Thursday, September 10, 2009

My kids rock!

Well, I need to do a big post, with some updates, etc, but for now I just want to write a few things so I don't forget.
Sidda has recently taken to telling people "you're so pretty and so sweet." It is her little way of saying I love you, and I can't tell you how much it touches my heart. She says it to Deon, too, and it doesn't impress him quite as much. But it sure does me.
Aunica and I have been talking about Civil Rights, the right to vote, desegregating classrooms, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, etc. I came out the other day to find her playing with her fisher price little people. Here is our conversation:
Mom "What are you doing, Aunica?"
Aunica "Playing school."
Mom "Oh."
Aunica "They are changing the laws."
Mom (interest piqued) "What laws are they changing, honey?"
Aunica "They are making it so the black kids can go to school with the white kids, because the black kids' school is too crowded and the white kids' school is better, and they are going to be equal."
So, that is my five year old desegregating public schools. I can't tell you how proud of her I am. What a wonderful homeschooling moment.
Dimitri is one, cute, just his little old self. He is really busy, as I think they always are at this age. He says lots of words. He likes to play the thank you game, where you hand an object back and forth and say thank you. He is walking, but not much. He has taken 3-4 steps, but only when encouraged. He more like throws himself around. He still very much prefers crawling.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not good news...

So, Deon got laid off today, entirely. No more job. Some side work, when it is available, that I hope will feed us. Now that month wait to find out about the Sacramento job is not near so pleasant. It's been a hard day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sacramento, Summer, etc...

So, we got back yesterday from Sacramento, where Deon was interviewing for an Architect postition with the Army Corp of Engineers. He is really excited about it, and I am getting there. It will be a good opportunity for us, more money in a less expensive place to live. And, even better, we both agree it is not a permanent move. Neither of us are big city folk, we have decided. We like a little bit of elbow room, and even more important, we like a lot of family time. With the rediculous traffic in Sacramento (and any metropolitan, really) those two things are mutually exclusive. So, we'll see what city life is like for a few years. then figure something else out. If we get the job. Which is a pretty good possiblity. Deon interviewed for three hours and the guy said he would hire him, if it was up to him, but it is up to personnel. On his recommendation. So, I'm not sure what the point of that is, except maybe the guy just can't say he is hired, but who else will they hire, if not the person recommended for the job? Seems a little silly to me. Anyway, it is government work, so it may be a month before we ever even get news. Then we negotiate a starting date. So, we'll at least spend the summer here.
Speaking of summer, we are in full swing. Enjoying our summer classes at the adult school, and I'm trying to sign up the girls for swim lessons tomorrow. Our big summer goal of 1000 books read to my children is coming along nicely, but it is hard to keep up with. We have read about 260 so far, more than a quarter of the way through. I must say, I am pleased to see a difference. I thought, since I regularly read to my kids, that I wouldn't see any change in them, but they are both much more interested in books. They spend a lot of their free time (when I'm not reading to them :)) looking at books by themselves. We also have plans to go see the Thompsons in Orange and go to the temple, and I will be going to my father's 75th birthday. Unfortunately it will fall on the same weekend as my nephew's Endowment session in the temple, as he leaves for his mission in August, so Deon will be attending that. I am so sad, but neither of us can be in both places at once, and I felt we needed to have family representation at both. I really felt like I couldn't miss my father's birthday, as it will be an opportunity for me to connect with a lot of people I haven't seen in years, and meet family I have never seen, period. I do feel a little insecure without Deon there, but I am trying to recruit Kim to go with me.
The other new thing is an informal diagnosis for Sidda of Sensory Processing Disorder. Maybe I will save this post for later, but suffice it to say, there is much evidence to say this is what is going on, and that something should be done about it so that she can be sucessful in the near future. Hopefully I'll have more information soon.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Halfway Laid Off?

Well, Deon received notice this Wednesday that he has been cut to 20 hours a week. I spent Thursday wanting to crawl in a hole, but he spent the day sending off resumes. Much more procuctive. So far he has gotten a call back from his old boss, who thinks he may have work for him, which would be great. The other call was from a hiring associate from Camp Pendelton here in CA, down by San Diego. She seemed very excited about his qualifications, and they are hiring a number of people, so that may be where we end up for now. But, I can't count my chickens before they hatch. For now, we are down 50% of our income. We can't pay our bills on that. But at least I have hope.
So, I'll try to focus on the postitive. Life is pretty good, really. We are all healthy. Dimitri is a joy, he is so much fun. He is pulling up on everything, and cutting his top teeth. One is already through and he goes around grinding it all day. Aaak! Sidda is smiley as always. Aunica has just finished Kindergarten with flying colors. Her reading level is a DRA 16 and passing First Grade is a DRA 17. Her teacher is so pleased with her, as are we. Unfortunately her teacher will not be continuing with her charter school in the fall, but, as it turns out, we may not be either. We are all looking forward to summer. We have a goal of reading 1000 books this summer, which sounds like a lot, but it is only about 10 a day. And I am counting a chapter as a book. That combined with Aunica reading some and writing some every day makes up our summer education plan. I'll probably work with Sidda on her letters. She is desperate to learn, but I have a hard time feeding that need with an older child I am also responsible for educating. I need to get better at it. Also in the summer line up are swim lessons, piano, messy art, a regualr preschool class, and a dad sports class. We will not be at a loss for things to do. Hopefully some hiking and walking as well.
In other news, it looks like Deon's mom may be moving out. She is considering filing bankruptcy, and she would have to move back into her house so they don't take it. Which makes us sad, but it may be good timing if we have to move ourselves.
Lots of change in the future for us. Some adversity. :) I do feel very blessed and looked after though, so on we go.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dentist Visit

So, Friday I took the girls to see a new dentist, Dr Stout. We had decided to change dentists after our last dentist wanted to take an "agressive approach" to Aunica's supernumerary (extra) tooth she has in between her two front teeth. The first dentist we had taken her to (who has stopped seeing pediatric patients) thought it prudent to take a wait-and-lets-see approach, which I was fine with. Seemed like a good plan, don't make a problem where one doesn't yet exist. He sold his practice to a new dentist, who wanted to surgically take it out, for no apparent reason. His reasoning seemed flimsy (it could get infected, well that might happen when you perform surgery on my 5 year old), so we decided to get a second opinion and this time with a Pediatric Dentist (as opposed to a general dentist who sees children, which is what we have previously done). What a great office! Dr Stout and his staff we great with the kids, and he totally understood where I was coming from. He also wanted to wait and see what happens, and had high hopes that it may just work itself out. He recently had a patient in that had a supernumerary in the same position that broke through on its own. All of Aunica's news was great. Great, clean teeth, supernumerary in a good position, good to go. Sidda had some mixed news. Great, clean teeth, same as her sister. But, in doing the xrays, the dentist is pretty sure she is missing at least two teeth, possiby 4 or more. She is missing the next out from the middle on the bottom, and possibly the same set on the top. It makes me a little sad, but really not a big deal, and I was already a bit prepared for it, as her first dentist had mentioned that children with a fused tooth often have missing teeth as well. He had positive things to say about it though. She has a small mouth anyway, so it may help on spacing, and she doesn't show gum when she smiles, so it won't be very noticable. Probably not need dental implants. Both the girls are probably in for braces though, which is no surprise. All in all a good visit, and I am very happy with this switch in dentists,.

Poison Control # anyone?

Well, here is the story of my life. I went to Albertson's tonight. I have this new thing that I am trying to look through the ads that come in the mail and find things on sale that we use and stock up. This is new for me. Usually I just make a list, go to a grocery store, and buy it. Sooo...
Albertson's. Deon and I go in alone, leaving Grandma in the car with the three kids. There is a deal that if you buy 10 boxes of Kellogs Cereal you get two free movie tickets, and since Deon has a line up of movies he wants to go see (Wolverine, Star Trek, Angels and Demons) *and* he eats a lot of cereal, this seems like a great idea. Get to the checkout, pay for cereal, but where are the tickets? Seems we made a mistake. There was a post cereal in a kellogs cereal spot. So, check into customer service, where I realize that the manager is a friend of mine. Which is good, because he is very patient as he returns all 10 boxes of cereal, gives us our money back, then recharges for the 10 correct boxes. This takes at least 30 minutes. When it seems the transaction is under control, I head out to the van to see how Grandma and the kids are doing. Look back at Sidda holding a half empty toothpaste tube. Hmmm. I have a bad feeling that was full not very long ago, as we went to the dentist on Friday. I ask Sidda "did you eat that toothpaste?" She replies "no, no mommy, I just sucked on it." Walk back inside, ask for the number to Poison Control. Don't know it? No problem, I'll call 911. Turns out a child Sidda's size (32lb) can eat 3oz of flouride toothpaste before it becomes an issue. Thank goodness it was a small tube. So, now we are back home, and I am going to put these kids to bed. Because I am done. Really.
So, I need to share our dentist experience. Thankfully a much better one than our grocery store story. Well, you win some, you lose some.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Well, I feel like I am finally surfacing. April is looking much nicer than March. I am really looking forward to spring break next week. ESPECIALLY with Aunica's recent injury...
This Sunday we had some friends over and the kids were playing in the girls' room. Aunica was hiding in her closet and she went to shut the door with her right had and shut her left thumb in the hinge side of the door. She pulled her thumbnail out at the base. It was so sad, she cried so hard, and it bled and I was really sad, too. My poor baby. We bandaged it, and took her to the doctor on Monday. Thankfully it wasn't broken, but it needs to be bandaged for the next two weeks. She can't write or practice the piano with her right hand.
This last weekend was General Conference, which I enjoy, mostly. I have a hard time sometimes, because inevitably I end up squirming in my seat because I feel very chastized. So many things to work on, so many things I am either doing wrong, or not doing at all that I should be. The first two talks were about addictive behaviors (with my personal focus, debt) and showing respect to your children by speaking kindly to them to increase reverence and love for the Lord. Don't get me wrong, I think these are both important. Extremely important, in fact. If I didn't feel that way it wouldn't be so painful.
We had a perfect day this past Saturday. I wish all our days could be like it. We all woke up late, in our bed, at 8:45, just in time to watch General Conference in our pajamas. Deon made us special breakfast in bed, even. :) Then we went to Morro Bay to get Dimitri's handprints done, went down to the wharf to check out a tall ship, then played a little chess in the park with huge chess pieces. Went to Bayside Cafe for Deon's favorite clam chowder, and then did a little geocaching. Back home, hang out, Deon did the grocery shopping, have an easy dinner, and watch the Brown kids for a couple of hours. So, I spent almost all day with my family, slept in, felt spritually fed, learned some, got some errands accomplished, and did some service.
Dimitri has cut his first tooth, that is exciting. Someday I will post pictures. I should. Lots of those in my life. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The month of March is always hard...

So, I am glad it is almost over. Mostly consumed by Girl Scout cookie sales, which are still not complete. I have one more booth sale to do, and paperwork to finalize. I think next year I will pass the torch and beg someone else to do it.
I have wanted to put cute things my kids do on my blog, but always forget by the time I sit down. I have an Aunica story though. She is learning to count in Spanish, and we counted together to thirty, then I let her do the thirties. She was so focused on trying to get it right though, she said treinta-one, treinta-two, treinta-three. Thats spanglish for you. :)
Yesterday Deon and I hiked the hill behind our house to the red tower. Then we got lost. It is a seriously hard hike, I'm telling you! I have problems with my lungs, so I have to stop a lot on the way up, but Deon's legs were weak the rest of the day. We took a wrong turn (or didn't take a right turn, as it were) and ended up on Sydney St instead of at the Old Junior High. Alls well that ends well, and we keep talking about doing more exercise together. I'd like to build up my lung strength and lose this extra 20 pounds I'm hauling around with me.
Today I taught Relief Society from a talk by President Monson called The Joy in the Journey. In sum, focus on the positive, live life in the moment, and love fully and transparently. I wish you all a happy Sunday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Finally Friday

So, I think we have come to the conclusion that we can't buy our house and still live in it. Kind of a bummer. We are still working on solutions, but it has been a stressful, sad week.
It has also been a super busy week, and will be through tomorrow night at least. Tonight was Girl Scout Thinking Day, and since my older girls put it on, there was a lot to be done! Throw in the fact that my sister-in-law, who is my co-leader, and her kids have been sick for two weeks and you have a big fat mess. In actuality, the event went off without a hitch, looking spectacular. Most things do, you know. All the kids had a great time, there were lots of songs led, cute costumes and swaps. In fact, my youngers won a certificate for cutest swap! I appreciate all the applause, yes, that was me. :) The girls made them, but it was my idea. I tried to have all the components of Thinking Day be age appropriate for them, and I think I really succeded. The board was cute, too. I also gave in at the last minute and bought Aunica a costume at the Oriental Market (which is really cool, by the way, I had never been in there before). The girls chose to learn about China, so we read some fictional books set in China, and talked about what it must be like to live in China. Then we put some of those things on a trifold board (Yangtze River running through it, chopsticks, rice and noodles glued on, a handprint dragon, a map, and a picture of a little girl in traditional Chinese dress), gave out fortune cookies, and the swaps the girls made were red paper circles with a toothpick cut in half (pointy ends removed) glued on and a few grains of rice, with a sticky pin backing. I was so proud.
Anyway, tomorrow is the culmination of my busy week. It starts with 9am piano, then pick up supplies from Kim for the 11am baby shower for Amy. Quick get in the van (and haul along mom and the other van) for girl scout cookie pick up at 1:30. What do you do with 80 cases of cookies? Well, you certainly don't use your living room anymore! Rush, hurry to Sidda's 3rd birthday party, thank goodness Kim is Martha Stewart in disguise and has totally uber planned the whole thing. Back home to sort cookies so my dear parents can please, please, please come pick them up and get them out of my hair. Whew! Thankfully I get to sleep in a bit on Sunday, as it is Stake Conference at 10am instead of 9am.
I'll try to post again when I resurface!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Today was Sidda's third birthday. Where did the past three years go? Don't we always ask ourselves that. We set up Aunica's third birthday as the end of binkis for her, and that worked out great. She even gave them to her sister, as Sidda was 7 months old at the time. This went so well we decided to have the same date set for Sidda. She has been excited about it, telling anyone and everyone who will listen "it be my birthday, no more binkis!" This as date has been looming upon us, I have felt some trepidation that it couldn't possibly be that easy again... But we are on night two, and she is sound asleep. Woo-hoo! What an awesome kid! I have transitioned her a little by laying with her, but she hasn't asked for it at all. I am so proud of her. :)
She had a nice birthday today. Sunday, so we had special cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and headed to church, where they gave her a crown and sang Happy Birthday to her (and ate cookies). Once we were home, my Aunt Wendy, Uncle Tim and Emily showed up to help celebrate. It is so nice to have them living in the states. Finally, Kim and Eric flew in from New Orleans and rounded out the group. Of course, Grandma was here, along with our family of five. We had hot dogs and ate a very fun birthday cake, which I will post pictures of. Sidda got some games, clothes, a scrapbook, an umbrella from her sister (a big hit), and a kid's MP3 player (also a big hit, although maybe not as much as the umbrella). I am all junk fooded out. A little much for one day.
Anyway, life is good. Nice to think of this day, three years ago. Amazing how much we love these little ones that come into our lives. **sniff** :)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday Evening

Well, another week gone by and, again, not much to report. Had a nice weekend, hiked Eagle Rock out by El Chorro Regional Park, did a geocache. The weather was awesome. Had a nice time at church today, started a strengthening your relationships class. Along with a mental health recovery meeting on Wednesday. I am sensing a theme, like maybe the Lord is telling me it is time to get some things in order. I'm okay with that. Sold some cookies. Sold some more cookies.
Well, since I don't have anything interesting to share, I'll share a cute Sidda story.
Sidda made a book in nursery a while back titles "I know Jesus loves me because he made.." So, it went page by page, the sun, moon, plants, etc. On our way home from church I asked her to read it to me, knowing it was easy enough for her to remember what it said.
She opened it and said "it says No Parking!"
We laughed all the way home. She is a kick, that one

Friday, January 23, 2009

A fairly uneventful week

So, makes you not want to read my blog, eh, with titles like that! Well, I'll keep it short. Aunica has just about met her goal of 100 boxes of cookies sold, but we'll keep going. I have had two cookie training meetings this week, one for our Cadettes (and we have a new girl in that troop-woo hoo:)) and one for our Daisies. Had Aunica and Dimitri into the Dr for well checks, and they are well. It rained today, and my girls spent a lot of time outside playing in it, with various friends and cousins coming by. It is especially nice to stay home when everyone comes to you. :) Also today the SLO Symphony brought their musical instruments to Aunica's school for all the kids to play, so that was awesome. Now my niece, Elizabeth, who is 12, is spending the night and making a Lemon Chiffon Cake. Aren't we spoiled! She is good company. Highlight of the week was being taken out to dinner at Margie's Diner, and the low point was being called on leaving my kids in the car while dropping my niece off at school. The car was in sight the whole time, and I *know* I'm not the only one guilty here. But the woman said since she is a mandated reporter I'd better not. Grrr. Getting all three of my kids out of the car to walk 30 feet, so I can show they all the fun toys, tell them they can't play and usher them back to the car and into their carseats. Not my idea of a good time. And, I know, I am a bad parent. Something terrible could happen. Something. And lightning could strike.
Probably will after this post. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The days are just packed...well, actually, they are!

Once upon a time there was a Calvin and Hobbes comic that showed Calvin and Hobbes doing basically nothing all day. The final end-of-the-day exhausted in bed frame had the caption "the days are just packed." I have no idea why this has stayed with me, I don't particularly like Calvin and Hobbes, and it certainly isn't true that I have all the time in the world to sit on the couch and do nothing, quite the opposite. But, nevertheless, I think of this quote often. My days are packed, and I hope most days I can fall into bed in happy exhaustion. And I usually do.
This week's big news was Aunica's best friend Erika was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She was in the hospital for a few days, and we visited twice. Erika was in great spirits, as she really didn't feel sick, and her mom is awesome, and is handling it better than I am. She didn't have any experience or knowledge on the subject, but has calmly jumped right into it. She is an inspiration to me.
We finally got to meet with Aunica's teacher this Friday. It has been about a month, with meetings and Christmas break. I was given her report card to fill out. Now that is a little intimidating. How do you balance high expectations for your child with unconditional my-child-is-perfect on a report card? Do I give her all 4s or all 1s? Luckily I did get some direction from her teacher. I was also able to meet with a friend of mine this week who had homeschooling questions. I love to do this, and show off all the cool stuff we get to play with, and what we actually do with our week.
My last big change this week is that Girl Scout Cookie Sales started this week. I have been a leader for 6+ years now, but this is the first year I am a parent of a Girl Scout, and actually have to sell cookies. Before I have just shuffled them around. Aunica made her first sale this morning at piano lessons, and has set a personal goal of 100 boxes sold. I think I'll help her make a goal poster. Sidda was so cute tonight, it is hard to be two, hard to be the second with an older sister. Aunica was getting out as we ran our errands and selling cookies, and Sidda said in a very sad voice "Mommy, I want to spell cookies."
I said "you want to spell cookies? C-O-O-K-I-E-S."
"No, Mommy, spell cookies like Aunica." Small, plantive voice of my very earnest two year old.
"Oh, baby, I am sorry, you have a few years to go, sweetheart."
Anybody want to buy some Girl Scout Cookies from a very sweet non-girl scout?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


What I would really like to do is shift all my previous blog posts over and start this new blog, but I like the title too much. I am thinking about converting this from a private blog to a more public one, as it is fun to follow others' blogs. And I don't have anything all that private to write about anyway. I'm not really that private of a person. :)
I am a mother of three, Aunica (5 years old), Sidda (2 years old), and Dimitri (5 months old). We live in San Luis Obispo, CA, in the house I grew up in. I stay home and, actually, so do my kids, as I homeschool through Family Partnership Charter School. My husband is an intern architect in Santa Maria. I like scrapbooking, taking pictures, hiking, and geocaching. We are active in our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am also a Girl Scout leader of a Daisy troop and a Cadette troop.
Well, I can't think of anything else. It is always crazy in my house, and I'm sure I'll have plenty to update with the cute things my kids say, and our experiences here in town with all we do, and also at home with homeschooling. Catch you later. :)