Sunday, August 29, 2010

How Not to Enjoy a Birthday Party

Friday started like any other day, with 5 little girls in my house by 8am.

Friday ended like no other day, with a visit to the Radiology lab of the local hospital.

Vicki went to a birthday party at her friend's house.  They were instructed to bring their swimsuits and were playing water games in the backyard.  Apparently while playing some sort of a relay race, she put her wet feet on a wet slide.  You can imagine what happened next.

The end result was a lot of pain and a goose egg-like lump just above her wrist.  I was made aware of this as soon as it happened, but the friend's parents and I agreed that some Ibuprofen and ice would probably solve the problem.  When I got there to pick her up towards the end of the party, it didn't look too bad to me - no screaming, no weird colors, no odd angles - and I would probably have just told her to hang in there and we'd see how it felt in the morning.  You know, the standard I-know-it's-not-as-bad-as-you're-trying-to-make-me-believe-it-is response.

But the friend's dad happens to be a chiropractor, and he said after looking at it that he was 80% sure something was fractured, and that I should probably take her in for an X-ray.  So I called the pediatrician, and they said if we could be there in the next 15-20 minutes, they'd hang around and wait for us (it was 5:30 on a Friday.)  I left the other two girls at the friends' house and Vicki and I took off.

Two and a half hours, several X-rays, and two Magic Tree House books later, we were back home with Vicki sporting a bright red cast/splint-type thing.

There's a little bit of bone sticking out where it shouldn't be.

You can see it better in this one.  Those bones are supposed to line up.
She's a major trooper, this kid.  Her right arm is broken in two places, but she stayed cheerful the whole time we were at the doctor's office and the hospital, and she insisted that we stick with our plans to spend Saturday on Mt. Hood.  She's pretty frustrated at this point by all the things she can't do one-handed, though.  And of course she's right-handed, so school is going to be interesting for a few weeks.  But with a cast on her arm on the first day, she'll probably be the most popular kid there.

"Mom!  Stop taking my picture!"
And she's earned herself a whole slew of new nicknames: "Bones", "One-armed Wilma", and the family favorite, "Slip-n-Slide".

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Why do movies that never made me cry as a kid make me cry as an adult? Why can’t I just enjoy the end of Mary Poppins without crying? I didn’t even watch the whole movie, just the last 15 minutes!

Speaking of crying, I’m reading Where the Red Fern Grows with the girls. We’re getting close to the end. I’m not sure I want to finish it. I have never, since I first read it when I was about Lexi’s age, been able to get through that book without sobbing.

Now I want a dog.

And I need a bigger car.

When I was looking for pictures for this post, I found this one:
Please ignore my awkward hair and glasses.  In fact, don't look at me at all.  Look at my little sister.  Ellie looks exactly like her, just with lighter (and shorter) hair. I have seen that exact expression on her face a hundred times.  Of course, my sister is stunningly gorgeous, so if Ellie grows up to look just like her, well, I'm totally fine with that.

I need a scanner, too.

A couple of years ago My brother gave us some DVDs with all the movies he’d made up to that point. On one of them is a little gem called “Apokalyse Klown”. If you want your children scarred for life, send them to my house.

We got a new computer. It’s nicer than the old one. But there are a few things that are different and I feel so old trying to figure it all out. Especially since Vicki is totally down with it. In my defense, I grew up in a Mac family, but married into a PC. Yes, that’s my defense, and I’m hanging onto it for dear life.

I hear about all these people sending their kids off to school already, and I feel jealous. Another two weeks…I can make it…I can make it.

Why did Old Navy stop selling their uniform skirts and jumpers?

Why does Word keep trying to autosave stuff when Word isn’t even open? I clearly don’t know enough about computers.

My daughter and her friend made a mean lemon meringue pie yesterday. I may be out of a job as the family chef pretty soon here. And that may not be a bad thing.

Your turn!

A bit of advice for the linky tool: please link directly to your Random Thoughts Thursday post, and not to your entire blog. To do this, simply click on the title of your post. This will take you to that post's page, and you can then copy and paste that url into the linky. This way people linking from my blog won’t have to scroll through any other posts you might put up to find your randomness. Thanks!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Color Oblivious

There are people who claim to be color blind when it comes to racial differences – while they still see the color of a person’s skin, it means significantly less to them than what’s on the inside. And there are people who, unfortunately, see nothing but the color of another person’s skin, regardless of what’s on the inside.

My kids are aware of differences in skin color. They get that we all come in different shades. Some of us (me, for example) are so pinky-white we practically glow in the dark, some of us are rich, chocolaty brown, and there's every shade in between. But they have an aunt who is bi-racial and an uncle who is black, so they’ve been around people who look different from them their whole lives. It’s not a big deal in our family. To my kids, skin color is just an accessory, albeit one you can’t remove. They figured out a long time ago that what’s important is what’s inside the skin.

We watch a lot of Dinosaur Train.  It's Ellie's favorite show, but I'm pretty sure the other two really like it as well, even if they'd never admit that.  It’s about the Pteranadon family, who travel the dinosaur world, sometimes through time tunnels, on a train, visiting different species of dinosaur and learning about them. This family consists of Mr. And Mrs. Pteranadon and their four children, Tiny, Shiny, Don, and Buddy. Tiny, Shiny, and Don are Pteranadons, but Buddy is a T-Rex. He was adopted as an egg. We were watching it one morning while we were in Newport, and in this particular episode the family had traveled to visit a family of T-Rexes. Until then, apparently, the Pteranadons weren’t 100% sure what species Buddy was. Mrs. Pteranadon said something like, “Well, Buddy, we adopted you when you were just an egg, so we didn’t know what you’d look like when you hatched, but we knew we’d love you just as much as our other kids.” As they were talking about how all species of dinosaurs look different, but have some similarities, I commented to the girls that in Daddy’s family, Daddy, Emily, Britton, and Blaine were the pteranadons, and Erica and Scotty were the T-rexes.

And Lexi looked at me and said, in all seriousness, “Why?”

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Even if you’re not new, if you're interested in the above image, I figured out how to do a fancy picture link thingy (see how technical I’ve become?), so you can click here to grab that!

The last time we were at the library a woman walked out the door and set off the alarm. When the girl at the summer reading table asked her if she’d checked the book out, the lady looked at her really oddly and said, “No, I just picked it up.” Are there seriously still people who don’t know how a library works?

In Target the other day we saw a device you can attach to your dog’s collar. It then sends you Tweets from your dog.

Last night we drove past a woman who was watching a movie on a portable DVD player that was STRAPPED TO HER BIKE.

I have now seen everything.

We had about three days of near 100-degree temperatures, and now suddenly it's back down to the 70s.  Even though I really appreciated the AC while it was so hot, now I feel kind of stupid to have it sitting in the window, because it's not likely to get so hot again.

We got a new computer last Friday, and we're still in the transition process.  The good news is we were able to transfer over all the bookmarks and everything from the old computer.  The bad news is they're now listed alphabetically, rather than in the order I made them, and I'm realizing how many useless things I have bookmarked.

Why is it that on the very day I spend WAY too much money on school clothes, I get a coupon in the mail for $15 off the amount I spent at the very store I spent it?

I want a Wii.

Today is looking like a good day for baking zucchini bread.  Mmmmm...zucchini bread.

Your turn!

A bit of advice for the linky tool: please link directly to your Random Thoughts Thursday post, and not to your entire blog. To do this, simply click on the title of your post. This will take you to that post's page, and you can then copy and paste that url into the linky. This way people linking from my blog won’t have to scroll through any other posts you might put up to find your randomness. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You Say it's Your Birthday?

Today is my dad's birthday.  He's turning...a year older ;)

My dad has the weirdest sense of humor.  I love him for it.  And I think I inherited it.  It's because of him that I appreciate Monty Python, and I can never watch The Great Muppet Caper, in particular the part where Miss Piggy is climbing up the side of John Cleese's house, without thinking of him.  Whenever I'm faced with a buffet, I always imagine him quoting Hyacinth Bucket: "Garden party with finger boo-fay", and I laugh.  Thanks, Dad.
This was one of my dad's birthdays.  You can tell because of the obligatory can of Planter's peanuts in the right-hand corner.  In hindsight, that probably isn't the best birthday present year after year, huh, Dad?

When I was little, he would make up silly songs about the things I was doing.  I still remember, "Oh, Allison went down to the beach to play.  She found a crab and she stayed all day."  I'm not sure I ever actually played with a crab on the beach, but the song always made me giggle.  Thanks, Dad.
At my baptism.

Because of my dad, I appreciate a variety of music styles.  Marty Robbins, Air Supply, and Merle Haggard will always be road trip music to me.  But I also learned to enjoy Celine Dion, Clint Black, and Julio Iglesias from my dad.  I'm not necessarily saying I enjoy all those singers now, of course, but without my dad I may never even have known who they were.  Thanks, Dad.
Running a three-legged race at a church picnic.  We made a good team.

My dad is fearless.  When we lived in England, he decided we should become cultured, so he took us on trips to see places like Paris, Rome, Madrid, and Edinburgh.  Imagine the bravery (or possibly insanity...hmmmm...) it takes to drag four unwilling children around Europe.  I never heard him complain about our behavior, even though I'm sure the whining at times would have driven weaker men to drastic measures.  I wish I appreciated those places more when we were there, but at least I can say I've been there, and I have the (very unflattering) pictures to prove it.  Thanks, Dad.

Paris.  Yes, I'm wearing a fanny pack.

My dad rented this scooter and took each of us kids out for a ride around Rome.  How awesome is that?

I learned to drive in a crash course (ha) while spending a month in the States one summer.  Then we went back to England, where I had to forget most of what I'd learned and start over on the wrong side of the road.  I made my mom incredibly nervous (it was mutual), but my dad was always calm while I was driving, even when I drove right over the top of a mini-roundabout.  I don't know whether I ever told him how much I appreciated his patience, but I sure hope I'm like him when it comes time for the girls to start driving.  Thanks, Dad.

When I went away to college, my dad drove the 4 hours between our home and Rexburg, ID to bring me more stuff.  He also came up to bring me home for breaks and the occasional weekend.  Then he drove me back again when the break was over.  He helped me with my taxes when I got a job, and carted me to and from work because I didn't have a car.  He was always there with advice when I needed help, but he never pushed anything on me.  Thanks, Dad.
Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park.  This was our last family vacation before I went away to college.

He's an awesome grandpa.  The girls love playing with him.  He likes to tease, and since my kids know how to dish it out, he puts up with their teasing in return.  Thanks, Dad.

My dad has a dog named Riff (pictured above.)  The girls call the dog Uncle Riff.  I'm pretty sure my dad loves this dog more than his own children (but, really, who can blame him?  Riff is a lot cuter and a lot more obedient than we ever were.)  But even though he'd give the dog anything, he's already given me everything a father could.  He taught me about love, and patience, and service, and I appreciate him more now as a parent myself than I ever did when he truly deserved it.  Thanks, Dad.

Happy Birthday today, and here's to a whole bunch more!  Love you!

Friday, August 13, 2010

IKEA Should Pay Me for the Publicity

All three of my girls share a bedroom that is slightly less than 10’x10’. We have a three-bedroom house, but we decided to use the third bedroom for an office/playroom. It’s even smaller than the girls’ room.

Our biggest problem here is storage space. There isn’t much. At all.

Vicki and Ellie share a bunk bed, and Lexi’s loft bed is perpendicular to that. Underneath the loft bed are their dressers. The only other furniture in the room was a bookshelf, which had books on the bottom three shelves, my old college stereo above that, and then a lot of useless space above that, since the girls can’t reach that high.

A few years ago for Christmas the girls each got a magnet board, shelf, and flower light from Santa. In theory, the shelf was supposed to be a good place to put things they wanted easy access to while on their beds. In reality, it was a good place to put a few things while they dumped everything else on their beds. It got so bad that Lexi didn’t even have room to sleep.

We’ve been mulling this over for a while, and the conclusion was that they needed more storage space, but we hadn’t gotten farther than that.

Until the new IKEA catalog arrived in the mail.

We should know by now that it’s a bad idea for us to even open the thing.

On Monday evening we took a family trip to YoCream for dessert. YoCream happens to be conveniently located right near IKEA. After indulging in the goodness of frozen yogurt mixed with delicacies like Nerds and gummy bears, we somehow found ourselves surrounded by inexpensive furnishings, trying to make sense of Swedish labels.

And we came home with one Expedit bookcase, six Lekman storage bins, three Trofast units, and 18 storage boxes containers to go in the Trofast units. And a garlic press, which was all we really needed when we walked into the store.

So the girls and I have spent the last three days cleaning messes (hoo boy, were there messes to clean!), building furniture, and totally re-designing the look of their bedroom.

Here are some before shots:
Chris moved it before I could get my "before" shot, but the bookcase (also from IKEA, by the way) used to be in the corner where the stereo is now.  The ladder leads to Lexi's bed.
Vicki's bed.  Yes, that is a cracked mirror on her shelf.  She calls it the Mirror of Erised.  Next to it is a Golden Snitch and at least one magic wand.
Lexi's bed.   She wanted her shelf up high, which provides even less storage space.  Also, I realize now I should have taken these pictures pre-deep clean.  You have no idea what this used to look like.  It was a hoarder's dream come true.
Ellie's bed.  Because she's on the bottom bunk, she really only has the one wall there.  Her shelf usually has a lot more than a water bottle on it.  And I have no idea why she's lying facedown, but I like it.

And...drum roll...the afters:
Yay for more storage space!  We have one of these in our living room and we love it.  And I'm sure those empty spaces will be filled soon.
Really all we did here was move the magnet board so we could put the case above her head.  But I think this shot provides an even better view of the shrine to Harry Potter she has going on there.
For Lexi's, I had to move everything.  The magnet board had to move down a little so the shelf could fit over it, and the light had to move to make room for the case.  I like it.
Again, I had to move everything.  Ellie wins the coolness prize, though, because her lamp is now above the bed, instead of on the wall.  The other two think it's no fair, but they have more wall space than her.

So, there we go.  Three days' worth of hard work.  I like playing with power tools, but I'm not very good at it, so there are a few extra holes in the wall. Drywall anchors don't go through studs, FYI.  But we had fun, and hopefully we'll have a little less mess now that they have more places to put things.  Fingers crossed.  Now I just have to clean up the aftermath.

I haven’t even used the garlic press yet.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

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My house is a complete disaster, but I have a good excuse.

I should be working on that good excuse right now so my house can un-disaster itself, but, alas, it's Thursday.

I took over 500 pictures on our trip to the coast last week.  I need to sort them so I can do a post about it.  We had a blast.  But 500 pictures!  *sigh*

Here's one:
Lexi, Ellie, & Vicki, Old Town Newport, OR
I just read a comment on someone's Facebook status in which the commenter mixed up two letters of an acronym and accidentally worried about UCLA suing over something.  It made me laugh.

I need to take my children shopping for back-to-school supplies.  I've been avoiding it, but now I'm worried everything will be sold out.

I'm so bad at planning birthday parties for my kids.  So. Bad.

I get so excited when I see that someone from a foreign country visited my blog.  It becomes less exciting when I remember that I know someone in that country.  Which is not to say that I don't enjoy people I know visiting my blog, just that people I don't know visiting my blog is super exciting, too.

Why are anonymous and random blog visitors so exciting, anyway?

Yesterday I realized: Ellie is Junie B. Jones.

I still have a box of Girl Scout cookies hidden in the freezer.  Shhh...don't tell my kids.

Your turn!

A bit of advice for the linky tool: please link directly to your Random Thoughts Thursday post, and not to your entire blog. To do this, simply click on the title of your post. This will take you to that post's page, and you can then copy and paste that url into the linky. This way people linking from my blog won’t have to scroll through any other posts you might put up to find your randomness. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Skip to My Lou

Lexi is 8 years old today.

She is amazing.  She's full of life and it's constantly spilling over.  While it makes for a roller coaster ride at times, Lexi is always an adventure to be around.

It's hard to believe how much she's grown in just 8 years.  She's gone from this:

And this:

To this:

And this:

And finally, to the Lexi we know and love today:

She's our ray of sunshine (with a few thunderstorms here and there), full of imagination, with a sweet, loving tender heart and we're so happy she's part of our family.

Happy birthday Lexi-Lou!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

Welcome to Random Thoughts Thursday, the bloggy carnival thingy where we post about...whatever pops into our heads.

Joining in is simple. Just post your own random thoughts on your blog and link back here (see below) so we can make this a great big Random Thoughts Thursday festival! Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate. Even if you think I have no idea that you read my blog, and whether or not you know me personally, I'd love for you to join in. And if you don't have a blog but you're still feeling random, feel free to leave a few thoughts in the comments for everyone else to enjoy.


A random confession: it's not actually Thursday as I write this.  It's last Saturday.  While you're reading this, I'm at the coast, probably without internet access.  But look at me!  I planned ahead!  Thank goodness for scheduled posts!

What would people do if I didn't do Random Thoughts Thursday every week?

I think I'm becoming narcissistic.

Why does my dryer take so long?

We watched Pan's Labyrinth last night.  It was a good movie, I think.  Actually, I'm still trying to decide.  There are some things you can never unsee, and many of them were in that movie.

I really don't want people to be scared of me and my grammar issues.  I won't judge you if you won't judge me!

In closing, I leave you with thisI know half of you have seen it, because it's been on your blogs.  But it's still funny, and maybe the other half of you will enjoy it for the first time.

Your turn!

A bit of advice for the linky tool: please link directly to your Random Thoughts Thursday post, and not to your entire blog. To do this, simply click on the title of your post. This will take you to that post's page, and you can then copy and paste that url into the linky. This way people linking from my blog won’t have to scroll through any other posts you might put up to find your randomness. Thanks!

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