Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Fishies Sleep With The Fishies Now

When Taiger finished his "Ocean" unit in Homeschool, I had considered buying a goldfish for our classroom so he could see and identify on a live fish, the gils, fins, etc. Seeing as how i HATE animals, I took him to an aquarium instead.

Two days ago, chance had it that I came into owning seven fish; five in one jar, two in another. Taiger loved them! Without any prompting, he showed me the gils! (Mission accomplished for Teacher Mom!) When Bryttan asked what the fish's names were, he named two of the fish: The smallest one was Sushi, and another was Octapus Legs. Yes, he really did come up with those names himself.

The other day, one of the fish had died. It could have been that I hadn't fed them more than bread crumbs. It could have been that there were FIVE fish in a mason jar. Either way, I decided enough was too much. Upon my request, Jeremy took both jars into the bathroom and we dumped the contents of both into the toilet. All seven fish, six happily swimming in the new, clean water, and one dead one floating on top. And then, FLUSH. They were swept away to their new home.

The fishies sleep with the fishies now!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Photo Op with a Mantis


All bugs. ANY bugs. I hate them! People always think I am exaggerating and say things like, "You like ladybugs/butterflies/etc. don't you?!" Nope. The ONLY bugs I can ALMOST tolerate are bees, and I am so allergic to them i have to avoid them like the plague. I really, really HATE bugs.

This evening, I found TWO bugs on my bed. TWO. At different times. In my book on how to avoid bugs, one is a fluke...two is a trend, So, all night I have been paranoid. I keep thinking I am feeling little legs crawling on my skin. EW! Well, at one point I was SURE I felt one! I flipped it off, and turned to see if it was on my bed (it was on my back)...but nothing. As I was looking away, I saw two HUGE eyes...LONG legs...the SUPER bug. To my utter joy, it was on the OTHER side of my window.

What was it? A katydid (I think..I don't like to learn about bugs...the pictures freak me out! When Taiger was little, I tried to teach him about butterflies...the pictures were too much. That homeschool topic ended abruptly). Anyway, I saw this as a GREAT photo opportunity and grabbed Scott and snapped away. The creature held very, very still. Until I moved away to adjust my settings. Then, he cocked his head and seemed to be wondering where I had gone. I came back and snapped some more. I knew this would be the closest I would ever be to one of these bugs. If it weren't on the other side of thick glass, I would have been HYSTERICAL. First, I would have been surprised, probably even jumped. Then, I would have become VERY mad...even IRATE! How dare this disgusting thing intrude MY space! Then, I would have freaked! This thing is in MY ROOM! I would have wakened the WHOLE house and made someone dispose of the helpless creature. Lucky for him, and everyone, he was outside and there was nothing to be upset about.

Well, i LOVED taking pictures of this little guy. Very interesting. Very cool colors. Close enough to get some cool shots. And then, he moved. He had moved little bits already, and that was cool...good for pictures. He bit at his hand, and rubbed his head. Turned his head. Those kinds of things. Now, he began to walk. I clicked away. He moved his legs up onto the window. I almost threw up but I wanted to get some good pictures of his belly to show Taiger tomorrow. It was all pinkish and reddish...very cool to a three year old boy, I assumed. But after a moment, I realized he was staying like that...pawing at my window, trying to get in to the warmth of my lamp.

And that's when everything changed. That is when he grossed me out. No longer cool. Just disgusting and a bug. Yuck. Even as I type this, he is clamoring at the window, trying so hard to get warm. Trying to get through that invisible and mysterious barrier to the heat radiating from so close, but so far away. He knows it is there, he may even be able to feel it slightly through the glass. But there is more. Oh yes, there is heat indescribable. He knows it. But he can't get to it.

Seeing him now makes me want to vomit. Yuck.

I just hate bugs.

(Tried to upload pictures but internet is too slow. Just take my word for it...the little creature was revolting!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sun- Day

Today, in homeschool, Taiger learned about the sun. It was really fun! It was a SUPER short lesson (I have learned these are best for Taiger), but he learned SO MUCH! To make today's class shorter and more fun, I actually "taught" him a TON about the sun last night in the car. I told him today's class would be about the sun, and just went on to tell him about how the closer planets to the sun are warmer than those farther away, and I told him about Solar Flares.

Today, we looked in his book about space and saw pictures of the sun and talked a little about what the sun is made up of, and why it shines. In the picture was a satellite, and that caught his attention, so I briefly explained what a satellite does and he remembered it later today! Could not believe it! Anyway, then we pretended he was the sun. He stood on a chair way up high and I "orbited" around him. Then, I was the sun and as he was orbiting, I decided this would be a good way to review at least one planet without having to make it so formal. So, I asked him which planet he was. He said, "Let's look at our chart" and looked at the picture of the planets I have hanging on the wall. He chose the biggest one (surprised? He always wants to be bigger!) and I reminded him that that one is Jupiter, the biggest planet in the Solar System. After our "orbiting", we did our little poem about the planets, and he totally got into it! Then, we went upstairs and made the sun. I cut out squares of thick yellow craft cellophane and he glued them on the big circle of yellow poster board. I also had cut lengths of that curtly ribbon, and he glued those on for Solar Flares. As he was doing this, I had him tell NaiNai what we had learned today in school and was VERY impressed he remembered SO MUCH! He was excited to say that he had been the sun, way up high, AND that he had been Jupiter. He was excited to tell her about satellites, and even expounded some, saying they were made of gold (they looked gold because of the sun reflecting off the metal). I corrected him, but he went on to say they take pictures of space, and they make up his space book..."Right, Mom?" he asked to make sure his conclusion was correct. I was impressed he could rationalize through that without me having said anything about it. GO TAIGER! So smart!

Later today, it was raining. Taiger wanted to go out in the rain with me but he wasn't dressed, so I told him he couldn't because it would be too cold when he got wet. He ran in the house and came back a moment later with a pirate hat on, exclaiming, "This will keep the rain off me!" I was laughing so hard! Of course, he not only had the pirate hat, he also was waving a pirate gun and a pirate map...don't know how THOSE would help in the rain, but Heaven forbid he have the hat and not the entire ensemble. Funny part was, he got all that instead of just getting his clothes back on! LOL! Silly boy!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Sorry I haven't been up-to-date with blogging. Things have been a bit busy around here!

First of all, I was almost the first casualty of this semester. Really. We had a "quiz" that was more like a full on comprehensive final exam. I almost died, I was so scared and so worried! However, I lived through that battle. Only time will tell the damage done, but for now, I am just happy it is over. Another push boy our military (aka, another quiz) coming soon, so I am told.

By way of GREAT news!...I finally bought my camera!! It is the one I found about a month ago, but it hadn't been released for sale yet. However, I went to Inkley's to talk to them about it, and the sales man with whom I spoke must have been working on commission (DUH!) because he told me that would be a horrible camera. I left the store that day almost in tears. If the only "good" camera was the one over a thousand dollars, I, quite literally, would NEVER get my camera!! I searched online for one used, but there wasn't much offered, and the one I found was junk. Anyway, it was a long, sad month before I decided I would get the one I wanted, regardless of what others said! So...I bought it! And I LOVE it! I carry it with me everywhere! I have taken close to a thousand pictures in the three days since I bought it. It is the BEST camera...the perfect camera for me!!

One a side note...I always name my electronics, especially those that are VERY important to me! I didn't really TRY and come up with a name for my new camera, it just came to me.

For years, I have known I would marry someone with an "S" in his name. I could picture the man I would marry. I knew his hair and eye color, his disposition, that he wore glasses...I have "known" this man since I was about 19 years old. I always thought his name would be Scott. When I was little, I had a friend named Scott...not a best friend, or even a really close friend, just a friend. I thought maybe that is why the name sounded...familiar...comfortable. I knew the man I would marry would have the first letter of "S", and Scott seemed like it might be the name. I dated Simon, and wondered if he was my Mr. S. I haven't dated any other guys whose name began with "S", but I knew he was out there.

Then, I met Jeremy. Mr. No-S. And I fell in love with him. I could see myself marrying him, if I were open to that kind of thing.

So, reality circles like a vulture. It is possible that my Mr. Right is NOT Mr. S. Well, I had spent so many years dreaming of Scott that I couldn't just let this man go!

Aside from that, Scott was my DREAM man! In my mind, we travelled the world with our children. Always in my imagination, we were on an airplane heading somewhere. Scott is a little too serious for me, really, but he smiles easily. As our blond daughters bound excitedly around the airplane (I am sure driving other passengers CRAZY), their long curls a-bouncing, Scott looks at me over his glasses and smiles. I am a well put together Mother, living happily, and with a lot of love. In no ways am I fickle or giddy. I am not a business woman, nor am I a stay-at-home Mom. I am just the woman on the plane, with my husband, Scott, and my kids...and I am EXACTLY who I always dreamed I would be.

Sometimes, reality seems more cruel than at other times. I haven't yet accepted REALITY'S ideas for my life. I still cling to my dreams with childish abandon. I may even make them come true just to postpone having to let them go. I cling to my dreams, my visions of life, with bleeding nails. But the other day, as I thought of my camera, I realized something. He may be the only Scott I have, the only one I "end up" with.

So, Scott it is.

When I bought the camera, I wasn't sure about that name. It doesn't look much like a Scott. Besides, I don't really even like that name all that much. But there is no changing it. I couldn't bear to name him anything else. This is the only Scott I may ever have.

So....anyway! Back to the topic at hand!

Taiger was still in Idaho when I bought Scott, but he returned home just as Scott's battery was completing it's fist charge. I was so excited to start snapping pictures! BUT apparently, I have a miniature photographer on my hands! Taiger was almost more excited than I!!!!! He is the one who really too Scott on his maiden voyage! Taiger is quite the little photographer! He snapped many pictures that first night. I explained that he should take pictures of things that are important to him. So, he took pictures of his Binky, his play dough, and of Jeremy. He took pictures of Jeremy and I together, and after a few shots, said to us, "Okay, now make a funny face!" Continuous Shooting mode is the BEST, by the way! It made it really easy for Taiger to work! Taiger can also use the zoom, which, being as Scott is a rather professional type camera, and not just a "point-and-shoot" it requires more coordination that pushing a button with a plus symbol on it. Needless to say, I am one proud Mama! Watching Taiger handle and work with the camera warmed my heart. My Little Photographer!

So...I will post some pictures of our first days with Scott soon!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go

My grandma Everett died. It was sad to hear, but happy, too. Ten years ago, she fought hard against Cancer, and she won! It took a lot out of her, but she survived. About a week and a half ago, she was re-diagnosed with Cancer, a different one! This one is very painful and swift-progressing. She had decided to forgo suffering through Chemo-Therapy again, and allow the cancer to take her life. She would have died quickly, but not after much pain. A few nights ago, she suddenly began having difficulty breathing, and passed away quickly and painlessly. Everyone was shocked, but i was actually happy for her. She was able to leave this life without suffering any more. I believe her finding out she had Cancer softened the blow, because we were all beginning to brace for her death anyway. We were preparing to let her go, and this way it could happen without much anguish. I will miss her, and I will always love her, but I am glad she was able to go before the Cancer attacked her any more and caused her any great suffering.

Grandma died in the middle of the night, and early the next morning my Mother left to go to Idaho to be with my Dad. She insisted on taking Taiger, and, of course, Taiger was THRILLED! He LOVES Idaho, seeing Grandpa, Uncle Bryndon and Aunt BeQin, who all live together in Grandpa's house. Grandpa's house is planted on an acre of land, where they take the dog for walks and ride on Grandpa's four-wheeler. Grandpa's house is also equipped with an array of fun toys for little boys, including a MOUNTAIN of Legos (Taiger's favorite)! While in Idaho, Taiger is spoiled ROTTEN! Bryndon and his girlfriend, April (who is SO SWEET with Taiger!), take him on outings to the zoo, the local mini-amusement park, out to McDonald's, etc. Aunt BeQin takes him outside to play with her and our next-door neighbors/cousins on their HUGE swing set and teeter-totter. Grandma and Grandpa, however, are the WORST (or BEST, if you are Taiger!)! You thought my Mom was bad normally, you should see her when she and my Dad get together!! The two of them go into Grandparent mode and Taiger is allowed EVERY luxury a child could wish, from staying up past bedtime, to eating peanut butter sandwiches at 11:00pm, to going out to dinner and ice cream! He usually comes home with a new toy, because, as Grandma says, "He was just such a good little boy, he NEEDED a special prize."

While he is away, however, I miss Taiger terribly. It is hard to be without him!! He is my little buddy, and I have missed him so much this week!

On the other hand, I really, really appreciate my family for allowing me this "break" (as bad as that may sound!), especially this week. With so much work and this HUGE exam that almost killed me, it was probably better for Taiger to be away and being spoiled rather than being ignored by his mother, who he would have been sure was there, but couldn't find her under the pile of books. Also, I have been awake a lot at night studying and getting ready for my test, and that would not have been good with Taiger here, as we share a bedroom. After expressing my appreciation to my Mom over this fact, she stated joyfully, "Well, I will just have to go to Idaho and take Taiger every time you have a big test to prepare for!" Of course, I am sure Taiger would be elated! But I don't know...if he gets any more spoiled, he may turn rotten! LOL! Just kidding. More than anything, I couldn't believe how sweet and selfless my Mother was to say that. Most people don't have the luxury of a "break" from their children, and especially not one where they can rest assured their kids are in such good hands, being so very loved and looked after and cared for. I never have to worry about Taiger's needs being met when he is in Idaho!!!!! They take such good care of him! Also, because I live with my Mom, she knows Taiger's routine and things he likes to eat and do, and all that...so really, when Taiger is in Idaho, he doesn't miss me AT ALL! When I call to check on him (aka, when I miss him and want to hear his voice) he NEVER wants to talk! He is TOO BUSY and having too much fun to talk! :D It makes me so happy to know HE is THAT HAPPY!

I am also so glad that Taiger has a special place away from home that he loves so much! I used to LOVE going to my Grandma Nalder's house...everything about her house was like a dream-land! The blankets she had seemed softer, the food better tasting, the sun sunnier, the night's dreamier, EVERYTHING was BETTER there! In fact, even though she died many years ago, I still remember her home with fondness...to the point that I often hope Heaven is JUST LIKE GRANDMA'S HOUSE! THAT happy, THAT inviting, THAT full of love and excitement! I am so glad that Taiger has those same warm, fond feelings towards HIS Grandparent's house!

Taiger in Idaho, wearing Grandpa's glasses, looking very seriously at something.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On Death and Cracked Wheat Cereal

With the death of a person comes the death of other things: endless TROVES of knowledge, secrets, understanding. For example: As a child, when my Grandmother wasn’t serving Eggo waffles with homemade, frozen raspberry jam, or sugary cereal with buttery toast, she would make cracked wheat cereal. Given the choice, I would always turn down Lucky Charms or tangy raspberry jam for my Grandma’s cracked wheat cereal, complete with sweet whole cream. Since her death, I have not had one dish of cracked wheat cereal that tasted as good, that tasted the same. For years my mother has scoured the shelf of every store looking for the right kind of cracked wheat to make the cereal. Today again we held our breath in hopes of tasting Grandma’s Cracked Wheat Cereal, only to find it was nothing more than Bob’s Bulger Cracked Wheat, just exactly as stated on the bag. My Mother sighed and said, “Oh well.” I stood and walked away from the table and the dish of Bob’s Bulger Cracked Wheat, stating, “That’s life.” Then, under my breath, I muttered, “And that’s death.” The loss of great and small things.