Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not Blogging?

  The funny thing is I have sooo much to blog about. So many things to tell you and so many photos to share. Time. I have no time. School started last week and although I am more organized than ever before, it is a huge time suck. I am back to waking at 2 am to just get a little time to myself. Oh the joy of one stolen hour while all is quiet, the chance to watch a loved TV show (or maybe just a little trash TV) the chance to be quiet with my own thoughts. Sigh....I love that stolen time so much. It is very worth a little tired and cranky the next day. Heck, even when I don't steal that time I am tired and cranky. And hot. Still hot. I think we hit something like 40+ days over 100F. I am starting to think I live in hell, and not just because of the heat.

One quick 'first day of kindergarten' story and then I am back to fixing dinner. Everyone headed off in high spirits and good attitudes. Unfortunately, Ahren had an 'accident' the first day. He wet his pants. Not a big deal and he was not upset in the least about it. I wondered if he just didn't know to ask to go, or didn't know where it was or what was going on, so I asked him about it. It took about 20 minutes of sidetracks and confusing info to finally figure it out.

He didn't so much 'wet' his pants as wet ON his pants. Apparently he had NO clue how to use the urinal, so he stepped right up, dropped his pants to the floor and began to pee. Only thing he forgot to do was aim! He pee'd all over the floor and his pants! Oh poor baby! I then attempted to give him an aiming lesson. I must have been successful because he has been dry the rest of the week. Only Ahren!!! LOL!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

School, Laughs, and Stinky Boyz

  School starts this Tuesday. We had Meet The Teacher night this week and I am thrilled with our assigned classes. They let me help pick the teachers and have been 100% supportive of everything I want. We are so lucky to be in such a wonderful public school and with such competent and loving staff. Levi wants to start TODAY, Seth is ready to go and so excited, and Ahren....well, Ahren just wants to wear his new shoes and be able to sit next to girls. LOL! Seriously, that is all he talks about. Shoes and girls.

  Our box turtle, Jack, has been doing wonderfully. He eats everything, gets so excited when he sees me coming, and will even eat out of my hand. Then suddenly, the last few days he has been very quiet and resting inside his log home. I thought it was because the puppy roughed him up a bit this week when the boys accidentally left him on the floor and let the dogs in. I thought he was traumatized. But, this morning, when I went to feed him, I found an EGG in his cage! Jack is a Jackie!!! I have no idea if it is a fertilized egg, but i buried it in the damp rocks over the heater and left it alone. In 2.5-3 months, we may have a baby turtle. How cool is that!

  I tested Levi on my reading program at work to see what his level was and how his comprehension was. That little too, who is entering 2nd grade, read at 250 words per minute and 100% comprehension. For reference, college level is 300 words per minute. Good luck to his teacher keeping him occupied and not disrupting the rest of the class! He asked me what 'embodiment' meant the other day, and was reading (accurately) the labels in Latin on plants recently. Dang, that big ol' egg head is full of brains.

  Seth has quit the bodily-waste problems of this past spring. Not one incident in ages. I am so proud of him! Apparently, before I realized it, he had progressed to another method of punishing me. I began to lose earrings. Only one of a pair at a time, and I thought I was losing my mind. Then, I began to find one mangled earring here, one smashed earring there.... and it dawned on me. I began locking my bathroom door and then soon after that he went on the seizure meds. Since then not one single earring has disappeared. I still have not found all the others. but the destruction of them has stopped. So far I have not discovered any other 'Mommy-testing' behaviors. Is it the medicine? Has he run out of creative methods of testing me? Has he finally accepted I love him, unconditionally and forever? Heck, I don't know, but I will take it! he has been so happy and fun lately. In fact, on Monday, we will be dropping off levi and Ahren at friends' houses and taking Seth, the best behaved of the bunch, with me and Kaytee to the mall. That decision is totally based on who is behaving the best, and Seth wins. I can hardly believe it, but it's true! He has been an angel in public and so much fun to take along with us. My dear sweet boy has come so far!!!!

  The other night, Chris looked at me and said that he thinks Ahren and Seth both have Native American blood in them. Totally confused, I just looked at him. He then announced that they both belong to the Black Foot Tribe, and pointed to their feet. Ugh, black feet caked with grime. And I mean BLACK! Nasty, stinky, dirty boyz. All I can say is I am happy they have had so much fun!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Under Attack!!!

  We live in southern Texas, just outside of Houston. I'm sure, if you have watched any news at all, you have heard that we are experiencing record drought and heat. Today was day 17/18/20? of over 100F heat. No measurable rain has been had since January. Fires are raging across the land, nothing to stop them except dedicated firefighters. Last week a fire sprung up within 2 miles of our home. We were on alert to evacuate, but they were able to contain it. Unfortunately, a barn full of Arabian horses was in it's path and 12 horses died. I see the burned barn every day as I leave our neighborhood. So scary and sad.
  Every living creature in the area is striving to invade our home. Ants, bees, mosquitos, flies, little furry things, and larger furry things. They all want in. It is a daily battle to keep our home to ourselves. We feed and water the deer each day, which is helping them to survive, but how long can they go on? I feel like we are experiencing Armegeddon! If you have never had to deal with something so severe, then you just don't know what it is like. We can no longer water grass or plants. We have low water pressure (picture a severely anemic shower trying to wash off the stink that develops with extreme sweating) Thankfully the schools have air conditioning and once it starts next week our kids will be safe. Running errands is exhausting. Every time you re-enter the car you crank the air and hope it cools off enough you don't pass out or melt. Then just as it gets tolerable, you shut it off and enter another store. It's like Hell in Texas.
  I am cranky and smelly and ugly and sweaty and, well, just plain TIRED of it! But what can I do? I guess the only thing to do is to warn everyone away from us until it cools down and we are acting nicely again. Have pity on us. We are all baked to a crisp.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Amazing Experience

See the man in khaki, leading the elephants? That is Darryl Hoffman, world renowned expert in elephants and large animals. He also happens to be the husband of my buddy Deborah and the father of Levi's friend Dylan. We got to spend the day at the zoo with them and it was the most amazing. once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I have pictures to prove it!

This is Tessa and her baby girl Tupelo, on their way to their daily bath. 
 We got to watch from right outside the enclosure as they started bathing them. Tupelo was more interested in our kids than the bath at this point. 
 She wanted to smell them and touch them, just like a human kid meeting other kids would do.
 All of the elephants receive training as part of their enrichment program. In fact, these elephants are treated like royalty. Their poop never even hits the ground. They have people around the clock just for pooper scooping. Every day they have special events planned for the elephants to give them enjoyment. They give them toys to play with, fruit frozen in large tubs of ice to eat, watermelons, etc.

They are just about to open a new section of the elephant area that will triple the size of their space and also give them a small lake to swim in.  There are trees and shade areas and large wooden scratching posts, too. These animals are very loved and doted on. 
 Oh yes we did! We got to go in WITH Tessa and Tupelo!!! You have no idea how huge these animals are until you stand right underneath one. Get a load of Ahren's eyes in the above photo. Her skin was soft and thick and textured like large orange peel.
 They are surprisingly nimble for such huge creatures.
 We also got to bathe them! Seriously, this was the most exciting, amazing thing, to be actually scrubbing an elephant and her baby!!
 That's Dylan in with Levi. Dylan was our tour guide for the day. He knows the zoo inside and out and proved to be an excellent tour guide. 
 Bubbly baby.
 Even my big kid was loving the experience.

Thank you so much Hoffmans for the experience of a lifetime!!!!!!