Thursday, October 13, 2011

Einstein is in Da House!

I think I know who Toph admires..... Albert Einstein!

As I've made no secrets about it, Toph does not prefer to read chapter books. He'd rather read "The Science Encyclopedia" or "How Things Work." Yes, Toph is a bit nerdy, but we LOVE nerds in this house!

Last year, he had to read and do a book report each month on an assigned genre. When he had to do a biography, Toph decided to read about Einstein. So, in helping Toph type up this book report, I learned a lot about Einstein too. This month, Toph had to do a timeline project (at least 12 dates, descriptions, pictures, etc.). So instead of choosing to study a thing, Toph chose to do his timeline on Albert Einstein. So I learned even more about him.

As far as I'm concerned, Toph has chosen well. Albert Einstein was an amazingly intelligent and caring person. Toph could do worse than wanting to emulate Einstein.

....... Any guesses what Toph is going to be for Halloween??

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our New Addition.....May the Force be with US!

I was "smoking the good crack" in July, apparently. I belong to an email list, and a family advertised that they had 2 puppies to give to good homes, and I suggested that we go look at them when Robert got back from scout camp. We came home with a puppy. And I said we'd NEVER have a puppy again--never say never!

This is Chewbaca the first day, we think he was about 3 lbs.

Meet Chewbaca, the newest member of our family. He's a chorkie pug--chihuahua, yorkie, and pug. I decided that he should be called "Chewbaca" because of the noise he made when we were fetching him from under the sofa where he was hiding. He made a noise that sounded like Chewbaca from Star Wars.

Chewbaca is getting bigger!! Just a month later, and he's about doubled in size.

This is Chewbaca's FAVORITE toy, Blue Dog.

Yes, I bought him a shirt.

No, he doesn't like the shirt--he's trying to take it off!

Life with a puppy is HARD WORK--I'd forgotten just how hard. The timing was good though, because the kids were out of school and could help. They are totally in charge of all of the yucky jobs associated with having a pet. We had the summer to adjust to the change and learn how to care for a puppy again. Toph took to it like a duck to water, but Hannah is a little bit afraid of the puppy. After all, he has teeth. And they're SHARP. And there's a reason we call him "Chewy."
Not such a big fan of the bath.

Still NOT a big fan of the bath.

We've had our first accident too. Last week, we learned that puppy vs. elliptical doesn't end well. Hannah was playing on the elliptical, and Chewbaca ran in front of it and got tangled up in the arm bars. I've never heard such a horrible sound! Of course, this happened after hours at the vet's. I called the vet ER, and was instructed to watch him for half an hour, see if I feel any broken bones, and see if he'll eat or drink. Well, he wouldn't eat or drink, he kind of limped, even though I didn't feel any broken bones, and when I picked him up, he screamed again. NOT GOOD! We made a visit to the doggy ER, and after x-rays we discovered that our little dog had 3 broken ribs!

The broken ribs are the last 3 on the right side.

Luckily puppies heal quickly--half the time of an adult dog. We have LOTS of medicine for Chewbaca too. He's got an anti-inflammatory, a stomach pill, and a narcotic pain reliever. The blue medicine (narcotic) helps keep him calm and sedate, and it helped with the initial pain. We can always tell when it's wearing off, because he starts running and jumping like a normal puppy. Although he seemed to hurt for a few days, he's not acting any different now!

It's still a lot of work to have a puppy. Because we haven't been here long enough to know what happened on the property the past 7 years, we haven't let the dog outside yet. We lost a dog to Parvo a long time ago and have no desire to do that again, so until he's fully vaccinated, he'll be a completely inside dog. Due to that, he's been paper trained. He manages to do his potty business on the potty pads, but the poo gets deposited NEXT TO the potty pads almost always (or behind my chair in the living room). Luckily, I'm not in charge of that clean up (unless the kids are in school). I will say that my Hoover FloorMate and I have developed quite a relationship. I'm SOOOOOOO glad we bought it! My floors have never been so clean and dirty all in the same day. I probably use it every other day--which is a change from 3-5 times/day in the beginning.

We love Chewbaca though--even though he's a lot of work. He's a very smart and good boy. He LOVES everybody--and is anxious to "prove" his love to all who visit our home. I will be very happy when we get him fixed, and I'm REALLY hoping that solves his desire to "special hug" everyone who comes over.

Chewbaca is also known as Houdini. His "room" is the laundry room, and that's where he stays at night and when we're gone. We have a baby gate to keep him in there, but Houdini can now jump on the gate. I fixed it by wiring flexible cutting mats to the top, but that has not deterred him. Currently we have a metal sheet clamped to the gate to keep him within the laundry room. We do have a crate for Chewbaca, and we've used it often, but if we're going to be gone for several hours, I like him to have access to his food, water, and potty pads. I'm looking forward to the time when Houdini will know the "rules" well enough to be left run of the house. It's around the corner, but we're not there just yet.

So, although I was "smoking the good crack" when we got Chewbaca, I don't really regret it. He's a great addition to our family, and the kids want to know when we're getting him a brother or sister. I DO firmly agree that if you're going to have one dog, two is better (built-in friend). I'm not quite ready for that yet. We'll wait until Chewbaca's ribs are healed and he's been fixed, and then we'll start looking for a companion. Maybe after Christmas. But I'd REALLY like an older, house trained dog this time! :-)
Chewbaca likes to play fetch.

Here is "Pig," the first toy we bought for Chewbaca. He sleeps with Pig.

Yes, the frisbee is almost bigger than Chewbaca, but he doesn't let that stop him!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Update

I haven't been so good at my New Year's Resolutions, have I? Blogging twice a month--such a DO-ABLE thing, but I haven't done it! I'm not even going to try to get back all the way to January. Tonight I'm just going to update what we've been doing in April.

April has passed in a blur for me. I got a nasty virus in late March, and I missed about 17 days of April. Fever, headache, and COUGHING like you wouldn't believe. Topher had it bad too, but only for 9 days. His fever was much higher though, so he was very miserable. I'm glad we're done with that! Robert and Hannah both got sick too, but they were only sick for a day--lucky ducks!

April 7th we celebrated our unlucky 13th anniversary! Unlucky because I was too sick to celebrate at all. We finally went out to Outback on Friday and we'll consider that our celebration--even though the whole family went on the date. I can't believe it's been 13 years--seems like forever and just yesterday at the same time. I wouldn't change a thing, and I'm so glad Robert asked!

Robert and Toph went on a Scout campout at Qualcom stadium for the Scout Fair. Topher gets to go with Robert on most campouts that he does with the Boy Scouts, and I'm glad that Toph got to go this time. They saw lots of stuff and had lots of fun. Toph got 3 belt loops, and both boys came home VERY tired. While the boys were away, Hannah and I got our hair cut and took our hair lady out with us for a Girls' night. We had dinner at Chevy's and then Hannah and I got some fabric to make her a couple of skirts. While the guys were busy at the Scout Fair, Hannah and I sewed her a purple skirt. Hannah is in a play in June and she's got to be dressed like a pioneer girl, so the purple skirt was our "practice" for her pioneer skirt. It turned out great, but I have had to take in the waist 3 times. I couldn't remember how to do an elastic waist, and I didn't make it small enough. Now it fits though, and Hannah is excited to wear it when it won't fall off!

We survived Spring Break--barely. Robert took the Monday off, and we all went together as a family to Julian. We've lived in San Diego for 4 1/2 years and had not been there yet, so it was high time. We'd been having HOT weather (high 80's to mid 90's) but the weather changed the day we went to Julian. While we were in a restaurant eating lunch, the clouds rolled in and we were literally walking through the clouds. We just ate lunch and walked around and did a little bit of shopping. We had a great time together. On the way home we stopped at Mom's Bakery and got an apple boysenberry pie--I just have to say, "YUM!!!!" I'm not a huge cooked fruit lover, but this pie was SOOoooooooo good! I ate most of it during the course of the week--not so good for my weight, but it was yummy.

The rest of the week we took it pretty easy. Both kids had pretty miserable colds/allergies, so we just hung out, watched movies, and played video games. It wasn't too warm outside--more like February weather than April. The kids also pretended to clean their rooms. By Friday we needed to get out of the house, so we went through our old games and took a pile to Gamestop. With our trade in's, we got to buy 4 new games, and the kids used their allowance to buy more new games for themselves. Saturday was a game fest at our house. Hannah was happily busy on her DS, and Toph was crazy on the PS3. That left me free to clean the house and make dinner. Robert was out with the Boy Scouts delivering firewood for a fund raiser. Yeah, that wasn't such a good idea, because he was already not feeling great, and all of the work pushed Robert over the edge. He spend Easter basically asleep.

We have a tradition of keeping the Easter Bunny and Easter separate, but with Robert gone doing firewood, we didn't have the EB hide the eggs on Saturday. The kids got their Easter baskets though, and loved playing with their new stuff. Since I'd been sick most of April, I hadn't even gotten the decorations out, so Easter baskets this year were just gift bags, but they work! I had the kids stuff the plastic eggs with candy themselves--why not? Our Easter Bunny only hides the eggs, and the kids know that Mom buys the candy. It was a stoke of genius to have the kids stuff the eggs themselves! They had fun, and I didn't have to do it! A true win-win.

Sunday morning we did the traditional egg hunt. The kids were so funny searching for the eggs!
Robert was feeling so gross that we skipped Easter dinner. We'd had a nice dinner the day before, so we just ate leftovers. We had our Easter dinner tonight instead--when we could all enjoy it. We spent a lot of time talking about why we celebrate Easter and what a great gift the Atonement is.

Now we're on the tail end of the month. Later this week, the kids get to go to Kids' Day at Robert's work again. It's the first time they've done it in 4 years, and we've been very excited about this. Toph has a pack meeting on Thursday and he'll be getting lots of awards. He's been working hard these past couple of months to get things finished. I'll have to take and post pictures later.

That's April in brief. Not much to tell for this month. I'll TRY to be better about blogging in the future.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pinewood Derby 2011

March means Pinewood Derby for us. This year was Topher's last Pinewood Derby, so we wanted to make it memorable. He designed it, and Dad helped cut it out with the scroll saw. Topher did most of the sanding work, and the boys had a real headache painting it this year. It was really cold this year, and the spray paint didn't want to dry.... and of course, we'd waited until the 11th hour to do the painting. So Toph's pretty car has a few fingerprints on it. Oh well! He LOVED his car!

Our new ward does Cub Scouts a little bit different. We don't have a lot of boys, so we do pack meetings combined with another ward. But for Pinewood Derby, we combined with all 3 wards and the Spanish branch--so there were like 30 boys! Each den got to race, and then the winner of all of the dens competed against each other.

Topher won for his den! Every year we go with the attitude that we're going to have fun. The creating and racing the car are the fun parts, and winning is just icing on the cake. Last year Toph had fun, but you couldn't have slapped the smile off of his face this year! In his den he came in first place every time, except for once when he came in second place.

When it came time for the winners to race each other, Toph still did well. He came in first a couple of times then too. I think he came in like 5th overall. All of the boys got funny awards too. Toph's certificate was "Best Use of Visible Weights." He had fun, and we had fun watching him.

I might even be a LITTLE bit sad that this was the last one!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Career Day for Hannah

Today is career day for Hannah's class. They were invited to dress up like they would for the career they want when they're grown up. Well, Hannah is going to be a rock star! Here's a preview of what she'll look like when she's rich and famous.
Every Rock Star needs a guitar. Hannah got one for Christmas.
She makes quite a cute rock star with the make up and funky hair!
You can't really see the lightening bolts on her cheeks.
Striking a pose! Mom thinks she looks like a ninja.

Hannah is 8!!!

We just got to celebrate our Hannah's eighth birthday--WOW, was she excited! For members of the LDS church, turning 8 means you get to be baptized, and Hannah is VERY excited for that milestone to be looming on the horizon.

Since her birthday was on a Sunday this year, we went out on Saturday to celebrate her birthday at the Olive Garden. We all ate WAY too much and enjoyed our breadsticks. We never did make it there in December for Toph's birthday, so it was a dual celebration for our family.

Sunday Hannah requested breakfast for dinner--"You know, all of that stuff I have for McDonald's breakfast." So we had pancakes, eggs, bacon, and biscuits. Were we ever stuffed!! We were too full to really enjoy Hannah's requested birthday cake--strawberry cake with chocolate whipped cream. Yum!

Hannah enjoyed her presents too. We were fooling with her earlier in the day when she asked when she was going to get to open her gifts (we do this after dinner). We told her that she didn't get to open her presents until she was 10--she'd have to look at them under the Christmas tree until then. (Yes, the tree is still up! It's fake, so our house isn't going to burn down. And it's the last remaining part of Christmas left in the house--coming down this weekend.) Hannah was very happy when she did get to open her presents, as she got things she really liked.
Loving the Rapunzel Polly Pocket!
Nope, I don't think she's too big for Play Doh!
Hannah's inner artist was pleased!

No birthday post would be complete without a photo montage, so enjoy!!
This is the first time Toph met his baby sister. It was love at first sight.
Hannah's fist Christmas.

Safety first! You never know what the folks are going to feed you.
Hannah decided that she wanted to eat sand. The more we discouraged her, the more she ate!
Hannah putting on the dance moves with the cousins.
Puddle stomping with brother!
Tickles with brother and Daddy.
Hugs from Pluto on our first Disneyland trip.
Being "cheesy" with brother while playing with leaves.
Hmmmm....... Playing "doctor" at the doctor's office.
Our sleeping angel.....she still looks like this....bear bear, silky, and thumb.

Primping with Grandma Bear--our girl LOVES make-up!
Our "love bug" couldn't look cuter!
A girl needs some "bling" to make the outfit complete.
She's growing up! This was the first day of first grade.
Hannah's planing on "Stayin' Alive" and keeping it lively for us.

Hannah as kept us on our toes--these are pictures of our girl's first and second self hair cuts.

Finally, our lives would NOT be complete without our little princess!

Happy Birthday, Hannah!!!