Thursday, February 24

A little school

I decided that today, I was going to work with my munchkins and see how much school we could do.

So I found an age-appropriate Bible story book, and we read a few out of that. Then I printed out some letter and number coloring pages from a nifty website I found. I busted out the markers, and they had a grand time coloring the letter A, and various pictures starting with A.

Once they had finished those, I got out the raisins and we did math. Of course, they ate the math problems once they had solved them. (Or Alex did. Holly just ate raisins and we counted them as she ate them.) Then we did a dot-the-dot and colored it.

After that, I was out of ideas, and they were wiggly, so I put on our Dance Playlist and we did funny marches around the living room. (Remember Hamster Dance? Remember the Radio Disney version? I knew it would come in handy someday!)

Then we had lunch and took naps. I was exhausted. Alex has walked around with his little "A" book all day and talks about nothing but school. I think it was a big hit.

First-School Preschool activities and crafts

Tuesday, February 22

Wednesday Words of weight "loss"

I'm doing a linkup with Patrice at Everyday Ruralty for her Words of Weight Loss. Except I'm going to do it a little differently. I'm seven months pregnant, and I'm not real worried about losing weight at this point.

In fact, I really want to gain some weight, because I have to have SOME fat on my body if I'm going to breastfeed. If I told you my weight now, you would laugh.

So I'm going to answer the weight-loss questions with a spin toward gaining, not losing. Hee hee. I hope I don't get disqualified.

1.Have you tried various diets or programs? What works best for you?

Not really, but I picked up a lot of healthy habits from my mom over the years. So right now, my secret hide-it-from-the-kids dessert snack is some kind of flavored Yoplait yogurt poured over cottage cheese. Yes. I'm so naughty.

2. Have you ever dieted or exercised with a buddy?

I almost can't exercise unless it's with someone else. I walked with my mom when I was single, I walk with my husband and kids now. The only thing I can do alone is exercise videos, because you still feel like somebody's egging you on.

3. What's your favorite type of salad?

You know those pre-assembled bagged ones? I just love the southwest taco salad mix. With the salsa/sour cream dressing and the little multicolored tortilla strips.

4. What's the first place you start to notice that you're losing weight? (ie. tummy, arms)

My thighs, generally. My pants start fitting weird. But then, I also tend to only gain weight while pregnant, which makes my pants fit weird in general.

5. What's one thing you can do to pamper yourself this week?

Go out for ice cream. :-)

Monday, February 21

Food cravings

I've been craving ice cream lately.

I've read that that's a really common food to crave while pregnant. But see, it's not that I crave ice cream. It's the WAY that I crave ice cream.

When I've been on my feet a lot all day, right before dinner, I have this weird crash. I know I need to eat, but I don't want food. Food makes me gag. All I want is something cold and sweet ... something like ice cream.

I actually had ice cream for dinner a few nights in a row, then realized that I was headed down a very bad road (a rocky road?). So I made myself rest more and snack more, and reset my appetite to be hungry for food at dinner.

And I did research.

I found this spiffy page all about food cravings. Turns out food cravings aren't limited to just pregnant women. If you crave certain things, it means your body is actually needing something different.

If you crave chocolate, chances are you're in dire need of protein. (This seems to be the case with me.) If you crave other kinds of sweets (like hard candy), you might be in need of minerals or carbs. Or it might just be that your yeast is off.

If you crave salt, you might be in need of good fats and oils, like the kind in nuts, seeds, fish, and avocados. Or it might mean you're deficient in iodine or potassium.

I found this extremely interesting, and there's more detail in the article.

Beating Food Cravings

Girl time

I put Holly's dangly clip-on earrings on her, then put her up in front of the bathroom mirror.

Then I put her hair in a ponytail.

She loved having a bit of girl time. But she also really wanted to see what was in the medicine cabinet.

The earrings and ponytail only stayed in about ten minutes, but they were sure cute while they lasted. :-)

Sunday, February 20

Reducing clutter

Problem: we like to read.

Problem: our bookcase is too small.

Especially when you throw in all the toys on top that had to get put somewhere high.

Anyway, we went down to the Goodwill store yesterday to see if they had anything we could use as a bookcase.

The Goodwill store is AWESOME. And while we found armchairs for five bucks and lots of entertainment centers for thirty-five, there were no bookcases. (But I want to go back and browse their clothes. They have even more hilarious clothes than the clearance rack at Ross!)

Anyway, my mom got wind of this. She's been dying to get rid of some of her bookcases, so she offered us one. And after an afternoon of unloading, moving, vacuuming, dusting, and reloading, we wound up with this:

*Heavenly choir*

The old bookcase has been relocated to the bedroom, where it now holds all the toys formerly on top of it, as well as all my diapers. :-)

Friday, February 18

Microclimate strikes again

Blues and greens are the rain.

Red circle is Bakersfield.

Weather system is moving east. Notice how it's splitting to go around Bakersfield in the north and south.

This happens so often it's something of a joke. MICROCLIMATE STRIKES AGAIN!

Thursday, February 17

A little under the weather

Been a little under the weather lately ... had a bunch of pregnancy-related bloodwork done on Monday and haven't really been myself since.

Anyway, feeling a bit better today, and thought I'd share something funny I saw the other day.

First off, there was a really spiffy sky that morning, so I went out to snap some pictures of it.

I noticed a small black dog go running by. A lot of people in the apartments around us have small dogs and cats, and these animals all seem to escape in the morning, right after their owners leave for work. I don't know if they escape or are let out, but lots of them get stolen or wind up as roadkill.

Anyway, I hadn't seen this black dog before, but he was trotting like he knew where he was going, and he ignored me.

Then I saw these two cats come tearing around the side of the building.

They were after that dog. The dog looked over his shoulder, saw them, and took off running with his tail between his legs. He stopped once, and these cats both arched their backs at him and hissed, and he ran for it again. They chased him all the way down to the end of the buildings, where you could see their territory ended, because then they got all smug and walked back where they had come from.

It happened so fast I never did get a picture of the dog, just the cats. But you can see that they're total thugs.

Monday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day

Young lovers, without much
Save each other, isn't that enough
Paint the future, a little day by day
Making plans with no regard for what might come our way

This cup fills up so quickly
There's so much on our plate
Between the living and the learning
Some things must wait

Effiel Tower, Paris, France

So we never got to Paris
And found the café of our dreams

Late Afternoon Reflections on Le Dome, Paris

But our table holds a whole world of memories
No, we never went to Venice
And strolled the streets alone
But we built our worlds together and we got the best of both

Alex 10 months

There's still wonder in our eyes
But we see each other in a different light
Yet the future isn't always clear
Now the question is where do we go from here

This cup fills up so quickly
There's too much on our plate
Between the living and the dying
Some things must wait

Cuba Gallery: Italy / Venice / natural light / water / bridge / photography

So we never got to Paris
And found the café of our dreams
But our table holds a whole world of memories
No, we never went to Venice
And strolled the streets alone
But we built our worlds together and we got the best of both

We may never get to Paris
And find the café of our dreams
But our table still will hold a world of memories
If we never get to Venice
And roam the streets alone
We'll hold our worlds together and we'll keep the best of both 

So We Never Got to Paris by Out of the Gray

Friday, February 11

We have arrived

Poor Daddy has had to wait a long time for this day. Small people to play videogames with!

Wednesday, February 9

If you own a blog, read this

It seems there's a huge wave of adult sites trolling blogs right now, and nobody really knows why. To post spam comments? To download the pictures?

Anyway, Patrice at Everyday Ruralty has a big article on it. I recommend everybody reads it and checks their site traffic.

Monday, February 7

Forecasting the unborn

I've been closely observing the activities of this latest kid. She's due in April, so I have about ten weeks to go. I wanted to write down what I thought she'll be like, and check back after she's born to see if I was right.

First off, she never sleeps. NEV-VER. I imagine she sleeps at night when I'm asleep, but I wouldn't know because I'm so used to her attempting to break my pelvis.

Second, she's nosy as heck. She was flipping and kicking and being generally busy as we were trying to go to sleep one night. So Ryan start patting my belly to get her to calm down. All of her movements focused on the spot that he was patting, and she tried to kick or pat him back. If anything else pokes or prods my belly, she moves over to that spot and investigates it.

She knows her siblings' voices and starts moving around if they start talking.

She loves being read to.

Once she's born, and she finds that she can't roll over and move however she wants, she will NOT be a happy camper. I'm expecting her to cry a lot and only sleep when I'm either walking or rocking her. This prospect does not fill me with joy. Possibly she'll also have colic like Alex did for the first three months. Hopefully I know more about managing babies than I did with Alex, so it won't be as bad.

So that's my baby forecast. We'll see how close I got once she's born and I've had time to get to know her little personality.

Sunday, February 6

Sunday at the park

It was such a gorgeous day today that I made it a park day. With the ulterior motive of going to the mall first. :-)

Anyway, it was about 65 degrees today, and I got to sit in the sun until I felt my face start to burn. It was wonderful. The munchkins got to run around like little wild indians. And climb slides from the bottom up.

I'm so glad Holly's finally big enough to enjoy the park. She was running around with the bigger kids, totally unaware that she's not even two yet. The big girls there thought she was adorable.

Alex, my gregarious one, ran around and helped this other little kid build sand castles with a bucket and tear them down, over and over.

Then this girl showed up and graciously let them play with her sand toys. I made sure they asked politely first, and told her thank you when it was time to leave.

All in all, a very nice day at the park, even with the jillions of people there and the impending birthday party. Fortunately we got out of there before the party started, or I'd have had to explain to my munchkins why they couldn't have any cake.

Saturday, February 5

Spring books

Do you have books that you can only read at certain seasons? Like, books to read in the winter, books to read in the spring, and so on.

I've been wanting to read my Spring books, and I might just collect them and start chugging through them. Here's my list:

The Secret Garden The Secret Garden. Oh man, this one is TERRIBLE if you have spring fever, because you want to get out in the dirt so BAD. But it's a lovely spring book.

The Four-Story Mistake (Melendy Quartet) The Four Story Mistake. For some reason I read the various books in the Melendy series seasonally. Winter is The Saturdays, spring is the Four Story Mistake, summer is And Then There Were Five, and fall is Spiderweb for Two. If you've never read the Melendy books, treat yourself and pick them up. Just fun, funny, beautifully-written kids books about a squirrely family and the adventures they get up to.

The Dalemark Quartet The Dalemark Quartet. This one is a recent addition to my Spring books, probably because I first read it in the spring a few years ago. Or maybe it's because the first book, Spellcoats, takes place in the early, early spring. Oddball fantasy juvenile fiction with almost no magic, and yet has a great deal of magic. And the last book has time travel! What's not to like?

J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) Lord of the Rings. This is more of a winter book, but usually it's almost spring by the time I finish. I like to read it when it's dark and cold, because then I can imagine that I'm out with Frodo and Sam in the cold, and when it's cloudy, it seems like that cloud of darkness that comes from Mordor in the last book. Not something to attempt if you have issues with depression, though.

Grey DawnGray Dawn. Another of my favorite spring books, because it starts out in the springtime when Gray Dawn, a collie puppy, is the lone survivor of an unfortunate litter. And he goes on to be an absolute terror, and it's so very hilarious. You go the whole book wondering if he's a really smart dog, or a really stupid one.

I know there's more, but that'll do for now. Do you have any books you read seasonally?

Thursday, February 3

Kid's eye view

Imagine you are this goofball almost-four-year-old.

Imagine Mommy has taught you how to take pictures on her camera, and then tosses you outside with it.

There were a lot more pictures than this, but they were either very blurry or extreme closeups of mystery objects.

Like this.

He just adores my camera. He runs the batteries down in it every time I lend it to him, and that's with the flash turned off, too. I think he has the makings of a real good photographer.


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