Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kindergarten Flunkies!

Not Isaac, he is just brilliant. This title refers to Isaac's parents. Isaac's wonderful teacher called today and very gently reminded me that the assignment said to create an "I Can Read" can, NOT bag.

Lord Almighty, Isaac is doomed if I cannot follow directions as simple as those!*

We have a lot of grandparents and aunts who are eager to see what Isaac's typical school day looks like. I taped a bit of his time on the phone with his teacher today. The video is below.

Here is another brief slide show for your viewing pleasure. We did quite a bit of computer work today and ended the day with a little night school with daddy. I have not quite adjusted to balancing my job, school, house, boys, Anna, etc so we didn't finish school before the end of Anna's nap today. No worries there. Daddy is a great teacher and loves to be involved.

I must take a moment to address the moms who e-mailed me indicating that if stabbing themselves in the thumb will net them a day or two in bed, they will actively search out the sharpest knife in their house. Ladies, let me just clarify this issue. You will WANT to spend a few days in bed, but as a rule, an injured thumb does not garner much sympathy. You can read my husband's comments on the previous few posts if you need proof. If that is not enough evidence for you, please know that every time I discuss or show my injured thumb to my sister, ordinarily quite the sympathetic confidant, she recoils in horror and screeches, "Get your wonky thumb away from me!" While shopping this weekend, after SHE smashed the offending digit in a shoe box, I sought relief by resting my aching thumb on her nice cold soda bottle and she almost needed resuscitation she was so disgusted.

I don't recommend stabbing yourself in the thumb in order to attain a few days in bed.

Speaking of Esther, as mentioned in the previous post, she has preplanned the entertainment for my funeral. I cannot leave this earth without giving you, my loved ones, fair warning as to what you will encounter when you thoughtfully attend the service, planning to quietly pay your last respects, come to terms with my demise and leave with a sense of peace and dignity regarding my tragic, as I assume it will be, death.

Jesse was in need of some soothing music and the soundtrack to "Wicked" was just not cutting it. I popped in Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits. What can possibly be more soothing than Scarborough Fair? As we drove dreamily to wherever it was we were going, Esther announced at the start of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" that for my funeral she planned to dress in a leotard and tights and dance interpretively whilst holding those lovely ribbons on sticks that you see the rhythmic gymnasts using.

Consider yourself warned.

*She was kidding people, she is utterly delightful and has a GREAT sense of humor. We could not ask for a better teacher. Please don't feel the need to flood me with e-mail telling me what an unreasonable teacher we have been stuck with.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The First Day of School

Anna received her first pedicure, courtesy of Aunt Esther. Cute toes, aren't they? Of course, her daddy feels this particular shade of red is a tad too sophisticated for the average 16 month old, but he made an exception this one time.

Issac officially began kindergarten today. For those of you wondering, yes I AM certifiably insane as yes I do work a full time job from home and yes Isaac will be attending school from home as well and yes I do have 2 additional children. Jesse and I have about 398,763 reasons for this choice which we are very willing to share with anyone interested. Please don't approach us with the intent of criticizing or trying to talk us out of this because we aren't going to listen. We are getting old and cranky that way.

Isaac is doing kindergarten and I have set Nathan up with a loose preschool curriculum as well. Anna must also participate in learning time, she LOVED the story I read today. You will find a slide show with first day of school pictures below.

Now for a helpful public service announcement.

You may or may not recall from reading
this post that I, an International Baccalaureate trained educator, stabbed myself in the thumb while trying to remove a security tag that was not removed by a clerk who was clearly NOT International Baccalaureate trained. My thumb is still very swollen and hurts like I cannot even describe but I seem to have escaped without any significant infection. Score one cyber cookie for that! Because I like to be of help to the humans when I can, I have compiled a helpful list of things that you can do without the use of your thumb. You might want to keep this handy for future reference.

Things that you can do without the use of your thumb:

1. Nothing.
2. Not a damn thing. Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, requires the use of this digit. Without it you might as well give up and get back in bed.

I hope you found that helpful.

I hope everyone had a pleasant Monday! Oh yes, in reference to the second comment following
this post, PLEASE feel free to laugh at anything I write that makes you want to laugh. Odds are I found it amusing as well, hence my meandering narratives that make you want to laugh. If I have not blogged about it, I probably don't think it is funny yet and have therefor opted not to write about it in a manner that will make others laugh.

For example, until this very moment you have read nothing here regarding the fact that 2 very evil felines used my brand new living room couches, yes plural, as a litter box and the so called warranty that we purchased with these kinds of events in mind has not yet been honored. You have not read about it because I don't find it even remotely amusing. In fact I am still hopping mad about it and it happened, I think 3 or so months ago. That warranty company has until Wed of this week to deliver new cushion covers to my front door or they can anticipate a phone call that will qualify as something far more threatening than irate. See, not funny at all.

Go right ahead and laugh your little hearts out and rest assured that I am probably laughing with you.

PS. You will want to come back tomorrow as Esther let me in on the fact that she has preplanned my funeral, I assume in anticipation of my demise. I love you all too much not to give you fair warning.

Night all!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Anna's 15 month Checkup and Why we will soon need a new Ped

Are there any other moms out there who find well baby/child appointments a tad stressful? I realize that I am only dealing with 3 kids, but I have begun to absolutely dread these appointments and the chaos that reigns the moment we enter the pediatrician's mystic portal.

On Thursday of last week I finally got around to taking Anna for her 15 month check up. Granted she is now actually 16 months old, but this was the best I could do. Overall, her appointment went well. Isaac and Nathan both cowered in the corner, hands over their ears when she received her immunization. After the doctor left Isaac clenched his fists, scrunched his face up in that typical Isaac-is-really-angry way and stated firmly through clenched teeth that he would, "knock this building down with a shovel if that doctor hurts my baby sister again."

As we were leaving the office Isaac told me that his tummy was really itchy. I pulled his shirt up and discovered the enormous red, swollen welt that I photographed for you in a previous post. Since we already happened to be in the doctor's office, I asked the desk clerk if we might reserve a sick child appt in the next few hours and that I would take the kids to lunch while we waited. Bless her heart she insisted that we not leave but be seen right away and ushered us back into the exam room.

Anna immediately began screaming as she had just escaped this den of torture and had no desire to endure further use as a pin cushion. Isaac started clinging to be, begging that he not be given a shot. A physician's assistant came in to check on Isaac. While I was trying to untangle him from my leg while simultaneously trying to comfort Anna, Nathan decided to play with the round doctor stool, you know the ones with wheels?

OF COURSE Nathan caught his foot, cut his leg and fell to the floor, hitting his head in the process. I put Anna down to pick up Nathan and the PA thought she would be helpful by picking Anna up and tyring to comfort her.

That really didn't work out too well.

Anna doubled the volume and intensity of her screaming while Nathan sobbed hysterically over his cut leg and injured head while Isaac clutched my hand begging that he not be given a shot.


The PA left the room, with Anna, stating that she was going to go and get us some help. I hear that people 3 blocks away called 911 over the disembodied, ear piercing screams they could hear in the distance.

I expect to receive the, "We never want to see you again." letter in the mail any day now.

In case you are interested, Anna is 20 pounds, 31 inches long. She is just over the 20th percentile for weight and around 75th for height. I choose not to mention that she is still nursing as I was not really very interested in having that conversation at that moment.

A good check up all in all. Nathan has recovered and Isaac's bug bite reactions has not spread any further.

I have finally figured out how to post recipes so that you DON'T need a magnifying glass to see them. The first one is posted below and I will put a link for it to the left as well. This "recipe" sounds dumb, but you really MUST try it on a rainy morning or evening. Add a cup of tea or hot chocolate and curl up for some quality time with your kiddos.

Love to all!

Best Ghetto Dessert EVER!

You know that extra loaf of french bread you buy, thinking you will need it for dinner but never end up using? You don't have this problem? You don't leave it sitting around until it turns into a brick and then end up throwing it away? Well then this "recipe" is not for you.

If you, like me, do have this particular problem, follow the quick and easy directions below to create a tasty, family pleasing dessert.

Giant Cinnamon Toast
Slice loaf of French bread length wise in half.
I use butter spray, you can use regular butter or spray: Cover both halves of bread with butter.
Sprinkle a cinnamon/sugar mix over butter
Bake at 350 degrees until desired level of toastyness has been achieved
Cut into slices and enjoy

You may laugh, but this was quite the crowd pleaser in my house!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

He was supposed to be sleeping...

...but this is what he did instead. We found this lovely block tower when we checked on him at 11:10 pm. Perhaps he will become an architect?

Isaac appears to have been bitten/stung by a rogue insect or arachnid. Yes I MUST make the distinction, I am a science teacher for pete's sake! We have no idea what or where, but the other picture should demonstrate the severity of his reaction to the bite. We had it checked out at our ped and have called Children's Hospital for additional advice this evening as it has continued to spread. You can see where we have been marking it to track how fast and how much it has spread. Poor Isaac, he has unfortunately inherited his mother's sensitive skin.

Jesse is busily researching all manner of spider that may have bitten our beloved eldest child. He actually has one in quarantine at this very moment. As we are all familiar with how Jesse feels about spiders, I think we can safely assume that he won't sleep well until he is convinced the house is biting spider free. Can anyone recommend a good exterminator?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Motherhood is Fraught with Peril

I like to think that I am a fairly wise shopper. My kids are TOUGH on their clothes. Isaac in particular will wear an item until it is so worn that a good stiff breeze renders him stark naked on the street, wondering what happened to his favorite shirt or PJs. Generally, before it gets bad enough that people start offering them coins and antibiotics on the street, I like to hit some of the local discount stores and restock their clothing stash. You know these stores that take in "irregulars" from the larger department stores? Say what you will, but I am NOT willing to pay $20 for a Spider Man t-shirt when I know for a fact that it will age the equivalent of 12 years after 1 night in my home. Those stores are usually my best friend.

Jesse and I hit a few this weekend and walked out with total pay dirt in the form of little boys PJs and shirts. As we were leaving the store, the alarm indicating the presence of a security tag went off. We waited expectantly to be approached by a sales clerk or the manager, who happened to be standing right there. No one said anything so we moved through the security bars again. Alarm went off again. We waited. No one seemed remotely interested in making sure that we were not stealing anything so we proceeded to leave the store, setting off the alarm a third and final time. Outside we poked through our purchases, concentrating on the higher priced items, but did not find a security tag. We assumed a cell phone or some other benign object was setting off the alarm.

At home I again dug through our items, searching for a pair of baby girl PJs I purchased for $6. Can't beat $6 eh? And there, mocking me mercilessly, was the rogue security tag that kept setting off the alarm. We never dreamed that a pair of $6 baby jammies would have a security tag so we did not bother to look. I MIGHT not have been so upset IF I had not been through this exact same experience several weeks before. That time I left the store with a pair of running shoes and got home only to discover the stupid tag was still attached. I had to drive all the way back to the store, not at all close to my house, with the receipt and ask them to remove it. I was less than thrilled.

There I was, standing in my house with a $6 pair of baby jammies, irritated as anything, thinking there is NO WAY I am driving all the way back out there for a pair of $6 baby jammies.

Did I mention this was a $6 item?? WHY are we marking $6 items with security tags?????

My irritation with this repeat lack of security tag removal, the fact that I planned for Anna to wear those jammies that very night and my general outrage at the apparently inept staff of this store motivated me to grab the nearest steak knife and start hacking at the security tag.

Can you see where this is going?

In my haste and annoyance, I grabbed a long, thin knife with a particularly springy blade. A knife that had, incidentally, not been through a recent trip in the dish washer.

Now feel free to laugh because it IS pretty funny, but please also have a teeny tiny bit of sympathy for the fact that this very flexible knife bounced off of the tag and firmly embedded itself in my left thumb. OH DEAR GOD THE PAIN. The knife hit a solid object which I can only conclude, given that it did not go clear through my thumb to the kitchen counter, was my bone. You must also allow Jesse some time to gloat as he was standing right next time me murmuring helpful things such as, "Honey I don't think you are going to be able to get that off." "Honey you are going to hurt yourself." "Cherith, be careful." "Cherith I don't think that is a good idea."

You get the idea.

There you have it, I stabbed myself in the thumb while attempting to remove a security tag from a $6 pair of baby jammies. What sort of award do you think I can/should get for this?

The appendage is quite swollen and painful. I have decided to give it 3 days to return to an acceptable size before I even consider seeking medical treatment. If the worst should happen and it has to be amputated, don't worry because I can have one of my toes grafted onto my hand, thereby replacing my thumb AND securing a nice discount on all future pedicures.

Liz and I have decided to start an anti anti-theft security tags blog. At this point they seem about as effective at preventing shop lifting as car alarms are at preventing car theft and break-ins.

I have not yet decided what to do with the offending $6 baby jammies. I will keep you updated.

My hand hurts like hell, particularly after typing this post. Anna spent the better part of the day patting the splint on my thumb and saying, "Owie. Owie. Mama Owie." Since laundry, dishes and most other housekeeping chores are currently out of the question and since today was the first day of school meaning that I spent the better part of the day typing with a very painful hand, Anna and I spent the evening laying on the floor flipping through a Hanna Andersson catalogue and commenting on how all the babies are night night. Anna very clearly now says, "Night night baby, baby night night." She is almost cute enough to render one oblivious to blinding, throbbing pain. Almost.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Brother and Me

It is clearly no secret I am thoroughly convinced my kids are THE most darling creatures on the face of this earth. Amazingly enough, Nathan and Anna managed to reach a whole new level of adorable when Anna, realizing that Nathan planned to curl up with a favorite movie, toddled over and plopped her little diapered butt next to him. Nathan responded by tossing his arm around her and the two sat transfixed, sharing a cuddle and movie. I, of course, scrambled for the camera and managed to snap this picture. There is no love like sibling love.

The S blog will likely remain quiet for a while. School is starting this Monday which means that, for a while, I will have very little time for recreational computer use.

Isaac is also starting kindergarten on Monday, attending online via my current employer. Jesse and I are really looking forward to working with him. Nathan asks on a daily basis if he has the same teacher as Isaac, he just does not seem to accept that Isaac is starting "real" school and he is not. We plan to keep him as involved as possible, no harm in his getting a head start.

Our (Isaac's and my) school has a yearly Fall picnic during which we will snap a few pictures of him with his new teacher. He has met her twice and he loves her.

Updates if/when events warrant. Love to all!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I can't think of a clever title...

...so I am just going to jump right in. Anna has discovered Isaac's Baby Alive. She is quite fascinated by robo-baby's response to her toddler mothering skills. It's actually pretty damn cute.

Jesse is apparently currently suffering from a phenomenon called Trigeminy. Usually I can find a good link to help explain what these obscure medical terms mean, but this one is not yielding much decent info from Dr. Goggle. You just always have to be SO interesting and unusual, don't you honey?

Initially he only felt this when he was exercising or working hard, but recently it has happened even while at rest.

We have a call into his cardiologist who wants him placed back on a monitor for an as yet undetermined amount of time. The general consensus is that this disorder is not typically dangerous, but his doctor feels that, given Jesse's history, a "better safe than sorry" approach is the way to proceed.

Assuming that this is in fact Trigeminy, treatment options include doing nothing, medication changes and/or another ablation.

As I am sure you can imagine, my heart skips a beat whenever Jesse's does, so prayers and positive thoughts are much appreciated.

In other news, Anna has recently become fascinated with the more mundane aspects of my role as work at home mom. Meaning she follows me around like a little shadow and insists on "helping" with whatever it is that I am doing at the time. Her favorite activity is folding laundry. Whenever I start folding laundry she "helps" by going into her room, emptying out her bottom dresser drawer and then either stuffing those clothes into one of our dresser drawers or throwing them off the second floor landing. She has also emptied Jesse's underwear drawer and thrown them all off the landing. I would LOVE to put a stop to her "help" but she is just so terribly pleased with herself! Today I tried to refocus her attention by giving her some old, outgrown underwear of Nathan's and asking her to throw them in the trash. Generally she LOVES throwing things in the trash. She looked at me as if I had lost my mind and stuffed the outgrown underwear into my PJ drawer.


Folding laundry only when she is napping is probably the most obvious solution, but the day I manage to stick to a schedule that specific is the day we all go 100% organic vegan. Not that I have anything against organic vegans, more power to you, rock on veggie lovers rock on!

I think I will go to bed now.

Love to all!

PS Should I be chastised for pitching rather than donating or freecycling the old undies? Correct me if I am wrong, but I figure there is probably not a significant demand for used little boy unders. It goes against my waste not mentality, which applies to most anything other than leftovers, much to Jesse and my mother's chagrin, but I don't suppose there are a lot of people in desperate need of used size 4 undies. Mary, I can Fed Ex them to TN if you want.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sisterly Love

(Written by Jesse)
This blog is appropriately labeled “The S Family Chronicles”, as it generally discusses events that take place in our lives that influence one or more people in our family. Most of the posts are related to something to do with our kids, chronicling something silly or cute they’ve said or done recently. Sometimes, however, posts are written here that are a bit more reflective; observations and thoughts that usually are brought forth by some recent experience in our lives. This post is one of these…

I’ve known at least one of the Dye sisters since 1988, when Esther and I were friends in middle school. Over the years, I met and got to know the others, and even had the privilege of marrying one of them. Over these nineteen years, I’ve seen them grow and become the wonderful women that they are. I’ve witnessed them overcome great adversity and seemingly impossible circumstances, and instead of becoming bitter or disconnected, they’ve gracefully embraced life.

Among the many things which I find admirable about them, their love and dedication to one another is the most compelling. People have a mental image of what a close family should look like: a true love and appreciation for one another; a sincere desire to spend time together with the occasional bouts of silliness; concern for one another, unabashed openness, trust, respect, devotion and friendship. These qualities are personified in their relationship, and I count it a privilege to not only know them individually, but to know them as sisters.

So often in life, we take our most treasured gifts for granted: a petty quarrel, jealousy, past resentments – the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, these can go unnoticed for far too long, tragically sometimes until it’s too late. The Dye sisters seem to be immune to this, however, as I do not recall a specific incidence in which they’ve done so. And even though one of them has recently moved out of state, their love and fierce devotion to one another remain as strong as ever.

I write this today because I think their story is remarkable: it is a unique glimpse of something that many people have never experienced, though is one of those things in life that just ‘ought to be’. It is a blessing to be able to witness the unique dynamic of their relationship, and I find myself longing for others, especially those who are close to me, to embrace the opportunity to have what the Dye sisters share.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Computers stink

Mine in particular, but Jesse's too.

The 2nd power chord that we have purchased for my laptop has gone the path of the first chord. It will not charge the battery and likes to shut my laptop down at any given, random moment. Needless to say, I have opted not to plug the irritating thing in rather than risk the frying of my hard drive.

I am currently on Jesse's laptop, but we have a seriously intense mutual loathing. I don't plan to get back on here despite the fact that a vein in my head starts to twitch after 24 hours offline.

And, really, nothing interesting is going on around here anyway. We are frantically seeking a nanny for fall, cleaning like mad people so that the house is as low maintenance as possible when school starts, going to swimming lessons, trying to deal with numerous technology woes, barking at each other in a distinctly unspouse like way and sleeping when we can. Not a heck of a lot that is blog worthy.

I hope everyone is well! When my computer is working and I have some cute pics or something interesting to say, I will be back. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

First Owie

Anna suffered her very first scraped knee this week. She took it pretty well. She picked off the band-aid Esther applied about 13 seconds post application, but she would not quit picking at the scrape so I was forced to put on another.

Can you see the pattern in her band-aid? Poor baby, we have to get some girly themed band-aids in this house!

(Ninja turtles, in case you cannot see.)