First up, we have shopping for clothes at Costco. The girls saw these coats and wanted one. Gray decided to get into the act and demanded the pink one. That's my boy!
Three weeks ago, our "female" mice had babies. Here's all the remaining five in my hand. The all gray one is Ash. Gray and white is fog, The black and white directly underneath is Oreo, the other black and white is Star and the dark one is Thirsty. We took them to the Vet where she squeed like a little girl "OMG!!! They are so CUTE!!!! I've never seen mice so small!!!" She gave us the unfortunate that all but Ash are definitely boys and she's not sure about Ash either. I have about 5 days before they start killing each other because male mice are territorial. If I can't find homes soon, I have to decide if I'm going to euthanize them and give them away as snake food. Or hope for the best. Personally, I think a trip to the freezer is kinder. (Which is actually what happened to the OTHER half of the litter. Shhh...don't tell the kids.)
Elli got her first pair of glasses. I and most everyone else think she looks adorable. She thinks she looks ugly. But honestly? She's adorable. Suck it up kid.
And finally, some signs that it's getting cold. One morning after I made the bed, I went back into my room later and found Magic all cuddled under the covers with her head resting on my pillow. Awwwwww.
I thought about it and realized that I needed to post pictures here with my phone and then come back and annotate them. Easiest way I know to do this. They are not in any proper order, I'm just posting them.
We spent a night in Jackson, WY on our way from Salt Lake City and Yellowstone. The night before was the super rough one with Gray up in the night puking his guts up. Earlier he had enough energy to go down the Alpine Slide, but after that he didn't want to get out of the car. This was taken on our way to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We were driving to get to the highway and stopped when I saw this. That arch is made from shed elk antlers. What you can't see is that there's one on each corner of this park. Ut.
We took a ride down an Alpine Slide. It's something a ski resort carves into the hill side so that there's some way for them to make money during the winter. Runs right under the chair lift on the left. In the Winter it's completely covered in snow and you'd never know it was there. This is the first time I ever rode a chair lift. Fun! Gray wasn't feeling well but well enough for a ride.
Gray rode down the slide with me. So I only managed to snap a picture of Gwen as she went last.
You can tell they are so enthused to be at the Grand Tetons. I thought it was beautiful. They were "NO MOM! We don't want to have our picture taken!!" "Too bad, get out of the car"
I saw this as I was pulling out of that parking lot and thought it was hysterical.
On our way out of West Yellowstone, we found there is a Wolf and Grizzly refuge. This picture is not zoomed, the wolf came that close to the window. Beautiful!
A HUGE mushroom on a tree I spotted as we were leaving a rest stop somewhere in Montana.
The really, really, really cool Dragon on A Merry go round for Missoula.
As we left Missoula for Kalispell my van flipped 100000 miles. Woot
The ride to Reno was uneventful. We checked into Circus Circus with no problems. We were disappointed to find the buffet closed, so we ate at their in-house diner. The kids had hamburgers.
We got up early and started the drive to Salt Lake. I was warned by several people that there's not much to see between the two. I found them wrong. Gently rolling hills, little valleys, rivers, trains, livestock and gorgeous colors of vegetation! I was really impressed by the abrupt change in the landscape between Nevada and Utah. You knew immediately you were someplace different.
We spent two nights in Salt Lake visiting one of my friends. We went to This is the Place Heritage Park in the morning. The kids really enjoyed it. Its a living history park and the houses are either historic buildings moved to this area or are recreations. I liked how they showed both the homes of poor people and those who were better off. Ike was fascinated by the blacksmith. We also got to see the live version of "gotta piss like a horse" I've never seen that before and the kids were impressed. We spent the afternoon down in Temple Square. The history museum was interesting and the visitors center was fascinating. Then we walked around the temple. There are two sets of impressive doors that haven't been used in ages. If temple-goers want to go in, the entrance is a street away and you go underground. I shudder to think about how they would get everyone out case of fire. The other thing about the Temple that struck me is it's size. Or rather lack thereof. Now. It's tall. It's gloriously tall and impressive. However, the footprint is quite small. I think my Mom's parish church has a bigger footprint. I was expecting something like a Roman Catholic Cathedral size. It's not. I was told they spent 40 years building it. For some reason, I wasn't too impressed. They've been working on the Gaudi Cathedral for over 100 (131 so far with another estimated 13 to go (a couple of wars halted construction, go figure)). Gray decided that he was going to get sick that afternoon and spent the afternoon in my arms. Sleeping. He also decided to pop a pretty good fever that night. But he woke up the next morning bright and chipper.
We spent the 28th driving to Jackson, WY. I got to see wheat fields for the first time ever! Cool. I tried not to breathe too deeply. Pretty drive. I found a road allanh s husband Randy needs to drive. Not only did it have the joy of curves and ups and downs...you got to dodge livestock! It was an uneventful drive. Jackson is gorgeous! We definitely want to go back. We only spent this one night and there's so much to do! Gray decided to get really sick on this night and we were up from about 1:30-4:30 with him alternatively vomiting and extreme EBS. Poor thing. I left a huge tip for the housekeeping crew, he threw up all over the bed several times (after Ike woke us up at 6).
We got up and went to this alpine slide I read about. It was awesome!!! First time I've ever ridden a ski lift. Then we hit the road. Drove through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Amazing thunder storm overhead as we entered Yellowstone park, and then we crested a hill, and the storm was gone. Blue skies and warm sunshine. Had to convince the children to stick around long enough to see Old Faithful. I had to bribe them with ice cream. Wow. Just wow. Drove out of the park to our next hotel. Gray was miserable by this point and needed to go to bed. Ended up seeing a bison just wandering down the road in the opposite lane before we got out of the park. Yes! Only wildlife we saw in the park. Got to the next hotel and put everyone to bed.
On the 30th we drove to Missoula, MT. There's all these little signs on the side of the road telling you interesting things to see. I stopped at one called the "Lake that Tilted". It kinda caught my attention. Serious earthquake in 1959 literally tilted the lake and created another billion gallons of storage area. It also dumped 80 million tons of rock on the north end and drowned a campground. The mountain damage is obvious and you drive ON TOP of the fallen rock. It was kinda eerie, but also fascinating. Got to the hotel in Missoula.
Everybody felt great the next day on the 31. Joe was flying in and we had time to kill. We had breakfast and then I started to feel awful. So did Ike. I finally got us out of the room and into the car and stopped at the Carousel for Missoula. There's a dragon for the kids to ride!!! Ike was sufficiently sick, he stayed in the car to sleep. The other three rode it twice. Then we hit the road for Kalispell and Joe. The drive was nice, but I was feeling too awful to really notice anything. I got to Joe an hour late. =( But we got to the next hotel and I went to bed while Joe took care of the 3 non sick kids.
This morning we got up and moving and checked out from the hotel with like 5 minutes to spare. We stopped at a local grocery store for food for a couple of days and made it to the house we are staying at. It's gorgeous. On a lake. The kids played. And passed out.
Last weekend I went to a baby shower for the daughter of one of my oldest and dearest. The thing that truly amuses me is that this "child" is the same age as mollygm (i.e. near to 30). Molly I view as a peer. Jenner is my peer's daughter and I tend to think of her when I first met her 18 years ago, rather than the capable young woman she is. Regardless, I'm very happy she's having a wee one, and I knit a sweater for him. It came out so cute. I just learned how to do cables and it knit up very quickly.
Bit the Second: Scenes from Cultural Elitism
(hat tip to oxymoron67 for the subtitle)
The children are finally getting old enough that we can buy memberships to more interesting museums beyond ones specifically for children. Yesterday I took them to the California Academy of Sciences and bought a membership. There were two new exhibits since the last time I went. One was a place to worship the size of Larry Ellison's penis (it was something about speed in water, blah, blah, blah, but focused in the end on Larry's America's Cup team. See? I have a boat!)
The other one was on Earthquakes. It's San Francisco. Of course there's an exhibit on Earthquakes. It was a short video and then an Earthquake room. The room was made up to look Victorian and out the window was a scene of the Painted Sisters. First, we got to feel Loma Prieta (1989 quake for those not keeping score at home), which lasted 15 seconds. Pretty much what I remember. Then the lights went out, the picture of the Painted Sisters changed to 1906...the sample only lasted 30 seconds...which was only one third of the total time of the Earthquake. Damn. No wonder it did so much damage. (That and the lack of proper Earthquake prevention in the buildings/water supplies (fire did MORE damage than the quake itself. Lack of water was the main problem. The pipes broke in the quake.))
While in line there was a green screen and a nice helpful person took your picture. Elli and Gray went with me to this exhibit. So they got their picture taken. I love it. It's just perfect. I can't get over how awesome Elli's expression is.
It was a good day and we will go back. This is one of our favorite museums. We actually got up to the roof this time. Pretty cool looking close up.
Stitches West from the Knitting Universe is a Yarn Con. Yarn, fibers, and more yarn. *sigh*
I decided to take a couple of market classes (1 hour learn something specific classes that are cheap) so if I had been so inclined, I could have gone to the pre-public market opening Thursday night. I decided after spending a day at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and I was already planning to spend both Friday and Saturday at the Con, I'd go home.
Friday morning we got up and go moving. The girls and I dropped Gray at KidsPark and we went to the shopping. We didn't have to waste time in the LONG ass buy market tickets 'cause I could go in anytime I wanted as an attendee and the girls are under 10 so they didn't need badges. And we shopped. And shopped...and shopped some more. Stitches West is held at the Santa Clara convention center, which has something like 100,000 square feet in the big hall....the yarn show takes the entire big hall for the market. It took us a couple of hours to go through the market. And even then the girls gave up before we saw it all. Gwen found a skein of really pretty loopy yarn in her favorite colors and then they found a new craft. Punch Needle Rug Hooking. If you've ever seen punch embroidery, same concept, except for using rug yarn on monk's cloth. The booth ladies were oh so kind enough to let them try and they got hooked fast (Ha!). So I bought 2 kits. Not bad priced $15.00. The punch needles on the other hand.OUCH. $35.00 each. Being a smart mom I bought 2. Which turned out to be a good thing because once I got those kits home and showed them to Ike and Joe they both asked for a kit too. The three big kids spent all of today (Sunday) passing the two needles back and forth. Those of you who know me well may ask..."why didn't you get a kit for yourself Jen?" Because I have a huge chunk of Monk's cloth in my stash and I figure by the time the other four get through their kits, there will be plenty of rug yarn left for me to use for my own project. And as a note, I got though Friday's shopping expedition without buying a single thing for myself. (please be impressed)
I went back all by myself Saturday morning. Took a class, shopped for an hour, took another class, shopped for another 2 hours. I came home with 1800 yards of sport/dk weight alpaca yarn. (Lovely stuff, so soft) 750 yards of a camel/silk blend in more dk weight, 750 yards in lace that's a linen/silk blend (lace "should" be soft, but they had a sample and OMG it looked so beautiful, the lace was just so crisp and easily seen) and 200 yards of this fancy silk/metallic blend from one of my all time favorite supplies of stitching silk. I was just wandering around the show and I come across this little booth the title is "Victoria Clayton" from PA. And I'm like hrmmm...how many Vicki Clayton's from PA can there be. I wander into this tiny booth and see some lovely shiny yarn. Hrm...maybe not the same Vicki Clayton. I look around a bit closer and see in the back her signature silk ribbon. And I turn around and go "OMG! This is Hand Dyed Fibers! I love stitching with your silk!!! When did you move into yarn?" We had a great conversation and I was the third stitcher she met this weekend. And the second mom who picked up knitting 'cause it's portable (unlike stitching). It was so cool to meet her!
It was a good weekend. I didn't buy too much yarn and the stuff I bought it stuff I've never stitched with before. I want to try different things. And I'm just SO glad we picked up yet another yarn craft, but I am glad it's one that Elli seems to enjoy. (cause she hates to knit)
Oh...and he's ordered to stay home tomorrow to rest and we should expect a degradation in his behavior again.
Yesterday was capped off with a simultaneous crying jag by the girls on how they want friends. They are lonely and want to go to school. They like the school part of homeschooling...its the no friends part they don't. I'm feeling defeated, disappointed, and like I made a huge mistake for these girls. And I'm feeling swamped trying to teach and do all my homework. I'm behind.
I think I need more sun and more time outside. The being stuck inside and having no time to sit under my lamp-o-wonder isn't helping my mood.
Gwen lost her first tooth back in July
And then we went to the Calendonian Club's Highland games Labor Day weekend where Elli lost her first tooth...and I yanked out the second (the one that had been bugging her for 2 weeks) right before bed. So Elli lost her first two teeth in one day!
(cute picture of everyone right before bed...had to use it)
My babies are growing up!!!
I got to see the cutest (okay, second cutest) set of 1 year old twin girls at the park today. They were so adorable!!! Brought back so many memories of my girls when they were that small (were they ever really that small????)
I hope the rest of their week goes as easily.
Boys were happy as they got to see fire trucks up close and personal.
"Mommy, I'm afraid that I'm growing up without you!" "Oh? How are you?" "I'm at school all day away from you!" (N.B. its a half day program going 9-1)
"Mommy? I don't like school. We spend too much time outside playing and its hot and I hate getting sweaty!"
Oh this poor child is adjusting to school badly. She's never been to school before and is not liking it enough to complain about it, but when asked if she wants to stay home, she answers no, because she doesn't want to miss out on what's going on. And most of the school play areas do leave something to be desired....it is a rented public school after all, lots of blacktop and very little greenery. The've created a very nice play area just outside the Kindergarten: climbing trees, sand pits, tree swings, etc...but its small.
(remarking upon why he advanced another swimming class level this afternoon) :
I've figured it out...I just need to listen to the teacher!
Mrs. W (Ike's third grade teacher answering Ike's concerns that he's always the last one to finish any desk work...earlier this morning)
"Ike, if you want to finish faster, focusing on your own work and not checking up on your classmates will go a long way."
"Here you go Gwen, you can have one of mine"
This one about floored me. Both Ike and Elli advanced swim levels today. Gwen didn't, and it about broke her heart with lots of tears. When you finish a level you get this little ribbon (looks like a prize ribbon). Elli got her first one today. Ike got his second. Without prompting, Ike shared one with his sister when she started crying in the car. She very politely thanked him. I went around afterwards, gave him a hug and told him that what he did was "kind, thoughtful and loving. You should be proud of yourself, I know I am."
When I was in the process of buying their 20 year anniversary CD Elli comes over and hands me a tooth. She yanked out her first loose tooth! And it wasn't the one that's been bugging her. (The lower middle two have been loose for about a week and the one on her right was bugging her...but the one she handed me was the left one) So everyone in hearing (not that many, the band is loud) clapped and congratulated her.
Getting ready for bed tonight, I asked if she wanted me to try yanking the other tooth out. (Which I've been doing once every couple of days for the last week.) She did, so I grabbed a kleenex and yanked it out of her mouth!
So Elli got her Losing First Tooth Ceremony with two teeth in the Tooth Fairy box! How cool is that?
Today after church, I dropped off the gang at the park just down the street. The grocery store is just beyond that so I got my shopping done stress-free (yea me!). Drove back to the park to get everyone. Elli saw me and called out a "Hi Mom!" and then followed it with "I've got to go potty!" I told her I didn't think there was a potty at this particular park and she'd have to wait a bit, we'd leave soon and then she could go at home. She seemed satisified.
I walked the rest of the way in, helped Gray into a bucket swing and started to push him and talk to Joe. I then notice out of the corner of my eye that Elli was crouching behind a big tree, right in front of everyone, with her panties around her ankles. I had to giggle. I know its wrong...but I couldn't help it. Joe then pointed out the bathroom to me so I'd know for next time.
I called her over and said "Honey, we don't go pee behind trees right in front of everyone."
"Good. Please don't do it again."
"I won't. Besides I didn't go pee."
"Nope! I went poop!"
I went to the diaper bag and grabbed a couple of wipes, had her take me to the tree and yes indeed, she had pooped. It was disposed of properly.
Only my child.
I still think its funny.
After lunch Elli asks for her watering can so she can water the flowers.
"Hunny, it rained yesterday. All the flowers got watered yesterday."
"Its not fair! Sister Rain got a turn to water the flowers! When do I get a turn?"
"Good point. Go get your watering can"
I'm mean, how can you argue with that when you have a brand new watering can?
A couple of weeks ago, we went (me, elli, gwen, gray) and as we were leaving, the girls notice a cross.
"Mom? What's that?"
"Its a cross sweetie."
"What is it?"
"Its how Christians remember the way that Jesus died."
"Jesus is DEAD?!?!?!?!?!"
"Why didn't anybody tell us???"
That in and of itself is amusing to me. Next day at Grandmas Elli spouts out
"God is nothing."
"God is dead, dead is dead, and dead is nothing so God is nothing"
Only one of my children. Its so nietzschean of her.