Sunday, May 24, 2009

Something Fishy

In the past year since we've had Emma's fish tank, we've gone through A LOT of fish. We've had Henry, 2Henrys, 2HenryPink, 3 or 4 more whose names I forget, Flower, Rainbow, Palmtree, and Pumpkin. Thankfully they only cost about 20 cents a piece or we would be going broke fast.

Since Pumpkin died last week, we discovered another creature thriving in our tank. A snail. We have no clue where it came from or how it managed to live in our tank of death, but alas, it is thriving and lots of fun to watch. The snail doesn't get a name though [according to Emma] because you don't name snails.

Today we drove on down to PetSmart to buy some more fish for our little snail friend to play with. The girl in the fish department convinced us to stay away from the 20 cent feeder fish if we wanted them to survive. She suggested a Betta. They cost $3 but they come with a two week money back guarantee, so we went for it! It's a male Betta that is kinda purplish. In case you don't know what a Betta looks like, Emma describes it as "awkward looking since it has 3 tails." What 4-year-old calls things awkward anyway?

On our way home from the fish store, I asked Emma what she was going to name her fish. I said that it has to be a boy name since it's a boy fish.

So what do you think she named it?

Henry? 4 Henry? Purple Awkward Fish?

Nope. Not even close.

It's name is.....

wait for it....

Leave Country.

Seriously. That's what she named it.

I asked her for some context of where in the WORLD she would have come up with something like that. She had no insight for me, of course. So, if you come on over in the next few weeks (or hopefully for a long while) be sure to stop by the tank and give your regards to Leave Country & the little snail.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flower Power

Emma is obsessed with flowers. She is constantly talking about them, picking them, putting them in vases (assorted tupperware containers), smelling them, naming them... you get the point. Her favorite clothes have flowers on them. Her favorite shoes are her "flower shoes." So, for her 4th birthday party, the obvious theme was flowers.

We actually had a lot of fun planning for the party. Emma and I collected leftover flower pots from people at our church and went to the home depot and picked out flowers to plant in them. We decorated the back yard with the potted flowers. We also asked people to bring some flowers picked from their gardens so we had several bouquets of fresh flowers to decorate our tables. My sister helped me blow up 150 balloons and tie them into flower shapes to hang from the trees.
150 balloons, tied into flower shapes, awaiting their destiny

Some of the flower balloons (nice arbor Dyl!)

Emma chillin' with her bug catcher and sporting the birthday crown they made her in preschool

Who needs to plan games? These kids just climbed around on the hill and collected bugs!

Not a single stone was left unturned. Seriously. Dylan has his work cut out for him rebuilding the retaining wall!

A not so great picture of the brownie & ice cream cupcakes adorned with leftover Easter candy corn!

The aftermath of the cupcakes!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our 4 Year Old

Emma Joy just turned 4! Yippeeeeeee!

Here are some recent milestones that she's reached:

1. She can say her R's, so now when she's telling people about the presents that Rhonda brought her, they won't respond with "Oh, how nice of Wanda to bring you something!" Hopefully this will help keep her from yelling at people when they don't understand.

2. She has finally reached a 15% B.M.I. No more 5th percentile or below for her..... she's on the charts!

3. She has FINALLY started feeding herself. [Yes, she just turned 4 and her 20 month old brother manages to feed himself] She normally gets distracted halfway through the meal and it will take another hour or so for her to finish unless we feed her. We told her that when she turned 4 she had to start feeding herself. So far, so good!

On a given day, you'll probably find her doing one of the following:

1. Flowers. She wants to pick them, plant them, talk about them, name them, and smell them ALL the time.

2. Climbing on her play structure. (Some 4 year-olds might call it a swing set)

3. Singing. She has been a singer most of her life and she hasn't slowed down a bit. She LOVES to sing.

4. Collecting bugs. We recently bought some bug catching kits at the dollar store. She likes to collect bugs and put them in the container and wear it around her neck and show everyone she sees. The sales clerk at Michael's was a bit nervous to have a container of rolly polys brought into her store. Not as nervous as I was when she brought a container of snails and spiders into our house.

5. Making cards for people. She loves to pick a color of paper, fold it in half and decorate it and send it in the mail to her friends. It is a very specific process that we are not welcome to help with- except for the mailing part.

6. Changing outfits. Several times per day. Never into one that matches.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Blissful Escape to Lake Taco

Don't get me wrong. I love my family. My children are a delight. My husband is great. But when my grandpa gave my sister a two night voucher at a resort in Lake Tahoe that had to be used this weekend (Mother's Day), I just couldn't pass it up. So, on Friday, after grocery shopping, cleaning, writing lots of reminder notes for my husband and preparing my family for any disaster that may come their way, I hopped into my cousin's Toyota Sequoia along with my sister and one of my sister-in-laws and hit the road.
It was bliss. We took our time getting there and relished in the fact that there was no one in the backseat asking for more cheerios or dropping their sippy cup or just yelling for no good reason at all. When we arrived at our suite, we found awesome accommodations and sleep number beds in each room. So after watching a movie that didn't include cartoons or children singing Bible songs, we climbed into bed, figured out our sleep numbers and entered into blissful, uninterrupted slumber. Until 5am when my body decided to wake up. Yup, 5 A.M. On one of the only two days ever that I was allowed to sleep in for as long as I wanted without interruption or guilt. Ugggh.

Later that morning, after playing a few rounds of speed Scrabble, we headed into town with no particular agenda and absolutely no time constraints. We got lattes, bagels, and pedicures. We walked through the casinos inhaling second hand smoke, and wasting money playing the 25 cent Wheel of Fortune slots. We finished the day with ice cream, hot tubbing, pizza, hot chocolate, Ticket to Ride, a movie and some Sweet Affair brownies.

I awoke on Mother's Day and enjoyed peace and quiet. I didn't have to rush to make breakfast or get the kids ready for church or prepare anything for lunch with the Fam. I didn't have to do dishes or start laundry. I just had to lay there in my perfect sleep number and enjoy the peace and quiet. After some more Ticket to Ride, breakfast at Red Hut and coffee and speed Scrabble at Rude Bros, we moseyed on home.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Emma's balloon flew away, and they didn't take naps, and Dylan let them eat WAY more junk than I would normally allow. But, the kids survived the weekend without their mother and Dylan even managed to do some dishes AND build me an arbor across the garage as a mother's day gift! Seriously, a whole arbor! I guess this means that I am not needed as much as everyone seems to think I am ;) or at least that girl's weekends away should happen more often!