Sunday, March 19, 2017

John Muir House

I got to chaperone Tyler's class to the John Muir House in Martinez which was another nice day.  I went with Phylene and one other mom and we had a great time.  The tour guides talked about how John Muir was a pioneer in conservation.  His efforts were really what started the national park service.  Inspired me to go and adventure the National Parks with the kids.  I am hoping to go to Yosemite with the kids over break if the rain takes a break.  They did a presentation with guessing what National park belonged to the clue.  They then went on a mini hike and visited a building about Mexican pioneers.  Lastly, they visited his home and talked about his life.  We had a great lunch outdoors and it is always fun to see Tyler interact with his peers.  He is so calm and well behaved at school.  Hoping we get to see that Tyler at home someday.  He likes to yell, anger people and is never calm at home.  We had so much fun, I decided to bring Scott, Blake, Parker and one of Blakes friend the following week.  They got to watch a movie about his life and then did a Junior Ranger Program and made an oath after going on a scavenger hunt to find answers about the tour that they would conserve and honor wildlife.  It was cool, educational and a fun day out!

Hiking

With all the of the rain, the hills are green and gorgeous.  Weeks and weeks of rain has flooded a lot of california and made me somewhat depressed of not being able to get out and get sun.  It has however brought us out of a huge drought that we have been in for years. As soon as the sun was out, we took advantage of being out and went hiking.  It was muddy but so nice to see sun again. Shawna and I went to Borges Ranch in Walnut Creek. It was so fun!  The kids ran ahead, we found a small stream and then the kids went back while we got to leisurely walk with the little ones.  It is so great getting out. We probably hiked 4 miles.  Even better when it is with friends because then my kids don't fight with each other for some reason.  Instead they play nicely with friends.  Here are some pics.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

2017 Skiing

We have had record snows this year and Scott has been dying to go skiing.  Every week, amidst downpour rains and floods and snow storms, we told him that it is not fun to drive or ski in snow storms.  We finally had a nice day that both Danny and I had off, so we got a babysitter for the baby and headed to Dodge Ridge.  Dodge Ridge takes a little over 2 hours to get to and is like our little secret. While everyone heads to Tahoe, we head to Dodge Ridge.  There was nobody on the mountain, the staff is so helpful and friendly and we had a great time!







I was in a shirt most of the day, which means it was hot because I am always cold.  It is great being out in nature, hanging out with the kids on lifts and watching them ski down the mountain with smiles on their faces.  Scott loves challenges and likes to go off with Danny and ski.  Tyler gained so much confidence in his ability to do harder runs and had more fun instead of being hesitant.  Blake flew down mountains, fearless and determined.  Kira was scared the first couple of runs, always wanting to be by me or Danny and gained confidence as the day went on.  These past two years she has become so much more cautious and scared.  Not really sure what triggered it, but she did great nonetheless. We ventured to the back side of the mountain with the little kids and they did great.

It was nice to enjoy lunch, take off my boats and lay in the sun as the kids played in the snow mounds by the lodge.  We had an open spot right next to our car, I put down a blanket and had a great, relaxing lunch.  Life without a baby is something I am not that familiar with, but it was nice and peaceful.

We skied until the mountain closed and everyone had a great time!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Judo and Taekwondo

Tyler is doing Taekwondo and Judo at CYC and Blake is doing Judo.  Tyler really likes Judo and blake asks everyday if it is judo day.  We thought it would be good for Tyler and help pass time while Kira was at gymnastics.  They come to the CYC and hang out together, play games together and then go to class together.  It is really great to see Tyler helping his brother and taking care of him because at home Tyler doesn't usually take on the role of caregiver.  The first couple of pics they were making silly pics at gymnastics, for warm-up they push a towel on their knees.  Tyler loves a game called jump the river in which they can surprisingly jump pretty far.  The last two pics showed Blake choosing to verse Tyler in a game and Tyler went so easy on him, pushing back just a little.  It was great to see them interacting and getting along so well. 










Friday, December 30, 2016

There were helicopters back then?

I was playing some music videos for the kids, among which was Phil Collins' Easy Lover.  Scott's like, "This was made a long time ago."

I said, "Yeah, the 80's."

"There were helicopters back then?"  He asked.

"You're funny,"  I said.

"No, seriously,"  he started.  "There were helicopters back then?"

Nice.

I feel I need to educate the kids on quality music.  They already like Coldplay, so that's cool.  Tyler wants to learn some of their new stuff on the piano, so tonight we went over Hymn for the Weekend.  Then I did Paradise for Kira.  It's her favorite song.  Yeah.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Contentment

I have been thinking about doing a simple remodel for our kitchen.  I am not willing to spend a ton of money at this stage of life for the mere fact that I don't want to worry about things getting ruined.  Friends have installed ikea cabinets, I looked at them last time I was at ikea and liked how they looked.  They seemed perfect for what I was looking at.  Granite is simple enough which could be done in a day or two and lastly new appliances.

Well, I was going to start the project, then I realize I just want to do it.  I would rather have my kitchen in one piece.  I would rather have that time to spend on the kids.  I would rather not drag Danny through something that I am certain he doesn't want to be a part of.

So i realized I was perfectly content and it was such a nice feeling. I am even content with my family room that is simply good enough.  It isn't decorated exactly how I want but Kira is starting to turn our home into a mattress jumping trampoline zone so realize that is a great room to do that.  It serves our families need and function.

This brings a sense of peace that I get to spend time doing the things that I want to do and love. Spend times helping and enriching my kids lives, spending time with Danny and have some spare time in my day to work which I love.

I will never have the most fashionable home and that is totally ok.  I have decorated my home to make it functional and good enough that if feels like home and makes me happy and that is a great thing and realization at this stage of my life!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I'm a great parent

I'm a great parent.

At least in my head.

In the eyes of the kids, I'm the worst parent.  Compared to other parents, I think I'm in the 50th percentile.  My latest endeavor was a program to teach Scott to clean up his clothes from off the bathroom floor.

Sometimes I throw them in his bed.  Once I put them in his backpack so he took them to school.  I was hoping that he'd open up his backpack, see his dirty choners and be so embarrassed that he'd never leave them on the ground again.  But that failed.

This time I told him that if he didn't pick them up that I'd hide them.  He shrugged and said he didn't care.  So I hid them.  After two days he started asking where his clothes were, and he had apparently missed the laundry cut-off.  I told him he could buy back his clothes for a dollar each.  I wanted him to feel the pain of losing money to a lame cause but he said, "I have a lot of money and I have a lot more coming to me."  Wow.  I know his tooth fairy and I know the other sources of income he has, and I was taken off guard at his confidence in his own wealth.

He showed me some of his twenties and I said something to the effect of, "If you keep leaving your clothes out you won't have any more money."  I'm sure Heidi would disagree about this strategy but I'm humble enough to know that some of my kid-raising strategies have been failures.  But I also know that you can't try the same failure again and hope for a different outcome.  Albert Einstein said that is the definition of insanity.  Plus, Thomas Edison had thousands of failures before he got the light bulb to work right and he said, "I just learned a thousand ways that it didn't work."

By the time I get this all figured out, the kids will be out of the home and have kids of their own.  Then I can sit back and chuckle.  I'll be like, "Got any twinkies, Margaret?"

The end.