Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why I love School Uniforms

This last friday was free dress day where the kids pay a dollar to the PTO and they can wear whatever they want to school. When I first heard this I was very excited to add some variety and spice up the traditional polos and khakis. After 15 minutes of tantrums and negotiations I wasn't too keen on the idea anymore. We finally agreed on an outfit that wasn't sleeveless or too short and actually matched. Rewind to 2 months ago and remember how I was less than thrilled on the idea of uniforms, fast forward to now and I am more than ecstatic for them. Not only because I don't have to fight her every morning, but also because once she got home she had to brief me with a full report of what all her friends were wearing and who had the cutest clothes. This sounded all to familiar to me as I took a stroll down memory lane to my own experiences with clothes....As I disclose these memories I am feeling very vulnerable and can't believe that I'm admitting to my own dorkiness, but I guess admitting to sabotaging my own journal was enough proof of my coolness factor, so I might as well lose my last shred of dignity :)

So growing up in a family of 10 kids there obviously wasn't enough money to buy all of those name brand clothes that the other kids were wearing, so I took matters into my own hands (just keep in mind, this was elementary and middle school, I like to think I wasn't this bad in high school!). I held nothing back on my quest for coolness. Whenever I managed to get my hands on something name brand, I wore that thing with pride. It didn't matter that I probably got it at the local second hand store and was hideous looking and totally out of date, as long as it had a namebrand it was more than cool in my eyes. I remember I would purposely flip up my GAP tags on my shirt so that somebody would tuck it in for me and see that I was wearing something from the GAP. I had my one coveted pair of "Guess" jeans that I wore all the time. Obviously with all the use they got it wasn't long before I wore a hole in the knee. Not wanting to retire the beloved "Guess" brand or put a perfectly good patch to waste, I unstitched the triangle patch on the back pocket (remember those?) and sewed it on to another pair of jeans! (I'm sure no one noticed the large "Jordache" tag adorning the belt loops). Don't worry, it gets worse. I saved up my money and bought a pair of Keds (were those even cool or was it just me?). Once those wore out I put my recycling skills to work once again by carefully peeling off that rubber tag on the back and hot glue gunned them to the back of some generic white tennis shoes. I'm sure there was dryed up glue oozing around the corners, but gosh darn I felt cool (I probably did it only because there was no way to create a good LA Gear or K-Swiss knock-off). I also have fond memories of making my own "stone washed jeans" by pouring bleach on a new pair of not-so-cool jeans (Janess, don't you remember mom sanctioning this act? What a great mom.). I wore them with pride until my 4th grade teacher was giving a lesson on something that had to do with hippies and she talked about how they used to do the same thing with their jeans. I felt a little silly wearing them after that. And to top it all off I created a clothes calendar. Yes, I said a clothes calendar. At the beginning of each week I would plan my outfits and keep a calendar of what I was going to wear. Of course as I wrote down my outfits I had to include the brand incase someone might just happen upon my calendar and, heaven forbid, think that everything I owned wasn't name brand. A typical day looked like this: Monday-red GAP jeans, white Banana Republic T-shirt and brown Birkenstocks. Yes, I still remember that as being my absolute favorite outfit (although my pink "Duck Head" shirt was a close second).

So there you have it, I'm a self proclaimed dork, but atleast I can look back and laugh! So when Kylie is old enough to start complaining about the uniforms I may just have to share with her this little gem of a memory and then she can be grateful that she doesn't have to deal with all that (and be grateful that I haven't carried on my little name-brand recycling craze to her own ward robe!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random Thoughts....

I've been in a blogging mood lately. I really don't have anything specific to write about, instead it's just a mixture of random thoughts. I figure since this is my journal, someday my kids might be interested to see what random things are going through my head (yes, I'm trying to redeem myself since some of you know that I sabotaged my journals from middle school by trying to make myself look cooler than I really was so that one day my kids would think I was pretty much the coolest person ever. ie: "so today I sat at the lunch table with all the cheerleaders, we're like best friends".... ha, ha! Yes, I'm emberassed to admit that really is a line taken straight from my 7th grade journal. I think by now my kids have pretty much figured out that I'm really not that cool :) Anyways, on with the show....

-Why is it that kids have this innate instinct to do these 3 things: 1) blow bubbles with a straw in milk 2)turn any stick into either a sword or a gun 3)battle it out with eachother with the infamous "yes, no, yes, no" argument. No one (atleast to my knowledge) has taught them any of these things, and in reference to #2 my kids don't even own any toy weapons and are limited to watching PBS, Disney and Nick. Yet, every single kid does these things out of pure natural instincts.
-I'm in the middle of a "24" marathon. I watched the first season then skipped to the 5th and I need to know what happened with Pres. Palmer. Was he elected? Why didn't he serve the full time? Chloe seriously bugs, they have got to get rid of her or I may boycot.
-Kylie started her gymnastics class and loves it.
-It is finally "cooling off" and I'm loving it! It's still in the 90's, but to me it feels like fall. Atleast it cools off at night
-To sit or not to sit, that is the question....Jayden was too short to stand by the toilet when I potty trained him and now I'm having the debate whether I should teach him to stand or not. Jason says yes. I say to wait until he's older and can aim better, but since he's at school should I start now?
-I only keep Kylie's favorite papers and art projects from school and throw the rest away. I wish I could keep them all, but there's just no place to keep everything. There is a strategic method for discarding them. All papers must be face down in the garbage, no bright colored papers can be showing and there must be atleast one layer of garbage covering them. So many times Kylie has been crushed when she finds her work in the garbage. I totally play the innocent card and act shocked that it "accidentally" got thrown away. I won't deny that Jayden has been unsuspectingly dealt the blame for these occurances as well. I hope one day Kylie can forgive me....and just remember that all your best work is in a safe place that I will always treasure :)
-I got a gym membership for the first time. I'm very excited to go. The spin class killed me.
-Jayden meets with his speech therapist once a week at preschool. I asked him if he had speech today and he replied, "no, just juice and crackers". I didn't realize there was a snack called "speech"...
-I'm very excited for this week's "Premiere Week". I am so ready for some mindless TV watching after the kids go to bed. The Office, Grey's Anatomy, The Bachelor....bring it on!
-"Oregon Trail" was the coolest computer game ever.
-Kylie's school sent a note home saying that the district has decided to not observe Halloween. No Halloween crafts, costume parades, parties. Nothing. They said that they don't want to distract from the learning environment or desensatize the children with such a violent holiday. They do realize that the reason I signed on as a room mom was to bring cup cakes for the Halloween party. I may resign from my position.
-There is an art to price matching at Wal-mart. You must always do a drive-by past the registers to scan for the prime cashiers. Never, I repeat never, go to anyone over the age of 30. The older they are, the worse they are. This can become a problem if you shop in the middle of the day where the age margin sky rockets to 60, due to school. In my experience (which is alot) the worst are the old ladies who are of a different nationality (no I am not racist, this is pure observation), then old ladies in general, then middle aged girls, then young girls and the number one spot is a tie between the acne prone teenage boys and the sweet old men. I don't try to rip them off, but the old ladies always think I'm lying and I have to show the adds for EVERY item. The youngin's could care less. I have my 2 favorite cashiers, "bible study girl" (we bonded when she told me her love story with a fellow wal-mart cashier) and "Jared" (we bonded when I told him Jennifer thought he was cute and as an added bonus he works during the day)
-Jayden's new favorite thing is for me to draw a pirate ship for him. It sounds simple enough, but what once started out as a way to keep him quiet in church has now grown out of control. I have to precisely draw a ship complete with a plank, flag, two pirates (no more, no less), one treasure chest, a treasure map with "X marks the spot", and waves. When I am finished he turns the page and says "again". This could go on for hours. He has notebooks full of the exact same pirate ship scene. I don't know how to put an end to the madness. (Chelsea, I am reminded of your farm animal days with Koston, any ideas?)
-I love coming home and the kids run up to me and act like they haven't seen me in weeks. It's the best.
-Kylie got invited to her first sleepover b-day party. I didn't think that I'd have to start thinking about this already. I don't think I'll let her spend the night, I think she's too young. I still don't know if I want to let her have sleepovers at all, I've heard too many stories and I don't want to risk it. But I know I'll be fighting her over this topic for years like I did with my parents if I say no. I just don't know.....

Wow, I guess I had alot on my mind.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sweet Moments

Have I mentioned before that I LOVE LOVE LOVE when my kids are best friends? Lately they have been playing so cute together and watching them is something that will always bring a smile to my face. We went to Wal-mart and they walked around the majority of the time holding hands. When Jayden walked by those skeleton death trap displays where they are motion sensored and cause the unsuspecting children to release a blood curdling scream echoing through out the whole store....yeah, those are the ones (the poor kid is scarred for life). Where was I....oh yes, Kylie was so sweet to comfort him in his time of need. This morning they woke up and instead of watching cartoons they spent hours making Halloween decorations and pirate treasure maps (yes, I did not get out of bed until 10:00 today, I am so naughty). Then they spent 2 1/2 hrs playing mom and dad and turning the guest room into their "house". From the picture, you can assume that my comments in the previous post about Jayden graduating into manhood are void. Kylie has managed to brain wash him to believe that as long as the fingernail polish is clear then it's okay and that it's okay for boys to wear rings since daddy sports a little bling-bling in the form of his wedding ring. Pretty much it just boils down to the fact that Jayden looks up to Kylie and admires everything that she does. They have their cute little secrets, their shared laughter, their moments of make-believe and the knowledge that they are and will always be the best of friends. I love these kids....

But alas, my kids are not perfect and do have their moments. Kylie pushed Jayden down the other day and after many tears and a long time out she went to her room and came out a few minutes later and handed Jayden this note decorated all over with hearts:

"Jayden I lu yo sil Jo luv me ur do yo do lic me?" Translation: "Jayden I love you still. Do you love me or do you don't like me?" I love sweet moments like that.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Boys say...hey baby, hey baby, hey! (from that song, remember?)


In an attempt to reinstate Jayden's manliness, Jason taught Jayden what boys say. Jayden came up with what girls say on his own (although I have yet to see a girl really do that!) Jason is proud to announce that Jayden has finally realized that Barbies are for girls and has also outgrown the dress up and nail polish phase as well.

Speaking of what boys say......Jayden had a couple of friends over to play and they were watching "Madagascar". When the lion came on screen one boy said "that's me!" When the giraff came on the other boy said "that's me!" and when the zebra came on the last boy also said "that's me". Then lo and behold here comes Gloria, the hippopotamus and one boy shouts "look there's your mom!"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Domestic Diva

Okay, so I may not be a diva, but I sure feel domesticated this week! When I was younger I would always dread the late summer and early fall. Not only because it meant that summer was over and school was starting, but because the cool weather signaled the onset of canning season. Our kitchen was transformed into a fruit processing plant and all extra hands were recruited for peeling, slicing, filling and dicing (not only did I dread the work, but I also dreaded the fact that my mom used those quiet moments alone to discuss the birds and the bees. ha, ha, remember mom? I'm sure I'll be taking advantage of that quiet time with my own daughter some day too!)So this week I reached a huge milestone in my life (and a pivotal moment where I officially crossed the line from young to old!). I attempted something I swore I would never do and I was actually even excited about it. Canning. My friend, Mandy was so nice to teach me the ropes and we spent all day Saturday canning peaches and pears. It was a lot of fun and now I've got 26 beautiful jars lining my cupboard. The only problem is that they look so pretty and after all my hard work I don't dare open any of them! We did try some pears last night and they were delish, so I'm excited to have some fresh fruit to help us survive the harsh cold winter :). Thanks so much, Mandy! As if canning fruit wasn't enough to make me feel all Martha Stewartish, I even attempted strawberry freezer jam. Of course I had to make home made bread to go with the jam. It was funny because I was babysitting my next door neighbor's son the day I was doing it, and after watching me work for a while he came up to me and said "you're doing all this for ONE sandwich??" Yes, it would have been easier to pop open a jar of Smuckers and smear it on some sliced bread, but once you taste that warm homemade bread with fresh strawberry jam, there is no denying that it was worth every second! Of course I had to wrap up my domesticated week with some hand sewn (okay, machine sewn) throw pillows for my couches. I'm really digging the fabric that Chelsea helped me pick out (thanks!). So now I've got all that domestication out of my system and now it's back to the not-as-good-but-definately-simpler store bought versions.

Now for some other random bits from this week...

Kylie was using some scissors to open a package of cookies. AFTER she had opened them, Jason turns to me and asks if I ever washed the scissors. What a random question since usually I'm just lucky to get all the dishes washed, so I asked him why they needed to be washed. Apparently while Jason was watching the kids he let them use the scissors to cut up grasshoppers and crickets to keep them occupied while he did the yard work--a week earlier. EWWWW! Information that would have been nice to know BEFORE they were used to open cookies and who knows what else throughout the week.

We were at Jamba Juice and I was holding Jayden at the cash register while a nice African American gentleman with a rather large hair-do was helping us. We were only a couple of feet away from him when Jayden pointed right to him and said rather loudly "Scary!". At that moment I was grateful for his speech problem because it came out as "Cary!", so maybe, just maybe he didn't know what Jayden was talking about. Although the fact that he then buried his face in fear probably didn't help the situation much.

I was playing with Jayden one morning and told him that I needed to go and take a shower. He turned to me and said "yeah, mommy stink!" Thanks dude.

Jason introduced the kids to these cookie things from his mission. They're called Tim Tams and they are these chocolate covered wafer things that you eat by warming up milk and then biting two of the corners off and then sipping the milk through like a straw. It melts the chocolate and you are left with a mouthful of gooey chocolate deliciousness, it is soooo good! The kids had fun learing the art of Tim Tams and we had fun laughing as each person tried to eat it up before it melted and fell all over. It was a fun family bonding moment (although don't ask me why I didn't change the kids church clothes before we attempted the chocolate feat!). My new favorite thing that Jayden says is "I like Kyee, be-fre me". Meaning "I like Kylie, she's my best friend". Sometimes he'll substitute Kylie's name with Daddy or Mommy, it's so sweet.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Beach Bums

Whatever happened to my visions of sitting on the couch watching Oprah and eating licorice (yes, the updated version of the soap operas and bon bons cliche) now that my kids are in school? It seems like life has been busier and crazier than ever, so we were definately ready for a relaxing trip to the beach! Before we took off we had some fun with Jason's sister, Jessica and her boyfriend, Harry who came and stayed for several days before she headed off to her study abroad in China. It was so fun spending time with them and the kids had a blast. They especially loved Harry because he let them use him as a human paper and draw all over his arms. Yes, now I am constantly confiscating pens and markers to prevent more tatoo artists in the making--thanks alot! Totally kidding, Jayden even liked Harry so much that when we were at the store today he saw a Chinese guy and pointed while saying loudly "member him? Harry? Come my house?" Jessica, we hope you're having a blast in China and we love getting the email updates!

After they left we packed up and headed to Cali for Labor Day weekend. Jennifer has never been there and since she left today (sniff, sniff) we decided to take her there for a last big horrah and to tell her thanks for ALL the babysitting :). The plan was to leave at 4am on Saturday morning with the mindset that the kids would sleep in the car and wake up just before we got to the beach. Of course the whole thing backfired when we didn't leave until 5:30, then the kids woke up as soon as we put them in the car and stayed awake for the rest of the trip. I thought that I was doomed for a day of crankiness, but instead they were grinning ear to ear the whole day and took naps later in the car. We hit Mission beach first and I had forgotten how much fun the beach is (despite the holiday weekend crowds), especially since our kids are at the perfect age. They spent the morning running from the waves, boogie boarding and building sand castles, it was a blast. That afternoon Jennifer was dying to experience life outside of the US and given our very limited budget and time we opted for the ever fabulous Tijuana. The fear of my children catching some communicable disease, or even worse not being able to bring them back across the border since we didn't have their birth certificates was enough to deter us away from the idea of bringing them along. Instead Jason took them to a park while Jennifer and I braved it on our own. After a couple of hours, lots of cheap trinkets and a few solicitations from some unruly gentleman, we decided to call it a day.

We were hoping to run into my brother, Tyson, while he is on his mission in San Diego, but unfortunately that city is too darn big. We did happen to run into some sister missionaries at the temple's visitor center (which consisted of a folding table and chairs in the parking lot) who happened to know him, so that was cool.

We were such great hosts and even took Jennifer for a stroll down the Walk of Fame. Hollywood is definately one of those places where you just go once to say you've been there. We've already been there our one time, but for you Jennifer, we would put up with the crazy people (like the shirtless drugged maniac running into traffic...) and smutty shops any day! :) It was cool to drive through Beverly Hills and see all the huge mansions, though. We laughed at those star maps, but once we were up there we were kicking ourselves for not buying one! We also hit the Santa Monica pier where people were packed together like sardines. I made the mistake of letting my kids just put their feet in the water (we didn't have their swimsuits) and of course they ended up with sand and mud all over. We knew it was our cue to leave when Jayden accidentally kicked mud all over the back of this lady's dress. I pulled one of those "look the other way and pretend like that's not my kid" tricks. I think it worked. After a couple amusement park rides we were dying to get out of the crowds. We met up with 2 of Jason's friends from highschool, Shawn and Trent and their families that night. It was so nice to just relax, hang out and get caught up. Trent was staying with his family at a time share in Newport beach and so we jumped at the idea of spending the day at a more secluded beach. So the next day our friends Nate and Tara met up with us and we all spent the day relaxing at the beach (Dave and Candace, you were the only ones missing!). Tara probably didn't relax much since she was always busy chasing her adorable 2 yr old twin boys, I don't know how she does it! We had some good laughs as we piled 9 people into a 5 passenger car to give Nate and Tara a ride back to their car several miles away. In this picture keep in mind that Jason and I are also packed into that front seat. We definately played the role of white trash Beverly Hillbillys very well. When we got there and they started getting out I felt a hand move out from underneath my swim suit clad hiney. I'm not quite sure if it was Nate or Tara's hand and I'm not quite sure I want to know! Definately fun times. We met up for lunch before we took off and were quite the spectacle with all our kids, but we had a blast. The kids were so wiped out and crashed in the car at 5:45pm. I thought for sure they would either wake up once we got home and wouldn't go back to bed until midnight, or else wake up at 5:00am. Luckily I was wrong, they both slept until 7:00am the next morning. It definately made for a pleasant trip home. It was such a fun little weekend getaway! My only regret is that I forgot to bring my SPF chapstick (how did I not learn my lesson last time??) And now I've got another hideous sun blister on my lip. Those things always come at the most inoportune times, considering I just started teaching preschool today and Saturday I have to teach a class for some big stake Activity Day thingy. Hello boys and girls, I'm Miss Lippy. Alas, life goes on.

So my nanny left today, it was a sad day (now it's back to reality)! Kylie cried most of the way home from the airport, we are all going to miss her! We spent Jennifer's last night here going out for ice cream with the family and then some sisterly bonding time at none other than the infamous dollar theater. Yes it is dirty, and yes something goes wrong every time we go (the sound doesn't work, the screen freezes, it's blurry....), but the call of $2 tickets versus $9.50 was too much to resist so we ignored the sticky floors and opted for the cheap seats. We saw "License to Wed", which was cute. Some of my favorite memories with her are: the knife show, late night Wal-mart trips, the Office, otter pops, Subway, rafts, haircuts (especially the "layering"), chick flicks, sleepovers when Jason was out of town, Evon, prunes, Sadowski, liquid metal, "Adventures in Babysitting", and so many others.

I know this is a long one, but I can't end a post without including some of my favorite kid moments for the week. Kylie has a birthmark on her arm that she is very proud of and is always showing to people. Jayden also has one and I wasn't sure if he knew what it was called, so I pointed to it and asked him what it was. He proudly responded, "it's my birthday!" The kids love playing "Marco Polo" in the pool. They enjoy the game, but I don't think they understand why one person says "marker" and everyone else says "pillow". Kylie's class has just started checking out books from the library. I thought for sure she would pick out the most girly princess books, so I was a bit surprised at her selection, that is until she excitedly presented Jayden with the pirate book she had chosen and told him that she picked it out just for him. The next week she came home with a dinosaur book she had carefully selected for him as well. I can't explain the feeling I get to see them become the best of friends. It's what being a mom is all about!