Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pioneer Woman, I am Not

I felt the need for some thearpy.

Sweet Potato Muffins with Raisins

1 large sweet potato (I used 8 oz sweet potato natural fries steamed)
3 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 egg
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt


1. Cook Sweet Potatoes until tender, peel and mash
2. Preheat oven to 425. Sift flour and baking powder over mashed potatoes add pinch of salt and egg.


3. Stir in butter and milk. Add raisins just until everything comes together.


4. Spoon into muffin cups (makes 12 - 20)


5. Bake for 25 minutes until golden.




(taken from The Complete Illustrated Potato and Rice Bible)

Books

Books, my constant companion and friend. The ones who never let me down or even care what type of mood I am in. Anyway, I just read the following (in one day):

I have to say that within the first 25 pages I was laughing out loud. I LOVE Janet Evanovich!!! She is always good for a laugh so hard you almost pee your pants. I will not read her on the airplane because people look at me strange when I laugh. If you are looking for something to read that is light, this is for you.

In this episode Stephanie Plum is trying to track down a genius scientist who stole and invention he was working on and a big bad "Unmentionable"....Diesel is back and Morelli is NOT happy since his brother got kicked out by his wife and is now living with him. Chaos as only Stephanie could bring is out in full force. Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Warning, Warning


Warning, this post is full of self pity, self doubt, and down right depressing....which is how I feel right now. Over the course of the past several weeks, Connor's behavior has gotten worse (or at least this is how is appears to me, but it could be because I am so focused on it). His teacher sent home a note saying that the kids don't want to play with him because he can't share and yells at them. He won't listen and continues to throw temper tantrums if he doesn't get his own way. My husband tells me I am being too soft. The PT tells me that she wants to put him on the list for OT because she changed up things today and out came the nasty child he can be.


Why is this happening? I know I was not always a happy child, am I doomed to have an unhappy child? The PT and teacher have said that it is like a war going on inside of him. How do I help him? What did I do? I want him to have friends. I don't want him to be like me; I have/had so few and now I feel like it is too late for me. I don't want him to go through the loneliness that I face almost daily. Everyone told me that when I had kids I would connect with lots of other parents, but meeting people and interacting with them is still elusive to me. It is not something I do well. I am pretty conservative and shy, but of course having been told before, that I come across as an "Ice Queen".


As I sit here and try to sort out my feelings, the tears are just falling. What can I do? How do I prevent my child from becoming that kid that everyone makes fun of? I have been that child and is sucks!! I cry because I don't want him to go through life with a black cloud. I want him to be happy and don't know how to help him achieve that. He does have play dates with a couple of friends and I have NEVER seen this type of behavior with them. I can't help but feel that part of it is the playing with the two older children next door who tend to boss him around and that somehow this is a little rebellion...I don't know, hell, I don't know anything I can't even make friends, how do I help my kids make friends.

I guess I also should clarify, the "friends" I am using here are the ones that you would do anything for...very close friends. I know some of you are going to read this and say "But I was her friend"...I know you are, but, crap how to say this, acquaintance friends...we don't usually hang out unless there is a function we attend together. I am talking about the type of really good friend that you call up everyday type of friend....God, I hope I haven't just lost what few people who still like me...sh--!!

I think I am going to end now and hope that you will still talk to me next time you see me...sigh...more tears...crap

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Disruption

Over the course of the last week we have been exploring reasons why Connor has been having major melt downs and problems in class. We have gone to the pediatrician and she has recommended testing to rule out ADD and ADHD by Dr. Robert Miller, she does NOT think he has this, but is unsure if there is another underlying cause. I can tell you this has caused me many sleepless nights, wondering if I somehow did something wrong. Part of the reason for sending him to Pre-K was to allow him more time to grow socially and emotionally. To some extent I am not sure he has grown. We have been having disruptions in class when we leave an area to do other things and then try to come back and when we are playing side by side and another person tries to take what we perceive is ours. That in and of himself is not totally unusual, but the way he instantly gets mad and starts screaming at the top of his lungs is. It is not that he doesn't respect the teachers authority, but rather doesn't know how to talk and work it out with the other kids.

Even though we have two kids he does still have his own seperate toy room where Lego's that are too small for Wyatt are kept. I am sure this is a factor, as is the point that when I get mad, I do yell. I am really trying to work on this, but it is hard. Another point is that the girls next door are older and probably not the ideal playmates. My life is a lot easier when they haven't been around for a couple of days.

I sure hope this is normal growing pains and that we are worrying for nothing

Friday, January 16, 2009

What a Mess

No, I am not talking about my flooring, although that is still a mess too. I am talking about my life this week.

1. My ski boots still hurt - I tried them on last night and could only wear them for about 40 minutes before the little toes in my left foot started to go numb. The right ones were not far behind. Why don't they make ski boots for wide feet!?!? I can't be the only person with "fat calfs" who wants to ski. Makes me feel so low about myself and the fact that I haven't lost any weight in over 3 months. I know the holidays and the stress eating are a factor, but....sigh.

2. My son is disrupting class, throwing major temper tantrums, and actually bit the neighbor girl this week. It has been so much worse since the 3 week break from school. I talked to the teacher and she said the most distressing part is the way he yells and talks to the kids. He just blows up instantly. He doesn't understand that when he leaves an area, other kids are free to play with the stuff he left behind. I have no idea how to teach him this, but right now we are concentrating on the not yelling. It is very hard becasue when I get mad I do yell...I am trying to break this habit. We have an appointment with or ped. on Monday to talk to her about things, hopefully she can give us some insight. I never wanted my kid to be that troublemaker in class and I feel so helpless because I can't control him at home and now that is spilling over. Maybe I really am a bad mother. If I can't handle two, what makes me think I can handle three?

3. $$ - isn't it always a worry. We were thinking of putting Connor in Martial arts to help improve his confidence, concentration, and self control. They want $120 a month for an hours worth of lessons....that's 4 hours for $120 or $30 an hour....seems on the high side to me. We have budgeted $70 per month for kids activities. Right now swimming takes all of that and then some, so we are operating in the red in that department. On top of that we are going skiing in Feb to be with my parents and brother before he is deployed. My dad is paying the air fare, condo, and rental car - you would think that woud be the expensive part...Ryan and I have our own equipment (sort of, see above), so it should just be rental and lessons for Connor, daycare for Wyatt and lift for Ryan and I.....but no, my DH has decided he needs to get new gear to meet the demands of a Colorado winter. Where the heck is the money coming from...trees....AGH!

4. Getting screwed over by the Craigslist Lady - posted all name brand clothes, showed me the top 5 items in bag. When I unpacked the rest of the bag they were all dirty clothes. Thank God all but 2 items are salvagable, but she also just gave me random things, not a whole lot of outfits...lesson learned.

Well, so we end another pity me party. Sorry guys, but since I really don't have anyone to talk to I am using this blog to help me with my feelings. Maybe by getting them out I will feel better.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Flooring Progress


We are making progress on our flooring in the dining room. Here Wyatt is helping to lay out the boards. We are still waiting on UPS to deliver the stair nosing (which is supposed to be here last Tues). They lost it in Redmond for 4 days. I will believe it when I see it on my porch. We are working on the railings and got one of them in. The railing still needs to be stained, but at least it is in. I can't wait for it to be finished. Missing two rooms out of my house is making my Kitchen a total mess.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Can I cry yet?


My feet hurt.

I am so disappointed. I finally got the new Born shoes I had ordered and you guess it, they don't fit. They are NOT wide enough. I am so bummed. Now I have to send them back and pay shipping, unless my mom decides she wants them. They are so cute, black leather, Mary Jane style...$50 including the shipping...size 7.5 if anyone wants them.

I went to REI yesterday to get my ski boots fixed. $275 later we have some that the guy punched out, but when I was wearing them in the store they still started to hurt after 20 minutes. It felt somewhat like my foot was being pushed in and the middle of my foot was being pushed up. Does that make any sense to anyone? He told me that if these weren't big enough he would have to punch out the other side, but he didn't want to do that because it could weaken the arch....sigh. I am supposed to wear them here at home for 2 hours and then go back. Not only that, but while he was punching out my boot he got a hole in it and had to fix it with epoxy. Not sure how I really feel about that. He told me that the problem was not my EE feet, but the fat calf that I have.

Can you do exercises to slim down your calf? I got to tell you that I am feeling pretty low about myself right now. I know I am heavy and I have been working out at the gym fairly consistently 3 times a week, but I am going no where. I know I eat sweets when I am stressed and Ryan gone for 5 weeks, plus being stranded for 2 with the snow didn't help, but.....

Back to the gym I go for water aerobics this morning.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Battle

video

Here is a fun one of Connor in his Christmas present and his good friend Antonio.

Mouthy


Here it is barely 8 AM in the morning and already Connor has been sent to his room for back talking. He wanted cereal this AM and when I gave it to him he proceeded to eat only the blueberries out of it and tell me he is done. Then demanded I read him a story. I told him to finish his cereal..."I'm not finishing anything until you read me a story". Needless to say I told him to finish or there would be no story....him...""I guess I just won't eat all day then"....GRRRR.

Why are kids so mouthy? Why is he testing me like this? I have guilt (see below) and then he does this which makes me angry. I got a book out the library, "What Kindergarten Teachers Know" which is billed as "practical and playful ways for parents to help children listen, learn and cooperate at home". I haven't started to read it yet since I just picked it up yesterday.
The thing is that people tell me how good he is at school, physical therapy, and Sunday school. Why can't he be good like that for me. I know he has moments with others. He had a total meltdown on the slopes with his ski instructor last Sunday. But the time before that he did awesome. Here we are talking about Kindergarten and I can't even get him to listen at home....sigh. I am sure most kids are like this, but it is still frustrating.

I would like to spend more time with him one on one, but both my boys are mom's boys. When I am sitting with one the other comes and bugs us until we include him. The fighting ensues....that is a topic for another time. I need to go get ready to start our day.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Failure?



I like to think that I am a fairly intellegent person othewise I wouldn't have an engineering degree. I told myself that when I started this blog that I would be honest about how I really feel with almost everything. Right now I feel like a huge failure when it comes to my kids education. Many of you know that we chose to put Connor in another year of pre-school. We switched schools and found a program that was more structured and had a true Pre-K program. At the time when I interviewed the teacher she told me that in Feb of last year all of her students were at the beginning stages of reading. Which is something Ryan and I dearly want for our son. Connor is a very intellegent boy and everyone has told us that his vocabulary is highly advanced and that they can tell he has been read to. However, he has no interst in letters, numbers, or writing.

Now we are faced with the dreaded Kindergarten question. When we moved into this house it was supposed to be in one of the best school districts in the state....but what happens when the state is 45 out of 50 states ranked in education. Does that still make it a good school district? Reading on-line reviews of the school he would attend were he to go into public schools I found things like, "there is no educational challenge, the teachers can do it, so can the students, but the administration won't let them" and "there is no parent involvement".

It is that last one that really got me thinking. Have I been an involved parent? Or have I just sat on the sidelines and waited for someone else to educate my child? Is that why I think he is behind? I have all the best intentions...we have the flashcards and workbooks...but I can never make the time to sit down and do them with him. I really has no interest in them either and it is a struggle to do them, but should I be insisting that he do them more often? It seems like the only time we have alone together is when Wyatt is napping. Sometimes Wyatt falls alseep in the car before we pick Connor up and by the time I get home and fix lunch, Wyatt is awake, leaving us no time.

How do others make the time? How do people who have multiple kids at different ages home school? Am I really a failure when it comes to my kids education?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More Snow

Connor has been out of school for three weeks already due to snow and winter break...it is snowing AGAIN!!!! My wits, wallet, and waist can't handle him being out any longer....AGH!!!!!

Cheapskate that I am....I do have to brag

My best friend is pregnant and not only is she pregnant, she is going to have a GIRL!!!! She is 20 weeks along and everyone couldn't be more excited since we all have boys. Now, I love my boys, but there is just something about buying pink and frilly...


Anyway, the above pictures are my latest e-bay find...I love shopping in the off season when you can score deals like this...10 outfits and this lady counts outfits, not pieces for $13.75 including shipping. Just over $1.30 each, which I think is a STEAL!!!! Of course some people have a thing with used clothes, but not I (most of my boys clothes are re-sale/e-bay/ or craigslist or are gifts) and I really don't think Katie will either. You can't find prices that low in the re-sale shops. The only prices I have seen lower are at Value Village on 99 cent Monday's...and I am not into draging my kids around a store and looking over everything three times. Yes, you take a chance on e-bay that the person is honest, but after using it for 8 + years, I have only had 1 problem and the person corrected it right away. So, Katie, I hope your little girl likes these clothes because she is stuck with them now...LOL

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Potato & Rice Bible

My good friend Laura got me this book for Christmas. I am so excited to start using it.


I just read the introduction and cooking techniques and learned two thing.


1. That when the skin is green on your potato it is poison. You should cut it off.


2. That to get that wonderful salt crust like Outback you wash the potato and then rub on olive oil and then kosher salt....mmmmm....yummy

To get kind of serious, who knew that there were so many different types of potatoes. I thought there were just three (red, yukon, & russet). The book doesn't list an exact number, but the listings go from page 44 - 72. That is a lot of different kids of potatoes.