Thursday, June 30, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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If all I had to go by was the weather, there's no way I'd believe today is the last day of June.  Seriously, Mother Nature?

If Papa Bear's porridge was in the biggest bowl, Mama Bear's the next biggest, and Baby Bear's the smallest, and Papa Bear's porridge was too hot, wouldn't it make more sense if it was Baby Bear's that was too cold, and Mama Bear's that was juuuuust right?  This has always bugged me.

After Ellie dropped the quart-sized yogurt container on the kitchen floor, she announced "No one come in here!  There's been a major incident!"

I wish I didn't have the time now to bake cookies.  Cookies are bad.

I bought Harry Potter tickets this morning!  Woohoo!!!

Insurance companies are so much fun.  We're finally getting things wrapped up on a claim for something that happened last August.  And it's not my fault it's taking so long. (try telling that to the people threatening collections.)

Ellie took this picture of herself yesterday:

I can't stop laughing.

I'm proud of myself because when the girls asked me to buy chocolate-covered strawberries, Lady Godiva chocolate-covered strawberries, no less, I maintained my self-control and said no.  I'm crying inside, but on the outside I'm proud.

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Swing

I'm cross-posting this from my other blog, so most of you have probably already seen it, but I've loved this poem since I was little, and the picture of Ellie just personifies it for me.  So now you can enjoy it twice!

How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!

-Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses

Monday, June 27, 2011

Photography Skillz

If I leave my phone alone for more than five minutes, it's pretty much a guarantee that the next time I see it, a few more levels of Angry Birds will have been passed and there will be some interesting pictures on the camera roll.

Case in point:

This is clearly everyone's favorite app.
And Lexi's favorite pose.

I think Ellie took this one.
Why?  I don't know.

There are at least 30 variations of this.


I need to buy lightbulbs.

I don't know who took this one, but I sure
hope my butt isn't really that big.


Also freaky.

Dad's not immune, either.

Then Vicki has to go and take a really awesome picture.
Go figure.

The moral of the story?  Guard your camera well.

Or be prepared to delete a lot.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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I discovered the coolest web site last night.

In related news, apparently "Reliable Snot" is an anagram of my name.  Awesome.

Overnight, Vicki became a swimmer.  Yesterday she was still flailing all over the place, and today I watched her swim 10 widths of freestyle, with bi-lateral breathing (I'm so cool because I know the technical term for breathing over both shoulders), like a pro.

There are not enough hours in the day.

Yesterday my repeated mutterings included the phrase, "It's only the third day?"  This might be a really looooong summer.

I came up with a new "keep the house clean" strategy and brainwashed my children into believing it will be fun.  I'll do a full post on it sometime.  If it works.

I feel like complaining about the lack of summer warmth, but give me two months and I'll be complaining about the heat, so maybe I'll just keep my mouth shut.

Smartphones are really addictive.

If you leave me a comment, please sign it with your favorite anagram name (see link above).

Alien Lobster

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Things that Make Me Feel Old

*Having a friend tell me about a pair of "vintage" jeans...from 1999.

*Explaining to my kids what "fast-forward" means.

*Getting a postcard in the mail from the college I'll be attending, announcing an exciting upcoming bash, and recognizing that if I went I'd be AT LEAST a decade older than anyone else there.

*Having to wait while the telephone survey people run through one more age category than they used to.

*Realizing that the 80s music I love is now being played on the Oldies station.

*Realizing that the 80s was three decades ago.

*Discovering that my body can no longer handle sleeping on the hard mattresses at Girl Scout camp - I swear it wasn't that uncomfortable last year!

*Knowing that at the end of this summer I will be a middle school parent.

*Admitting that I'm still more comfortable operating a Walkman than an iPod.

*Realizing that the 1st graders I taught before Vicki was born will be Seniors in the fall.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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I didn't mean to complain about Chris in yesterday's post.  Really!  It didn't even occur to me that that's what people would get out of it.  Just shows how much attention I pay to the small things, I guess.  He's forgiven me, I think. (Although his text message to me when I apologized profusely simply read, "just remember, I don't get mad..."  I'm actually a little afraid.)

My firstborn is graduating from elementary school this afternoon.  Man, that makes me feel old.

School isn't even out yet, and already I think the summer's not long enough.

I'm pretty sure that in two years I'm going to be heading the Outdoor School fundraising program for Lexi's class.  It's a good thing I'm getting used to it now.

Today I finally finished the book I was supposed to have read for my book club meeting on the 2nd.  Two weeks ago.  It's been a little busy around here.

My new phone makes me feel so organized!  If you know me, you'll know I'm not AT ALL organized.  So either it just makes me feel organized, or it's actually helping me.  I vote for the latter.

I learned how to tie a tie when I was in a play in high school that required me to wear one.  You wouldn't think that skill would come in handy with only daughters, but it does.

I can't think of any more random thoughts.

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm Glad it's Today

Yesterday was a weird day.

Chris took the car because he was attending a class in Oregon City and didn't want to spend two hours biking there.  Can't really blame him.

Tuesday is my usual grocery shopping day, and when Chris said if I gave up the car for the day he'd be willing to stop by the store on his way home, I assumed a deal had been made.  I even emailed him a very specific list (I don't know how it works in other households, but whenever Chris does the shopping we end up with all kinds of weird things.)

We were out of bread, so I had to make the hated roll-ups for the girls' lunches.

Ellie and I took our time walking home from the school, gathering enough rocks, leaves, flowers, and sticks to garrison a colony of birds' nests for a month.

I discovered that the girls' laundry baskets were overflowing and decided to remedy the situation all in one day - what I was thinking when I made this decision, I may never know.

I'm glad it's today.

Vicki had her first book club meeting after school, so she went straight to her friend's house, but we brought home a replacement child for a spontaneous playdate.

We got home to find Chris there.   His class had finished earlier than he'd expected, and he was trying to set up the computer so he could do some work from home.

And there were no groceries.

Apparently there'd been a miscommunication.  While I thought he was for sure going to stop at the store on his way home, he thought that he'd do it if it worked out.  But he was finished with the class earlier than he expected and thought he'd get some work done.  Since he gets paid to work, but not to shop for groceries, I can't really complain.

So instead I told him he was in charge of the three girls downstairs, told the three girls downstairs that the man upstairs was in charge and that they could have an after-school snack of goldfish crackers, and left for the store.

I arrived home less than an hour later to find my husband still upstairs, blissfully unaware of the fact that downstairs were three little girls who had eaten their way through half a bag (a Costco-sized bag, by the way) of goldfish crackers, six packages of fruit snacks, and three Go-Gurts, and were now sitting in the living room watching "The Electric Company" with their feet in giant bowls of water.


I'm glad it's today.

During dinner, we asked Vicki how her day at school had gone, knowing full well she'd had the "My Changing Body" talk and video that afternoon.  Blushing furiously, she admitted that it wasn't that bad, and that she really hadn't learned anything new, except that animals go through puberty, too.  That was the question she submitted for the Q&A session after the video (God bless those wonderful teachers forever.)

She mentioned a few of the other questions that had been (anonymously) submitted.  When she said that one of them had been, "What's a virgin?", Lexi, having no idea herself, shouted, "Virgins!  Let's all be virgins!"

Sounds like a good idea to me.

I'm glad it's today.

This morning, Ellie and our babysitting friend Violet found the bag of craft feathers that Vicki and Lexi had been using the other day, and decided to decorate the living room with them.

I'm...glad it's today?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Imagine Balloons and Confetti

Because this is my 500th post!

I've been writing this blog for nearly four years.  I started it as a way to keep far away family members updated on what we were up to.  Mostly what the girls were up to; let's be honest, the far away family members don't actually care that much about what Chris or I are up to.

Over time, the blog evolved.  It became a creative writing outlet for me.  I found out that people actually read what I write, and sometimes they like it!  Now I have followers I've never met.  Not too many, but a few.  It's fun.

I have plans in the works to, hopefully, reach a larger audience.  I want to write posts that people will enjoy reading.  However, I'm pretty sure I think I'm funnier than I actually am.  So even though I have my favorite posts here on the blog, I want to know what people who aren't me enjoy.

So, in honor of the 500th post here on Three is a Magic Number, I have a favor to ask of you, my readers.  Will you please leave a comment letting me know which post (or posts!) you've enjoyed the most?  Pretty please?

It would be a wonderful "Happy 500th Post" present for me (because, of course, an event as epic as this one requires presents!)

And it would go so well with the balloons and confetti.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Added to the list of things I never thought I'd hear myself say: "Okay, why did a paintbrush just fall out of the milk?"

Today is the elementary school talent show.  I'm very excited that there doesn't seem to be a single Justin Bieber song involved.  And also that there's at least one showtune.

Following is a pictorial example of why you should never leave your 5-year-old alone in a room with toothpaste:

The important thing is that she had a lot of fun.

I figured out how to sync my Google calendars with my iPhone.  Now I feel so organized! (even though I'm still really not)

I get to go to camp this weekend with Lexi's GS troop.  I'm excited, but also feel like there's so much I could be getting done around here if I wasn't going to camp for the weekend.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Speech Impediments

Ellie can't say the initial "R" sound.  She's only five, so we're not really that worried about it yet, and I suppose it's not truly a speech impediment at this point (and I hope it's clear that I'm in no way making fun of people with speech impediments.  Just my own child.)

The best part about this is that she has absolutely no idea that she's saying words wrong.  She thinks she rules the world, so therefore however she says something must be the right way to say it.

Tonight Chris was singing along with the song that was playing while Vicki was cleaning the playroom.  It was that "A is for apple, B is for bug" song.  However, he kept making up new words for each letter.  Rather than yell at him for messing with things, Ellie said, "Dad, don't forget 'Y is for why-no!'"

My days are going to be really dull when she starts kindergarten in the fall.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Six Little Votes

I realize this probably seems like an oddly-timed post, seeing as it's June, and it's not an election year.  Bear with me.  It will all make sense in the end.

We live in a teeny little school district.  Four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school; that's it.  The schools are pretty small, too.  Our elementary school only has about 400 students.  We love it.

Last month a special election was held here.  A lot of the ballot items had to do with education.  Our neighbor, Portland Public Schools, had a much-publicized bond up for election, one that was guaranteed to raise taxes if it passed.

Our own little district also had a bond on the ballot.  We were hoping for money to build a new middle school - something desperately needed, since the current one was built to house 600 students and now houses upwards of 800 - and update the four elementary schools in terms of safety and technology.  It was set to replace an existing bond that was about to expire.  This meant that, unlike the PPS bond, it wouldn't raise taxes.  However, due to the size of our district, this bond didn't get anywhere near the kind of attention the PPS bond did.

Several of my friends were very active in spreading the word.  They sent emails, passed out fliers, made phone calls, knocked on doors, and sat at a booth outside the Farmer's Market.  One good friend is not an American citizen, and therefore can't vote, but she still put in countless hours spreading the word because her children attend school in this district and she cares about the quality of their education.  While our family didn't do that much work, we made sure to hang a sign in our window, put a sticker on our car, and wear our "I'm voting yes!" buttons constantly.  The girls were all fired up about the election, wearing their buttons to school and discussing it with their friends.  It was a great civics lesson in action.

By the time the polls closed on Election Day, the bond was up by 17 votes.  The next morning, the count was up by 27 and we were celebrating our victory.

And that's when the roller coaster ride began.  The count bounced up and down by just a few votes as the few remaining ballots were counted.  We were down by 1, then up by 2, then down by 2, then up by 1.  Suddenly we were in the news.  Rarely is an election so close.

During this time I became frustrated and, yes, I'll admit, angry as I learned of people I knew who either hadn't voted at all, or who had voted "no".  Of course, I understand and firmly believe that it's everyone's right to vote however they see fit, but now I wish I had been more proactive, had stepped up and made phone calls, canvassed in the rain, or just mentioned it more often in casual conversation.  Too many people didn't understand the difference between our bond and Portland Public's.  Too many people still thought their taxes were going to go up if they voted "yes" and therefore voted "no" (although I personally believe that an increase in taxes is worth the investment in educating a community's children, but that's perhaps a post unto itself.)  Too many people fail to see that if you're not part of the solution in making our public schools better, you become part of the problem.

The final count came in today: after a recount, the bond passed by 6 votes.  That's it, just 6.  Vicki will probably not get to enjoy the new middle school, but now I know my other two girls will, and that all our community schools will be safer places for the children who attend them.

This experience has been an eye-opener in so many ways.  I have always believed that it's important to be an educated voter, to understand the issues before I vote so I understand the true impact of my vote, but now I believe that even more firmly.  My girls have had an opportunity to see what happens when a community rallies together over something they believe in, and what can happen if not enough people become involved.  I can assure you that at least Vicki has become motivated to stand up and speak out for causes she believes in.  This is why she and I will be spending tomorrow, and several Saturdays through the summer, helping to raise money for Outdoor School.  And I can't (and won't) complain, because she has become a citizen in her community, and has learned that if you want something to happen, you have to make it happen.  What a life lesson!

And lastly, there's this: if you never believed before now that your single little vote could make a difference, well, I'm telling you, friends: it's time to become a believer.

Six little votes just made a world of difference for the children in my community.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Today is Thursday?  What?!?  Oops.

I almost have 500 posts on this little blog.  Crazy.  I'll have to do something major to celebrate when that bit number actually rolls around.

I'm having way, waaaay too much fun with my new phone.  Here it is, next to my old one (which, amazingly, had lasted five years):

As one friend put it, it was like going from 0 to 60 in seconds flat.  I'm still in awe of everything it can do.  They just need to invent an app that can do my laundry and I'm set for life.

Why don't my kids listen to me?  I feel like a broken record.  Maybe if I got a new voice, they'd hear me better.  That, or one of those airhorns they use at football games.

It's not fair that all three of my girls need new Girl Scout uniforms this year.

My book club is tonight, and I'm feeling really guilty because I haven't finished the book.  It's been a busy month.  Of course, I'm going anyway.  Why let the fear of public humiliation stop me from spending an evening with some of my favorite ladies?

There is not enough chocolate in my house.

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!
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