Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Halloween That Almost Was Not

I left the office at 1:00pm today to drive to a medical exam for a client. That exam was supposed to start at 2pm. It was supposed to last 30 minutes. I was supposed to catch the 3pm boat home just in time to pick up the kids, grab the Halloween costumes and my pulled pork chili verde, and arrive at my sister-in-law's place just in time for trick or treating.

EXCEPT. That exam did not start until 3pm. And then it lasted until 5pm. And then I was stuck in 5 mile per hour traffic for nearly 40 minutes. When the clock struck 5:30pm, I was still going at a snail's pace and I was still 1.5 hours from my kids and our trick or treat destination.

As I sat in traffic, I panicked. Halloween was not going to happen. I was going to be super late. We wouldn't get the kids' costumes in time and I clearly didn't have time to put together my carefully crafted Hulk costume. Trick-or-treating would be over before we even arrived! My son has been talking about trick-or-treating for a whole year. He's been counting down the days for nearly a month. He was looking forward to this day SO MUCH. A huge knot formed where my stomach should have been. I felt so horrible.  I picked my scalp uncontrollably the entire drive (my bad, nervous habit). My panic attack went to full throttle as my anxiety (and I'm sure my blood pressure) reached near cataclysmic levels. I had let my kid down. I cried at the thought.

I made a few calls. My backup plan, which I had arranged as soon as I realized the medical exam was running late, fell through. One call to my husband and plan C was formed. He would pick up the costumes, my chili, and the kids, and meet me at my sister-in-law's place. I didn't arrive until 7pm. The kids and costumes didn't show up until 7:30. But, somehow, there was just enough evening left for a quick trick-or-treat trip around the block, in the torrential, pouring rain.

As soon as they were in costume and ready to go, my anxiety finally melted away. Turned out I would not be candidate for Worst Mom of the Year. Plus, the kids looked pretty darn cute.

My Spiderman and my little spider

20 minutes of trick-or-treating and the kids were drenched. But at least their pumpkin buckets were already 1/4 of the way full. Everyone snuck back inside to dry off, watch some cartoons, and have.....

Naked Time:

Ry-guy chewed his way through a bag of M&M's. Daddy caught him just in time!

Things turned out ok in the end. Phew, but let me tell you, it was NOT my favorite day.

Happy Halloween

Cowboy Keeler's off to his preschool costume party.  After telling us for months that he wanted to be fire chief he changed his mind YESTERDAY on what he wanted to be.  At least we can pull off a cowboy pretty easy! 
This afternoon the little cowboys came to our main street's Trick-or-Treat Trail.  I was working the John Deere station (as a farmer of course).
Our little sock monkey HATED his hat. :)
Tonight we plan on attending a couple church Halloween events, stop by a couple family/friend’s houses to trick-or-treat and then back home to pass out candy.  Happy Halloween!  


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Happens At Grandma's

'One condition to my new employment was that I would be able to work from home two days a week. That was the only way I could justify traveling into Seattle for a 2+ hour commute (that's ONE way). However, I agreed to come into the office everyday for the first month so that I could get into the swing of things, learn how the firm operated, and become familiar with cases and the files.

Even though my commute was 2+ hours one way, it wasn't so bad coming in to work everyday. That's because the OTHER condition of my employment was that I would be working about 6 hours a day. Realistically, I work more like 7 hours on most days, but it's at my own perogative. I'm usually  so engrossed and wrapped up in what I'm doing that I don't want to leave! Crazy, huh?

It's been over a month now, so this week, I started working from home for part of the week. Monday was my first day. And it went pretty well. When I work from "home," I'm actually working from my parents' house, my childhood "home." This is where I drop my kids off on Mondays and Wednesdays so I thought I would use their spare bedroom. My dad set up a little office space and I brought in an extra monitor courtesy of my boss (once you start working with two monitors, it's so hard to go back to one!).

I quickly evacuated my spot at the desk my dad has set up and opted for the bed. This is what my workspace looked like for most of the day (please ignore my nasty socky, I absolutely can't stand bare feet and those socks were all I could find):

You can't really tell, but the mug says, "Old Guys Rule." Which made me laugh and think of my dad at random times throughout my day.

Before I snuck down to the office room, I explained to Jacob that I was going to be working and that he couldn't come talk to me while I was busy. I explained that there were two exceptions to this rule: (1) he could come get me at lunchtime so we could eat lunch together and (2) he could come get me at 4pm when my work would (hopefully) be done.

To my amazement he followed these rules really well. I was so excited when he knocked on my door at 12:00 on the dot to announce that it was lunch time. I sat down and had lunch with my two boys and my mom (how cool is it that I get to eat lunch with them twice a week during the work day?!). I had prepared a PB&J sandwich for lunch but my mom had me try her "BBQ" soup instead.

When she put it down in front of me, I noticed a unique array of ingredients. Peas, pineapple, chicken, potatoes, mushy croutons, and pepperonis. This is so typical of my mom. She is always making crazy experiments, to the bemoaning of my dad and brother. It was definitely interesting....but it wasn't so bad. I think the BBQ sauce really brought all the ingredients together :) Please note the bread roll covered in sprinkles.

After lunch, I snuck bad to my "office" and got busy. It was odd to hear Jacob watching Scooby-Doo in the next room while I was on a conference call with a client. But it was totally awesome to have had said conference call while wearing my favorite t-shirt and skinny jeans!

After two more hours of work, I needed to get up and stretch. I walked upstairs to make some tea and saw Ryan playing in his bouncy chair chomping on something that was obviously NOT baby food. I looked closer and saw that he was clutching a chicken nugget in his fingers, tearing off bits with his toothless gums, and chewing it to death. WTF? My six month old is eating a chicken nugget? I shook my head, grabbed my tea, snuck back downstairs, and pretended that I hadn't seen anything.

While working from "home" is awesome in so many ways, I have to remember one rule: "what happens at grandma's house, stays at grandma's house." well, at least until it is announced all over Facebook for the world to see.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Katy No Pocket {BFIAR}

Two weeks ago we rowed Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne.
Since then life went a little crazy. 
But this was a fun row and worth sharing.
The story is about a kangaroo mother who doesn't have a pocket for her joey and sets out on a mission to find a solution.

We learned that kangaroos are found in Australia.
We found it on the map and watched some youtube videos of kangaroos jumping around.
We were all giggling at their antics! They're so cute!
Then we watched some videos of aboriginal dot art being created.
Of course, we had to try our hand at it too!

We learned that kangaroos can jump up to 30 feet!
We measured it outside on the sidewalk...

Then made our own attempts!

When it was my turn, Taitum had just fallen and scraped her hand so I did my jump with my little joey attached!
It wasn't easy! 

We recorded our jumps and weren't surprised to find that we didn't even come close to the kangaroos jumping ability!

The girls made kangaroo pouches to put their babies in!
We learned that the story of Katy No-Pocket is very much a fictional one -
a baby kangaroo is about the size of a bumblebee when it is born and it climbs up the mother's fur into her pouch.
Without the mother's pouch, the baby would not survive.

In the story, Katy finds a man with an apron full of pockets.
He kindly dumps all of his tools out of it and gives it to Katy.
We talked about kindness and being generous to others.
We also took a trip to the tool store to browse at all the different kinds of tools!
Piper was very interested in everything and wanted to know what each thing was used for.
I think I did alright figuring out what most of the tools were but I was definitely out of my element!

What is the story about?

Piper: She (Katy) doesn't have a pocket. She needs one to put her baby in. She asks the monkey, the crocodile and the owl. She goes to the town. She finds lots of pockets on the apron. All the animals come and go in her pockets.

What was your favorite part of the story?

Piper: When she fits all the animals in!
Taitum: When the owl goes back to sleep.

I loved Tait's answer. So random but she was very certain of her answer!

Delightful Learning

Tolan and Brittney Engagement Photos

Congratulations Tolan and Brittney!  Tolan is my husband’s cousin and Brittney is my co-worker and sweet friend.  After Brittney saw the pictures I recently took of Heather & Paul, she asked that I take their engagement pictures.  I was flattered and felt so honored.  They are both absolutely beautiful - inside & out.  I keep telling Brittney they are going to have some gorgeous babies someday! :)


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Big Boys

As I pulled up to our garage yesterday, back from a day of running errands, I saw that the leaves on the tiny tree in our yard had turned a bright red. It was gorgeous. It suddenly struck me that the red tree, in contrast to our white picket fence, would be a perfect backdrop for some outdoor fall photos.

So this morning, at 10am when the lighting outside was perfect, I dressed the kids up and shoed them outdoors.

At first Jacob wouldn't smile. So I started to make up a story about a monkey wearing underwear. That seemed to do the trick. The result of our photoshoot: my absolute favorite pictures of the two boys together. I can't believe they are so big.

By the time we got to this picture, the monkey story was wearing thin. To get Jacob to keep smiling, I sunk to a new low and started to wiggle my butt enthusiastically while singing an ad-lib song about monkeys trying to steal my underwear. At least it worked. But I seriously hope my neighbors were no where near their windows.

Jacob, about to drop a leaf bomb on Ryan:

Pretty good huh? Especially considering I was semi-hung over from three margaritas I had enjoyed the night before during an impromptu visit with friends (Hi Jessica! :).

Lately, Jacob's been saying some funny things (admitedly, they're probably only funny because I'm his mom). Ever since Jacob was little he's had a minor lisp. It's almost unnoticeable now but every once in a while I'll catch him saying "shushi" instead of sushi or "shtring" instead of string. He also calls rootbeer "rootbeard." And when he talks about ghosts in the plural, he calls them "ghostess."

Yesterday, as I was doing chores in another room, I heard Jacob approach his dad and ask: "Daddy. Are you a nock turtle?"

My husband replied, "Sorry Jake, I don't know what that means."

"It means you can see at night."

"Oh, you mean nocturnal?"

"Yeah, a nock turtle." The sound of his voice said "Duh Dad. That's what I just said." Big thanks to Kratt's Kreatures for that word. Everyone says TV is bad for kids but, seriously, it's probably the reason he has the vocabulary that he does.

I'm going to end this post with two more pictures. We finally got our act together this weekend and set up Jacob's bunkbed and Ryan's crib (he's been sleeping in a travel pak 'n play in our room). Seeing the two of them in "their room" blows my mind. It highlights for me how close they've become as brothers.

Yes, their room is tiny (just like the rest of our 990 square foot house). 
And yes, that pterodactyle is wearing a tie.

I've always envied the siblings I knew who had shared a room and grew up as best friends. They would fall asleep giggling over pillow-talk and doing their nails. I have no idea where we will be in five years (probably still in the same house) or whether the boys will be sharing a room. But for now, it's fun to see them together. These boys love each other so much. And now that they share a room, it seems as if they have their own little world, one that we will never be part of.

Tonight is the first night that Ryan will be sleeping in Jacob's room (oops, I mean "their" room). Crossing my fingers and toes that all four of us aren't wide awake at 2am.

Cozy Weekend

Just a quick post of our weekend highlights.
We woke up to it snowing on Friday morning. This made it hard to want to go to work.  But when I got there the snow made for an awesome picture for our upcoming winter newsletter.   
 Friday evening our neighbor Cristen and her cousin came over and asked if I would do their hair and makeup for their Halloween dance.  Well, of course!! I just love being involved in these little ladies lives.  
 On Saturday,  Keeler went on his first date with these two ladies and Bailey's older sister.  We were so nervous about how he would do but we let him go and held our breath.  When they got home at 9:30p they carried him up to the door and said he fell asleep within the first ten minutes of the movie, ha!  
Tyler kept the fireplace going almost all weekend.  It was so cozy.  
He has two big helpers!  Kallahan actually carried this log all the way to Tyler from the sliding glass door.  He loves to bring us stuff and is surprising me how well he will follow through with a request.    
I just love this time of year.  We get to see more of daddy since things at the farm are slowing down.  The outside chores slow down and it makes for great family time. :)  
It's also been nice to have Tyler home in the evenings because I can get some running in.  18 miles this week!!  I registered for a turkey trot on Thanksgiving with my sister and her in-laws today!
                                                                          So sweet!
A weekend at home wouldn't be complete without a little lot of housework.  I am up way too late because I have been editing pictures of Tyler's handsome cousin and his beautiful bride-to-be.  I can't wait to share.  
Have a great week!