Tara Zandra dot Com

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Today is Chris's birthday and I think he had a nice one. Unfortunately he's at work now, but we celebrated this morning. Tabitha and I decorated the dining room while he slept. We put up our Happy Birthday banner, Tabitha printed a sign, and I printed another banner that has King Triton and says "Happy Birthday to the King! We love you!" We set the table with the birthday cake hat and his presents. Tabitha gave him a Lord of the Rings puzzle book for the two of them to do together and I gave him "Pearl Jam Live at the Garden" DVD. We then went to Northwoods Inn for lunch as a surprise and his parents met us there. We had a great lunch. His mom and dad gave him "The Two Towers" super gift set and "Let It Be Naked" by the Beatles and $100. After lunch we went to his parents house and took care of some boxes for them. While there, Tabitha was given a new Little People Christmas set and also the Hanukkah set. I also scored some new decorations for the house including another Christmas tree. I had been thinking of getting a few more small trees to kind of scatter throughout the house. Now we have 2, I may or may not look for another one this year. We came home for Chris to relax awhile before heading to work. He has been working horrendous amounts of hours, but we found out today that he'll be off both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (they're close Christmas Day so that wasn't a concern). Finding that out certainly made the longer hours a little more worth it as we weren't sure he'd be off on Christmas Eve. He has one more surprise coming to him at work. Last night Tabitha and I made some of his favorite dishes for him to take for his dinner tonight. We made veggie "meat"loaf with tomato gravy and creamed corn. We also made white chocolate chip brownies as he loves white chocolate. I hope he enjoys them. He called a little while ago and said the guys at work got him a delicious cake, so that was sweet. I hope he makes it home before midnight so I can say Happy Birthday one last time. 'Course, this means only 6 more months before I turn 30 :/

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 05:04 PM PST

Friday, November 28, 2003

Yesterday was a pretty good holiday. We had no plans in the morning, just kind of hanging out around here. I put the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV for Tabitha because I knew she would love it, which she did. Around 11:00 we decided to walk to McDonald’s so we could get a Haunted Mansion toy and so Tabitha could play in the playplace for a while. The Santa Ana winds were in full force yesterday so walking wasn’t necessarily the best idea. We had dust in hour eyes and had to dodge palm tree debris repeatedly. Once at McDs there was the usual assortment of obnoxious children and parents who don’t care, so we only stayed maybe half an hour before heading back into the winds and evil trees to come home. Chris showered and then ironed my clothes before we headed out to Thanksgiving dinner. We hit awful traffic on the way there as a mobile home being hauled on a flat bed truck was absolutely demolished and lanes were closed. Once there though, it was wonderful to see everyone. There was a 3 year old boy there that Tabitha adores so they had loads of fun. Dinner tasted very good and after dinner conversation was enjoyable.

tday (25k image)

Around 6:00pm, the three of us and my bil headed out to the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood to see the Haunted Mansion movie. We got there an hour early, and had to wait outside in line. While waiting, we decided it was crowded enough to upgrade our tickets to the VIP ones. Those seats are reserved, include a drink and popcorn and, the reason we bought them, have a much shorter wait in line. The movie was very good, in my opinion. I was highly entertained and loved seeing so much attributed to the Haunted Mansion ride. I mean, even the wallpaper matches that of the ride. Overall, I liked the storyline because it was the whole “love lives on even after death” theme that I adore. There were some parts that Tabitha had to close her eyes, but I think she enjoyed it mostly, although she says she doesn’t plan to see it again, lol.

My back and shoulder muscles are aching, so I’ll stop here. I write more about the extra stuff at the movie later.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 06:07 PM PST

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving to all that celebrate today. We'll be hanging out at home for the most of the day and then heading out around 2:00pm. We'll be having dinner at a friend of the family's house along with Chris's parents and brother. This evening, Chris, Tabitha, my bil, and myself are going to Hollywood to see "The Haunted Mansion" at the El Capitan theatre. They have actual sets from the movie to walk through after we see the movie. I haven't heard the best reviews, but when I go to see a movie, I just like to be entertained, it doesn't have to be brilliant so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. Tabitha is going to be brave and go with us. She really wants to do all the extra stuff at the theatre. I talked to her about the movie quite a bit to make sure this is what she wanted to do and she has a game plan for if she gets scared. I know of one scene that probably will bother her so I'm sure I'll have a munchkin on my lap hiding her face for that part.

Tomorrow is the real holiday, of course. Black Friday :) I just went through all the ads and we'll decided if we need to go anywhere. I know I want to go to the Disney Store and possibly Toys R Us and I think we'll also end up at Wal-Mart. They're bundling Game Cube with Zelda for only $80, you really can't beat that. We aren't necessarily in the market for a new system, but we can't pass up that price. Or we may say to heck with it and turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. We don't *need* to go out tomorrow since I'm basically done shopping except for gift cards, but I'm always up for a shopping challenge, lol.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:37 AM PST

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Cheese taquitos are not easy to come by around here. They're even harder to find if you limit yourself to stores that aren't on strike. We have a Thanksgiving potluck at Mommy and Me tomorrow and I thought cheese taquitos would be a good idea. I searched 3 stores and called another 2 and had no luck. It's rather appalling some of the stuff in the frozen section that passes itself off as food though. I saw french fries that were covered in a Cocoa Krispies or Cocoa Pebble coating. That is just flat out disgusting. You don't mix potatoes and chocolate! The only thing I buy frozen is Boca Burgers and ice cream so it was real eye opener some of the garbage that's out there. Don't get me wrong, we're certainly not food saints, we can eat sugar cereals and salty snacks with the best of them, but we have a complete lack of knowledge of frozen "meals."

We went out to a nearby event. The morning team we listen to was broadcasting from a Best Buy 10 minutes away and were selling their annual Christmas cd and signing copies. We had originally intended to be there at 5:30am when they started broadcasting, but Chris didn't get home until 2:00am last night so I had no intention of waking him. We got there around 9:30am and there were 2 very long lines. One to buy the cd and one to get it signed. We called my bil on his cell phone and he was there so we were able to find him. He had already bought us a cd so we just watched the end of the show and then left. My bil stayed with his friend and they got the cd signed for us. Good Charlotte played before we got there, but we really don't care about them so have no problem with missing them.

Lessons went well today. I've decided to go ahead and do a lower case letter of the day for writing practice. We did 'a' yesterday and 'b' today. Mainly focusing on facing the letters the correct direction, she doesn't have enough control for me to really look at her formation of the letters. I've only seen her write one thing since we started practicing and she used all caps. I don't know if she's just not into writing right now or the letter practice has her down. I don't want to turn her off of writing at this young age, that's for sure.

We did two more math lessons today for a total of 9 lessons. Tomorrow we'll do a written and oral assessment of the first 5 lessons. Shouldn't be an issue for Tabitha to pass everything. The oral assessment asks 3 questions and the written is about 5 questions. And it's still all the easy stuff of counting and matching written numbers to actual quantities. This is stuff she's known for a couple years. But she's enjoying the lessons, especially when we did the hokey-pokey yesterday to work on Left and Right. She's anxious to get more into the book though so we can start using the clock and the balance.

I've decided to just wait until after Christmas to do the animal unit study and the map unit. I really don't want to give Tabitha the globe early. Once we add those two units we'll probably alternate lessons. One day of math and map skills then the next day will be animal and writing (or grammar).

Speaking of Christmas, we only have to get 2 more items for Tabs and then we're done. For her stocking we need a triangle (as in the percussion instrument) and Pin Art, which is one of those boxes that has rows of pins and you can press your hand into it to make an impression of your hand. She really wants one otherwise I wouldn't have thought of getting it. All she asks Santa for is a yo-yo and we've got that covered. I just hope she doesn't suddenly decide to ask Santa for something at the last minute like she did last year. We still need to get my sister something, though I'm pretty sure I know what, and the kids of friends of the family that we spend Christmas Eve with. We're going with gift certificates for 4 of the 6 kids to make it easier to stay within budget.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 03:28 PM PST

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I can't believe I haven't posted since Tuesday! Ack! The more there is to talk about the less time I have to actually sit down and type. Lessons are still going well. We've only been doing math formally, everything else is just life based. Tabitha hasn't been writing at all, so I still don't know if she's going to start writing with lower case letters or not. We took Friday off from math and used Saturday as a homework day. The curriculum we use has work sheets that are to be completed some time after the lesson is done because that time lapse helps retention better. The problem is we do two lessons a day and we do them in the late afternoon, so there really isn't a time for her to do the worksheets. It's not currently a problem since we're doing writing numbers, but eventually, it will be harder stuff and the extra practice will be necessary. I just need to find a way to fit it in. Of course, when it's harder stuff, we'll hardly be doing two lessons a day.

Wednesday, Tabitha and I skipped out of Mommy and Me class early and went to the mall instead. I got her a couple more pairs of pajamas and I think she has enough warm ones now to get us to Spring. She had decided she doesn't want footie sleepers anymore, so finding some warm enough was proving a challenge. We found some absolutely adorable ones at Penney's though. Funny thing, I pointed out one pair to Tabs that said "I didn't ask to be a princess, but if the crown fits...." Tabitha didn't want them and I couldn't figure out why since they were really cute. Finally she told me that she *did* ask to be a princess so those pj's were a lie, lol. Wednesday night when Chris got home from school we did a late night Denny's run. We haven't done that in ages. It was fun and Tabitha got a kick out of it. Thursday, she and I took Chris to work and went out to Whole Foods. I had gone for one specific item and they didn't have it! Argh! I found a decent substitute, but I didn't like driving that far for no reason. One of Tabitha's favorite parts of going there is when I buy things like brown rice in bulk and she gets to scoop it into a bag for me. I didn't even need brown rice, but she gets such a kick out of it that I bought some just for her, lol. It's not like it will go to waste around here.

Chris had changed days off to have Friday off and we went to Disney for the day. They have all their holiday decorations out so the place is more magical than usual. We went to the Spirit of Brother Bear show first off at California Adventure. It was rather good for what it was. I don't quite remember what we did after that, but I know we ended up eating lunch in the picnic area. While Tabitha was eating, I went back into CA to go to the toy store. I had a 20% off coupon and wanted to use it. We'll be staying at the Disneyland Hotel for Tabitha's birthday so I picked up a couple things to do in the hotel room since the parks will be closing around 6:00pm. I got Disney Pretty Pretty Princess game and a Disneyland Hotel Fashion Polly. Plus I picked up a Pilgrim Mickey beanie and a Haunted Mansion die cast vehicle for myself. I stashed them in the locker while Chris distracted Tabitha. After lunch we went into Disneyland and had fun there for a while, including watching the Christmas Parade. Then it was back to California Adventure where we stopped for some delectable bakery items. Well, Chris and I had wonderful treats. He had a brownie topped with a white chocolate raspberry swirl and I had a cinnamon twist pastry. Tabitha ordered a cream puff. The cream was wonderful, but the puff was way too dense. Very disappointing. Another hour there and it was time to go. But not home. We went to see our friends' band play at a nearby restaurant. Tabitha adores them and had a great time. They wanted her to play the triangle on stage with them (okay, not a stage so much as a corner of the patio) but she chose that night to become nervous in front of others. No one who has ever met my kid would accuse her of being shy, so it was a bit of a shock, but oh well. Maybe another time, but I doubt it because she put the idea into her head that she's nervous and probably won't let go of it for a long, long time. We stayed well past a child's respectable bedtime, but she had so much fun we couldn't tear her away, not that we really wanted to. We did leave before the end of the show as she was practically falling asleep and we were bombarded by smokers who came over after the Mighty Ducks game.

We were supposed to have breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning, but there was no way I was going to wake Tabitha, so we skipped it. I think there's a similar event at a different mall in a couple weeks, so maybe we'll hit that one. We didn't do much of anything yesterday, just took it easy.

Today, Tabitha and I went back to Disneyland with some friends. Tabitha gets so loud and borders on obnoxious when she's with friends, but I know to expect that and tried to bite my tongue from constantly telling her to calm down. My friend is much more patient with the girls' hyperness than I am, I get exasperated far too easily. I'm working on it, sort of. After we left there and headed home, we picked up some Subway and had lunch with Chris at his work. And now we're here.

Whew! I'm tired all over again just from typing all this out!

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:45 PM PST

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

We got started on the new lessons today. Tabitha was so excited to be doing the math lessons. She cannot wait to use all the cool stuff that came in the kit. Today we just used linking blocks and she can't snap them together! I'm not completely surprised, the fine motor stuff has never been her forté. It frustrated her though and considering snapping the blocks together really has nothing to do with the actual math problems, I think we may switch to her Duplos or just use regular blocks and stack them. That's the beauty of homeschooling, we don't have to stick to the "rules" and can find what works for us. I combined the first two lessons into one and we easily could have done 5 more lessons, but everything involves coloring right now and if there is one thing my child enjoys, it's coloring! It takes her soooo loooooong to color a picture. One activity she had to do was choose a number and draw that many animals (I told you we're doing the easy stuff right now). Anyway, she chose the highest number just so she could draw as much as possible, lol. I have time to read "War and Peace" in the time it takes her to draw and color some animals. I did find out that she draws a really good pig, who knew? Art and math combined in one lesson :)

After math, we started the grammar book. The very first lesson is capitals at the beginning of names. The problem with that is she *only* writes in capitals. So, we're putting aside the grammar book right now and working on writing lower case letters. Now I have very definite ideas about writing, I don't push it. It will happen when it happens. She writes all the time of her own free will. I never tell her to. I also do not give her lined paper because I don't want her to feel constricted and focus on the lines instead of the creative story she's trying to write. So, I don't really like the idea of her practicing writing letters. She was not opposed to the idea though, so I printed out a set of letters that are dotted for her to trace and she also wrote a set herself within lines. As long as it doesn't bother her, I'm going to encourage her to write with lower case, but if she starts focusing more on the formation of the letters and less on what she's trying to say, then we'll stop any mention of lower case. We'll hold off on the grammar lessons a week or two to see how she wants to write and then reevaluate at that time.

My child was just picked up by my mil and taken for the evening. I guess she and my husband decided I need more time to myself and cooked up this little plan. I had mixed feelings about it. First, I was just by myself for a few hours Sunday morning and didn't really need more time so soon. Second, I would miss Tabitha. Usually when she is babysat, Chris and I go out so I don't really miss her as I'm grateful for the time alone with my husband. This is just different and something I'm not used to. So, off they went and here I sit. I have the car so I think I'll go to Toys R Us and pick up a couple last minute Christmas items since I couldn't do that with Tabitha. Then I'll probably pick up greasy fast food and come home to wash my hair in peace. Tabitha is going through a major Mama phase and I can't even take a shower by myself anymore. After that, it will be just like any other evening after Tabitha has gone to bed. I'll watch some TV and work on my holiday cards some more. Party on.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 05:00 PM PST

Monday, November 17, 2003

My order finally came! Yay! I've spent quite a bit of time looking over all my new materials for Tabitha's lessons. One book didn't ship and it's a Thanksgiving book so I really hope it gets here soon. If not, I guess it will be put away for next year. I have encountered two problems so far. First, my child already broke my folding yard stick. I'm really cheesed about that and am debating about calling tomorrow to order a new one or just use my regular yard stick. I'll only order a new one if they haven't shipped my backordered book and they can ship them together. I can always give the local teacher supply shops a call to see if they have one as well. Secondly, the animals theme unit and the map skills unit would both greatly benefit from a globe. Well, I happen to have an über cool one in the garage but it's a Christmas gift for Tabitha. I don't necessarily want to hold off on our lessons, but I don't want to pull this gift out early either. So, I need to try and figure out what to do about those two units.
The math curriculum is exactly what I'd hoped for. We'll breeze through the first few lessons in no time. We'll use those lessons for us to get used to the teaching method. I also ordered a grammar book which should be helpful in Tabitha's story writing. It's designed to do one lesson a day, 5 days a week, but we'll probably spread that out to every other day or every three days due to her age. I'm really excited to get started!

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:03 PM PST

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Whew! I'm bushed, today is the first day without anything going on. I've been on the go since last Tuesday. We did have a pretty exciting weekend, even if it was a tad too full. Friday morning we got up at 6:00am to drive an hour to Perris. Side note: it took me a bit of explaining to Tabitha on Thursday on why we didn't need to take a plane to go to Perris. She obviously confused it with Paris, France and knows that's a whole different country. Anyway, why did we drive to Perris you ask? Why to seeThomas the Tank Engine of course :) It was really neat to see this big old smiling blue train come rolling by. Not only did we get to see him, but we got to ride him! The event was held an a railroad museum and they have quite a few old trolleys from Los Angeles. Hard to imagine a time when LA had a fabulous public transit system. They had a few activities for the kids and we also met Sir Topham Hatt, plus the obligatory face painting and bounce houses. The only problem is the area was very muddy because of all our rain. Another side note: what else is going to happen in our state this year? We've had a recall vote, elected an action hero with no political background governor, had the most devastating fires in over a decade, and now, record breaking torrential downpours. And lets not forget our horrendous ongoing budget woes. I'm scared to see what happens next. We're really earning our reputation as a weird state this year. Anyway, the event was a unique experience and I'm glad we went. Oh, they had some merchandise (of course) and I'm very pleased with all we got. For less than twenty dollars, Tabitha got a new train engine (Percy) for her train set, a Thomas book, 2 postcards and a punching balloon. Plus I got a postcard to put in the scrapbook when I do the Thomas layout.
Saturday, we headed to Pilgrim Place. It was built in 1915 as a place for missionaries to stay but evolved into a community for retired church professionals. They would have had to work in a Christian service for at least 20 years, such as being a minister, a missionary, or even working at the YMCA. Anyway, once a year they hold a festival in November as a money raising event. The community members make arts and crafts to sell and also it's a little bit like a tag sale. In addition, they have crafts for the kids and face painting (though no bounce house) and a ride on the "Mayflower." They also do a re-enactment of the first settlers to America, but we missed that due to a couple conflicts. We had a lot of fun and look forward to making it a yearly event for our family.
After Pilgrim Place, Tabitha and I dropped Chris off at work and then headed to a birthday party. It was a Care Bear theme, which was a hit with all the kids. My only complaint was the balloon man. He was supposedly cancelled, but showed up anyway. He's one of those men that thinks he's funny and that putting down children is nothing more than harmless teasing. Stupid stuff like calling the boys girls and things like that. And he just stayed and stayed. All my kid wanted was a heart shaped balloon. The first time he took a heart shaped balloon and put it in with other balloons to make some weird hat. So I told her to tell him she just wanted a heart. He kept putting her off and putting her off saying she had to wait until everyone had a balloon but some other kids already had two or three so I don't know why he wouldn't just blow it up already. And then he told her he make something better than just a heart. She only wanted a darn heart! *Why* that was so hard for him to understand, I just don't know. Eventually I told her to forget it and managed to untwist what she already had and just give her the heart. That made her happy :) By the time the balloon man left and we did the piñata and the cake and it was time to open gifts we had been there over 3 hours (mind you, we were 40 minutes late, too) and my kid had had enough. The whining was starting to creep into her voice and I wanted to nip that in the bud so we got our goody bag and left. Most people had left long before.
Today, Chris and Tabitha went out to breakfast and visited with his mom for awhile. While they were gone, I got some scrapbooking and laundry done and just little things. Nothing major but it was nice to have no fear of being interrupted and having to stop what I was doing every 10 minutes. I mean, I actually ran out of things to do! When they got home though, it was really good to see Tabi, I had missed her. Since she was gone all morning I decided the two of us would go to the mall. She needs new tennis shoes anyway. We lucked out in that Payless was having one of their "buy 1 get the second pair 1/2 price" sale. So Tabitha got two pairs of shoes. I got her heeled tennis shoes, lol The reason I did is because her pants are basically too big in the waist and even with a belt they tend to sag. When they do that, the hems touch the ground and get tattered and dirty, or, during this time of year, wet. So the heels will help keep her pants off the ground. The other pair is a a pair of Power Puff Girl clogs. Normally I dislike character shoes, but these don't strike me as quite as obnoxious as most pairs. You should have seen the "Cat in the Hat" shoes! Thank goodness most characters shoes are leather so they are a non-option in our family. But they clogs are kind of cute and I did get them for half price.
Tomorrow our school lesson books should arrive! I've been anxiously awaiting them, Tabitha has been too! If they come early enough we might even get a math lesson or two in tomorrow :)
Stay tuned for a special update to Tabitha's Place very soon.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:28 PM PST

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

My, my, what a storm we had! First it was raining. Then we were hearing some thunder in the distance so Tabitha and I bundled up and went out to watch for the lightening. We were surrounded on 3 sides by it. It was the real cool kind where the lightening snakes down to the Earth. After we had seen enough and were really kind of cold, we went inside. Within a few minutes the lightening was coming one right after eachother and with every very LOUD thunder roll the lights and my monitor would flicker. Finally, all the electricity went out all together. It was around 4:30 at this point and we were okay with daylight coming in the windows. The lightening and thunder were still going strong and then the rain picked up it's tempo. It was pouring so hard that both my front and back yards were flooded within minutes. I've never seen rain pour off my roof quite like it did this afternoon. A couple minutes later it was hailing. Tabitha went back outside so she could touch it and see what it was since she had never seen it before. I distinctly remember her napping the last time it hailed a few years ago. The hailing stopped after 10 minutes and the rain then let up but the thunder and lightening just weren't giving up. By this time it was too dim to really see anything so we got out the candles. We had some sandwiches by candlelight then I got out our portable DVD player. Thankfully the battery was charged so we sat on the couch and put the player on the coffee table and started watching "The Little Mermaid." The power finally came on around 6:30, 2 hours after it went out. Right when it came back on, the thunder and lightening starting going super strong again, but the lights never even flickered at that point. We finished watching our movie on the regular TV with Tabitha dressed up as Ariel. The rest of the evening has been uneventful :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 09:12 PM PST

Monday, November 10, 2003

So, I've been examing my child's hairline for a couple days and noticing a nice amount of new growth. She's always had such thin and wispy hair that any signs of it thickening up are met with great joy. Today she was sitting on my lap and I was looking at what would be sideburns if she were a boy. Then I looked at it again. And again, as I compared it to the other side of her head. Finally I came to a conclusion that gave me a sickening feeling in my stomach. "Did you cut your hair?" to which the child got a very guilty look on her face and expressed much sorrow. I took her into the bathroom to really look at all her hair and found lots and lots was missing. She did it a couple days ago apparently. Yesterday her hair was sticking out in odd ways and I thought I just did a poor job with the hair spray. So all this "new growth" I've been noticing is actually her chopped hair. So much for getting thicker. Since this was the 2nd time this occured, her scissors are now my property indefinitely. Once is forgiven as all children do it sometime, but twice is inexcusable. So we rushed off to a new kids' salon to get it fixed. Tabitha was crying off and on all morning because she doesn't want short hair, but there was really no way around it. I assured her they would make her hair look very cute. I think they did a good job but Tabitha declared that she did not like it. I hope she gets used to it soon because we are going to have to keep it this length for a while until all the other parts catch up. She looks cute, but she doesn't look like my child. It was kind of odd every time I looked at her today, I felt like I was baby-sitting someone else's child. Part of it has to do with the way the stylist blow dried and styled her hair. I washed it myself tonight and let it dry naturally, so I'm sure tomorrow morning she'll look like her old self again. As for a picture, that will have to wait. My battery was dead today and by the time it was charged, I forgot to take a picture. I'll share as soon as I take one.
In other news, I'm on a room changing mission. I spent 4 hours today working on Tabitha's room and the play room. First I completely emptied Tabitha's room of everything but the 4 large pieces of furniture. Then I vacuumed every nook and cranny of her room for a real deep clean. Then I started rearranging toys between her room and the play room. I moved her craft table next to my craft table in the play room and then put up another shelf in there. I moved all the wooden blocks, train sets and Duplo's into the playroom and all the Barbie, Care Bear houses, tea sets and Princess stuff into her bedroom. I figured that since her room is decorated for her princess personality and the play room is decorated for her adventurer personality the toys in each room should match. I like the new set up, though I'm not 100% done. I never got her bed fully made. It is so hard to make it with it being a loft bed so I decided to wait until tomorrow when Chris can help me. Of course, I gained only two spots on the shelves and Christmas is a month away. I told Tabs today that she can't get any toys for Christmas becuase we have no where to put them, lol. She quickly informed me I was quite wrong :)
This evening I spent a bit of time finding pictures I could part with so I could put new pictures in the frames. I have something like 80 framed pics of my kid and no more wall space. So if I want to display new pictures, I have to replace old ones. But it is so hard choosing which ones, I love them all! I really need to make a scrapbook of just her professional pics. I'll add that to my to do list. Speaking of which, I need to get cracking on my Holiday cards. I've completed step one, but I have 5 more steps to go and considering I send 50 cards, that's a lot of steps! Maybe I should do a little now.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 09:01 PM PST

Sunday, November 9, 2003

My voice has been going in and out all day. I just finished a massive coughing fit a few minutes ago and now I'm at a whisper. So my darling child went and got a HUGE glass from the cupboard, filled it with water and handed it to me saying "Here Mom, this is for your voice so you can sing me songs." Nice to know she's thinking of me, lol.

I have some things up for sale. It's just a start for now, I'll get more stuff up later, plus I need to list stuff on ebay. The money will all go towards our Disney World trip. Plus I like that it clears up some of the clutter. I'm not selling anything I'm attached to, just stuff that I've put off donating for various reasons. Tabitha's bright idea was to go buy stuff at the store to sell, lol. I had to explain how that doesn't actually earn us money.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:33 PM PST

Saturday, November 8, 2003

You know your child loves you when they beg you to sing just one lullaby even though you sound like a sickly frog has taken up residence in your throat and are on the verge of losing your voice, but upon hearing the first line of the song, your child sighs happily and exclaims "Oh mama, you have a *beautiful* voice!" Tears my friends, that's what she brought me to, tears.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 09:29 PM PST

The cosmos conspire against me. No really, whenever there is some nice sky event, it's cloudy. My child and I have missed Venus, Mars and now a lunar eclipse all due to clouds. *sigh*
As anyone who has ever had any contact with me will tell you, I'm not a patient person. It took me forever to decide on a math curriculum for Tabitha and when finally decided on one, I had to wait to order it. I finally was able to order it, along with some other nice homeschooling goodies, last Wednesday. They ship within 1 week of your order but so far they haven't even charged me for it yet! So, it hasn't shipped and then I still have to wait for it to get here! It's free shipping and excellent prices, so I can't complain, but I'm so anxious to get started! Tabitha hasn't advanced in mathematics in over a year and she is so ready to move on. She devours workbooks and absolutely loved the placement test for the math program, now if it would just get here! One of the other things I ordered is about learning map skills which I know she will enjoy. My kid loves maps, let me tell you. It's a first grade through third grade level, so hopefully it's not too advanced for her. Hard to say, since her brain is just all over the place. She's like a 2 year old and an 8 year old with all the ages in between all rolled into one. The nice thing about that is she can play really well with almost any age child. The hard thing is "age appropriate" means nothing in this house, whether we're talking about toys, motor skills, verbal skills, social skills or anything. She is just all over the place and it's very hard to predict what she will or won't like, what she can and can't do and for what she is and isn't ready to try. She's a unique one, that's for sure. And we love her that way :)

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 08:07 PM PST

We had a really good morning. Build-a-Bear Workshops here in Southern California are having an event today and tomorrow where you can go down and make a teddy for families affected by the fires. The bear is free but we chose to by it clothes. We took Tabitha's bear too, so they could both wish on the heart that goes inside the bears. There was a really good turnout there this morning, which I'm glad. I don't know how many kids are out there with no toys what-so-ever, I hope all the teddy bears help them a little bit.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 12:27 PM PST

Friday, November 7, 2003

Yesterday was very good, full, but good. We went down to my grandparents in the morning. Chris hooked up their stereo and Tabitha did some puzzles. We stayed about an hour and then had a quick lunch before heading to the home area. We went to a huge outlet mall, it's one of "The Mills", to see our movie. We decided to shop first and we got Tabitha some cute stuff at Children's Place and The Gap and I got some jeans and a shirt at Old Navy. I also picked up a baby beanie hat for a friend's boy. I really like this mall, though it's so big you can get very tired, but yesterday it felt like being at a carnival with all the barkers. I'm so tired of being harassed to look at phone products or buy phone services or trade in my current phone. We couldn't walk 10-feet without someone desperately trying to get our attention. I know they need to make money, but all they're accomplishing is annoying their potential customers. If I wanted a new phone, I'd stop on my own free will. If I'm yelled at while I'm trying to walk, I'll just walk faster. It's to the point now that I'm considering writing letters to mall managements. It's so bad that I'm unwilling to shop in a mall where I feel that I cannot walk between stores without being harassed. Not just to the one we went to yesterday but also one mall closer to our house. There are plenty of malls around here and I have no problem taking my dollars to one that doesn't allow their tenets to bother customers. Of course, I'm always one of those people who *says* I'll write a letter, but I rarely do. I need to do this though, I can't be the only person who feels annoyed.
So after an hour of barker-dodging, it was time for the movie. We saw a preview for "Cat in the Hat" which really just solidfied my intentions of never seeing that movie. Dr. Suess was a deeply disturbed man and you couple that with Mike Myers and I'm so out. I like the cadance and rhythm of Dr. Suess when reading the books aloud, but his characters should never be allowed to come to life. "Brother Bear" was really good. We enjoyed it. The problem I have with new Disney movies, aside from the soundtracks being done by Phil Colins, is that the characters don't sing. All the music is background songs and I'm partial to the Disney movies that are more like musicals with characters breaking out in song. But that's a minor thing and didn't detract from my enjoyment of the movie. Tabitha seemed to like it, though it's hard to tell with her. She just sits there stony faced asorbing it all. She'll talk about it for the next 3 days I'm sure and I'll better be able to gauge her reaction to it.
Afterwards we came home and I cooked a stir-fry for Chris and I. Side note, I used a soy product called "Wow! It's not chicken" and really, it just made me feel kind of yucky. I just cannot eat poultry meat analogs. It didn't seem to bother Chris, but I would have been better off with just the rice. Anyway, in between me cooking and Tabitha playing with a new toy we were listening to an internet radio, live365, on a Disney station. It was pretty fun to hear the Space Mountain soundtrack mixed in with song from Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Chris and I were dancing around with Tabitha. It was one of those "really happy family nights" where I take a step back and count my blessings. I'm so in love with both my husband and my daughter. It was the perfect ending to a very good day.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:43 AM PST

Thursday, November 6, 2003

We went to a new children's museum yesterday as a field trip. It was really, really nice. It was like a neighborhood inside and all the buildings were scaled to children including child size doors they could use to go in. It's suppose to show the history of the surrounding valley, but I think that aspect was lost on everyone. The kids had a great time dressing up, playing store, putting on a puppet show and all kinds of things.
Today we're off to my grandparents' house for a visit. Chris is going to do a little home theatre work for them. It should be a nice visit. Sometime this afternoon I think we're going to take Tabitha to see "Brother Bear." We're not going to the El Capitan this time, we're going to save the money and just go to a matinee at a regular theatre.
And that's it for our plans, I'm sure we'll end up somewhere else as well.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:24 AM PST

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Now that Halloween is officially very over, I'll pull my procrastinating self together and post about our events. That's a pic of Tabs in her costume to the right there. Last Wednesday we had our Halloween party at our Mommy and Me class. I loved seeing all the girls in their outfits and took lots of great pics of Tabitha with her friends. The kids trick-or-treated through the adult ed. classes and then played games on the playground for more candy. After that and our weekend events, our candy bowl was filled before Halloween even got here! Thursday, we dropped Tabitha off at my in-laws' so Chris and I could go out to see our friends' band play. It was definitely one of their best shows and we had so much fun. Chris won a gift certificate for his costume, so we'll use that next time we see our friends at that restaurant. Friday (Halloween day) was errands. We had to purchase my new washing machine among other stops. Everywhere we went, Tabitha was given more candy. We went to lunch and Tabitha got a discount for wearing a costume. It was just a very fun day. Around 4:45pm we headed to the mall for trick-or-treating. It was more crowded than in past years, probably due to impending rain, but we still had a good time. It's always fun to see all the kids dressed up. We got home around 6:30 and Tabitha set up camp in the entry way to hand out candy. I think she had more fun handing candy out than getting it herself! She took her job very seriously and gave proper greetings and occasional "Happy Halloween"s. Even with the pouring rain, we had quite a few visitors. Couple that with Tabitha's very generous handing out methods and she gave just about all we had to give. It was a great ending to all our festivities.
We've been pretty busy since then as well. Saturday, Tabitha and I went with friends to see a "Bear in the Big Blue House" stage show. It was probably the worst kid's show I've ever seen. Sunday, my mom and sister came over for a nice visit. Monday, Tabitha and I went to California Adventure with friends. We had a good time despite the fact that we got poured on. We left when the freezing wind kicked in. But the girls had a blast walking through the rain, even as us moms were desperately trying to keep them out of the puddles. We didn't get to see the new Brother Bear show, but were lucky to meet Koda and Kenai from the film in between cloud bursts. More characters pics for me to scrapbook, lol.
That leads us to today. Not much this morning, but my new washer was delivered this afternoon and I am now blissfully doing laundry.
I'm still thoroughly obsessed with our Disney World trip. We're up to $116. We'll get there, slowly but surely. Last night I spent quite a bit of time researching our vegetarian options at Disney World. Today I was busy comparing air fare prices so that when the time comes I'll know what a good deal is. I put a donate button to the right there in case anyone is so inclined. Even a dollar helps us. I promise that every penny that comes in donations will go to our Disney World fund account. I need to get a move on listing stuff for ebay. Some things I'm just going to sell directly through my site as well. But I want to have pics of the stuff I'm selling and need to get over my procrastinating inclination.
In the midst of all the planning for my child's *6th* birthday, I've been planning her upcoming 5th birthday. Her party is pretty easy. She wants to go with the Power Puff Girls as her theme. We already ordered her Power Puff girls bounce house that will come with a personalized banner. We also ordered a ball pit as a surprise. A friend of mine will most likely do the face paintings and we'll have a pinata, so that takes care of all the entertainment. For Tabitha's actual birthday, we have a tradition of going to Disneyland with my mil. This year (or next as the case may be), we're looking into staying overnight at the Disneyland Hotel. So Chris and I have been brainstorming ideas to make that as special as possible. We're going to keep that a surprise and Tabitha won't find out until we take her up to our room. She's going to love it! Major advantage of an only child, we can go all out for her since it's only once a year.

Posted by Tara Zandra @ 07:24 PM PST

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archives before April 2003

We are dorks and buy her every outfit we find that says "Daisy" on it.

Tabitha's Place
(updated 04/29/05)

Daisy's Patch
(updated 8/18/05)

D-Land Friends

Quotable Tabitha

"I swelled with pride"


I love when she uses expressions from books

November 2003

to journal archives
archives before April 2003

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