Kids' TV

I feel the need to vent about the preschool-centric television programming that I'm subjected to on a daily basis. I don't know. It's not so much venting as reviewing. There are a few that I hate though and I'll be sure to tell you which ones they are!

For the record, Eli only watches one 30-minute video per day and Lila watches two (except on thursdays, when we watch a movie after dinner). So I don't see all of these every day. Thank goodness!

Olivia - I'll start off with one that I actually enjoy. I like Olivia's imagination and creativity. She reminds me of Lila! Her parents are present and not annoying. Her siblings and friends are cute. Although, I do think that Julian (is that his name?) needs to learn healthy boundaries and maybe take an anti-depressant.

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan - I don't like this one, but I have no good reason why. I will say that the little monkey, Ho Ho (i think), is very cute. And the show teaches good things about watching people and figuring out what they're feeling from what has happened and the way they are behaving. But I still don't like it.

Yo Gabba Gabba! - The first time I saw this show, I was totally creeped out. Now I love it! I admit it... I even sing along and get up and dance during "dancy-dance time". I'm still disturbed by one thing though. It seems a bit twisted that DJ Lance can sprinkle magic dust across the others and put them in some sort of hyper-sleep when he's tired of playing with them. It might not bother me except that they always protest when he says it's almost time to go. I interpret their childish disappointment as fear and desperate cries for help. However, I think that says a lot more about me than it does about the show.

The Upside Down Show - This one is okay, I guess. It's just kind of odd. More wacky Aussie's with their own TV show. I think the middle of the night is a good time for it to be on. And yet, I occasionally record it so that the kids can watch. Hmm...

Wow Wow Wubbzy - I kinda like this one too. There's something about the simple, solid animation that I like watching. The characters are not offensive and, of course, it teaches good interpersonal skills. This show has done terrible things for my vocabulary, however. And sometimes I say, "Wow! Wow! Lila!" just for fun.

Little Bill - I love Little Bill! I may be predisposed to liking it because it was created by Bill Cosby, but I don't care. Little Bill is cute. I love Alice the Great and Elephant. The family is fun to watch. I am slightly creeped out by the friend with the crazy orange hair (andrew?), but I can look past this.

Oobi - Strange. Creepy. Weird. IQ lowering. Fascinating like a car wreck.

Gullah Gullah Island - I just find it odd that this is even on TV. It is a 10 or 15 year old show. It's mildly entertaining, but tends a bit too much toward worshipping the created rather than the Creator. Maybe that was just one episode, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Plus, the giant frog is unnerving.

Maggie and the Ferocious Beast - I like this one. It's just kind of a happy little show. That's really all I have to say about that.

Blue's Clues - Blue's Clues is another one that weirded me out the first time I saw it. I got used to it pretty quickly though and now I can appreciate it. The kids like it and it's mildly educational. Also, Doug and I like to do imitations of Blue. Doug is much better than I am.

Pinky Dinky Doo - I love this show! It teaches great vocabulary words, always has a good lesson, and has little story comprehension games at the end. It's a great imagination builder too.

Jack's Big Music Show - I've only seen a few episodes of this one, but it's fun. It's actually funny enough at times to make me laugh, which is nice. However, I don't recommend watching the same episode over and over again. It can cause you to develop a twich. Or a homicidal streak. But most likely just a twitch.


Egad, there are a lot of shows that my kids watch! I'm going to stop here for now and do the rest another day.


Back to Normal

Whew! With Doug being gone for the past two weeks, I couldn't even think about updating my blog. That uses more brain power than I had at the end of each day! But now he is back and all is well at the Peeler House.

I'm very (very) excited to announce that the kids and I will all be going to BSF next year. I signed us up a couple of weeks ago and I can't wait for September! I love BSF for my own spiritual growth and I remember Lila learning so much the one year that she was in it before. Now, for one year only, we will all three be able to go to the same class and we'll all be studying the book of Isaiah!

The daytime women's classes have kids' classes for 2-year-olds through Kindergarten. Once Lila hits 6 years old, I'll have to beg Doug or Irene to go to an evening class because that's where they have classes for school-aged kids... Meh. I'll deal with that when the time comes!

I keep thinking this weekend is over, but it's not. We'll have Doug home with us tomorrow too! He and Lila are planning to paint the playroom. They bought the paint today and it's a color somewhere between burnt orange and brick red. I'll take photos.


Have I mentioned lately just how very crazy I am?

Warning: What follows in this post might convince you that I am a few bricks shy of a load (or whatever your favorite euphemism is). This is why I generally keep this kind of information to myself. Today, I decided to share with the world in the hope that someone else I know is as crazy as me!

This past week has slipped by far too quickly. Doug's business trip looms on the horizon and my level of anxiety continues to increase. As my anxiety increases, I become more forgetful, hence my going 9 days without a post (as well as any typos or grammatical errors that might be contained in this one. I also went several days without taking my medication. It was not intentional. I just plain forgot.

If you've never taken antidepressants, then you might not know that just forgetting to take them for several days is really not a good thing. For example, there are physical side effects. The first one to pop up for me is extreme dizziness, although that was not too bad this time. Then I begin to have mood swings. That is, I have them more often than usual and the swings are much more extreme. Then the really interesting things begin to happen.

I'm now at the point where little neuroses and symptoms of my illness start popping back up. ** These are things that I might not have even noticed were absent... until they came back. For example, my fear of having a psychotic break is coming back. (i could write an entire post on that one! i just did a web search to see if there's a name for that particular phobia and just reading the links that came up freaked me out!)

There's also my obsessive (or is it compulsive?) checking. Best example: I set the alarm before I go upstairs to bed every night. The alarm pad is in the laundry room. The cats like to explore the laundry room and I have this fear of accidentally locking one of them in there overnight. So, on a normal night, I go into the laundry room and set the alarm, do a quick kitty check, close the door and go on to bed.

On a "crazy night", I can't seem to convince myself that there's no cat in there. I look carefully in the room, then I look for all of the cats out of the room. Sometimes, even when the door to the laundry room is shut and I can see all three cats in front of me, I still feel uneasy and have to make myself walk away and go to bed.

This afternoon, I took the cake (i alluded to this on Facebook) by having an anxiety attack over having someone else touch the laundry. Doug had done a load of laundry while I was gone in the morning and I came home to find him folding it. This, in itself, was wonderful! And it would have been nothing but wonderful if he had gone ahead and put the clothes away too.

What happened, however, was that he left the clothes on the couch and went to get some work done while I could watch the kids. I went to finish the job and I just froze. The stacks were not lined up correctly and there were mixed items in some of the stacks and the towels weren't folded just the way that I do it and and and... I literally had to walk away and calm down because my heart was starting to race and I couldn't think straight.

I was finally able to deal by going over there and moving things into the appropriate stacks and re-folding the towels. I did this a few minutes at a time because I would quickly begin feeling overwhelmed.

Wow. No wonder I don't usually share these kinds of things with people. :o)~

**Note (for those of you who are concerned) - I have taken my medication for the past two days and will continue to do so. It just takes awhile for it to get fully back into my system. In the meantime, I get to view myself as a lab specimen.


No! No! No!

We had a fabulous weekend in Dallas! We had a big adventure on Saturday that started with the Dallas World Aquarium, which is just about the coolest thing ever. It's more like an indoor jungle than an aquarium and it's beautiful! I almost fainted over a pair of manatees they had there. I wanted to hug them so bad I could have burst! The kids enjoyed it too, especially once we got a snack into them.

From there, we took a horse-drawn carriage ride around downtown. Even if you've done this before, I'll bet you never went to a drive-through ATM in a carriage! Lila was beside herself over getting to ride in a "one-horse open carriage!" This was definitely her favorite part of the weekend. Eli really enjoyed it too, although we had no idea how much he enjoyed it until we tried to drag him away from the horse.

He pretty much screamed all through the two-block walk to Spaghetti Warehouse, and for half of the time we were there. I finally got him to chill out a little bit, but he was a pill for the rest of the weekend. I think the boy just got WAY overstimulated. Breakfast with Grandma and Grandad the next morning involved some more screaming, as well as our drive home. (see video)


What the Hell is that Smell?

When the children and I left the house yesterday to go to the gym, the house smelled fine. That scent of HOME that you can no longer detect because it's so familiar. The smell of spring, of coffee and conditioned air... and a touch of cat.

When we came home from the gym-- Well, I opened the door and said something along the lines of "Eeaarrgghhh! Bleck! Ew!" My first thought was that one of the cats had decided to pee on the carpet in a fit of rebellion. The source of the smell was clearly on the first floor, but that's as close as I could get to finding it. I walked over the entire surface of the ground floor of our house using tiny little baby steps, trying to find a wet spot.

In retrospect, that's disgusting. I was trying to step in cat pee. Huh. It seemed like a good idea at the time!

Anyway, I could not find a wet spot anywhere in the house. I decided to attack the litter boxes, just in case the smell was coming from there. I scooped out what little had been deposited since the night before, put in extra deodorizer and extra litter. I sprayed the whole place with vanilla-scented air neutralizer.

But it was no good. All my efforts were in vain. The house still smelled disgusting. It was too hot to open the windows and I was at a loss as to what I should try next. I finally just gave up and hoped that inspiration would hit while I was doing my normal things.

Well, inspiration did not hit me, but the smell did! I went to the kitchen sink to wash my hands and noticed that the odor was very strong there. My first thought was the garbage disposal. As I leaned down to sniff (another questionable decision), my head passed by the kitchen wash cloth.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Either a cat jumped up onto the counter and carefully straddled the sink so as to pee directly onto the cloth and nothing else, or someone broke into the house while I was gone and replaced my clean cloth with one that had been inside the belly of a dragon.

You might not find either of those scenarios very likely, but you didn't smell that cloth!


You know, when we were looking at houses this last time, we were really hoping to get something larger than what we were in. We found this house, spacious and beautiful - just what we wanted! I had no idea what I was getting into. We have the same number of belongings as before (more or less), but so much more space to scatter them across. I can't keep this place clean for anything!

I still love this house, but there are days when I think longingly of the one we lived in when we first got married. It was a LOT smaller and should have been so much easier to clean. If I had worked as hard then as I do now (trust me - i ain't claiming to be cinderella), I'm pretty sure it would have been spotless. Oh well...

So... my birthday is only four days away. I'm not sure what this says about me, but I try to drop as many hints as politely possible before the day and then set my expectations nice and low once it comes. That way I can be delighted by all the birthday wishes. One year, while I was in college, I went with this approach and my roommates didn't believe that I was actually surprised by the surprise party they had thrown me.

They figured that I had expected it, but I was completely caught off-guard and loved it! (up to that point, it had been a pretty crummy birthday. i started off the day by spilling some sort of food or drink on a brand new outfit and it just kept going that way.) Not that I'm implying I think anything like that's going to happen this year. I'm just sayin'...


I'm Back!

You know, I faithfully kept up this blog for six years (what?!?) before wimping out. I have already given all my Facebook/lame excuses for why. But I've come to realize what an important place this held in my life. There is a writer inside me that dreams of one day writing books. Since I don't have the time (or, let's be honest, the patience) for that at this stage of my life, my blog gives me a place to satisfy the writing itch in little spurts.

And I'm able to share much more meaningfully in this format than on Facebook. Yes, I update Facebook more often, but anything I want to say has to be limited to 420 characters. Not much room for embellishment there! And, most importantly, this blog is my baby book! I kept a real one for Lila's first year, but Eli has pretty much gotten the shaft.

I let his baby book fall to the wayside... well, from the start, really. This blog was where I always shared stories and development updates and posted the latest photos. Now there are at least four months of our lives that are lost in the vortex of Facebook updates. That's not okay with me - none of it is. And so I'm back. I'm not going to make any promises that I'm not sure I can keep, but it is my sincere INTENTION to begin posting regular updates here again.

For myself, if for no one else...

Oh, and this picture is the view from Grammie and Papa Joe's new front porch. Awesome!