Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We've Moved!

Hello My Dear Readers,

I have officially changed the address of this blog to growingourstory.blogspot.com. Please visit us there for the latest post! This current blog address won't be up much longer so be sure to remember the change!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

There Was An Old Woman Who Swallowed a Goat

There was an old woman
Who swallowed a goat
She opened her throat
And in walked the goat
Perhaps she'll die
Lyrics from "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly"

I am the old woman. I am trying to swallow the fact that Sean wants to buy a goat. That's right. A goat.

"Just think," he says, "it will graze in our yard so we won't have to mow the lawn!"

At first he wanted chickens. Lately we have heard of a lot of people who raise chickens. But I think chickens are gross with their nasty, freakish legs and beady little eyes. They are one animal that I just don't like. And besides, I don't really want to raise chickens.

"But we will learn to be self sufficient with our chickens and their eggs," says Sean.
I say, "No way."
So he says, "Well let's get a pygmy goat."
"What, are we learning to be self sufficient by drinking goat milk?"
"Well, we would know how to care for them if we needed something like that. And they will mow our lawn and then Loucee (yes I changed we spell our dog's name) will have a friend."

A goat, people. A goat. Help.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We drink Alotta Milk

I have a confession. I didn't make this idea up myself. I got it from a magazine. Here is the deal (as She-She always says).

First I spent a few weeks saving milk jug lids. Like I said-we drink alotta milk. If you buy milk from Walmart you will be able to figure out what kind two kinds of milk we drink. Then I traced 'em, labled 'em, and made this nifty matching game. If I'm in a really good mood, I put pennies in the turned over lids. She-She and I take turns and for every turn she takes, she keeps the penny. At the end of the game, she gets to go to the "store" and buy some m&ms or something small. I make her count the pennies and treats so she gets even more learning.

Even though she knows her alphabet it is good practice. I still collect lids so the next game I make will be matching small words on the lids to the pictures on the paper. I love it when I feel like a good mom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Guess Who

I came across this picture the other day and it reminded me of the pictures I had just taken of She-She.
I bet you can't guess who is in that first picture. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Farm Country

First a picture of my little boy. Here he is playing in the dirt...and eating it. But boy is he cute.

A few weeks ago we took an outing to Thanksgiving Point: Farm Country. Thanksgiving point is a fabulous park with several different things for entertainment. Last year we made it to the gardens. They are amazing. There are paths all over acres of landscaped lawns and gardens. There is even a "secret garden" which was everything I would want it to be. It was small, hidden, quaint, but fascinating.
The other gardens/areas are filled with fountains, ponds, and even a huge waterfall. I think it is the largest man made waterfall or something like that. The gardens remind me of reading Pride and Prejudice when they describe Mr. Darcy's estate covered with gardens. Visiting the gardens inspired me to someday own a lot of land and have my own gardens, including a secret one, of course.
But, the Thanksgiving Point Gardens are not the actual subject of this post. Neither is the Thanksgiving Point dinosaur museum (which we have yet to visit). Or some of the other attractions at Thanksgiving Point. The subject is Thanksgiving Point:Farm Country.
Farm Country is like visiting a petting zoo/state fair livestock exibit/farm, but with the best of each. First it is outdoors so you don't get so much of the stinky state fair smell. It also has all of the important farm animals so the best of the farm life. And, you can touch and feed the animals like a petting zoo.
For $10 our whole family got in, had a wagon ride, and She-She had a pony ride. The kids loved it. It was small enough to see everything but big enough to be exciting. Check it out...
She-She and Bigdog looking at the sheep.

The wagon ride. I am hiding behind a post, wearing a red shirt, holding Bigdog. She-She is wearing a pink hat, sitting in the middle. Then those nice ladies next to me had an extra ticket (you get a few free tickets upon entering the park) and offered one to Sean so he could hop on with us. Wasn't that nice?

Here are the horses pulling us.

She-She named her pony Jandyla.

Bigdog feeding a cow. Moo.

She-She feeding a...a...something.
She-She milking a fake cow.

She-She milking a real cow. With my help. Nice view, huh?
Bigdog loves animals and is known to cry when we tear him away from them. While leaving Farm Country he had an all out fit. He couldn't get enough of the animals and ran from one pen to the next giggling the whole time. She-She had a million questions to ask and took her time observing each animal and talking to them like they were her friends. It was tons of fun and we are definitely heading back soon.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Newest Developments

Dear Readers,

I just want you to know today is April 29. APRIL 29. I woke up and there was snow on the ground. The sky has been spitting snow all morning. Winter is plowing over spring and before you know it I will be shoveling snow from our driveway in June. HELP!

To get the other bad news out of the way, today two different toilets in my house overflowed. If that isn't gross enough, one leaked down through the ceiling and dripped out of our ceiling fan downstairs. I'm not sure what I miss more, only having one toilet or having an apartment manager to call and fix all of my woes.

Here is where the real post starts. I complain about the cold but there has been a few warm days this spring. That means we spend the afternoon outside digging in the dirt (Bigdog) and swinging on the swingset (She-She). The best part is that She-She has learned to pump! So if I get her started she can go for hours.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pushing the Limits

(wrestling with Dad)
Our latest concern with Bigdog is that he tends to be an aggressive little fellow. He likes to tackle, doggy pile, push, throw, pull, kick, and squeeze. His two favorites are pushing and throwing.

Anything that Bigdog gets in his little paws will eventually be thrown. He doesn't give things to you, he throws them at your face. To engage someone else in play he picks up a toy and chucks it at their head.
For Bigdog, pushing is also way to play. He is trying to get your attention and get you to wrestle him. Sean responds and they have a great time shoving each other and rolling around on the floor. Unfortunately other one-year-olds don't appreciate being pushed down every two minutes.
(Giving hugs)
I'm trying to fix these problems. I have been practicing a little game where we HAND toys GENTLY back and forth. For pushing I tell Bigdog to be gentle and give a hug or a high five. He thinks these are two great alternatives. Except that high fives can easily be perceived as hitting. Plus, when Bigdog gives a hug he proceeds to push the person down AFTERWARDS.

What's a mom to do?

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Magic of...

Here is my new discovery, two words, Tic Tacs. There is something magical about these small little breath fresheners that calm my kids down. They like the orange flavor the best. I confess to keeping a pack in the car, in my purse, and at our house at all times. Here is why.

Scenario 1:

(Scary Foreboding music) We are at Walmart. Our 45 minute shopping trip is coming to an end. I am unloading groceries at the check out line and Bigdog wants to be held. She-She is getting hungry for lunch. There is about to be some major screaming from both. Out come the tic tacs.(Music escalates into a a hopeful and even triumphant sound) I pop one or two in each childs mouth. They say in unison,"What is this small morsel inside my mouth? I will sit here quietly and savor the taste." Problem solved. I finish the shopping trip successfully with out disaster.

Scenario 2:

(Dramatic music) I am changing Bigdog's fourth poopy diaper of the day. He has a diaper rash. He fights to get away as he screams and thrashes around on the floor. I pop a tic tac in his mouth. (Peaceful music). He imediately says, "What is this small morsel inside my mouth? I will lay here quietly and savor the taste." I am able to put ointment on and quickly finish the diaper change.

Plus, they make a great rattle!

Generally I use tic tacs when we are in the car or at a store and there is about to be a melt down. I feel a little guilty for making my kids dependent on candy, but can you even call it that? Tic Tacs are like a half calorie each and technically breath fresheners. Maybe I should just teach my kids to behave or self-soothe somehow, but for now, tic tacs are my best friend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Messy Post

This is my boy. He is a BOY. At least, that is what I blame all of his destructive bahavior on. It is an amazing thing. He has a talent for turning our house into a disaster area. I feel like I spend 50% of my day following after him and picking up the messes he makes. Bigdog doesn't like to play with toys. Instead he likes to EXPLORE. If there is a toy, he tries to take it apart or throw it to see what happens. If there aren't any toys to throw, he goes around the house to find other things that are interesting. Here are some of his favorite pastimes. He gets around to most of these at least once a day. Some activites he enjoys multiple times daily.

*Throwning things away in garbage (toys, hot pads, letters from the fridge, books, stuffed animals)
*Emptying ALL the ziplocks from the box
*Dumping toy baskets
*Pulling all of the books out of BOTH book shelves
*Pulling all of the clothes out of the drawers he can reach
*Getting into the pantry and dumping rice all over floor
*Pulling papers out of filing drawers
*Eating crayons
*Coloring with markers (not on paper)
*Pulling bibs out of drawers
*Throwing food on the floor when he eats
*Shaking sippy cups to leak milk everywhere
*Tipping my decorative plant over pulling it apart

I try to prevent these messes as much as I can. I don't put locks on EVERYTHING for fear that our house might look like a psych ward. I try to think ahead of Bigdog by putting the plant on the counter or stacking clothes on the dresser instead of in the drawers. But sometimes there is nothing I can do. For example, the ziplocks are in a drawer that is locked, but Bigdog can pull the drawer out 1/4 of an inch and slip his little fingers in to dig out the ziplocks. And there is the fact that Gracie might leave a cup or markers out and he gets to it before I do.

Today before 10:00 he had thrown all of the bibs on the floor, thrown some toys in the garbage, eaten Sean's chapstic, eaten some crayons, there was close call with some markers but I caught that one soon enough, pooped twice (I know it doesn't count, but still), dumped both baskets of toys, and gotten to my plant again. Maybe the problem here is that I'm not learning and I need to just stack everything on the counters. Kitchen chairs, plants, garbage, toys, and lock every single drawer in our whole house.

Hoy vey.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This morning Sean showed me this article that composed the Travel section of our Sunday newspaper. All of the sudden I got a little sentimental. Lets talk about this.

I lived in Tucson for seven years. From the time I graduated high school until we moved up here. When I first moved there for college, I was not impressed. Honestly I don't consider Tucson the most beautiful city. I take that back. The scenery is unique and amazing, especially if you can get into desert landscape. It is surrounded by five tumbling mountain ranges decorated with towering saguaro cacti, along with other strange plants that tend to be prickly.

The city itself tends to be run down. I guess this is what you would expect from a town established in 1775. Its old, but it has character.

I had my complaints about Tucson. It was HOT (I almost miss it), there weren't sidewalks ANYWHERE. There was a serious drainage problem. I know its the desert but in monsoon season everytime it rained, it flooded. Not to mention the cars being swept away in washes that snaked through the city. And our cars were broken into FIVE times while we lived there.

But Tucson also had its good points. There were amazing places such as Mount Lemmon and Sabino Canyon. I liked the delicious mexican food. Its kind of a quirky liberal town in the conservative state of Arizona. Like I said, it has personality.

I guess the real reason I miss Tucson isn't because I loved the city itself. I loved the life we had there. Its where I met Sean. Its where we dated, and lived as newlyweds. We graduated college there and started our family. We were comfortable there and had our special little places that we called our own. We made wonderful friends and memories there. So I miss it. *sigh*

But here we are now. Spring is finally here and green is peeking through everywhere we look. We can play outside and enjoy the fantastic mountains. We have a good life here, too. So I will probably miss it when we move in a few years. Such is life.

Here are a few random facts about Arizona-

*Arizona has more parks and national monuments than any other state, more mountains than Switzerland, and more golf courses than Scotland

*Tucson is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the United States. Natives began farming here nearly 3000 years ago.

*Arizona stays on mountain standard time ALL YEAR ROUND. No daylight savings time. When I first moved there I thought it was weird. Then I got used to it and thought daylight savings was weird. Then we trudged through a cold dark winter in Utah and I was SO grateful when daylight savings came. After a long winter it totally makes sense.

(This is actually my own picture. It actually snowed in Tucson one time.)

*The age of a saguaro cactus, largest species of cactus in the world, is determined by its height.

*Official Neckwear: Bola Tie. It originated in Arizona and is usually made by silversmiths and leather makers in almost every size and shape, most often with silver and turquoise.