Saturday, September 20, 2008

Video Overload!

Hey everyone!  Check out the videos I posted!  Two are from our last family bike ride.  The boys are really falling in love with bike riding!  

One is Alex playing the piano.  Skyler like to play, too, but was too shy to go on camera.  If I can sneak a video of him, I'll put it up!

The other video is of the boys, dressed as a dog and a lion, jumping on the bed.  Whats that, you say?  It isn't halloween?  Huh.  Who knew?

A puppy and a lion play jumping bean.

Alex the performer!

Alex rides!

Sky rides!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Pictures!

Thank you so much to Grandma Val, for giving us the inside view!

Breaking News! (In our world)

Sky is home from his first day of school!!!

After deciding to calm down the obsessively protective mom thing, I walked Skyler to the bus stop at 7:25 this morning.  He was super excited at the bus stop.  Once he saw the bus, he got a little nervous, but he walked right on with no problem.  Well, one little snag- I had told him to sit next to the bus driver, not realizing that those seats would have kids in them.  Right as I was fighting the urge to rush on the bus and say "It's ok, honey, sit with that little girl", he figured it out on his own.  And I was reminded that sometimes I just don't give my little guy enough credit.  (At this moment, images of Finding Nemo are flashing in my head.  I'm seriously comparing my parenting to that of an animated fish.  Oh, boy.  Motherhood has overtaken my brain!)

So he gets on the bus, I go inside and down a cup of (decaf) coffee and pace around the living room.  Dusty reminds me that many kids go to school every day.  And that Skyler will not magically disappear in the mile bus ride down the hill.  So, after a call to the school to make sure he got there ok (I know you're rolling your eyes.  But it was his first day!), I switched my energy from wondering if he got there to watching the clock and counting the minutes till he got home.

So, Alex and I went to get Skyler at the bus stop.  As it turns out, the bus stop on the way home is outside our back gate.  Sweet!  And when the bus stopped Skyler emerged, backpack and all.  He was in one piece and in pretty high spirits.  Apparently this school thing (bus included) is his type of gig.  He loved it!

I asked him to summarize his day.  Here it is:

"I met lots of new friends!"
"Grandma kept snappin' up all different pictures of me!"  (Thanks, Grandma Val!)
"It was good."

And...thats about all I could get out of an exhausted 5 year old.  

While we were sitting and talking about his day, I noticed that Sky's tooth was sitting on it's side.  I went over to him, looked at it, and sure enough it was hanging on by a string.  So, not only did Skyler go to school, he lost a second tooth!  There is already an envelope (sealed, so as to make sure the tooth fairy gets it) under his pillow.  He is now zoning out on the couch, trying his best not to fall asleep.  

On a related note, every sound Alex hears from the road is now a bus.  Ever since we saw big bro get off the school bus, we get to hear Al every 30 seconds say "I want ride bus!" or "I hear bus!".  He was just in heaven getting to be THAT close to a school bus!

Note:  In the pictures of Sky waiting for the bus, I know he doesn't look excited.  He was!  Blame the sour look on nerves and the fact that it was 7:30 and mom forgot to grab him a jacket.  Oops!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Shamelessly begging for donations...

So, I just read that Skyler's school will be participating in Box Tops for Education.  They accept Campbell's soup can labels and General Mills Cereal box tops, then turn them in for money that goes towards the parent teacher committee budget.

I totally understand if your labels go elsewhere, or if you don't buy overpriced cereals and soups when the stores provide similar products at store-brand prices.  But if you do buy Campbells and/or General Mills, we'd appreciate the donations of these labels!  If any are sent Sky's way, he can take them in to his school and contribute to the fundraiser.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our pretty much perfect day. (Sky can ride a bike!)

In the interest of preserving memories, I think that our latest family adventure is worth writing out.  I don't have any pictures, though- I decided to focus less of "capturing the moment" and more on being IN the moment!

So, after a long day of running errands the other day, Dusty and I needed a way to tire the boys out.  We had promised the boys ice cream at the Costco deli (a.k.a. dispensary of incredible amounts of yummy tasting saturated fats), but wound up walking right past it in an effort to get a tired 2 year in the car before the entire warehouse realized he was, in fact, a toddler.  Poor Skyler, in an usual act of patience, actually believed us when we said he had a treat coming to him later in the day.  So...guess that meant we needed to figure out a treat!

It was a beautiful day.  Since we're now in that season where you spend every sunny day wondering if it is the last, we thought we'd better get the kids outside.  So we loaded up their bikes (or bi-chi-chles, if you ask Al) and took them down to the trail for an evening ride that we figured would mean a LOT of work on our part.  After a small disagreement over wether or not Alex needed elbow pads and knee pads to ride a bike with training wheels (I won!  Alex looked like a knight in all his body armor), we were off.

Here are the highlights:

-Both boys needed their seats raised.  (sniffle)  They are getting so big!
-Alex proved that you CAN go fast on a toddler bike with training wheels.
-Alex also proved that you CAN tip over on a bike with training wheels.  (And mommy was right about the body armor!)
-Skyler showed that he could go forever on a bike ride. 
-Skyler also proved that he can ride faster than I can run.  But still insisted that I keep up with him.
-Skyler learned how to push off on his own!!!  Everyone within a 2  block radius heard "I CAN RIDE MY BIKE MYSELF!!!"
-Alex is a trooper.  At one point he was so tired, his eyes were closing.  But those little legs kept spinning round and round!
-Dusty and I actually got to enjoy ourselves!  The boys are big enough to ride ahead a bit and be just independent enough to enjoy themselves without us  helping non-stop.  But they are still young enough to not go TOO far!

After the bike ride, we went to Sunny Hans.  We haven't attempted eating out with the boys for quite awhile.  It was amazing!  They sat and ate!  I think we almost came off as a nice family eating dinner, as opposed to 2 stressed out parents and 2 unruly little ones.  Woo-hoo!

So, that is it.  My account of a perfect evening.  I don't know if the boys will remember that day forever, but I sure will.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A plea to toy makers:

PLEASE start making toys that don't frustrate my kids to the point of insanity.  Or me, for that matter.

For example, if a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is supposed to be a skateboarding reptile, PLEASE make sure the skateboard can stay on the ninja's feet for at least 30 seconds at a time.  PLEASE?!?!?

If I hear "MOOOOOOMMM, the skaaaateboard won't stay oooonnnn!!!!" one more time today...

Edited to add: So I just googled it and apparently a turtle is a reptile?  Who knew?  Huh.  I always thought they were amphibians.

A sad election time reminder.

So this isn't going to be funny, or very entertaining.  But something is weighing on my mind, and I'm going to let it out.

Yesterday I was at a local elementary school, in the office.  I witnessed something really sad.  A little girl and little boy were sitting in the office, waiting to be picked up.  The little girl was crying and saying she wanted to go to school.  The secretary was on the phone saying "Well, you need to prove you are in the country legally" and "they must have complete immunization records" and "you'll need to come get them".  She got off the phone and told the kids that their mommy would be there soon.  The little girl just had a breakdown.  She wanted so bad to be there.  My heart hurt for her.

Every message board I read is full of politics.  Unfortunately, most of the "politics" on these boards are full of mudslinging.  Not all, but too many for my taste.  So, this is my call to whoever cares to read my blog:

We aren't going through this election just to give us a reason to bash one another.  This is not just a chance to call people names for believing differently.  We are in the midst of election season for that little girl.  And all of the other children we cross every day, some whom we know and love, some we will never meet but could grow up to do incredible things.  They need us to help determine the course of their future.

I don't care how you intend to vote, that is up to you.  I'm proud of you for voting.  Sure, I'd love for you to vote for MY candidate, MY beliefs-  but that isn't what a democracy is about.  The problems our country faces are complex, and the answers are not just easy to come by.  It is confusing, and I'm sure that there will never be solutions that are perfectly fair to every person in the country.  And that is why we live in a democracy.  So that we ALL have the opportunity to look at all the issues we face, look deep inside ourselves to discover what the right answers are, and vote accordingly.

My heart broke for that little girl yesterday.  She may be here legally, she may not.  She may have access to immunizations, she may not.  While not everyone agrees on how to deal with those issues, I'm sure we can all agree on one thing- that 6 year old could not understand why she couldn't go to school.  And THAT in itself is sad.  Right, wrong, indifferent- it was sad.

And then I come online to read about a VP candidate possibly getting knocked up before marriage and how a candidate for the presidency may have been raised with religious teachings other than that of mainstream America.  Does that put all this mudslinging in to perspective for anyone else, or I am just overly emotional lately (admittedly that wouldn't be too far a stretch)?

I am tired of debating about things that won't help my children.  I am tired of hearing about "issues" that will not matter 40, 50, 100 years down the road.  So I am asking- regardless of which political theory you subscribe to- that we keep in mind a few important things: WHO and WHAT we are wanting to fix/protect/etc. and HOW we feel that can be done.  I want to look at my kids 30 years down the road and tell them that I have done everything I can to make their world better, regardless of my personal political philosophy.  I think we all want that.  So lets not talk about issues that should be left only to tabloids and entertainment news shows...lets talk about how to fix the challenges that we face as a nation.

Thanks for reading!