Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let the education begin!

We started kindergarten today! I really can't believe we made it to this moment. Some days have seemed endless, but the time as a whole has gone by in the blink of an eye. The end of summer has been filled with so much change for Luc. He is really reading well, his math skills are great, he learned to swing by himself and he lost his first tooth yesterday. He talks on the phone to grandma with ease and enjoys talking about his day. He is teasing his sister a bit less and is a great helper when it is time to clean up.

This morning I was well prepared and there was no rushing -- I'm sure this will not be the norm. I must say that living within a 7 minute walk from school is awesome. I just popped Amanda in the stroller, loaded Luc with his backpack and lunchbox and off we went. No fighting for parking or picking up toys that fall from the car when the door is opened.

We met his teacher yesterday at a little kindergarten orientation and I really like her. She has taught many of the neighbors over her 30 years as a teacher and I have only heard good things.
There were no tears, but I was nervous for Luc. Would he pay attention, would he remember to use the bathroom, would he make any friends? He had a good time, but he said it was a long day.
I'm excited about this new phase in our lives. Things are changing fast and I hope I can keep up.

Oh... we got to see his teacher scoop ice-cream this evening. There was a fundraiser at Cold Stone Creamery and the teachers were working behind the counter. Luc thought it was so cool that his teacher prepared his cotton-candy flavored ice-cream with m&m's mixed in (ew!). Phil and I got a chance to speak with her for quite a while and that was very cool. I'm now stuffed with ice-cream and have lunches to make and a backpack to fill. C-ya!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama Veep

Well, I signed up to be notified of Obama's veep choice, but it appears that there is a leak and it looks like Biden may be the choice. I am a bit annoyed that there was so much hype about the whole text message/email thing and then this gets leaked, but perhaps it's just a bait and switch.

In any case, I am truly disappointed that my pal Hillary isn't the pick. That would make me feel a lot better about voting for the dems -- not that it matters here in Cali. I won't vote for McCain, but I haven't decided 100% about Obama. Again, it doesn't matter much here, so I guess I would feel comfortable writing in Mickey Mouse. I'm not blown away by Obama, unlike some folks I talk with. I don't know, perhaps the last 8 years have left me permanently cynical. I don't trust any of the bs that politicians spew. And Biden... Biden's been in the Senate since before I was born! He's a pro politician.

I'm truly depressed by the whole economic and social situation of this country. Hell, not just this country, but the whole world. And after tomorrow I won't even have my beloved Olympics to divert my attention. The Olympics have been like a pacifier to me this past two weeks. Phil and I have enjoyed spending the evenings watching amazing athletes. We watch sports we wouldn't normally watch and we talk about it all with our kids. It's been such a wonderful distraction. I wish it could go on forever. I've let all my normal nightly rituals slide, although I did finish Crime and Punishment. If you haven't read it, you really should. Talk about misery. That may be another reason why I haven't felt so depressed about my own state of affairs... I'm not penniless, dying of consumption, with 3 young children who may be cast out on the street, and that's just a side-story. But really, it's a good read.

So, now I need a new book recommendation. Anyone...? I seem to be stuck on classics lately, but I would love a really great contemporary novel. If you have a recommendation, bring it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The dogs are getting to me

The dog population in our house temporarily doubled last week when my mom left for Maryland and left us with her Daisy. Daisy is a sweet dog. She gets along well with Ruby -- they love to wrestle and play fetch. However, they love me more than I like. Yes, I feed them, clean up after them and give them a pat now and then, but I don't expect their devotion in return. Yet they give it to me... more than I want. The pair is constantly trailing behind me where ever I go. If I go to get a glass of water, there they are. If I am working at my desk, there they are, sitting too close for my comfort. They stand behind me when I wash the dishes, they scratch the door when I take a shower. They climb on the bed when I go to sleep (Daisy, because of her size, gets booted to the dog bed on the floor). I can take the extra fur all over my house, the poop, the roughhousing, but I just can't abide the unconditional canine love.

Only 1 week to go for now, but in September Mom is off to Ireland and we'll again be watching Daisy. I wish mom was not such a jet setter.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Right now my husband is trippin' out my non-mathematic, non-scientific mind. My brain is trying wrap it's feeble self around the fact that once a month the dark side of the moon sees a "full earth". When it's a full moon for the earth, it is a "new earth" for the dark side of the moon. When it is a new moon for us, it is a "full earth" for the dark side. The bright side of the moon, which we see, never actually sees the earth. Is that crazy? I can't quite grasp it, which is why, without modern thinkers, I'd just be some hairy man person jumping around every time I saw a shooting star thinking the world was going to end. The whole time that Phil was explaining this moon thing to me, my brain just kept on repeating, "on the dark side, oh yeah. On the dark side, oh yeah." You know you love it!

In other news, Phil took Luc to see the Clone Wars today. Luc loved it. Amanda and I did some girlie things. Phil and I mowed and edged and then tried to clean up the weeds on our side yard. This part of the house is the biggest thorn in our sides. It gets sun all day long and anything we try to grow there just gets cooked. If we had a few extra ducats around it would be the perfect place to build a deck and put our bbq. I'll have to post some pics so you can see the mess. We've spent money putting wood chips there (splinters for the kids) and then we tried grass seed to no avail. I've tried growing veggies, but everything just shrivels up. I wish it was easy to put down cement, because then I'd just pour a bunch down and be done with it. Anyway, we weedwhacked the weeds -- they were taller than my son.
If we do end up selling this place, we have to come up with some solution for this area. It's really such a waste of our large yard.

We're still on loose-tooth watch right now.

Oh, big news! Lucas can now swing by himself. This was a big deal. We've been working on it for a while, but it's one of those things that just needs to "click". Well, the other day it clicked and now Luc can swing all by himself... he doesn't even need a starting push. So, for the first day of Kindergarten, he will be able to tie his own shoes and swing by himself. We just have to work on riding the bike without training wheels and we'll be set! He is getting so freakin big!

Big news for Amanda isn't great. She's got a problem with her Achilles tendon -- it's too short. She cannot walk on her full foot, but instead walks like a ballerina. Our Ped. confirmed our suspicions and we have an appt. with an orthopod in 2 weeks and they will most likely fit her with braces to be worn for about 6 months. Phil is doing stretching with her, but it is a bummer.

What have you been up to?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Movie review and I'm just a grownup

Phil and I had spent a nice evening at the movies. We went to see The Dark Knight and it was great. The acting was better than the plot, something you don't expect from a comic book movie. All of the lead actors did a superb job and the movie was definitely worth the $20+ spent.
Wait, it wasn't 20, it was about $56, including the babysitter.

Babysitter.... this is the second time we've left the kids with a non-relative sitter and I think it went well. They were asleep when we came home, so we'll find out more in the morning. The sitter is our next-door neighbor. She is 13, sweet and her parents need to watch out because she is gorgeous. Anyway, the babysitter makes me feel really old. I can still remember being a babysitter, I can remember being that age (although I never looked like her!). I still feel young so I try to converse with the young like I am one of them. Except, I am not, and they make it very obvious by their one word responses to inquiries. My husband I and tried to talk with her about the movie and other pleasantries, but she didn't bite. The girl would not converse with us. She wanted to take the money and run from these oldies. Damn! I have turned into the parents that used to pay me when I would watch their little ones. I must say that I hate it. I just want to scream, "I'm cool, I really am!"

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Are we hanging on by a thread?

I went to the pharmacy today to pick up my crazy pills and I totally got freaked out. I was waiting for the pharmacy guy to find my medicine and I suddenly realized how much medicine is there. Then I turned around and saw the long line of poor souls waiting for their meds. There were bottles of all different colors and sizes. Bags and bags with names of my neighbors, just waiting to be picked up.
I mean, it was seriously frightening.
This is just one little pharmacy in my small city. While I was waiting in line, there were thousands and thousands of other people waiting all around the country for their medicine.
Sure, some folks are just there for their ambien, but there are others, like my husband, who need their medicine to live -- they would die within days without it.
It made me think that we are somewhat feeble.
I say this, as I take my crazy pill. Without it I might live, but what kind of life would it be?

Monday, August 04, 2008

The tooth is loose and I love Golden Spoon

The first loose tooth has been spotted in the Crouse Haus!!! The little man is almost as excited as I am. Well, I should say that he is totally jazzed while I have a lot of jazzy feelings mixed with bittersweet sentiments about my oldest passing this milestone.
How can he already be 5 1/2? How did the years pass in an absolute blink and I'm now getting ready to send him to kindergarten -- minus one tooth?
He told me the tooth was loose last week, but I couldn't feel it. Maybe I didn't want to. Tonight he said, "Mommy, my tooth is really loose now!" I took one look at his smile and could see that crooked tooth barely hanging on. I gave it a little wiggle and my stomach did flips.
He jumped up and down and said, "The tooth fairy is coming, the tooth fairy is coming!"
Then he got very serious and said, "Mommy, is there really, really a tooth fairy?" I paused for a half a second and then I lied to my dear son. "Yes, Lucas, there really is a tooth fairy."
I did have to break it to him that, no, the tooth fairy doesn't bring dollar bills, but she might be bringing quarters these days -- I got dimes.

If you happen to live near a nifty little yogurt shop called Golden Spoon, I highly recommend you stop in and pick up a cold treat. I just discovered this place over the weekend and all I can say is "yummy!" It brings me back to my teenage days when there was a yogurt store on every corner. They suddenly shut down when all the hype about carbs and cutting out sugar became the rage. Well, yogurt is back and it's not your grandma's yogurt. It is low fat or fat free and low carb. The mini -- plenty for most folks -- only contains 68 calories and 15 carbs! I had mine with tasty fresh raspberries. The other bonus... it costs quite a bit less than your high fat Cold Stone type ice creams. The ingredient list doesn't look too scary, so I think it must be that there is a lot of air or something in there, because man, it tastes great and on hot days -- as we are likely to have for the next 3 months -- it goes down smooth!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Get to me via, can't believe I never posted this and some notes

You can now get to my site by typing in Simple dimple!

When we took our vacation last month we passed through the quiet little town of Spreckles, CA. Right as we were leaving the town, we saw this guy:

Does that picture look suggestive to you?
These weird giant wood people were everywhere. We also spotted quite a few in Monterey.

In other news, the sleep deprivation in the Crouse Haus continues. The kids are now nightly trying to join our bed in the wee hours. Amanda has had a few accidents lately and when Luc awakens and sees his sister isn't in the room, he ultimately finds us cramped in our bed. I usually end up walking Luc back to his room and then sleeping with him. It has gotten a bit out of hand and I can't seem to correct it. They go to sleep just fine, but they keep waking up and wandering into our room. We tried a sleep chart (stay in your room until 7 a.m.) and that worked the first time, but once the chart was done, the old sleep habits came back. Our second attempt at a sleep chart has failed.
I'm OK on 5 or 6 hours sleep -- not at my best, but not too bad. Phil, on the other hand, is a complete bear if he doesn't get at least 7 uninterrupted hours. The option of me just sleeping in the other room with the kids wouldn't work either (not that I'd want to do that) because he doesn't sleep well if I'm not there:)

Our dryer has decided to die for good. We are now looking at used dryers. It's been almost 3 weeks of drying clothes outside, but I can't keep it up. Sure, if I didn't have a job, maybe that would work, but I can only really get one load hung up and taken down per day because I have lots of other shit to do. I located a dryer on Craigslist advertised for $100. I was totally ready to pay the full amount (I almost never haggle, I don't know how) but when my husband went to look at it, the kind folks said they would only take $75. My wonderful sis-in-law is going to loan us our truck tomorrow so that we can pick it up.

Swim lessons are going well. Amanda still won't dunk her head, but we're making progress. Lucas is doing amazingly well. He is starting to get some real strokes in there between the dog paddling. The breathing thing is tough to get, but we still have 3 more weeks of lessons. Then I just have to hit the lottery so we can build a pool!

I have to warn you against a movie. If you haven't seen it yet, don't waste your time on Cloverfield. If I was in my early 20's I might have enjoyed it more, but at 34, it was a complete waste of my time. Phil and I just put our dvd player in our bedroom -- his brother gave him a ps3 for his b-day, so that works as a dvd player in the family room now. Last night I was dog tired so I suggested watching the movie in the back. After it was over -- and I still can't believe I let myself watch the whole thing -- I was left thinking, "I gave up writing my nightly 1000 words for this?" I've been trying to stick to a schedule of writing 1000 words every single night. Sometimes those words are meant for my book, other times they just end up being any random thing. But the point is for me to do it, to keep that muscle working and hopefully every so often a gem will pop out. I'm also reading Crime and Punishment for the first time. I have to say that I am surprised that I love it. The Russian names are a bear but I am thoroughly enjoying it and find myself trying to get through my nightly 1000 words so that I have time to read.
Where was I.... oh yes, don't rent Cloverfield. Instead, write 1000 words and then read Crime and Punishment.