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Friday, August 27, 2010

Best Dog EVER!

As long as I can remember the circus has come to town over my birthday. For years, I have wanted to go and even more so since I had kids. But alas,  I have never been. Not once. In all my 30, soon to be 31 years. I know, sad, isn't it? Ahh, but thanks to Lucy, that has all changed. All week, B98.7 has been giving away tickets. All you need to do is get you dog to bark 4 times in 10 seconds on the air. Not as easy as it sounds. I heard the announcement this morning, gave it a moments thought, then went on the hunt for a phone. It took a minute or two to find one. By the time I called, I figured I was too late to accomplish anything. Right away, I get a ring. So while I am waiting, I get out the laser pointer and get Lucy all riled up. She barks, she wins! She is sending us to the circus! I am far more excited about this then I should be, but, hey, I am just that pathetic. And that excited. Liza's face was so funny. She opened her mouth and did that wide-eyed stare that she does so well. Jer can mimic it so well.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

School days

After a long and busy summer vacation, school finally started yesterday. It seems that it is becoming a first day tradition that Jer stays home late and takes Liza to her first day of school on the motorcycle. She was a little cold when she got there, but super excited.

First grade is a whole new thing for her. She gets lunch at the school. She was so excited to get to choose. She said she could have a corn dog, but she doesn't like them, so she chose this sandwich things instead. That was all she knew. Then she had apple sauce, a whole orange, and chocolate milk. I told Liza that she can make all the choices that she wants, but that I would rather have her choose at least one veggie and only have chocolate milk one or maybe two times a week. Ha! Right. How naive am am?

She was super excited to find out that she had 3 recesses and specialty every day. And she loved riding the bus home. She didn't make it home until almost 4. I told PJ that Liza should be on her way home. He jumped up faster than I have ever seen him move, ran up the stairs, yelling. "Yea! I'm going to watch for her out the window!" I think he missed his sister.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yay for buses!

With the new school so far away (2+ miles), and the lack of a paved road directly from my subdivision to the school, plus no sidewalks or trails, it seems that Alpine School District has deemed the few blocks where I live to be bus worthy. Kids k-6 will get to board at 2 stops, both a little farther then I like, but beggars can't be choosers. I think I will call the district to see if they will add just one more stop along the route. I will be driving Liza to school in the mornings Tues-Friday, since I need to drive PJ anyway. Still, this will cut my trips to the school to just 8 per week instead of the 15 I was planning to need to make. This will be nice.

Also, at long last, I'd like to say, "Hip hip Hooray!! Pioneer Crossing opened today. Can't wait to drive it and see just how much time I will shave off my commute. When we moved out here, it took exactly 33 minutes to drive from Orem to home. Commute time has really shot up. Now, assuming I don't hit "bad" traffic in Lehi, I can expect at least 45 minutes. If traffic is bad, well, it has taken up to 2 hours to get home. The state has been working hard over the years to solve the congestion by widening 73 and rebuilding intersections, but it has not been enough. I have high hopes (high apple pie in the sky hopes) that perhaps my drive will be back to what it was 8 years ago, or maybe even better. Now wouldn't that be nice?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


3 days since Liza bit PJ. Have I finally gotten through to her? I hope so. I was just about at my breaking point. Wednesday, when she bit PJ, I told her that if she really needed to bite something, she should bite Ellie, her Build-a-Bear dog from Granny, that she loves more than anything. Her response was, "But, she is special. I'll never bite her!" That sent me into a whole tirade about how PJ has real feelings, while Ellie's are pretend. But the baby food plan actually worked. She even mentioned it today. She said she would never bite PJ again because she will never eat baby food again. This was a monumental leap forward. Finally, I feel like I have gotten through to her.

I thank everyone for their tips. There were many tips: baby food, time outs, spending 15 minutes a day doing an activity she initiates, positive reinforcement, and ignoring Liza while I dote on the child who was bitten until she addresses her bite... There were so many. I actually felt like I was able to get help by reaching out. When I posted it, I thought I may be reaching for straws. But when all is said and done (I hope it is) the tips I gained through my postings gave me the help I desperately needed.

Sadly, the stuff for Liza's party came finally. Actually seeing it made me so sad for the loss. I had been looking forward to this for months. I had it all planned. The beach ball invites, piniata, and 3D beach ball cake. Ahhh, the imagined memories. Maybe next year. Assuming that for a 3rd year, Liza doesn't bite away her birthday. Then again, next summer will be the first chance that PJ gets to have a friend party. I guess we see how it goes. So much of me wants to cave and let Liza earn her party back. But I think I just want her to have it. I don't want this to turn into some kind of I-know-what-I-said-and-I-know-what-you-did-but-I-am-going-back-on-my-word moment. I hate it when parents go back on their word, good or bad. The mother-in-law until thinks I was too hasty in taking away the birthday.

Gahhh! Parenting SUCKS!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

She's Still Doing IT!!!

Alright. So Thursday, I took away her birthday. Let her work her butt off the rest of Thursday and all of Friday to earn it back. She bites PJ within the hour. Then again Saturday. Then again Monday. They are playing pony. PJ climbs on. Not a word- just bites him because she doesn't want to play anymore. Monday again. So I blow my top. Tuesday is pretty good. The only thing she got in trouble for was because I caught both of them on top of the car. Both were sent to their room. Ahh, but then let's move on to this morning. Before 8 am, Liza has bitten PJ. This time, he was laying on her. Again, no warning. Just a big fat bite on the leg. So I yelled. I screamed. I made her plain-old-boring-with-nothing-added oatmeal for breakfast. It took her until 2 to decide that she was hungry enough to eat it. One of my Lit n' Leaning mom's who talked to her shrink hubby suggested this morning that I try telling her if she can't use her teeth correctly, she won't have to use them at all. I laughed because of the oatmeal.

At about noon I just couldn't take the fighting anymore. I went to a neighbor's for a few moments and cried on her shoulder. (Thanks, so much for that, btw, C, I really needed that). I told her what I was going to try. She went to her pantry and gave me a bottle of baby food that her daughter refuses to eat- mixed veggies and beef. I went home and told Liza that if she was going to bite, this is the food she gets to eat.

As of bed time, no more bites. Much better behavior (she even read with no mistakes). Maybe there is hope yet. My heart says she finally learned. My mind says it's hopeless. I did threaten to take away Girl Scouts. Maybe that is more important than her birthday. Which is not happening. No presents. No outing. No party. Not a single phone call will be passed to her. September 3rd, at least this year, will just be a date on a calendar.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Birthday Party?

Last week Liza started biting PJ. HOLY CRAP!! What's that all about? I told her if she did it again, she would loose her birthday party. This sounds very familiar. It happened last year, and she didn't get to have a friend party. I still let her have the family party, but this year I upped the anti. A few days go by, and low and behold, I catch her with her teeth in PJ's leg. No party. I decide to let her earn it back. Thursday and Friday, I make her work her butt off to earn it back. Finally, tell her she can have the party. Not an hour later, she friggen bites her brother- AGAIN!! Grr. I yell. I scream. She knows she is not having a party now. Not with friends. Not with family. What happens Saturday afternoon? She freakin bites him, AGAIN!!! According to Liza, each time he has deserved it. Thursday, they were playing in a box, PJ was climbing in with her. Chomp. Friday, they were watching TV and he didn't want to watch the same show she wanted. Chomp. Saturday, he put the crayons in the dogs' water bowl. Chomp. I swear the whole neighborhood heard me scream "He didn't deserve to be bitten! You don't get to decide what punishment he gets! You don't get to punish your brother!!!!" I am livid. So now, there is no TV, no friends, no spa night, and no birthday. We were planning to go to the zoo this morning with friends. Nope. Couldn't happen because Liza will not stop biting her brother. I am at my wit's end. I have had it. Only 10 days before school starts, and I already can't wait.

Friday, August 13, 2010


First, went to the Dinosaur museum Wednesday. More on that later...

This morning was the annual Perseid's meteor shower. I look forward to this far too much every summer. However, it does remind me that my favorite season is quickly coming to an end, as it is this time of year when the temps drop drastically. Last week it was in the 70s overnight, last night, the 50s. Ahh, what a show though.

There was a little bit of confusion about the peak of the shower. The news said 12-3 while NASA reported 4-5:30. Tina was planning to bring her family over at 4, light a fire, look through the telescope and have breakfast. In a cruelly fortunate twist of fate, Toby got sick at 12:30 this morning so we were up cleaning the carpets. Which woke PJ. So the two of us went out to "peek" at the shower. We were out there for less than 10 minutes and watched about 15 falling stars. So we went in to get everyone else. I don't know how many we actually saw, but we were outside for about an hour. I think we happened on the peak time. As Liza would say, it was lovely.

Jer woke me again just before 4. Needless to say, I did not want to get up. I sent Jer to turn on the lights so Tina would know we were up and she could come down at any moment. She called to say she thought it was too cold so her kids would be miserable. I laughed as she said she was going to bale. Fine by me. I crawled back into bed and didn't wake again until 9. I don't know when my kids got up, but apparently PJ was pretty upset that we didn't wake him up at 4 again. He was fine when Jer told him no one got up.

Oddly, I have had so much energy today. I just kept going. It wasn't until I got home from helping Tina in her classroom that it hit me just how sleepy I was. Still one of my favorite things to do. We didn't ever pull out the telescope, so we may do that again tonight. We got our hands on a nifty lens that doubles the power of the lens you are using. We have tried it out, and saw Saturn and it's rings super up close. Can't wait to see Jupiter!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2 buck Tuesdays

I love Thanksgiving Point's August special. Every year I make the trip to the gardens for only a few clams. It's the only time that I bother with the gardens, and really the only venue where I bother trying to save a few bucks. With the museum being such a great deal, there is always a line out the door and around the building just to get in, let alone the hundreds of people crammed into exhibits, and farm country is just cheap anyway- only $3 any given day. But I figure, with the many acres of room, I can handle the crowds.

Tina and I took our kids to run among the flowers. They loved it. We got to see the NASA exhibit, so totally not worth it. I'm glad I didn't fork over the $30 bucks for that. But the flowers were in bloom, and the grass was green. So the planet thing just didn't really factor in. The kids had such a wonderful time. They loved the waterfall, the hills, and the hedge maze. I lost myself in the gardens. I just enjoyed the company and the scenery. 4 hours went by almost instantly. I think even Tina thought that the get away was nice. We were with the kids, but they were so busy that it was like we were in totally different hemispheres.

We had lunch in a park in Lehi, then a quick trip to Home Depot to get some things I need around the house. I have to say, my kids were so fantastically well behaved today, that I felt a little out of sorts. They just usually act up in some way. I am so proud of them. We had such a relaxed day that I was more then happy to spoil them a little. They got some extra snacks, TV time, and more stories at bedtime then usual. Ahh, if only every day could be like this. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have 2 such well behaved kids. And happy kids. All day long it was nothing but smiles. If only that were everyday. Maybe the headaches would stop. Haha.

Tomorrow, I will happily pay full price to not have crowds at the museum. It will be the last Lit n' Leaning field trip of the summer. Then school starts. Then I will have spare time on my hands, until I get busy volunteering at the school. Something that will actually start this week when I go in to help label some of the books.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Going back to work?

I love being a stay-at-home mom! It is fabulous. Staying home allows me to do so many things with my kids that I may not have the time for otherwise. Like all the great stuff I have done with them this summer. I love that I get the chance to be a room mom for Liza's class. I had a blast being able to spend 2 days a week volunteering at the school last year. Well, this year, PJ will also be in school. Just 4 days a week, part days. So I am thinking about applying to the school for some of the part time jobs that are opening. This is a great time to do it, new school, new positions. I have submitted an application for one such position. It is 4 hours a day as an office assistant. But, that leaves me needing to put PJ in daycare 4 hours, 1 day a week and 1 hour the other 4 days. I would still have plenty of time to be room mom and still get to plan all the parties. It's either do this now, or wait another 2 years when PJ goes into first grade. I guess I will see if the school district calls me about the office job. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Big Day

I went to the school today to help Tina move some of her stuff into her classroom. She gave us a tour. I am really excited about it. There is a ton natural light all over the building. PJ's classroom has balloons drawn on the ceiling tiles. The kids are really jazzed about it. This will be fun. There is only 3 weeks before the start of school.

After we did that, Tina and I took the kids to the Museum of Natural History. It's free the first Monday of the month. They had so many hands on exhibits, I didn't think the kids would ever want to leave. I think we spent the most time looking at the minerals, but the kids really liked the bugs too. There was a spider in there that was 2 inches long in the body. Apparently, it is common in the Utah foothills. Ewww! Hard to find, thankfully, as it is a nocturnal spider.

It was about 2:30 when we left there, and went to do some school shopping. We drove up the canyon to Park City. They had some pretty good jeans for only $10. They are pretty thick in the knees, so I am hoping that these jeans will hold up for the year. Needless to say, I left my house this morning at 8:30 and didn't get home until almost 6. Long day. But it was fun. I was super tired when I got home, but some of the best days are those that you are just running around making memories with your kids.