Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Do spiders get pregnant?

I was the parent helper in Spencer's class today and we got to release two Monarch butterflies. They had the caterpillers in the tank in his pre-K class. Their cocoons were beautiful with gold edging at the top. The kids got a real kick out of seeing their new friends fly away.

This afternoon we played outside for quite awhile. When Spencer was riding his big wheel-type trike around I noticed he was heading for a big spider. He didn't hear me warn him and he squished it with his tire. As soon as he went beyond it the abdomen of the spider popped open and lots if itsy bitsy bugs came out. We assumed they were baby spiders, but I have no clue if spiders get pregnant. I thought they were egg layers. Maybe they were parasites. Anyway, Spencer got out a magnifying glass to look at them and really enjoyed the show.

Oh, and big hit - we broke out the new bubble machine. Way better than the old one (although with the same bad handle design) and purchased on super discount! Huge hit. Bubbles are good.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A new baby

My friend Tanja had her baby girl this morning. So, to help out, we watched her son Joshua for a little bit after school. We had a good time since one of Evie's and Joshua's other friends from school came over with her mom. But Joshua didn't want to go when his dad came to pick him up. He really didn't seem interested in going to the hospital to meet his new sister, despite how much fun Spencer told him being a big brother was. Poor little guy. I know it'll take awhile for him to adjust but my heart goes out to him. It's a big change.

I finally got to see Spencer play soccer. He seems to really like it. He even got tired! I didn't know that was possible!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Spencer's party

Spencer had his birthday party and it seemed to be a big hit. Boy, am I glad I only invited 6 kids! The weather was rainy and blowy. We couldn't even use the deck. The big excitement came when a neighbor got his minivan stuck in the drainage ditch behind the house. Why was it there? I have no clue.

I'll post pictures the next time I get the camera up to the office.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Spencer!

By some incredible miracle, Spencer has managed to survive FIVE YEARS of our parenting. He's still alive and seems to be thriving. I have no clue how that happened, but I couldn't be happier.

As I type this he's building little piggy houses (as in The Three Little Pigs) with his new Tinker Toys to place around his new Hot Wheels track, whose motor has been running for about an hour now. I wonder if those things ever burn out?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Connie Alutto, 1919-2006

My grandmother, Connie Alutto (we called her Nanny) passed away early this morning. I am very sad and having trouble being patient with the kids. Everything reminds me of her. I know this will pass soon but it doesn't help with my Mom duties. I will go to her memorial service on Wednesday which will cause some schedule disruptions for the kids this week.

Nanny was a character. Frustrating at times, but willing to laugh at herself. She overreacted to just about everything and knew it. She showed her love by cooking, singing out of tune, and playing cards with her grandchildren as much as they wanted. She will be missed.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Do the oven happy dance

We have a new oven! Yeah! Alan and his Dad installed it today. It's all black and shiny and new. I still can't find a taker on Freecycle for the old one, which is a little disappointing.

In other news, Spencer survived another birthday party. The parents were kind enough not to serve any nuts and we ended up having to wash everyone's hands after the messy (but totally yummy and dairy-full) cake. They were very gracious about it and Spencer didn't mind the plain cupcake and soy ice cream sandwich I brought him. He was tired and cranky by the end of the party and we headed out as soon as some other parents showed up.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today was a super great day, starting with the flowers and cards I got at breakfast. After work the kids and I took a walking adventure from school to McDonald's (their reward for good behavior during Spanish class) and then to the bookstore. After we got home we made spinning fish (see the last paragraph for a description) and played outside.

But the best part of the day was hearing a tired and cranky Evie tell me that she wanted to be with her brother because she loves him. It was so sweet and gave me that little pat on the back that maybe I'm doing an OK job after all.

Spinning fish: Cut an inch wide strip down the long side of a piece of copy paper. Decorate with crayons or markers, but nothing that would weigh it down. About an inch from each end cut a half inch wide slot in opposing sides (so one slot comes in from the left the other from the right at the other end of the strip). Bend the paper so that you can fit the slots in each other. Drop from a high place or toss. It will spin as it falls to the ground.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Too many field trips with the Frizz?

Lately the kids have been watching The Magic School Bus for their one show a day. They always want to watch it even if they've seen it before. I hope Dora's not jealous. Anyway, I think they've maybe watched one too many shows. This afternoon Evie announced, "According to my research..." I about fell out of my seat in the car.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Busy day for a sick person

Spencer is still sick and I think we're not quite at the worst of it yet. Alan's still convinced it's allergies. I had to give Spencer a breathing treatment this morning so I don't really care if it's allergies or a cold. It still stinks.

This morning we got the kitchen floor cleaned right off the bat before we took Evie to dancing. She loves dancing. Loves, loves, LOVES dancing. Poor Spencer was bored most of the time. After that we went to the local co-op since it was member discount day. Then home for lunch and a little more guitar learning (Spencer likes to listen to the CD that came with the lesson books thought I really can't figure out why). After that on to Kroger for our second grocery stop of the day.

And then, the kicker. We managed to get Evie dressed for soccer, complete with shin guards. I begged and pleaded until they each had snack so they wouldn't get hungry during her soccer class. We get there, and...cancelled. No warning, nobody seemed to know. The guy who runs it wasn't even there. Supposedly the fields were too wet. Oh well. I guess Evie gets an extra week of soccer at the end. But I have no clue how I'm going to convince her to get dressed next week.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I See You in the ICU

Sorry I've been out a bit. This weekend I went to Ohio to visit my grandmother. She's not doing very well and I wanted to be able to talk to her in case something happened. When I walked in and told her I was there the first thing she said was, "Where's Alan?" So much for my big appearance at her bedside! What a ham.

Spencer seems to have a cold. Poor guy is really having trouble with the stuffy nose and cough.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Helping out

Spencer's classroom had no parent helper today, so Evie and I hung around to do the job. Evie was clingy most of the time so I'm not sure how much help I actually was. Another mom came to take over but Evie was painting then and didn't want to leave.

Then we had the 45 minute long "let's get out of here" routine which involves playing on the toys in the "big room" and general pottering around. We agreed to do McDonald's since I didn't get my desperately needed Target shopping done. They weren't really well-behaved in either place, unfortunately.

This evening we went down to the lake to see Granddad's boat. That was fun and the kids got wet by the beach. I should have brought their swim suits.

I'm starting to feel like the kids are sleep deprived. Only time will tell, I guess.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Soccer Star

Spencer went to soccer tonight with Alan. I wish I had been there to watch. The last two times he tried soccer he ended up not playing. I guess he was in the thick of it the whole time and had a blast. I'm so proud of him.

Today at school was rough. We have three girls from Korea who don't speak the language and are younger than the rest of the class. It's really tough on them. Their parents don't all speak English either, so we can't even talk to them about ways to make their daughters feel more welcomed. We're doing our best and hoping to get help from someone at IU. The director is having an extra teacher work with us on Thursday.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Quiet Weekend

Yesterday Alan and I did more oven shopping while his parents took the kids for an afternoon adventure. Today we went to the 4th Street Fair, which is tents of arts and crafts, and then tonight we went to the last free concert at Bryan Park. Evie had some potty issues while we were there so we ended up leaving earlier than the kids would have liked. But all in all, a fun weekend so far. And tomorrow is a day off for Alan so we'll all get to hang together some more.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The blahs

Boy, the gray weather has given us the blahs. This morning everyone got up at a decent hour, but getting moving was another story. The kids weren't dressed until after 10:30! I finally forced them out the door to run some errands. After a late lunch I managed to get them outside for a little bit, but we ran into a hyper dog off its leash during our walk and then nobody wanted to be outside anymore. Arg!

We managed to survive until our sitter came for an hour and a half or so. I was up a good portion of the night last night so I used the time to nap. During that time she had them painting, running, jumping, and dancing. Everyone (including me) was in a better mood when I woke up.