Friday, April 15, 2011

Lesson learned

Good days don't start with a phone call from the credit card fraud team, alerting you of suspicious activity on your card. I looked up my account online and saw nothing unusual--$45 for gas, $150 for groceries, but then before my eyes, something new popped up. $250 in assorted iTunes charges.

I looked up our iTunes account. And then I realized I'd been victimized by my own flesh and blood. Carden had been watching over my shoulder the week before as I downloaded some new math apps onto our iPod, and figured out my password. And in between fraction sessions, he goofed around with a Lil' Pirates game that I have since learned is what's considered a "freemium" game--free to download, but in order to progress, you have to buy items with real money. Lots of parents have been scammed by this, and the games now have a warning on them, but it was too little, too late.

I sent several e-mails to the credit card company, Apple, and the game manufacturer, Apple was good about it, and refunded our money, with the warning that their grace was one-time only.

Our next steps:
1. Deleted all the games. I admit this was a bit drastic, but then I figured they have plenty of computer and video games. A life without Angry Birds would not be the worst thing. If they're playing with the iPod at least now I know it's something educational. Plus we've had more than a few flashcard sessions get sidetracked with a game.

2. Changed the password.

3. Reset the iPod to not allow any in-app purchases. If you've got one of these devices, I really suggest you look into disabling the in-app purchase feature. It wasn't hard.

4. Had several lengthy discussions with the kids.

Now that things have calmed down, I've realized this is just my introduction to the stage of life where my children's mistakes begin to get considerably more expensive. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Funny things she says

Trying unsuccessfully to go potty on the toilet: "It's not working! Maybe I need new batteries."

Angus had done something wrong (or maybe just annoying): "Angus! Curse you, you pooch!"

Dad comments on the beautiful puffy clouds: "Charlotte, are the clouds made of marshmallows?" "No. Bacon."

"Charlotte, what do you want for dinner?" "Bacon."

Charlotte has caught on to my habit of responding to her "look, look!" demands with an unfocused "mm-hmm." She now insists, "No! Look with your face!"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our own March madness

(Isn't every month just a little bit mad? Around here, at least, it seems to be.)

Seth wrapped up his 2-month Lego Club experience, joining a noncompetitive group in the FIRST Lego League. The boys had a great time with their dads, designing a hospital, ambulance, movable operating table, and other creations to go with the biomedical theme. Thanks to our very cool neighbors for sponsoring this group of crazy six-year-olds and training them to work as a team.

(You can see our Lego cupcakes we made for the celebration.)

Here's another project of Seth's. He worked on it for about a week, adding courses to his giant pyramid/arrowhead/ice cream cone until he ran out of bricks.

Charlotte earned her ticket to preschool and three-year-old independence. She loves it, bouncing out of bed on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a shout, "it's preschool day!" We've been encouraged to start an intensive name-learning project. Poor kid, this might really be the time to embrace the nickname concept. Actually, there's another Charlotte in the class, so they asked if she had a nickname, and got a fist-clenched response, "My name is Char-lotte!" Guess not.

Claire wanders the house looking for snacks. We had a week of good weather and she was outside every chance she had. This week's rain, snow, and slush has not left her in good spirits.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This week has been brought to you by the following Google searches

"how to remove marker from clothes"

"Dominos Pizza coupons"

"frosting recipe"

"school lunch ideas"

"how to remove crayon from clothes"

"how to remove crayon from dryer"

"things to do in Utah + kids"

"bug + preschool snack"

"how to file tax extension"

"iPod fraction apps"

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shopping spree

One of the perks (or quirks) of living in this corner of Zion is the grocery store case lot sale. Twice a year (April and October, by coincidence), the stores encourage you to stock up on wheat, canned tomatoes, and brownie mix by selling them by the case. Saves you from having to carry cans into the house one at a time; saves the employees from having to open and dispose of a lot of cardboard boxes.

Friday morning, Tyler and I planned to go do our part, but the day got away from us, and it was 7:00pm with all four kids in tow when we finally marched into the store. We even let Carden commandeer his own cart, instantly loading it with 45 pounds of wheat to prevent him from pushing it too fast. Actually, the result was that it prevented him from stopping fast enough, and he took out a couple of mid-aisle displays before getting the hang of it.

Into our three carts we load 50 pounds of beans, 100 pounds of wheat, 3 sacks of flour, and 2 cases of diced tomatoes. We pass the graham cracker display. I signal to Tyler from across the bulk-candy bins where I am looking for candy legos to decorate cupcakes for Seth's Lego Club party. "How many do you want?" he mouths. The crackers are on sale, 2 boxes for $7. I hold up 2 fingers.

We finish our shopping adventure: Each child gets to pick his or her own cereal, interrupted by Charlotte, never one to pass up the chance to use a public bathroom.

We fold down the back seats of the van and start loading our stash. It is at this point I notice the 12 bright-yellow boxes of graham crackers. Not 2 boxes, 12. Filled with case-lot euphoria, Tyler thought I meant 2 cases.

So when the world ends in fire, I'll be looking for someone with marshmallows and someone with chocolate bars, and we can all make s'mores over the ashes of civilization.