Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Weekend

To celebrate Father's Day, we drove down to my brother's house in Atlanta to get rid of one of our children. Josh is taking Cole to my parents' house today, and then we'll join him there on Saturday. He gets to spend the week being spoiled by my parents while Michael and I get to enjoy fewer fights and power struggles. It's a win/win for everyone.

On Saturday, we went with Josh and Jaime to the World of Coke museum in Atlanta. We had a good time, but I can't say that it's worth the $16/person admission price. The best part of the museum was of course the tasting room where we got to sample soda flavors from around the world. We drank ourselves sick trying to each consume $16 worth of Coke products...

We also had lunch at Flip Burger Boutique, Richard Blais' restaurant, if any of you are Top Chef fans.

We spent the rest of the weekend playing video games and watching TV. Typical for this bunch.

Rylan and Cole at Josh's



My brother's daughter Tessa is just about the cutest little thing I've ever seen. She took a hankering to Michael while we were there - following him around and babbling non-stop to him. I'm pretty sure he loved every second.

More Water Play

slip n slide

slip n slide

slip n slide

slip n slide

slip n slide

slip n slide

slip n slide

Two years ago, we bought a kiddie pool to put in the backyard so the boys could cool off in the summer. The first day, we filled it up, played in it, and then left the water sitting in it overnight. The next day, we went out to play in the pool and discovered slimy mildew and tadpoles. Overnight, our kiddie pool had become a pond!

We repeated the kiddie pool/pond mess last year, but this summer, it suddenly occurred to me that we have the perfect backyard for slip n sliding. So if anyone wants to come play...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rylan Says...

"I can't do jumping jacks, but I can do jumping jills!"


Me: It would be really helpful if you could get your job done.

Rylan: Well, I'm not a good helper today.


Me: I need you to pick up those blocks. That will make me really happy.

Rylan: But it wouldn't make me happy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Decisions Decisions Decisions:
A Post about Me

Several days ago, I was engaging in one of my favorite pastimes (teasing Michael), and I said, "Did you take out the trash this morning?"

He said, "No."

I said, "Michael! Why can't I have a husband who can remember to do things?"

He replied, "Why can't I have a wife who can make decisions?"

Touche, Michael. Touche.

When I was in first grade, I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, and I stuck with that resolution all the way up until the day Michael proposed. And then my resolve fell apart.

At that point, I still had two semesters left of college, but if I decided not to be a teacher, I could graduate in one semester and get married sooner. I really liked Michael, so I decided to graduate, get a job, and maybe be a teacher later.

After that, I decided what I really wanted to be was a yoga instructor. Then a homesteader. Then an urban planner.

Most recently, I was determined to become a preschool teacher. I even saved up some money so I could take the community college classes to get certified. My plan was to get certified over the next two years so that when Rylan starts kindergarten in 2013, I could get a job at a preschool and then work and save until I could open my own preschool.

Only when I started crunching the numbers, I realized it wasn't really a practical plan. Minus afterschool childcare costs, transportation, and piano lessons for the kiddos, I'd be making so little that it would take me years and years to save up enough for my own preschool. And I don't have years and years if Michael and I are ever going to retire.

Plus, I really didn't like the idea of not being off work when my kids get out of school.

I was telling all of this to Michael one night, and he asked, "Why don't you want to teach high school anymore?"

I said, "Teenagers annoy the crap out of me."

He said, "Okay, but..." and then we listed the benefits of being a teacher:
  • I'd make more money as an entry level high school teacher than as an entry level preschool teacher.
  • I'd get off of work when the kids get out of school.
  • I'd have the same holidays off as the kids.
  • I'd have summers off to do things like garden and write.
  • When they're in high school, the kids could presumably go to the high school where I teach, which would be really convenient.
  • And the government will pitch in on my retirement.
So after thinking about it long and hard this week, I've decided to go back and finish my teaching degree. I'm hoping I can get it done in two semesters the year Rylan starts kindergarten. I don't think I'll enjoy it as much as teaching preschool (and I wish I'd known that 15 years ago), but I'll get to be with my own kids more, and that's more important. And maybe once I start doing it, it'll surprise me. In college, I really enjoyed teaching teenagers and thought I was pretty good at it.

One of the main reasons I'm saying all this is to announce:

We're going back to buying conventional groceries for a couple of years.

I feel like I need to announce this to everyone I know all at once so I don't have to explain myself a gazillion times or feel like I'm hiding something. I feel extremely guilty about it - particularly the meat, dairy, and eggs part, but according to my calculations, this will save us about $200 a month which we'll be able to use to buy a few things we've really been needing lately, knock out the rest of our debt, and then save for my college. And then once I get a job, our grocery spending will go back to normal.

So that's that. Decision made. Hopefully I can stick with it this time.

In the Garden

Last week while weeding the front bed, I got a nice little surprise:



They were underneath one of the bricks bordering the bed. I was really surprised that snakes could live underneath a brick and not get smooshed. There were about five of them, and very tiny - a nest? Perhaps Stephan knows...

We watched them for awhile, and the kids were very good about following my "look but don't touch" snake rule (we have the same rule about spiders). Then we put the brick back. Snakes are supposedly a good friend to gardeners, so we're glad to have them.

But do they eat squirrels?

Water Play




Rylan grinning

Rylan Rylan Tomato Eater

Rylan loves tomatoes

I put a bowl of tomatoes on the table so people could add it to their salad. Rylan scooted the bowl to his spot, grabbed a fork, and chowed down.
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