People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Monday, June 16, 2008

A swampy adventure...

I think we need to change our middle names to "adventure". Or maybe to "crazy"?
When I said that we should take a walk this evening, I didn't mean through a swamp. No, really, I didn't.

So, me, Emily, and The Beast accompanied Tony on another adventure. Thankfully, this one was not spider filled. It was actually cool... I have to admit. We went through one of those state areas that are protected... a state park of sorts. It's all wooded, like a mini jungle. So, we followed the first "trail", which is really a river when it's not a gazillion degrees out. There were tons of little frogs, which was a dream come true for Emily. She loves frogs. She tried to catch them, but they were too quick ... even for her. She did manage to catch one, and let it go in a safer spot.

Anyway, we walked and walked .... oh, about 300 miles.... when we came to a swamp. It was all swamp. There were two ways to go... forward, or back. So, we moved forward. Tony asked me if this was too much for me.... for me? No way. So, I walked through the swamp. It stunk, and I wondered what might be lurking... but it wasn't bad. The Beast, on the other hand, decided that he would go no further. If you know anything about Basset Hounds, you konw that when they decide that they aren't going, they aren't. You can tug and pull all you want... they are not moving. By the time we had walked several yards in stinky water up to my knees, we had to turn around.

We turned around and walked back, then took the other "trail". Thankfully, no swamps on this one. We walked along, and it was very pretty. We walked along a river, saw more frogs, saw trees and just a general beauty all around. We got to a part of the lake and walked up on an egret nesting ground. They were huge, and white, and noisy. They are absolutely beautiful. I stood in awe for a bit, just watching them.

We were watching the egrets when Tony asked Emily if she liked this adventure. Her reply was, "When I grow up, I'm going to take better care of my kids. I'll never let them near a place like this." We thought that was pretty funny. As we walked back, the forested areas were getting pretty dark and we could see fireflies. Emily got quite a kick out of that.

At some point, something that sounded huge moved in the brush. It was too dark for me to see, and I have to admit to getting scared. We shined flashlights in the general area, and I imagined a large dog, lion, tiger, panther (well, okay, little exaggeration, but whatever)..... Tony insists it was an armadillo. I still think it could have been a bear or something equally frightening.

I told Tony that we would have to bring the camera next time. Yeah, I actually said, "next time" (proof that I am crazy).

(ps, it wasn't really a swamp, more of a shallow pond, but lets just call it a swamp, shall we?)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A "spider" filled adventure

I generally refuse to accompany Tony on his fishing expeditions. There is a reason for this refusal.

So, I decided to be a nice person and agree to go with him. Tony has a very strong sense of adventure. He doesn't just go to a spot on the lake and fish. He has to find the hardest spot to get to, which is exactly what he did. We had to go through some brush, move some branches aside, then scale rocks on a steep incline. I had the dog's leash in one hand, and Emily's hand in the other, so this was quite a challenge. Being the good sport that I am, I didn't complain.... I just went along with the adventure.

We finally got to the spot that he wanted to fish in. It is under a bridge, and on several large rocks. As he was fishing, I was talking to Emily and just looking around. I looked down to see a "daddy long leg" (I know they aren't really spiders, but they look like them and I'm still scared of them). Being scared of spiders (or anything that looks remotely like them), I moved away from it. When I moved away, another came up. Once again, I moved away, and once again, another came up. A few minutes later they started coming up from the rocks... thousands of them. It was like watching a nightmare. They were everywhere. Apparently, at a certain time in the early evening, they all come up from between the rocks. Me and Emily were screaming and jumping from side to side to try to keep them off of our feet. I dropped the dog's leash, grabbed Emily, and headed back to the car. At some point, me and Emily were running along when a real spider (a very large one, I might add) caught the wind and blew off of the big rock, right on to her face. She screamed and screamed and couldn't move. I picked her up and just kept running toward the car. I ran through the brush, knowing perfectly well that I was running through webs and touching real spiders.

When I got to the car, my hair was covered in spider webs. I got the shivers and they wouldn't go away. I had Emily check me over for spiders, and she didn't see any. Thank goodness! So, we sat on the trunk of the car and waited for Tony. It didn't take him long to show up, because when Emily screamed from the spider being in her face, The Beast took off running toward us. This dog is protective, and the sound of his Emily screaming was enough to bring him running to us. (I love The Beast!) On the drive home, I brushed a spider off of my leg. No big deal, really... though I was finished with spiders. As luck would have it, I ended up with a nice spider bite on my upper thigh. It already has a black center and a rash around it. Yuck. (It is not a brown recluse bite, though. No worries. I've had one of those and they are very painful. This one does not hurt, and is already healing, despite the black middle.)

I think me and Emily are done with adventures for a while (I always say that, and I always go on the next one)...

For more info on the "Daddy Long Leg", click here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Emily says...

I decided to keep a regular spot here for my "Emily-isms".

"I mean, this Easter bunny thing is kinda creepin me out. He just breaks into our house while we're sleeping?"

I was telling her that her martial arts place is having another tournament. So, she said, "I might do it. If I won, would you buy me a piece of wood..(pause) or a cactus?" ---ps, don't most kids ask for things like candy and necklaces?


"That's the wasp that stung the f*ck out of you!" Me: "Emily, don't say that word." Emily: "But (insert name here) told me that I can't say heck or hell." -- so apparently she figures if she can't say heck or hell, f*ck is a good substitute.


 "Mom, you know what my favorite things in the whole world are? You and water."

 "People say that I can't dig a hole to China, and I know that, I get it! But I *can* dig a hole that still goes back to Texas. Okay? I mean, really, I can just dig a hole, it doesn't have to go to China or something."


"Mommy, for my birthday, I want cool things like toasters, vacuums and things.  I don't want baby things like toys."


We were driving home and saw an animal on the side of the road. Emily asked if it was dead, and I said that I was pretty sure it was. She said, "we should go back and poke it with a stick"


"Mom, don't you wish that birds had a thing where when they lose a feather, another bird finds it and puts it in a special place - like a lost and found for birds - so they can find their feathers?"


"You know what I am? I'm a martial arts princess!"


"I'm so happy I brushed my teeth! When I didn't brush my teeth, my cheeks never looked so healthy. Now ...they look healthy and my chin looks healthy too."


"Socks make my toes get mad at my feet. That's why I don't like socks, mom."


"Mom, Kroger must make a lot of money, cause they are right by martial arts." ---- so now we know where all Kroger's business comes from!


Emily has been obsessed with having a salt water tank. So, we set up one of our tanks for her to put some live rock in. She wants me to look up all possible information on saltwater aquariums for her. So she said, "Mom, I need to tell you, though: Having a tank is a big responsibility."


Mom, daddy said he doesn't have any money. Why doesn't he have any money when he works all the time? Do you take it all away from him? 

"mom, I'm trying to be like a ninja"


We were in the kitchen and she was asking me about why I decided not to be vegetarian anymore (after years and years of being one). I was explaining, so she thought a moment and said, "okay, I'm going to be a vegetarian from now on." She sat there for about 15 seconds and said, all desparately, "oh maaaan, I just can't handle it anymore! Okay, I won't be a vegetarian."


I'm not sure you'll ever hear this from any other kid: "Mom, can I please do more school work? I wanna do more school work tonight."


I was sitting here pretending to hear and know what Emily was saying. Apparently she had asked me some sort of question pertaining to whatever it was she was talking about. I think she may have repeated her question a few times, and each time I answered with "mmmm hmmm" as though I were listening. All of a sudden, she says, "Mom, focus!"


"mom, I can't imagine what it would be like not to like science. I mean, look at the sky: It's white. That's no big deal, the sky is white. But if you like science, you think 'why is the sky white?' and that's science. You wonder why about everything, even things that people don't think about."

Tony was saying that he's getting fat, so Emily said, "no daddy, you're not fat!  You just weigh a lot."

Mommy, when I grow up, I'm going to have 30 acres of land and I'm going to have a little house or a big house.  You won't like the smell of my house, though, because I'm going to have a lot of animals.  And, when I grow up, will you be a good grandma for my kids?  You have to have a house with an apple tree for my kids.  They need an apple tree.  

Emily was telling me that she liked it when I did certain things and wanted to know what I liked her to do. So, I said, "I like it when you..." and started laughing and laughing (while rolling on the floor). After a couple of times doing this, she tried to complete the sentence for me, only instead of saying "laugh", she said very seriously, "control yourself?".

Emily was on the playground and a little boy pushed her down to get to something before her, so she came up to me and said, "Mom? I think that boy's mom forgot to explain to him that girls can be tough." She acted very concerned.

We were playing the wii when I said, "Oh man, I suck at this game!" Emily came and whispered in my ear, "Mom, you're supposed to say I CAN DO IT. You get better at it if you just practice. Don't say you suck, just practice."

"I don't want people to look at me and see a girl who loves pink and all that girlie stuff. I want them to see me and think I'm tough and dusty." - I call her Princess Tough and Dusty now.

Before eating her dinner: "Wait a minute. Does this have any hydrogenated oils in it?"

Said to our friend (who isn't fond of exercise): "I call your butt your anchor."

Emily talking to her friend - "don't go in the garage, I have a demon cat living in there." Her friend - "but your mom is in there" Emily - "yeah, my mom is evil, she can go in there"

While we were driving in the car, there was a fly buzzing around. Emily suddenly said, "Somebody needs to Obama that fly!"

"Mom, don't tell daddy this cause he won't want to have another girl, but when I was outside, I was holding a black widow just for fun. I saw a black spider with a big ball for its butt (abdomen), so I was petting it, then I held it and it was a black widow. But don't worry mom, it didn't bite me or anything." --- probably shouldn't let her be outside without me, huh?

"Mommy, I found a way to watch movies even when I'm not allowed to, and I can't even get in trouble for it!" I sat there with a confused look, "how?" Emily: "I just watch them in my head!"

This was completely random: "Mommy, if you have been looking for a mountain made out of candy, where the trees are even candy, you won't be able to find it. You have to make it yourself. If you really want something like that, you have to just make it, because you won't just find it."

Emily: Mom, what is it that makes babies smell so good? Me: Hmmm, I dunno. They do smell good, don't they? Emily: Maybe it's a scent that makes humans not want to eat their babies?

I was taking a shower one day (I do that sometimes). Emily walked in to tell me something, and there was this long pause. All of a sudden, she pipes up and says, "Wow, it's like washing an elephant."

While on an adventure where we walked through a swamp (well, a shallow river or something, anyway) and some wooded areas... "When I grow up, I'm going to take better care of my kids. I'll never let them around a place like this."

I told Christopher that he was being difficult. Emily pipes up with, "I told you to get rid of him, mom!"

"I love you so much mommy! I love you even with short hair and no matter what shirt you're wearing." ~Emily

Emily: "Mom, you know what the grass is?"
Me: "What is the grass?"
Emily: "The Earth's hair"
Emily: "You know what lava is?"
Me: "No, what is lava?"
Emily: "The Earth's blood."
Emily: "You know what mountains are?"
Me: "What are they?"
Emily: "The Earth's goosebumps! I can't believe you don't know that, mommy!"

Emily does this thing... every now and then, just out of the blue, she'll pop up and say, "mom?" and I HAVE to say, "yes Emily?" and she'll say, "I like you." And I've just been all sentimental about it. So, she says to me the other day, "Sometimes I just say I like you because I forgot what I was going to tell you or I don't know what to say."

When she purchased one of those scented car air fresheners for me, she opened it, smelled it, and said, "Mom, do you like the smell of chemically vanilla?"

Of Emily, remodeling, bread pets, and other stuff...

Once again, it's been a while since I wrote in this blog, and I apologize for that. A few friends have asked that I blog more often, so I will try.

So what is going on in our household? Well... too much to even write about, of course! I'm never bored.

At the moment, we are doing a restroom remodel. Tony thinks that we are only replacing the tub, but we will actually replace the flooring and sink, etc as well. We already replaced the
toilet. But the tub.... oh, the tub! First off, I picked out one of those bath surrounds to put in there instead of tile. The surrounds they have now look really nice. Had I not seen them at Lowes, I would have never been open to the idea of having plastic panels around my tub instead of nice tile. Really, though... they look nice.

Now, one has to realize that our restroom is tiny. I can sit on the toilet and lean one way to wash my hair in the tub and the other way to wash my hands in the sink. No, I haven't actually done this, but I really think I could if I wanted to.

So, realizing how tiny our restroom is, you can only imagine how fun it was to maneuver a tub out of there. It took us hours....
literally hours. Before we even played with the idea of taking the tub out, we knocked the rest of the tiles down, to take the drywall out and replace it with duralock (isn't that what it's called? It's like drywall, but for places like around a shower). As it turns out, the builders who slapped this place up used drywall instead of something graded for a tub, tile, and water. The result of this wackjob was mold and disintegrated drywall.

As all home repairs go, once we started doing one thing, we found another thing we would have to do. So, we started out with replacing a tub. This seems like something where you would pull a tub out and put another i
n its place, right? But it's not. Now, we have to replace the plumbing, the drywall, and the flooring. As it turned out, we also had a leak, resulting in standing water under the tub, that seeped under the linoleum on a pretty constant basis, creating a disaster that we didn't know was there. We have an amazing amount of work to do in such a tiny room. We are do-it-yourselfers, so we will be doing it all ourselves. What an adventure!

And, in other news.... Emily is officially registered for kindergarten! She starts this Fall. I'm excited, nervous, and overwhelmed. She is such a free-spirited and strong little chica.... I hope that she isn't forced into a different mold. I love who she is and want her to be "her" forever. She's funny, smart, witty, strong, and so much more. She's the silly little girl who loves to surprise me. For a while, she was having a hard time counting past 15. So, I told her that when she can count to 20, we would go buy another webkinz. She looked at me with that little stinker smile and said, "Okay, okay... 1234......20". She counted to 20 perfectly. So, on the way to pick up a webkinz, I was telling her how happy I was that she can count to 20 so perfectly now and that I would buy her a webkinz for each 10 more that she counts. So, she let out a long sigh, with that smile that I know all too well, and counted to 50. Those things are expensive! I certainly didn't expect to buy 4 in the same day. Later she told me, "Mom, I can't tell you the things that I know because I have to keep it a secret until the right time to tell you." I know what she's getting at.

Being the tricky little mom that I am, I said, "What? nut-uh. Like what? I know ever
ything you can do!" So, she proceeded to count to 100. Ahhhh, so she has that all figured out! Now, she's doing addition, subtraction, and simple multiplication, and being able to get past 20 is very helpful in practicing these skills.

When she was an early 5, we were in the grocery store. She was in the cart sorting the yogurts (we buy a lot of yogurt) into piles. I noticed that she was counting the piles, but just went about my shopping business. After a few minutes, she said, "Mom, I know what two twos is! Four. I know what two threes is! Six. I know what three threes are! Nine." She just went on and on with this. I was completely shocked.

She can read 3 letter words as well. The other day, I told Christopher, "you should come in here and hear how well your sister is reading now!" and Emily responded, "Yeah, Chris.... B-R-A-T brrrrat!". I never thought we would have sibling rivalry he
re, but apparently there is a little bit of it. Of course, we all got a huge laugh at her new found skills. If you've ever watched the movie, Roger Rabbit, Emily reminds me of a line in that movie.... When Valiant says, "You mean you could've taken your hand out of that cuff at any time?" and Roger responds, "No, not at any time, only when it was funny!"

Speaking of funny, Emily has a new thing. Hopefully this is a normal phase they go through. She likes us to buy baquette (long, hard, thin loaves of brea
d) for her. She doesn't eat them, they are her pets. She has a toy dog leash that she will put on one and walk it around, take it places with her, and take care of it. We have affectionately named these pets, "Bread Pett". So, when this phase first started, Tony was completely unaware. Who would have ever thought that the bread on the table was actually a pet? So, he came home from work, and a loaf of bread was the only thing on the table. As any person would do, he walked over and tore off part of the bread and started eating it. Emily walked in and completely melted in to tears. As she was sobbing, I was trying to explain to Tony, who had a look of utter confusion. So, I went and got Emily another "Bread Pett". I came in the door with the bag of groceries and set them on the floor while I ran to the restroom. When I came out, Emily was again in tears and sobbing. The Beast had grabbed "Bread Pett" out of the bag and proceeded to take it outside, kill it, and eat it.

I tried to talk her into a stuffed animal, maybe? A pet that is less edible might be a better idea, but it didn't work. So, once again, I picked up a "Bread Pett" and instructed everybody to make sure "Bread Pett" did not get harmed in any way.

And last, but not least, the butterflies. We love science here, so Emily got a cool thing called a butterfly tent from Nonna as a gift. It came with live caterpillars! We followed all instructions, and our caterpillars made their chrysalids, then came out as beautiful Painted Lady butterflies! We kept them for a week, then released them in our garden. It was an amazing experience for all of us, and every time we see a Painted Lady, we say it is one of her butterflies. I managed to get a decent photo of one of the butterflies after it had been "hatched" for about 3 hours. They stay in one spot, with crumpled wings, for about 2 hours, then start flying. We learned a ton of stuff about butterflies that I never knew, and had a great time taking care of them. When we would go in the tent, if we sat still, they would come over and land on us.