Meet The Nat Pack!

My photo
The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Everyone BUT the Wizard

Yesterday was our ward's Halloween party. Arin and I thought up having our kids dress as the different characters from "The Wizard of Oz" , like, two months ago. It turned out cute, if I do say so myself!

They had games, and face painting, and a beanbag toss, and donuts with hot cocoa there, and a whole lot more that we didn't get around to doing with the kids. It was way fun.

Here's the group of us, (from left to right, bottom to top): Jakob as Tin Man, Jayce as Flying Monkey, Ila as Glinda the Good Witch, Brock as Toto, Troy as Scarecrow, Stacy as Dorothy, Jaren as 1/2 of the Lollipop Guild, Arin as the Wicked Witch of the West, Nat as the Yellow Brick Road, Pete as the other 1/2 of the Lollipop Guild, and Ivy as the Lion. (Whew!)



Here are some more groupings of all of us. I'm sure Arin will have more pictures when she blogs about this (ahem...no pressure, Arin!)


Jakob adored his costume!


Ivy giving an appropriate face for the Lion:


So sleepy!


We represent the Lollipop Guild... (What good sports! Pete was like, "Jaren had better be dressed up, too, or I'm going home.")


The scared Scarecrow


And Toto, too.


Jakob, showing that his true obsession hasn't faded:
Halloween rocks with little kids!

Monday, October 27, 2008

School Days

Jakob has been doing pretty well in school. (At least, as far as I can tell. But we have Parent-Teacher Conference on Wednesday; don't know what kind of story I'll get then.) He's so funny. He draws all the time, and most of the subjects are Iron man, or some derivative thereof. As promised, I scanned in a couple of pictures. This first one is Iron man fighting War machine, but I think War machine is a good guy...




And then this one cracks me up. They did a dot-to-dot in class, and it made a house. Instead of a simple, red-brick with white picket fence type house, Jakob turned it into a Monster House (of course with Iron man in it or on it or fighting it).



Yes, a very creative child. He's been learning more and more, and will ask me all day long about words that rhyme, and what does such-and-such word start with, and how do you spell this or that, and what do these letters spell. I make him think through what a word starts with and tell me, and he's almost always right except when it comes to words that start with "c". Like "cake": he'll say, "Um, "k"?" (Why do we have the letter "c", anyway? "k" and "s" do just fine. Somebody's sick joke taken way too far...)

I think part of the reason he's been so into letters is he's part of a program at school called Title One. They sent a letter home a few weeks into school, basically saying that they think he (and apparently most of the other Kindergartners) could benefit from some extra help. I'm like, my son is a resource kid? (Not that resource is bad, but the connotation is.) The letter kind of reminded me of what Mindy said in her post about "teacher-speak". This is where they say, "your child isn't working up to his or her potential", which can translate into "lazy". That kind of thing.

But actually, now that he's been in the program, I'm liking the results. They get pulled out of class for 20 minutes a day in a small group; there are two other kids in Jakob's group. So, essentially, he's getting a lot more individual attention at school than he otherwise would.

Now, though, I know better what to do when my other kids go to school. Jakob kind of knew his letters, but not enough, apparently, because-silly me!-I thought that's what they'd be learning in Kindergarten, not having it be a prerequisite to entering. I think Jakob's being in Title One has made me a lot more aware of his education, and I've been trying to supplement at home in a few ways. And really, his learning curve has been exponential. I just hope his teacher thinks and says the same thing at Parent-Teacher Conference. If not, I hope she can give me some tips on how to help him, which will also help his brothers and sister out in the future.

Weekend Warriors

Last weekend my awesome brother-in-law Jeff and his amazing wife Amy and their cute kids came up to visit. We hadn't seen them since...March, I think. We had a pizza party, went to the zoo, played games, and had a blast! They brought the warm weather from Utah up with them; as soon as they left it got cold again.

Irongirl Erin (we convert everyone eventually):


Troy pushing His Highness Brock in the stroller at the zoo:


The monkeys loved the monkeys:


Ivy at the park:


Jeff playing "Ticket to Ride". It's a really fun game with missions and cards and little train cars that you set out on tracks. I sucked it up but had fun doing it.


The Nat Pack founders:


The lovely card dealer, Amy. (Dude, her post about our weekend kicks my post's butt. Go read it here.)



We had so much fun. Thanks for coming up, guys!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Food" Storage, Take 2

This is my second month of collecting food storage, and once again, I didn't really get much into the food aspect. I'd make a lousy scout. (You know, "be prepared". Which I'm not. And I'm also not a boy. Surprise!)

Money was a tad tight this month. I haven't even been able to keep my regular supply of Coke handy. Very grr. But I did get some clothes for our 72-hour kits. We now have sweat pants and t-shirts for each of the boys, and socks for them as well. And Pete and I have a pair of jeans, two shirts, and a sweatshirt each. Some of these were new purchases, and others were clothes that we never wear that would probably otherwise go to D.I.

As for Ivy, well, right now she'll be going naked. (The girl is just growing so fast! I had to buy some new jammies for her, and they're size 12 months. Yeah, she's 5 1/2 months old.)

Here they are on our lovely mostly bare shelves:



I did, however, buy a 25 pound bag of flour. Honestly, right now that bag would probably last us a year with our current cooking/baking style. However, in times of need, we'll need a whole lot more than that. According to Your Family Ark, we'll need 98 pounds of flour, and like 600 pounds of wheat. Like I said, a lot more than a measly 25 pounds. I also bought some salt and a bit more bleach. So I'm on my way to making bread, kinda. Or some peach cobbler...yum!

Next month, I'm thinking maybe some clothes for Ivy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brought to You by the Letter O

Old Man Hair:



Ivy's hair was looking like a comb-over. And she has a big old bald spot in the back. So I gave her a hair cut.



My kids' first haircuts leave much to be desired, and Ivy proved she was part of the rule, not the exception. So now it's kind of a bowl cut, but it will grow out and look a little better soon enough. I hope.




Ouch!

Guess we won't be getting our family pictures taken this coming Monday after all.



Troy was playing in my turtle collection, more specifically with the one on the left. It has a light underneath the shell that the boys find fascinating. Apparently Troy was playing with the light switch and pulled the turtle down on top of himself. He has a nice shell shaped bruise on his face.



Here's another look:




Olympic Bowlers We are Not

We took the kids bowling. Pete killed the rest of us with the impressive score of 97. And...we were playing with bumpers. And...I came in last, under Jakob and Brock.



Troy wanted to help me improve my form and my score, but I was past hope this time around.



I taught Jakob that you need to dance after every ball you shoot (roll?). He has some sweet moves, especially in his day-glo bowling shoes on the ultra polished floor.




Ooooh, hands!

I love it when kids discover their appendages.




Only the cutest kid ever!



Brock's going to be such a heart throb when he grows up.




Ott in the making:

Jakob could draw all day long. When I can steal the "big computer" from Pete, I'll have to scan in some of Jakob's masterpieces. (The scanner is hooked up to the new computer. I'm on the lowly old computer right now.)



Now if only we can get to Sesame Street...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No I'm Not!

I'm not doing laundry.
I'm not organizing my pantry.
I'm not paying my bills and balancing my checkbook.
I'm not blogging about my way cool weekend with my way cool bro- and sis-in-law.
I'm not mopping.
I'm not putting away my dishes and running another load.

I need to do all this stuff, but I'm not.

What are you not doing?

Update: I am, however, cleaning up a poopy bum of a three-year-old that decided not to go in the toilet. And, I'm picking up my Kindergartner that just had diarrhea at school. What can I say? Poop happens.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tagalicious

Cute Emily tagged me with this one:
I am: loving my scanner/printer that’s finally hooked up! I need to play around with it more, but so far what I’ve done has been an awesome piece of cake.
I know: that laundry is a never-ending process, but why can’t it be done for more than two days?

I want: the weather to stay nice through Halloween, but I’m kind of doubting it right now since it snowed last week.
I have: GOT to clean my downstairs bathroom before company comes tomorrow! Ick!
I dislike: getting up early in the morning.
I miss: the college days. Not the being single thing, or the tests, but just the carefree-ness, and the endless energy I used to have.
I feel: so blessed. I have a gorgeous family, food, shelter, clothing, warmth…I’m so, so lucky.
I hear: the sound of silence. The kids are in bed. It’s so peaceful.
I smell: nothing right now, but I wish I was smelling some brownies baking in the oven…or some peach cobbler…or something else to eat…
I crave: Coca-Cola. I’ve been without for over a week now, and man, I miss it!
I cry: when I fight with people. And when I cry at night before bed, the next day my eyelids are really puffy, so much so they barely open in the morning. It’s attractive.

I search: for my boys’ shoes constantly!
I wonder: what my kids will look like when they get older. Jakob and Troy look like I did when I was little. I just hope their pre-teen years are a little nicer to them than mine were to me.
I regret: letting some good friendships drift away
I love: cuddling with Pete, much to his chagrin.
I care: a lot, I care a lot! (clap-clap, clap-clap!)

I worry: that Pete is going to die while traveling out to work. That would super suck.
I remember: when I was in kindergarten. We totally took “naps” on our desks. The teacher would turn the lights off, and we’d wait for the milk cart to come by. We would get milk and crackers. They don’t do that anymore in kindergarten, which makes me kind of sad for the kids.
I believe: that my kids are the dang cutest kids in the universe.
I dance: with my little boys, and I’ve noticed it looks a lot like my dad’s dancing. He grabs our hands, and swings them back and forth while bouncing his knees up and down. I totally have the same sweet moves now.
I don't: live up to my potential, especially as a mom. I let my kids watch way too many movies.
I argue: the most in my head. I’ll be mad about something, and then I’ll play out what I would say to whoever it is about whatever it is in my head, and I’m always so totally right and the other person sees my clear logic, and then the world is a better place because my opinion is the right one, and why didn’t they do it like that in the first place?
I write: chore lists on my fridge whiteboard, and then I never do the things on the list. I’m productive like that.
I win: nothing. I’ll fill out those survey things that you get on store receipts, and…nothing! I’ll enter sweepstakes, I’ll put my name in drawings, and nada.
I lose: real arguments. I’d just rather not fight, and when I do fight I get all flustered and I can’t express what I want to in the emotion of the moment.
I wish: we were debt free, including the mortgage. How awesome would that be??? *sigh*
I listen: to Jakob’s crazy stories that he makes up all day long. He named his bike “Snaprider”, and today told me Snaprider’s first name was “Snake”. Then he drew a picture of him riding his bike.
I can usually be found: downstairs in my home or cleaning something up.
I am scared: of growing old and getting some crazy disease, or not being able to see or hear, or worse, not having my mind intact.
I need: a haircut. I’m starting to look like one of those 15-year-old boys that have long wavy hair, kind of like in the 70s. Like…David Cassidy.

I forget: to go to mid-week Relief Society meetings. They have them all the time, and I always think I’ll go, but then I remember about 40 minutes into the activity. This always happens to me.
I am happy: when I have chocolate. Oh, mama! Chocolate and Coke are a few of my favorite things.

I tag: Pete and Mindy, because they’ll both come up with really creative answers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Just a Flesh Wound

My kids have had mishap after mishap lately, resulting in bumps, bruises, and blood.

1. Troy's shoes:

He got these for his birthday, about 2 1/2 months ago. The toes now have holes in them. We have a little scooter bike. He'll push off, then drag his feet along the ground.

2. I'm not sure how it happened, but Brock fell or got bumped or something, and had a really bad bloody nose. We even thought it may be broken. After a call to Nurse Brianna asking if he'd still be screaming (he wasn't), we figured he just bumped it badly.

3. A huge scrape along Jakob's whole arm. He was most likely jumping, and scraped it on the entertainment center. The scrape later turned into a nasty bruise.

4. Troy again. I turned on the vacuum, which scared him. He fell or ran and tripped, and landed on his forehead. It immediately goose-egg/bruised. We were glad it didn't break the skin, because it most definitely would have needed stitches.

5. Return to Brock. Today he was fighting with Troy over a toy that Troy had first, so I sent him to his room. He was pounding on the door and yelling, so I went to go tell him to sit on his bed and calm down. When I opened the door, the knob bumped him in the nose, and...you guessed it-another bloody nose for Brock.

6. Again with Jakob: Jakob said Brock bit him, but it looked more like a carpet burn or something. It's on the back of his neck.

7. Even Ivy isn't exempt from the accidental self-affliction. I put her on the couch and was getting some clothes and stuff for her. She rotated herself sideways, so instead of being parallel to the back couch cushions she was perpendicular. Her head was at the edge. She gave a mighty kick and ended up sliding off, flipping over in the process, which landed her on her tummy. She's ground-bound now.

8. And Troy once more: Pete was baking a cardboard pizza. It beeped that it was done, and before Pete came up to get it, Troy decided to be a big helper. He opened the oven, stuck a spatula in there, and burned his arm in the process.

I'm glad that kids are resilient. I'm glad that they heal easily. And I'm glad that no one has called child services on me yet, because I don't know if they would buy that my kids hurt themselves as much as they do.

And because I couldn't resist:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guardian Angels



You know that phrase of "there are angels among you"? (Something like that-I'm too lazy right now to try and find the actual phrase.)

IT IS SO TRUE.

This last week, I've had people come to my rescue. First, my mom. When is this woman NOT helping me? She brought me baby food and baby formula, then sent over some BBQ sandwich stuff along with chips, pop, and yummy desserts that were all leftover from her class reunion she just had.



Then Heidi also bestowed "powdered gold" onto me. That's what I call formula, because it's so dang expensive. She rocks!



Then came Arin. Even though she was busy getting ready to leave town, she took the time to buy my life force for me. I honestly think that Coke runs through my veins.



And Kar gave me some apples, which my kids completely gobbled up in one morning.





Needless to say, I'm so very lucky to have such amazing women in my life that are so willing to help me out in a pinch. Thanks for being wonderful examples of knowing even the smallest of acts can make the biggest impact in some one's life.

Ch-Ch-Changes

It's that time of year again. The thermostat got switched from "cool" to "heat". And we had our first snow. Way too early for my taste (last winter was really, really long). But Brock was anxious to go out and play in the snow. So it was also time to hand down coats.


And I realized we need snow pants, and another pair of boots! For crying out loud! If only my kids would stop growing so fast! Especially this one:


(I just want to take a mom moment and say how stinking cute is my son??? He could totally be a model. If he was good at, you know, letting people take his picture. Which he's not. So it will be a small population that gets to enjoy his cuteness. Feel privileged.) His Sunday pants no longer fit, nor do his Sunday shirts. Wait, does that mean he's getting too big for his britches?

And this one got her first taste of "solids". She really didn't know what to think at first:


And then she decided that it wasn't all that good. I tried adding sugar, and the next day added formula (because she and the bottle are like this), but to no avail. I tried oatmeal the next day, and she wasn't having that, either. At least not yet.

Yesterday my son asked how long until Halloween. Uh, a little less than three weeks away. Which means the holidays are upon us. I like to get my Christmas shopping done in October and November, because I hit just as many sales without fighting the crowds. I only have to focus on the kids since Pete and I already have our Christmas:
But I'm so tired of getting toys! Ugh. Maybe I'll buy them food storage. Then my kids will think I'm the coolest mom ever! We thought about bikes for Brock and Troy, but I don't know how they'll feel about that. "Here's a present for Christmas, but you can't use it for another 5 months until the seasons change again! How exciting and fun is that?" Hmm.

In other "change" news, I was making dinner last night and realized I didn't have sour cream for the recipe. DOH! I'm still out of money until this Friday, but I think I may have a couple bucks in change in my purse. I never thought having random coins laying around could be so handy.

And, I've also come to realize, with all the change happening around me, that I need to do some changing of my own. Jakob has afternoon kindergarten, which means I spend the morning essentially just feeding and dressing me and the kids. That shouldn't take 3 1/2 hours. Then I'm also not taking advantage of the time that Jakob is at school, by spending more time with the others, etc.

Today Jakob had to catch the bus at 8:10 a.m. Every month our school has an early release day, so the kindergarten classes take turns going to school, and go for a longer period of time. So last month the p.m. class didn't go to school; today the a.m. class doesn't go, and the p.m. attends from 8:40-1:40 p.m. He took a lunch with him and everything. My point: I got up at 7:30, got him up, took a shower, was ready to go at 8:00. And...I feel I have so much more time! So my idea (and again, I'm posting about this so that I have more incentive to stick to the plan because I'm making my plans public), is to get up before the kids, exercise, and shower. Okay, I'll be honest: the exercising probably won't happen every day. But maybe three days a week or something. And because I'm sick of my house being a pig sty, the other days I'll do laundry or dust, etc.

So, please send your good vibes my way. I'll need all the help I can get to make my changes in my mind become tangible changes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Von Trapp Family Rock Band

The other day Jakob made us all instruments out of paper. (He is constantly drawing things on paper, coloring them, then cutting them out. One day he made a computer, complete with headphones. He was pretending to play a game with his cousin, Dylan, called-get this-World of Ironman. Such a creative little bugger.)

Anyway, here we are with our instruments, singing a Flight of the Conchords song called "Robots".
Brock is rocking the "drums".
Troy with his "guitar". (Yep, the same day as the great tanning lotion extravaganza.)
Here are my boys, getting ready to be the next Jackson 5, or Hanson, or Partridge family:

video
They're singing "We Will Rock You", if you couldn't tell. Troy used to sing "We will rock it". Jakob is pretty good at doing the pound pound clap part. They first heard the song on this fine movie:

You know you wanna hear the real thing now, right? I'll happily oblige.



Better look out, Jonas Brothers!