Friday, July 27, 2012

A Typical Day 'Off'

This was my week to have Friday off, so I got to sleep in until...the normal time. L. had an appointment for shots, which meant we needed to leave at the usual time. Then I discovered S. had wet the bed, which hasn't happened in ages, and that meant we did not leave at the usual time. Pretty close to it, though, thanks to Daddy showering her while I threw bedding in the washer and sprayed down the mattress.

We pulled in to the clinic parking lot in enough time for me to do S.'s hair with the rubber bands and comb I had shoved into my pockets. Except that L. had very quietly, at some point, spit up all over himself and the car seat. That also hadn't happened in a long time. Did they know where we were going, and were acting in cahoots? No fever, happy as a clam, looked like curdled milk, so I made a Mommy diagnosis of motion sickness. Changed him, wiped down the car seat and covered it with a spare diaper, and headed in for the shots.

I'm one of those annoying Moms who doesn't feel the need to pump my kid full of a million chemicals at once just to save on trips, so we very politely said just two today, please and thank you. I think they are getting used to those Mommies, because they didn't argue or even roll their eyes. L. was outraged at the pokes, but has had none of the fever the other two got at that age (when they got all the shots at once), and both he and S. got rubber duckies, so all was good.

From there, to Walmart. Well, what can you say about Walmart? I didn't get everything on the list, because a) Walmart never has everything on the list, and b) we had at least one more stop to make, so refrigerated items would have to wait. Despite S. getting 'stuck' at the giant wall of TVs (and this is exactly why we don't have cable, little girl), and the elderly woman in front of me in the checkout line not understanding how a debit card works, we made it to the library on time for the storyteller, Indiana Bones. Yes, I go to work on my day off.

We had a very light turnout - may have been the threat of rain, but the clouds held off, and those who came had a good time.

Okay, they are mostly looking concerned here, but trust me, he tells a good story. Plus, he has a whip,

a crystal skull,

dinosaur claws, a dragon, and Medusa's head in a box. (I didn't take a picture of the latter, because if you all turn to stone, who will read my ramblings?)

L. mostly ate grass and sticks, flirted with A. and A., and growled back at the dragon. For him, a very good time. We stayed for lunch afterwards, and L. had a star on the bottom of his tray, which apparently earns you a rubber shark. Who knew?

Back in the van to head home. After sitting in the warm sun for a couple hours, L.'s first set of clothes and the car seat were smelling a bit ripe. Added to the blanket we sat on for lunch, and which L. had mashed most of his into, I had the second load of laundry for the day, and hadn't yet touched the usual piles.

The kids were both asleep in the van, and probably didn't even notice being transferred to their beds. Nap time, when Mom can get things done, right? I got the groceries successfully unloaded and put away, and was about to make the birthday cake popcorn for tomorrow's party, when I heard a chicken making a fuss. Not unusual, they fuss when a bug hops by; but this was on the wrong side of the fence.

Oh, bad words, bad words, bad words. Run outside to find feathers everywhere, and one of the Marthas hanging limp in the husky's mouth. More bad words and a lot of yelling, and I'm using an empty feedbag to scoop up what I'm sure is a dead chicken. Run back up the stairs, through the house, and out the back door, to deposit the chicken that is now clucking at me into an empty plastic tub. Carry the tub back in and to the bathroom, thinking, am I going to have to put this thing down? More bad words.

Leave the tub, run back outside to the chicken coop. Feathers EVerywhere, door to chicken yard open slightly, noises of much angry chicken discussion coming from the coop. Fortunately, three head counts confirmed that everyone was now accounted for, and the only other missing feathers were due to molting. Secured the door and tried to figure out how the dog(s) got past a metal gate, two latches, a full sized sheet of plywood, and a bungee cord. No answers there so far.

Back inside to check on the chicken and call Daddy. Chicken is standing and alert, so I decide to give her some food and water. I am talking to Daddy on the phone, bending over to put the water in the tub, when L. wakes up and starts yelling.

I can't blame the chicken for being scared, L. is way scarier than any slobbering, fanged creature that may want to eat you.

I'm a little fuzzy on all the details here. The aftermath was two rooms full of feathers, the contents of my bathroom counter scattered to the winds, and a chicken wedged under my bed, refusing to come out.

This, of course, necessitated a Facebook post.

When I finally got the chicken back into the tub, I learned a few things:
1. The chicken doesn't want to be in the tub.
2. Chickens do not understand mirrors. They get...agitated.
Note to self: bleach bathroom.
3. L. does not like it when chickens are agitated.
4. Chicken feathers stick to everything. Chickens have a lot of feathers. Those are kind of two seperate things, but kind of not.

Needless to say, the chicken was deemed fine, and went back into the coop. Which I have checked the door on three times so far while typing this post.

By this time, S. was awake, so getting things done during naps went the way it usually does. L. has had a much-needed bath, Daddy has come home and wired the coop shut, and now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go pick the feathers out of my hair, as we have a school board dinner to go to.

I'll be ordering chicken.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Does Every Parent...

...say things like,

"Okay, it's time to unlock the kennel and let the baby brother out."

"Put the shell casings away and toss the severed head in the back of the van, please."

"Honey, please don't spit on my tortoise."

These are all actual sentences either Daddy or I have uttered lately, and I just wanted to check - normal, right?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

...And a Little of the Party

(L.'s first guest post)

Huh...this is interesting. What is it?

Woah, it's sticky.

What is this gunk? Shouldn't you be washing it off, Mom?



Oh, yeah!

A nibble here...

...and some from this side...

Forget what I said about washing, Mom.

Cool, now I have two pieces!

That's some good stuff! Can I have more, Mom?

Mom??? Where are you taking me, Mom???

(Ten minutes and a lot of scrubbing later)

Presents! I got paper to tear,

Paper to shake,

Paper to let my brother and sister tear,

Oh, and a ball!

And a truck.

Did I mention the ball?

I could play with this thing for hours. Hours and hours and hours. Hours and hours and hours and...

Happy Birthday To...

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear
Buffalo Butt,
Snuggle Bug,
Mushroom Boy,

Super Chunk,
Smiley Boy,

Zombie Baby,
Happy birthday to you!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What We're Reading

We really have been reading for the Summer Reading Program...well, the kids have, anyway...Mom just hasn't had time to post anything about it, let alone read much for herself! These are the picture books I have had to read a million times this week:

Ducks Don't Wear Socks
E Nedw

Emily is serious. Duck is not. S. is fascinated. A very cute read-aloud, though, so I'm not tired of it. Yet. Lee White's illustrations are adorable, I love the way duck's facial features don't always stay on his face. I imagine it must be hard to give a duck expressions at all, but this is one joyful waterfowl.

Too Many Toys
E Shan

This is C.'s current favorite - and it's probably no small coincidence that this is the David Shannon of the "No, David!" books. We had fun tonight with a just-Mommy-and-C story time, comparing the toys Spencer has with the ones C. has. Not to mention all the places they can be found...


(not at the library yet)

Joey can't resist exploring the world, but it's good to have the safety of mama's pouch to go back to. Very simple and cute, for some reason the kids all think this one is hysterical!

Boy Who Wouldn't Share

E Reis

You just can't beat David Catrow for facial expressions. Another easy read-aloud that we will be using for story time later this year. The lesson is obvious from the start, but delivered in a humorous, non-heavy-handed way. And there's fudge involved. I feel the need for an extension activity.

These are all 'old' books from the library's collection or ours, but we should have some new titles to share soon - the new fiscal year has begun, and I just finished cataloging the first children's order! If you're local, come check out the new books shelf - but be quick, about half of them checked out this morning!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Reading Program, Week...wait, what week is this?

Well, we thought things might slow down a bit when the community pool reopened, but if they have, I sure haven't noticed it! At the end of June we were almost out of prizes, and had run out of almost every size of t-shirt. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was July, start of the new fiscal year, and we could order again!

Then a week went by, and we ran out of Child Smalls. And the prize box started to go low again. Sigh. The first problem is, we make our initial order based on the previous year's numbers. As you may recall, I had a baby in the middle of last year's program, so our numbers were a bit fuddled, and I was working off the wrong ones at first.

Then when we get partway through the summer, I make a second order based on the kids who have started earning prizes, assuming most of them will earn their shirt by the end of the program. Second problem: large groups that have not turned in a single book log yet, coming in and saying, "Hey, our 22 kids read 36 books each!" Let me be clear, that is a GOOD problem, and I love when they do that - I would much rather have that happy surprise than order shirts for a group that swears they are going to do the reading and then never does. But, 22 kids x 9 prizes + 22 shirts + 22 books + 22 Blue Stone coupons = another rush order to Oriental Trading. And right after I boxed up their prizes, a teacher with 20 kids came in. They 'only' earned 5 prizes each.

The third problem: These darn kids just keep reading! They aren't stopping when they get their shirts, or slowing down as summer ennui sets in. They are taking books on their vacations, and reading before and after going to the pool. Don't they know they are supposed to be playing video games and watching TV??? After all, nobody reads books any more, they said so on CNN!

Program-wise, the first week of July was comparably relaxing, with Wednesday off, and no program on Friday. The teens even had an easy night, watching The Princess Bride (can you believe some of them had never seen it?!)

Princess Bride

I. Love. Her. I want to be her when I grow up.

This week, we have been reading/crafting about Things That Go Bump in the Night. Lots of silly monster stories, and cute monster crafts. The Tweens held a murder mystery, and we actually have some pictures from that for a change:

We have some very blurry tweens. It's not the camera, they just sort of vibrate all the time. Cliff does a fantastic job with this age group! This Spring was the first we have been able to offer something for them.
The Teens had a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Training. And, as usual, my camera battery ran out right at the start, so all I got were some photos of the head shot practice:

We threw darts at a zombie head target, and shot suction-tipped bullets at Justin Bieber. You remember our old friend from the pajama party?

G. had some aggressions to get out. His darts kept going through the pizza boxes behind the zombie head. E. was no sluch, getting some stuck in the table everything was propped against. They'll be okay when the apocalypse comes.

It didn't take too long for the teens to talk me into putting Justin on the pizza boxes. He's looking a bit...aerated these days.

We also watched this video (very informative!), made zombie pops, played hot potato with a severed head, and played spin-the-body-part with the legs you see in the picture above. No, there was no kissing - if her toes were pointing at you, you had to answer a question from this book:

Would You Rather...? Radically Repulsive: Over 300 Crazy Questions

Would you rather lick the bugs from a windshield, or drink sweat wrung from a basketball player's underwear? Yeah, we all went with the bugs, too.

Friday we saw the return of Markie Sholz and Dragons are Too Seldom Puppets. We've had Markie several times, and she is always a big hit. Unfortunately, the kids and I were unable to make it, but a few people did show up:

Photo: Dragons are Too Seldom Puppets had a great turnout today...

Around 200, I'm told - they didn't all fit into one picture:) I love doing programs out on the lawn; the shade keeps it relatively cool, and it's just such a fun atmosphere. Thanks to Cliff for handling everything!