Friday, March 30, 2007
We weren't allowed in the ice area since it's so small but they had windows we could watch through. Her teacher gave Hannah a walker and put her on the ice. To my surprise, she loved it! Every time she fell (which really wasn't often) she'd get right back up and keep going. By the end of the 30 minutes, she was able to let go of the walker, pick up a toy and stand back up. I was highly impressed. When it was over, I asked Hannah if she wanted to take off her skates right then and she told me no. So, we walked the long hallway back to the skate rental. She didn't want a hand to hold and insisted on doing it herself...and she did. Just like she'd always been doing it.
She's so excited for next week. I wonder how long she'll have to use the walker.
I didn't get great pictures since I was taking them through a window, but I thought these were cute. She's the one wearing the stiped pants.
I pull out of the lot and Hannah asks me if it's storming. I tell her not yet. I turn my head to make sure I'm not going to hit anything as I pull out onto the road and I see this (yeah, I usually carry a camera with me)...
I don't think I have to say outloud what I thought it was at first. Luckily, it was just a really heavy band of rain that looks to be right over my house (it wasn't, though). Cool, isn't it?
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Hannah had her first gymnastics class today. She was so excited to get into her new leotard...she wore it all day! The park district has a nice big gymnastics facility and has a competitive gymnastics team (I know I'm thinking a little far into the future). I'm not sure yet how I feel about this program but I figure that no matter what I'll stick it out. I just don't see them learning a whole lot. She has them doing somersaults without showing them how to do it. Granted, most of the kids in the class have taken classes with this teacher before but there were two (Hannah and another girl) who didn't really know what to do. Eventually, she did help...I guess I'm just thankful that at this age they are mostly learning balance and flexibility. She loved it and I suppose that's all that really matters.
What I really hate about this gym class, though, is the distance. It takes between 20 and 25 minutes to get there, depending on traffic. It would be nice to find a gym closer, and I know that there are plenty.
15 minutes into Hannah's 55 minute class, my cell rings. The caller ID tells me that it's the school nurse. I sigh and answer the phone. She tells me that Jacob's in her office and doesn't feel well. He also looks really pale and she thinks it would be best if he just went home. She was not happy with me when I told her that it would be about an hour before I could get to the school (I was not pulling Hannah out of her class). She finally told me that Jacob could relax in on one of the beds until I could get there. I managed to get there an hour later and took everyone home. (BTW, Jacob looked fine to me)
I popped in Happy Feet for the kids to watch and Hannah was so exhausted she fell asleep. A little later, everyone went out to blow bubbles and play with chalk. Amazingly, Jacob's been fine all afternoon. I'm so shocked! LOL! Oh well. I guess everyone needs an afternoon off every now and then.
Tonight, we've had some great thunderstorms. I love thunderstorms. There's been some awesome lightening and thunder, as well as plenty of rain. In the few months we've been here, I think there've been more storms than what we had the entire time we were in VA. It's not nearly as pretty here, though.
Today, Amy-Across-The-Street (I've since learned there's a third Amy on the street, although I'm not sure which house she's in...this brings my "Amy" total to 5) was also outside with her three girls and also sees the car pull in. We both look at each other and shrug. The stranger gets out, opens her trunk and pulls out a For Sale sign. This act brings Amy-A-T-S running, three girls in tow.
I'll admit that I was incredibly curious what was going on, especially after they began talking and Amy-A-T-S followed, what I now assume to be a realtor, inside the house. She comes out a few minutes later and the oldest girl, Sydney (AKA The Tattler, so called because she always informs me of Daniel's behavior in class) comes over to tell me that the house is clean. Ummm...okay. Thank goodness Amy-A-T-S saw my curiosity and came over to tell me what had happened.
Apparently, the house has been sitting vacant for about a year. The previous owners were very private people as they would pull into the garage and immediately close the door and never talked to anyone. A few times, the police were called to the house, leading to domestic violence speculation. No one knows for sure what was going on but one day, the house was empty. Everyone said that the house had been completely trashed before they left but it could never be confirmed and Amy-A-T-S was wanting to know if this was true, which is why she wanted to go in.
So, the house is now in foreclosure. The agent wouldn't give any specifics and there were no fliers left (although there is a box for fliers). Jackie (neighbor on the other side of the empty house) has decided that she has to know just how much that house is going for. She calls the number listed on the sign and acts like a person interested in the house. They give her all of the information she was looking for, gives us the bare minimum and runs inside her house (apparently, she and her husband are considering buying it for a flip). At this point, I realize it's time to get Jacob from school and head out.
When I come back, everyone is outside talking. Of course everyone's talking about "the house" and who they think will buy it. Will it be a neighbor or will someone we don't know come in and buy it? LOL! What's nice is I really got to know several of the neighbors that I hadn't met before. Hopefully now that the weather's getting warmer, I'll be able to get to know even more!
What's scary is everyone knows everyone's business. Hmmm...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
It's been hard for everyone to get back into the routine. It shouldn't be that hard after a little better than a week. I mean, it's not like it was summer vacation but it has been difficult.
The boys got their report cards yesterday. No big shock that Jacob is doing well in Reading. We were a little surprised that he got 2's (they are on a 1-2-3 scale...1=A, 2=B/C, 3=D/F...confusing because it's the opposite for Daniel!) in science and math but got +'s in most of the other subcategories. Daniel is doing better. His strong suit is math and managed to get several 3's (remember their scale is backwards) in some of the math areas. We got a report from the Reading Specialist but I'm having trouble reading it. We have conferences with everyone next week.
The grass is beginning to grow! I know that I've been completely obsessing about it...what sane person goes out with a flashlight at 11pm to see if anything's coming up?!? LOL! Seriously, though. I did that. And it may have actually been closer to midnight. Anyhoo...I was out watering the other day when Amy from the cul-du-sac (as opposed to Amy across the street) came over to tell me how much better the yard looks this year. I looked at her, looked at the yard, looked back at her and said, "really?" She then told me that the previous owners had pretty much killed off every blade of grass last spring. She said that for most of the summer, it was all mud. I don't know if they tried reseeding last spring or fall but I'm thinking that they did a fairly good job if there was nothing here last year. It's just so cool to look out and finally see little blades of baby grass growing where there was nothing two weeks ago.
I've been trying to divert my attention from the grass by working on the little garden areas around the yard. I've gotten two completely done and one has a few pansies planted (Jacob begged to plant a few) I've still got a lot of work to do on the flower beds before I can plant anything. Good thing nothing's set to go into the ground for a while because I really think it's going to take about 2 weeks, if not longer, to get everything ready.
Here is a picture of the Dora cake I made for Hannah's birthday today.
I'm pretty proud of it. I'm always amazed at myself when I make these and they actually look like what they are supposed to! LOL!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Daniel gets ready to bowl...
Hannah insisted on picking up her own bowling ball every time.
Jacob had pretty good form!
Hannah would put the ball down and almost push the ball behind her to push it forward. Way too cute!
While Daniel preferred to pretty much throw the ball. I'm sure the bowling alley loves kids like this! LOL!
All three trying to get their balls into the hole at the same time.
Jacob and Daniel watch as Jacob's ball heads right into the water.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
It was some sort of organic gardening catalog. It had a lot of cool things in it...even though most of it was stuff I would never have (not saying I wouldn't love to have it)...containers to grow tomatoes upside down, raised beds (would love to have these) and that sort of thing. But, they had a 4-5 page spread on composting. I had a friend or two in VA that had these and I always wanted one. I think the boys would love to watch stuff turn into soil. Does anyone out there compost? If so, how do you start?
Poor Hannah has a mild cold. At first, I thought that it might be her asthma acting up but after talking to her, she has a tickle in her throat and her nose is running. She was hacking away around midnight last night and I went in to check on her. I hadn't been there for too long when she began throwing up. Everywhere. After settling her down, I ran the bath. At midnight. I have to say that I think this is the first time I've ever had to give a child a bath like this in the middle of the night, but I just couldn't let her go back to sleep with it in her hair. I changed her bedding and put her back to bed. She must have just been exhausted because she didn't get out of bed this morning until after 10. She's in good spirits, so I'm hoping that this blows over soon.
I've enrolled the kids in various activities through the park district. The boys wanted to take a break from baseball and will be starting Tae Kwon Do at the beginning of April. Two days a week. The nice thing is that they are in the same class, so I don't have to ferry them to several different classes a week. That's nice. I hope that they learn something from it. Daniel's excited to learn "ninja." LOL! Mike thinks they will get bored and will hate it...I think they'll like it. We'll see.
Hannah starts gymnastics and ice skating (yes, I said ice skating) at the end of the month. Both are once a week. She's really excited about ice skating and told the boys that she'd teach them too. We'll see how she feels after the first few classes. Ordinarily, I only let them do one activity per season, but since the boys were doing theirs twice a week, I figured it would be okay for Hannah to do two.
Southern Illinois plays KU (Kansas) tonight in their Sweet 16 game. I really want SIU to kick KU's ass, mostly because I'm tired of hearing our NBC affiliate sports guy talk about how KU is going to be really up against a wall with UCLA (neither has won their game yet). And, this guy is an SIU alum!!! He keeps going on about how SIU is a mid-major and don't have a chance against Kansas (umm...hello...remember Bradley in the FIRST round last year?!? We knocked KU off easily!) I'm actually looking forward to watching the game since they are televising it locally. 6:10, baby. I really hope Southern kicks some Jayhawk ass!!!! GO SALUKIES!!!!!! (that's for you, honey!!!)
After going back and forth for the past week, ABC decided to run a new episode of Grey's tonight. My Favorite Mistake is on at 8pm Central. I'm curious to see what happens in the aftermath of George/Izzy.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I put it in the same place I did on Monday - the same place that let the sprinkler cover the entire front lawn. Today, it was watering the left side of the yard and the neighbor's driveway. Thank you 21 mph winds and 31 mph wind gusts! Grrr! So, I ended up putting the sprinkler in our driveway. Amazingly, the driveway is barely wet and the whole yard is being watered. LOL!
Obviously, it's too early to tell if my re-seeding efforts are working, but at least the areas that already had grass are becoming a lovely shade of emerald green. I hope the bare spots fill in!
Monday, March 19, 2007
I don't know why the lawn bothers me so much. Maybe it's because we had the nicest lawn in the neighborhood (minus the ivy patch) in Virginia...ours was green when everyone else's was icky and brown. I just want a beautiful lawn!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
We got really close to the tigers...although they were too busy sleeping to be concerned.
I hope you can see the lemur with his arms stretched out sunning himself.
There was a huge play tree outside the Discovery Barn that had a slide. Hannah had fun.
The kangaroos were running unenclosed around the zoo. We could have walked up to them if we'd wanted to. It was really crazy!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
100% of the time, I start in the kitchen. I just get so inspired when the kitchen is clean. The floor in there hasn't been mopped since before Mom and Dad came (I know it's only been a week, but I try to mop a few times a week) so it was in desperate need. It doesn't help that Oriana has been digging through the garbage a couple of times this week, either. I had been using the Swiffer mop but was never happy with the way the floor looked after. It always has a dull sheen (and yes, I use the Swiffer for wood). I don't know if there was a sheen on the floors in VA (the wood was darker) or if I just ignored it but here, it's annoying. So yesterday, I found this stuff at Target.
I've loved the Method brand of bathroom cleaner for years. Not only does it work really well, but it smells like peppermint (I actually think it's eucalyptus, but whatever). It also doesn't ruin my hands. (that's the point of the Method stuff, good for skin and lungs) Anyway, they now have a mop for wood floors. It's called the OMop. It looks like a Swiffer, but the mop head is bigger and you rinse and reuse the pad. Love that! It also came with some samples of their dust cloths. Haven't used those yet, but I will be soon.
So, I start to mop. You squirt the stuff on the floor and mop. I get half of the floor mopped and Hannah walks in to ask what that smell is. I said that I didn't know...was it a good smell? She says yes. I stop and smell. Holy cow! My kitchen smells like almond! I finish the floor and step back to see if there's a film in the areas where it's drying. No film. Looks pretty shiny to me. At this point, Jacob says, "what smells so good?" I told him that it's the floor. So, not only is my floor nice and shiny, but my first floor smells like almonds. Awesome!
I just had to share!
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The kids and I have been heading over to the park after school for the past couple of days. They love it. We walked about a mile on one of the trails on Monday and my legs are still sore! It's just been so nice outside the past few days (they're calling for 80's today) and I'm trying to get the kids as much outside time as possible before it goes back to seasonal temps tomorrow. Okay, so our seasonal temps are in the 50's but you know what I mean. I'm looking forward to it getting nicer so that I can get out and work on the yard. Mike was talking to neighbors behind us and they said that the previous owners over-fertilized and killed a good chunk of the grass. So, I plan to go out, turn up the bare spots a little and re-seed. Hopefully it'll work. I've got big plans for this yard and it's going to take some time (I can already see the fear coming from Mike's computer). I promise I'll make a plan before beginning any projects!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
She describes the program to me...5 days a week (I really wanted 3) and you cannot do less. The program runs from 9am to 1pm, unless I need full time care (which I don't) and then they run from 7am to 6pm. They do all of the requisite reading, writing, etc as well as Shabbat services on Friday and I think she said a Havdalah (is that right?) service on Monday. And they still have spots open for Hannah's age.
Okay, so what I really want to know is how much does it cost? Are you ready? $490 PER MONTH!!!! Oh, and you have to be a member of the JCC at a cost of $95 PER MONTH. SERIOUSLY?!? Seriously. $585 a month to send Hannah to preschool. That's $5265 for the nine month school year. Umm...I think I need to check out some other schools.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Her: This is so and so from Dr. F's office. Sorry to call so early.
Me: That's okay (I'm thinking it's really early for them to be making a confirmation call - Jacob has a dentist appointment tomorrow)
Her: I have a couple of cancellations this afternoon and was wondering if you'd like to bring Daniel and Hannah in for their checkups today instead of next month.
So, those two had their first check ups at their new dentist. This place is A LOT like their old dentist. Fish everywhere...lots of great toys...friendly staff. Poor Daniel was freaked out. He didn't want to let the hygenist even count his teeth. How they got x-rays out of him, I'll never know. Hannah did awesome. She was loving every minute of it and even came home and I was her patient. "Open mouth...what kind of paste you want? I got bubble gum or strawberry." LOL!
Anyhoo...Hannah's teeth look good. No problems. Daniel, on the other hand, has five cavities. They're small, but there. They're going to fill them up and seal up the teeth. Since Jacob's had his sealants, his teeth have been good, so hopefully we'll have the same luck with Daniel.
They also did this thing called Toothprints. They had them bite on a warmed piece of clay and placed it in a special bag for me. It left an upper and lower toothprint for me to take home. Basically, it's a way for us to have dental records and DNA if ever needed. Apparently, it also leaves a smell that tracking dogs can trace. Hopefully, we never need it but it's kind of cool to have.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
A county to the south of us had the first EF4 tornado in the country (previous tornadoes under this scale were EF3 or less) on February 28th. The same storm that gave us the golfball sized hail. To put the new scale into perspective, this EF4 tornado would probably have been the same as an F3 on the old Fujita Scale...still a very impressive and destructive tornado to say the least. They're saying it's going to be a pretty wicked season.
I started knitting again. I don't know why. I'm not very good at it but I really want to do something productive. Today, I made a blanket for Hannah's "baby George." (her favorite stuffed monkey. She was so cute. She'd come up to check my progress and squeal, "good job Mommy!" Too cute.
I guess it was a sort of craft day because the pipe cleaners and beads came out. I'm always amazed at how entertaining a bag of pipe cleaners is. Add the beads and they start making you stuff. Daniel made me a spider, a heart shaped bracelet and a tiara. He told me that I was a princess. I told him that he must be my prince if he's giving me a tiara. He then said that he can't be a prince because he's just a boy and I told him that was silly. He's definately my prince. He must have come up to me three other times later to ask if he was really a prince! LOL!
And now...I must figure out how to knit Daniel a monster alien.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
1. China is the (c)third largest country in the world.
2. Most of the people in China live (a)on the eastern coast.
3. The capital of China is (b)Beijing.
4. China has (b) 1.2 billion people living there.
5. There are (b) five stars on the Chinese flag.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Today, Jacob brought home a test he took on China. I don't know that I would have passed. I was curious to see how many of you would. I'm going to post 5 multiple choice questions that came from Jacob's test. Answer the questions (no cheating!) and I'll post the answers tomorrow.
1. China is the _____ largest country in the world.
2. Most of the people in China live ______.
a. on the eastern coast
b. in the mountains
c. in the desert
3. The capital of China is _____.
c. Hong Kong
4. China has _____ people living there.
a. 1.5 million
b. 1.2 billion
c. 2 thousand
5. There are _____ stars on the Chinese flag.