Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book recommendation

Ok, first of all I have a book recommendation. I was at the store and saw this book in the kid's section. I had to pick it up, obviously. I was such an impulse purchase and totally worth it. When I read it to Hank, he giggled uproariously the entire time. It builds anticipation. It's snarky. If you don't want to spend $17 on it I will lend it to you. Sean needs to read it to Morgan first though.

This has got to be one of the cheesiest smiles for Hank. Love it.

Morgan is showing me her favorites so far from her Lego friends advent calendar. 
Simply because I mocked the set for having an oven, the oven is her favorite.
Along with the girl figure of course.

And here we are, waiting for Santa on the firetruck. He was 3 hours late (as far as we were concerned). Usually he comes to our neighborhood first and we have to scramble to get our cold weather gear on before running outside to see him drive by and pelt us with taffy. This year they changed the route and we (neighbors included) were all hanging around on our driveways in PJs and coffee in hand (ok, maybe that was just Sean and myself) saying "Where is Santa?"

OH, and we actually put lights on the house this year. Well WE didn't do it, we paid someone else to do it. Pics to come, they were just installed today, so we haven't seen it at night yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Impossible Costume

This year Morgan wanted to be Mary Poppins for Halloween. Sean thought we should buy it, but I thought for sure I could make it for much cheaper, and still be happy with the result. I found a great tutorial and bought a new sewing machine (ok so it wasn't cheaper, but I have a serger now) then spent $60 on fabric and went to town. There were some very frustrating days/weeks, and I hate hate hate making bias tape and sewing chiffon. In the end, despite multiple false starts, it finally turned out. 

Fortunately, Hank wanted to be Vader and we bought that costume from the store. Yay!

Here they are about to go trick or treating. Hank is about to use the force.

Strangely, Sean decided he wanted to dress up this year. He is Terry Pratchett's death It looked really cool, though I think he scared some kiddies in the neighborhood.

I dressed up to go to school that day as Totoro, complete this year with a pillow for added puffiness. I didn't get a picture. For Halloween night, I dressed up as my witch costume from the aerial halloween show. It makes a fantastic passing out candy costume complete with red lipstick. 

Next year I would like to dress up as Susan Deathbringer.
I suppose I should start working on that now. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumn and Halloween happenings

Earlier this month, we had a Family Day with the school, and went to a local farm. They had a pumpkin patch, a very tiny corn maze, a petting zoo that consisted of 4 goats (cute, mind you), and a pig with a sign that says, "I bite!" Heh. Very.... rustic.

But the corn was cool:
I felt an almost irresistible urge to play music from Signs

And I convinced them to pose for me on the straw bales:

The split second before another swarm of children arrived

But, of course, the best feature was the old tractor.

Of course you have to make racecar sounds on the tractor

Chyler trying to usurp the wheel

Yvie posing pretty on the big ol' tractor tire

I don't have my kids for Trick or Treating this year, so we decided to do an early activity with costumes. A couple Saturdays ago, we went to the Red Butte's Garden After Dark. We didn't get a lot of photos (it was dark, and we were busy enjoying the activities), but we took a few Costume shots:

Yvie the princess. She loves her new shoes!
Chyler as Star-Lord
Q-man as a Spartan Warrior

I haven't walked around Red Butte Garden in ages, it was fun to walk the perimeter, which was decorated with lights and spooky halloween decorations.

Star-Lord has no time to stop and enjoy the scenery

Red lights and spiderwebs

I'll try and get more photos of the kids in costume before they go out on Friday. Q-man has a cool spear we've been working on, and Yvie has a masquerade mask that she didn't want to wear to the garden.

How are your costumes going?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Aquarium Visit

Hi. My name is Lorraine, and I have been neglecting this blog.

So, to pay penance, I vow to enter three new blog posts in the next week. Photos will be posted, funny captions entered, and I will write at least one decent post of verboseness.

Today, I would like to share the photos from our trip to the Aquarium. This will be a mostly-photos-post - they tell enough of the story.

First, the photo of Jason and the children being et by the shark teeth. I took a few, and this one is my favorite. Hank's face is just so... Hank.

Next, the photo of Chyler and Hank surfing on the whale. Yet another awesome Hank face.

And then there's the photo of Yvie, Morgan, and Chyler hugging a different whale.

Followed by Morgan and Yvie 'holding' the baby penguin. I love that the girls are so willing to pose for pictures.

And then we have my personal favorite. I told them to say "Arr Matey!" Yvie gave us her best pirate face, Kaenan was NOT AMUSED, and Jason was peeking through the window like a true creepy villain.

Finally, Miss Morgan was the only child willing to pose with Bruce for me:

Love that sweet girl.

How are you feeling, Carolyn? did the Unicorn Blood do what it needed to do?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Colon Chat

As you may or may not have surmised from fb, I had a colonoscopy yesterday. It all happened rather quickly, though that ended up being for the best.

Last week I dropped off a 'sample' at the lab to check for c diff in my stool, in the hopes that this relapse was a bacerial infection. Every day since then had been a back and forth mentally between I think I'm getting better to Oh god, this is not getting better. I waited patiently for another 6 days to get the lab results back and concurrently prepared myself to work 4 consecutive overnights. sigh.

This week starts my schedule change from working Fri Sat sun to Sat Sun Mon, and because I'm the one that works 30 not 40 hours per week and it wouldn't put me into overtime, I got the joy of overlapping the days to get me and my cohort (the other shift superviser) to our day change. Plus it was me that wanted the change so I was willing to take the hit of working an extra day. It was murder.

I won't go into too much gross detail because y'all don't want to know my bathroom habits. By Sunday I had told Sean I was switching to a liquid only diet. He was unhappy, but he went to the store while I slept to get me a ton of almond milk to mix with muscle milk powder as meal replacement.

Monday night I was pretty sure I needed to be placed on some strong antidepressants and/or quit my job. Tuesday morning I decided to stop eating altogether and just go on water for a day or two. So I called my doctor. They had an opening for a scope the next day.

What proceeded next was the most painful but rapid bowel prep of my life. I lost 4 pounds in 24 hours.

The scope itself was uneventful, the anesthesia was pleasant (I love propofol). I now have pictures to prove how upset my colon is. My doctor said he was hurting for me.

Next we get to wait for diagnostic results, hoping that this is a relapse of the viral infection. If it is not the virus, then what is happening is called 'medical failure' and we discuss what to do next.

What is strange, is when my doctor came in afterward and we talked about the options (albeit brief), when surgery came up I wasn't scared. There have been some times in the last month that I thought to myself I would prefer to have a bag than deal with this pain anymore.

The other option is additional medication. However, the side effects on those meds may not be worth it.

Here's for hoping it's viral!

So in conclusion, if you're looking for a good time and want to lose a few pounds, you may want to consider taking 4 strong dulcolax and drinking a bunch of gatorade with a ton of miralax in it. The experience is indescribable. At least it improves on the previous experience with the gallon of salty drink preparation. That one ends in over indulgence of drink, and in my case- vomiting.

Finally, I think we shall strike from the table in the future ever possibly considering purchasing a new, larger, more expensive tv. That only leads to medical bills.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bitches and Hoes (and front yard pumpkins)

Hi again.

Lately, I've taken to scouring Amazon Kindle for free books. Especially gardening books, cookbooks, and home improvement books. I can't help it. They're free. And they're rather small, so I can download a whole bunch of them. I can even pick up children's books and send them to the kids' tablets - even though they never willingly open the Kindle app on their own - with just one click.

I'm also listening to a lot of Takénobu. He is just.. mmm. delicious. Especially Shady Grove, from his first album, Introduction. And, Carolyn, he's uploaded the sheet music for this song! You can grab it from here.

I think my gardening style could best be described as 'Experimental'. Last year, I planted one red okra - mostly because my Jason said he didn't like okra, and it brought me great amusement to try and grow one - and it grew quite well. This year, I planted 4, one perished, and the other three are producing almost daily. The other day we roasted some okra with olive oil and salt in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. They were delicious.

I worry that my melons, cucumbers, and squash are trying to take over the planet - or, at least, my back yard.

I planted a few varieties of cucumber, though my favorite is the Armenian Cucumber. So delicious.

The melons aren't ripe yet, but there are several cantaloupes on the vines. How many are too many? Will they all ripen? I don't know. But I'll let you know when I find out.

I also planted some pumpkins in my front yard. I finally dug up the space behind the big pine tree. This fall, I'm going to plant two apple trees, move the blueberries between them, and then plant as many tulips as I can fit between. But until then, I thought I would try to grow some pumpkins.

They are doing pretty well, so far. Only tiny squashes growing, but many flowers. I'm loving the bamboo teepees (basically 3 bamboo sticks + green jute twine in a teepee style). I do wonder what my neighbors think...

The pumpkin bamboo teepees. This looks more neat and confined than the back garden.

We totally need to write a gardening book. I propose that we call it Bitches and Hoes: A Gardening Guide for Chicks Everywhere. Or.. something like that.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summertime Adventures

Our summer, in pictures.

Mr Chy and the Legos:

He who smelt it...

Too cool for his sister:

Makin' silly faces in the woods:

Playing in the water:

My kids start school next week, uniforms and all. I'll get pictures for that this weekend.

I have web links, book reviews, bad haiku, and rants about the ex. More coming soon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seriously trying here!

School time! Morgan started yesterday, and Hank starts next week. I'm sure I was this nervous to put Morgan on the bus for Kindergarten as I am feeling to put Hank on next week. Here child, you seem old enough, I'm going to send you with some dude and a bunch of other 5 year olds on a bus. I'm pretty sure you will come back. Just breathe deeply and carry on.

In a couple of weeks, my work schedule will be changing from Friday, Saturday, Sunday overnights to Saturday, Sunday, Monday overnights. I'm looking forward to the possibility of having an evening to spend with Sean when it's not a school night, and a day off together with him (Saturday) where we can leave the house and do stuff! Woot!

I have a rant forming about food and diet and stuff. I'm one week into steroids and hoping to successfully step down in dosing. As far as improvement goes, I can't comment on it yet. I tried to introduce solid foods via an apple and some PB two nights ago, and boy was that a mistake. 

Oh, and not that this means anything to you guys, but I did a double salto in silks yesterday. Lets just say it's a drop where you flip around twice and awesomely catch yourself at the end so you look like a boss. I will try to get a video of it in the future, but my cool little photographer is now in school during the day. 

Morgan's first day of 3rd grade!

Hank needed his own baby back wrap stat!

Kids wearing church clothes for once.

Aww, cute cousin cuddling!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

In the last week

This is my third week back at overnight shifts. So far it's going ok; it's still the adjustment period. I just got off shift and then had to stop at the ER to get a tetanus shot. Damn cats and their damn claws. Hopefully I won't need to start the antibiotics I was scripted. 

Here are a few pictures chronicling the past week: 
Morgan showing off her standing split

Morgan discovered this cool thing she can do. 

Hank got his uniform for karate

Hank broke his board and earned his white belt.

And I leave you with this, it's Hank's current favorite bedtime story, translated into Dutch.:

De maan is op. 
Het is al laat. 
Laten we klaar om te vieren. 
Het is pyjama tijd. 
Trek aan de bodems. 
Doe de top. 
Krijg je ingesteld op dee bop pyjama. 
Het is pyjama tijd. 
Nu sommige zijn oud en sommige zijn nieuw. 
Sommige zijn rood en sommige zijn blauw. 
Sommige zijn vaag. Sommige niet. 
Maar we kunnen allemaal pyjama in wat we hebben. 
Het is pyjama tijd. 
Ooh ja, het is pyjama tijd. 
Nu sommige zijn roze en sommige zijn groen. 
Sommige zijn de lelijkste die je ooit hebt gezien. 
Ze kunnen worden gestreept of stip. 
Maar we kunnen allemaal pyjama in wat we hebben. 
Het is pyjama tijd, ooh ja, het is pyjama tijd. 
Pyjama naar links, pyjama naar rechts. 
Jamma Jamma Jamma Jamma p j. 
Iedereen is het dragen van hen voor het dansen vanavond. 
Jamma Jamma Jamma Jamma p j. 
Nu de hele kamer in een grote lijn. 
Het dragen van onze pyjama's en zoek zo fijn. 
Het is pyjama tijd. 
Hop in bed. Schakel het licht uit. 
We kunnen een feestje in onze dromen vanavond. 
Het is pyjama tijd. 
Hush hush. 
Het is pyjama tijd. 
Hush hush. 
Het is pyjama tijd. 
Slaap lekker.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Garden photos and plans!

This year, I've endeavored to double my garden space, and to grow more things! So we started by disassembling half of the garden boxes, and rebuilt them longer and larger, so that they have more space to grow. Here is the horrible before photo:

Oh, the horror. Old cardboard, dirt, weeds. Very sad.

And here is the after photo (with wood chips added):

Much prettier!
We also spread 12+ cubic yards of wood chip around the backyard. It really needed it, as the naked dirt/weeds looked atrocious. Here are some before shots:

Sad picnic table. Weeds. Tree droppings.

The playset looks like it landed in a bad neighborhood.

And some after shots:

Picnic shot from the other direction. Much prettier, yes?

At least the ground looks better!

The yard to-do list is still terribly long, but at least it no longer looks like a bloody disaster area. I'd love to re-do the fence, but I doubt that expense is in the cards this year. We need to talk to our neighbors anyway, as it is a shared fence.

With some irrigation work, I can also add a few planters and small garden boxes in the back. I'll get there. This weekend I plan to work on my still-very-sad side yard area. More photos soon, I hope.

I'll also post more photos as my garden boxes get filled with plants. We've already planted more strawberries, black/raspberries, onions, leeks, cabbage, carrots, beets... waiting for consistently warm weather before my tomatoes, peppers, cukes, and squash go outside. Come on sunny days!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Summer Things

I've been trying to come up with some ideas and plans for the summer.

Some definite ideas I have are to get the kids into some swim lessons this year (finally), potentially purchase one of the summer kids movie programs, try out a summer program dance class (hip hop for Hank- seriously), and piano lessons.

Maybe a bit much, but I will aim high and see where that settles for me.

Camping definitely sounds like a must this year. I do want to check out the aquarium. I'm not certain on the Natural History Museum, and unfortunately I work on May 31st, so no city library for me that day.

Oh, and hit up the farmers market at least a couple of times.

Do you think we can finally make it up to Timpanogos Cave this year? Would the kids just hate us?

I haven't been to Tracy Aviary in a while.

I'm not sure when to suggest going to the aquarium if you want to go together. My kids will still have school during your break (Lorraine) but on Monday the 26th Hank is out, and Morgan gets out of school ~1:30. Don't know if that is enough time. Any other weekday (that I don't work) I can meet up after 2:45 when Morgan gets home.

Oh yeah, Lorraine, are you planning on doing anything for your birthday?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Boys Desk Redo

With the warm days of spring, I've been trying to work on a laundry list of projects. You know. The stuff I was trying to ignore all winter.

One of the projects is to give the boys a new, better desk/Lego building area. They've been using these trapezoid tables that dad picked up at the school surplus sale. They've been great but they weren't giving enough space for the Lego Obsessed Boy (Chy), or the nitpicky kid (Q).

The before shot:

Chy waving from his old desk.

 So, I looked at a bunch of pinterest/DIY blog thingys, and we came up with this:

The boys at the new desk (now with Storage(TM)!)

One long desk. Drawers beneath. Space for both boys to sit and work. But we still had that blank wall. I love Ana White, so I finally decided to try this project with my Kreg Jig.

Shelves on the wall! And lights!

The build part was crazy easy. In fact, it took much longer to sand and paint than it did to assemble the pieces.

We added some wall-mounted lights from Ikea, a clearance garbage can from Target, and Viola! New desk area.

(Notice the green stripe down the middle - this is the separation between Q's space and Chy's space. Because, unlike in the 'after' shot above, Chy's space is always covered in Legos. And paper. And trio toys. And rocks. And whatever else he was working on/collected that day.)