So, the other day I looked out at my tray feeder and there was a HUGE dove in it. I thought to myself "Wow, that Mourning Dove sure is big" My parents were here this weekend (we attended my Uncle's funeral). The Dove landed in the feeder, and my mom got excited. We all took a close look and realized it was way too big to be a dove. So, my mom eagerly got out the handy bird guide and we found it to be a Band-tailed Pigeon. This pigeon is native to the U.S. Its normal range is the west, Southwest, into Mexico and S.A. I feel quite privileged to have it at my feeder.
We took my parents to the Jackson-Frazier Wetland Reserve. It is a 250 acre wetland in Corvallis, Or. There is a wooden walkway built around a small portion of it. It is a great birding place. We saw and heard so many birds. My mom wants to return (with a chair to sit in) when she has more time to spend watching. We were there only an hour but here is a list of some of the great birds we saw:
Chickadees, Marsh Wrens, song sparrows, swallows, turkey vultures, AND - we saw a bird we couldn't identify. We thought it was a Bobolink (but they are not seen in this area - and once we got home and looked at the guide, decided it was not the right color.) Then, we decided it was probably a Tri-colored blackbird. It is always cool to identify a bird you've never seen before!
Bird watching was a nice relaxing distraction from the sadness we had to experience this weekend. The Memorial Service was quite nice. The pastor was a long-time friend of my uncle, so his sermon was very poignant. I have found whenever I attend a Memorial/Funeral, I always find out something about the deceased that I never knew before. My uncle was part of Outward Bound and a huge hiker in his young adult life. I didn't know this because the uncle I remember was overweight and suffering from major health issues. Also, my uncle was a huge Blues (Miles Davis a favorite) fan. I knew he enjoyed the music, but didn't realize to what extent. They played Louis Armstrongs "When the Saints Go Marching In" at the closure of the service. (This was a huge thing at their church - being Seventh Day Adventist, that kind of music is normally frowned at). It is too late now - but I wish I had spent more time with my uncle one-on-one and gotten to know him at a different level. We could have shared our views on Coltrane and Chickadees. Alas, too late.
My husband borrowed our neighbors power washer. The back patio pavers had acquired a nice moss carpeting. It was actually soft to walk on. I never knew how much water moss held until I ran out there in my socks one morning. It hadn't rained for several days and although the patio looked dry, I came in with wet feet.
So, my husband started up the washer and proceeded to blast the moss into smithereens. Across the yard, I started up the mower. Both pieces of machinery are quite loud. My husband and I are huge supporters of ear protection, thus wear ear plugs while using any loud gas-powered equipment. I had just gotten into the "zombi mowing mode" when I was startled by a sharp whistle. I looked up to see our neighbor waving his arms at my husband.
My husband turned off the power washer. From what I could gather (without turning my mower off and getting involved), he was getting an earful from the neighbor.
I, of course, put my head back down and kept on mowing - carefully watching the scene with furtive glances. Our neighbor (the same one who feeds my dogs leftovers - Stinky Dog Breath) had come to watch my husband use the borrowed power washer and had decided that my husband was doing it ALL WRONG. Now, I don't know how one uses a power washer wrong or even if there is a correct way to use one, but my husband was getting a quick lesson in The Proper Power Washing Method.
My husband took in all in stride, nodded his head when appropriate, hemmed and hawed when needed, and then said "Thank You" once his "lesson" was finished. After our neighbor left, I turned off the mower and quickly got the scoop.
"He's just like my dad," My husband said, shaking the entire experience off. "he just wants to be useful and make sure it's done right. I'm use to it."
Hmm...I think Power Washer is on our list of things to buy (right under Front-loader Washer, Gas Stove, and Hybrid Car).
That is the word of the week. It has done nothing but rain here. I am thoroughly sick of it. And it is Memorial Weekend. The news showed this morning some of the local campgrounds clearing out. Although they were booked solid, people are abandoning their sites because of the cold rain. Who wants to camp in 50°F rainy weather? Certainly not me or any other mom with small children.
Speaking of children, yesterday evening, while I was preparing dinner, my daughter started crying hysterically. She ran to me grabbing at her nose. I thought she had bumped it on the coffee table. So, I did the good ole "Mom Kiss" and thought that would be the end of it. No, she cried at me, "I put Lego in my nose." WHAT?!?
Sure enough - there, inside her left nostril was a little grey Lego. I called the doctor office. It was after hours and no it wasn't a life-threatening emergency. I laid her down and tried to use the tweezers to get the Lego out. But, it takes more than one person to hold down a crying, squirming toddler and extract a Lego from a small nose. I called my husband. I was ready to rush her to the ER. He said, "Wait."
So, the kids and I had a quiet, calm dinner while we patiently waited 20 minutes for my husband to get home. When he did, he held our daughter down while I used the tweezers to get that little Lego. I removed it. But then I was the "Bad Mama". For a good 40 minutes, my daughter would have nothing to do with me. Daddy was her hero. Not me.
To tell the truth, I didn't mind being the bad one. It just meant I got to sit and relax on the couch while my husband dealt with a fussy and clingy babe. I was able to veg for a change.
Oh - and for those of you keeping track: Ultimate Bribery Day #3 - another accident. No sticker - It was only one accident, but I'm trying to get to the point where she will tell me she has to pee - not me taking her back there every hour. sigh - I am getting the feeling this isn't going to work.
What a night my family experienced. I should have known it was going to be wild when my husband came home. He had carpooled with a co-worker today. As they pulled up into our driveway, my husband was shocked to see a naked boy running in our front yard. It was our naked boy. He was suppose to be changing his clothes for his sister's music recital. Half-way through dressing, he decided he needed a flower for his shirt. So, he ran outside to get one. As soon as my husband pulled up in the driveway, little naked butt ran inside quick as a rabbit - frightened and surprised. I wonder how many other people experienced the sight.
My daughter is only 2-1/2 and she attends a Toddler Music Class - which is part of the local Music Conservatory. It was recital night, so her class put on a show as well. There was no napping today, so on the drive to the 7pm show, my daughter fell asleep in the car. We tried to wake her, but it was near impossible. My son was pulling her eyelids open, from his carseat, shouting, "Wake up! Wake up!"
I was still telling her to wake up when we sat down in our seats for the show to start. With her head rolling and eyes fluttering, she finally woke up. It took Teacher Krystal's voice to do it. Then, the show started. I should have known it would be disaster waking up a sleepy toddler.
I'm trying to get her to stand up on her carpet square. It aint going to happen. I quickly gave up and let her "sing" from a kneeling position.
The second picture of me just trying to get her to do the hand movements of the song. Not going to work. I am a little embaressed at this point, but the other parents are laughing, so I know it is okay.
So, in the end, she got a certificate for participating in the Toddler Music Class. This made her excited! She eagerly ran to the front of the room to receive her certificate and get her picture taken with the rest of the Recital Performers. And, as everyone was getting their cameras ready, my daughter chose to do this:
Yes, this is my daughter, sticking her hands down her tights to give herself a good healthy butt-scratching. Everyone roared. I think I turned a light shade of pink. My husband clicked away with the camera. Another moment in the life of my daughter. I can only be so proud. (yeah - ask me sometime about when she pee'd on the astroturf at the Indoor Soccer Field).
Oh - and Potty Training Day #2 - one accident. So, no sticker. I felt like a big old meanie.
It has been raining here all week long. This is normal May weather for Oregon. Of course, last week I was complaining about the abnormal heat and now I am going to bitch about the rain. Sick of it already....5 days of rain sucks.
Well, yesterday, we did have a brief respite from the wet stuff. Right after lunch, the rain let up and I took the kids outside to run some energy off. While we were outside, the bird activity was frenzied!
Here are the birds that came to my new tray feeder. I was very excited to see them all:
It was quite the thrill to see each one come and go over an hour's time. The Dove was a sight in the feeder. Normally, I only see them feeding on the ground. I am so glad I bought myself that gift. It has brought in a lot of cool birding moments.
Day one of Ultimate Bribery worked = my daughter actually ran back twice to go by herself. The other times I 'reminded' her to go....so an accident free day. She was very proud of herself. I was ecstatic.
Okay - so in a desperate ploy to successfully potty train my daughter, I've turned to using ultimate bribery. Every day that she is dry - one special "Sesame Street" sticker goes on the calendar. When she earns 7 stickers, she will receive a special prize...one that she has chosen from the new toy store in downtown. This morning, I told my husband the plan. He thought it sounded good. So, we sat our daughter down and tried to hype it up. The conversation went something like this:
"Guess what, honey." I said. My eyes were big and I was using that really excited voice that kids love. "We are going to the store today. Guess what we are going to buy?"
My daughter looked back at me with wide eyes and grinned. She answered excitedly, "Milk?"
My husband and I choked back giggles. "No," I continued, "Something extra special."
Her eyes got even bigger and she responded with, "Chocolate milk?"
At this point, my husband and I about died laughing.
"No." I said, "We are going to get an extra special toy for 'no accidents'."
She kind of frowned and looked at us both in disbelief. "But I want chocolate milk."
Okay, so an auspicious beginning to my plan. But, I took her to the store anyway. We picked out an awesome music/jewelry box. It is brightly colored with hidden drawers all around. Inside is a horse that twirls around and around - instead of the infamous ballerina. My daughter loves it. We are calling it a "treasure box". Since we play pirates a lot in this house it was a natural choice. Her brother is a little jealous, but he is eager to help her go potty now. He is already 'helping' his sister pick out the treasure to put in it. Hopefully, this pirate can keep the interest level up long enough to work. Aargh, matey, anything for no accidents.
I will post later on the success of this potty training attempt. Wish me luck!
Yes, it has been one of those days. My first indication was when I rolled out of bed this morning to hear my daughter crying. She was laying in a puddle - in a sopping wet bed. She took her pull-up off sometime in the night. Sure, she put her pajama bottoms back on, but those little flannels don't hold much. After a nice, consoling warm bath she was left to play with her brother while I showered.
I stepped out of the shower to hear my son screaming, "I stepped in a pee-pee puddle in my room!" Once again, my daughter had pee'd on the floor. (no, potty training is not going well right now). Not only was the carpet wet, but she had proceeded to play on his bed. So, his blanket and sheets were left with little wet-butt impressions. Now I had two sets of bedding to wash.
The rest of the day just went downhill from there. No, nothing catastrophic like leaking gas or fallen cheesecake (see What Makes a Housewife Desperate"). But, it was a day of repeatedly asking kids to pick up toys, hourly dragging an angry 2-1/2 year old to the potty chair, constantly having to say, "Be Nice to Your Brother/Sister", and sniffing for the cat urine in the Office (which I can't find and is driving me insane because I can smell it).
So tonight I feel exhausted. No, I don't need sleep. I am just emotionally and mentally wiped out. Part of my problem is I am thinking about my Aunt and Uncle. His funeral is on Sunday. Grief is a hard thing. I am not good about showing feelings openly, so tend to hold everything inside. I wasn't close with him, but still feel sad at his passing. I think I feel more sad for my Aunt. They were married for over 45 years. They have been a part of each others lives for a long time. I can't imagine the loneliness she will feel every night. No one to spoon with, talk to, cry with, or laugh with. Her best friend, lover, and father of her children are gone. She will be alone.
So, with all that said, I feel guilty about being so grumpy with my kids today. Their antics were daily ones; things that don't normally bother me, but today they did. Instead of grimacing at legos spilled across the family room floor, I should cherish my son's health and interest in building. Instead of groaning at pee-pee puddles, I should bask in the fact that my daughter is alive and able to run around in wet pants. Instead, I complain, groan, yell, threaten, and rip my hair out. It was just one of those days.
WHAT!?!!! All I can say after watching the Series Finale of my most favorite show 24 is an earth-shattering "NOOOO" - I am going to have to wait until January 2007 before I find out what the freaking Chinese are going to do with him!!!! AARRGGHH. How can I possibly wait that long? What is FOX thinking?
My hero is Jack Bauer. I love this show. The first 20 minutes of the finale had me gripped to the seat. It was a good thing my husband was home to put the kids to bed. Normally, the show starts at 9pm, but tonight was the two hour finale - so it started at 8pm, which is book-reading, teeth-brushing, bed-tucking time. I did kiss my kids during the first commercial - after finally taking a breath. What a heated first 20 minutes. Now that my show is over until January 2007, I can be a mommy on Monday nights again. Sigh -
I have to tell a funny on my sister. When I told her how much I loved 24, she responded by saying -"How can you possibly like that show? It is so unrealistic." Guess what her favorite show is: LOST - like that is based on reality. I've only seen a couple of episodes. When it first started, I didn't watch it because I figured it would become a cancelled show. I didn't expect it to make a whole season. I didn't want to get involved and then have it be cancelled on me - how was I to know it would be a hit.
So, Kieffer Sutherland has signed on for 3 more seasons of 24. Yippee! Three more guaranteed years of stress, nail-biting, and "on-the-edge-of-my-seat" excitement. I cannot wait until January 2007!
I love Murphy Laws. They are so true and basic. (my mother's favorite: paper is always strongest at the perforation) Yet, Murphy missed out on what I consider to be truer laws. Those that involve the Toddler. Here are a few that I have learned over the past 5 years of being a parent. (It just so happens that they all happened today...)
Toddler Law #1 - When a parent decides to go to bed early, the toddler will wake up and not fall back asleep until after the parent's normal bedtime.
Yes, this happened to me last night and on several other occasions. My husband and I stayed up late Friday evening watching a movie from Netflix. Then, Saturday evening, my mother was here and we stayed up chatting until quite late. So, last night (Sunday), I decided to be in bed by 9:30. I was exhausted. No sooner had my head hit the pillow, then my daughter was up and crying. She didn't go back to sleep until 12am.
Toddler Law #2 - Any food item that was called "Icky" will be immediately wanted if such food item is given to a sibling.
My daughter's snack today was some juice, cheese, and a snack-size bag of BBQ chips. (I know, not healthy. She doesn't get it very often). After one bite, she cried that it was "too spicy". So, when I picked up my son from preschool, I gave him the bag of BBQ chips. Immediately, I heard the cry "That's My Chips!!" Then there proceeded a huge tantrum until we arrived home. I gave her a choice she could eat with lunch (and of course, she chose the BBQ chips again....1/2 the bag later, they were once again, "too spicy".)
Toddler Law #3 - The more tired the child, the more active he/she will become.
My daughter is cranky today. Obviously, she didn't get enough sleep last night. However, instead of behaving "normally" and slowing down, she has ramped up. This includes running around, jumping off furniture, chasing her brother, and screaming as loud as possible. I've now put her down for a nap. I'm sure the BBQ chips didn't help.