Sunday, January 25, 2009

$$$ lessons

A few weeks before Christmas #1 got her ears pierced and yesterday marked the 6th week.  And as all girls know, that is an important week.  No more cleaning and twisting the earrings three times a day.  Six weeks means that you can safely remove the studs and finally wear the earrings you've been waiting to wear. 

In celebration of the 6th week, #1 took the contents of her big and small piggy banks to the Coinstar machine at the grocery to see if she had enough money to buy a new pair of earrings.  I warned her not to expect much, maybe only $6 or $7.

We were both surprised that the machine counted up $25.46!  #1's eyes glossed over with all the possibilities.  At Target she picked out a nice set of earrings and proudly removed her twenty dollar bill from her little wallet to pay for them.  

Do you remember how confusing money used to seem?  How could one bill (say, a twenty) be better than four bills (like, four ones)?  #1 experienced a bit of that confusion when the cashier gave her $4 back in change.  #1 reacted like she had just hit the jackpot!  

"Four hundred!" she exclaimed!   

I told her, "Actually, those are four one dollar bills."

"And each one is a hundred!"

"Well. Each one is one hundred cents. One hundred pennies."

"I know!  Four Hundred cents!"

We walked around Target a little bit longer, to see if there was anything else she wanted to buy with her money. She wanted to buy #2 a birthday present and kept choosing things way out of her price range.  When I would say, "That costs $42 and you only have $9."  She would briefly look deterred then she would say, "Then you buy it!" After a while she started to understand things like:

Once your money is gone, you don't have anymore.

You can only buy something if you have enough money.

You should only get things you really want.

You know, things most adults haven't figured out yet.  She finally decided on getting him a $0.98 Bottle Pop.

On our way home she opened her wallet and spread the remains of her wealth across her lap.  Maybe feeling little sad that she didn't have $25 anymore, she asked, "Mom, how can I get more money?"

Before I had a chance to answer she added, "And I don't want any of your money. You're low on money. I want new money."

Yes. I am low on money.  So I pose the question to you readers: How can my 6 year old get more money?  Any simple money raising ideas?

PS This really is for #1 and not for me.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


You are familiar with my children, #1, #2, and #3. But have I ever mentioned #4? #4 does not live with us on a permanent basis. But once or twice a year we get to enjoy him for a 7-10 day stay. The symptoms started early in the week and by the weekend we said goodbye to Spouse and hello to #4. The culprit this time: strep throat.

Here are the differences between Spouse and #4:

Spouse is helpful. #4 lays in bed all day.

Spouse is independent. #4 needs me to bring him water and tuck blankets around his neck.

Spouse is fun and playful. #4 needs peace and quiet.

Spouse listens to me complain and wants to solve my problems. #4 can't hear problems and in fact is a problem.

Spouse takes care of me. I take care of #4.

Spouse is a MAN. #4 is a CHILD.

Fortunately I think #4 has one foot out the door and I see glimpses of my man returning to life.

Here are some gross and disturbing pictures. Faint of heart: look away. I say, look away.

What you see here is a picture of normal mouth structure and color. Notice the size and color of a normal uvula (that little piece that hangs down at the back of the throat). And isn't that a lovely tongue?

Compare that to this uvula. Gross huh? Apparently sometimes the infection will spread to the uvula causing this freakish appendage. What made me notice? Spouse complained that he felt like he couldn't breath. I had a hard time getting a great picture. You know, to really do the thing justice. But you can see the thickness of the base.

It was about the size of a pinkie hanging down the back of his throat.

It's almost the size of his nostrils.

I love you Spouse.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Went to the snow

At the last minute Spouse and I decided to take our family to the snow. Having spent my childhood years in snow-less country, I can relate to my desert children's uninformed excitement over the mysterious white stuff. So we braved storms, and snowdrifts and drove all day finally reaching the icy driveway of my in-laws. The next morning was busy getting ourselves ready for 9:00 am church. Somewhere in the shuffle #2 went missing but was soon found shivering and panicing and covered in a white layer of snow. No one had told him that snow was cold! Just like in the movies he'd been watching, he bounced outside in just his church clothes, dove into the snow and rolled around only to discover that wet and cold isn't very comfortable.

Later that day we surprised my parents by showing up at their doorstep. We hadn't told them we were coming. Fortunately, they were happy to see us. My mom cried! She said the only other time she's been so surprised was when we announced we were pregnant with #1.

It was a wonderful week full of family, cousins, late nights, the in-laws cabin, yummy food and of course, SNOW!

#2 working on his snow angel

my snow angel #3

Spouse helped the kids build a snowman. It's not finished in this picture. They made Shi-fu (?) from Kung Fu Panda (which they watched 3 times on the drive) complete with mouse ears and droopy whiskers.

#3 and her beebees. She was thrilled this one actually moved and cried!

#1, #2 and cousins "helping" Nana with the cookies.

Our wintery view at the cabin.

Spouse trying to re-live his pool hall days in the brother's tournament.

The Elfmobile. This is what brought us (and all of our stuff) up and down the mountain.