Friday, December 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Ball Time!

So it's Christmas time and I am far away from my family.  We had a good run there, three holiday seasons in a row in California, but this year we are here and you are there.  And that means that you don't have peanut butter balls.  So in lieu of the actual product, I present to you the recipe for said peanut butter balls, as written out by my Grandma Gloria, who passed away the year before my oldest girls were born.  I'm sad that she couldn't be around to watch yet another generation make a mess with this recipe. My grandma wrote out a whole box of recipes for me for Christmas one year, and I treasure it because I can hear her in my head each time I make the recipes. So the commentary is hers, unless it's written in red.  Then the commentary is mine!

Peanut Butter Balls- a mess to make but so good!
1# powdered sugar (C&H confectioner's) (It actually took me a long time to figure out that # means pound.)
2 1/2 # jar of Skippy (no substitute!) Chunky p-nut butter (And when she says "no substitutes" she means it!  I used Jiff this year because there wasn't Skippy in the right size jar, and it wasn't wet enough.)
1 stick Imperial Margarine (no substitute)
4 c. Rice Krispies

I can hear this snowman thinking, "NO SUBSTITUTIONS!"

-Mix well -- best way is with your hands with disposible plastic gloves on, it is icky/sticky. (I have to add that the best way is with your sister, auntie, and/or step-mama, some gossip and some wine.  It's not a coincidence that this particular recipe card has wine stains on it.)
-Make small balls- put them on cookie sheets on waxed paper-chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Second best way is with a couple of six-year olds
and with six-year olds, you get various sized balls!

although with the six year olds, you're likely to end up finishing it yourself.

Put 2 big Hershey bars (or 1 super-size) and 1 bag Nestle's chocolate chips (semi-sweet) (I have to admit I don't know what she's talking about with the sizes here.  I never have enough chocolate to cover the balls, so I make twice this amount.) and 1/2 stick paraffin, grated (this is in the grocery store with the canning supplies.) (Aaaand this is the part of the recipe where I lose some people.  Yes, paraffin is wax.  And though we've always made it with wax, and have suffered no ill effects, I must mention that no where on the box does it say that you can or should actually consume this stuff.  Last year my sister and I toyed with the idea of tempering the chocolate so the wax wasn't necessary, but in the end we couldn't be bothered.  Besides, NO SUBSTITUTIONS!)
-put into a small bowl - heat in microwave and GO SLOW stir and check it every minute or so-Don't let it get hot or chocolate will separate and you'll have a greasy mess.
This is what grated paraffin looks like, BTW.
-Keep warm (put bowl into large bowl filled part way with hot water-put back in microwave for 30 seconds if it starts to get thick and unmanageable. (Let me just say here that I HATE THIS METHOD. I always end up getting water in the chocolate bowl and that's bad.  Last year we had very good luck with a hot plate set on warm.  This year, I experimented with a fondue pot, which eventually worked pretty well.)

Dip chilled p-nut balls into chocolate-let excess drip off - put balls onto cookie sheets lined with wax paper - let sit in a cool place til chocolate is hard.-This makes a LOT of p-nut butter balls, about 150 or so- SO good!

This makes so many balls, you may want to consider cleaning out your fridge before you start!

        So it's Chistmas eve, and I'm missing family, and missing my Grandma.  Christmas makes me think of Gloria more than any other time of year.  Part of it is the recipes.  I usually make 4 or 5 different candy recipes of hers, and it's almost like hanging out with her.  And so many of my Christmas decorations used to be hers.  These wise men for example: 

I think it's funny that I have the Three Wise Men, but no Baby Jesus.  But come on, these dudes are so sixties-licious!  One of their heads fell off but I super-glued it back on!  And my grandma, she had the best Christmas parties!  She would have fellow lawyers, judges, neighbors, family and friends all together, and it always seemed lovely and effortless.  Of course, her family knew how she worked for weeks before the party to make cookies, candies, lasagnas, Swedish meatballs and always, always, towers of peanut butter balls.  I miss you, G!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What HAVE I been doing?

I haven't posted here in a while because there hasn't really been anything to report.  I have been busy, but not with anything exciting.  I've been working out a bit of a weekly schedule of things to do with Elsa, and I'm happy to report that I found a kid's gymnastics center that has "open gym" on Friday mornings.  So I can take Elsa there and let her run around and jump on trampolines, play on teeter-totters, climb and hang on bars, and play with other kids.  It does cost $7 for an hour and a half: cheap by California standards, expensive by Oklahoma standards.  It was pouring rain when I went last week, and so there were quite a lot of kids and parents in there.  Maybe I will be able to meet some parents there, but mostly they all seemed to have known each other for a long time. 

I've also been busy trying to go to the gym, then hurting myself and being sad that I can't go to the gym.  In the past two months, I've been stung by a wasp, fallen down a step and twisted by ankle, burned my hand quite badly, hurt my back mysteriously during a kick-boxing class, and of course I've had the lingering not-quite-a-cold cold that we all seem to have.  Each thing took about a week to fix itself, and of course they happened consecutively, not all at once.  And of course I wanted to start going to the gym in the early morning again, but it's soooo cold at 5:30!  When I can't get to the gym, I try to walk and/or run on the path around Boomer Lake:
It's three miles all the way around, but I only run about 1/2 mile of it!

It's pretty when the weather's nice

I do this...     

...while Elsa does this...

...and we try to avoid the notice of aggressive geese.

Turban-shaped Challah with dried cherries
Less boringly, I've been baking loaves and loaves of bread!  Claire and my Dad got me this book for my birthday, and it is fantastic.  I have made two loaves of plain bakery bread, one of herb bread, one of olive bread, one plain challah, and one challah with dried cherries, and one loaf of peasant bread, with the dough for three more loaves of peasant bread resting in the refrigerator and getting beautifully sour.  Watch out, if you have even the slightest kitchen inclinations, you are probably going to get this book from me for Christmas.  I am crazy for it. 

The twins are good, they have also had the not-quite-a-cold cold, too, though.  They actually missed some school last week, but after the second day, I had send them back.  They were driving me crazy.  They are the sickest at night, then morning comes and they are tired from not sleeping well.  After an hour or two, though, they are feeling fine and asking me "what can we do that's fun, mama?"  Arg.  We have a humidifier in their room now, but they complain about the noise.

Wow.  This is boring.  Let me talk about swearing a little bit:

This past Sunday, I was listening to Jane's Addiction's opus Ritual De Lo Habitual (how sacrilegious of me!!)  and thinking about swearing, rebellion, and motherhood.  When I was 22 or so, listening to this album constantly, punk-rock pink-haired grunge girl, older people would often tell me how I was going to grow out of my rebelliousness just like everyone else, that you have to grow up at some point and be an adult.  But actually I held onto it for a very long time.  And really, I could totally have been an adult and still have been that punk-rock pink-haired (okay, I still do have pink hair occasionally) grunge girl.  There are jobs out there, real grown-up jobs, where they pay you to be weird.  The thing that forces us into conformity is not adulthood, but motherhood.  Do I care that the girls were around when I was listening to Jane's Addiction?  Nope.  They've heard music with swearing in it since they were babies.  My policy is, as long as the word isn't being sung over and over, they aren't even going to notice.  Did I change the CD when the neighbor kid came over?  Of course.  What is my point here? I don't know.  I guess that it's hard to reconcile the person you used to be, the person you like to think you are, and the person that you actually live as in everyday life. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Not Being Christian

I realize that I haven't been posting as regularly as I should be.  The truth is, I've been a little down, and by a little down, I mean I've been very maudlin and pessimistic and alienated and all that fun stuff.  I feel like I don't fit in here at all, and a lot of the reason that I don't fit in is because I'm not Christian.  And I feel a little stifled about it, as if it's a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" sort of situation.  Everyone assumes that, if you aren't wearing a burqua, a headscarf, or a yarmulke, that you are of course Christian.   And that if I'm not, I really should keep my mouth shut and nod and smile. 

There was the situation at the "good" zumba class, the one that I pay extra for outside of the gym I'm actually a member of.  I overlooked the fact that we do a zumba routine to a pop-country song about "Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy."  It's ridiculous, but I figure we are in cowboy country, it's sort of inevitable.  But then last week the instructor said we were going to be learning a routine very near and dear to her heart, a routine to a Christian hip hop artist who lives in our community.  She said that we are going to practice these songs (there are actually two of them) and then she would video tape us doing them and put them up on her facebook page so that other zumba instructors would see it and want to use it in their class and we could help spread the love of Christ.  I was looking around the class to see if anyone else seemed to feel uncomfortable with this, but everyone was clapping and cheering.  I just went along with it.

There is a sign you pass as you enter Stillwater that says "Attend the Church of Your Choice on Sunday!"  There are a lot of bumper stickers that say "Invite Someone to Church Once a Month!" The Mother's of Preschoolers group is religiously affiliated.  Even the preschool I am sending Elsa to is at a church.  I struck up a conversation with someone who seemed cool at the library, and we decided to start meeting at the park once a week; I discovered at the park that she considers herself "deeply religious" and that everything she does in her life she does because she loves God.  And that she's considering homeschooling.  I mean, she's a lovely person and all, but I don't know that we will ever be able to connect that well if our views are so different.  I don't think she's seen my bumper stickers yet. 

I started really noticing this feeling a couple of weeks ago when there was this festival called Celebration Stillwater that was put on by the churches of Stillwater; I actually wrote this next bit as soon as we returned from this fuction, but then I wasn't sure if I should post it, because I really don't want to offend people that I know and love that are Christians.  So if I know you and love you and you are Christian and you've never tried to convert me, then this isn't about your kind of Christian. Here it is:

We had gotten a flier about "Celebration Stillwater" from school earlier, but we had decided not to go, figuring it would be aggressively religious.  But they must have talked it up at school a lot, because the girls came home on Friday practically peeing themselves with excitement about Celerbration Stillwater! so we figured we'd better go.

And I'm glad we did, all in all.  There was horse-back riding-- not ponies, mind you, but full-on horses!  Charlotte and Ramona each rode a horse, and I went on with Elsa.  She was skeptical, but decided it was good.  There were bounce houses, free oil changes (weird, right?), free health and dental check-ups, and, get this, free "hot dogs, cookies, and cokes!"  I can't even think those words in my head without supplying the Oklahoma accent. And for the most part, the religiocity was confined to people's tee shirts(a lot of which were aggressively, almost offensively Christian,) and the christian rock that was playing.  Well, yes, there was a prayer tent, but you know what you're getting into if you go into the prayer tent, right?

There was one booth that really pissed me off, though.  Next to the face-painting and balloon animals, there was a bead-your-own bracelet booth; fun right?  So the girls sit down, and the volunteers start in on their spiel: "The knot at this end is the day you were born!  Do you know when your birthday is? This BLACK bead is comes first, it stands for your sin!  Your sin is what separates you from God!"  Do you know how much it pisses me off for someone to tell my six year olds that they are sinner? I bet you can guess!  Then each subsequent bead represented some other thing on the path to heaven; I had to walk away and just let them do it, or I was gonna lay into them.  Then they asked the girls if they had a bible at home.  They said "What's a bible?"  Such fresh young heathen sinners!  So they got bibles to take home (only the New Testament, though.  Why is it always the New Testament?  Don't want to pull out the old vengeful God unless you need Him for condemning homosexuals?) Luckily my girls are so unused to that kind of talk that they didn't absorb any of it.  I asked them what the book was, and they said it was a book about growing.  Okay.  I asked about the bracelets, and they only remembered what the green bead was for (also growing.)  Whew.

I know, we went to a festival put on by the churches, what did we expect?  But it was also pushed heavily at the elementary school, they did posters for it in class, so I expected it to be inclusive. And mostly it was pretty laid back.  It was just that one booth.  

Anyway, that's how I'm feeling right now.  I miss the casual secular feel of my social life in California.  I'm pretty sure that the majority of my friends and acquaintances in California would consider themselves Christians, but it didn't seem to be the central aspect of their lives, and they didn't just assume that everyone else felt the same as them.  Here, I feel like I'm doing it wrong.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Preschool and what happened before school.

What a morning.

Today was Elsa's first day of Preschool!  I know, right? How did this happen?

Well, there's nothing else for her to do.  There's no Gymboree, there's no mommy-and-me dance or gymnastics or art or anything.  At least not in the morning.  Every single class I have seen is either in the Picking-up-first-graders time period, or the It's-dinnertime time period.  So I thought I would check out the preschool options, to get her on the waiting list for, oh, I don't know, maybe next spring?  So I went to the Presbyterian Preschool (which comes highly recommended by non-religious folk, and is totally secular.)  (Secular is a word that some people around here don't know.  I mean, literally.)  I was really impressed.  They have the classes broken down into small groups, and there are only nine kids in the 2-year old class, with two teachers.  The teachers are lovely, and they do a lot more school-type stuff that I would expect with children that young.

And there was no waiting list.  So she started today. She's going from 9 to 11:30, twice a week.  And I was hoping that this morning we could get the twins sent off on the bus, and have a nice quite morning getting ready, somehow, I don't know, emotionally preparing her for what was about to happen.  But then Ramona fell down and wacked her head on the porch step while waiting for the bus.  Someone had so inconsiderately weighed her backpack down with three pounds of clementines for school snack this morning (I am a terrible person), so she must have been a little off-balance. And the bus pulled up just at that moment, so I kept the twins off the bus so I could put some ice on her head and watch her for a few minutes, but that meant I had to get myself and Elsa ready, leave 25 minutes before I was planning to, and drop the girls off at school before heading over to the preschool to drop my baby off.
Unsure, at first...

...but ultimately, it was a good day.

Elsa, of course, cried.  She was wailing as I left, but the assistant teacher called me about a half hour later and told me that she was fine.

And Ramona has a huge goose egg on her forehead.  And, yes, tomorrow is Picture Day.

What a morning.

Edited to add:

I swear, only a child of mine.  About an hour before I usually leave to go pick up the twins, their school calls me.  Apparently, Ramona fell in the library and hit her head on a bookshelf.  In the Exact Same Spot as this morning.  The office lady told me she's never seen that big of a goose egg on a kid's head in the entire time she's worked there.  It was already much better by the time I got there, but honestly.  The first time could have happened to anyone.  To hit your head twice in the same day in the same place?  I think you have to have some sort of genetic predisposition...

It looks much more impressive that this in real life, I swear.

No, she didn't knock her teeth out as well. That's just how few teeth she has right now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Food for Thought: Thoughtful Food

Today was “lunch buddy” day at Ramona and Charlotte's school. Actually it’s grandparent’s Day, and the kids were encouraged to invite their grandparents to come and have lunch with them at school, but in the interest of inclusiveness, any family member could come. So off I took myself to school, to eat a school lunch.

Now, I had seen the menu, I knew what to expect: “Beef fingers, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, fruit/vegetable bar, milk.” But I have to say, having eaten that food, I feel assaulted by my lunch. I had hoped that “fruit/vegetable bar” meant that they have a salad bar? But I was wrong. There was some watermelon in a cup. I asked a teacher about the salad bar, and she looked confused; then she said they must have meant a bar, like a granola bar type thing. I didn’t see that either, though. I was also told that they choose this lunch to serve on “lunch buddy” day because it’s one of the best things on the menu. I don’t want to be too negative, but let me just say: it wasn’t good. And it wasn’t healthy. Usually food manages to be at least one of the two, but I guess if it needs to be inexpensive and easy to prepare, too, then something’s gotta give.

The “beef fingers” – and I don’t know why that term seems so icky when I’m okay with “chicken fingers” – were definitely flaked and formed beef of some variety, covered in batter and fried (at some earlier point in time) and reheated. The mashed potatoes, which were the most appetizing thing on the plate, were potato flakes, peas were canned, “texas toast” was a thick piece of white bread with something yellow smeared on it (butter? maybe?) There were three different kinds of milk: chocolate, 1% plain, and “vanilla shake” milk. The girls both chose the latter. I looked at the label and there were 22 grams of sugar in there. That’s 8 more grams than is in a serving of the vanilla ice cream in my freezer. And the packaging of “vanilla shake” milk was almost indistinguishable from the plain milk, which is significant when you realize that a fair number of those kids can’t read. In the whole lunch, there were no whole grains and not much fiber, especially if you consider that most of the kids threw their peas away. Charlotte and Ramona started on the watermelon, then ate the peas, and each ate a little bit of the meat sticks. They weren’t interested at all in the potatoes or the toast.

Now, I don’t fault Oklahoma, our school lunches back in California weren’t much better, although at our elementary school there was a salad bar. What saddens me in this case is that almost every kid at this school eats the school lunch. And in a situation where 56% of the kids get free or reduced lunches, and this lunch that they get is going to be their best opportunity for balanced, nutritious food for the day, I feel like we are letting these kids down. My girls bring their lunches to school every day, because I have the luxury (and believe me I know how luxurious it is) to have the time and money to do that.

I know I’m not saying anything new; Jamie Oliver has had an entire TV show on this subject, and there is also an excellent blog written by an anonymous teacher who has resolved to eat school lunches every day of the year and write about it. It’s hard to feel so powerless about it. I only have the power to protect my own children from this, but change has to happen. I just don’t know how to do it.

One thing that I did do was to email the girls’ teacher and tell her that I’d be interested in doing something food-related with the class. She had asked me earlier if there was anything I was really passionate about that I’d like to come and talk to the class about, because the kids love it when parents do that. At the time, I couldn’t think of anything (I mean, I’m not going to go in to a first grade class and do a Zumba presentation, am I?) but now I remember exactly what I’m passionate about. Fresh, healthy, tasty food.

I felt compelled to compensate for the lunch; snack was peaches, home-made hummus, and multi-grain crackers
Much enthusiasm ensued.
Score! For hummus!
Except on Elsa's part.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I sit with Elsa at our dining table.  Her face is covered with splotchy red marks, but she is happily drinking a chocolate banana milk shake.
"Talk like this: Blender- I cried." Elsa demands.
"You wanna talk about the blender?" I ask.
"Um, ya!" she replies.  "And the blender, and I cried, and Charlotte and Ramona and Elsa in my room?"
"Yep, that's what happened. Were you scared of the blender?"
"I cried."
"I know, I'm sorry.  I thought you'd like the milk shake."
"Milk shake tastes like smoothie!" She says delightedly.

I had already planned on writing my next post about Elsa, specifically about her "auditory defensiveness" as they put it in sensory processing disorder lingo.  The blender incident happened not even fifteen minutes ago, which prompted me to write this post, already.  When I pulled the blender out, she was hysterical before I even plugged it in.  I tried holding her while I put the ingredients in the blender, but realized that wasn't going to work as she screamed in complete terror to be so near the infernal contraption.  I put her in her room with Charlotte and Ramona, got her calmed down enough, closed the door and went back to my milk shake making.  But she was still devastated by it, even through a closed door and several rooms worth of space.  She came out shaking, begging me to "put it away, mama!" And I did.  And she was very happy with her milkshake and wanted to chat about it.

Earlier this week, we went to our first library story time, which was really quite nice.  The woman who runs it, Miss Mary, is lovely, and they have two pet doves in the room. They had some stories, and some songs, and a film strip and a craft.  Unfortunately, the theme for the day was "Birthdays." Which, of course, meant they sang the Happy Birthday song.  Softly, sweetly, quietly sang the Happy Birthday song.  It still sent her into panicked tears.  And every song they sang after that, she cried. Then she cheerfully went on to make a party hat out of paper and glue.

I have just recently started to piece together these separate incidents and wonder if they are part of some larger problem.  She hates the hand dryers in public bathrooms, and by association, she hates public bathrooms even if there is no loud hand dryer. She also hates my blow dryer, and would panic even if I was just using the straightening iron (which is quiet, of course) because she associates it with the blow dryer. Obviously, she hates when a group of people all of the sudden start singing, and she frequently asks me to turn off the music while we are driving in the car. I don't know if these things actually add up to any sort of processing disorder, but I'm definitely bringing it up the the pediatrician, once we get one.

It's not all doom and gloom around here, though.  She usually recovers from these episodes very quickly (as quickly as you can shove a chocolate banana milkshake in your mouth!) And she has a sunny, happy, if extremely willful, disposition most of the time.  We are enjoying our time together now that the twins are back in school.  We go to the library and the park, or just hang out at home playing endless games "What you like?" where I have to ask her for food items that she will pretend to get for me and I pretend to eat.  Or, "Imma doggie, what I like?" where I have to think of things she as a doggie, would like, and give them to her. (Note that doggies eat and drink laying down on their bellies.)  But I think I'd better get us a pediatrician pretty darned soon.  Who knows, maybe we can add "playing with the fun occupational therapist!" as one of our weekly games.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Next New Thing

*Just a note: I plan to be very much more pithy and theme-y and funny with blog posts in the future.  Bear with me as I get my blogging legs back!  For now, it's just the news.

This has been a big week for the twins.  They had their sixth birthday on Thursday, and today is the first day of 1st grade in a new school.

Their birthday was great (except of course for the absence of all you wonderful people!)  They got presents in the morning, then we headed to the Food Pyramid (no Vons or Ralphs or Albertsons around here, people, and you know I'm not shopping at Walmart) to buy ice cream sundae ingredients.  Then off to the library and to lunch at CafeBella, which is a cute little cafe downtown that seems to have a good amount of mediterranean food on the menu.  Of course the children just had PB and J.  But there was an older couple that complimented us on how well behaved the children were, so that's always nice.  Then we came home and the neighbor Z. and her big brother D. came over for ice cream sundaes!  Then it was play time, dinner time, and time to head to Meet Your Teacher Night at the school.

I really like the idea of Meet Your Teacher Night; the kids get a chance to scope things out with their parents near by.  I just feel so out of the loop as far as information goes around here.  I want to know in advance how everything works, I hate the idea that I will be that one person that doesn't know what they are doing.  So I guess I meant that I liked the idea of Meet Your Teacher night because I got a chance to scope things out.  I had a hard time sleeping last night because I didn't know how the snack situation worked at school.  (and I know, yes, I am silly and obsessive.)  At our old school, kids brought a snack as part of their lunch, and they would eat them during morning recess. Will Charlotte and Ramona get a chance to eat the snacks I packed?  Will they eat them in the morning or in the afternoon?  How will they know?  I worry about these things way more than the girls ever do.  I try not to project my anxieties onto them; they were just plain excited about starting school, not nervous at all.

So this morning was the first day of school.  They will be able to take the bus, which stops in front of our next door neighbor's house, so once we get into the swing of things I think I will try to let go enough to send them on the bus, at least to school.  Maybe not on the way home, though.  I hear they get home really late when they take the bus, and school already ends late, at 3:45, so I think I'll pick them up.  I figured out the snack issue when I talked to their teacher this morning.  I guess our students are so "economically diverse" that if they did it the way we did it at our old school, most of the kids wouldn't have snacks and would go hungry.  So the teacher asks for donations for snacks, and then everyone gets the same snack, at 10 am.  That's fine, I suppose.  I don't really like the idea of not having control of what my girls eat everyday.  But then, I'm kind of a control freak.

Speaking of which, I predict I will end up as Room Mom for R and C 's class.  Their teacher had asked me if I was interested on Meet Your Teacher Night, and I had said that I would be willing to be very helpful, but since we just moved here, I didn't really know enough about things in the community to do the job.  But it looks like there may be no one else to do it.  And I do like having my hand in the pot, so to speak. The only real trouble is that I don't have anyone to watch Elsa here, so it would be hard to do parties and things like that.

Their teacher asked the kids to bring three small things to school to help everyone get to know them.  Here's what my girls brought. Ramona: a picture of Sam Cooke (in case you don't know who Sam Cooke is) printed on the computer and colored by her, the birthday card Aunt Caitlin sent, and a picture of the twins with Aunt Natascha and Zachiah. Charlotte: another picture of Sam Cooke (who knew he was such a cutie?) a little Pikachu figurine, and a pokemon card.  I'm sure these girls won't seem peculiar at all...

Ready for their first day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The New and the Newer

Well, here we are in Oklahoma.  I figured I should start a new blog so that people back home can hear about the silly and/or ridiculous things my children and I say and do.  So here it is.

We are settling into our neighborhood fairly well.  Charlotte and Ramona have a new friend, Z. is a little girl that lives next door.  She's a good playmate for them because she's a year and a half older than them, so she can initiate games, and she's quite persistent in coming over to play with them, which is good because the girls can tend to have a very insular relationship with each other.  And, most importantly, Z. is not put off by the twins peculiarity.  She even joins in with the "Boyee and Girla" play (which, for those of you unfamiliar, is quite peculiar.) 

Who us?  Peculiar?
I have always felt ambivalent about their weirdness.  On the one hand, I wouldn't want normal children, god forbid!  But I want them to be able to relate to other kids.  We went to the Science Museum in Oklahoma City yesterday, and a little girl asked Ramona, "who are you?" and Ramona gave a goofy grin and said, "I'm Boyaboy!"  The other little girl just shrugged and walked away. I guess if Ramona doesn't care, why should I?

We had a great time at the Science Museum though.  Even Elsa had fun.

She's doing well, too, but is having some struggles with her new sleeping arrangements.  We have all three girls sleeping in the same room, and she is sleeping in a toddler bed instead of a crib.  She has a hard time going to sleep without making a lot of noise, and it drives Ramona and Charlotte crazy.  Then she wakes up really early and starts yelling again, and Rene or I have to run down there or else she will wake the twins up.  They already have dark circles under their eyes, poor things.  And Elsa, she has a hard time with the transition from sleep to waking.  A lot of mornings, she screams and cries for a half hour after waking up, but other mornings she's chipper and happy.  That girl is a mystery to me. 

The twins start school on Monday, and tomorrow night is Meet Your Teacher night, so we will find out more about the school then.  They will be in the same class together for one more year, probably, and then we will split them up.  And I've finally decided what gym I'm going to go to (the one with the nice equipment but less-than-enthusiastic Zumba class.) I know where to take my recycling now (no curbside recycling?!?!) Rene is doing orientation this week, so we will have health insurance soon.  Things are starting to fall into place.  And we are starting to realize that we are actually going to live here in this place, and none of you guys from out west are coming with us.  The girls already miss all of you!