March 2009 archive

Light Saber

Recently we have been experiencing light saber madness. Long ago, before Reece could wield a light saber, we bought them for the older boys. Now that Reece is two, he was always stealing their light sabers so he could be just like them. Never mind that we had 4 total (and I only have three boys), two small ones that hook to your pants and two really cool ones that light up and make noise. The first two I mentioned are the only ones they want to use. The light up ones aren’t nearly as cool to them because they do not, I repeat do not, hook on to your pants. They are not enough like the real thing I guess.

Last week I got fed up with the boys fighting over the small light sabers and set off to find a new one for Reece. In my mind I had to get three matching light sabers so they wouldn’t fight over which one belonged to who (believe me that getting the exact same thing for each child saves tons of heartache and headache later). After calling around to a few different Fred Meyers I found that one store had several in stock and I packed up the boys and we went over to pick out new light sabers. I didn’t really need three, I only needed one, but I was trying to honor the afore mentioned tactic of buying matching toys so no one fights.

So here is the kicker, I find 3 blue light sabers, I buy them all. But then the boys point out that each handle is different and they proceed to fight over which one is theirs and which is cooler and what not. I failed. Oh well. Could have been worse.

So this morning Reece runs up to me in just his diaper and makes me hook his light saber on to his “pants.” He just looked so cute. I had to take a picture and share it. Ain’t he somethin’?!

Posted by Ily on March 23, 2009 | Filed under: Family News | 3 comments

What will we do without a club membership?

In January when Bryan’s project at work got canceled and they told them all to go apply for jobs elsewhere, I decided to put our fitness club membership on hold for the next three months so that we could save that money in case we did lose our job. We have been members of Lacamas Swim and Sport for 6 years now. We joined there because here it rains a lot here so walking and running wasn’t always an option for me for fitness, plus they have childcare available for while I workout so I don’t have to sacrifice sleep to exercise early in the morning or late at night, and last but not least, I need a fun fitness class to get me working hard, I just don’t do it on my own.

When Isaac was first born I got quite depressed with the lifestyle change and exercise really did help perk me up. Bryan was gone a lot at school though so it was hard for me to fit it in when it was just me and a very needy baby. When we went to Vancouver the first time for an internship I got a short term membership at a small club with childcare and it changed my mood dramatically. Right then I decided that exercise was very necessary for me so I could be a healthier happier mom who had energy to deal with the kids. And having the childcare available made it so much easier for me to work hard without lots of interruptions (how many workouts at home have been rendered useless by the constant interruptions of my kids?). So stopping our club membership was a big sacrifice for me to do. But $100 a month when you add in the childcare and club dues really is huge! I felt we really had to save it instead. So our club has an option that you can put your membership on hold for up to 3 months in a year so you won’t be able to use the facilities without a drop in fee, but you won’t have to pay the dues, so I put it on hold. That way I wouldn’t have to pay huge restart up fees if Bryan did get to keep his job and we decided to go back a few months later. So we took February, March, and April off and I will decide what to do in May with whether we cancel our membership or not. How has it gone without a membership so far? At first I really was bummed. I missed swimming laps with Maresa and Ruth. Maresa is a killer coach and I loved it. I missed spin classes because they were really slimming me down and I had JUST GOTTEN spin shoes for Christmas to make it more enjoyable and increase my results from the work-out. Sigh, that was a disappointing thing to stop doing. I missed the yoga class that the club offers too. They finally got a good teacher and it was a great workout. The plus side is that Micah was really happy I didn’t make him go to the kid’s club (he hates the childcare because there are actually other kids there), Reece liked though and so he keeps asking to go back. Well, a month and a half later I am no longer bummed about not having the membership. I decided to be proactive and organize an enrichment special interest group to meet at the church and do yoga one night a week. It has really taken off. I am loving teaching yoga and we have had a great girls night out experience where we bond while doing yoga and sweating rather than sitting around chatting or watching a movie or eating cookies at book club. It satisfies my need to work out and be around other smart women, I LOVE IT! After two weeks I realized one night a week was not enough for me and so we added another night. So now we meet one night at the church building, and one night at someone’s home and I have had between 4 and 8 people come each time and we always have fun. Most of the other women who have been coming have told me that they really love it too. I feel happy that I am getting meaningful exercise and that I am helping others get it too. And I am getting to know some women who I would not likely have gotten to know otherwise. Other wards have had ideas of starting up fitness groups too so one ward in our building is doing Jazzercise two mornings a week. This kids run around the back half of the gym and play with nursery toys while we do our thing in the front. I have been going and it hasn’t been too bad, but my kids are older now. It wouldn’t work if I had a baby or toddler… My baby is almost 3 (eek that happened fast!) and so he seems to be fine with it. Someone in our ward just got certified to teach Zumba and so she has been teaching our ward sisters one morning a week also for practice. In my opinion, Jazzercise is ok, but Zumba is totally the workout for me! It is like a salsa dance party minus the disco ball and it is super fun. I got one last hair-brained idea to teach some folk dances to some of the kids at Isaac’s school to perform at multicultural night which was last night. So I met with 7 kids twice a week and taught them some dances and folk dance techniques and had a fun workout with them. And they did great at the performance last night! They were not so coordinated at first, but after some work, they looked pretty good at the performance. I was so proud of them. And I was so happy that though I had to bribe Isaac to do it, he had fun. A ton of fun actually. I will make a folk dancer of him so someday! Ok, and I did one more thing for exercise. Because I already had learned a clog dance last year for the ward talent show, I decided to perform it in the multicultural night show too. My friend Bri was gracious enough to join me again and we did an awesome job and I did not even pass out at the end from exhaustion. So here is what I have done to make up for my lack of a club membership:

I didn’t even do that much when I did go to the club. And I have had a great time doing it. I have returned to some of my favorite activities from before kids and I have been pretty darn happy about it. I may ditch the membership and have fun doing it come May!

Posted by Ily on March 21, 2009 | Filed under: Family News | 1 comment

To TV or not to TV?

I babysat some sweet little boys today. Reece gets along with them well, but Micah not so much. Reece is more laid back and is pretty happy just about all the time to be with just about anybody. Micah does not like people in his space and is a bit more (read “alot more”) difficult to get to play with kids his own age. We have better luck with kids who aren’t his exact age at least.

Well the older brother Paco, who is the Mexican version of Micah-which is quite eerie, wants so badly to do the things that Micah does. Micah tells him about the video games he plays and you can just see Paco’s eyes light up and you can tell he wants to play too, or at least watch. His mother though is adamant about him not watching TV. Nor playing video games. Nor computer games. His mother has voiced concerns to me once about him not having so many friends and she has legitimate worries about that. He doesn’t play so much with the boys on the street. Which is really sad. As a mom, I feel bad that the boys, mine included, are excluding him, and when we do intervene and get the boys to include him Paco seems to not feel comfortable with them.

Now my wonder is this: Since his mom won’t let him do the same things, watch the same things, experience the same things as our boys, is she alienating him? Does the no TV stance have a direct correlation to Paco’s ability to make friends? Should she let him watch some PBS kids (in English) so he can know about the Clifford the Big Red dog and Ruff Ruffman just like my kids so that they can interact more easily together? He could listen to the language more too since his mother only speaks Spanish in the home. Would it help him fit in more with the other kids?

A parallel issue is that Micah often doesn’t like it when Paco comes over because Paco’s mother won’t let him watch TV and Micah knows I will try to keep the tv off and that bugs him. In my defense, I do try to limit the tv during the day, but they do sometimes get to watch here and there and when they earn enough tokens they are supposed to be able to cash them in for whatever they want on our list of things tokens can buy (TV is on there, and so is Wii, and so are video games as well as other stuff). Earning 25 tokens for Wii takes a while and Micah finished earning them this morning and he really wanted to play Wii and got mad because I couldn’t let him cash in due to Paco and his brother being here. And one of the whole points of us having this token reward system is that we as parents set how the boys earn tokens, but they decide when they can spend them (within reason of course- like no cashing in right before bed time to go to bed later). This way they feel they have some control also over their activities and it isn’t just mom or dad dictating yes or no about everything.

So is TV good or bad? I think in moderation, it is a good thing. I sometimes wish we didn’t have a TV. But the boys do enjoy it and it does help us see what is going on in the rest of the world.

What are you thoughts? To TV or not TV?

Posted by Ily on March 20, 2009 | Filed under: Family News | 4 comments

The bill

We just got our first post cloth diapering water bill-and Bryan made me put this on the blog- and yes, our water bill was significantly higher. We get billed every two months for water. So our last bill was in December and it was $49 for two months of service. This one reflects a 9% rate increase as of January 1, 2009. It was $94 which is much more of an increase than 9%. So on average that is $25 more each month than in the last cycle. So this is what washing diapers has done… or is it?

We did not take many showers at home in December because our water heater died and so the bulk of our bathing took place at the fitness club. That was 2 weeks worth of showers that didn’t normally happen in that billing cycle. We ate out a lot too because I didn’t want to heat water for dish washing so that could have been a factor too. So those factors could have made our bill much lower than normal that cycle.

The 2 month period before that the bill was $70 which could likely be a more comparable number. At any rate, I am not giving up on cloth diapers yet.

Posted by Ily on March 4, 2009 | Filed under: Family News | 3 comments

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