Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Pictures

Let it Snow!

The High Desert is known to get snow once a year. Since we moved here 4 1/2 years ago, we've seen snow twice. The storm that came in this week was brutal, one they haven't seen up here since the 1930's (so says my Grandma). It snowed for over 24 hours and we had at least 14 inches of snow on our ground. It was amazing, while it was happening. The kids enjoyed watching it come down and play in it. I can't imagine living in this all the time. The steps it takes to get children outside in the snow is very tedious, especially when they only are out there 20 minutes. Two pairs of pants, socks, shoes, 1 shirt, 1 sweatshirt, 1 winter coat, mittens, beanie and a scarf. Then when we get back in, all the wet clothes need to come off and new warm clothes need to be put on. 
Mason loved the snow. He could have been out there for hours. He loved to make snowballs and throw them at his sister. He even ate some and thought it was so cool. He did make sure to remind us that we only eat white snow. 
Avery loved it just as much, but only at the beginning. She got the hang of making snowballs right off the bat and began throwing them at anyone she could find. She assisted with the snowman that Allen and Mason were making. Then she fell down and the snow started melting in her hands and legs. She was cold and over it.
Jackson didn't like it at all. Immediately after walking out side he said, "I go inside, I not like this cold snow." We told him he could go inside, but then he remembered that he would be the only one inside with Monkey and decided that being cold was better then being alone and scared. He sat like a grumpy old man under the patio cover. He ventured out one time to put the buttons on the snowman and of course was fine when being held by Mommy. That kid is all talk because ever since we got in from the snow, he couldn't stop talking about going back out and how much fun he had. 
Allen and the kids made the cutest little snowman, straight with a carrot nose and rock eyes. We really did have a great time being stuck in the house for two days.... but I've decided that I could not live where it snows more frequently than this. At least right now, while I'm in the "it takes 20 minutes to bundle kids up to go outside stage," I don't think I could do it. Maybe when my kids are older and find interest in keeping themselves entertained all day without fighting, I could find a good book and curl up by the fire. This would make it feasible to be stuck in the house all day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A few things that have happened lately.

Our cat situation is getting better. It took about 9 days, but the kids are adjusting nicely. Avery and Jack are far from being friends with Monkey, but at least the screams have gone to a minimal.
We got some snow here on Monday. Nothing stuck to the ground, but it was still fun to talk to the little ones about snow and experience it through their eyes. 
Since it only snows a few times a year in the High Desert, people have no idea how to react. The freeway was closed down because of the weather, which caused much congestion on the freeway. It was like every semi was congregating right by the freeway on-ramps in hopes that any minute the highway patrol officer would allow them to get by.  The semi party was super annoying and caused me to be in traffic for over an hour on my way to Mason's school. Needless to say, I didn't pick him up on time and once again looked like the slacker-mom who forgot her kid (yes, it has happened more then once.) 
Today we were doing our million errands that the holidays bring. I always seem to think I'm getting stuff done early, but for some reason things still are on the list a week prior to Christmas. We were at Target today, partly to kill time before getting Mason, but also to cross things off our list. We had about an hour to shop and with a 3 year old and 2 year old that could seem like an eternity, depending on their moods. Jack is approaching the ever-famous 2.5 year old stage which is horrendous. He is moody, screams a lot and has an opinion about everything (which seems to always be the opposite opinion that I have). Of course he had to pee when we were across the store and when I told him "one more minute," he screamed that he was going to go in his pants. We took off running. I was pushing a full cart with Avery inside and Jack was running along side the cart moving his little legs very fast. We were about 25 feet from the bathroom when he slipped and fell flat on his face. The screams were so loud that every worker in a 30 foot radius came running. I picked him up and kept running, nodding to all the nice workers that he was fine. Between screams, Jack begins yelling, "My penis hurts!" I try with no avail to press his head into my neck to muffle the noise coming from his mouth. I cringe as I see the snickers coming from the people around me. Just for the record, his penis was fine and he stopped yelling the minute we were behind closed doors and to top it off, he did not pee! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Monkey in the house

I've blogged about my kid's fear of animals and how it's the most annoying thing to go somewhere where we encounter a dog or cat. The screams that come out of their mouths are that of sure terror. You would think that they once had been attacked by an animal with how they react. I've never seen something like this before. So a few months back, Allen and I decided that something had to be done.
We had contemplated getting a puppy. I was never really excited about that since I would have to do most of the work and puppies are a lot of work. We then thought about getting a cat. Two problems with that. 1 - I don't like cats and 2 - there could be a chance that this cat would not like us, as cats tend to be moody, and hide under the bed all day. So we put our plans to "de-fear" the kids on hold. Sunday we were at a friend's home and they have a kitten that they had hinted of getting rid of. Allen and I took the kitten in the back room and Allen gave the cat a "look over." He played with her and determined that she would make a great match for our family. We told the kids and they immediately went into a panic. No one wanted to take this cat home. We played the parent card and put our foot down. The cat was coming home.
The ride home was eventful. Avery whined in the back seat most of the way. Jack was the closest to the animal in the cage and every time the poor cat peeked out with her nose or paw, Jack would scream. We decided that it was time to discuss a name. Jack shouted out "monkey." Mason had to make sure that it went well with the list of our names and once he was convinced he gave his blessing. There we had it... a name for our first family pet! 
Sunday night was an adventure. Monkey was locked in our bedroom for a good hour and  the kids went to bed early. 
Monday I flew solo. Avery and Jack couldn't go or do anything without being attached to me. I carried them into the kitchen to eat. They sat on the counter while I made pancakes. I carried them into the bathroom to pee. Let me clarify that, yes, I did carry both of them at the same time. More then 50 pounds in my arms walking the halls of our home is not my idea of a good time. I put an end to the carrying really quick and that resorted to them clinging to my legs everywhere we went. 
One would think that Monkey might get tired of all this screaming. NO! This cat is very playful and just loves that she gets any attention, even if the children are louder then most. 
I have tried as many tricks as I could think of. I did a therapy session with them, asking them to define the reasons they were afraid. Avery narrowed it down that she thought the cat "would get her." I attempted to show her that this would not happen, but she was not convinced. We tried chanting that "We are not afraid of Monkey! We love Monkey! Monkey is our friend!" I had felt that I had made a breakthrough with this method of psychology because they were repeating the chant and laughing at the same time. Then Monkey walked around the corner and the mayhem started all over. Whew! 
Needless to say it's been about 48 hours since Monkey joined our family and Avery and Jack have made little progress and I'm wore out. Monkey seems to know no different and wants to be with them wherever they go. This presents a problem while they use the bathroom, take a bath, eat breakfast, play in their rooms, etc. 
Mason is adjusting fine and is attempting to show the others that Monkey is not out to get them. He also has very little patience and begins yelling at them when they start to scream.
I have high hopes that by the end of the week things will be significantly better. 
Monkey is not going anywhere, despite what Jack thinks and so far CPS has not been called about the screams coming from our home. 
Stay tuned because I'm sure more stories will follow. Attached you will find the pictures of our first hour home. Mason was doing really well. The others... well, the pictures tell it all!