Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Journaling

I've been reading more of my childhood journal, and loving how childish I was.  I wrote about my best friends and the sleepovers we had.  I wrote about what I got for Christmas, and the first year I was given a training bra. I wrote about what we ate for dinner and what I wish mom would have made instead.  I wrote about my mom having a baby and wishing she would have twins.  I wrote about playing with my cousins and laughing when my cousin Allen put manure in a friend's koolaid, because she had thrown it in his hair.

I want my kids to have the same enjoyable time reminiscing as they flip through their journal more than twenty years later, and smile while reading the statement "I wonder how old I'll be when I come back and read through all of this.  I'll bet I'm pretty old.  I hope I have a boyfriend or something.  That would be great."

Today I gave Kamy a challenge. I told her that I wanted her to write in her journal every day during the month of April.  "What will I get if I do it?" she asked, as her eyes lit up.  I hadn't even prepared to offer a reward, but suddenly, I knew exactly what to offer her.  "I'll take you to get your ears pierced."  For a girl who has always been told that she has to wait until she is 12 years old, she shouted with joy.

Georgie, who was listening to the entire conversation, let out a whimper.  She so desperately wants to get her ears pierced, and talks about it constantly.

Kamy immediately made up a journal-writing calendar and hung it on the wall, as a reminder to write in her journal.  She will cross off each day, after writing her thoughts and feelings.  I'm excited for her.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dentist

We've spent a lot of time at the Dentist office lately.  Everyone but Kamy had to come back for the "drilling" appointments.  I had to come back to get a crown, and all the other kids had multiple cavities between their molars, which requires multiple visits.

Today was Georgie's first followup appointment.   The doctor told her she had two teeth that were going to get some sleepy juice, and then after they were asleep, they were going to get the cavity bugs out and replace them with silver stars.

I left after they started drilling.  With my appointment the day before, and my tooth still sore, I didn't need to hear anymore of that noise.  As a reward for undergoing such trauma, each of my kids get a strawberry shake after getting fillings.  This has been discussed with a passion, and the days have been counted down, for Georgie.  She was so excited to get her strawberry shake today, or as she called it, her "milk smoothie".

Understand, I'm not rewarding my kids for having cavities.  Rather, I'm trying to make them feel better after getting their teeth drilled out.  I don't need them to start dreading going to the dentist.  There's already one person in this family that hyperventilates at even the thought of the dentist.  I don't need any more kids taking after me, on this one.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Robot Love

Yesterday, I made a robot applique shirt for Mr. Kimble.  I loved it so much, that I decided to make him some matching pants.  I followed This Tutorial for the pants, with This tutorial for the pockets, and I followed These Instructions for the applique robot, although I made mine much bigger than what she did. I used up some of my scrap material to make everything, so it didn't cost me one cent.  I love it!  What do you think?





Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good 'Ole Library Days

I took the kiddos to the library yesterday.  They got busy right away finding all sorts of books to borrow.  Kamy got some Junie B. Jones books, the third Fabelhaven book, the fifth Harry Potter book (although she's still reading the third...the fifth is the book we are missing from our collection.) and a few other books about girls living way back in the day.

Keaton also got some Junie B. Jones books, as well as some Magic Treehouse books.  Together, they sat down with their stacks of books and started reading. LOVE.THAT.SO.MUCH.


Kolby wandered around with me while I tried to find some things that interested him.  We found a book about a Man with very long pants.  We found a book about a crocodile that just wanted to eat a kid.  We found a book about two friends who were superheros in disguise.  We also found a book about red hens, which is one in a series that we hadn't read yet.  Very cute books.  So Kolby sat down to read the book to me, before he could play on the computer, which is the only thing he wanted to do at the Library, although he was excited to bring his messenger bag, which you can see around his shoulder.


I pulled out a few princess books for Georgie, and she set out herself to find books that interested her as well.  We came home with four books for her, most of which involved stories about princesses wearing lovely dresses, their faces shining with beautiful makeup.


 Mr. Kimble wasn't at all interested in having stories read to him.  He just wanted to climb up on this table, and one by one, knock down every single book.  Then he would crawl to a nearby shelf, and try to pull everything off of it. Then he would squeeze himself behind a corner cabinet and pull out all of the electrical cords, and sit grinning at me when my arms couldn't reach him.


Then, after the allotted time of reading, the kids were allowed to play on the computer.  When I went around the corner to check on them, I noticed they were (again) sitting in birth order.  It's really strange, how my kids always sit, stand, or walk in order of birth.  They just do it naturally.


Mr. Kimble decided that the library was a great place to walk around, and he almost walked down this entire aisle all by himself!  After this picture, he lost his balance and went down to his knees, where he started speed crawling and ran into a lady with a stroller, because when he speed crawls, he keeps his head down, which causes him to run right into things.


I could have sat there all day, watching these two get lost in their books.

But we came home instead, after checking out all 28 books.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Contemplating Imagination

I love to write.  I love to read.  I love the possibility of making my debut into the published world.  Lately I've been contemplating the details of how I am going to accomplish this.

I have two children's books done. They are fun to read in a Dr. Seuss type of rhyming style (I can make almost anything rhyme!), and I imagine the illustrations would make the book become fabulous.

I've also been deciding on what type of other book to write.  A novel?  Maybe.  However, I think I write better when I'm retelling a story from my childhood.   Should I just compile a bunch of stories, and form it into a book?  I do have quite a collection of humorous stories to pick from.  My childhood definitely was intriguing at times.  But...

I just don't know.

Also, once I get it written, like my children's books, it won't just magically get published.  I think that's the most daunting aspect of this entire dream/goal of mine.  It takes a lot of work to submit, re-submit, write query letters, wait for responses rejections, then try not to take it personally, and re-submit again.

Most of my blog readers have been reading my blog for quite a few years.  You have read many of my childhood stories. What do you think?  Do I have what it takes?  What would interest you?  I'd really love to hear your opinions.

Bios


Mr. Kimble:
What adjectives describe this person?  Charming, Funny, Energetic, Miraculous.
How does this person overcome obstacles?  He plows over, through, and beneath anything in his way.
What would this person say is the best thing in their life?  Binkies, Bottles, and Cuddles.


Georgie:
What is this person's favorite and most requested food? Spaghetti.
What does this person like to repeat all day long?  "What can I do now, momma?"
What describes this person's fashion choices? The more colorful and mismatching, the better.


Kolby:
What makes this person happy? Playing anything electronic, climbing rocks and trees, personifying Star Wars characters.
What does this person hate to do? Anything school related; anything having to do with the word "clean".
What is on this person's wish list?  A new wii game and cowboy boots of his own.


Keaton:
How does this person respond to negative situations?  He is very sensitive to the world around him, and finds most things to be unfair.  He is always looking to make things better.
What do you often see this person doing?  He always remembers to stop and help Georgie unbuckle the "hard" buckle on her carseat, when all his other siblings jump out of the van as fast as they can.
What interesting thing have you heard this person say?  One morning, a few weeks ago, as I was waking him up for school, he said  "The thing that surprises me most of all, is that I can lift 52 pounds, even when I just wake up and am so tired. I'm still....that strong." (52 pounds is what he weighed, the last time he checked.)


Kamyren:
What is this person reading right now? She is in book 3 of the Harry Potter series, and loving it.
How does this person relate to their siblings? She is always playing the role of second mom. She is very sweet natured.
What does this person enjoy doing? She still loves to draw, write stories, and help cook.

Shaina:
What is this person's most favorite chore? Cleaning the kitchen, or rather, it's the result of having a clean kitchen, that makes it her favorite.
What is on this person's agenda for the day? Dentist appointment.  (Take a deep breath.  All will be fine.)
How many hours does this person sleep at night? Ten hours.  Don't mess with her sleep time.

The Husband:
What significant thing did this person accomplish yesterday? He rode his bike to and from work. (45 min each way on the bike...with an opposing wind.  Go Go!)
What long-term goal does this person have? To ride The Colorado Trail Race.
What is this person's most attractive feature?  This is completely biased, admittedly, but he has some dangerously toned and sexy legs.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break



It's Spring Break around here.  The only thing we have on the required list is are dentist appointments.  We plan on going to the library and the park, and we'll see what else we can do.

Last week, in planning our menu, I had the kids each tell me what they would like for dinner.  So along with all of their favorites, they also requested things for lunch that were not in the "sandwich" category, except for the BLT that Kolby contributed, but we all know that he only wants the "B" part of the sandwich, which doesn't really make it all that healthy.   However, I'd rather pick my battles elsewhere this week.

If you are in the midst of spring break, have a great week!  We hope to have a great one just sticking around here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Boy's Bag

Last week I made these two messenger bags for Keaton and Kolby.  I found some material for $1.50/yard at Walmart (our local store still sells fabric) and thought it would be perfect to use, following This Tutorial.


In addition to the very easy instructions, I made a few adjustments to the bag, namely lining it with the same material I used to make the bias tape (yes!  I made my own bias tape and LOVED it.  So easy. There is a link, on the tutorial, for how to make bias tape, if you want to do that.) and I also added a few pockets on the inside of the bag.


I thought that using the main material, which looks like what you would use to make some boys' dress pants, would make it nice and manly, but The Husband disagrees. He says these bags look like a mini diaper bag.  He thinks they are girly, and although I disagree with him on that point, I slightly agree that maybe I should have chosen a grungy khaki material instead.

At any rate, I think the bag is great, and the boys think it's great too.  They can take it to the library and fill it with books to check out; they can take it on a roadtrip and fill it with their special  toys; they can take it on a hike and fill it with water bottles and trail mix.

I think I'll make some for the girls, and then everyone can have their own bag, this summer, to take on all of our adventures.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Going To The Dentist

I've never been a huge fan of going to the Dentist, which I find ironic since many of my girlfriend's husbands are dentists.  But growing up, I didn't really go that often.  Maybe it was the fact that I had many other siblings who required braces, and since my teeth were straight, I was overlooked.  Whatever the case may be, it wasn't until I was done with high school, that my visits with the dentist began.

I haven't always had the most gentle hands work on my mouth/teeth, so my reproach might stem from that.  During my wisdom teeth removal, I wasn't completely numb, and when I told my dentist this, he dismissed the ludicrous idea, and kept on working, as tears of pain rolled down my cheeks.  It wasn't until I was in California, when The Husband was in the military, that I found a dentist that I liked, and that was gentle enough, and who over-numbed me, just to make sure I wouldn't feel anything (and I didn't, with numbness lasting 18 hours, but I'm not complaining).

So after we got out of the military, and moved a few times...well, we needed to find another dentist.  Although we've had coverage these past few years, none of us have gone to the dentist.  (My friend's who are dentist wives can please ignore the last sentence.)

Today I took four of my kids to see the dentist (Mr. Kimble won't go until he is 2).  It was an early morning visit, made earlier by the fact that we had to drop off our girl kitty at the Vet to get spayed beforehand....another blog post for another day...and so we settled in for a few hours at the dentist, with my children definitely looking like I woke them up hours earlier than they would have normally...which is true.




Kamy walked away with praises, and zero cavities, but the same can't be said for Keaton, Kolby, and Georgie (whom we called Kennedy the whole time because that is her real name, and what her medical records were listed as, and it felt so weird to call her that, but the Dentist goes by what is on the paper, and not what her crazy nickname is).  All three of them have multiple cavities, located between their molars, because I don't floss their teeth.

Are there parents out there who really floss their kids' teeth (besides the Dentist families as previously mentioned).  I mean, really? Am I the only non-flossing parent out there?

Well, looking at the $300 + medical bill that was outlined for me, to get all of the kids' teeth up to par, might just persuade me to change my constant "brush and wash!" to "brush, floss, and wash", with me managing the floss part of it.

We made multiple appointments for next week, to begin work on the fillings, but which will require more visits, and I have an appointment of my own.  I'm already starting to hyperventilate.  I seriously have panic attacks whenever I go to the dentist.  Heaven help me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Number Eleven

Kamy is 11 years old now.  She's growing up!  I totally remember being 11 years old.  I think Kamy is much sweeter and more thoughtful, than I was at that age.  Kamy is gentle and calm.  She dreams of mermaids and fairies.  She loves to read about girls that lived hundreds of years ago (Cleopatra and young princesses) and she likes to write stories and draw pictures. 

Kamy wanted to make chocolate chip cookies for her classmates, but as I've been sick and didn't have the energy or motivation to make dozens of cookies, Kamy and The Husband went to the store and bought some chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla wafer cookies to share with the class. They also got pencils for everyone, because it's so fun to get a brand new pencil.  Kamy happily brought these items to school, and according to her, everyone loved them.

Kamy chose Sausage Penne for her birthday dinner (I think this is the third year in a row she chose this meal, regardless of the fact that we have it all the time) and she wanted Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert.

We've been wanting to get Kamy a new bike for a while now. She outgrew her old one a few years ago, but has continued riding it.  We looked and looked for a good bike for her, but didn't find one.  We decided that's we'd have to give her an I.O.U. but yesterday afternoon, The Husband called to say that he found one.  He picked it up after work, and came home just in time for dinner.

When I was ten or eleven, I remember my parents coming home from doing some shopping one afternoon, on my birthday.  I was home, along with my other siblings.  When my dad walked in the front door, he said "Shaina, get outside and pick up your toys now!  You can't just leave them lying around."  I remember slouching off towards the door and mumbling something about how I didn't leave any toys outside, and that all I ever did was clean up..."  Once I got outside, I saw a brand new bike waiting for me.  It was my birthday present.

I whispered to Heath that we should do the same thing, so he positioned the bike outside, on the front sidewalk, before he came in the house.  Just as we were sitting down to eat, Heath said "Kamy, you left your toy outside on the sidewalk.  We aren't eating until you go out and pick it up."  Kamy dutifully stood up and went outside to pick things up.  I could tell that she was questioning in her mind, what toys were outside, because she hadn't played outside that day, but nevertheless, being the good girl she is, she didn't say anything, and just went outside.

She walked right past the bike without a second glance, and started looking around for the mysterious toys that her dad had said were out there.  She had no idea that the bike was for her.  In all honesty, it is a nice big black bike, and she probably mistook it for her dad's bike.  Anyway, we told her that the bike was for her, and then she understood that she had been slightly tricked.  She loves the bike, and although Heath said he would paint it a more girly color for her, she prefers it to stay black.


After dinner, we took our family picture...


and then we had Kamy open her presents.  Along with the bike, she got the first book in the Harry Potter series, which means she can now read all the books.  She also got two crochet hats that I made her, two skirts and two shirts, as well as new black church shoes. 


Then I brought out three dresses I had found at a thrift store, that were in lovely like-new condition.  They were long enough, and modest dresses, and I almost squealed when I found them, as Kamy is a very hard size to find dresses for, especially when all you can see in stores are little mini skirts or short baby doll dresses that would be more fitting for a shirt, than a dress. 

Anyway, not to go off on a tangent...It's been hard to find modest church clothes for her.   Kamy was beyond thrilled at all of the dresses.   She said the black and white one reminds her of what I would have worn as a little girl, and when Keaton saw her in it, he said she was the most beautiful pioneer girl he had ever seen.  So funny.

Kamy's primary teacher came over and gave her some flowers for her birthday.  So thoughtful! 

After the fashion show, Kamy blew out her candles (after she took a bit of time thinking up the perfect wish) and all the kids enjoyed the birthday dessert.

It seemed like a great day for Kamy.  I'm excited for her, and what a beautiful young lady she's becoming.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mohawk

Last night somebody turned Kimble's hair into a mohawk.  It wasn't Kolby, but Kolby wanted to be in the picture.  What cute boys!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Q&A

One thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
I really just wanted to get married and be a mom.  Seriously. It's the only thing I wanted to do.  However, I would have loved to be an OB, and also a published author.  Still holding out on the author.
.
Your hair?
Desperately needs to be cut.  I need to make an appointment.
.
Your father?
Recently retired.  I hope he's finding things to do to occupy his time, for he's not an idle person.
.
Your mother?
Keeping up with all her kids and grandkids' birthdays.  It's a full time job in my family!
.
Your favorite thing?
My family.  Seriously.  Blessings abound everyday, because I have them in my life.
.
Your dream last night?
Heath and I were newly married, and had to climb a mountain to get to our new home at the summit.  Not conducive to a workable honeymoon, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
.
Your favorite drink?
Water.  Just plain water.  I love it, and rarely drink anything else.
.
Your dream / goal?
Get books published.
Lose weight.
.
The room you are in?
The office.  The clutter is getting to me, and yet, I do nothing about it.
.
A pet peeve?
People that are rude.  Really.  Is it that hard to be a nice person?
.
Your fear?
Losing a loved one.
.
Where do you want to be in 6 years?
I hope I'm just as blessed as I am right now.
.
One of your wish list items?
Hmm.  A better camera.  My current one isn't quite cutting it anymore.
.
Where you grew up?
Arizona and Washington
.
The last thing you did?
Said "no" to Kimble because he has a love affair with the plant, and is making a big mess with the dirt.
.
What are you wearing?
My ratty robe.  Perhaps a new robe should be listed under my wish list.
.
Something you like about yourself?
I think I'm caring and helpful.  I like teaching myself how to do new things.
.
Something you don't like about yourself?
I need to be more patient.
.
Your television?
Entertaining Georgie right now.
.
Your pets?
Our two little kitties really need to be "fixed" soon, or it's gonna be too late.
.
Your computer?
Slow.  I think The Husband needs to clean things up so it runs faster.
.
Your life?
Pretty good.

Your mood?
Kinda lousy, since I'm battling a horrendous cough right now.  It's exhausting.
.
Missing someone?
I always miss my dear friends, scattered between all the places we've lived, as well as my family members that I rarely get to see.
.
Your car?
Our van is paid off and is still working great!
.
Favorite store?
Ross, Gordmans, JoAnn Fabric
.
Your summer?
Have plans to visit friends and family.  I'm really looking forward to it.
.
Your favorite color?
Pink.  Baby soft pink.
.
Looking forward to?
Getting better so I can go back to the gym and lose more fat!
.
When is the last time you laughed?
It's been a couple days.  Being sick doesn't lead well to laughing.
.
Three of your favorite foods?
Potatoes, Mangos, Freshly baked bread.
.
Three places I would rather be right now?
At the gym; with a sibling; back in bed and asleep with The Husband's arms around me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chunky Soft Baby Blocks

I have a friend who is having a baby soon.   Actually, I have lots of friends who either just had babies, or are about to have a baby.  I've been busy making blankets, bibs, Krinkle toys, and hats to give away as gifts.  However, this specific friend chose not to find out the gender of her baby.  I did the same thing when I was pregnant with Kolby.  We already had a boy and a girl, so it was fun to be surprised, since we were prepared either way.  Anyway, this friend is having her baby shower this week.  Since we don't know what she's having, it makes the gift-giving a bit more tricky.

I decided to make her these soft baby blocks.  I had enough material in my scrap pile to come up with four different types of black and white fabric, as well as some leftover chenille from a previous project.  It was an easy project to sew, and I love the way they turned out.  Plus, it isn't gender specific.  Perfect.  They are bigger than I expected them to be, but they are so soft and fluffy, and fun to throw around, knock down, or stack up.  The tutorial can be found HERE.


They are great for hiding fun toys...


...and kicking with your feet or banging on them with a toy hammer.


Mr. Kimble sure liked them.  I  hope my friend's baby likes them too.

Friday, March 4, 2011

16 Months

Yesterday I took Mr. Kimble to his Pediatrician for his 15 month checkup, but since it was a day before he turned 16 months, we'll just call it 16 months.  (I also took Georgie, who got her Pre-K appointment done {physical, hearing, vision, shots} and Kolby, who had a severe cough and a double ear infection, so it was a busy morning.)


Kimble is doing fantastic.  We are all thrilled with the progress he is making.  He's almost walking, so that puts him right on track, developmentally.  He is expressive and energetic and responsive and inquisitive and curious and happy.

Kimble weighed in at 22.6 pounds, which jumps him up to the 25th percentile (up from the 10th percentile previously) in weight, although he's still at 10th percentile for height.


 Kimble is starting to mimic what I ask him to say.  He can say Mama and Dada and Yeah and Yesssss, and he just learned how to say Uh-Oh, although it's more like Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh-Ohhhh.  He loves to clap and smile, and when he's  trying to be extra adorable, he'll crinkle up his nose when he smiles.

He really likes to climb up on things, and gets himself in predicaments a lot.  His favorite perches seem to be our nightstands. and often he falls off them, rather then climbing back on the bed.  Kimble loves to stand, which makes bathtime dangerous.  He simply refuses to sit down in the bath, so I usually have to cut bathtime in half.  All that soap and water and fixtures and ceramic makes too nervous.

Kimble takes one good nap a day, and sleeps all night (most nights).  He loves his binkie and his bottle and he likes to feed himself when he's sitting in his high chair (with his fingers, although he likes to hold the spoon).

Kimble has this laugh that is so contagious.  He likes to giggle, then as he's sucking in his next breath, he makes a sound as he's doing it, and it's just so funny.  When I'm sitting on the floor with him, he loves to climb into my lap, and perch for a second, before getting off, then climbing back up again.


He is such a good boy.  We all love him so much, even if he is quite a handful these days!  (PS:  I found all the clothes he is wearing at Goodwill yesterday.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Four-ish Years Ago

Oh, look at my cute kids!  I re-discovered this picture, taken about 4 years ago, when we were living in California, and in the military.  Little Georgie reminds me of how Kimble is now.  So cute!

I know it's early, yet, to be thinking of Christmas, but I've got an idea brewing for the kids' gifts.  I want to use Blurb to make books for each of the kids, filled with pictures of themselves.  I know what some of you are saying:  "Isn't that a scrapbook?"  Well, I'm not going to scrap it.  It's just going to be filled with pictures, printed in book format, and it's going to be their very own book.  I know they will love it.

So, I'm going to be going through old pictures, and scanning them, and formatting them, to be presented at Christmas, and digging through my archive of cd's to find all the great pictures that they may (or may not) have seen.  It's gonna be great!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Knotted Headband

I made this headband yesterday, in less than an hour.  It's so easy.  If you know how to do a chain stitch in crochet, you can make this headband.  Here is the tutorial for it.

Just a tip, when you get to the part to hot glue the strands together, only do it at the ends of the strands, not the entire way down the headband.  Otherwise, the glue will be a sticky and gooey mess and will ruin the look of your headband.  I misunderstood at first, and tried to glue each strand together, from the knot, to the end.  Didn't look so pretty.  I did much better the second time around.

So, give it a try!  I'll bet your daughters could even make their own, it's so easy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Baby Steps


Mr. Kimble took three steps all by himself!  He gets so excited when we cheer for him!  We'll keep practicing with him, and hopefully soon he'll be a walker!

PS:  Yes, he's wearing the same shirt as yesterday.  He slept in it too.  Just one of those days.