Saturday, March 21, 2009

Science Fair

Jessica (and Papa Echo) had a lot of fun preparing for the science fair. Jessica wanted to see what kind of stain would preserve wood the best. She used an oil-based, water-based and spray-on water-based stain. She then kept some in the dark, some in UV light, and some were in a wet/dry cycle for a month. The conclusion was that the water-based stain worked the best for keeping true to the original color and not warping.

She was the only one of two fifth graders from her school that entered the Billings Clinic Science Fair. Way to go Jessica!! We are very proud of you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ode to Twilight

It's probably best that I did not know about Twilight when it first came out because I HATE waiting for the next book in a series. (V and Tif-do-Do you remember me waiting for books 6 and 7 in the Harry Potter series?) Luckily, I did not start the Twilight series until a few months before the final book hit the shelves. So, here we are a few hours before the Twilight DVD will be released at parties/extravaganzas and I have to say that I'm excited. (Yes, I am that obsessive/compulsive that I know when and where.) I have heard a lot of talk about being tired of Twilight. And while I agree there is an unnatural amount of hype, I wanted to share my feelings.
  • I like the books. They were a fun read. I wouldn't say they were great literary pieces that will stand the test of time. There's not much depth to them, but when you need to escape, they are perfect. They are the kind of quick read that I can read again and again and still enjoy.
  • While I won't be going to any midnight release parties, I SO would have when I was a teenager. Reading about the parties and excitement reminds me of how much fun you can have and the silliness you can get away with as a teen. I think that's a good reminder.
  • With each book and movie, there is something to look forward to. At this point, I need something that is just for me, entertaining, and inexpensive. The hoopla fits into this quite well with the movies and DVDs to be released one right after another (Nov 20, 2009 for New Moon , June 30 2010 for Eclipse and ?? for Breaking Dawn).
Don't get me wrong. I'm not planning a pilgrimage to Forks, WA. I may watch a Twilight inspired website, but I don't have all the bells and whistles that I could download. I don't have a "Twilight Mom" T-shirt or any of the assorted paraphernalia that I could buy. I won't be at Hot Topic at 11:59 tonight waiting to get my movie. I won't buy the jewelry box and bracelets that are included with the edition from Costco. I don't need/want the film cells that are included with the Hot Topic edition. I don't need the phone skin that is included with the set from Barnes and Noble. But, I will be at Target tomorrow morning to pick up the 3-disc special edition set. (Not to be confused with the 2-disc set) And, while I have already watched it twice in the theater, I will happily watch it again tomorrow night with all the extra bells and whistles and commentary. I will once again escape my life for just a little bit to the world of vampires and be quite happy and content. It may be silly, but I'm okay with that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Do you ever feel like you're drowning in life? Lately I've been feeling more and more like that. Nothing "big" or dramatic has happened lately. Little by little things are just piling up, and while we are trying to stay positive and hopeful, I think it's getting to be too much. We still haven't sold our home in Big Timber and Papa Echo's job is still "up in the air". There doesn't seem to be anything that we can do. As long as we've been married, we've always been able to come up with plans to fix our problems. This just seems to be too big to fix. I feel like we are just chipping away at a huge granite boulder that is in our life. I. want. it. gone.

But, there is nothing that can be done and no way to get rid of that boulder. So, I try to put on my happy face and get the kids to school. Put on my happy face and go to work. Put on a happy face and be a good mom when the kids get home. Put on my happy face and be a supportive and loving wife. And then when everyone is in bed and asleep, I worry and feel like I'm drowning. I know I'm not the only one. But it sure does feel lonesome sometimes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

List of Firsts

This "List of Firsts" came from Michelle. Thanks for the good idea!!

Who was your FIRST pet? A dog named "Chewy" was our first pet, but we had to give him back after a few weeks because he didn't like kids and would nip at us. "Moki" came next and he was the very best dog ever!!

Do you still talk to your FIRST love? no

What was your FIRST job? I worked at KarmelKorn.

What was your FIRST car? A green, two door, Mercury Topaz

Who was the FIRST person to text or call you today? Papa Echo

Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Miss Johnson. She was also one of my favorites.

Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? Oklahoma to my Aunt and Uncle's wedding.

Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? Angela. No, but I would love to at some point.

Where was your FIRST sleepover? I don't remember

Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? Papa Echo

Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? My Uncle Bart and Aunt Sue's. I was five years old and the flower girl.

What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Woke Jonathan up and made sure everyone was getting ready for school.

What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Peter Cetera.

FIRST set of stitches and how? I was going to say that I've never had stitches, but then I remembered that I did have stitches after giving birth. Good times, good times...

First piercing? My ears when I was twelve.

First foreign country you've been to? The Soviet Union in 1990 as an exchange student.

FIRST movie you remember? Pete's Dragon in the theater.

What was your FIRST bike? A pink bike with training wheels when I was four years old.

What was your FIRST computer? A Compaq when I first got married.

Who was your FIRST roommate? Never had a roommate.

FIRST Kiss? That didn't happen until I was in college. It was with a guy that I met while working at Orange Julius. He took me out to see "Grand Canyon" and when he dropped me off, he kissed me. It was very innocent.

Question added on by Tif-do:

What was your FIRST impression of your current significant other? I thought he was the most clever guy. I was visiting my best friend at UC Berkeley and she happened to live in the same co-op as Papa Echo. In the community dining room, there was a clock and Papa Echo had put up a sign above it that said "The Official CZ procrastinometer". (CZ was the name of the co-op.) I thought it was hilarious and took a picture of it. Every time I visited after that, I would ask where the guy was that made the sign. We did not actually meet and "hook up" until about three years later.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If you want a great laugh, then head over here for yesterday's post by my dear friend Stimey. She is a great friend and the reason Papa Echo and I met.

Thanks for the laugh!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And now for something completely different

In honor of my sister J who had her second baby today, and after receiving Michelle's comment on my last post, here's to the things I won't miss. Because I agree with Michelle, it isn't always sunshine and rainbows when raising kids.

Things I won't miss:
  • Being pregnant. I don't miss much of those 27 months of my life.
  • The poking/prodding/examining of being pregnant.
  • The swelling/pain/stitches of labor and delivery. Sorry sis. I feel for you tonight.
  • Diapers. I was so glad to be DONE with this stage.
  • Middle of the night feedings. My kids didn't sleep through the night until they were one. That makes for a very fuzzy thinking mommy.
  • Potty training. Don't even ask me for advice on this topic. I hated it and waited until they pretty much did it on their own.
  • Laundry. Does it ever end?
  • Vomit. I know. Disgusting. Why would I put it here? Because I will never miss waking to "that sound" in the middle of the night when you know that you have bathtime, three loads of laundry plus carpet cleaning to do RIGHT NOW.
  • "What's for dinner? Have I had it before? Do I like it?" How do they ask those questions and whine at the same time?
  • Body fluids. Let's face it, little kids are pretty leaky and gross.
  • "I don't have anything to wear" when it's five minutes before we have to leave for school and I have just finished the last load of laundry only to find that there is a large pile hidden in the corner of a bedroom of said child whining about lack of clothes.
  • Homework. They have a lot more than I had in elementary school.
Okay, deep, calming, relaxing breath.... I better stop there. Wouldn't want you to think I was turning all negative...

On a positive note, sister J and baby boy J are doing great. I'm so excited to go see my newest nephew at the end of the month!! Jonathan is just thrilled because he is outnumbered here with two sisters. He thinks it's pretty cool to now have three boy cousins in UT and two boy cousins in MT.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm Gonna Miss This

The other day I was picking up an endless supply of toys, paper, pencils, books, etc. and I looked down and saw little, tiny paper airplanes. Now, my oldest child LOVES to create and draw with anything. Her newest love is to make paper airplanes in all shapes, sizes and colors. With that comes lots of paper shavings, and supplies. I haven't been the best in teaching/coaching/making any of my kids pick up after themselves, so I usually do it after they go to school or to bed. Well, I looked at these little airplanes after picking up the supplies, and my first thought was, "Will I ever be able to go into my living room and not have crap to pick up?" And then the next thought was, "Yes and it will come all too soon". Then a song "You're Gonna Miss This" popped into my head. (Papa Echo forgive me because it is a country song.) The chorus is:

You're gonna miss this,
You're gonna want this back,
You're gonna wish these days,
Hadn't gone by so fast.
These are some good times.
So take a good look around,
You may not know it now,
But you're gonna miss this.

So, here is a list of things I will miss in seven to twelve years. (big sad sigh)

I will miss:
  • The shredded paper, toys, pencils, books, necklaces, hair ties, shoes, socks, school papers, notes, more paper, art projects, cardboard tubes made into ANYTHING, more paper, paper and PAPER all around my house except for where it belongs.
  • Tucking my kids into bed.
  • My kids curling up next to me to watch a movie.
  • Requests of ice cream for dinner. (Have I ever said yes? and yet they still ask)
  • Teaching them how to read and write their own name.
  • Stories of school and friends.
  • Playing "airplanes" for the 100th time that week.
  • Watching their creativity.
  • All the questions.
  • Seeing their different personalities develop. And boy is each child different!
  • Reading school papers.
I'm sure I could think of a million more reasons and anyone who now has an "empty nest" could add a million more. I guess this post is to say that even though I get frustrated and tired, I know that I'm lucky I get to be a part of their lives for this short amount of time. 18 years is not long at all. Once they go off to college and then on their own, it just won't be the same as now. There will be awesome parts I'm sure, but it will be different. So, I'm just going to remember to enjoy these moments now, because they sure are a lot of fun.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Late Night, Good Book

Do you ever get into a really good book and then find you can't put it down until the bitter end? If you wonder why there have been no posts for a few days, then let me just say that I started reading a really good book called, Odd Thomas. In a nutshell it's about a guy who sees dead people. He is a fascinating character that is simple and yet so complex. That's about all I can say without giving away the story. (Number 1 pet peeve is when someone gives away the ending to a book.) I ended up finishing the book at 12:30 last night and then I could not go to sleep. I needed to chat with someone about what I had just read, but
1) Jason was asleep,
2) He is going to read the book and so I couldn't wake him up and tell him about it
and 3) Anyone I know that had read the book is smart and asleep at 12:30 at night.

So, I tossed and turned for about an hour thinking about the book I had finished and wishing I had the second one in the series.

Now I'm sleepy and want to take a nap, but need to be a good mom and not sleep away the day. Maybe I'll take the kids to the library to pick up some books...