… little bit of this, little bit of that, a whole lotta about the kids

Category Archives: Brain Dump

This week is shaping up to be as crazy as last week.  I’m over 100 people short so far of our average volunteer pool with one week left for submissions (our school has about 300 students and usually around 150 parent volunteers).  While getting that many in the last week will absolutely swamp me, I hope it happens or a lot of programs won’t happen.  I put up reminder flyers today, and I need to send out an email to all the teachers asking for them to remind folks about our volunteer process during back to school night tomorrow.  I also have to prep a notice for the schools email “news notes” that gets sent out Friday.  Thursday is the day my mom comes into town so I can volunteer in the classroom, so I need to get everything finished up by tomorrow.

Baby L is also sick.  She uses a pacifier at sleep times (and only then) but she can’t keep it in her mouth because her nose alternates between plugged and runny and she can’t breathe and suck at the same time, so she isn’t sleeping well (or at all) and is doing a lot of heart wrenching crying.  That means mommy doesn’t get to sleep well or at all either.  Funtioning on so litle sleep makes me emotional and short tempered, so its a struggle to keep myself in check.

No bento so far this week.  Today was one of Kidlet’s 2 hot lunch picks for the month (he loves thier “brunch for Lunch” days). Yesterday I just sent a laptop lunchbox.  I know there are people that cute-ify those, but for us they are just the green equivilent of brown bagging it and I toss his food into the containers and go.  While I can usually get a bento done in 10-15 minutes, laptop lunches take under 5 minutes, and it’s where I turn when mornings are harried.  I suspect that will be the case every morning this week!


Not much posting going on this week, as you can see.  This has been the last full week before school starts and I’ve been so busy.  Not just prepping the kids with shopping, getting in doctor and dentist appointments and going through the closet and getting rid of everything too small, etc, but with my volunteer coordinator stuff. 

The last couple of weeks before school starts and the first month of school are the busiest time for that.  I’ve been updating documents for our web site and prepping my “lesson plan” for the training of new volunteers.  Creating welcome letters and decriptions of all the volunteer jobs.  I joined the rest of the PTA the other day for a few hours stuffing the back to school welcome packets for all the families.  Email has been flying fast and furious.

I think I am caught up now and am basically just waiting for volunteer forms to come in and for my training dates to arrive. 

I’ve been spending time with the kids when I’m not frantically busy, and I made fun foods for WFLW — I just haven’t had time to sit and post about it.  I do have a tot school post in the works.  We’ll see if things get a little less crazy now for a bit!


I picked up a few sets of plush food sets at Ikea and have them in a basket for tot school this week, but I find there are a couple in the vegetable set that I really don’t know what they are supposed to be.

I suppose my best guess on the lower one is cucumber. { Although I don’t think the center of a cucumber looks very star like.}  I am 100% at a loss on the one in the back.  If it wasn’t such a pain to get pictures off my camera (I’m having to have the hubby put them onto his machine, upload them to the internet, and then I can download them to my machine) I would get a better picture of that one in the back.  It’s got a bulbous bottom with garlic like stringy bits, a couple straight leek-like leaves, but only part way up, and the center is a cylindrical light green thing with a swirl on top.

Maybe they are some kind of foreign local Swedish vegetables. 😉

Edit:

OK, here it is.  What is it?!


Busy, busy week so far.  Feels like I am constantly rushing from one thing to another.  I guess I feel it more too because DH isn’t really here to help at all this week.  His boss is visiting from Chicago and its been at least 3 years since they were able to get together face to face.  Where he ordinarily works from home a fair amount of time, and is done for the day by 4 and can help out with Baby L so I can clean a little and make dinner, and normally does kidlets night time routine, he is staying late, going to dinner with the boss, etc, so I am on my own for all the kids waking hours.

Kidlet has swim class every morning for the next two weeks.  Immediately afterwards yesterday I had to head to a meeting with the former volunteer coordinator for our PTA (I don’t remember if I posted that I was roped into elected to that position which apparently is a two year term I just discovered at a PTA board training last Saturday).  I figured it would take 30 minutes, maybe an hour tops, but I ended up being there over 2 hours, and if I hadn’t pushed to get out of there to get baby L home for a nap, I think it could have gone on much longer =0

Today after swimming we headed out to a park for one of the planned “incoming first graders park meets” from kidlets school.  We’ve been to 4 or 5 of them and they haven’t been well attended, but there were actually other families there this time.  I took some terribly cute picture of the kids, but for some reason my camera isn’t communicating with my computer — I suspect there is something going on with my USB stuff, because my iphone stopped connecting with the computer a few weeks back.  Sigh.

Tomorrow after class we are headed out to Ikea.  I had wanted to go on Sunday, but it just didn’t work out, and kidlet was disappointed because he loves thier play area, so I told him we could go a different day.  That’s a good 30-45 minute drive one way.  Whee. In the afternoon, kidlet has an appointment with his counsellor and although its a tremendous pain to deal with baby L and her rampant running around while trying to work with kidlet and his doctor, I don’t seem to have a lot of options since DH won’t be able to make it home to take care of the baby.

Thursday we have another park play date in the afternoon, and then I have my first official PTA officer board meeting.  Thankfully my SiL is able to come over and sit with the kids that evening, since I have no clue when DH will make it home.

Friday might actually be open.  knock wood.


I have to say, I really don’t understand the people that head out to crazy packed venues like children’s museums, amusement parks, and the zoo late in the day.  When we go to those places – like today, taking advantage of our Oregon Zoo membership – we go as soon as they are open, or as close to that as we can manage to talk people into when we are meeting others there.  At that time of day, parking is a breeze and we are only a few cars down from the entrance.  There are no (or very short) lines for tickets.  But as we leave a few hours later, it never fails — lines ticket lines are 20 to 30 people deep with twice the lines open, the parking lots are stacked with cars all holding up traffic trying to wait for a spot to open.  Geting *out* is almost as bad as the getting in must be for those johnny come latelys.  I truely don’t understand what makes a couple extra hours at home worth dealing with that mess, because even once you are inside, its gotta be just as crowded and nuts!

On the other hand, I guess its good for me since the kids are both early risers and I *like* getting them out and about so I feel like I still have so much day left afterwards.  I suppose if everyone went early to avoid the crowds, then the crowds would be early in the morning 😉

I’ve taken that picnic bento box out with us several times so far, but I haven’t been motivated to document it since I haven’t really gone to much effort to make it kawaii.  It usually ends up looking something alot like this:

At best, I’ve cut the fruit and veggies into shapes.  I think his day camp next week provides lunch, so no bento opportunities there either.


If you have ever commented here, you might have noticed that it requires approval before posting (although once approved, you can then post automatically without waiting for approval in the future).  That works well to keep spam out of comments, but does require me to manually dispprove/delete all the spam posts that come in, and it’s tedious and somewhat tiresome clicking through a couple dozen posts daily.  I’ve been leaning towards installing one of those little fields where you have to type what you see or do a basic sum or something to post, but before I do that and make it more difficult for posting comments, I’m going to try a plugin called “WP Captcha-Free” which, in theory, should prevent bots from being able to post.

“WP Captcha-Free generates a hash (aka token) based on several parameters like time (with a some cushion), post id, IP address, and browser user-agent which should not change between requests (within a short period of say a few seconds). When the comment form is posted the plugin uses ajax to get a hash value and adds it to a hidden field. On the server side it verifies if the hash is valid or not. It uses adds random salt to the hash so that it cannot be guessed.

A combination of a time based hash and javascript (ajax) makes it almost impossible for any bot to bypass.”

I don’t entirely understand all that, so I hope that it isn’t so aggressive as to interfere with actual people!


 

Mostly quiet day at home for us.  Kidlet and I went to the farmers market this morning, but didn’t pick up much aside from some the local strawberries from the same vendor as last week.  Both weeks they were a little bit beat up, but oh so sweet and juicy. 

His favorite bakery vendor (with cookies) from last year never resurfaced this year, and his backup bakery (with pastries) was out this week, but he managed to spy someone across the lot selling these itty bitty 2 bite cupcakes with American flags in them.

He does have some amazing eyesight.  It always suprises us the things that he notices and from how far away.  Maybe that’s normal for kids.  Maybe that’s even normal for adults that aren’t one step away from legally blind. 😉  He decided to count American flags on the way home and found 34.  I think I saw about 10 until he pointed them out.

Daddy may be taking kidlet to see fireworks tonight; we’re playing that by ear since it would be quite late for him.


There are times when feeding the kidlet can be a trial.  I get quite tired of hearing “I don’t like that” at dinner time (usually referring to some kind of non-processed, non-ground meat).  On the other hand, when I asked him what he would like for lunch today he asked “Well, do we have any broccoli?  And carrots?”  I said “That can’t be all you want, that doesn’t sound like a filling lunch” and he responded “I want some mango too, mom” (with a tone that suggested “Duhhhhhh!” ;)).  It’s hard to get too irritated and to complain about a picky eater when the first thing he asks for  at meal time are vegetables and fruit.  He may not be open to every food out there, and his diet might seem boring to me, but the fact that he eats fruit and veggies (even if its the same ones) every day puts him far ahead of some. 

Baby L is becoming quite a good eater as well.  She has 12 teeth already at not quite 13 months.  She actually prefers things with more texture to things that are gooey at this point.  She shovels in diced chicken, happily crunches on lightly steamed veggies.  It takes a little coaxing to get her to eat avocado, banana, mango, etc.  Once I get her to taste it, then she’ll keep eating it, but if I don’t help some into her mouth so she can see how good it is, she will touch it and recoil and leave it on her tray, heh.

She is also starting to communicate and you can see a real little person with her own personality developing now.  She says “DaDa” and “MaMa” and “book” (well, its more like OooK).  She says “ess” and nods her head once sharply for “yes” and is signing “more”, “done”, and “milk” — although to be fair, her signs aren’t what you call precise, and she tends to use them even if they don’t quite fit.  She’ll do “more”, when she is hungry before she has had anything, so technically its not really *more* its just *some* 😉

Sleep training Baby L has been a total dream compared to what we went through with the Kidlet.  Of course he had a lot of other issues given his early life.  I put off the sleep training for as long as I could, partially in dread, but mostly because I’m a believer in co-sleeping and attachment parenting.  Still, within a couple days her agitation at being put down was down to minutes.  After two weeks it is down to a few seconds of fussing.  She is also sleeping through the night and not needing feeding at all, so, in theory, I should be getting more sleep. 

Except of course I am not getting my naps.  Today when the baby went down, Kidlet and I cleaned out the homework corner.  It’s amazing how much junk accumulates in our drawers there.  We also culled out all the materials that were too easy for him.  I’ve always supplemented his out of the home education.  Much of it is a bit of the “unschooling” approach — “sneaking” in education while playing.  He doesn’t realize the mathematical applications of baking muffins, science experiments are just cool fun, he loves art projects (today he was doing some coloring and he says to me “I think I’ll do this one like Marc Chagall and use crazy colors”, it gave me a little glow :)), helping me write shopping lists for the foods he wants, etc.   But we also have file folder games and workbooks, piles of reading materials and so forth.  Most of what we put away was actually geared for first graders, and he is beyond it already =0  I kept out a grade one reading comprehension workbook (flash forward reading) although only the second half looks worth using, and one on maps (from scholastic); the rest of it is now shelved and waiting for the baby to get there.


Seriously, where does the time go?  Just a minute ago I had this itty bitty baby and a sweet little preschooler, and the next thing you know, one is a toddler with 12 teeth and a ravenous appetite, and the other will officially be a grade schooler come fall.  A grade schooler!

I barely had a schedule that worked for me with just Baby L at home; now with the Kidlet in the mix for summer, I’m struggling to find time for anything.  I’d been getting caught up with regular daily chores and even finding time to tackle some of the big jobs that need done, but now I’m floundering and flailing again.  And I miss my daily nap! 😉

It would be some consolation if it were actually summer-like.  However, we’ve had a terribly wet spring, with maybe 4 or 5 warm sunny days in the past couple of months.  It continues gray, wet and rainy as June moves on.


I can’t beleive that Kidlet’s kindergarten year is over.  Things were a little teary all day!