23 April 2009

Friendships revisted

I have never been one of those cheerleaders-in-the-movies-type popular, but I know a lot of people and they know me and we are friends and I suppose that can be considered popularity.

I have had the friends I joked with, and those I skipped class with (or just get into trouble with), and those I would spend hours talking on the phone with. And I have never been too lonely - there was always someone to hang out with, someone to talk to, someone to share frustrations, someone to bitch about parents, teachers, boyfriends, life, etc. Secrets were told and kept by all - no questions, no stipulations, no worries, no strings attached.

But I have lost friends. Its sad to lose friends. I miss them - maybe not all of them, but at least a good portion of them.

There were the friends I lost when I got pregnant with Adam. People with kids and people without kids have different interests and priorities, and it is difficult to stay in touch. It might be even more difficult if those people are teenagers. There is even less in common, and of course there are parents that step in and say friendships have to be severed because 'she is a bad influence'. I get it.

There were the friends I made when pregnant with Adam after switching schools and when he was a baby, and after graduation it again became difficult to stay in touch. Different priorities and different parenting beliefs had to do with some of those friendships dying; and waiting too long to return a phone call; getting in an argument and instead of talking things out, just walking away. Things happen. And I have been just as guilty of letting those friendships die as the other party.

But there are always a few friends left - friends I've reconnected with from before Adam and friends that I've hung on to from after Adam. And there are always new friends made. I'm enjoying becoming friends with my cousins I wish I grew up closer to, becoming friends with my brothers as they grow up and we start to get along more, the friends I'm finding online and the friends I've made at work, at the kids' school, and through other friends.

Unfortunately some friendships are not really friendships. Some friends are not really friends. That fact/issue/whatever it is has me so angry and sad. This isn't anything new for the particular friendship that has me thinking, just revisiting it again...for like the 10th time...and it still hurts to feel so betrayed. To not feel loyalty from someone I have been loyal to. There are things we do together that I still enjoy - or maybe things I want to enjoy. And there are future activities that I will end up being around her. We have stopped talking before and when I call her back up and say 'hey why did we stop talking?' she says she missed me - but it isn't long before we are back in the same boat and she isn't returning my calls. I really can't be any more guarded around her with what I do and say without being downright unfriendly and rude. Well, maybe just rude in my opinion - it may be the type of relationship she is looking for from me.

So do I evolve the friendship into more of an acquaintanceship, or let it 'die'? Do I confront her and 'pick a fight' to hopefully resolve issues? Or shall I just ignore it and keep on keepin' on?

21 April 2009

Bowling Movie

So thanks to the movies April posted that Jason made I found out about Windows Movie Maker - and YAY I had it on my computer. I was just wanting to take the 2 videos I got of the kids bowling over spring break and combine them into one, but I kept adding onto it and made my own little movie!

OH, and the best part is...

I know how to rotate the videos now! HUZZAH! No more watching them sideways.

Enjoy :)

Okay, so after many many many attempts to get the video to load and many many many attempts to try to contact support (like the little pop-up said to do) to no avail (there is no support email address) I am just uploading it to dropshots. You can find it here.

Also, I uploaded this recent video of us helping Yoda bug Simba, but he didn't put up wiht it for long.

05 April 2009

Meet Angel

Adam had been saving up for a lizard. He wanted a reptile because they are so cool. I agree, they are cool. But they are expensive. The things they need to keep comfortable and alive are expensive and they are difficult to take care of all together. And you can't play with them. You rarely get to even touch them and if you do touch them you could get them really sick.

Adam originally wanted a rat. He saw a special on Animal Planet about how smart they are and what you can train them to do and Adam wanted one. But Robert said no. He isn't a huge rodent person. And didn't have a good experience with a friend's pet rat growing up. Another reason why Adam settled on a lizard.

But I was concerned about the lizard. Adam loved holding and petting and playing with Justin. You can't play with and hold a lizard too much. And I worked on Robert, and Justin and his cuteness helped. And they both finally landed on a rat.

Adam had already saved up enough to get a rat and accessories needed and so we ended spring break heading to the pet store and getting a rat for Adam.

We went through the naming game and Adam wanted Rattatouille - Ratta - what's the name of the rat in Charlotte's web, no that don't work. Its a boy's name....finally he settled on a girl name I suggested - Angel (I still like Susie Q though).

Meet Angel. She is a little nervous around people still, but we are working on that. Simba is very interested in her cage too. Just as much as Justin's. They are in the exact same cage - just different smells. (Side note: Justin got out of his cage one night - not sure how - and Carus was woken up by Simba chasing him around her room. Terrified her greatly. The poor thing was so shaken up and cried for ages. We have put a lock on the door and so far so good.)

Angel likes carrots and apples, and likes to be held close in a little ball. Adam has plans of what he wants to teach her to do, and has checked out a book from the library on how to train a rat.

04 April 2009

Box tops for schools

See these? Them things right there are box tops. They are little coupons found on lots of boxes of products you buy and use regularly. They are found on boxes and bags of cereal, crackers, rice, juice, instant potatoes, and even toilet paper packaging. Lots and lots of packages have them - you might even have some in your cubboards and pantries right now.

Well, if you do have a product with one of these little coupons on it, cut out the coupon. It doesn't take long. Sometimes I just rip off the whole corner and trim a bunch of them at once later on. Take these little coupons and send it with your kids, the neighbor kids, your nieces and nephews, grandkids - any kid (that you know, no creepy behavior now) to school. The school turns them in and are reimbursed 10 cents per coupon. Some schools (like ours) actually have contests to see which class can bring in the most box tops, and that class wins extra time at recess.

With the state our school system is in every teeny tiny bit helps. It pays for books, programs, teachers, and/or after-school activities. It helps educate our kids. Those kids that will grow up and take care of you in your old age. I don't know about you, but I need them to have good jobs to help pay for social security when I retire - so I can retire. And when I am really really really old, and bedridden, and need someone to wipe my butt or turn me to keep me from getting any sores, or read to me 'cause I'm blind as a bat, or just keep me company - I want them to be smart. I want them to hold a conversation.

And if you do not happen know any kids to send your box tops to school with - drop me an email and I'll give you my address and send them with my kids.

Oh, and schools do still collect Campbell's soup can labels for money too. I just don't have pics of those because we rarely, if ever, buy Campbell's soup - it is just SOOOO much cheaper to buy generic. I don't know how much they get back for those; probably something similar to the box tops. You can also send those to me if you want to/need to.

Carus's progress report

Carus's progress report is also full of S's and M's with her strengths in math and writing. She writes stories all day long. She writes books and illustrates them from stacks of printer paper stapled together. And her handwriting is so neat and careful - most times more legible than Adam's who is always in a rush.

Notes from the teacher:

"Carus is enthusiastic about learning, but continues to struggle with listening during instruction time, and has needed frequent remnders to stay focused. She seems unable to control her talking, and is having difficulty concentrating on her work and following directions. Carus is easily distracted by other students, and distracts them from their work as well. She has moved up two levels in reading, but needs to move up three more by the end of the year to be at benchmark level. While reading, she seems unsure what to do when she gets to an unfamiliar word, and forgets to use the strategies we've been working on.

Carus shines in math! She has good, strong number sense and awareness. She shows interest in the social studies and science subjects also.

When she writes, she is careful and accurate. She has great potential as an author.

Good listening skills would be helpful in P.E. and Music class.

I'm hopeful that Carus will be able to improve her work habits this trimester. She is such a joyful learner, and she's pround when she does a good job."

We are so proud of her. The difficulty with talking has been something both the kids have to overcome. Adam's 1st grade progress reports were just the same, and his 2nd, and 3rd... Carus is very stubborn and will constantly test her limits. If she is given an inch she will try to take a mile - always has been that way and it will help her a lot as an adult, but has me nervous about the teenage years.

I've told her before that she could grow up to be an author and she always says, "I want to be an artist and maybe illustrate books." I see her writing children's books about puppies and kittens and all things cute. And Robert calls her his little engineer because of her strengths in math, problem solving, and puzzles. I am trying to be a better example confidence wise (unfortunately I have seen my lack of self confidences mirrored in her) and hope that will help.

She has grown up SO much this year. I am so excited to see where she is off to next.

02 April 2009

Spring Break - Zoo Day

Yea yea yea, I'm slow and got distracted....ooh, squirrel....wait, oh yea - um where was I...

Friday was zoo day. It was cool and a bit drizzly, but we packed up the backpack with lunch, and umbrellas and grabbed our sweaters and drove to the max station to catch the max. When going to the garden the day before, which is just past the zoo, I noticed how rather busy and the zoo parking lot was VERY VERY full so that is why we took the max. No worries about traffic. No worries about finding a parking spot. No worries about trying to get back out of said parking spot because when you go to leave you find you have been sandwiched in real good by a mini van and a suburban both parking over the line - yea it has happened before.
Our neighbor Bradley joined us. He is so sweet and well behaved.

Nice relaxing ride on the max. The zoo stop for the max is under ground and you ride an elevator up 300-some-odd feet in like 10-15 seconds.
Carus's little friend came back. We found out he likes pink. He didn't like her purple sweater sleeves, but followed her pink hat back and forth.

This is in the elephant museum. It is an elephant tricycle used by circus elephants.
We love the zoo. Our membership has paid for itself over and over and over. Speaking of a zoo trip - now that it is FINALLY starting to warm up I have to start planning the next trip.

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