Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Dogs are Barking

My sister Sarah and I did a 5 mile run this morning that was part of a fundraiser for the CAR Foundation, which was formed after the death of Cady Reynolds one year ago today. She was a senior at Marian who died in a car crash at 132nd and Center. Her parents formed the CAR foundation (also Cady's initials) to promote safer teen driving. I went in part because Cady's aunt Kathy works at school with me, and Sarah wanted to go because Cady was a fellow Marian girl.

It was a beautiful morning for a run. I am proud to say that I was able to actually run about half of it, and did a brisk walk for the rest, and we finished in just under an hour. I have paid the price for the rest of the day though. I was reminded why I gave up running in the first place-my knees. My joints are so sore that I have had a hard time going up stairs today. And even though I have been working out pretty extensively for the last 6 months, it just goes to show you that an inside workout doesn't hold a candle to a good run outside. I felt fine when I got home, made lunch for the babies and then I showered and took a nap. For some reason, when I woke up, I almost felt sick. I guess I am not as in shape as I thought I was.

It was really nice though to spend some alone time with my sister, and to talk for a couple of hours. I miss doing things just us with her, which never happens anymore since we had kids.

I hope that the event brought hope and some smiles to Cady's family on what I am sure is a very difficult day for them. I hope that Cady knows how much her family loves her.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer is OFFICIALLY Here!

Okay...so it turns out that I am SOOOO glad I conquered Lifetime Fitness. Jeff took the day off today, and ran some errands this morning while I took the boys-Yes 3 BOYS ALL AT ONCE- to the grocery store. We go on one big shopping trip a month and at this point in our family's life it involves two grocery carts loaded to overflowing. Evan pushes Charlie around, and they are a pretty great team, but I have ornery Sam in my cart, who takes great pleasure in throwing every item he can reach from the cart as far as he can down the aisle. Evan calls it grocery bowling. And let me tell you, that kid has quite an arm. So, needless to say by the time we reached the check out lines, I had a huge headache. Which approached migraine level when our total came to $524. I will wait a moment while you pick your head back up from off the floor. Which is exactly what I also had to do. I swear to you-we buy nothing but the cheapest of generics, and I use TONS of coupons. Sadly, this total didn't even include any laundry detergent or cleaning products, since I order these online. $524 of JUST GENERIC FOOD! Someone somewhere is going to have to do something about the economy. I don't know what in the world we are going to do when the boys are strapping teenagers who want to eat all the time. Jeff and I will both have to get second and third jobs just to cover the grocery bill.

So anyway, I was fuming by the time we were home, unloaded the car and put the groceries away. I made the mistake of giving Sam too much time with his yogurt cup while I dashed to put just a few more things away, and when I turned around the child had lathered his entire sweet little blond head with peach yogurt. When Jeff walked in the door, I was in the middle of a good crying jag, all the while swearing at President Bush and the powers that be about the economy, yogurt cups, and toddlers that throw things. He shoved me and Evan out the door and told us to spend the afternoon at the pool. The man is brilliant and a saint. Of course, he might not have wanted to deal with me crying, but it was still great.

Evan and I spent about three hours poolside. Evan was in heaven with the waterslides, I swam some laps, and hung out at the side of the pool and watched him come down the slides for awhile, and I spent a lot of GLORIOUS time reading in the sun in a lounge chair. On the way home, I finally felt like summer had really started. There is nothing I like better in life than spending time at the pool in the summer, drinking up the sunshine. Having some time with Ev and to myself was the perfect thing. I came home when we were done, and was able to be a nice mom for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Climbed the Mountain...

named Lifetime Fitness today! It started out with some fumbles, but ended nicely. We left the house at 8:30, which was a miracle in itself, got to the parking lot and was about to unload the kids when I realized that I had forgotten my gym bag. So, back we went, arriving for good at about 9:00. When we went in, all the kids had to have their pictures taken to be put on the membership and used at the child care facility which was a hoot. Sam gummed a cute smile, Evan did okay, but Charlie's looks like someone was torturing him. When we got to child care, it was full at capacity for the first time in months, so we had to wait a bit to get in, which ended up being okay because it gave the boys a chance to check out the scene. Sam could have cared less when I left him. He was off and running as soon as he got to the toddler room. Charlie was a different story! When I left, he was in Evan's lap sobbing, and I was sure that I was going to get called back because he was inconsolable. I am so glad Evan was with both of them on the first day.

I worked out on three different cardio machines for about 45 minutes, and I was so proud of myself! I can feel it in every muscle of my body, but I guess that's the point right? By the time I picked up the kids, Charlie had discovered the indoor jungle gym and didn't want to go home. He has been asking all day to go back to the slides, so I guess Charlie climbed his mountain too.

We even stopped for a juice at the cafe on the way out to treat all of us for getting through the first time. We are headed back on Friday to take a dip in the pool and a ride on the waterslides!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Goin' Fishin

I had the first of my weekly physical therapy sessions this morning for my bladder issues. It was really just orientation, but they showed me all of the fun stuff I get to do next week. For example, I get to play a video game. Called Goin' Fishin, it involves squeezing a probe (stuck you know where) with muscles I wasn't aware I have. When you squeeze hard enough the little fishing pole gets to catch the fish on the screen. Apparently, this will help me not to get so many bladder infections. I don't know if I can go through this next week without laughing hysterically.

To add to the fun, this week whenever I go to the bathroom I have to keep track of when I go and how much I go, as well as how much I drink and when. This is a perfect activity for a busy mom of three boys. I am sure this will not get in the way of anything. I hope you can tell that my virtual voice is dripping with sarcasm.

I guess if it doesn't work, at least it will have been entertaining!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Brothers

Saturday afternoon I loaded Charlie and Evan into the car to run some errands and then go to church. We left Sammmy at home with Jeff, playing outside, as Sammy has a long way to go before I want to take him to church. Charlie gave Sam a hug and we were on our way. When we got to church, Charlie started crying and having a fit as we were walking in. I am really working hard to get him to tell me what is bothering him instead of having a tantrum so I got down next to him and told him to used his words. He said, "Mama leave Sammy in the car!!" He thought I had forgotten him! I told him that Sammy was with Daddy, we checked out his empty carseat, and then he said "Oh! Okay!" But then he asked 10 different times through church "Sammy okay?" It was so cute! He was really worried about him. They are so used to doing everything together, Charlie really missed him!! I am so glad they are getting to be friends.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I am Crazy

Yesterday we joined Lifetime Fitness. I have been looking for a place to take the kids to the pool in the summer, and we checked out the Y, Prairie Life, and Lifetime, and they by far had the best price, best pool, and 2 hours a day of daycare at no additional cost (okay this is really what made me want to sign on the dotted line!) When I was there taking the tour, I was COMPLETELY excited, and when I told Evan about all the cool things they had there, he was a puddle of excitement.

Then, last night I was reading a magazine which totally ironically had an article in it about health club/gym membership faux pas and unwritten codes of conduct. I know I am crazy, but this has totally made me a nervous wreck to go. I have never had a gym membership before and I don't know the procedure to do ANYTHING. Eek!! I am really going to have to talk myself into taking the kids for the first time.

For God's sake-this whole thing has me disgusted with myself. In high school, I was a pretty nervous/shy person, but I haven't felt like that in years, and I really felt like I had that part of my personality licked. Where is this coming from?

Any advice you gym goers you?

Friday, May 23, 2008

C'est Finis!

See! I do remember a tad of the french Madame Bouda tried so hard to pound into my brain in high school!

School is finished for the year as of 11:30 today. Although I have a lot of stuff to work on at home over the summer, it is my plan to not step foot into the building over the summer until I need to come back and set up my classroom. I hope that in cutting myself off I am really able to restock in the patience and excitement departments.

After I am released from the building in about 15 minutes, I am going to spend the afternoon with my dad, who had heart surgery on Wednesday morning. They threaded a laser up through his leg into his heart and zapped the places that were misfiring, causing him to go into atrial fib so often. Hopefully, the result will be that this will not happen to him again. He tolerated the surgery very well, and was released from the hospital on Thursday, and now is resting at home. I am going to take him some lunch, and then "babysit" him until my mom gets home from work. Jeff is home with the kiddos today, so it will be nice to have some daughter/daddy time.

My mother in law and sister in law were both in the horrible tornado that hit Windsor, Colorado yesterday. All of the houses across the street from Joyce were leveled, and all of the houses on both sides of her street were destroyed just a block away. It is almost as if the tornado had a little hiccup and left her house and four others standing. All of the windows on the west side of the house were blown out, the roof is missing every blessed shingle, their truck is three blocks away wrapped around a tree, every tree in the yard was uprooted, but their dogs survived and she and her husband are okay. She finally got ahold of us last night at about 11:30, and we were so relieved! We hadn't been able to get a hold of her for quite awhile after we heard the news on TV. She said the Red Cross told them to expect to be without power for about 2 weeks, and there is no running water as of yet, so they may have to stay in a shelter for a bit. So strange to know that people in your family were that close to that kind of devastation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

No More Poopy Diapers

Potty training is really starting to move along with Charlie...he now REFUSES to go poop in his diaper. It really grosses him out to have it in his pants. This is FABULOUS. Sam has figured out that something called potty happens on the chair in the bathroom, and when it does, you get gummy bears. He will frequently wander in to the bathroom, sit on the potty chair, and announce "POTTY!!" while smiling angelically at you in the hopes that he too will get a gummy. Maybe potty training won't be so hard with him, since he already has the motivation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

End of the Year Shenanigans

Yesterday I spent the day with my class at the zoo. We had a wonderful time, but it was REALLY hot, and the kids were pooped way before the trip was over. Actually, so was their teacher. I spent most of the evening on the couch, with no energy left. Today we are outside all day again for Field Day. The kids are having a great time, but it will be hard to have one more day of learning tomorrow after two such exciting days! We dismiss at 10:00 on Thursday, so we are in the home stretch.

After Thursday there will be 202 children out their in the world who have a little piece of my heart with them wherever they go. I think the hardest part of being a teacher is that you pour your heart into these kiddos for a year, and become so attached to them, but then you have to give them back. At least with your own kids you get to see how they turn out, what they do with their lives. I still think about my old students all the time, and I wish I could know what they are doing today! I will always have a special place in my heart for them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pull Apart Pizza

I have had a couple of requests for the recipe, so here is my version: (It is SUPER easy!)


2 pkgs. of Grands Biscuits
1 lb. of hamburger meat (or pepperoni, whatever your topping choice)
1 jar of spaghetti/pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
Garlic powder to taste


If you are using hamburger, brown it first. I add some garlic and thyme to mine while browning. Cut the biscuits into fourths. Spread on the bottom of a cookie sheet pan that is sprayed with Pam (pieces should be pretty close together). Bake at 375 for 5 minutes to let the biscuits puff up a bit. Remove from the oven. Add 1/2 cup of cheese to the pizza sauce (I also add garlic to this-up to you). Spread on the biscuits. Sprinkle hamburger or other meat topping on top. Bake at 375 for 25 more minutes. Remove from oven again and add cheese (add however much you like on your pizza!) and bake for aproximately 5-6 more minutes. ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This One's for You Christi...

Tonight for dinner I made this recipe called pull apart pizza that the kids and I first had at the awesome Christi Koch's house for dinner. It was an immediate hit with Evan and Charlie (who knows what Sam is thinking yet) and Evan has been bugging me ever since to make it. When he saw it cooling on the stove he had a heart attack and gave me a bear hug. After dinner, Evan rubbed his VERY full stomach and said, "I sure am glad Christi gave you this recipe. Our lives would suck without Christi Koch." And that's the truth too. My life would suck without you dear friend!

Potty Training Woes

I realize that anyone who doesn't know me and who has read this blog lately might think I have just one child from the amount of time I spend writing about Charlie. He is truly a puzzle to me in many ways right now, and sadly for the other two kids, takes up most of my energy. Sammy and Evan just seem like sweet angels in comparison. Jeff and I ordered a book called Toddler Taming that arrived yesterday, and we spent last night reading and strategizing.

I just stopped into daycare to give Charlie his after lunch hug, and found that his teacher had put him in big boy undies, and he had kept them dry all morning long. He is telling her when he has to go, and is now what I would call completely potty trained. But. ONLY HERE AT SCHOOL. At home, he will only agree to sit on the pot when asked about 60% of the time. He will periodically tell me "Potty!" but that usually means that he has already gone. He does have one successful potty at home about once a day, and tries a few times inbetween, but that's about it. I know that he is obviously capable of doing a better job, since he does just that at school. I think I must be doing something wrong at home to make it unsuccessful but I can't figure out what.

And this is silly, but I am SO sad that I wasn't the one to put him in underwear for the first time. Sniff.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Nothing too exciting yesterday, but it was still a nice Mom's Day. Jeff was a sweetie and took care of the kids most of the day for me so I could just get some things done around the house and for school without the rugrats trailing after me. We went over to my mom's for dinner, and Jeff went too without complaining, even though this is not one of his favorite things to do. We didn't get to see my grandma since she was having a back spasm, and we didn't really have to deal with Joyce the MIL (even though that would have just been a phone call) because she is in the Bahamas, so it was nice to just have to focus on my mom and me.

I am VERY happy to report that Mr. Gonka the exterminator was very well priced and did an amazing job. I found a pile of dead spiders on their backs with legs curled in the garage this morning. He thinks he found the problem spot, and showed us how to caulk it up, so hopefully this won't happen again!!! A good spider is a dead spider in my book.

Now if it would just warm up so I could get my garden planted and the flowers in their baskets, my spring would be going well. I've always planted things on Mother's Day before, but it just seems too cold yet.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Woman Drives Me Nuts...

I was going to avoid blogging about this, as it has been all over the "mommy blogs" since the segment aired on the Today show and I think people are sick of writing/talking/blogging about it. But I am giving in to temptation because the more I think about it the angrier that I get. If you didn't see the segment on women bloggers Wednesday on the Today show, click here to view the video clip. Kathie Lee Gifford interviewed Heather Armstrong about her now famous blog, and doing it for profit. I used to be a fan of Kathie Lee when she hosted Live! (probably because as a child my mother watched it endlessly), but this interview highlights Kathie Lee's hypocritical ignorance, instead of Heather's blogging brilliance. My opinion of Kathie Lee goes farther down each time I think about it. Part of Kathie's charm on Live! was her ability to connect with the audience through her stories of family and children. She seemed like the neighbor across the street; an ordinary woman raising children just like the rest of us. This is the same appeal of mommy blogs today. They inspire a sense of community and connection through sharing stories about being wives and mothers. Kathie Lee missed the boat and instead spent the interview implying that Heather had done something questionable by sharing details of her family with strangers. Hello??!!! Isn't this what Kathie Lee herself did on television for over 10 years? I'm not seeing the difference between what Kathie Lee did, and what Heather does now. I am really not liking Kathie Lee's holier than though attitude.

It surprised me how annoyed I am at this interview. It made me realize that my blog is much more important to me than I realized. The connections I make here to other moms is so important to my sanity and survival as a mother.

I have recently stumbled upon two blogs lately that I am love with that are refreshingly written by Dads. Check them out-you won't be sorry!

Looky Daddy
Laid Off Dad

Creepy Crawlies

I just had to call an exterminator. I've never had to use one before, but we have a rather large, well established community of wolf spiders living a happy life in our garage. I don't know if you've ever seen one of these monsters, but they are HUGE and GROSS and UGLY. I have killed around 5 in the garage, one in the hallway inside, and 1 in the boys' bathroom. The clincher came this morning when I put my foot into my shoe (which I had stupidly left by the garage door the night before) to feel something CRAWLING ON MY TOE!! For those of you who know me well, you know that I absolutely cannot stand a spider. I can clean up poop, puke, and other excrement without blinking an eye, but spiders? NO WAY. I screamed so loud I scared the poop out of all three of my boys, and I heard Charlie say for the first time "Oh God!" before he started to cry (going to have to break him of that one). So, tomorrow Mr. Gonka is going to come and hunt down their lair and KILL THEM DEAD!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Gifford Farm

My class and I went on a wonderful field trip today to Gifford Farm in Bellevue. It was beautiful weather, and all of the animals were especially friendly today and let us come right up and pet them. We had the best time, but I forgot to take the Zyrtec ahead of time. Big no no. After jumping in the hay, petting rabbits, walking through dusty barns, and hugging a cow my head is pounding like a big bass drum. I am going home to take several Ibuprofen and park my kids in front of the tube while I take a nap.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A weight has been lifted...

off of our shoulders, because Jeff and I have FINALLY taken the time to have our wills made out. I cannot tell you how relieved that I feel. With three kids to provide for, it crossed my mind every time we got in the car that something could happen and we wouldn't be prepared.

We used Legalzoom.com and I would highly recommend it. It was easy, fast, and inexpensive.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

How the tanking economy is effecting the Kleffmans...

by making us spend $451.00 at the grocery store! Granted, this will last us a month, but they still had to scoop me up off the floor of Bakers today after the cashier told me the total. I got basically the same things we always need, which usually runs us about $350. Add this to my list of reasons why I can't be a stay at home mom-my kids eat too much. Between this and gas prices, we may have to give up something. I don't know what yet, but something.

Other mundane details from my Saturday...

1. John Kleffman came today and fixed our back door. Over the winter our patio rose up so much that it buckled the frame of the sliding glass door, and busted out the siding that was facing around it. I don't know how he did it, but everything is back to normal. Jeff and I are really going to be in a pickle when our dads are too old to help us out.

2. I mowed the lawn today. It is my pride and joy. John even said when he came in that it is so green it almost looks fake. Yeah for me!

3. On the way home from church tonight Evan announced to car in general "I have arm pit hair!" "Oh!" I said, trying to guess exactly what I was supposed to say to that. "I hadn't wanted to say anything before because I was embarrassed." He said next. So, we had a talk about being proud of our arm pit hair because it was a sign that he is growing up to be a man. Which made me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

4. At the first grade auditions for the talent show last week, I fell in love with a group called The Plain White Ts. Which apparently every teenager on the face of the earth already know about, but hey, I'm middled aged now so I am allowed to be behind the times. A little boys sang along to this song called Delilah that they sing, and I started crying it was so beautiful. I just used iTunes for the first time to add it to my iPod and I am loving it.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Slow Down a Little

When I picked Charlie up from daycare today, it took him exactly 10.9 seconds to dissolve into one of his awe inspiring slam his head on the ground temper tantrums, all because I had the audacity to put his coat on. While he was screaming at the decibel level of a jet liner and trying to smash his brains out through his ears, the preschool teacher, who is also the daycare director, gave me the news that she wants to put Charlie in the 3 year old preschool group right away when we start school in August. He will only be 2 1/2 at the time! I looked from her to the child that was imploding on the floor next to her, and the first words that came to my mind accidently popped out of my mouth "Him? Are you KIDDING me?"

SVdP's daycare is unique in the sense that sometimes the children are fudged into different age groups because of the size of the center (35 kids) and the staffing needs. But 6 months early? I immediately felt a pit in the center of my stomach. Charlie is the most stubborn child I have ever met (and as a teacher, let me tell you that is saying something! I know a LOT of VERY stubborn kids.) He is really going through a rough patch right now behavior wise. I am working so hard with him at home to squelch the tantrums, the aggression, and the not listening using every trick I have ever learned with kids. And it's still really hard. I just think moving him into a preschool group would be the most frustrating thing for him. He would be with kids who are 4 and 5 year olds, and would be held to their behavior standards, rules, and routines. A frustrated Charlie is an unbelievably bad thing. He looses it, wigs out, turns into a crazy man. I think it would really set back all of the progress we have made already and will hopefully continue to make over the summer. He also had the most amazing relationship with his toddler teacher. She is SOOO good for him, and can get him to do anything. So, I spoke up and said "NO! I don't want that to happen in any way shape or form." I explained my reasons, which I think she understood and commiserated with. It's just such a sticky situation because this woman is also a family friend, my mother's best friend, and Evan's swimming teacher. I want to stand up for my kid, but I also don't want to create a mess. I am really hoping I got my message across in a firm but kind way. I so hope that she listens to me. I don't know what we'll do if she doesn't.

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