Thursday, May 31, 2012

If You Cut it, They Will Eat

Today was co-op day.  That's the day I get a basket of fresh fruits and veggies to fill my fridge, fruit bowls, and window sill.  Today I was unloading my produce and realized that I had a couple of large carrots and a half-dozen oranges that really needed to be eaten soon.

So I cut up carrots and 4 of the oranges and left them on the counter to see what would happen.

 An hour later, we had this.  One cup of carrots emptied, and most of the oranges.   I cut up the remaining two older oranges.  I think all that is left is a few carrot sticks in a cup.

The lesson here?  If you cut it up, they are more likely to eat it.

For that matter, so are you.

It's a whole lot easier to turn this:

Into THIS:

Than it is to make THIS look like something you want to eat.

I Have Decided... stop fighting my fate.

No matter how many different things I have tried and retried and given up on, Maddox still will not sleep through the night.

Which means I still cannot get get up at 5am to get things done.

Which means I have been struggling trying to juggle house, kids, work/writing, and other things.

Which means I have been tired, grumpy, and stressed out.

Yesterday I had an epiphany.

I realized I would be much happier if I would just accept the hand I have been dealt for now, and figure out how to do what I need to do around that.

And although it's not an ideal situation for me to stay up till midnight or one am to get  my stuff done, it IS an viable option.  And I DO have two older daughters who can get up with the Maddox when he wakes up at 6:30, thus allowing me to sleep till 8am.

Last night was the first trial run.  I went to bed around one am - right when Maddox woke up.  Took care of him, then went to sleep.  Had a few other interruptions, but we're still working out the kinks.

Got up and showered at 8:15.

Relaxed and enjoyed my morning, doing laundry, whatever else I thought needed to be done.

No pressure to get some work done today.

No pressure to do anything other than take care of kids and house.  And the kids help DO the house.

This might not be a rough summer after all...

Summer Zoo Visits: Your How-To Guide

If you plan on visiting your local zoo this summer, here are a few things you should do to make sure your kids have a fun time, but survive the heat.

First, visit on a cloudy day whenever possible.  If this is not possible, be sure to get there when the zoo opens at 9am to avoid both the heat and the crowds.
Next, let your children climb on to any statue they see.

If one of your children falls down and scrapes his knee because he was running, be sure to take a picture before making him feel better.  That will teach him not to run when you told him to walk.

If you come across a large piece of statuary that includes multiple animals, be sure to take a picture with every child sitting (or lounging) on their own animal.  If you don't have enough kids of your own, borrow one from a friend if possible.

Take individual pictures of the child who fell if he looks especially concerned about his scraped knee.  It will remind him of the lesson he learned today for years to come.

If you have a child under two, take an extra picture of him or her as well.  Babies always get more face-time with the camera.

If your kids are territorial and competitive, be sure to let them rearrange themselves and take another picture so they all get a chance to be on the dominant animal.

When you observe animals cuddling, be sure to say, "Awwww!"

If it's a dangerous animal, such as a grizzly bear, be frightened by their long claws.

Visit the bald eagles and take a moment to stop and feel patriotic.  It IS almost Independence Day, after all.

Be impressed by the velvet on the elk's "rack", and think of your brother-in-law who would like to shoot him during hunting season.

And when you just cannot stand the heat another second...

Go to the splash park in the Children's Zoo area.

See if the water is strong enough to propel the baby into the air.

Get the older kids to watch the younger ones while you relax in the shade.

 In order to be thoroughly soaked before leaving, let the kids take turns sitting on the water spouts to see how much water their clothes can absorb.

Finally, when they (or you) are done, head for home.

I hope you remembered to pack the towels!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What the Hail?

Normally I cannot blog my pictures out of order.  In case you haven't noticed, I'm a little CDO. (Hint: that's OCD with the letters put in alphabetical order.)

However, I think our first MAJOR hailstorm last night is worth it.

This little baby came up by our front door, so I risked reaching out to get it so we could get a picture.

Here are a couple videos of the action.  First, the back porch:

And through the front door.  
This one amazed me because of the HUGE pile of hailstones on the ground.  Just before I took the picture, they came down like a waterfall from my roof because there's a corner right there.

 This is what my carport looks like from underneath now.

And the back patio cover looks the same.  

This morning we found the siding on south side of our house had gotten the worst of it.

And a close up of the siding damage.

Guess I'll be calling the insurance company along with everyone else today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Finger Pudding?

Watch it through to the end - I love his funny face!

Express Clydesdale Barn

A few years ago when Noni was visiting, we went out to see the Express Clydesdale Barn in Yukon.  It was amazing!  Yet after all this time, we haven't made it back out there... until recently.  I set up a field trip out homeschool group for Kelsey's age group and their siblings, and that was the location I chose.

We were there to see the horses, but the dogs stole the show!  Since I don't have blanket permission from all the moms to post their kids' pictures on our blog, I'm just posting the one where the only kid looking at the camera is mine...

Maddox got in on the doggie action, too - he just avoided the crowds.

And he just had to ride the little metal Clydesdale statue.  His idea, not mine.

These horses are gorgeous and HUGE.  The Express Clydesdale Team chooses black horses with four white legs (socks), and preferably some with a little white on their face.  This horse was a smaller one - about 17 1/2 hands.  (That's small for one of these draft horses.)

 And this one had a cool trick to show us: he can stick his tongue out.  If you listen carefully on the video, you can hear Maddox shriek near the end.

 After the presentation, Kelsey and the other kids go to meet our new friend personally.

Some of the horses were very, very friendly.

They had a few resident cousins on the grounds, too.

Notice Maddox doing his "climbing trick" again?  I feel like all I do anymore is pull him off of walls, fences, and tables!

There was also a stagecoach on the grounds, and the kids took a pretend "ride" after they'd seen all the animals.  Kelsey even took a turn driving!

We love this place!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Olympic Day, Choir Concert, & Braces

Two end-of-the-year things that happened in May were Kelsey's Olympic Day and Olivia's 6th grade Vocal Class concert.

Olympic Day was hot, hot, hot.  And we were there for hours, hours, hours.  Despite that, it was a lot of fun!  It is a homeschooling event in OKC that had over 500 kids participating.  I've never seen so many homeschoolers in one place before!

Maddox started off in the stroller... but not for long.

By the time Kelsey had run her first race he had lost both the stroller AND the hat.

Here she is in the sack race.  She was worried about falling, but didn't!

After Kelsey's first two events, we went to play on the playground for a little.  Maddox found a new seat.

Eventually, so did Connor.

And here's just a random picture of Kelsey hanging out with me while we waited for her next event.

She ran the sack race, the 50 yard hurdles, and the kangaroo race.  She also participated in the beanbag toss and soccer kick.  The event she placed in was the one she almost missed!  She got 4th in the kangaroo race, and I practically missed the whole thing!  Shucks.

As for Olivia, we got her a new shirt to commemorate her first 6th grade vocal concert.  She's beautiful, isn't she?  And take good notice of her smile, because this is the last "before" picture I have of her before she got her braces put on last week.

And here is her "after" picture.  We took it a couple of days later, because she just didn't feel like smiling before then.  This is my daughter's smile for the next few years...

Chickens and Cows

One of the field trips we took in May was to visit our friends, the "C" family.  They live about 30 minutes or so away, and have cows and chickens.  We like to eat their beef and eggs.

As we got ready to go, Connor insisted that his "friend" be buckled in for safety, too.  (And yes, we buckled Connor in a little better after we took the picture.)

Oh, and did I mention that they also have dogs?  I think all of them were mercy adoptions from when people drop their dogs off in the country hoping a farmer will take them in.  Unfortunately, all the farmers already have a half-dozen dogs and they are expensive to keep.  Maddox REALLY liked the dogs.

Pam called the cows up to the house so we could feed them.

I guess it was a little bright outside for Kelsey.

Maddox had no fear of the cows, either.  It's a little unnerving having your 19-month old try to walk among the cows... for both me and the cows!  And just for the record, I had no idea cows slobbered so much...

 Then off we went to the chicken coop.  Joseph had a great time showing his roosters off to Kelsey.

And Maddox just climbed the fence.  That's his thing now, the little stinker.  

These next two pictures were actually taken in the house before we went outside.  A day or two prior most of the chicks were killed by a snake, so Pam brought the rest into the house to keep them safe.

They are really messy, but cute.  Notice the one Kelsey's holding has feathers on it's feet?

 Kelsey had a great time holding the chickens outside, too.

And where was Connor in all of this?  He wasn't climbing fences, trying to attack the cows, OR pet the dogs.  I love my little man, but he's kind of timid.  To put it mildly.
(I just don't want to call him a "momma's boy" on the blog.)