals and pet them. You get this funny little sweet voice when you are talking to them.
You know your ABC's and can count to ten. We are still working on your speech. Most of the time I can understand you fine. You are saying full sentences now. But sometimes you rattle out a mouthful and I have no clue what any of it was and you get so upset with me because I don't get it. So you say it louder and try to enunciate more and throw in some hand gestures too.

Everything is pink and yellow still. Sometimes you will throw a blue in there. And when people ask how old you are you tell them 3. At the Dr, yesterday he asked me if you knew your sex. I asked you if you were a boy or a girl, you very forcefully told me you were a "big huge girl!" Everything right now has to be big huge. Bananas, cups of milk, reading of books. I think you are just trying to keep up with your brother.

You are so rough and tumble. You go full steam ahead until you are physically stopped. Whether that be you falling, or me stopping you. You will climb on anything you can. You run everywhere you go. You are forever covered in scrapes and scratches and bruises. Right at this moment, you are scarred on your cheek in two different yet very close places, both elbows are scraped and covered in scabs and one knee is covered in scabs and your shins are bruised up and down and you have a big fat bruise on your forehead from the goose egg you got last week climbing up your brothers bed with an excercise ball.

You are still very wary of strangers. You hide your face away in my shoulder in shyness. But once you know someone, you love them with your whole heart.
You eat like a bird. All you really do is pick at the food. You don't really like meat, unless it is salmon, then you scarf that down. You don't really like vegetables either. I was worried but the Dr, said since you are growing that you are fine.

You are a girly girl. You love getting mani's and pedi's. And you love dresses. You are a self proclaimed princess. You love to have purses to put your stuff in. You got some fairy wings for your birthday and love those.
You are officially potty trained. Maybe once accident every couple of days. I have to really watch you on the poop though. You still do not like to be on the toilet for that.

My little girl. I love you and I am so glad that two years ago I got to meet you for the first time and that I have had the priviledge of being the one to raise you and be here for the everyday dramatics that are your life.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


My sweet sweet Bear. Your birthday was yesterday and you woke up this morning and asked if today was your birthday too. You had so much fun yesterday milking the birthday special treatment. You have been asking all day when you get to turn five. I asked if we could just get through the age of four first.
You make my job so easy. You are the most helpful child with out me even asking. I used your wheelbarrow one day to put the picked weeds in. I moved on to doing something else and without me saying a thing, you wheeled it all the way to the back yard and dumped it for me. You set the table for every meal, you put all of your clothes away in the drawers. You even like to start loads of wash for me. You can do everything but put the soap in, not tall enough yet. And then you move the load over to the dryer. Your responsibilites also include bringing in the mail and the garbage can. You are also in charge of loading and emptying the dishwasher.

We started really working on your letter recognition and handwriting this year. You can almost recognize every letter and you can write about 75% of them without a problem. You have started sounding out words and the Bob books seem to be your favorites.
You love everything super hero. Superman, Batman, Ironman, Spiderman. I love watching you watch the movies because you get so into them and excited when the good guys win. You also love fighting dragons and can be found throughout the day with your sword and shield searching the house for fire breathing intruders.
You have a wonderful imagination. For quiet time you will sit and play with playdough or color for two hours and get upset when I say it is time to put it away. You love to do artsy things, and your "artwork" is starting to resemble things. Your people usually have heads that are connected to the belly button and then arms and legs protrude from there.

You are sweet, caring and so thoughtful. You still love to curl in my lap and cuddle. You still can't be with out your bear Doe. You love your sister with all of your might and claim that your job in life is to protect her from bad guys. You also tell me that you are going to grow up to be a good man. I have no doubt of that my son.

Your questions are still endless. You want to know how everything works and why things are the way they are. If I don't know, then we get on the computer and look it up. You love to watch documentaries. We watched one on Greece the other night and I was getting bored with it and turned the channel. You asked me to go back so that you could watch it. You then informed me that you wanted to go there someday. You love Deadliest Catch and Dirty Jobs. And right now you are smitten with Little House on the Prairie. Mrs. Oleson is your favorite. But you also like to talk about Charles and how he works really hard to be a good daddy and take care of his kids.

You love Youtube because you can look up an endless supply of movies about bugs and spiders. Your favorite right now is the tarantula wasp. You want a snake. I said no. You love to collect all of the snails from my garden and play with them. And you could sit and dig in the dirt for hours and have the sky fall down around you and you wouldn't even notice.

You are forever keeping me laughing. Whether it is your prayers about broccoli or pulling on your private parts in the bath tub telling me that that is how cows are milked, you keep me on my toes.

I love you baby boy. Here is to a life time of these happy birthdays.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Non-Diet diet

So on the 8th of April I started a different way of life. I am tired of being fat. I am tired of my clothes not fitting. When some people go through stressful times they lose weight. I am unfortunately not one of them. I find comfort in food and I had the rolls to prove it. After everything that happened last year, I put on a massively embarrassing amount of weight. Last summer I tried weight watchers, and while that may work for some people, I am not one of them. The enormous amount of points they gave me (33) I just used to eat crap. So as long as I wasn't eating over 33 points a day I felt free to eat smores all day long.
So my dad sent me an email and I opened it and watched this little video presentation of "The Diet Solution" I thought I would give it a try, the only thing I had to lose was $45 and some poundage.
So I made a pact with a friend and we decided to have our own "biggest loser" challenge. Actually it has just turned into us encouraging each other and swapping recipes. And that is fine. It has been a big help to have her along side me this whole time. I say that figuratively because she is really half a world away.
The first week I lost 6.5 pounds. Then I went on vacation. And as much as I tried to "be good" I did go to In-n-out four times while I was there. But I got home two weeks later and I had lost another three pounds!!! Yay. I lost another couple pounds and then plateaued. For two weeks I went between the same two or three pounds. Got some advice from my brother, and implemented his ideas and lost another couple pounds. So thus far, a month and a half later I am 12.5 pounds lighter. I am very very happy. I am down a dress size and I feel great.
The diet is not a diet. I get to eat an enormous amount of food every day. It is just the type of food that matters. Nothing processed, which wasn't too hard to cut out since we didn't eat alot of that anyways. Well, my kids didn't, I did. :) Everything has to be natural, no more nasty chemicals and preservatives that I can't pronounce going into our bodies. Everything we eat has one or two ingredients on the side of the container if it even comes from a container. No Jif peanut butter. Since when you roast nuts it takes out all of the nutrients. So we have switched to raw almond butter and eating raw nuts and seeds. Which isn't too bad. The other thing that was a change was the amount of protein. Protein, meat at every meal. So no more throwing some cereal in a bowl, pouring milk on it and calling it breakfast. And no more slapping some peanut butter in a sandwich and cutting up an apple with some string cheese and calling it lunch. Every meal so far has been hot and prepared. Sausage, bacon, eggs, oatmeal for breakfast and big meals for lunch and dinner. I kind of like it. It makes me feel good to know that I am giving them a good start to the day and that I am putting good quality things in their little bodies. A few weeks ago, I got an email encouraging me to cut all wheat and dairy from my diet. That has been hard. I am a carbahollic and could finish off a half a loaf of french bread on my way home from the grocery store. I have cheated a few times and had pitas, but I refrain from getting sauce. I got some raw milk, which I am pretty sure is the same as if I walked up to the cow and squirted that while stuff straight into my mouth. I do drink a small glass of that a day. I still have treats every now and then. Last week I had a small slurpee. I am afraid if I deprive myself that one day I am just going to snap and binge eat everything I want.
I am continuing my daily 1.2 mile walk. And then in the mornings I have started my muscle building again. I just want to feel like my old self. I realize that I will never look the way I used to pre-kid, but I want to feel good and confidant again.
My goal is another twenty-thirty pounds. I am very motivated and feeling great about it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I am so tired I can't even think of a post for this.

Let's see, last Saturday I put the kids in the car and drove down to San Diego so they could spend some time with their daddy and I could pick up the new trailer. We got down there Sunday night with no problems, man my kids are road trip warriors. I broke down and bought a dvd player for the car. Only needed it once and that was out of my own laziness. I was so tired of making up stories about dragons that I popped a movie in on Sunday just so I could have some quiet time in my head. :)
Bear is in a dragon phase right now. Ever since seeing How to Train your Dragon. So the whole ride down and every time we were in the car or at bed time, he wanted to hear stories about me growing up with dragons. Man I can come up with some good stuff on the fly too. And then after I was done with my story, Bear would tell me a story from when he was a "little boy." It was suspiciously similar to the story I had just told, but it was so fun to hear him imagining things.

I also taught my kids how to get big rigs to honk at you on the road. And we learned how to play I-spy. I love road trips and the time you get to spend in the car with each other that I hate ruining it by playing movies all of the time. My kids have some awesome imaginations and sometimes they just like to sit and quietly look out the window.
So we got down there and went to pick up the new trailer, I was so so so nervous. Holy cow. I picked it up an hour and a half away from SD. It took me two and a half hours to get back I was driving so slow. I was getting passed by big rigs. But we made it back safely and camped out in the trailer until last night.

Saturday we went to Disneyland. I don't think I could ever get tired of that place. We were there for nine hours. Bear really loved it this time. He kept begging to go on more rides. We went on Nemo, Star Wars, Big Thunder Railroad, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Winnie the Pooh, Pinochio, and Snow White, and the Carousel. We stood in line for an hour to get the princess' signatures. Bug loved it. She is such a girly girl. She got a little purse and a pair of gloves and wore them around all dainty for the rest of the day. Bear got a shield and sword and has not parted with them since. Today he rode in the car with his shield on and his sword at the ready. Tonight he is in bed in the same position.
We got to go and see my grandparents and cousin Sarah and her two sweet girls. I thought for sure Bug would take to Big M. as they are only three weeks apart. But she went for the baby, Little M. She is such a little momma. I think she would of crawled in the car seat with the baby if I let her. She wanted to stroke the babys head and face and rock the baby while singing to her. Sarah was so patient with her. And then Grandma got to hold Little M and Bug freaked out because she wanted to hold the baby. So she got to go into the couch and hold the "baby" that weighs five pounds less than her. :) She was happy after that though. Then we took the kids to a place called Ferrells for some lunch and milkshakes.
I introduced my kids to milkshakes this trip. They had three of them each while we were there. I thought they were going to lose their minds in excitement. Probably not going to let them have them again, but it made a nice treat. So did In-N-Out. We do not do fast food at all and man was it a treat to be able to get that while we were there. They weren't too crazy about the french fries though.
So we left this morning, I hitched up the trailer without any complications (yay!) and we headed out at four am. Kids were awake for the first hour or so and then Bug nodded off followed soon after by Bear. We stopped at seven for some breakfast in the trailer and changed into some clothes. It is so nice having this thing and not having to get them dressed in some rest stop parking lot and being able to give them a real breakfast. We drove ten hours today and only stopped twice to get out and stretch the legs. Breakfast and lunch. These kids are troopers. So now we are in Stockton CA. Smells like wet cat food here. Really gross. I need to get to bed and get ready for the next leg of our trip. Another ten hours tomorrow.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Potty Training?

I end that with a question mark because I am not sure if we are potty training or not.
I am a firm believer in the child letting you know when they are ready for underwear, I don't believe in forcing it on them. I don't do this for the sake of the child. I do it for my own mental health, the last thing want to do is go through the pain of potty training a child that is not ready. So every time Bug has been put on the toilet it has been because she asked for it. This last week she has pottied at least two times a day on the toilet. I thought this was pretty good but didn't think too much of it. Well last night she got up there and started grunting and sure enough she "dropped a duece" as Bear would say. She was so happy and her chest was puffed out in pride. She even got to make a couple phone calls to tell people she went "poo poo potty." This morning she woke up and asked to go potty right away. So far today she has kept her diaper dry and even went poop one more time, all on her own. She must have a really small bladder though because she goes at least once an hour and has stuff come out every time.
I do not know if I am ready for this. She is only 22 months old. She is my baby, she isn't old enough to be potty trained.