Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conflict Resolution 101

My shower was interrupted by, "Mom, Hudson is taking all the guys." The guys are the little Lego guys, mini-figs Nathan has told us they are called. We only have 4 so these little guys are precious commodities around out house.

I told Ainsley, "figure it out or when I get out the Legos will be put away for the day.

When I went in the playroom they were both sitting nicely playing with Legos. I commented, "good job figuring out how to share the guys."

Hudson says, "Yeah, we just hit each other for a few minutes until we could work it out."

Perhaps someday one of my darlings will be called to Camp David to negotiate Middle East peace talks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"The Audacity" is what comes to mind.

My day was spent picking Ainsley up from a sleepover, taking her to a dentist appointment, making a quick dinner so we could get her to soccer on time, taking her to soccer practice, and then sitting through soccer practice which started out with a short, but very wet, rain shower that left me cold and wet for the next 55 minutes.

It wasn't a bad day, everything had gone fine and everyone was in a good mood (even if I was wet) so I was surprised as we were in the car she pipes up with, "When I'm a grown-up I'm going to treat me kids way better than you do."

EXCUUUUUSSSSSEEEEE MEEEEE?????? I know that it is developmentally appropriate for children to be self-centered, but PLEEEAAAASE!

I was able to just stay quiet and not react with a less than kind comment for a few seconds. But it did envoke some anger on my part. As I was processing what my response would be she continued, "I'm totally going to let my kids go out on dates with my husband and I and whenever I go to get a pedicure I'm taking them with me."

Uhhh huuuh. My response was, "Whatever you think will work for your family honey. But I think you need to do some thinking about being grateful for what mommy and daddy do for you." That won't be the end of our conversations about gratefulness- evidently we need to do a little group thinking about that.

She then said, "Maybe I just won't take them if it is our anniversary or something."

I'm writing about this on my blog so someday when Ainsley is dropping off her children for me to babysit why she goes out with her husband I can tell her this story. Sometimes it is just the knowledge that someday they will look back and know that I was right that gets me through.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Rose by any other name...

I always wanted to own a house on a street with a cute name. The house I grew up on was on Jacquelyn Street. Other than always having to spell it for people I liked the name. Then when Andrew and I bought our first house it was on 32nd Ave. in Milwaukie. Not the address you dream of when you are a word person like me. About a year after we moved to Milwaukie we decided (wisely) that we should move closer to Barlow so we started another house search. The name of the road was really important to me, and we did "move up" in the street name, but only to Eagle Lane. Not amazing, but better than a number I figured.

My plan was that our next house (probably in Damascus) would be on one of the streets there that have some names that I love. Unfortunately we just barely missed a couple of my favorites. Would you believe we are just one street away from Strawberry Lane? I have always loved that one. And my all time favorite is about a 1/4 of a mile, Sunshine Valley Road. How cute is that? But no, we live on Bohna Park.

And tonight the name got a little worse for me. A couple of days ago Ainsley and Hudson went to OMSI with Grandma and Grandad. Hudson was playing with dinosaurs and telling me a little about the dinosaurs he saw at OMSI. You see where I'm going with this don't you? He interrupts his information about the fossils with a light bulb moment. He says, "You know, we need to dig up our yard. There are definitely bones that got there under our grass because it used to be a desert and there are bones down there now. You know mom, because we live on Bone-Ah Park."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So many fun things...so little time.

Summer is running out and I don't want to think about that. So instead I will give you some fun pictures and stories from summer so we can pretend Andrew didn't go back to work today.
Here is the daddy that we are missing today.

This was at Meredith's farm when we were in Milton-Freewater. Fun that it is next to Hudson Lane. We can go here to take pictures, or to any airport to take pictures of Hudson next to a big sign with his name. This is more picturesque than airport news stands.

An attempt at a group picture. Not the year for that.

Here we are at Wildwood having a picnic with Tennille and the kids. Hudson is still asking when Zech is coming back. Why is Minnesota so far away?

Can you see how wet Camden is? That is thanks to Hudson. When questioned Hudson said, "But he wanted me to do it, he TOLD me so." How exactly?

Summer is (was) good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beach Adventures

We are so lucky that Jim and Arlene have a house at the beach that we can go and visit. Here is a little picture tour with stories from our 7 days there last week.

Here are the kids on the deck of the house with Grandma and Grandad.
Fun with Auntie Kate
After one trip to the tide pools Hudson came back and reported to me that he held a crab. He said, "And it didn't even pinch me. That's because I told it not to. Crabs listen to me." Andrew mutters in the background, "Yeah, it also helps when the crab is deceased." Hudson is quite the Crab Whisperer.

I love the light in this picture. Typical Oregon beach, this sun was unusual. But what was nice is we didn't have much wind at all. So even though it wasn't warm enough, at least the beach was usable.

The Strandbergs came to spend part of the week with us. To escape the fog on the beach one morning we went for a hike. Here are the kids on the hike (minus unhappy Camden).
Camden did not enjoy how much he had to be held on the hike. Some poor people who expected a nice walk through the woods hearing birds, instead heard this:

This is the suspension bridge that we walked over, the falls are below and to the side. It was so beautiful. A little strange to be up that high and have the bridge swing. Strangely enough, because the sides were all fenced in, walking on the bridge was Camden's happiest and safest part of the whole hike.

These are the falls that you look down and see from the bridge, it is called "Drift Creek Falls." Great hike. You can go down from the bridge and play in the pool at the bottom. We didn't because of a lack of planning, it was 12:30, we had 6 hungry children and we had not packed a lunch, and we had to hike back out, and Camden was screaming, and we had a 40 minute drive back to the house, and next year we are going to do it again...better.

Here we are back down on the beach having a campfire.

Another day we went to Tillamook to the Cheese Factory and if you have ever been to Tillamook you know when you first open the car door you are met with a certain aroma...and it is not of cheese. As Ainsley and Hudson were freaking out about the smell at first Ainsley says, "It's not the smell of the cows I mind, it is the smell of their poop."

After the cheese factory we went to Eric's dad's cabin which is on some river outside of Tillamook. It was great because the weather was beautiful and the river was perfect for the kids to play in. As we were going on the very short little hike through the woods to get back to the river Ainsley made some comment about it being like camping. Then Alison had the best line of the whole week, "Yeah, and with our two mom's this is the closest thing to camping your going to get." That girl speaks the truth.

While at the river, Eric helped Hudson catch crawdads. This seemed to release the inner hunter in Hudson because the next day he asked if for his birthday party (everything is for his birthday party...coming right up in December)we could shoot a squirrel and eat it for his birthday dinner.

The tadpoles were plentiful in the river and were so much fun for the kids. The caught hundreds of them. If you hear of a shortage of frogs this year you will know what happened... PETA is probably going to hunt us down.

Isn't this cute of Cyndi and Ali? I have to put pictures of them up because Cyndi gave up on her blog :(

It was a great time. Thanks for looking at our pictures!

Monday, August 18, 2008


This story begins with the news that we decided it was time to buy a truck. You know, everyone else is freaking out and selling cars that use too much gas, so what does the Pate family do? Look for a gas guzzler. Don't worry, it is not for commuting, (which we really don't do) it is for a third car to use for hauling stuff. So our days of borrowing truck, trailers, etc. from everyone we know (thanks to both our dads, Eric, Jerrod, U-haul) are over.

(I won't claim to be trying to make a long story short, because if you have ever talked to me you know I have no idea how to do that.) We begin the search for a real beauty by looking on Craigslist. Andrew found one he liked in Salem, and we were on our way to the beach anyway, so he decided to take a look at it. He found out from the guy who owned it where it was parked (at another business that was open until 6) so he dropped the kids and I off at a pizza place to order and meet his parents. Andrew went to go and look at the truck. Our pizza order came and just as I was having the thought that it was funny that Andrew wasn't back yet my phone rang. He had driven in to look at the truck, and when he drove back out (the guy who owned it wasn't going to be there) someone had locked the gate. He and our van were locked behind a fence with barbed wire at the top. Great.

After about 40 phone calls, including calls to the police, we finally found someone who could come and unlock the gate. Andrew was locked up for a few minutes less than 2 hours when he was finally freeded. We could have used the bolt cutters to cut open the lock, but after giving our name to the police, we decided that would be a bad idea from a liability standpoint.

Being the great sport that my husband is, when I asked him to go get the camera out of the car and take a picture of the lock, he did it. (he was also thinking the possibility existed for him to turn this into a church opening)

Every time I called him to check on the progress he answered the phone Alcatraz.

This experience led to Arlene (Andrew's mom) telling the story that when Andrew was about Hudson's age they were standing in a line waiting to sign up for swimming lessons with tons of other people around and Andrew says in his loud voice, "Mommy, how many times has daddy been in jail?" Way to get rumors started. This led us to carefully explaining to the kids that we were just joking about daddy being in jail tonight. You know my kids would bring that up at some fabulous moment.

And, no, we didn't buy that truck.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I think more memories are made in summer than any other season.

It is so nice to have a summer where the weather has pretty much been nice (especially after the spring we had). We have soaked up the good weather- here are pictures from swimming at the Strandbergs yesterday as proof:

How relaxed does Hudson look? When your body fat is as low as his is, the life jacket helps with floating.

Can you see the missing teeth? The tooth fairy has been busy this summer. Another whole story...for another post if I remember someday.

How cute are these kids? What a blessing to have "big" kids - okay they really are teenagers now - that are willing to spend time with our little kids.
And speaking of these big kids, they are getting bigger- Happy Birthday Alison- today! And Happy (late) Birthday John (on the 4th).

Cross your fingers for us that we have more great summer weather, we leave tomorrow for a week at the beach.

Monday, August 4, 2008

3 kids... 8 shots... ouch.

It started out innocently enough. I got Hudson's "Welcome to Preschool" letter. It included a reminder that I needed to bring in his immunization records. So being the lazy efficient mother that I am I thought, "I'll call right now so they can send me a copy in plenty of time before school and I won't have to go pick it up."

The phone conversation went like this:

Nice nurse: "Sure, we can send you that, let me just check. Uhhh... Mrs. Pate, Hudson is behind on four of his immunizations and he will have to have those before entering school."

Me: "Oh really?"

Nice nurse: "Yes he needs the blah blah blah bazillions of letters immunizations."

Me: "Okay."

Nice nurse: "This is starting to jog my memory, as long as we are having you bring him in lets check on Camden."

Me: "Okay" (in my head, "stink, I know needs some shots...we delayed one year shots because there is a chance that all the people who think the MMR immunization causes autism could be partially right. And now you can't split it up like I did with the older 2. So... I just didn't have it done. Some people think that doing it when they are older is better."

Nice nurse: "Oh, it looks like Camden needs 4 shots now also, and he also missed his 18 month well-baby check."

(now not so nice nurse who is probably calling child services on her other line): "Why don't we check on Ainsley just in case."

Me: "Oh, I know she is okay, she has been in school for two years now and I know I've had to bring in immunization records for her."

Nurse: "Yes, well the state now is requiring that children have the varesella (chicken pox) booster shots to be enrolled in school. So she will have to have that. There is also the Hepatitis A vaccine that she should have."

Me: "Alright, can I just bring them all in together?"

Nurse: "You want to bring them all in for all of them at the same time? That is 10 shots total we will have to do."

I'm definitely a kill two birds with one stone sort of person, so yes. I wanted to bring them all in and just get it over with. Turns out because of a cancellation that had an appointment open for Monday at 1:45. So today I took two very unhappy children and one who was blissfully unaware of the impending trauma in the the doctor.

Multi-tasking is a beautiful thing unless it is having three children all in a doctors office together. Mercifully Andrew got done with tennis practice and made it in time to take the two older kids out while Camden had his appointment and shots, then I was able to give Camden to Andrew while I took the other two in for their shots. Turns out one of Camden's was the Hep A that was also one for Ainsley and it is optional, so we optioned no. Camden had 3, Hudson had 4, and Ainsley skated through with only 1. So it brought the total pokes in our family today down to 8.

After Ainsley was done the nurse told her "this is the last shot you have to have until you are 10!" Ainsley didn't say anything, and just sort of glared at her. I found out why as we were driving away. She said, "That lady told me I didn't have to have any more shots until I was 10 the last time I had shots. She lied." I explained that the state had changed the rules so there was another shot and that she didn't know at the time she said it they would change the rules. Ainsley said, "Well if the state changes the rules again, could we please move somewhere that is not in the United States?"

I'm going to bed early tonight. Not only did I spend two hours total in the doctors office today wrestling kids, most of the time my kids have shots they wake up with a fever in the night. Heaven only knows how many times I'll be up tonight.