Who Said:

 (July 2011)
HE said, “Mommy, I just saw a RAT downstairs!” Some of the very first words I heard this morning from Zakkai, whose chest was heaving with the exertion of running all the way back upstairs to impart this wonderful news. I said, “A rat?!”
He nodded, his eyes big, and said “It ran into a crack by the dishwasher!”
The mice are back.
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I discovered this afternoon, after careful questioning, that the mice problem most likely originates from our nearest neighbor’s place. I gently and repeatedly encouraged her to call the pest control people, hinting that if we hit it from both sides, maybe the mice would all disappear!
I hope she takes my hints.
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SHE let loose with some hellion-like screaming when she discovered her new favorite playing place of the stairs was blocked off this morning.
She, being our baby-toddler.
We’ve decided to allow her some supervised stairs playing here and there but for my sanity, to keep it blocked off especially during times where I can’t be right there. Ever tried to make dinner while running (hobbling) back and forth to take the baby off the stairs so she doesn’t fall and hurt herself?? Thank goodness for the ingenious thinking caps that the hubs and I have developed after 6 1/2 years of parenthood.
One babygate and 2 small ottomans (one with weights inside) in front are working for now. Nevermind that the newest game is to throw toys over the other side and say “Uh-oh!”
Sixty times a day:)
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HE was grumpy on the way to school yesterday morning and was directed by his mama to de-grumpfy his first-grade self by saying 6 things he was thankful or that are good/happy/fun.
6 things if your 6 doesn’t seem to bad, right?
You should’ve heard the moaning! But after the 6 things reluctantly made their way out of Samuel’s mouth? The grumpies and complaining were GONE.
1. He loves me.
2. He loves Daddy.
3. He loves Eliana. (and Zakkai, too, I am sure:)
4. He is thankful for school.
5. He is thankful for the best first grade teacher ever.
6. He is glad he has lots of friends.
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 I came up with a quick motivator just before bedtime tonight and set the timer for 5 minutes and the boys and I had a race to see how much we could clean up in that time.
I’d say that’s a winning tactic for anyone! Within 5 minutes, I had a clean living room and dining room, 2 boys happy from their racing and accomplishments and there was less work for me to do after they went to bed!
I told them next time, we’re setting the 5 minute timer for their bedroom. Goodness, I might start timing myself to see what I can clean in 5 minute incriments throughout the day!
Buono notte!
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Today’s One….or Two Liners.

Here is a summary of our day…in one or two liners:)

*Tonight at Zumba, I knocked over someone’s water bottle and water spilled everywhere.

*I also smelled like garlic from dinner tonight. At least vampires won’t want me.

*I may never show my face again.

*I’m going to lemon juice my hands riiiight now….

*We had a fantastic dinner tonight, using said garlic, called Sofrito Chicken, a recipe my friend passed on to me. We ate it with black beans and rice and it was deeeeelicious!

*Except I had to de-skin a chicken and it was quite possibly the grossest thing I have ever done.

*Morton (and Co.?) is apparently here to stay. He has now baffled 3 different men from the company that comes over and no one knows what to do.

*I never knew mice were so smart.

*Samuel had T-ball tonight and hit a ball the first time it was pitched to him! He is getting such confidence in his new skills:)

*Zakkai is loving preschool and is VERY proud of the papers he’s bringing home that he worked on in school:) Today he worked on patterns.

*Eliana is a Biscuit.

*I made muffins this morning that were a big failure.

*Eliana wouldn’t even eat them. And that’s a very good indicator of failed muffins.

*I figured out the way to Ben’s heart today: Eliana and freshly picked apples from the farmer’s market (until we get our own.)

*He loves me.

*He loves apples.

*And Eliana.

*I also love all three of those things;)

Good night!

First and…Last Day of Preschool?

My Z-Man started preschool this morning. And as you can see, he was very excited:) He’s been such a buddy these past 2 weeks but is definitely so stimulated by the socialization and learning he does in school and needs to go.
Unfortunately, I could tell immediately that it is not a good fit for him:( Better now than later, I guess! The preschool director led me to believe it was something it wasn’t and even told me there was going to be at least one other boy his age in class.
But there isn’t. He was in a class with a bunch of 2 and barely 3 year olds. Not exactly what Z needs! There is a huge difference in kids with those age gaps. I talked with the director and told her this afternoon that I didn’t think it was going to work out. She asked us to come on Thursday to give it one more try and seems to think he will learn such great leadership and self-confidence skills if he stays.
While that may be true….he also needs to be learning and socializing with kids his own age. He’s too smart of a cookie to be in such a young class. Thankfully, last minute we found a spot in the park’s district program and he will be starting Monday! This program seems like a much better fit for him with what he will be learning: music, art, computer, gym, math, reading, etc. Plus he will go 4 days a week, which he really wants.
I hope it works out better!
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Tonight I worked up enough courage to go try a Zumba class for the first time at the Y! I have really been wanting to try it for awhile but fear of throwing out my hips or tripping on someone and causing a Zumba-wipeout have kept me from going;)
Tonight I told a friend and Ben to encourage me to go, no matter what! I knew I’d be glad if I went….and I am! It was SO much fun!
I had no clue what I was doing but watched the instructor and the people around me and wiggled, shimmied, and stepped to the latin beat of the (very loud) music for an hour. Best time I’ve had exercising ever!
I’m going back next week:)
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And in other news, Morton the Mouse has moved in to stay it seems. The “mouse peeps” have been over twice and obviously they haven’t found his secret hideout, as he hasn’t touched any of the bait they set out and has another entrance other than the ones they sealed up.
He’s a sneaky one, that Morton. It’s usually me that is the lucky one to see him but tonight alone, Ben has seen him FOUR times. He’s either really desperate for something or he really likes us.
I going to go with the latter:)
So here’s to a better preschool, getting in shape while having fun and living with mice!
What an exciting life I lead….

Quietness

 Tonight it is so quiet here. It is amazing how just the very presence of another person, especially one whom you love, can fill a house with its vibrancy, its life.
And when that presence is gone, all you feel is the silence. Now in my home you can hear the gentle whirring of the ceiling fan, the ticking of the clock on the wall, the fans lulling my babies to sleep in their rooms, a cicada outside, the gentle clacking of my keys as I type and perhaps, if you listen hard enough, the faint scratchings of our resident mouse.
Oh, didn’t I mention our mouse to you yet? Last week on Ben’s late night, I brought my computer downstairs and was working quietly in the dining room at the table, facing the kitchen. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement and glanced up. My heart skittered and started pounding as I recognized the dark shadowy shape of a mouse running along the baseboard beneath the kitchen sink. I screamed and it froze and ran as quick as a flash into the teensiest crack you ever saw.
I sat there stunned for several moments thinking that perhaps I made the whole thing up in my mind and I really should be getting more sleep at night. I called our landlords the next morning and they set up an appointment for their pest/lawn control people to come out today.
So far I have been the only one to see……Morton. He only comes out at night when he thinks no other creature is stirring. Except me, apparently! Last night I was sitting in the kitchen with the lights on (now I always reach around the corner and flick them on fast, doing a quick search with my eyes for any running creatures) and I suddenly saw something dart under the stove. I froze and didn’t breath….well, breathed softly anyways, for a couple minutes.
And then suddenly Morton dove into another crack under the cabinet where it meets the baseboard. I yelled at the sight of the gray furry mouse with the long pink tail. Ick. I am shuddering now at the very thought of him.
Zakkai says we should keep him and he would like to go to a whole zoo filled with mice…because he loves them.
I did not know that.
The mouse-man (otherwise known as, pest control) came and set up some bait in special boxes. Hopefully Morton and friends will do the disappearing act and go find another place to set up shop.
Although, maybe I should be glad for his company since it’s so quiet here tonight…..
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After we picnicked at the zoo yesterday, the boys spent a few minutes collecting nature goodies, including acorns, berries and ginormous sticks. They begged me to take the sticks home but I said in a convincingly (at least I thought) excited voice, “How about I take a picture instead and you can look at it later??!!”
They didn’t buy the idea. They’re too smart for me.

 Eliana was feeling very colorful yesterday, as you can see from the wild outfit she, er, I chose:) She had a good time finding some grass to taste. Good protein and all that.

 She doesn’t have time to look at the camera for me anymore.

They put up this new pathway of rocks around the zoo and the boys loved them. They had the greatest time leaping on and off the rocks! I talked them into a little posing, too, as I am known to do..

Recently I told them a little story about how when I was little, my sisters and I would go on walks with my (now deceased) grandma and there were these big huge stones along the path to the park. We would run ahead of her, climb on and pose as statues. When she came strolling along, she would wind us up and we would dance for her.
The boys thought that was so great and without me saying a word, decided to pose as statues for me yesterday:) Samuel was a frog….
And I think Zakkai was a soldier. Or maybe he was just looking for something. I’m not sure but it was cute:)
We were all up bright and….dark this morning before 4am to drive Ben to the airport. I felt a bit sick by the time we got back home at 5am (getting up too early/not eating, etc doesn’t agree with me!) and after feeding E, fell back asleep for 2 hours, as did everyone else in the household.
Morton included, I think.
Hopefully, we’ll all get a good night’s sleep tonight and wake up ready for tomorrow’s special plans!