Monday, February 23, 2009

you can stand under my umbrella...or gazebo?

We've decided to bit the bullet and buy some sort of shade appartus for our deck this summer. I kept waiting for deals last summer and by the time they came, there was nothing left to buy.

I am going back and forth between a big umbrella and a gazebo. By gazebo, I mean that freestanding kind you can get a Target--basically a decorative tent.

An umbrella would be nice because it can be tilted to block the sun. It would also be easy to take down.

A gazebo would be nice because it has mosquito netting. And it would block rain a little better than an umbrella. But it would be hard to move and take down.

What should we do? I need opinions. Cost is basically the same so don't use that in your decision making. Let's hear it!

dude acts like a lady

Took the kids to the gym today. When I went to pick them up, Ethan was having the time of his life playing with another boy his age. He begged to stay for a few more minutes so I obliged. I watched him play with this boy for about 5 minutes. They were running and throwing balls and basically just being boys. Then Ethan lobbed a ball at his face. Oops. Ethan immediately said he was sorry because he knows you aren't supposed to throw balls at faces. The kid growled at him. Yes, he growled. Then he ran to get a worker to tell him that Ethan threw a ball at him. Then he pouted even after Ethan apologized again.

Just to be clear, Ethan should not have thrown a ball anywhere near this kid's head. He knows that. I know that he wasn't trying to be malicious and hurt this kid. I blame this more on his lack of throwing ability than anything else. He doesn't really show the seeds of athleticism just yet. I also blame this on 4 year old boys that just play rough and tumble---that is what they are supposed to do, right?

I am just getting fed up with these kids that feel the need to go rushing off to find an adult to tell on someone who has done something mean or hurt them. I get that we should be teaching our kids not to do mean or hurtful things. We should teach them to say sorry when they accidentally (or purposefully, for that matter) hurt a peer. But we should also be teaching them how to accept apologies. Ethan apologized to this kid but that didn't stop this kid from telling on him. How is that helpful in this situation? Is this a kid whose mom treats every bump and bruise as a near fatal injury? Or is this just a sign of our culture feminizing our boys? I don't know.

I don't want my kids to be tattle-tails. I don't want them to make every little event a major deal. I want them to learn when it is the right time to tell an adult about something that has happened and when it is the right time to accept an apology and move on. Someone bumps heads with you while you are both roughhousing? Apologize and move on. Someone punches you in the face and then laughs? Go tell an adult and make the kid apologize. Kids MUST learn these lessons or they will never be able to get along socially with their peers.

The child center worker didn't even bat an eye when this kid told on Ethan. I was standing right there and asked Ethan to apologize again. He did and the kid ignored him and walked away. I should point out that this kid was in no way injured. This was a soft play ball. I'm glad she didn't make a big deal about it. I talked it over with Ethan in the car and I think it was okay. I now understand that teaching to accept an apology is just as important as learning how to give an apology.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

i'm all a-twitter

Okay, now I am beyond super cool. Jay had me sign up for Twitter. I'll be honest--I don't totally get it but I am game to try. Come find me. My screen name is PartyofFour--RachelOlson was taken, imagine that. Let's be virtual friends!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

raise your hands up and say "all done"!!!

As you know, Jay and I are done having babies. I have chosen to trust in the vasectomy and get rid of my maternity clothes. If you or anyone you know is looking for free maternity clothes, please email me pronto.

Sizes are L and XL. Brands are mainly Old Navy, Target and stuff from Kohl's. Nothing super awesome but some comfy tanks and hoodies. Some work-type clothes.

Let me know if you'd like to do a lookie loo!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

meet the newest member of the olson family

His name is Gill, Ethan's new fish friend. Ethan, Jay and Robb went to The World of Fish tonight and picked him out. Ethan is nearly beside himself with excitement! He was part of setting up the fishbowl and is having a great time showing Gill all his toys. He is obsessed with fish and sea creatures and Finding Nemo--this is a perfect fit right now. We'll see how it all plays out! It is his first pet--kind of a milestone for a kid in a family that is adamently opposed to pets. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

disney pics

disney magic

It was magical this year! No one got sick and no one ended up in the hospital. Victory!


--AWESOME weather! We really got lucky--it was in the low fifties the week before and the week after we were there. We had beautiful summer weather nearly the whole time. Lots of pool time was had.

--We loved letting our kids run free! It was so great to walk out of the hotel room and just let them loose. I don't think Olivia has walked/run so much in her life!

--Swimming in the rain. The kids (the adult kids, that is) left their sleeping children in Gummie's care and went to the pool on a warm rainy afternoon. We spent several hours going back and forth between the hot tub and the big pool. It was delightful!

--Everest. Loved it. Didn't even feel sick. Screamed and laughed.

--Olivia clapped the entire time during the Lion King show. It was adorable.

--Ethan got super excited about the Nemo and Little Mermaid attractions. He also was totally into the Dumbo ride.

--Ethan asking funny questions after watching Stacy, our Disney tour guide, on the hotel room tv repeatedly. "Hey guys, does anyone have a question for me about Everest?"

--Watching Olivia display her newfound love of shoes. Good girl!

--Sticking to our guns about how much we planned to spend on stuff for the kids. Okay, we pretty much stuck to our guns. Might have gone over a little bit. :)

--Tossing Olivia from the edge of the pool. Jay tossed her, I caught her. And I was decently far away from the edge. She would go completely under and then come up laughing and begging for more. Pibs is crazy.

--Ethan chasing the fish in the lagoon at Caribbean Beach. He was just wading and I told him not to get his clothes wet. Next thing I know he is up to his neck trying to catch fish. I just laughed and gave up. He also fed the ducks with the housekeeping lady.

--Watching Emily and Jon's jibjab from Spaceship Earth. Never has an uglier photo been taken of those two. ;)

All in all, a wonderful trip! Many thanks to Jimbo and Gummies for taking us!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

focus on the negative?

Why do I consistently focus on the stupid, rude, immature, and/or thoughtless things I have done in the past? This has been happening to me a lot lately. A memory pops into my head regarding a time where I have done something regrettable. Instead of focusing on all the good things I've done, I instead ruminate on this one thing. It bothers me for a while and then it goes away. Examples of things I get stuck on:

--being rude to some stupid teenagers at Universal a few years ago
--getting chastised by a craiglister who was angry at me for asking people to just make an offer on the kitchen cabinets; he thought I was trying to start a bidding war--I was just trying to deal with the 200 emails I had gotten and I wanted to get as much money for them as I could (duh!)
--getting in trouble 7 (SEVEN!!!) years ago at Best Buy for having a conversation with peers about how much money we made. I had a very bad manager.

Why do I do this? Does anyone else do this? I am normally a pretty positive person; however, I HATE to get in trouble and I HATE to have people think poorly of me. It gets borderline neurotic; it is why I know that I am not cut out for corporate America.

Does anyone have advice for me as to how to deal with these thoughts?