aelfie: (tattoo)

On Thanksgiving, Elli went outside and made ART!



She found a bunch of stuff lying around my Gram's house and put this sculpture together. It was actually quite cool and the top few pieces swayed and quivered in the breeze. Neat! Girl can't tell the difference between a M and a W, but damn! She's got that touch.



Grayson showing off his cupcake. Joe and I took all four kids to a cupcake decorating class. First time I've ever worked with fondant. Neat stuff!



I took the kids to the Exploratorium. I loved this house as a kid.



And right outside the Exploratorium the Rainbow Warrior was docked.It was a good day that day.

aelfie: (tattoo)
Bit the First: How I view some people and I knit for them to show them I love them.

Lets see:

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 [livejournal.com profile] 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 [livejournal.com profile] 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!)

Anyway.

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.
aelfie: (tattoo)
I won't graduate from school until 2014. The likelihood of my being employed by a school nearby until then? Not good. Maybe afterwards. But even then...not good. It occurred to me that Ike will HAVE to start at a new school Fall 2014. He'll be 12, Elli and Gwen will be 9, and Gray will be 5. Might be a good time to tour the US for an academic year.

We've had this idea of renting an RV and just leaving for a year. Joe would most likely need to stay home to keep working, but we could put everything into storage, rent the house, and not LOSE money.

Might work...needs to be looked into.
aelfie: (Sucks to be you)
We've been dealing with illness for over 2 full weeks now. The first person to get sick, did so on the 12th. The four children keep passing various things back and forth. Ike's brought home two lovely viruses from school. They've missed a last party to say goodbye to friends moving back to Japan, Christmas with the extended family, and now a day of Gymnastics Camp. It hasn't been a restful vacation for anyone. Joe and I are wiped and burned out. We aren't getting enough sleep because we are trying to play catchup when they go down (Got 2 loads of laundry folded last night! Woot! Livin' large!) and are dealing with the needs of sick children in the middle of the night. We haven't been eating well because I'm too sick exhausted can't see straight tired to cook properly. (I think I'm going to pull a chicken out of the freezer and make soup...or stock and frozen turkey meat...that sounds easier.) I feel brain dead and like I'm walking around in a fog. This sucks.

But this is life with Children. It happens. I missed many holidays and trips and vacations due to illness growing up. Makes sense that mine will miss some too. I am just thankful that the amazing husband is home to help me cope. I feel like I've dropped the ball with Christmas, but he keeps assuring me I haven't. He totally rocks.
aelfie: (everyone scream)
I love the movie night part because I know, for a few hours. They are entertained and I am free. (Yes, I freely use it as  a babysitter once a week. Sue me.)

I, however, despise the fighting and bickering about....well, you can use your imagination.

It's awesome...and it sucks rocks.
aelfie: (everyone scream)
Never again. Never, ever, with children again.

Too many people, not nearly enough vendors selling food or drink. Of the approx 30 competition teams less than half (closer to 1/3 or 1/4) were selling food. Lines averaged 45 minutes. Prices good. Not enough for the kids. Plenty of bathrooms.

Thank god it wasn't obscenely hot. There was a nice breeze that kept it nice,but still. Not going to that ever again.

We stopped at Mickey D's for ice cream and water afterwards...and then a stop at our favorite BBQ joint for food. Joe and I are hungry.
aelfie: (Default)
Which is an acronym for The Museum of CHildren's Art in Downtown Oakland

I threw the kids in the car this morning "We are going on a road trip. Vacuum the living room, go to the bathroom, put on shoes, and get in the car!" A stop to fuel up and a stop at the bank for cash and we hit the road.

I'm a mean Mom. "Where are we going?" "Down the road and around the corner!" (Which actually, Gray got out of his mouth before I did. Love my kid!) Took a little over an hour due to traffic getting into the downtown area and the fact that the Broadway Street exit (the one I needed of course) was shut down.

We got there at 11. I decided that the smart thing to do is go find an early lunch. And it was a good thing because 1. It meant we were all fueled up and not cranky. 2. The toddler crowd cleared out as we showed up at noon.

The museum is fine. Kids art. Whatever. What I brought them for was the drop in art studio. They had a blast. Paint was everywhere! Ike at first whined that it was for small kids and the docent got him set up at the paint wall and he went to town channeling Jackson Pollock. The kids left completely covered in paint (washable thank god!). A good time was had and we went to the ice cream parlor next door to wait for the paintings to dry enough to bring home. We also went to the gift shop and picked up several art/craft kits. Gray fell asleep in the car on the ride home. So the girls busted out the kits and Ike and I made chocolate chip cookies.

A good afternoon. I'm not sure I'm in a hurry to go back. It was a good one time experience though. Its just too far away and too expensive ($8.00 each kid) to do very often
2012-06-28 12.48.32
2012-06-28 12.55.56

2012-06-28 12.51.14
aelfie: (Default)
The monster that is my closet...

I didn't get through the closet today. I still have the upper shelf to take everything down and go through. But I took all my clothes out and only put back in the ones that fit and that were flattering. Too many clothes went to the goodwill bag...they fit...but they looked terrible on me. I no longer have many clothes. Good news is that my ball gown still fits and still looks wonderful! I bought that thing almost 10 years ago to go to a Black Tie Wedding and I was pregnant with Ike. I got to wear it again while pregnant with Gray. I'm hoping to wear it to Gaskells soon. Maybe the October dance. My parents (its still very cool to say that!) promised me a weekend away (two nights!). I haven't been in years and Joe's never been so we want to attend the dance workshop in the afternoon. A bunch of clothes were put aside to be brought back out after I lose some more weight.

Anyway, closet cleaning. I found 7 lonely shoes in my closet. Gray went spelunking under my bed looking for them. He recovered a single shoe and discovered another clan of the Vorpal Dustbunnies. Again we waged a long battle over the Bunnies and eventually they were vanquished. I still fear their return, I saw several proto-bunnies this afternoon while I was finishing up. So six shoes went to the garbage. Three pairs are singled out for selling if I don't wear them anytime soon. They are good shoes and very expensive ones too.

I went through the craft half of my closet. I pulled several kits out of the shelves and decided I'm never going to make them, so I'm putting them in the sell corner (several of these kits are worth $100-300). The ones not worth selling, I just put in the goodwill bag. I went through the hand-painted needlepoint canvases. Decided most of the not worth the trouble of trying to sell, and got put in the goodwill bag. I broke several kits apart and put the various bits away. I need to decide if I want to keep my beading supplies.

I have a raging allergy attack due to all the dust. Tomorrow, before I start, I will take extra antihistime and Sudafed. I will also clean the air purifier and turn that thing on. I'm just miserable and my nose is all red. I'll take a shower and wash my hair before I go to bed in an effort to get the dust off my body. Hopefully that will help me sleep tonight.

After Ike was done with therapy today (which he is doing quite well) he wanted to go shoe shopping. I asked him why does he need another pair of shoes when he has a pair of summer sandals and flip flops...what else could he possibily need? Closed toe shoes so he can mow the lawn. Good enough! Shoe shopping we went! We also stopped at the candy store. They liked that.

Good day, I'm not loving the incessant sneezing and sniffling though.

I miss the girls a whole lot!

I'm thinking of taking Gray to KidsPark in the morning and rest. I'm expending a lot of energy cleaning and I could use a couple of hours to just sit and stitch or knit. I can do more cleaning in the afternoon while he naps. 
aelfie: (Default)
Nine loads today. Would have been eight, but Magic the cat decided to crap on my bed. Thank goodness she decided to do so on the top blanket only. (It's payback for shutting her in the bedroom. Which was done on accident.)

Four children asleep. Two feverish and coughing badly. Gray is having problems breathing again, so I got out the albuterol from 2 weeks ago and gave him a couple of puffs and put him to bed. I think I am very glad I have tomorrow off. I really don't think Ike is going to school tomorrow. He sounds awful. Damn shame too, as there's only four day of school left. (Holy Crap! When the hell did the end of the school year sneak up on me like that???) And he has a LOT of work left to do! Technically, there's only 3 days of school in which to do work. Graduation and party is most of day Friday.

Oh. And I have a job interview/family contract negotiation scheduled for the afternoon of June 9 at school. Still not sure which job I am applying for, but I'm hoping to have a full time job at the children's school for the next academic year. It will just make life that much more insane. =)
aelfie: (Default)
One of the kindergarteners has the Chicken Pox! And its one of Elli and Gwen's best friends! And its a little brother to one of Ike's classmates! Yea! Now maybe these kids will catch it! (this is only the third exposure...)

I'm so weird, I want my kids to get sick. =)
aelfie: (Default)

I bought a bag of BBQ Potato Chips for lunch, he was sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of them

"Mommy! These chips are spicy!"
"Good spicy or Bad Spicy?"
"Bad spicy Mommy. They are too spicy. You shouldn't eat any. Too spicy."
"I shouldn't have any because they are too spicy?"
"Yes Mommy. They will upset your stomach"
"Oh, so that means you get more chips?"
"Yes! You can't eat any Mommy, too spicy! Upset your tummy."

Too damn funny!

aelfie: (Default)
"Gray, why is your penis blue?"
(Crayola markers strike again!)

and the one just uttered

"Ike just farted in my general direction"

(Ike had climbed to the top of the couch, pointed his behind in my direction and let one fly as I was sitting in Joe's chair knitting)
aelfie: (Default)
So I complained about losing two of the kids lunch boxes...ended up...they were at school in the fridge. SAVE!!!

Today? Much better.
aelfie: (Default)
I can't find 2 children's lunch boxes. Last seen in the house. Elli's was last seen last night, Ike's last Friday. Joe and I have both, torn this place apart trying to find said lunch boxes. No sign.

I note that the garbage was taken out this morning...and we do have a two year old in the house. I'm wondering if both of those boxes went out to the dump today. And no, we didn't figure out that the second one was missing until after the garbage was picked up (which happens around 6AM). The boxes themselves isn't just the cause of distress ($20.00 each) but the contents: metal water bottle ($16.00), sandwich holder ($7.00), thermos ($25.00), and 4 resusable snack bags ($6.00 each) just add to the distress. It's going to be expensive to replace all of that. I know being green is better...but damn, this is a hassle and cost over a brown paper bag, a couple of plastic baggies, and the water fountain.
aelfie: (Default)
Last night was an awful lot of fun. I still can't sing music written for a Mezzo Soprano, but I can fake it well enough (amazing what happens when you drop the music an octave). When we had our dress rehearsal on Thursday we got worried. We had sold only 24 tickets! There's 100+ seats! Well, getting the word out worked because when the curtain went up it was a full house! Yea! The children did an awesome job, and I fulfilled a dream. I was a lead character in a Musical (okay, opera...whatever, I was a lead character and I sang!) I blew a few lines and completely blew the big moment (started on the wrong note) It was cool...scary, but very cool. I'd love to do it again...but my voice is dying today, so its a good thing that there's no show today.

I'm glad we did it, but I'm  also glad its over. Now the all the adults involved need to have a proper after party...we all went home and put children to bed...no party for us!
aelfie: (Default)
Our school is putting on the play Amahl and the Night Visitors as a fundraiser on December 16 at 7 PM at the Hoover Theatre in San Jose. Ike, Elli, and Gwen play sheperds and I'm playing shepherds and I'm playing the Mother.
I hope you can make it!

Here's the link to purchase tickets.
http://njerismorningglory.com/community/events/?tab=4
aelfie: (Default)
I hate the planning of Christmas...or more specifically, I hate the figuring out of Christmas presents.

For once, I've got the adults (i.e. Grandparents) figured out. Been working on those for months. But the kids??? I'm drawing blanks. Okay, I'm drawing blanks for the big 3. Gray is easy, he's developed a train addiction. Going to get him a train set for Christmas. (Do you have any idea how hard it is to find wooden train sets that aren't related to Thomas???? Damn near impossible! But I did!)

I was thinking of getting Ike the Millenium Falcon Lego set, he's getting into Lego's recently. But when looking at it in the store...there's over 500 pieces in the set. There is no way in hell he's going to be able to put that thing together without his younger sibs scattering or losing pieces. And then there's the fact that he's happy to put them together...and then nothing. He takes them apart, doesn't put them away and the pieces get lost and then he gets mad 'cause he can't do what he wants. And I'm just having a really hard time trying to figure out what he'd really like this year.

The girls are just as bad. I was thinking about a doll house (actually I've been thinking for months) and as much as I'd like to get it for them, I'm not convinced that they will take care of it. Their room is generally a disaster and pieces of their toys are EVERYWHERE. If I'm going to sink $400.00 into a doll house, I want to know that they will treat it nicely. Then we talked about another doll...well, they've gotten dolls from Santa every year, they picked out new ones this year...but their Auntie Betty-Anne is knitting them ballerina dolls for Christmas so I really want that doll to be their special doll this year. Gwen wants stilts (so does Ike and I don't think its a good idea...that's a weapon), Elli is asking for art supplies (which is a good thing actually now that I think about it. She's asking for soy crayon rocks, stockmar paint, and aquarelles pencils). I was thinking of giving them knitting needles and yarn from me because they've been asking for months and months for me to teach them how to knit and they are getting old enough to learn from sticks. But I can't really figure out a really GOOD present. A Santa present you know?

Argh! This is the problem of keeping all this consumerist bullshit away from my kids! I don't know what they want! (besides an iphone or DS which there is no way in hell anybody is getting either of those)
aelfie: (Default)
I drop off the kids at school every day at around 8:30. Acutally, I'd love to say "drop-off" and mean it 'cause in this sick, fearful society I have to stick around until the kids are in the classroom and I have to sign them in and out. (I'd do it anyway for the girls, they are in kindy after all). Anywho...

As I signed Ike into his class, his teacher comes over and asks if I can come back to help the kids cook today. I asked when, and said I'd have to check with Njeri, as I was going to Sweet Peas (a playgroup for 1 & 2 year olds on campus run by a 4th grade parent) and didn't have a way to have Gray cared for otherwise. I checked with Njeri and she said no problem. So Gray got to hang out with the kindergarteners in the later part of the morning and early afternoon.

First I taught a fellow mom how to knit (I love teaching knitting). Then, I went to Sweet Peas from 9:30-11:30, took Gray out to the kindergarten, went into the 3rd grade class room and helped 8 kids cook pasta and simple tomato sauce from scratch. (And yes, we needed 5 adults. 1 to do the teaching (a dad) and the rest of us at each station assisting kids). We got done with the cooking and eating at 1:30, and clean up lasted until 2:15. I joined Elli, Gwen and Gray in the garden. Since Ike got out at 3:15, I didn't bother leaving, I just got a chair from the kindergarten, pulled out my knitting and went to town.

Ike got out at 3:15 and wanted to play a bit. Then I got into a great conversation with some parents, got consulted about some craft projects that need done with the first grade teacher (who is also a LifeWays grad) and didn't manage to leave campus until 4:00.

Gray had no nap.

I decided I needed to figure out how to keep this kid awake. We were all hot, tired, and thirsty. Time for Jamba Juice! We stopped, got smoothies and drove home. Gray managed to stay awake until we got off the freeway, when he promptly passed out. And he just woke up 20 mintues ago. Oy.

So, the kids are watching the Princess Bride, eating pizza and I'm knitting. Pretty good life, no?
aelfie: (Default)
And it has been too long since the last time we did so. And thus, it was awesome.

In January I hired a local SJSU student to come by 3 afternoons a week to take Ike, Elli and Gwen to the park while Gray napped. Every once in awhile, I left her with the kids and either ran errands or went to appointments (like the dentist!). So, once school started I didn't need her as often anymore. But I did, however, set up specific times for her to come by during the month so that Joe and I could spend some time together. Last night was the first time we went out on this new schedule.

We went to the mall and had dinner (Panda Express for him, Kalamata for me. They had orzo in the Avgolemeno dammit!) and then we went to the first theater movie in 2 years. Cowboys and Aliens is a very silly movie, but good. I enjoyed seeing it. I really enjoyed sitting next to my husband and holding his hand.

After the movie, we hit Cold Stone (The peanut butter perfection is, in fact, quite awesome.) And came home. All was quiet, and Gray was asleep on the couch in the office. We paid A and sent her home. Then I noticed that she'd been busy while we were gone. Not only had she swept up, I think she mopped. But she did, in fact, scrub the table, counters, and stove. Then I noticed she had also scrubbed the cabinets clean. OMG. I love this girl. And I am so tipping her the next time she comes by, she is sooooo worth the money we pay her. She likes my kids and cleans my house. I only hope that I raise my kids to be as thoughtful (okay, and enterprising. Cleaning does equal more money.)

I finally made a connection on part of the reason why my hands are hurting so much, its not the knitting or the computering...its the driving. I'm spending at least 90 minutes a day driving. The other part is that Gray is over 30 lbs. Nursing him is killing my back and hands. I'm in the process of weaning him. I'm trying to confine the activity to our home only, I'm mostly sucessful. I am, however, not nursing him at the kids school. If I end up teaching and have him in my class, I don't want to be nursing him. It annoys him, but he's getting used to it after 2 weeks.
aelfie: (Default)

From Elli:
"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)
later
"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.

From Ike:
(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."

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