Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Random Stuff from May

So here we are, I can't believe it's already JUNE! Crazy. I have a lot of photos I never got around to posting in May that I wanted to share, so I'm going to do one big post and get them all uploaded. A lot of total randomness in this post, so be prepared!!

I've been doing A LOT of reading lately. I've always been a big reader. I love to read. (and I love that Dean seems to love to read so far. I hope he continues to love to read). There's just something about a good book. I can remember as a child actually getting in trouble for reading! Come on Mom - what kind of parent actually scolds their child for reading too much!?!? Ok, maybe I can admit it was a little excessive. I would be on the couch or chair in the living room reading for HOURS and she'd be calling me in for dinner and I wouldn't want to put my book down. I can remember her yelling at me "Put that book down and GET IN HERE and eat!" (feel free to insert "clean your room" or "go to bed" or something else of that nature in place of "eat"). When the new e-readers came out Joel thought I would instantly have to have one, but I was extremely leery of them - I just didn't think holding an electronic device would be the same as a book. I felt like I needed the feel and weight and smell of a real live book in my hands. I felt like there was this psychological connection, this feeling of comfort, that I get in holding a book that would be lost in an electronic reader. So no, I didn't want one. I'll stick to my REAL books thank you very much. But then I had a patient who brought in his Kindle every week and I'd watch him read on it while he rode the bike. Then my friend Ellyn got one and RAVED about hers (and we're much alike when it comes to books, among other things). Then my Mother-in-Law, Jo got one and brought it with her on her last trip to Maui and I played with it a little. But I was still iffy about them. But then Joel got me this for Mother's Day:

And my life is forever changed. I freaking LOVE it. Seriously. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I can't even explain it. It's amazing. I was soooo dead set against a Kindle and even when I opened it up and the first day or 2 I still wasn't sure. But now I don't know how I ever lived without it. I don't even WANT to read a "real" book ever again! And I can't believe I'm even saying that. ME. Lifelong book lover. SERIOUS bookstore addict. I mean, one of my favorite places in the WORLD is a big Barnes and Noble (in fact, it's on my list of 5 places Joel is instructed to leave a portion of my ashes when I die -just stealthily sprinkle some of me in between Romance and Historical Fiction - my idea of heaven is a gigantic book store all to myself!!). Anyway, if you're a reader and you've been on the fence about a MUST get one.

OK, that took a lot more space in this post than I intended. (but part of the purpose of this blog is to serve as a sort of journal of our lives and one of the things I want to capture is Pop Culture stuff and I think the Kindle is a perfect example of that. I wonder how Dean will be reading his books in 20 years while he chuckles at my excitement over my Kindle?? A microchip implanted in his cornea?).

Moving on...Remember when I told you about the Muffin Tin Meals? We're still doing that quite often and it's working out really well for Dean. Especially at dinner time.

It doesn't really always help him to eat exactly what we're eating (the meal above was actually lunch a few weekends ago), because we fill all of the "holes", so he gets a lot more variety than we usually have with our meals. But I'm just happy he's EATING. Because this kid does NOT normally like to eat. He's still super picky, but at least with the muffin tin meals we get a decent variety of foods from all the food groups at at least 1 meal per day and he usually eats almost everything in the tin, which is A LOT for Dean. It also seems like he eats pretty well at school - probably peer pressure of seeing his friends eating. So I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that now I know he's getting at least 3 days/week of really good lunches and snacks while at school, plus several days/week of good dinners when we do the muffin tin meals.

A few weeks ago it was "Culture Week" at school and all of the kids were supposed to bring a snack that was representative of their culture. Keep in mind we live in an extremely culturally diverse area and Dean has kids at his school who are African American, Filipino, Japanese, Hawaiian, Korean, and several of mixed Polynesian ancestry. I jokingly told Joel we should just send Dean with some white bread or something (referring to the fact that he might in fact be the whitest kid there). But luckily Joel's Austrian background saved the day. Joel made some Kipfrel, some kind of Austrian cookie, which I'm told were a HUGE hit with the kids. However, Dean was PRETTY upset when I wouldn't let him eat all of the cookies while he was helping Joel make them:

See, he's not always adorable!

But he WAS being pretty stinkin' cute a few weekends ago when his friend Sienna came over for a playdate for a few hours. Dean's been SUPER bummed because his good friend Rylee from across the street moved to Costa Rica for a year in early May. Dean and Rylee used to get together and play several times a week. The neighborhood has felt really quiet since they left and I think Dean's been pretty sad. So I called Sienna's Mom, Lorly, (they live on the corner of the street behind us) and asked if Sienna could come play for a few hours. They had a lot of fun! Sienna was much better at sharing toys than Dean was, but overall they did pretty good. There was a minor meltdown when they both wanted the blue bowl (and we only have 1) when they ate snack and Dean has a hard time understanding and being patient with letting his guest be served first. Fortunately, 3-yr-olds don't hold grudges long AT ALL and they were back to playing and laughing in no time! We're hoping to make it a regular date with Sienna!

And finally, just this past weekend, Dean helped a little bit with LOTS of yardwork we were finally able to get done!!

We planted 18 of these Areca Palm trees in our backyard above the retaining wall along the back fence line. We've been meaning to do this for almost a year now and it felt SO GOOD to get it done! It's amazing how much better it looks already and I can't wait for them to grow up big and tall and give us some nice tropical shade back there -hopefully keeping that side of the house cooler in the late afternoon. We had a load of black cinder dropped off yesterday and Joel's been busy removing A LOT of sand from up there and adding cinder on top of the sand where we planted them. We didn't even bother with topsoil - just planted them right into the sand. They're pretty hardy plants and should do fine. Dean seems to be unimpressed with our efforts overall. Although he has been enjoying watering all the new plants with his leftover bathwater! He thinks that's pretty cool!! I'll try to get some pictures later this week of the finished work once Joel's done spreading out all the cinder.

For now, I think that's it for all the randomness. I have a few more posts to type up to get caught up with all of the May happenings. I'll try to get that done before I head to bed tonight so I can start June off on the right foot!!

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