Monday, March 30, 2009

Planet Earth

Kids watching t.v. The couch was just too far away.

Two Christmases ago my parents gave us a copy of the Planet Earth series. I really like it for the cinematography, the education, and the funny side effects on my kids.

We have had very interesting dinner conversations about the significance of predator-prey relationships, as well as ecosystems. I didn't even know what an ecosystem was until I was much older.

The very first time we watched an episode, my boys weren't paying attention but were busy wrestling. Or so I thought. I noticed Sammy kept biting Benjamin's shirt and asked him what he was doing. Through gritted teeth and fabric came the muffled reply, "I'm a shark." Then Benjamin resignedly stated, "I a seal." The segment currently playing was sharks catching seals.

One day Samuel was slinking around the living room on hands and feet while narrating his own actions. In a British accent he said, "The lion was moving through the forest in search of prey and to find a mate." Dominic couldn't stop laughing.

And just recently, I asked Benjamin why he kept biting his own arm. He said, "I'm poisonous. [bite] I died. Ugh." Then he closed his eyes, stuck out his tongue, and tilted his head to the side. I wish I had the camera; that face was hysterical.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Letter to the Editor

I have very strong political views, but I keep quiet to avoid conflict. There have also been times when something happens and I want to write to the editor, but the fire of my indignation fizzles before any writing occurs. This week, however, I actually wrote a letter that was actually published.

Background: Idaho state law says that breastfed infants can be removed from their car seats while the car is moving. Furthermore, if there are more children than seatbelts, they don't all have to be buckled up. A bill was introduced to stop both practices. It barely passed in the Senate, but the House committee won't even see it. According to the transportation chairwoman, it is too invasive on families. In my letter I also refer to another bill that passed both the House and Senate in a matter of weeks: a mussel species was accidentally brought to the U.S. and has spread across the country, so they're taking immediate action to deal with its unavoidable entry into Idaho. Apparently, it clogs things up and is very expensive to clean out.

Child safety seat law would save lives
A few months ago, my family moved here from out of state. So I was unaware and surprised to learn that Idaho law allows infants and children to roam free in a moving car.

Furthermore, a bill that will protect our most vulnerable citizens will die in the House. At least the state Senators understood its importance.

I'm at a loss for words to describe this situation. The state understands the importance of preventative measures when it comes to the invasive mussel species. What I cannot comprehend is how they fail to see that the "loose cannon" bill can save lives.

If this law is too intrusive, perhaps we should repeal drunk driving laws.

Side note - the letter before mine hailed the chairwoman for protecting families from overreaching government.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun dinnertime

I had so much fun with the kids tonight at dinner. Usually dinner consists of "sit down, turn around, eat your food." But tonight the kids kept making me laugh.

First, we had shrimp with tails. Normally I buy tail-less shrimp, but I couldn't find any at the store. At the beginning of dinner, I showed the boys how to take the tails off. My little pile of tails was from me and Lisy. Then I noticed Benjamin had left his tails on the table, so I put them on my plate, too. When Samuel noticed, he had to add his tails to my pile, which included leaning across the table to reach my plate. This is honestly not an area where I thought peer pressure would matter.

Sammy was completely enthralled with the shrimp tails to the point that he forgot the rest of his dinner. He kept snagging more shrimp from the pan just so he could remove the tails (fortunately he did eat the shrimp).

Benjamin ate all his shrimp, and Lisy ate all her noodles (although neither ate the vegetables). I pointed it out to Dominic, and he suggested switching their plates. It worked! When they saw their favorite foods magically appear before them, they literally laughed and cheered and gobbled up the food. It was so funny watching their reactions.

As dinner ended I finished off my water but was still thirsty. Jokingly I said, "Waiter, can I please have more water? Too bad that doesn't work at home. At home I'm the waiter." But Samuel jumped up and said, "I'll be your waiter" and ran to the fridge. All the cold water was gone, so he brought back soda. Just as I was in the middle of telling him no soda, I saw that it was my favorite, so then I sheepishly agreed. And of course all the kids had to have some, too. I laughed watching them guzzle their water so they could have soda.

I don't remember what happened next, but somehow dinner ended with a lot of laughing and tickling and silly songs (ok, so I was the one doing all the singing). I blame it on the sugar high. Then, as each one finished, I would bounce them on my knees, which made them laugh even more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Imperialist

Hm, well not much has been happening lately, hence the 2 week hiatus from writing. We all had colds and didn't do much. In other news . . .

Dominic started a blog today! That's right folks, my husband has jumped on the bandwagon. It's nothing like mine, or anyone else's for that matter. He makes me laugh! I wasn't sure if I wanted the link in my Fun Sites or Family Blogs categories, but he said it belongs with the family. I encourage you to check it out: And scroll all the way to the bottom to see the slide show; you don't want to miss it (I think the flames are a great touch).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Busy week

So busy it's taken me another half week to write about it! Actually, I was finishing a couple of really good books: the 2nd Fablehaven book by Brandon Mull, and Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler.

To begin, last Monday I had a doctor's appointment, which was significant for the blood test. Yes, it was the dreaded glucose screening, but I do not have gestational diabetes! Such a relief. However, due to a family history, I asked them to check my thyroid levels, which are low. So now I'm taking thyroid hormones. I looked it up on webMD, and I think I either had a subclinical level, or I just confused the symptoms with pregnancy: fatigue, weight gain, problems concentrating, etc.

Next, the kids went to the dentist. This was Lisy's first dental visit, and she liked it. In fact, she screamed whenever I took away her new toothbrush and mini toothpaste. At nap time she didn't want a doll or stuffed animal - she snuggled up with that toothbrush and toothpaste. As a side note, the dentist said all 3 kids have healthy teeth but will need orthodontics in a few years (sigh).

And Dominic turned 30! It's been 15 agonizing months, but we're finally in the same decade. Just kidding; I really don't care about that stuff. Dominic is a low-key person so we had a low-key party, but he raved about the turtle cake I made. It's so rich that we don't have it very often, and a birthday is the perfect time for such a decadent cake. You can find the recipe here. And this is the shirt he got from the kids; it cracks me up.
P.S. Dominic has adjusted to his new medication. He doesn't struggle to stay awake anymore; he was drinking 2-3 Mountain Dews a day. He is now off the Dews, and his sleep patterns resemble mine.

Then I got a haircut. I almost got a haircut last Spring but was racked with indecision about styling. My hair finally got too annoying. I realized it had been 6 years since my last cut, and I felt obligated to go once I made the appointment. I love my haircut! My family likes it, too, except Benjamin who said it's funny. It's a lot easier to take care of now than when it was long.


After (I look funny, but it's the best picture of my hair):

Finally, we went to a kid's fair at the Boise Expo Center. The kids had a blast, but it completely wore out Dominic and me. Sammy was enthralled with the magician. Benjamin couldn't get enough stickers. Lisy kept asking for "pop pop," aka lollipops. They really enjoyed the petting zoo area and the inflatable slide and bouncy rooms.

Boys petting a miniature horse
Lisy spent a lot of time on Dominic's shoulders

I think Sammy is trying to hide

See the stickers on his arms?

He had more on his face

Lisy happily jumping