Monday, June 30, 2008

Increasing Our Carbon Footprint

So. Things have been difficult around here of late. Avery is in a rough spot- angry, belligerent, quick to fly into a two-year old like tantrum. Kindergarten anxiety? Transition to summer and lack of school schedule? I don't know, but I'm doing my best not to kill her. Know any good preschools that take boarding students?

But everyone else if fine. Meryl is becoming more cognizant of what is going on around her, which is exciting. She can follow simple requests like "Give me what is in your mouth" if she is so inclined. Logan can be amazingly helpful and thoughtful and kind. Finley just does her own thing, seemingly unaware of everyone around her. (She's fine though- she can hold eye contact, does interact socially, but is just happy to play alone too.)

But, we've changed a few ways of doing things, so that I can make it through the day. We've switched to disposable diapers. I don't mind washing the cloth, but I couldn't keep up with the frequent changes they require, especially now that the babies can't stand the changes either. Rather than doing 20-40 cloth diaper changes a day, I now do 10-18 disposable diaper changes.

Our clothes are being dried in the dryer for the most part, rather than on the line.

I'm experimenting with more foods from the frozen food section of the grocery store, and I've found a pizza place on the way home from the pool I hope to frequent. Although the garden is bringing more food to our table each day. Today we got snow peas, a solid meal's worth of turnips, spinach, lettuce and the last of this crop of radish. The babies eat mostly frozen food. Peas, blueberries, okra, spinach, yogurt, etc. Straight from the freezer. I even freeze the applesauce and give it to them in chunks so they can pick it up.

Maybe our increased consumption is off-set by our new water saver toilet (Special custom order, no-sweat, low water use toilet. That still sweats and leaves a puddle on the newly replaced floor. What the heck?! They say it is because our well water is so cold.) And also by the new HE front loader washer and energy efficient dryer.

Probably not, but I can try to justify it all. In the end I know that I live more carefully than the people around me, but in comparison to the world as a whole, I am terribly wasteful.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Not Hungover, Sick

Both girls woke up from their morning naps with the clear runny noses of impending sickness and watery, sick eyes. Our wild living has pushed them over the edge. Meryl actually sat on Cathy's lap and ate. She prefers to run around stopping by for a nibble now and then. Movement is her favorite activity.
Finley looks pretty happy, but notice the drool, the snot and the watery eyes. She hasn't slowed down (she's already pretty slow to start with) but is cranky.

Don't worry, the redness is just misplace chili from dinner.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There was Cake.

Getting excited for the cake.
Meryl liked the candles.
Finley wasn't so sure.
Okay. So it wasn't actually cake, much to Logan's dismay, but a mixture of the birthday girls' favorite foods. Graham cracker crust, frozen smushed banana, a layer of vanilla ice cream, with smushed strawberries on top. It was wonderful for them.
I guess they don't party much, 'cause Meryl fell asleep at the table at breakfast the next morning. Nothing worse than a birthday party hangover!

Friday, June 20, 2008

We are One!

I can't figure out how to change the date to June 21st, when I am actually posting this.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Story Land- Post 2 of 2

Ok. Let's get real. Who the hell takes 4 kids, including two under the age of one, and therefore quite close to the ground, camping? Lunatics. This is the real version of the great vacation. The bugs are fierce and babies don't slap.
My book that never left the car. Did I really think I would get to read?
We could strap them in but they could still reach the grass to eat.
The older kids aren't much neater.
They did get really tired. But then again so did I.

The kids had a great time. Finley really watched the 30 minute circus and stood during the whole thing. Meryl was thrilled with the playgrounds and the abundance of mulch to munch on. Avery thought the dutch shoes were a hoot, especially since I pretended the ride was too wild for me and that I felt sick. Logan once again won a stuffed animal on the skee ball competition. He was so psyched. Don't tell him that since Cathy was the only other competitor that he was a shoo in!

They swam in the freezing cold water without even commenting. They got to buy any cereal they wanted for breakfast and couldn't believe I really meant ANY cereal. (Fruit Loop Smoothies for Avery and Cinnamon Toast Crunch for Logan. I'm sure our dentist will thank us for helping her second home become a reality.)

I've recovered now- the tent is dry, clean and packed away. The bug bites are mostly scabbed over on the kids so that I'm not asked how the chicken pox went with the babies. Cathy has let me sleep in every morning until at least 7 am and I went for a lake swim with my tri group and I got a quick 45 minute run in this afternoon.

Next year, remind me to get a hotel.

School's Out!

Leaving for the morning bus.
Playing the very complicated game of tag that I still haven't figured out.
Getting on the big yellow bus.
Yee Haw!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Story Land- Post 1 of 2

We car-camped at a campground and spent two days at Story Land. I have pictures to prove it. These really are our children, not the von Trapps.
Finley can now pivot and is starting to step. Walking may follow if she can ever get that dang left foot to cooperate.
Cathy does exist. Logan will be a surly teen someday.

But for now he is a wimp and even the dutch shoes was a bit much for him.
Frozen pink lemonade was a huge, huge hit remembered from last year.

In case you need more sand. Meryl carries it everywhere- in her diaper, socks, pockets, mouth, and of course, both hands. But she is good about sharing it.
Next year we will skip this fiasco, I mean event. Story Land is known for it's fun rides like Bamboo Shoots, the Polar Coaster, Flying Fish, Twirling Turtles, etc. We went on none of those. We did the dullest, slowest rides- a safari ride showcasing neon plastic animals, a circus act of domesticated cats, and a live production about the water cycle called Farm Follies. Oy!

More to follow for the three people who really read this! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Maybe I Can Just Ignore It and It Won't Happen

Their first birthday that is. But Grandma came to visit and brought presents. I guess it really will happen.

Finley and Grandma share a moment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heat Wave

But we are keeping cool. Slip and Slide
SprinklerLots of nursing

And the A/C has been a huge hit for Meryl. She feels the cool breeze and toddles away cracking up. I'm sure she'll find the buttons soon enough. (yes, yes, I know I'm supposed to hold the camera still and shut up while recording. I'll work on it. I promise.)

Hope you are keeping cool.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First Harvest of the Season

So I picked the first spinach of the season. 5 whole baby spinach leaves. As I went to snap the picture I realized what was defrosting next to them on the counter. 3 frozen hunks of spinach that would be what we really eat.
Nice. Let's hope we get a lot more of the fresh stuff.

One good thing about the rising food costs. I can now get more organic (or at least pesticide free) foods for less than conventionally grown items. Our frozen spinach is now pesticide free. All our yogurt is organic. More and more organic items for less. That is good.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Being Grateful

Or at least trying. These are the lovely little things I should focus on and be thankful for today.

-I had a neighborhood college kid come to babysit for 30 minutes so I could drive Avery to school without waking the babes. Yeah. I planned to pay her $10 but she wouldn't accept it. The babies got to sleep, she got to be generous, I got to drive for 8 minutes in the car alone listening to NPR.

-Hottleman Cowboy Cookies

-Delay Start and Timed Stop on the oven

-Avery happily bouncing down the steps when school was released.

-Logan jumping into the pool over his head and swimming with real rhythmic breathing. (okay for about 3 yards, but it's an improvement!)

-Avery riding the tag along bike with me. Finally we can get some real speed up. Today we are going to attach the babies trailer to her tag along and see if I can still move the whole contraption.

-Meryl lying in her crib and falling asleep while she sings to herself. The same song as when she plays with sand or gravel.

Love Notes in the Morning

From Avery at 6:30AM after she was sent back to her room for punching Logan when he smiled at her.


Breathe and remind myself to appreciate the small things. She writes pretty well. She got her intended message across. She still wants to go to the bus with me. We'll keep working on the, but at least she doesn't spell it dah, the way Logan wants to.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

For Cathy- Today

Who really does miss us when she is away. Go figure. She went out to dinner in Toronto tonight. Alone. And didn't cut anyone else's food. Or feed them. Or eat one handed while nursing someone. Or have food on her shirt that she hadn't even attempted to eat. I don't really feel that bad for her! Meryl and the dang dishwasher. She is sooo helpful!

We saw this turtle near the golf course and stopped to look. At the zoo they had a great porcupine. And two black bears. A bunch of other lame exhibits. A guy peeing on the sidewalk near the yak. And not much else. Maybe we'll go with you just to see the porcupine.
Falling asleep in her crib is hard for Finley. I just keep lying her back down with her pacifier. She seems to like holding onto a little silk scarf so I put that in her hand too. She ended up falling asleep in the crib, which is good.

Meryl likes the cat about as much as the black bears. Both have the same novelty for her. Comeback had several deer ticks on his white paws. Yes, Avery marked all over legs on the ride home from the zoo. Logan napped.
She still claps when she gets excited. I don't think she can control it.
Clothing optional dining. I thought I was so smart to take off their shirts for the blueberries, but I should have taken off their pants too. Live and learn. Meryl won't keep the tray on her seat and pushes herself away from the table. I tried putting her chair against the wall and then pushing the table up to her, but she just pushed the table away. I put little bits of food on the side of Finley's tray for her, but then she started taking Finley's tray off. Admire the large belly now cause I might just stop feeding her for awhile.
Look at all that hair. And I have her doing her "thing" with her hand. She blows out and flaps her hand doing the "who- who- who" thing we did as kids when we were "indians."
Meryl fell asleep very nicely. Look where the duck ended up.

They are all asleep so I'm off to shower and bed myself. Be safe. Almost vacation.