February 22, 2007

Further Lockups (0 Comments)

Filed under: Life — The Spider Herself @ 7:30 pm

I went to put away some sheets in “Grandpa and Grandma’s” room, a.k.a. the guest room when I was stymied by a locked door. Seems the mysterious Locker got to that door too. Brett had told me how he unlocked “Henry” and I was able to get this door open without too much trouble.

Then I decided that we should go out and enjoy the snow. I went to go get winter weather items from the Junk Room but, you guessed it, the door was locked. The problem here is that for some unknown reason this interior door has a keyed lock. I think it was because the people who lived here before had teenagers and must have allowed them to have locks with keys on their doors. Personally, I think this is a totally asinine idea but they didn’t ask me. We have never changed them, only turning the lock on Hans’ door around so that he wouldn’t be able to lock himself in and then not get out. This still means someone on the outside can (and will) lock him in but it is an easy fix. We don’t have a key for the doors, the house key will not work. So the door remains locked. At least it’s not the bathroom again and there are not vital thinks stored in there.

We did go out in the snow. Hans and I had fun making a snow man and having a snow ball fight. Kirsten didn’t complain about the “crunchy” snow and managed to find some joy out there. Talia, on the other hand, thought the whole thing was a waste of time and told me at the top of her high pitched lungs. There’s always one. I think she was tired because she hasn’t been napping. She did get some sleep this afternoon which seems to have helped her outlook.

Weather (1 Comment)

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Spider Herself @ 8:30 am

Saturday was a beautiful day here. It was sunny and warm. It got up to 69 degrees! It made one think spring was coming.

Today? It’s snowing and hovering around 32 degrees! It’s been coming down pretty steady for the last hour and a half and there is a skiff on the ground.

I guess winter is still with us.

February 21, 2007

Bathroom Blues (3 Comments)

Filed under: Life — The Spider Herself @ 2:28 pm

KJ has discovered locks on doors. This hasn’t been a problem….until today. She must have turned the lock on “Henry”- the name for the bathroom by the kid’s rooms- then was able to get out but then the door was shut again with no one in there. And now it’s locked tight. So we have all be using the master bathroom. This was fine….until the toilet became plugged. It’s very easy to do in our low flow, cheap toilets. The plunger is in Henry. Quite the quandary. If I was mechanically inclined, I would try to stick something in the hole in the knob to unlock Henry but I think I’ll just wait until The Col. gets home. Hope he’s not too late tonight.

Brute Strikes Again! (1 Comment)

Filed under: Life — The Spider Herself @ 2:27 pm

Hans had three teeth loose. The two upper ones, with the adult tooth coming in behind pushing out the baby teeth and one on the bottom, just left of center. He has troubles eating, he has to work around the loose ones. He has to stick the food in the side of his mouth and gnaw it off.

After supper, the kids got their usual burst of energy and were racing through the house. Hans and Talia started to wrestle on the floor. As Hans tried to  disentangle himself from her steely grip, he yelled “I’ve lost a tooth!”   The Little Brute had knocked out her big brother’s tooth!

Hans was excited and danced all over. It was the lower one, the first of his teeth to come out without an adult tooth growing behind it. He felt that it meant he was getting older. Brett explained that there were still lots of teeth to go! It’s the fourth one he has lost.

Talia was a little concerned about her teeth for awhile. She kept feeling them until I explained that hers would stay in there until she was big like Hans.

February 20, 2007

What’s been happening? (3 Comments)

Filed under: HP,KJ,Life,Personalities,TG — The Spider Herself @ 4:09 pm

I know that it is boring to check a blog multiple times to find the same entries starting at you. I will try to update more often. Now that I actually have a blog, I find I have a bit of writers block. The reality of finding something interesting to write about on an almost daily basis can be overwhelming. The kids don’t do THAT many funny things. From the overwhelming number of comments being left, I can tell that everyone thinks what I write is fascinating. Come on now, don’t be shy! A little (positive) feed back is helpful.

My parents came for a visit this weekend. They normally come on Friday afternoon and stay until Sunday, leaving when we go to church. It’s about a 200 mile drive, all freeway (dull). After they got here Brett pointed out that Monday was a holiday (for him anyway) and that they could stay longer. I wasn’t sure that they would want to do that but they did! A quick call to the neighbor taking care of the animals and it was all set. The kids enjoyed having the Grandparents around for a bit longer, we had some good conversations and Mom got to play lots of card games on the computer. I guess everyone had a good time.

Although Dad did have to go to church… for the record, the building is still standing. It’s always a mystery as to how things will go with the service since we don’t have a pastor and get by with fill in speakers. This speaker was one I hadn’t heard before but did a fairly good job. I think he used quite a few “Christian” words that may not have meaning for others.

Talia is the best “pee-pee” dancer! The other two didn’t do that too much but Talia does it anytime, anywhere. She even can “dance” when she is sitting down! I do the dumb thing of asking her if she has to go, to which she usually answers “No!” I watch her for another two seconds and then escort her to the bathroom. As we have noted before, when you have a bladder the size of a walnut and have to go when it’s half full- it’s a pretty frequent event.

Kirsten shouts, as they run through the house: “We are the fighting shoulders!” Personally, I am glad that my shoulders are not fighting.

Hans’ adult front tooth is coming in behind the baby tooth. It is causing both front baby teeth to point out- like buck teeth. The baby teeth are shifting around some causing a gap on one side. We keep encouraging Hans to wiggle them so they will come out but so far no luck. Every time this happens, I think- this is the time we’ll have to go get them pulled but so far that hasn’t happened.

My good friend, Boo Boo, sent a link to the most interesting article. A must read for parents! We think we are doing a good thing to build up our kids’ self esteem by telling them they are smart…. think again! There have been actual studies done on this and the information is in the article.

The boys (Brett and Hans) had their ears lowered. It was really needed as their ears were getting pretty high on their heads and they looked pretty shabby.

February 7, 2007

Bully or Brute (2 Comments)

Filed under: HP,KJ,Personalities,TG — The Spider Herself @ 3:55 pm

It’s amazing how kids, with the same parents, can be so different.

Hans being the first born, didn’t have other kids around much to take away his toys. There were occasions when there would be other kids in the nursery at church, and kids being kids, eventually someone would take a toy away from Hans. I remember seeing the most surprised look on his face and he’d just stand there. Then he’d go find something else to play with, if an adult didn’t step in and make the other kid give it back.

Kirsten had an older sibling to take things away but it didn’t happen much because Hans was 2 ½ years older, and a boy, and not interested in what she was playing with. If other kids took things away from her she may have hit but most likely she would have whined- which is an ongoing condition with her.

Then along came Talia, just 18 ½ months after her older sister. If something is taken away from her she doesn’t look surprised, she doesn’t whine, no, my little Sunshine will track them down and beat the snot out of them.

This is a dilemma because she likes many of the things her sister is playing with, so instead of being the kid that something is being taken away FROM , she is the kid doing the taking. If she doesn’t get what she wants then she shrieks in that shrill voice of hers and if that doesn’t intimidate then she resorts to physical violence.

The other day, I was trying to read something on the computer when the most awful shrieking penetrated my consciousness. I looked over to see Kirsten curled up in a ball on the floor with Talia on top of her beating on her with a toy cleaning brush, both of them screaming. Talia had wanted something that there was one of, and Kirsten wasn’t about to let her have it. Then Talia, after being punished, wouldn’t listen to advice to find something similar to play with, and kept voicing and showing her displeasure. She spent time in her bed where she could think about the error of her ways. Yeah, right. At least I could close the door on the noise.

The girls weigh about the same, and since Talia is shorter she has a little more force behind her. And she is not afraid to use it. I’ve seen her take Hans down. He towers over her and out weights her by 20 pounds but I have seen her grab him by the legs and throw him to the ground. Bully and Brute are often used in the same sentence with the name Talia.

With each kid, we have attempted to find the discipline technique that works best for their personalities. I found an effective discipline to use for Hans was to take away one of his favorite toys of the moment, either a train or a plane. At times, I had quite a fleet of planes on top of the refrigerator. That hasn’t worked with Kirsten because she hasn’t attached to the toys, but two things that do seem to work is isolating her and taking away reading time. I seem to be able to work around her obstinacy by giving her choices. Sometimes the choice is “you do it or I will do it for you”; she doesn’t like that. Now, Talia will be another challenge to find her “trigger.” So far, she hasn’t attached much to toys, although she loves books. If she gets upset there is just no talking to her. I guess we’ll just have to keep exploring possibilities as we go along.

Ah, the journeys we take. And they say the journey is the best part. I doubt they meant the Journey to the Best Way to Discipline Your Child. There are so many different roads to take, so many different opinions and if the wrong path is chosen you could end up with a real bully and a brute.

Ineptness (0 Comments)

Filed under: In the Kitchen — The Spider Herself @ 3:08 pm

I knew there was something more I wanted to say about making the Arroz con pollo but it was swallowed up in a black hole in my brain and wasn’t spit out until I had posted it. Old brains….

The recipe called for mincing garlic and then, using a rubber spatula, mash salt into it to make a paste. I have seen this done on TV before but the chefs used a mortar and pestle to mash the whole garlic with salt. I assume this recipe called for mincing first as a way to get around the use of the mortar and pestle as most home cooks don’t have that. I, unfortunately, choose to use a flimsy rubber spatula that would get caught on the side of the bowl and then flip back out sending salt-infused garlic all over the kitchen and me. Ah, eau d’garlic, what nice perfume!

Aren’t you glad you don’t have to clean my kitchen?

February 3, 2007

Arroz con Pollo (1 Comment)

Filed under: In the Kitchen — The Spider Herself @ 10:01 am

I have been looking for a good Arroz con Pollo recipe but it seems that most I see are just chicken on top of Mexican rice. They seemed bland. Then I got a free issue of Cooks Illustrated, which is a pretty neat (and expensive) magazine. They go through the process they take to make a recipe better. There was a mention in there about an Arroz con Pollo recipe they did last fall. Of course, the recipe is no longer available online (except for Premium members). So I searched the web to see if anyone had posted it. I found one but the lady had altered it some to suit her tastes but the methodology was there and she pointed out what she had changed. I also found another Cuban recipe that did similar things. Last night I took the plunge and made it. I gave myself plenty of time, the recipe said it would take just over an hour but I figured it would take longer being the first time for me. Also, the girls were asleep so at least I didn’t have a brown head between me and the counter. (Kirsten has taken a great interest in what I am doing in the kitchen.) It took about an hour and a half- which made it done before Brett got home but it kept fine. I also cooked up some pinto beans, a really big batch and will freeze some of it. Added some onions, green pepper, garlic, cilantro and green chiles to some of the beans. Yum.

I had to please Mr. “Put Tapatio on Everything.” He doesn’t like bland- but at least he will try something now before he puts the sauce on, as that tends to upset the cook. Don’t want to upset the cooks, ya know- they tend to get huffy. But even he thought the Arroz con Pollo was good even without sauce on it! It made a huge batch. Next time I would like to try it with the medium grain rice (or Mexican rice) that the recipe recommends. I think it’s a keeper, AND I even wrote down what changes I made to the recipe as I went along. Wow, may even be able to recreate it! Wouldn’t that be something!

I also made some of my “Not Quite World Famous” Salsa. Which is gone already. It was really good.

Of course that causes another dilemma as we’ve been trying to lose weight and if it tastes good then we tend to overeat…. sigh.

February 2, 2007

Friday’s Roundup (2 Comments)

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Spider Herself @ 2:45 pm

Another week has zoomed by. Hans is excited because tomorrow is Saturday- partly because his Dad will be home and partly because he gets to watch cartoons (a lot of them).

Illness: It seems to be receding but is still here. Kirsten says she has a “funny, little voice”. It is rather squeaky. She is bothered by stuff in her throat and her nose is still runny. Talia is pretty chipper but has a runny nose also. Both girls are giving me no trouble at nap time- going right to sleep so you know they are tired. Hans is better but still some nose stuff. Brett is slowly improving also but has had trouble sleeping, partly due to a stuffy nose. I keep thinking that maybe I am getting something too but still am keeping it at bay. I am sleeping really soundly and quite a bit too.

Surprises in the mail! One was a fun “pic-a-nic” basket from my friend Boo Boo yesterday. A touching card and green Crocs (clogs). They have been quite comfortable for my picky feet so far. There are nubbies on the sole to massage the feet- feels really nice! Then today a nice long letter from our harvesting friends in Kansas. What fun to catch up on all of the goings on. Makes me feel like I am right there. It’s the little things in life that make it fun.

Walks: I got up the gumption to insist on a walk again today. The sun is shining! Yeah! Praise the Lord! It so helps the spirits when the sun is out. It shines in the windows and warms the house as well as my soul. It stated out pretty cold this morning but was up to 32 when we went out for the walk. There was a slight breeze but the sun felt so good. The kids didn’t fight too much about going out- I think the sunshine helped with that. We just walked down and back- didn’t do any extra because I think everyone is still not totally up to full energy. It felt nice!

Now on to the weekend!

February 1, 2007

Pixie? (2 Comments)

Filed under: KJ,Personalities — The Spider Herself @ 8:33 pm

When is a Pixie not a Pixie? When she is 5’10” tall.

Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary- Pixie or Pixy- n. a small, mischievous elf or fairy.

I gave Kirsten the nickname of Pixie when, for the first two years of her life, she hovered on the 50th percentile line on the growth chart. If that line was followed out to adulthood, she would have been 5’4″ tall. Hmmm. When we pointed this out to the Doctor, she looked at both of us and said “there is no way you two could have a 5’4″ child”. Not that I have anything against 5’4″, it just seemed odd. We harkened back to my Grandmothers to account for the “short” gene.

I had noticed of late, that Kirsten seemed to be shooting up and looked taller than other girls her age and I began to wonder….

I found a height predictor calculator on WebMd.com where you put in the mother’s and father’s height and also the child’s age, height and weight. Both the girls were coming up 5’9″ tall, which would be the median between Brett and me (slightly closer to me). But I had noticed with Hans that after the age of 4, it started to take into consideration how tall the child was at that point. Now that Pixie was 4, I entered the information in for her. It says she will now be 5’10” tall. I guess that is not “small” but the “mischievous ” part still fits. She may not be a “Pixie” to the rest of the world but she may be the Pixie of our children. I compared the girl’s hands yesterday and they are the same size. Her “little” sister may pass her up yet.