Tuesday, April 30, 2013


That one word pretty  much sums up our last 7 days with Dublin.
Last Tuesday, he and I took a nice long bike ride / run (where I ride and he runs along beside me... obviously... not the other way around).  We got back to the house, all was good. I got off my bike to open the garage door. The wind blew. The bike fell. One his foot. He started bleeding and never stopped. About 30 minutes after the incident, we were loaded in the van and on our way to the vet.
At said vet, he was given stitches and a cone of shame. The vet tech then told me, with all seriousness, to 'prevent him from running, jumping, or playing' for the next 10-14 days. I looked at her and said, 'Have you ever had a 9-month-old Weim? That's not going to happen.'  Apparently, she didn't get what I was telling her. She sent us on our merry way with strict instructions to make him lay down and stay calm. Yeah right.

Three days later we were back at the vet because, with the cone on - the cone that supposed prevents him from being able to reach his foot - he chewed a giant hole through the bandage and pulled a stitch out. THIS time we saw a different vet. This vet has a Weim of her own, and had a very different perspective on all of this. First off, she out right LAUGHED at the cone. It was, clearly, not big enough. And then she laughed at the attempt to sedate a Weimaraner without sedatives.
We left the vet last Friday with a staple to replace the stitch he tore, a fresh bandage, and a bigger cone. I though, surely now he would  not be able to chew his bandages.

I thought wrong.

Today we were back at the vet. Again. This was actually a planned visit to see how he is healing (very well, by the way), but still he had chewed through his bandages yet again. We left with fresh bandages and an appointment to have his stitches removed Saturday morning.

Within an hour of getting home, he had already chewed through the 3rd set of bandages. He now has one of Isaac's long tube socks over his bandage and taped to him way up high where he really SHOULDN'T be able to reach it to pull it down. Truly, Saturday morning can't get here soon enough!!!  This has been a fiasco!

Funny note, though... If ever you are in need of a good laugh, you should watch a Weimaraner that is on a sedative. It's good stuff! He'll be going going going and then all of a sudden the meds kick in, and he crashes! Drops pretty much wherever he is. The other day, he flopped down and went to sleep two feet from the back door. He had been on his way to the door to 'knock' to come inside, but he never made it to the door. We found him passed out in the sunshine. Thankfully it wasn't pouring rain or anything. And he walks like he's had a bit too much to drink (especially with the satellite dish on his head). Our walls may need a touch-up when this is all said and done.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Updated Chore Charts

For quite a while, we used a button chore chart for each of the kids, and it worked. As the kids got older, though, they sort of outgrew the old system. My response, until now, has been to just not have any kind of chart in place. I thought it would work. But really, more than anything, it was me dropping the ball. Weeks would pass, and it would totally slip my mind to give them their rewards. We were doing allowance $ for a week of chores. Inconsistency quickly became our biggest issue... the kids were inconsistent in what they were doing... I was inconsistent in how I was rewarding... and soon it just became either (a) I paid them all whether they earned it or not, or (b) I just forgot to pay them altogether. Neither is good. Time for a new plan.

Nothing a quick stop at Target can't fix. I got a few supplies: a black dry-erase board, some wet erase markers, Mon-Sun magnets (all found in the office supplies section), and a packet of Smash journal strips (found in the scrapbooking section).

And I put together a chore chart for the week... 

It's pretty basic... Days of the week across the top, chores down the side. If your initial shows up in the box, it's your chore for the day.

As for rewards... it goes like this:

  • For each day that you get ALL of your chores done, you get a dot. The dots will be tracked at the bottom of the board, under their names.
  • Once you  have 7 dots, you get whatever the individual reward is for that week (I'll get to that in a second). Dots carry over from one week to the next until you get to seven... it could take you one week or three weeks to earn 7 dots. At the time you DO get 7 dots, whatever the individual reward is for that week is what you earn. 
  • There are 2 sets of rewards... Individual Reward and All Together Reward. The Individual Reward is earned by accumulating 7 dots. The All Together Reward is earned if, and only if, all three of them get all of their dots for the given week. So, EVERYONE does EVERYTHING Monday - Sunday of the current week. If that happens, they get a collective reward as well as the individual reward. It's my hope that this will encourage them to support and encourage each other. We'll see how it goes. 
  • Each week, we randomly pull out one Individual and one All Together Reward Card. That's what you  see in the top left corner. It changes each week. 
Our rewards include things like $5 cash, a $5 gift card to Barnes & Noble, 2 1/2 hours of electronic time, and having a friend over (maybe for a sleep-over or something more special than just the random friend who shows up to play for a bit).  All Together rewards include things like Cupcakes from the specialty cupcake bakery in town, a trip to Dairy Queen, a day at the zoo or museum, put put, popcorn party & movie night... stuff like that. 

It's new. It's untested. But the kids helped develop it, and they are excited about it. I think the degree of its success will actually depend on me. I need to follow through in a timely manner with the rewards. Otherwise, their motivation will drop off pretty quickly, and we'll be back to where we've been for the past several months. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring Sports & Crummy Weather

What a week we've had!! Wednesday was the official start of lacrosse games, and it was also Meagan's first soccer practice! The return of Spring sports.  Unfortunately, it was also the return of crazy Spring weather! 

So, Wednesday, Isaac had to be at the field at 5:30 for a game that started at 6:00. Meagan had to be at her field by 6:15 for a practice that started at 6:30. Meg's practice was to last until 7:30, and Isaac's 2nd game was to end at 8:00. Throw in Sebastian's gymnastics practice from 4:00 until 6:30, and factor in that Lucas was several states away for work, and you have one insane effort at playing SuperMom on my part. Thankfully, I had a little help from the weather! 

Meagan was all dressed and ready to go for her practice. We took Isaac to the field, with plans to stay until about 6:10 to watch a bit of his game. But... around 6:00, lightening started in up north of us, where the soccer fields are, leading to one canceled soccer practice. This freed us up to just hang out and chill at Isaac's games.
Meagan, all dressed up and ready to go.
It was a good thing I was able to hang out at the lacrosse park... it started raining and lightening there shortly after. The game was delayed twice for weather, and was finally called at the end of the 3rd period. The second game was nixed entirely, but we still ended up getting home at 8:30, so it lasted as long as 2 games would have on a regular day. 

Isaac's team played great! Considering that last year they one all of ONE game, and they had seemingly NO concept of passing or setting up plays... this year, first game, they scored twice on a series of nice passes and play set-ups! They ended up winning 4-3!!  Good start to the season! Hopefully they continue to improve as the season goes... win or lose, it's always more enjoyable to play when you know you're playing well!
Know what else lacrosse sticks are good for??  Sword fights. 

 This year, Isaac has been getting some nice compliments from his coaches about his defensive play, and it really showed in the game. He is a lot more aware of the plays this year, and plays a lot more aggressively.  Good to see him gaining confidence and understanding of what's happening. It's a tough sport to learn, and the first year was one giant learning curve.

Okay, so on to soccer. With no practice to date, today was their first game. Her coach had emailed me and told me their jersey's were green. Since she does not yet have her jersey, we went with the green m&m shirt. Perfect! Meagan even said, "maybe it will distract the other team because it will make them hungry for m&m's!"  Love that girl!

This sport fits her. It's full-go and non-stop. There's always action. There's always something to do. And it's intense. She got about a 15 minute crash course on the VERY basics before the game started. And that was it before go time. Even with all of that, she played rather well. And she's QUICK! When she gets the hang of dribbling and passing and shooting, this could work out well for her. She even ALMOST scored! So she's feeling okay about things, and has plans to score at her 2nd game, which is tomorrow.
I love the intensity and focus on her face. And the pink socks. Love those. ;)
This is what you do when it's FREEEEEZING outside and it's not your turn to be in the game. *LOL*

Friday, April 5, 2013

Moving Forward

Truthfully, my scrapping has been slim lately. Mostly because my creativity seems to have fizzled and slumped away to hide in a deep dark corner somewhere. I was pretty excited to pull together a layout that I like in a relatively short amount of time. True, I used a template. But a done page is another page done. And I'm totally okay with that. Sometimes a template is just what is needed to take all the over-thinking out of the matter.

I just put together a quick layout to document Meagan's decision to leave gymnastics and try new things. I like it. I think the color and energy capture her perfectly.
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

free spirit and fancy feet (and a bit of big news)

Our Spring Break adventure for Tuesday was shopping for shoes and clothes for the kids. The boys had outgrown their pants, so they all looked sort of like capris instead. And all the shoes were completely shot. It was time. So, we headed out.
Clothes shopping took place at Old Navy. Because I had a $100 gift certificate there. A gift certificate I had intended to actually use on me. Turns out, that didn't happen. I did get a $3 pair of flip flops, though. Woo hoo!
With clothes purchased, we headed off in search of shoes. Tennis shoes were the main priority, but some casual shoes were in order as well. The plan was, "let's see what we find."  Good plan, huh?
Our first stop was at Rack Room Shoes. Yep, buy one get one 50% off, so let's look there. Um...or not. Even with the sale, it would have cost me about $140 to buy 4 pair of shoes. That's dumb. The kids weren't very impressed with me when I told them to put their shoe selections back on the shelf because we were leaving. We hopped in the van and headed straight to Payless, complete with under-breath grumblings from my youngest 2. Oh well.
Funny thing. We found shoes they liked! AND... everyone was able to get 2 pair each... AND it only cost $80. Yep. They got a little life-lesson chat from their mama about using their money wisely and not just buying the first thing they see that they like. I'm sure they all loved that chat.
So, here is Meagan, in all her Meaganness, showing off her new pink shoes. These are her super model poses, in case you can't tell what that is. I think modeling might not be in her career future. I'm good with that.

Okay, so now for the big news - well, big news for us at least. After many discussions through the course of the competitive season, and another conversation or two recently, Meagan has made a clear and definite decision to quit gymnastics. It's just not what she loves. She likes it okay, and she is good enough to do it, but... meh. Why spend that much time and energy (and, let's face on something that you sort of like a little. Not worth it. When I asked her what she would rather do, she immediately answered with a list that she rattled off without hesitation... soccer, swimming, diving, lacrosse. Yep, she's given this some thought. And so have I.... here's the conclusion I've come to... Meagan is just too much of a free spirit for gymnastics to be a good fit for her. It doesn't fit her personality. She isn't the self-driven-for-perfection kind of girl, and that's really what the sport of gymnastics requires for success. I feel like this is a good move for her. It's the right thing.

So, notice the soccer balls in the photos above... She is officially registered for rec league soccer for this spring. She has one month of gymnastics left, and she will be done at the end of April. Soccer practices once a week for 45 minutes, and games on the weekends. She's not even going to know what to do with all that extra free time!!  At any rate, she is SOOO excited! (She even bought the sparkly silver & black soccer ball with her own money at the Old Navy check out).

In other big news, Sebastian had a private lesson with one of his coaches yesterday. He spent an hour with him, focusing strictly on high bar (specifically on his fly away dismount). And guess what!!  By 30 minutes in, he was back to doing fly aways like a PRO!!  The last 30 minutes were spent just getting reps in to increase his level of comfort. So great to see him doing these again after a month-long mental block! 

Yes, so this is like the worst picture I've ever taken. But I was hiding and trying not to distract him. So I was peeking out from behind a steal beam, and I was shooting through the bars of a metal railing. Sorry. But still a cool moment in our week!


Cherry Chip Recipe

Since I posted my Cherry Chip layout online, I've had multiple requests for the recipe. I fear this will be rather disappointing for you all, but I really have no recipe to speak of... unless you count the 3 easy steps on the back of the Betty Crocker box *giggle.*

Seriously, I use the Cherry Chip cake mix, make it exactly like it says on the box (other than I use EVOO instead of veggie oil). And then I eat it. The end.  See, super boring and disappointing. The good news is, anyone can do it!! 

Out of curiosity, I did search for homemade cherry chip recipes, for those of you who turn up your noses at box mix cakes.  I found THIS. It has pieces of real cherries in it, which I'm sure is divine. I, however, have other things to do with my time than bake cakes from scratch, so I shall be sticking to the ten-minute variety.  ;) 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cherry Chip

The other day, one of Isaac's friends, Macy, was talking to me out at recess. She told me that one thing she loves is that her mom can make up excuses to make a cake... Friday cake, half-birthday cake, etc. This got us started talking about cake, and I told her my favorite is cherry chip. She told me she had never tried it, so I told her I would make it for her when she came over.

So, last week she came home from school with Isaac, and I kept my promise. We had cherry chip cupcakes  for snack, and they were a huge hit! Two of my kids now declare cherry chip to be their favorite flavor.

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