January 30, 2007

Lazy Days 'Round Here

The past 2 days have been a bit overcast, which I'm rather enjoying. I love the seasons, all weather, to an extent. I like the changes, too much of anything tends to get old for me. Because of the possibility of rain, John has didn't work Monday night, and won't work tonight. Bitter sweet. Yes, it's wonderful to have him home, but $$$$? Trying to focus on the positive, so that will attract more positive!

Anyway, I did our laundry today, the kids have been hanging around watching their Looney Tunes and playing their PS2 a bit. Sage and I played hide and seek for a long time. Really, it was him in the chair, with me crouching behind it (that's where he told me to 'hide'.) Then, he'd start to peek over the top of the chair and I'd jump up, then he'd throw himself down into the chair, belly laughing along the way. Oh, and we ate a lot of chocolate chips!

John is down having coffee with a couple of the guys, Saylor is over visiting Heather, Stone is watching the ongoing antics between the Road Runner and Wylie Coyote, and Sage is sleeping.

I need to get some e-mails out to our legislators in an effort to further midwifery in South Dakota. As it is now, a CNM (certified nurse midwife) CAN attend your birth at home, but ONLY IF she has a signed collaborative agreement with a physician. Guess what? Not one doctor in South Dakota will sign such an agreement, so, the CNM's practice is greatly restricted because of this arbitrary and ridiculous law. We're hoping to get that changed. So, I'm signing off for now to get on my soap box!

Much love...

January 26, 2007

Minor Renovation

John was feeling inspired today, so did a bit of re-arrangement renovation in the bus. He turned the table so it's more horizontal against the wall, which made the walk way through the kitchen much more user friendly, and took away the dreaded corner that Sage knew well. It really opened up the kitchen area and I'm diggin' that! So is he, as he honestly does just as much cooking as I do! (I know, lucky woman!)

He also took down the tv that was over the table, actually it was over the bench seat. The same spot that Sage always stood to eat, color, work with playdough; so bumped his head many a time on. Now it's gone, and we've re-directed the tv viewing area towards the front of the bus instead! Which is also great, because then when cooking and cleaning is happening in the kitchen, we are no longer in and out of the way of the tv. Happy campers abound! Especially John, because this all included a trip to Best Buy for a new flatscreen.

I picked up Saylor late this morning. I was on my way to get him just as he called me to tell me his tummy was hurting. (That's code for "i need my mama"!) When I got there, Steve was flipping pancakes for everyone, Saylor ate a couple, and we loaded up some wood to bring back here for the bonfire we'll have with them on Saturday. As Saylor seemed to come to life with my presence, Steve stated eloquently that Saylor just needed some Vitamin Mom! Love that! I mean, the phrase and the being needed part.

Off to see what's happening next in The Secret Life of Bee's. Goodnight...

January 25, 2007

Looooooooove that Rapid City Weather!!!

Just because it's what I do, I have to brag about how beautiful it's going to be in Rapid City today! On my google desktop, Rapid's high is going to be 5 degrees cooler than here, in Southern California! 62 in Rapid, 67 in Lake Elsinore.

It was warm here yesterday, so maybe the high will reach higher? I believe my thermometer said 78 at one point yesterday. I was warm enough to have to change out of my jeans and t-shirt into a skirt and a tank top. The boys all had shorts and tees on.

Now, all we need is a little moisture, here and at home. Well, at home, we need more than 'a little'. It's so dry there, and without much snow this winter, it's just getting progressively worse every year.

And on that note, I'll ask...Have ya seen "An Inconvenient Truth"?

Just a Bit of Rambling Today

Yesterday, we went to a monthly homeschooling park day in Murrietta, about a 10 minute drive from here. Stone stayed here with Dad, for some 1 on 1 time, so it was just me, the big and the little. On our way, we stopped to drop off a Blockbuster DVD, and I noticed all their PS2 games were 50% off the ticketed price, so I picked up 3 for $24. Stone and I played Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban (sp?) and Kingdom of Hearts for a while before bed. We haven't tried out Haunted Mansion yet. Stone really enjoyed the skateboarding sequence in KOH.

Saylor will have to try them out today, as he opted for an impromptu overnighter with Maddy yesterday. So, I said goodbye to him at the park, and off they went to Maddy's for some creek play and hiking, no doubt! Of course, I always let him know if he changes his mind, to call me! Well, then I told Sue the same, and then realized...I won't have a car past 7:15. Sue, the gracious human being she is, assured me that she or Steve would bring him home if he needed that. I'll be going to get him sometime before 1 today, and then it's our laundry day, so that's on the agenda, as well. And a trip to Target for dog food and playdough...why, oh why can't I get EVERYTHING I need without multiple trips? Oy.

Heather came over last night to ask if we'd like to make her grandma's recipe for sugar cookies, just for fun. So, we'll be doing that sometime in the next day or two, as well. Sorry, thighs.

Saylor and Stone created some interesting hot glue gun sculptures yesterday using sticks and leaves. We've got a bird house design picked out from a library book that we'll be making before we take it back, using the hot glue guns, of course! They really are quite fun!

January 24, 2007

Our Social Life

It was fun having some of John's co-workers over on Saturday night for a big fire. John had a wee bit too much fun and sorely regretted it the next day, getting no sympathy from me, of course! But, I did fetch his water, and crackers, and a 7-up and grapes, with all the compassion I could muster. I didn't do too bad.

Anyway, back to John's co-workers! One of them brought his wife and 1 year old baby boy! Woo hoo, another family! Scott, Heather and River are from Michigan. They are the nicest family and have lovingly accepted our boys into their little nest many a time in the last few days! Scott gave each of them a necklace, and each choice he made fit perfectly. Saylor got one with a shark tooth, Stone's included a yin/yang symbol, and Sage's has a beautiful mix of wooden beads. They also gave me a lovely little purple Goddess.

Heather invited us over for dinner tonight, mosticelli (how *do* you spell that?). We brought a big salad and some bread. Saylor stayed after we left. I think he enjoys having some adult conversation without two noisy little brothers to compete with!

We strolled around the park a bit today, looking at the trees and all the little holes created by the ground squirrels. There is a dirt hill that Sage loves to visit, so we went there. He raced Heather and I down it many times, and managed to stay on his feet even though it seems the top of his body is far ahead.

Stone spent a good amount of time digging in the dirt today, the little mounds that are left behind by some burrowing little creature. I watched him through the window, out there in the sun and totally absorbed in his chosen activity. And chatting away to himself. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but when he plays, he's always got a narrative to go with it. He always has been our little story teller. We have some tape recorded stories of his from when he was barely 3 years old. He's got quite the imagination!

Those boys (even the naughty one who parties too hard!) are the love of my life!

Dollar Store Treasures

I needed to do some shopping Saturday, so Saylor came along with me. Stone was busy playing checkers with a friend outside and Sage was sleeping, so it was our little version of 'a date'. We checked everything off our list, so Saylor wanted to go see how much electric hair clippers were. We found one for $10 at Target. Then we decided we'd check out a dollar store on our way home. Hurray! Found one there for 1.99; so he and Stone each got one. Saylor really only wanted one to cut off the frayed edges around the hole in the knee of his jeans. Wish granted! We also picked up a big roll of white tape, a rubber mallet for Sage, a big bag of straws, and a battery tester thingy. He's been testing all the batteries around here since, although he's now upgraded to using his Dad's, because "it's better". Saylor picked up a soldering tool the last time we were at this particular store, too. Electric, plug it in and watch the metal drip. We're careful not to get the solder that includes lead.

Stone always opts for a toy, usually something plastic and almost always a sword of some sort. Then, he gets home and loves watching Saylor play with his newest gadget, and then gets upset because I didn't get one for him. But, the next time we go, I remind him of all of that, and here we go again!

January 20, 2007


Just a little update on what this crazy tribe has been up to! Sage got a haircut a couple days ago, he looks so cute! I tried to do a mohawk, but had it all messed up, so how it's just a regular ol' buzz cut. Still, I just love to cradle his head in my palm, and rub his head. Precious!

Sage loves to draw. The minute he sees someone, anyone, with pen in hand, he's very excited to join in and dictate to us what he wants drawn: turtle, froggie, alligator, fishy (pronounced 'dippy'), and so many other things. He also loves the playdough. We'll sit and press out shapes, then he'll stick the shapes onto the wall beside him. He's taking a bath in the kitchen sink, as I write this close by.

Stone and John spent some time this morning playing Star Wars Lego on the PS2, while Saylor experimented with baking soda, vinegar, strawberries, and matches. Then Sage came along and thought it'd be really cool to add in some of his blue playdough.

Now, the 3 big boys are off on a bike ride, and I'm going to get ready to run to Target for more playdough and some other needed stuff. It's quite liberating to shop right now. The temptation to *BUY* lots of stuff disappears when you know you don't have anywhere to put it anyway.

A couple other guys that John works with have moved into the park, and I think we'll be having a fire with them tonight. Well, Sage beckons.

January 15, 2007

The Shared Birth Day Party

We just arrived home from the party for Saylor and Maddy. They live very near us, just a town away, and in Southern California terms, that really is very close! They have a little creek that trickles through their backyard, so the boys were delighted to go out there the minute we arrived. The whole group of us went on a lovely hike through the nature trail that runs along the back of the homes there, and then the adventurous ones (and the ones with suitable shoes!) hiked up a big ol' mountain and enjoyed the view. Sue had all sorts of Trader Joe's yummies to share with us all. Saylor and I made cupcakes. The kids were off and running the whole time, playing peacefully (peacefully, not quietly:) and loving all the TOYS!!! It was a grand time!

Now, John and the boys are over saying hello to a fellow co-worker who just moved into the campground this evening. And I took advantage of this quiet moment to whip out the dishes and then blog about our day.

There were other families there, too, so we got to meet and chat with them, learning more about each other. On the way home, I was thinking about how cool it is to be in a room full of people who *love* their life. Everyone happily sharing their joys, and eagerly listening to your own. I love that.... I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to get together again with the other mama's and kids there. They were great fun to talk to, and can only imagine more great times!

Thank you Sue and Steve and Maddy and Harry! Thank you for welcoming us into your very love-filled home and for sharing a part of this day with us.

(on a side note, John and I watched about 1/2 of The Secret today. I mentioned that to Sue, and wouldn't ya know it! They JUST watched it last night. And...isn't it something how we needed to find friends here and the universe obliged? Not only obliged, but handed us this wonderful gift?)

Thank you a thousand times! We are blessed.

January 13, 2007

Breakfast In Bed

Only this time, it was John who did the cooking for all of us. He got home from work at 5:30 am this morning, took his shower, threw some ham and bean soup fixins in the crock pot for dinner and then put on his chef hat. He presented us with a feast of bacon, sausage, pancakes, eggs and hash browns. Sage wasn't too sure about waking up at first, but then decided he'd come out and nurse on my lap while I ate. When he noticed the pancakes topped with whipped cream, he perked up and wanted 'dat'.

Now, John is resting and we're going to do a Target run for some household needs and just to get out of the bus so it's quiet for him. Also running by the bank and dropping off a DVD at Blockbuster, probably stopping to play at the park somewhere along the way.

Hoping that Sage will nap earlier in the afternoon today, since he's been on this schedule of wanting to nap around 5:00 and then staying up until midnight, then sleeping in, then...the cycle continues. He finally fell asleep at 12:30 last night, while I was dozing listening to Larry King. Maybe today's early wake will encourage early nap and earlier to bed? We'll see!

January 12, 2007

For 8 Whole Years...

...he's been ours! The darling little baby boy that came through me and changed me forever. I thank him often for choosing me.

Saylor wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese today, so that's where we spent our afternoon. Everyone had a very good time, and got something they wanted from the 'prize' counter. We stopped at Target on our way so that Stone could buy him a gift. I served him breakfast in bed this morning: pancakes, scrambled eggs with cottage cheese, sausage, orange slices and hot chocolate.

He received Birth Day wishes from family and friends throughout the day, and some cash in the mail from Grandma. His Uncle Matt sent him a book, which he opened the day it came, Tuesday, I think? More gifts to trickle in through the mail over the next couple of days, and then the shared party at our new found friends on Monday. He even made an appearance at the Bodhicitta Blog!

What a *C*E*L*E*B*R*A*T*I*O*N*!!

I love you, my sweet son!

January 10, 2007

The Weather

Just wanted to throw out there, since I love bragging about our Beautiful Rapid City Weather, that it was a mere 2 degrees warmer here today, in CALIFORNIA, than it was in Rapid! 56 here, 54 at home!
Ok, now onto other things. We went to the park day, met loads of wonderful kids and all of their friendly parents. I enjoyed chatting it up with everyone, and the boys had a blast running around playing with lots of kids.
Sage is sleeping now, probably to wake up about the time I need to sleep, wondering why I'm not up for some playtime! I'm going to pop up some popcorn and then Stone and I are going to watch The Incredibles. Saylor's back and forth between the tv's, checking out what's on and trying to decide where to land. Currently, he seems to be digging for a snack. I guess the carrots and celery and dip was just a primer! He's my muncher, kinda like his mama!
Stone doesn't seem much interested in eating, unless it's an egg sandwich or peanut butter cereal. He's like his dad, he only eats when he's *hungry*! What's up with that?

Not Black?

Your Blog Should Be Blue

Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.
You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.
From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book.

January 9, 2007

Have Doula, Will Travel

I seem to be obsessed with thinking of ways to bring in an extra buck right now, during our crunch time. It's really not all that crunched, but close enough to be uncomfortable. It's the whole 2 mortgages thing that is absolutely draining us. It sucks. I know our situation will change. I know our boys are only little for right NOW, and that, someday, I will actually have the time to work for $money$. I seem to cycle through this feeling every couple of years, then the need dissolves when I realize which chapter of my life I'm living right now. I was thinking it would be fun to be a traveling doula, though! Heck, maybe someone out there would just connect with me and my wacky ways and hire 'that doula that lives in a bus', over a stationary one! Ya never know!

We were all set to go to a coffee roasting tour today in Temecula, only to arrive to find the shop a few employees short, so they had to turn us all away. So, instead, a group of us decided on the park and the boys had a wonderful time playing and exploring with new friends. We even met a lovely unschooling family....ahhh....big sigh of relief... It's been a while, well over a month to be exact, that we've been around such wonderful energy. It was nice. Sue has a sweet little girl turning 8 on the 16th, and our sweet little boy turns 8 on the 11th, so she suggests we do a combo birthday party at her house! It's happening on Monday. Gotta love someone that throws that out there after only just meeting you! Again, it was nice.

John is back at work after his scrumptious 17 day break! I got really used to us all being together all the time. Now, we're figuring out how to be without him, even if it is only for a couple of hours in the evening. He's such a trooper, working all night, and then getting up WITH us in the morning. He just doesn't want to miss out on time with his family. What a man! He came with us today, and there's a park day tomorrow from 2-4 that we'll be taking tricked out cupcakes to that he'll probably attend as well. (sorry for that poor sentence structure!)

Tricked out cupcakes, you say? Well, that's the only way I could describe Saylor's plans to 'spray paint' his white frosted cupcakes with baaaaaaaad Red (number god only knows?) frosting spray decorating stuff. It is *his* birthday, after all! :) Which, it seems, he'll be celebrating from today on through next Monday. Not too shabby! We went to an army surplus store while we were in Temecula and got him exactly what he wanted: a flint and ---sit down for this one, mom! --- a machete. We've had many conversations about how/when/why to use a machete, and we trust him and know he will maintain that trust. One of those conversations was that Dad and I really feel most comfortable with him using it if one of us is *with* him. He can live with that== happily, I might add.

All the boys had to build a fire as soon as we returned back to the bus. They were successful at their first attempt of flint fire starting. Cool! Saylor also grabbed a $6 pouch of freeze dried macaroni and cheese, just to see what it was all about. He tried it, it was disgusting, went in the garbage. Six bucks in the trash...well, I'm trying to remember it was about the 'experience', not the food.

The 3 younguns and I went for a shower before John left for work. We've been showering in the campground's shower house because the water is really hot, nice full water pressure, and you can shower for longer than 4.5 minutes! It was getting comical trying to shave my legs in our bus shower, having to shut the water off and rinse my razor in a dish in order to have enough hot water left to rinse my hair. Now, we shower, or bathe as Stone and Sage would have it. I just haul over one of our big Rubbermaid tubs and they're happy as fishies! And clean, at least for a short time!

January 5, 2007

What's Happening

It was an extremely windy day here today, so we stayed inside for most of it. The boys did venture out a couple times, but with the wind, it was really quite chilly. We watched Talladega Nights last night, and for tonight we have Little Miss Sunshine. I've seen it, but no one else has. It's such a great movie.

My brother and his gal are coming tomorrow from Irvine to spend the day. Hoping the weather is cooperative enough for a hike in the mountains. And speaking of visits from family members, my Mom is going to fly out here to see us the end of February. She's missing the boys so much. It'll be great fun to have her here for a week. The boys are happy she's coming. And, no definite plans yet, but my Dad made the mention of coming out while we're here, too. Looking forward to it all!

There's another bus conversion parked here. He's a welder, she hangs out, no kids. They want to sell their conversion. I saw the inside of it today. It's decent, but would need some re-doing. It's not quite set up for a family to live in. It works for 2, but missing some elements like a stove and a shower. She came over for a cup of coffee and is kind of this quirky, funny type of person. We're chatting about something, then, in the middle of the conversation, she says "I think you're really nice". She's 25 and has an innocent naivety about her. But I also get the feeling she's had a hard go of it. Certain our paths have crossed for a reason...

The boys are watching the Princess Bride right now. Saylor spent a good part of the morning out surviving the wild of the campground. He had his 'spears' all loaded up in a camp chair bag, slung across his back. He was out finding pecans and eating them, y'know, surviving in the wild on what you can find. We've been watching Man vs. Wild every night before we go to bed and learning so much. Like what plant to use to poison little fish so they float to the top, and that you can eat them because the root is only toxic to fish, not humans.

Saylor is very much into guns, knives, whips, spears...things like that. His birthday is coming up and all he wants is a machete and a flint and Guitar Hero. My guy... I'm so in love!

Knottsberry Farm

We went to Knottsberry farm on Wednesday. It was good. It was fine. It was fun. BUT, the next time we go to something like that, all of our children will be old enough to feed themselves, toilet themselves and walk themselves!

The boys enjoyed themselves, but there were so many rules and restrictions we had to place on them, for their safety, that I just kept thinking how they have just as much fun roaming around on the beach, where it's wide open, safe and free! (Free in more ways than one!)

We did enjoy the day. Even Stone got to ride some of the smaller rides, after being disappointed over and over that he was too short for most of them; even the big raft ride thing. Darn. There's no WAY we're doing Disneyland, so there! I said it. For all of you out there who think "well, you're in California, you HAVE to go to Disneyland"...let me tell you "no, we don't." ;) We will go, however, when our boys have reached the above mentioned criteria! When we can all ride the big fun rides together and laugh our heads off; instead of trying to shuffle this kid here, and this kid there and all of us wasting a lot of time just shuffling kids instead of hauling a** to the next exciting ride!

Saylor and I did make the decision to ride a roller coaster while we were there. Ready for a funny story! The Ghost Rider looked to be the least intimidating from the ground. No upside down, Saylor wasn't ready for that. So, we thought, hey, we could probably handle it. In we go, the very last car. Up, up, up we chug, chug, chugged. Saylor's already starting to make some nervous groaning noises, I poke myself in the left eyeball and knock my contact out. Quickly, I unclench Saylor's fingers from my right hand so I can re-insert said contact, which is now fuzzy and painful. Back goes my right arm around Saylor's head and back go his hands squeezing my hand with all his might. We haven't made it to the top yet. Ok, then doooooooooooooown, scary, fast, feels like you've been thrown off of a cliff down, like you might actually fly right out of the car down, thinking "oh my god, i think we're in here wrong" ... Down. Now Saylor is making some very primal terrified screams of horror. His eyes are shut tight, I want mine to be, but I'm trying to be brave for him. The plunging seemed to never end. It was scary. Can you tell?

Saylor held it together so well, though. He wasn't freaking out by the time the car came to a stop, he was shaken, but not freaking anymore. I piggybacked him all the way back down the stairs, figuring his legs were probably feeling worse than mine, weak and wobbly. We survived. We did it. The next time I do it, I'll be centered between 2 of my strapping young teen-age boys. Of course, after the ride, we keep bumping into all kinds of people saying "oh my gosh, that Ghost Rider ride is awful, it's so scary, don't ride it" Yep. Didn't hear a thing about it *before* we rode the thing. We've learned to ask first next time!

We got home and had a good laugh about it all. Recreating the scene and replaying the events, complete with my best imitation of his primal screaming grunts. The re-creation of it was WAAAY more fun than the actual ride. ;)

I'm still sore today (2 days later). My left shoulder/neck muscle, the same arm that I was using to hang on, since Saylor had my other one. Man, I must have had a death grip on that thing. It's funny now and I told him that'll be something we'll be laughing about when we're both old and gray!