Sunday, July 20, 2008
what i really want to be doing is getting my new site, family palooza, up and running for business...so i can start making money on it. but i'm stuck trying to upgrade to the latest version of joomla (hoping that will solve the problem i'm having getting the darn search engine friendly urls feature to work...which i don't want to launch the site officially without those urls fixed.) but my stupid FTP program keeps timing out when i'm trying to transfer files for the test drive over to my computer! i keep giving up. so the project is taking FOREVER!
for those of you that don't understand a word i just said...suffice it to say that i'm beating my head against a wall over here on some web stuff. it'll all get worked out eventually, but until then, i'm stuck in limbo on this site and its driving me NUTS!
so today adam will be gone most of the day and i have to figure out what to do with my kids. since we've not been doing much of anything lately, i suppose i should try to find something fun to do. i have decided that i need to start moving towards unplugging them because we've fallen into a rut of tv and computer lately. with the heat, its hard not to. but i need to just make a pact with myself to unplug them (at least some of the time), and DO IT. ok, i can do this. i can! :)
i do have some great inpiration. my favorite blog right now is pepper paints (thank you, beckie for turning me on to this one!!!) and she is just a wonderful inspiration and follows the activities no the unplug your kids blog, which i now am going to start checking out. i finally found my paint brushes in the shed in the backyard and am starting to pull out art supplies, (they all have to be cleaned with mold cleaner before we can use them so its a pain in the ASS!!) but i'm going to continue to work on it slowly. keep chipping away at it. as i am so many projects in my life, LOL.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
i was just having a conversation with adam about how i feel about our kids associating with other people's kids. this is one thing that i've loosened up on over the years...as would be expected. first time parents are certainly not going to do things the same as they do 5 or 10 years later. that's just natural. and i don't think that most of what i did back when i was a new parent was wrong, at the time, for me or our family. i have learned to not be so extreme on some issues...and some issues have just become not so important to me...and i'm sure that will continue to happen til the day i die!
i will admit that in a perfect world i would wish that my kids would associate only with kids that embodied the behaviors i wanted my children to learn. and since i value these behaviors and ways, i of course will tend to gravitate towards like-minded families, hoping that that will make it more likely to be present. hence, my wanting to stick with attachment parenting and homeschooling families. BUT just cuz a family is AP or HS, doesn't guarantee that they have children i want my children to associate with. i could list quite a few families that are in these circles that i DON'T enjoy and do not want my children being exposed to to any great extent. and on the flip side...there are non-AP, non-HS kids that do act in the desired fashion. so its not a perfect method. but i still feel more at home with families that value the sort of things that i do. and right now in my life that means i prefer to be with AP and HS families (often families that are both). i don't know what i'm getting otherwise. i worry with someone that i don't know their parenting philosophy whether i'm going to be exposing my children to a parent that slaps their kids around or bullies them into submission. mainstream parenting tends to be much more accepting of this behavior where AP is not. that said, i do know of APrs that don't talk to their kids in a respectful way either and i do not enjoy being around...but in my personal circle they are still few and far between.
i don't know, its all so friggin confusing. i am not saying that i don't want my kids to ever be exposed to other ways. but right now, while they are little...it is important to me that they are saturated (as much as possible) in like-mindedness and hence their compass is programmed with this as "normal", not the alternative. i like to limit my children from being around parenting that i disagree with because i don't want them to think that THAT is normal or in any way acceptable, by our standards. i have had conversations with maeven (and will with tyren when he's old enough to warrant it) about things we've seen and heard in public...things we don't agree with...and i always make sure its clear: "they get to decide how to parent THEIR kids, and we get to decide how to parent OURS...its not our right to tell someone else how to parent their kids." i have said that many times to maeven. and also "they think its ok to hit their kids...your parents don't." (or whatever else we witnessed, belittling or name calling or screaming obscenities at, whatever...luckily this hasn't come up that much.) i am trying very very hard to not teach my children to judge, but just to know that everyone decides for themselves how they live their lives ...as do we...and everyone's different and different isn't bad. different is just different.
anyway, i'm getting distracted by what sounds like a child screaming outside (not mine...neighbor, presumably), and maeven and tyren are both chomping at the bit to get on the computer so i guess i better digress for now. having a time focusing anymore anyway and forgetting where i was going with this.
this is what the back sliding glass door looked like during the party (you can see friends outside socializing). :)
this is the other side of the living room...my mom really did a great job with the streamers...she helped me decorate. :) she had them going down my big metal shelves...i don't know how well you can see that here, but they went down both sides. and there were "party zone" construction sticker things that she put up there too, on the corners of things.
more pics from the party:
birthday boy with his cake.
we got a cake at costco that had flowers all over it and a frosting grid...my mom took off the flowers and took a knife dipped in hot water and smoothed the grid out and then her and maeven covered with crushed chocolate graham crackers and put some brand new construction trucks on it and some embelishments. :) turned out really cute!!
Friday, July 18, 2008
down the hall:
through the entryway:
to the kitchen doorway:
where we saw this:
the sign on the kitchen table says "happy 3rd birthday tyren, love, the birthday fairy"
and here's what tyren's chair looked like:
i don't know if you can see in the pic, but there's gold fairy dust all over everything (you can see it on the tray). the fairy leaves it wherever she flies.
and on his tray, on his birthday, she had left a hard hat with his name on it and a homemade toolbelt!!
here he is modeling them and playing with his new tool bench that mommy and daddy got for him (and an extra set of tools!):
pictures of his construction birthday party will be next...right now i have a cranky 3yr old that wants some time on the computer. *sigh*
Thursday, July 17, 2008
researching it today...it does sound promising...other than the fact that it is very hot, just like here...and the houses are way more expensive than here. :(
but there's sooooo much that sounds great about it! what i like especially is that its so close to sacramento (which i LOVE) and yet not in the city...its a very community-minded little town, from what i read. and i also like that its quite close to san fran as well...which also is great place to take kids...lots of educational opportunities, and beaches!
from what i can tell online, davis has WAY better air than fresno. according to this air compare site i found... fresno county had 106 bad air days in 2007 compared to 4 in yolo county! i don't know how accurate that is, but it does seem like a big difference.
crime is SIGNIFICANTLY lower as well.
the biggest problem i foresee right now is, though, that i don't see my husband wanting to move. i keep dreaming and researching here and there, just to see what's out there. figure it can't hurt. but it really comes down to i need him to be on board as well and i will NOT bully him into moving if he won't feel good about it. i want him to be excited about the potentials in a new place as well.
the biggest thing for him is that he was born and raised here and he just doesn't see any reason to move. plus all his family (except one sister) are here. well all my family (except my brother) are here as well...and i don't want to leave them either...so i'd only go if they went too. my mom told me recently that they would follow us if we moved. so that's one problem solved. but i doubt that adam's family would ever all be able to move together to the same place.
what an awesome thing that would be, though! if we could all pack up and move to davis together! LOL!!!
biggest problems i see for that, tho is that adam has family that are sharing custody of children...so of course they cannot move away from their children, or move their children away from their other parents. that would not be at all what i would want ANYONE to do! well, anyway, i can keep dreaming of moving to a better place and keep thinking and maybe someday i'll find a solution. until then i just am going to keep trying to be ok living here. its very hard. because i HATE it here. but i need to figure out how to not dwell on that.
there's just so much more i want for my kids. there's so much that they're not getting here...great places to visit like museums and cultural events...we have some here, but not much, and not great....and natural beauty...the only natural beauty here we have to travel to...its not all around them, as it should be (in my mind) davis has LOTS of trees and green areas. *sigh* i want to move my kids to a low-crime area (davis is much lower than here), i want them to have cleaner air (davis is much cleaner)...i want to go someplace smaller with a sense of community, but still close to bigger city with all the opportunities that come with that.
oh well...i'll just keep dreaming.... *sigh*
Sunday, July 13, 2008
i can never remember what i've already blogged so please forgive me if i'm repeating myself. i finally agreed to dividing up the big room so that adam can have an office in there. i had been fighting it forever. i didn't want to lose my "BIG room". but then i finally realized that adam will make a HELLuva lot more moolah doing his freelance video work than i ever would doing mommy and me classes. by making an office in the big room for him, he'll be able to have clients over and tyren will get his own room! (adam's old office) he's quite excited about it. i told him that we were making a new office for daddy so that he could have daddy's old office for his own room and he said "OK, do dat!" LOL!!!! too friggin funny!
so anyway, back to what we accomplished today...rob and adam marked out where the walls for adam's office will go...and tore the hell outta that room! they took out all the wooden beams that used to be down the middle, and the railing...all the old exposed beams are GONE. kinda sad, cuz i always liked them...but it does make the room feel bigger (which will change as soon as those walls to adam's office go up) and they did date the room. very 60s.
they also tore off the wormwood from the front of that room. and wooden trim around the window. we're going to paint! finally! :)
the new windows go in next weekend when rob comes over again. the one big window in the front of the house will be split into 2 windows. the wall for adam's new office would have bisected the existing window (plus we hate that thing, it doesn't open and has mineral deposits on it so you cannot see through it well, and it doesn't even open so there's no way to get fresh air to flow through the room since the other window is on the same wall as the sliding glass door)...so we're taking it out and instead putting in 2 windows the size of the other window. bought them on saturday, plus the 3rd one as well. so exciting!
my plans for the rest of the room (which will be L-shaped)...
picture the room (those of you that know what it looks like) divided into quarters. the southeast quarter will be adam's office.
i'm going to make the northeast quarter that is by the back door and laundry room door maeven's art area again and we'll be putting linoleum in. today rob suggested black and white checkered! what a cool idea!!! i love it! have to research it and think what color carpet would go with that. i don't want black or white so i'll have to think creatively of another color. :) purple? LOL! that would be fun! :) probably not practical though. i'll keep thinking.
the northwest quarter by the kitchen and sliding glass door will remain raised as it is now, and will have a loft built in. right over where the piano used to be...about 2/3 of the width of the space, i think...so there will be a walkway space next to the loft. the loft will cover a playhouse area (going to get a play kitchen...been meaning to do that for years...i think tyren would have a BLAST with it...til then i will probably use the playstands...maybe the kids will actually use them now that they've not had it for awhile.) the top of the loft will be for a reading area, with pillows and such. or just imaginative play.
then the last quarter, the southwest one, will be where i'm making all kinds of shelves...the idea is to make an L-shaped one under the 2 windows. with window seats under the windows. shelves all around the windows, making it look like they are part of the walls, with windows inset in them. i LOVE this idea! floor to ceiling shelves. since the french doors to adam's office will be taking up most of the wall in the middle of the room, i'm not sure yet what to put there on that wall, if anything, but we'll be putting carpet in this section (as well as the section that will have the loft) and the bottom of those shelves will be for the blocks...this will be a construction area for the kids to play and build.
that's the plan for now. we'll see if things change, but that's how my brain's going now. i also want to turn some of the walls into display areas for the children's art and chalkboard or dry erase board areas painted on the walls. haven't decided which walls yet. more thinking to do.
anyway, tyren's waking up, gotta get him back to sleep.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
that said, there are definitely uses for it. thank god that it exists because i'm able to locate people via it sometimes!
i just googled looking for a friend of mine from high school and found who i think is his sister...her myspace page! and luckily it was public so i was able to look on it and pretty much confirm its her...plus on her buddy list i found who i THINK are her other 2 sisters. so i messaged all 3 of them and am hoping at least one of them will put me in touch with my friend.
crossing my fingers! :)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
me: that one (pointing)
tyren: (showing his hand with one speck of glitter)
tyren: (putting hands behind back again) "which one has a finger?"
me: (busting up laughing!!!!!!!!!!)
there's so many reasons why i hate living here, but this one (the extreme heat) is the absolute top of the list. i can get by with the other reasons (lack of things to do, lack of natural beauty in town, lack of positive energy, lack of child-friendliness, low number of high quality educational opportunities like children's museums that are either substandard or 45min away or more, not enough trees, far too much crime, lack of a cool downtown area like sacramento's...i LOVE sacramento and their downtown! argh....i could go on and on...i really don't like fresno, can you tell?)...i can live with all those...i have to...but i can't ever make peace with the heat. ugh.
i'm in a foul mood, so forgive me for bitching. it IS my blog, afterall, and this is the place for me to bitch. because i really am hating the way things are going right now, ugh. and we cannot even afford to go somewhere cooler cuz its too stinkin expensive to buy gas and we are pretty much BROKE!! (as always) the only money we have right now (and very little groceries, yet again) is the money that we have earmarked for remodeling the big room and we are trying really hard not to dip into that. we've whittled that away far too many times, so this time we are trying to really discipline ourselves to not touch it except for the room.
i'm not sure what i'm i'm going to do with the kids today. i don't even like to just go play in the water in the backyard cuz its just too HOT! and being cooped up always causes my kids to go stir crazy and fight like crazy. i have to put on my thinking cap and think of things to do with them today that will entertain them. art projects or something. unfortunately the vast majority of my art supplies are in the stinking hot shed, and in need of cleaning the toxic mold off them. bleh.
good lord i'm feeling like a whiney butt right now! i just got my period this morning so i'm cramping a little and probably hormonal...so i'm sure that's relevant, in conjunction with the heat.
on the plus side (yes, i must try to find one), we had a really nice visit with an old friend yesterday. not old as in elderly but as in someone we hadn't seen in years. i just got the thought to call a friend i hadn't contacted pretty much since tyren was born...he's 3 now, by the way...birthday 2 days ago! my big boy! :)
anyway, my friend robine used to own the young at art studio where maeven goes to art class. she's super cool and kind and sweet. i just love her! she's so fun! i just called her out of the blue last week. wasn't even sure the phone number would still work. it did! and we talked for over an hour! got caught up and she invited us to come swim the following week (this week) and so yesterday was the day and we had a blast! man does she have a cool (HUGE) house and property! the pool was way cool too! with waterfalls that the kids could actually climb all over and everything! maeven had a blast! robine has a daughter just maeven's age and a younger daughter that is a year and a half younger than tyren. and a son that is 10. so there were plenty of kids to keep each other company. tyren and sophie, the youngest, were a bit far in age to actually play but seemed to be glad for each other's company. and over time i'm guessing that that age difference will seem less and less important. its about the age difference, i think, between maeven and clem. (thea's brother, who we play with every week)...and maeven and clem play together a lot when we're over there, so i anticipate that in a year or 2, that might be tyr and sophie. we'll see.
anyway we did have a lot of fun hanging out, despite the horrid heat. and we are planning on doing it again when the heat isn't so extreme. so there IS some good stuff happening around here too. :)
Saturday, July 05, 2008
financially we're doing pretty good, despite the fact that we regularly are very tight. just about every pay period we end up pinching pennies to the point of having to make choices on things like staying home most of a week because we just cannot afford gas. or trying to figure out what we're going to eat for dinner because we don't have money to go buy groceries and there's not a whole lot of anything left in the cupboards. but seriously that's not been that stressful, surprisingly. i always know that we'll figure it out...and we do. i haven't actually felt super stressed lately, surprisingly. now that i think of it....i really haven't! i don't know what's different for me. i wonder if its because my perspective has changed. i know so many people right now that have it so much worse than me. its amazing how that really can affect a person.
and like i said, things are far from perfect in my life. my mom has cancer again. that's actually been surprisingly not shocking or scary like i thought it would be if it ever happened again. she had her thyroid out about 2 months ago and it was packed full of cancer. this saturday she goes for radiation. she acts like its nothing. maybe it isn't. she's been through much worse. she doesn't have to do chemo this time so she's probably not going to have all that bad of a time this time. not that removing her thyroid was easy. but she's had much worse. when she had her mastectomy, she had reconstruction at the same time so she was all chopped to hell. THAT was hard! she really got knocked on her ass then. and later she had 6months of chemo. almost died a couple times. THAT was hard. this time...it doesn't seem so scary. maybe its not. if i sit an think about it, it will get a little more scary so i just try not to dwell. since dwelling on it really won't do a thing anyway. and as far as they've told us so far, she's doing quite well. so i will assume it will continue to be that way until i hear otherwise.
so back to counting my blessings. not that long ago i was at my whit's end trying to deal with the stress of every day living. not sure what changed, but it just occurred to me that its been awhile since i felt that feeling of not being able to take much more. again, could be the perspective thing. i really don't have anything to complain about. my life is good. it really is!
oh my husband and i don't have the perfect marriage...but who the hell does? we fight. sure we fight. we argue, we get on each other's nerves, we fight. but we don't scream and yell at each other or name call. ever. that's just not us. one time, years ago, i remember sharing that fact with my sisters in law and brother in law's girlfriend (at the time), and they acted pretty shocked that adam and i don't yell at each other when we fight. well we don't. weird, huh? LOL.
oh adam and i get on each other's nerves. in fact, i don't think we always communicate all that well. our prides get in the way. we say and do stupid selfish things. like i said, we're not perfect. but we do still love each other. and i don't ever doubt that and i doubt adam does either.
and motherhood. sometimes i really think i suck at it. i doubt myself constantly. but when it comes down to it. really down to it...i think i'm a good mom. i know i am. i suck at times, but overall i think i'm doing a pretty good job. i'm not doing the excellent job that i think i should be. i think i have some pretty high standards in my head that perhaps i'm just not able to live up to. and i screw up left and right. probably every day. but i'm starting to be more accepting of who i am. i just am not capable of some of the things that i really think i should be providing for my kids. i just am not. routine is one prime example. i really think they need and deserve a regular routine and i'm the first to admit that they would probably thrive on a predictable routine. but i'm simply not capable of providing that. i don't know exactly why. but i'm not. letting go of that really has reduced my stress level greatly.
it doesn't stop me from continuing to attempt to get some sort of a predictable routine for my kids. i will never stop. but i'm going easier on myself about it. feeling great accomplishment from what i'm able to accomplish, and not sweating the small stuff otherwise. and trying to remember that its all small stuff.
i have so many things to be thankful for... i have a husband who loves me dearly...wonderful, adorable, hysterically funny children...who are healthy and happy! our significantly LARGE tax refund should be coming in soon and we should be able to finally get the darn "big room" remodelled completely. YAY! we have a house that while it needs some cosmetic work (mostly), is basically in decent shape and aren't we so lucky to have it? i have a husband with a decent job that enables me to stay home with my children. enables us to survive on one income, where families with 2 incomes are struggling all around us. i have, with my husband, made financial choices that have enabled us to not be in super debt currently. we have one credit card that has about $100 on it that will be paid off when we get our tax refund. that's it. (paid the rest off when we got the new mortgage and got cash out on it, and cancelled all but that one card so we wouldn't get into that situation again!) ...we don't have any other pending bills! just paid them all off as of monday when i mail off the last medical bill (paid off with the wonderful health savings account that adam has that has been one of the best things we ever did!) i can't tell you how GOOD that feels!
i could just go on and on about how great my life it. its funny cuz i can think of reasons its not great also. but right now those things just seem so insignificant. i am far more focused on the good. and keeping the good.
we are making plans to get plans set in action for our retirement. that's become super important to us lately. not sure how we'll swing it but we will figure it out somehow. all the lessons my dad taught me about finances and retirement and insurance and the importance of all that is finally sunk in deeply and i'm sufficiently jarred as to the importance of making it work somehow. like i said, dunno how...especially since we cannot even afford health insurance for me right now... but somehow we need to jiggle stuff around and make it work. and health insurance too. somehow.
the one thing that i never doubt is that we will have all things work out somehow. wow its a good feeling! :)
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
anyway, tyren had a blast playing on all the little kid slides and water stuff...and maeven turned out to be quite fearless on the big slides! in fact...she went first with daddy (while tyren and i stayed in the little kid area) and got her first few runs, and then we traded and i took her and tyren stayed with adam...and maeven was quite the pro, showing me where to go and what to do. very cool. LOL. actually it was nice to not have to figure stuff out myself...nice to have my 7yr old show me "ok mom, now we go stand over here..." and "now we take the tube over here and give those people at the front of the line our tube and we go stand at the end of the line." LOL. it was a proud moment for both of us! :)
it was quite fun! i had thought i wouldn't be able to do any water sliding...kinda figured i'd be stuck in the kiddie area but i actually did get to go on a few a couple times and it was a blast! looking forward to when tyren's older and can do it too!
we managed to not get sunburnt...what with all the sunscreen we slathered on and the kids in their sun suits and i kept my tshirt on...so i'm pretty proud of that too. and tyren is just now falling asleep so we managed to keep him from crashing out in the car on the way home (had to wake him a few times though, but it worked) since he hadn't had a nap, i knew it was going to be an issue...but we managed. so all-in-all it went quite well!
and i'm now pooped but looking forward to some time on the computer to work on stuff...not sure where to start yet but i've been working on my new website every chance i get so i'll have to fiddle with that some more. got to get the forums figured out.
anyway, fun day! gonna see if i can get tyren off the boob and laying by himself on the couch now so i can have my body to myself again. :)
so i had already been heading up a committee to create a homeschool resource center at the discovery center. got sidetracked about that but they already have said we could rent the nature kids building from them (which i think is the perfect building for this), and we just need to get moving again on it. working on that now because this harmony thing has fired me up again about the HS resource center because i'd like them to go hand in hand. so now i'm working with shawna to share what i remember from harmony that she might want to incorporate into her school...and suggesting that they open up the program to homeschoolers as well.
the school idea is a much bigger one, and i don't know that i will be able to follow through completely on it...its better that shawna is in charge of that one. she has the business knowledge on that subject and potentially the funding to work on it. i will just continue to share the actual vision of what it could look like in action.
i took a copy of the video (adam burned it to dvd for me) over to shawna so she could see harmony in action. i hope she's impressed. i also went so far as to print up a copy of the map of the unitarian church property where the school used to be located (they had a copy of it on the unitarian's website) and marked the different things she sees in the video, on the map. and wrote up a synopsis of what she was seeing in the video as well. so she would understand a little more about what she's watching. and she said she'd ask me questions after she gets a chance to watch it.
i hope i can help inject some harmony into this new school. it would be just marvelous! i just remember so much about that school that i would want for my kids.
harmony was more than a school...it was a community...a family. that's what i am missing in my life right now. i was thinking of this the other day...why am i so driven by these sort of ideas? its because i grew up in a family that was very much entrenched in a community...in childhood it was a church community and a military community...mostly church. and then later it was harmony and then it was the community of moms at la leche league, and then my mommy and me mini-community for awhile (the families that attended my program were very much like a family)...and when we started homeschooling i had thought that that would be my next community but its turning out to be like pulling teeth to get that group to pull together like a community and attend regular events together and such. its just not happening so far. i feel like i'm beating my head against a wall. i think its just that the specific families in the group are just more happy not being involved in group things. they do it here and there, but its not what i personally want and need.
i feel empty without a community. my dad keeps trying to get me to go to church...but i cannot go back to that again...there's not a church that i've found yet here locally that i would feel at home at. i'm not christian and the only other option that is not another belief system that i equally don't believe in, is the unitarian church and i simply don't like the local unitarian church. it just doesn't give me a feeling of acceptance. i always feel like a stranger going there. i'm used to churches where people embrace newcomers and you are instantly welcome...i feel pretty much ignored going to the unitarian church here. oh well.
so maybe my homeschool resource center will be that community i'm yearning for. i am hoping that by requiring a membership fee that people will be more inclined to get more involved.
one thing's for sure...i'm NOT giving up. i want and need a community and i'm going to build it, dammit! i want my kids to have what i am yearning for. they deserve to grow up in a loving community as well...and so that's what i'm going to create for them. if its the last thing i do!
so for now, i'm going to get back to focusing on that resource center and continue to inject my ideas into shawna's alternative school idea. :) see what comes of it. at the very least, i can get more going for the HS resource center...which shouldn't be too too much work. we'll see. :)
ah i just soooooo look forward to the day that i can feel like i belong to a community again.