Sunday, September 28, 2008

Week of the Spiders

Both the South Coast Botanic Garden and the Natural History Museum had spider events. We hooked up with Z's friend Chloe and checked out the Spider Pavilion at Exposition Park. While we were there, we also visited the California Science center and the Air & Space Museum. Having a friend along can make learning fun.

Flying made slime
lovely spiders

At the botanic garden, the kids went to the botanic garden. We actually were there for twice. Once for spiders and once for mice. The kids get to do a craft and hear a story or two. Another of Z's friends attend the gardens lessons. Their parents work at REI, so after we go on a hike together. A fountain of knowledge, the daddy points out lots of cool things. I learn as much as I can, my ears wide open as he explains things to his girls and Z. Yup. More girls. What can I say?! Girls are cool.
sheet web
pretending to film

making spider web
viewing spiders
watering plants

old fashion water pump fun

gw = grey (or reclaimed) water

raccoon tracks
bubble fun
great road
sprinkler and frien
We also joined Patches for another day of tennis and one of soccer. You'd think with all this exercise I would have lost some weight. Oh well, there's still hope.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Z is sitting on the toilet and just thought he'd share with me (I guess in case I didn't know)...

"Mom, when I close my butt, the poop just lets go. Like a knife, it cuts."

The wheels are a turnin'!

I wonder what he would say if I told him about another little boy who thought there was a little man living in his butt with a pair of scissors.

(Kim, I do dares!)

Monday, September 22, 2008


I know I have been lax, so I'm going to make an effort to post at least a weekly update. If I don't, you have my permission to kick my big, flat butt.

I can hardly believe we've only been home 1 week. It seems much longer but in a very good way. It was a week of firsts and a week of discovery.

Saturday, the day after we got back, we went to daddy's working place for their open house. We stayed for a little bit and had some fun. Z and I went on the big slide. It was our first time. We each had a blanket and slid down. Whee! He rode a kiddie roller coaster and had some ice cream. The rest of the weekend was for relaxing, catching up on mail and shopping.

On Monday, we joined Patches and had a tennis lession. Z tended to "batter up" with the racquet. The coaches, Miss Suzanne and her husband did a great job with the kids. Z had some good hits and got some running in when they had relay games. He loves to vroom his engines!

Tuesday was a bit busy. I had an early doctor's appointment. Then I snuck in a trip to Joann's and found some containers for Z's toys. (We moved most of his toys up to his bedroom. His daddy wanted to reclaim the living room. I guess he got tired of stepping on cars and over train tracks. The bins I found are clear, stackable, and easy access.) Superkids gymnastic started again, so we headed off to class. Then we jetted home. I packed a lunch, and we had a picnic and some play time at the park. Next was Z's 5 year old appointment (mentioned briefly in the last post). Everything went well. Z is in the 20-25 percentile. I guess he has genes from my side of the family. I'm hoping he makes it over 5'6". If not, thank goodness he's got that great personality! The doctor just mentioned he needs to work on his one-legged balance. He got to a 8-9 count. They wanted him to get to 10. He does very well with the one-legged hopping, though.

Wednesday was just awesome! One of the Patches' parents arranged for the kids to do a rock climb at REI. The beginning was a bit rocky (sorry, I couldn't resist!). Z made it about half way up before throwing in the towel. The second time, he needed tons of encouragement. Everyone started cheering for him, chanting his name. This kid is hilarious. He told the kids "louder!" I'm glad I was filming that part. With a slight tug of the rope to help him over a difficult area, he was able to make it to the top to ring the bell. He was pretty stoked and eagerly did a few more climbs and lots of bell ringing! I even got a chance to climb! I have to admit, I think I did a great job myself for my first climb. You know I rang that bell!

On Thursday, we went to the South Coast Botanic Garden. They were having a kids session on spiders. The kids got to water the plants, getting the water from an "old" water pump. Then they had a craft making a spider web from string, paper plates, and a spider ring for the center. They also had storytime and got to hear 2 stories. The instructors had some cool spiders to show, and one egg sack had hatched so we saw lots of little spiderlings. Spider webs were also discussed, and we went web hunting. The kids also got to plant a spider plant to take home. After the class, we hooked up with another family from Patches and wandered around the gardens. I love hanging out with other parents. I get some good ideas by watching and listening.

Friday was a day for me to get some errands and housework done. We sent some photo discs to the grandparents and went to Costco. We did some laundry. Daddy had a successful day at work after a long week and 16 hours of overtime, so we celebrated dinner at the Lazy Dog Cafe. If you've never been there, I highly recommend a trip. The hummus trio is great. Daddy does not like hummus, but he loves this. Plus the pita they make is so yummy! You can't go wrong with their burgers. This place knows how to cook the meat so that it stays moist and retains the burger flavor, without getting overpowered by the other ingredients. I had the Bleu Cheese New York for the first time. Oh. My. God. D-e-lish! Hubby totally agreed. He had the Gaucho Flatiron Steak and thought mine was way better. It was.

Saturday, I had my first sewing class. Daddy had to go into work, so Z went with him. Z was very excited and dressed like daddy does to go to work. Jeans and a polo shirt. Unfortunately for daddy, daddy needs to concentrate and zone out. Daddy learned that it's nearly impossible to do so with a 5 year old in the room. hee hee. My class went okay. We started making a simple potholder that we made a bias for and had to hand sew. The only problem is the class might get cancelled. We may not have enough students for the class to continue. I'll find out later this week. I hate when my classes get cancelled. I seem to be interested in things that most people aren't. *sigh*

Sunday was laundry and more shopping. I also got to go to my knitting group and the after knitting dinner for one of the ladies. We went to the House of Vege. While the taste was good, some of the textures took some getting used to. Like cubed "chicken" had the consistency of tofu or fish cake. The best dishes were the lettuce cups and the eggplant. Maybe since they weren't trying to be something they weren't, know what I mean? Some of the guests were friends the birthday girl had from work, teachers. Listening to them chat made me so grateful I have the opportunity to homeschool. One of the knitters next to me said if she was pregnant, she'd talk to her husband about moving to avoid raising her kids here. School sounds like a scary place.

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll get some vacation photos up soon. Don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


At Z's 5 year old check up yesterday:

The doctor was listening to his lungs and had Z taking breaths.

The doctor says to Z that he is very good at breathing and asks if Z has been doing it often.

Z replies, "no, not too much."

*His appointment went well. He is in the 20-25 percentile. He is currently 41 inches tall and 38 pounds. Hearing and vision was fine. No anemia. And he even peed in a cup. Had 2 shots and no crying. The brave boy got a Wall-E sticker and a toy mama had stashed away at home for just the right moment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Where has the time gone?! Florida, of course!

We took a much needed and long overdue family vacation to Orlando. For 2 weeks, we were worry free (except for the threats of Hurricane Hanna and Hurricane Ike).

Going to a state that has seasons means SALE! I'm almost embarassed to say I bought socks and bras. No shoes. No bags. 90% was undies. It was too hard to resist Victoria's Secrets sports bras... $3.99 each! And I found a pair of Easy Spirit house slippers (lovely cushioning) for 50 cents! You know I'm all about the great deals!

But, that's not why we went to Florida, so back to the main topic. We used VRBO (vacation rentals by owner). It was our first time, and we were a bit nervous about not staying at a traditional hotel. We had a 2 bedroom condo at Vista Cay which was a few miles from Walt Disney World. Having a full kitchen was great. Plus, there was a grocery store (Publix) nearby that we frequented.

Z was in love... with "his room." There was a bunk bed and a twin bed. Plus a television with dvd player and a Playstation 2. No games, though, for which I am grateful! The room had a Disney "Cars" theme which was the icing on his cake. He had so much fun climbing to the top bunk (and coming down), but we made him sleep on the bottom. I did not want a trip to a Florida ER to add on my itinerary.

We went to Walt Disney World, Gatorland, Green Meadows, Universal Studios, and Busch Gardens. I would recommend the first three, especially if you have a young child. Of course, if your child is really into animals, then you may want to add Busch Gardens to the list.

Disney World has so much to offer the younger set. Rides they can ride! Z loved the Toy Story rides. He loves Toy story. We finally outgrew our fireman costume. It was our one and only costume and served us well for 3 years! This year Z will be Buzz Lightyear. "To infinity and beyond!"

Of the DW parks, Z enjoyed the Magic Kingdom the most. Although we went during "hurricane season", the weather was bearable and the crowds were down. The few times it actually rained made the temperature nice and cool, and my guys had a blast jumping in puddles and kicking water at each other. We stayed up 2 nights to see the "Wishes" fireworks display. By the end of the trip, I was getting kind of tired of DW. It reminded me of a Vegas casino. You know how you walk through one, and it's all lights and noise? That's DW. Loud. I had my fingers in my ears because I was getting overstimulated (and not in a good way).

Z also enjoyed DW Hollywood Studios. That was where the second Toy Story ride was located. And they had an awesome stunt car show! Z totally loved it! It was exciting and educational since they showed a few of their "movie tricks."

We also enjoyed Epcot. Z liked "the ball" which was a bit of a history tour of technology and communication. At the end, it had a cute personalized show with your faces in it and you could email a picture of yourself "in the future." We visited the other "countries", but the best part was eating at the Japanese restaurant. Mmmmm, real rice! Not cheap but totally worth it. I am now a fan of ponzu. Weird that I have never tried it before. We went twice! Outside was a booth selling shaved ice. We had that both times too. Passed on the funnel cakes.

Gatorland had a fun water area. We didn't know about it prior to going. If we had, we would have dressed appropriately. But, we couldn't resist. So we all got soaking wet. That was the best fun! Z did get to touch a year old gator, and we all tried gator nuggets and gator ribs. I'm not a convert. Gator is a bit tough, much like eating way over done chicken. The shows were cute, and you can ride a train around the area. There are some paths that take you into the swamp. I can't imagine living in a swamp. There is something so eerie about it. Although you have a wooden walkway, you are completely alone, surrounded by murky water, trees with spanish moss hanging from its limbs. Spooky.

Green Meadows is a petting farm. Located in Kissimmee, it's something us city folks enjoy, or at least I did. Why? I got to milk a friggin' cow! It was much easier than I thought and totally cool! You go with a guide on a 2 hour walking tour. You learn about the different farm animals and get to try your hand at farm things. Like...I caught a goose! I was stoked! They had the sweetest goats that wanted to be touched and pigs that loved to untie your shoe laces. We got to feed some of the animals. Fun! We rode a train and had a wagon ride. We even saw a water buffalo and a zorse! For your edjamacation, a zorse is a sterile offspring of a zebra stallion and a horse mare.

Since we were in Florida, I figured I had to have key lime pie. It was alright, but not my thing. My sweet tooth had a craving for apple pie... which I had too much of. Ice cream added to my problems and I found myself up 6 pounds after Florida, despite all the walking we did. I enjoy food way too much. Crap. Back to the exercising and eating healthy.

I'll post some photos later. Right now, I need more coffee, and I need to play some games on Facebook.