Sunday, June 22, 2008

Free labor (not really that free)

Here's my little son, willingly sweeping the floor. He likes the Swiffer too.

His sisters are not as willing to help with housework, but I just announced to them that they must participate. They are folding towels right now and are going to have the laundry presented to them for folding all week, I'm afraid. Between trying to work and take care of them and cook and clean and ... well, I just don't have the time to do everything that needs to be done.

Although right now I expend more energy trying to get them to complete a task than I would if I just did it myself, they need to know how to do housework and I need the help.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Big day (or two) of fun

My kids had a big day (really two) of fun last week. We started off the day with a trip to the humane society for a new program they have called "Smarty Cats." It involves reading to their cats, of all things. When I heard about it I thought it was so crazy and I just had to submit the idea for a story. It was approved so off we went to read to the cats. Just as I expected, cats are not very good listeners but the girls had fun playing with them anyway.

After playing with the cats we went down to a worm farm to check that out for a story. We found out how to run a worm farm and we also saw his day lilies, organic garden, and a pond that the man built himself. The girls had great fun looking at the goldfish in the little pond.

That night we took them out to the river to see a screening of "Happy Feet." They show movies for free every Wednesday night in the summer on a huge screen right on the river. The movie was stupid to me but the kids liked it.

They walked over a new bridge after the movie and then all the girls went home together to my husband's sister's house. Oh boy, a slumber party for them, and some peace and quiet for us!

After everyone finally woke up and got around the next day, the kids and their auntie/mom went to the store for picnic stuff (I ran into them there and ended up with two of them) and then everyone came back to our house for a back porch picnic. They followed that up with a dip in the new pool their auntie/mom got for them.

Wow, now that was a lot of fun packed into two days.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baby's walking!

The baby, who is now 13½ months old, started walking this past Sunday! We were all sitting around dressed waiting on time to go when he just started toddling around. He's been working on getting ready to walk for some time now and this past Sunday afternoon he was finally ready!

He's so cute because he holds his arms up and out and plods like a zombie. Now he's even more destructive than ever with the new world that walking opens up to him.

He's been able to climb up the stairs for some time now, but with him being able to walk we have to put the gate up at the bottom of the stairs if he's downstairs and at the top of the stairs if he's upstairs. He was walking around upstairs yesterday and got frighteningly close to the stairs. His balance is still a tad off, of course, and it would take nothing for him to topple down the stairs.

It's really neat to see him walking around and the entire family is getting a huge kick out of it!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

First comes love ...

Then comes marriage. And then, along with your guy with a baby carriage, is the problem of how to stay that way. Married, that is.

Here's a little something I wrote earlier this year. It pertains to marriage but of course living the mom life usually requires living the wife life!

Top Ten Ways to Have a Long Marriage
By Michelle Wallace

(My David Letterman-style list)

10. Learn to love your father-in-law's face. Your husband will look just like that in a few years.

9. Be sweet to his mother. She knows what's really going on but he's just happy the two women in his life love each other so much.

8. Just accept the fact that his friends are weird and there's nothing you can do about it.

7. Don't argue about money. It's pointless to argue about something that doesn't exist.

6. Pick up his dirty socks and underwear. He certainly doesn't care that they are lying there stinking up the place.

5. Speaking of cleaning, if he cleans, that's just wonderful. If he doesn't, you do it since you're the only one who's bothered by all the junk anyway.

4. Don't talk during the ballgame.

3. Have lots of ***.

2. Since you're having lots of ***, there'll probably be lots of babies. Because of that, you can't ever get away from him anyway so you may as well stay married.

And the #1 way to have a long marriage ...


Friday, June 06, 2008

First week of summer break is over!

Whew, the first week of summer break is finally over. That was one long, hard week. I'm already looking forward to school starting back.

In honor of getting through the first week of summer break, my husband took me on a date tonight! Before he got off work he asked his sister to take all the kids (the baby included) and told me to decide where I wanted to go to eat. All the kids went home with my sister-in-law when she got off work. Everyone was excited about going roller-skating and bike-riding in the park.

I had planned on spending the evening in front of the TV watching back-to-back episodes of my favorite show, "What Not to Wear," but since I'd been given other instructions, I put on a nice outfit and some makeup. I couldn't decide where I wanted to eat but developed a taste for shrimp and alfredo pasta somewhere along the afternoon.

After my husband got home we hopped in the vehicle and headed out to the "restaurant strip" in town. I suggested Carino's but didn't really care, so we decided on Applebee's because the parking lot was not as full as Carino's.

Afterward we went to Best Buy to buy an Ethernet card for the desktop and went home! We made it home just in time for the start of an episode of "What Not to Wear." Not very romantic, I know!

The kids were still skating so their auntie brought them home when they finished. Our two girls were really excited because their auntie had just bought them some new skates! That gives us something else to do this summer ... go skating in the park some and even go to the skating rink.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Summer reading program at the library

The girls are excited about getting started in the summer reading program today at the local library. Registration begins today, but I registered my older daughter online this past weekend with her library card. We're heading up to the library this afternoon and will get my older niece a library card. We'll enroll the two older girls along with the two younger girls and check out some books for everyone, too.

We got a jump start on checking out the books this past weekend. My older daughter got bored and asked to read some of my books, so we dashed up to the library to check out some books. I told her to pick out three or four thick books, so maybe that will keep her occupied for a while.That also gets her set up to start reading for the summer reading program!

Everyone who enrolls in the summer reading program gets a bag, a button, a pencil and a reading log to record the number of books they read! My older daughter will have a good time writing down all the books she'll be reading. They can also report online or call the library once a day with the number of chapters they've read.

They'll get a sticker (displayed on a sheet at the library) for every three chapters they read, or for each book a younger child has read to them. There are special incentives in store every week for the kids who report the number of chapters they've read! I'm expecting the two older girls to stay busy with their reading and reporting of chapters to the library every day or pretty much every day.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Kids' websites

Summer break is now upon us and my kids will be having to spend some of their time quietly indoors while I work. They'll be busy reading, watching TV, helping me with the baby, playing school, doing crafts, and playing on the Internet.

I'm on the lookout for some good kids' sites for playing games, doing crafts, printing worksheets, etc.

Here are some sites we love: (their favorite) (my favorite)

And a few new ones I want to check out ...

There is a wonderful list of kids' sites at Mommy Jobs, my favorite Work at Home Mother site, that we will be making use of as well.

Now that I have a laptop along with the desktop I can work on one and let the kids have the other for playing games or getting on the Internet.

What are some of your favorite sites?