Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why Can't I Buy Just the Olympics

For first time in 30 years I will not be watching any Olympic events.  It's a tragedy really but such is the cost of the free market, or maybe the not so free market.  A couple of years ago the "free" channels all went over to digital.  At that time we bought a converter box to go with our antenna and were able to pick up exactly one channel.  It was so not worth it.  We turned to Netflix and Redbox for most of our entertainment.  Hulu and PBS.org gave us any current shows we wanted to watch.  Radio and the internet became our primary news sources.  Occasionally we'd toss around the idea of getting cable and then decided we have better things to do with our money.  Really I didn't feel like I was missing anything.  Until of course this week, when it became obvious I wasn't going to get to see the Olympics competitions, but instead would only have access to highlights overlayed with ridiculous commentary.  We're not going back to the box and antenna.  It didn't work last time and frankly it annoys me the way they switch between events.  We looked it up on NBC and you can watch anything you want, if you happen to have cable that gets the MSNBC channel.  We briefly discussed getting cable but the idea of spending all that money just seemed crazy.  I just want to watch the Olympics.  I don't want to buy 90 channels of cable to do so.  This is my major beef with cable.  The time of forcing people in to packaging is done.  Sell the stuff al la carte!!!!!!! If I could buy access to just the Olympics so that I could watch the competitions I wanted to, I would total buy.  Since I can't.  I just won't watch.  Which means my kids won't watch either.  So a lifetime of tradition dies right here and won't be passed to a new generation.  When I was trolling around sites trying to find a way to get the Olympics without having to buy cable I saw people calling my generation the Napster generation.  They said we were cheap and that we thought everything should be handed to us for free.  I disagree with that.  I don't want things for free, I just don't want to pay for stuff I don't want to see.  The cable companies will continue to try to push through their package deals though and so I will continue to refuse to pay for them.  Maybe in two years MSNBC will get a clue and sell the stuff directly from their website!  Down with the age of cable TV and here, here to the rise of internet TV!

And to my lovely internet can I thank you for these juicy tidbits.  They kept my family in stitches for hours, although Captain E asked me why being constipated was an Olympic event :)
Funny Diver Faces
Matt King/Adam Pretty/Al Bello, Getty Images

Check out the rest of the article at This Is How Olympic Divers Really Look.  (Andrew H.)

Also found this lovely tidbit.
Second 28 is my favorite!

Barrel of Laughs













Poor little baby.  Did you realize when you choose to come to my family that you were going to be constantly carted around...in the arms of people who don't weigh a whole lot more than yourself.  She's a good sport about it, but seriously it's a miracle no serious damage has occurred!

Crazy Girl Hair

Most of the time my girls hair is crazy!  I mean just out of control.  GG says she like's her hair to be free!  Peach has wild lady hair.  Cheetah really doesn't have any hair to do.  I have dreams of doing cute hair styles.  In fact I've watched probably hours of video tutorials by cutegirlhairstyles.  She is amazing!  I am not, but on this one day the girls both let me do their hair.  It was an Easter Dress Miracle!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

60 Pictures of Birthday Bliss

 This year we decided to throw a joint birthday party for Peach and Captain E.  We invited a bunch of our friends.  The theme was water fun.



 Thank you ornamental pear tree for the shade.  Originally we had set up on our patio but without any shade it is an unbearable place to be.  Under the shade of the tree it was about ten degrees cooler.  All the adults quickly set up camp here and the kids joined us pretty much only when they wanted to get a drink out of the cooler.

Peach's Birthday Cake


 Remember when someone had a birthday?  The actual day of her birthday went by with little fan fare.  Dad was working nights or on call or something.  I honestly don't think we saw him the entire day.  But the day could not pass without some notice so we cooked up a giant cookie and ate it covered in ice cream!




We played at the park with some of my MOPS girlfriends and their kids.  Between the four of us there were 9 kids and the three of them were all pregnant (Heather had her baby a few weeks ago and Jamie's is being delivered today).  Jamie's husband joined us for lunch because they were signing papers on their new house that day.  At one point I looked over and he was laugh.  There were so many kids, and so much chaos who could blame him.  The fact that the next time we get together we'll have 12 kids between us is just NUTSO!







Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer

 I got a new crib for Cheetah!  In four kids this is the first crib I ever bought.  We used to have this little tiny crib that someone gave us.  The mattress was trashed though so we got this new one using credit card rewards.  Ended up costing me only $30!  Can't beat that.  Cheetah hates it.  I mean really.  She likes to climb up and stand in it, but then of course she falls and bumps her face.  She is a spaz!




Pony meat...yum!

Summer Projects

This has been a busy summer for us but I've still manged to get a few projects done.  I did these flip flops at the beginning of summer.  Thanks pinterest and The Mother Huddle.  They were so easy to do, super cheap (2 dollars for the flops, the fabric was just scraps I had at home), and so comfy.  They probably will only make it this one summer but they are so cheap and fun to make you can bet I'll be doing it again next year!



 It was a spring of flowers.  The previous owners put in quite a few and we've added our fair share.  My favorites were the peonies.  They were gorgeous!  Also I enjoyed planting annuals with Peach.  I've never been a fan of annuals before but it was fun letting her pick the colors she liked.  They were cheap and we had a good time planting them.

Dr J made built me two garden boxes and the girls helped he and I fill them with soil.  Unfortunately that soil (while quite expensive) just didn't have the nutrients our garden needed.  Our plants did incredible at first and then all our plants stumped out and the leaves turned yellow.  I got a book about plant health and determined our plants were low in nutrients.  Initially I was going to put on some miracle grow but I was worried that the salts would build up in my boxes so instead I used fish emulsion.  It smelled HORRIBLE, but I was desperate to help my garden.  I mixed it with water and sprayed it directly on the plant leaves.  I then added some to our soil and hurrah the leaves went green and the plants started to grow again.  Amazing.  So far we've gotten a couple of tomatoes and some sweet peas.  Our carrots are looking great.  Our green beans unfortunately didn't make it.  A bunny kept eating all the flowers, bugs were getting the leaves.  Our onions look good.  We have basil and squash, watermelon, cilantro, and we even got some seven potatoes off a rotten red potato I planted.  I love eating food I grow myself!

This has been my favorite snack of the summer, sliced cucumbers, white vinegar, salt and pepper.  It's almost like eating salt and vinegar chips only fresher:)

One of the things I've seen all over pinterest has been pantry mixes.  We've been having fun making some mixes here.
Instant brown sugar oatmeal....yum!
This brownie mix is delicious.  I've had to remake the batch three times!  Also like the tortilla mix.  
Also loved her pantry.  Is it possible to have pantry envy?  Well I have serious pantry envy of Heart, Hands, Home.  Those containers are beautiful, but lets be honest with my kids and my budget, beautiful glass vinyl labeled jars are just not going to work for me.  So I got a couple plastic containers at the dollar store.  They might not be pretty but the do the job :) 




They also had these little baskets.  They were perfect for helping organize shoes on the shoe rack.  Can you believe how many pairs of shoes my kids have?  SERIOUSLY NUTS!  We definitely need reduce here!




Monday, July 16, 2012

Scout Camp and Summer Adventures


 Captain E went to cub scout camp this summer.  I had serious anxiety about the whole thing.  I mean after all this is my child and the idea of him being away from me for a full five days (even if there were no overnights) stressed me out.  He's so shy but guess what, he loved it. Super fun and I love that he love it.  Meanwhile at the house we've been getting into all kinds of things.  Can't stop the tiny tornado.





Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Preemie Life - Eight Months Old, Almost 6 Months Adjusted


The first year of life, wow it just flies.  Ok those first two months while she was in the hospital, not so much, but every second since has just gone by double time.  I got this little crib for her last month.  Is it weird that with four kids in my house this is the first time we've ever bought a crib?  The other three had to sleep in this tiny crib (like the size of a pack n play) that friends of ours gave us eight years ago when we first had Captain E.  The thing wasn't pretty, it wasn't big, and the mattress was just this thin thing of foam that was falling apart.  It did not adjust.  It did not become a toddler bed.  The one thing it was though, was free, and when you are poor grad students with kids, free is good.  So that bed held our three other children, when they weren't sleeping with us, and from there we transitioned them into full sized twin beds.  We moved that bed through 4 moves.  The wheels broke and we just popped them off and kept using the crib.  This last move we looked at the mattress and thought, that's it, this thing is done.  I looked into getting a new mattress for it, but the thing would cost $40-$70.  Yuck.  It was then I decided I just wanted a new crib.  So I found this one online at walmart.  I used credit card reward points to buy gift cards and when it was all said and done spent only $30 out of pocket.  It is cute.  It matches the furniture in the girls room.  It will fit the adorable bedding I bought at Target two years ago for $12 (75% clearenced off).  It will adjust to a toddler bed.  Then  day bed.  She will sleep in this bed until we move three years from now :)  I might want slightly nicer things but it isn't easy to shake the cheap bug, and truly who wants to.  The crib has already had to have some adjustment.  The day after I took this picture we had to put the mattress to the lowest setting.  She is a standing queen.  She gets up on everything.  We were worried she'd fall out of the crib.


Photo: Getting the tires rotated http://instagr.am/p/MYOdnQok6w/
Her eyes still haven't settled.  I think they'll end up being brown but right now they are hazel, a brown/green mix.  

Photo: The difficulty of four kids, even if three of the sleep in, at least one will come in at the crack of dawn!!! http://instagr.am/p/MiZ9hJIk7o/She is a much loved addition to the family.  Of course much loved doesn't necessarily mean safe.  G bear and Captain E will often fight over who gets to hold her, while they are holding her!  Peach likes to lay on her or try to drag her around the house.  How do 4th children survive?  All three for her siblings love to feed her.  She likes oatmeal, rice cereal, carrots, applesauce, and sweet potatoes.  One day when I needed to cook and the girls were driving me crazy, Cheetah because she was hungry and GG and Peach because they are buggy I set them to work in a feeding team.  I put Cheetah on the floor in her bumbo right behind me and then gave the girls the cereal to feed her.  They did a great job.  Dinner got done and the bumbo chair was the only spot worse for wear.




Cheetah is a beautiful little girl.  When she first came home her skin was so rough and she seemed so fragile, I don't know if it was the steroids she was given, the caffeine, if it had something to do with being born early or what but she was missing that softness of a newborn.  Now her skin is like silky cream.  She has a beautiful little tan complements of her love of swimming to go along with her dark hair and lashes, and delicious rolls to make up for her skinny legs at birth.  She also enjoys taking showers and often when I take my morning shower I'll put her in the tub with me where she play with a bowl while I shave.  She doesn't seem to mind the water coming over her face and has a good time splashing.  


Photo: Seriously clean! http://instagr.am/p/MlYLyQIk9B/She has a very serious look to her, almost as if she's checking you out, trying to decide if you are worthy.  Then like a ray of sunshine through the canopy of the the forest burst out with these big smiles.  She doesn't mind being held by strangers and will crawl up to any adult.  She tolerates being manhandle  by many different children.  My friend in town has a daughter just a few months older who is about the same size.  They will often sit on a blanket rolling around on each other and slapping each other faces.  I guess when you are just a few months old, scratching each others faces is how you play together :)



Her crawling and standing up at objects or crawling onto objects had made her very accident prone.  She's gone off the bed three times already this week.  Of course each time we were sitting right there.  I've decided from now on she is a" on the floor only while awake unless she's actually being held in your arms" kid.  So now when I'm working on the blog or watching So You Think You Can Dance or maybe doing both of those things I have to do them on the floor so she'll be safe.  She crawls around me, picking up toys, handing them to me, chewing on my toys, climbing on my lap, having a good old time.  She'll then come over and start slapping on the laptop.  She loves the laptop.  It is her favorite "toy."  She chews on the side and the chord.  She pushes buttons.  She actually looks at the screen to see if her button pushing has any reaction.  I plan to have her start doing the blogging in a few months :)





This is Cheetahs laugh.  It is a seriously the weirdest baby laugh ever. 
video

Here is how she likes to wake up daddy in the morning.  She has super scratchy nails so it is really not fun!  Don't you love the wife who video tapes your pain rather then save you from it?  Yup I'm definitely a gem!


Finally here is Cheetah and some of her skills.  She rolls, sits, crawls, and stands up at objects. She can actually pull herself up at things although for the video I just put her up.  She eats baby food.  She sleeps through the night.  She rolls front to back, back to front.  She explores everything she can get her hands on.  First she looks at it.  Then she shakes it.  Then she puts it in her mouth.  She can pick up a puff off the floor in her thumb and finger and then get it into her mouth.  She still has no teeth, but considering she's one of my kid, that really isn't a huge surprise.

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