Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I started Christmas shopping for Stephen today. I ordered some spices for him from Penzeys. Stephen loves the tellicherry peppercorns. I have no idea what else to buy him. He has three things on his list - pepper, Mad Magazine subscription renewal (insert eyeroll here) and a travel mug for his morning coffee. OH.MY.GOD. Could it get any more boring?! Oh and this list is for me, the kids, my brother and my mother to chose from.

Our Home Owner's Association sent a letter around today asking for a vote on getting locked mailboxes. I think it is a good idea but I wonder how much it would cost. I read once that per capita, our city has one of the highest rates of identity theft in the country. Just last week, someone rifled through the mailboxes around the corner.

My next-door neighbour is pregnant with twins and she found out yesterday that the twins are identical girls. So that will give them four girls in total. The older two (ages 5 and 3) have bright red hair so they are dying to know if the twins will be redheads too.

Remember the Wednesday when I forgot that it was an early dismissal day and I forgot to get Dex out to the bus 45 minutes early? And I was just glad that I did not forget to pick the kids UP early? Ok, well that did not happen to me today but my friend forgot and I had to take her kids home with me (with permission from the school because I am on their emergency contact list). She was out leisurely shopping at Target and had forgotten her cell phone at home so I could not get a hold of her.

I wrote a "50 Things About Me" in Her Time and #41 was "I am too cheap to go to Starbucks". Today I decided that I could afford it so I splurged and drove through the drive-through for a Peppermint Hot Cocoa. OMG it was so good!! I keep thinking about it and wondering if my frugal self (ok, cheapo self) can afford another $3.17 tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Peanuts Peanuts Everywhere...

There has been tons of news coverage about peanut allergies (and all food allergies) since a 15 year old girl died after kissing her boyfriend who had just eaten a peanut butter sandwich (Girl dies from peanut butter kiss). I am glad that people are paying attention to how serious food allergies can be.

I think the time is coming when we will find out that Frankenfood is a big culprit in the increase of food allergies.

From The Seattle Times
Pea repels pests while triggering allergies?
Scientists who created a genetically engineered green pea have bitten off more than they can chew, it seems, by inadvertently creating a food that tends to trigger allergic reactions. The research should serve as a warning flag for others making bioengineered foods, the scientists report in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Having identified a gene in the common bean plant that helps protect them against beetle damage, Simon Hogan of Australian National University in Canberra and colleagues transferred copies of that gene into pea plants that do not normally enjoy those protections.

The gene carries molecular instructions that allow bean plants — and the newly modified pea plants — to make a pest-repelling protein called alpha-amylase inhibitor-1. Studies had shown that the bean protein does not cause allergies in people or mice.

But when tests suggested that the protein was subtly different in the gene-altered peas than in its native bean, the researchers fed the peas to mice and subjected them to various tests. Surprisingly, the engineered food caused allergic reactions on rodents' skin and in the gut — even when the peas were cooked.

Further tests showed that although the protein itself is identical in both plants, enzymes inside pea-plant cells had "decorated" that protein with simple sugars and other molecules in a way that increased the likelihood of an allergic reaction.

The peas never made it to market. But food safety activists, saying U.S. testing standards could have missed the problem, said federal regulatory agencies need to require more specific allergenicity tests for engineered foods.

Stephen is taking Jax to a Seattle Super Sonics game next week so we have to call the arena and see what kind of food is served. We are most concerned with shelled peanuts. Jax has never been to a professional sporting event because of his allergy so we want to ensure this outing wlll be successful for him.
It snowed last night (started about 10pm) but it has all melted by the time we awoke in the morning. Whew! No school snow days are good days!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thought I had better update my blog before the power goes out. We have had terrific winds all day today and a storm is heading this way with SNOW! The wind storms often knock the power out - for hours and once for a day and a half!.

The forecast says:

Snow, heavy at times. Accumulations of 4-12" likely. Snow level 500-1,000'. Highs 26-30. Mountain Pass winds initially easterly 10-25 mph, becoming westerly 5-20 mph.

We are at 500'. :(

It was freaking COLD out today. The puddles were ice. I am such a baby complaining about this weather when Heidi lives in Alaska, Kimmer and Snapper live in Michigan and Ramona lives in Canada (ok, just Toronto but Canada sounds colder!). But this is cold for here! It usually does not get so cold until January. I need to fish out some winter gear for the kids for tomorrow in case they still have school.

I hope the school is not closed tomorrow!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Stephen put up the Christmas lights today with help from Jax and Dex. I finished my SAHP swap ornaments today and hope to get them mailed sometime in the coming week.

I have written a dozen Christmas cards and I tried desperately to get a nice photo of the boys for Christmas since last year's Sears photos sucked. I thought I might save some time and money and do them myself. Well, here is a sample of the 60 pictures I took:

As you can see, none of the three kids are looking at the camera at the same time unless one (or more) of them are moving.

Looks like we might need to go to Sears after all...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

We took the kids bowling today. They had a blast. Except for Cars who was not allowed to bowl because he is not yet 4 (although I know for a fact that we took Dex bowling at the same place when he was 2.5!). I have no strength in my wrist and it HURT to throw the ball. Guess there is no career in my future as a professional bowler. That reminds me of when I was a child the only thing on tv on the weekend afternoons was bowling! (we did not have cable).

I have done no shopping this weekend. Can you believe it? I just don't know what to buy anyone for Christmas. I need to sit down and figure out what to get everyone and get busy.

Ok, I do know that Jax wants a turtle for a pet for Christmas and Stephen is entertaining the idea of getting him one. ugh! I don't want one. They creep me out - as does most other animals except cats but Jax and I are both allergic to them.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Black Friday. Shop 'til you drop...or until noon when the big sales end. Stephen was up and out at arrived at Toys'r'Us at 5:55am only to find out that they had opened at 5am and the item we wanted (a half-price Star Wars Lego) was sold out because two guys came in earlier and bought up *sigh* Then he went to Target and the Star Wars Lego that was on sale there was also sold out but he talked the manager into giving him another one for 1/2 price. That is when he realized that he had lost the $100 Best Buy gift card that we received when we bought our surround-sound stereo system. *sigh*

He is very careful with spending money but honestly he has lost more money and other things by having them fall out of his pocket when he pulls out kleenex or other things. I am not going to dwell on it because he will be mad enough for both of us about this.

We went to Erik and Terry's for Thanksgiving dinner and it was nice. Dinner was good and the kids had fun.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I attended Jax's and Dex's parent/teacher conferences today. They were both pleasantly surprising and a little disappointing. Dex has a hard time working independently because he wants to be where the action is and be close to his friends. The teacher says he usually does ok in circle time but when his table has to work independently he is always in the thick of it and is talking too much in class at those times. Academically he is right where he needs to be so that was the good news.

Jax is doing well academically too. The teachers are going to start sending home extra math homework for him because he is doing really well in that area. His issues fall in the "Life Skills" area. He doesn't like being told his answers are not complete or that he needs to add addition things. He isn't rude to the teachers but he debates with them and tells them he doesn't want to add more or doesn't think it needs it! YIKES! Then there is the whole issue we had with an imaginary friend that popped up last month after his friend from his class last year stopped playing with him at recess because he would rather play Yu-Gi-Oh than play with Jax. Jax was devastated and up popped Zack Zukes (his imaginary friend). It got so bad with Zack Zukes that I had to tell him he was not allowed to go to school with Jax and Jax was terribly upset with me for a few days. He has not made any friends in his class this year (there are only 6 boys in the class). The teachers say he is well-liked and he likes others but he just doesn't seem to know how to approach them to play with them. Then they suggested that he take some "Friendship" lessons with the guidance counselor and other kids in the same situation with him where they role play and learn how to approach others and to be friends. Stephen's back went up and he told me afterwards that he thought that was the fastest way to the short bus for Jax. Man, I was mad at him for that. We agreed to try to roll play with him ourselves and if that does not seem to work then we will have him go to those classes.

Anyway, I guess things could have been worse. Ash was told by Gav's teacher that she thought he had ADHD and suggested they have him tested! Ash feels Gav's behaviour is because he is gifted and is not challenged or is bored.

And on top of all that, it was a half-day today and Stephen is working late so now I need some chocolate...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Here are two pictures of Jax. The first one was taken just before Halloween and the second was taken yesterday. See how much she cut off?! He is still so upset about it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

My poor son. He had been growing his hair long because he thinks it makes him look like a teenager (whatever). I have indulged him because it is one little bit of control his has in his life. Anyway, his hair had gotten a little shaggy (as had Dex's and Cars' hair) so I took them to KidsCuts for a trim. I explained to the hair stylists that they just needed trims to make their hair a little neater. I think there was a language barrier because the lady cutting Jax's hair asked if she could use the trimmers and I said no, just a trim. So she started to cut and she is cutting and cutting and cutting and 15 minutes later Dex's hair is done by his stylist and Jax's stylist is still cutting and cutting and cutting and his hair looks like shit at the back. Five minutes later, Cars' stylist finished and still Jax's stylist is still hacking away at his hair. Finally I went to her and said she could use the trimmers on a big number (anyone with boys will know what that means) so she gives me a "THANK GOD" look and gets out the trimmers. I specifically said "Leave it long in the front and on top". Just then Stephen came back into the shop (he had run across the parking lot to Home Depot) so we started chatting. I look up again and Jax's hair is BUZZED and he is in tears.

O.M.G.! I didn't know what to do. The lady finished up and we left. Jax was crying because his hair was not long anymore. My poor boy. I am mad at myself for paying for that hair cut (it looks good but it is definitely NOT what he wanted).
I am afraid now that he is traumatized and will never cooperate to get his hair cut again. He said he will only go to school on Monday if he is wearing a hat! (I wonder if I can get the hat that I am knitting finished by then!). I feel so badly for him because he was soooo upset. I remember a similar thing happened to my brother back when he was about 9 or 10 and for the next 20 years he refused to cut his hair (just kidding JP but remember I have that picture of you with the Bon Jovi hair).

I will try to post a before and after picture of Jax tomorrow if he will pose for me. Oh, I feel so badly for him because he was so distraught. Poor boy!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What a week. I am still in vacation mode and have a hard time getting back to normal. Plus Stephen has been late everynight this week so the days seem so long.

Tonight was book club. We discussed Jennifer Weiner's "Goodnight Nobody". Funny, we all identified with the main character yet no one would admit to being like the supermoms in the book although everyone has some of that in them. heh

The kids got their report cards today. They were good but not great. Not sure why I expect my kids to be Einsteins AND behave like angels in class. Dex received two "NOT AT STANDARDS" for behaviour issues (working independently and working in a group). :\ It will be interesting to see what the teachers say about him when we meet with them next week. Jax did pretty well too but there was a comment about his messy handwriting. It has greatly improved since September but apparently it is still bad enough to comment on.

Tomorrow I MUST buy some food for the house. Jax asked why we were eating so much junk food these days. I keep meaing to go in the evenings when Stephen gets home but it just gets too late and I am too tired. Tomorrow when Nanny is here...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Did you catch the wedding online? It was a beautiful ceremony and only 6 minutes long! Ramona was a beautiful bride! She looks stunning and her dress was so gorgeous! Greg looked pretty handsome too.

The night before she introduced me to everyone as the "Princess of Honour". How embarrassing! I became addicted to WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE! slot machines and let's just say it was a good thing that Stephen won enough to cover my losses. ;)

I enjoyed meeting the other guests at the wedding and seeing old friends and acquaintances.

I am ashamed to admit that I barely took any photos! So I hope that Ramona's friend, Christine (the official photographer) has some nice ones.

Anyway, here are some photos:
This is the night before the wedding. Me, Ramona and Alicia in Nefertiti's Lounge.

The Bride and Groom

Sharon, Me, Alicia

Watch Ramona's blog for more picturse and details. She'll be back from her honeymoon at the end of the week. Oh, and the details of the ceremony are still there if you still want to see it. :)

Oh, and one more thing about Las Vegas. We were standing outside of the Bellagio where the taxis and limos drop off and Paris Hilton popped out of one of the limos with a scruffy guy. Apparently it is her new beau and boy did he cause trouble in Las Vegas while they were there.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We are off tomorrow to Vegas for Ramona's wedding. I am so happy for her.

The wedding is on Friday at 4:30pm Las Vegas time. She has posted details in her blog if you wish to watch her wedding (details here. She'll be the one in white. ;)

Now I am off to finish whipping this house into shape for company and to pack for the trip.
The doctor spoke to my sister today and told her that he got it all and her cancer had not spread. What great news for her!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My sister's hysterectomy went well according to my mom. They were able to do it vaginally so no abdominal surgery was required so she should recover quickly.

Not sure what is next for her - if they are sure that the cancer has not spread to other parts of her body. I hope not.
I fell off the roof last night and I feel like crap today. Cramps, achy and totally craving chocolate (but I must lose at least 2 pounds so I won't be FATTER THAN KIRSTIE ALLY!).

Stephen took the van in today for repairs so I had to drive Jax to school in the sedan. What a PITA getting the kids in and out. Thank goodness for the van (and please do not let it cost an arm and a leg to repair).

I have so much to do before we go away and I am too busy being crampy to do much about it. I should just gulp down some ibuprofen and get on with it but then I would not have anything to complain about. ;)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wow - Kirstie Alley is on Oprah today and she said that her fattest was 219 the day she weighed in at the beginning of her gig with Jenny Craig. She says she has lost 55 pounds now. That puts her at 2 pounds less than me. AM I THAT FAT?! OMG OMG OMG

I had to help Jax with his homework today. I had to tell him about a family member or a friend who was/is in the military so he can write a letter to thank them. I was thinking and I don't know any living family member or close friend who was or is in the military. I guess that is the difference between Canada and the USA, the USA has been involved in many more conflicts and wars and more people join the military for careers than in Canada. I knew two guys in high school who signed up and lived in Germany for a while but other than that, no one. So I told him about my grandfather who lied about his age so he could fight in WWI and then joined up again during WWII but he was too old to fight (he was in his late 30's and early 40's) so he ended up being a guard in Northern Ontario to German POW's who were taken there when they were captured. Anyway, Jacx will probably be the only one in his class writing to a dead relative (my grandpa died in 1984).


Saturday, November 05, 2005

Today, I tried on the outfit I will wear to Ramona's wedding with my new shoes (Thank you very much, Nordstrom's sale). I bought these shoes but they were on sale for $25 at the store. Not sure why they are not on sale online. Anyway, I walked downstairs to show Stephen and to ask him what he thought. As I walked into the kitchen, Cars stared at me then said "Mommy PRINCESS!" How sweet is that?!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Booga Bag

Well look at me! Two completed knitting projects in just over a week!

I started knitting a Booga Bag last week and it knit up so quickly! I used Noro Kureyon self-striping wool. I had to learn two new techniques to knit it. Picking up stitches and knitting an I-cord.

Here is the bag after I had completed knitting it. I did make the I-cord about 7 feet long rather than the 5-6 mentioned in the pattern.

To felt it, I had to run it through the washing machine *6* times (with HOT water - my poor gas bill!). I have a front-loading washer and apparently it just not agitate the clothes enough to do a proper felting in 2-3 washes.

After felting, I blocked the bag using a shoe box (boys size 13):

And here is the completed project:

I really enjoyed making this bag - it was so simple! Next time, I would make the I-cord even long than 7 feet because I think they are a little short. I would also like to make this bag a little deeper and wider too. I had enough yarn leftover that I definitely could have made it much deeper. Also, the top rolls out a bit. For stability, I have a double layer of black plastic cross-stitch canvas in the bottom of the bag.

My next project is a black hat for Jax, I guess...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Today was a good day. I got all of the kids to and from school on time.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I knew it was bound to happen one of these Wednesdays. But I always figured it would be a pick-up and not time to go to school.

We are on an altered schedule on Wednesdays and the kids get out 1.5 hours early. Because of that, afternoon kindergarten starts 45 minutes earlier. So today, we are eating our lunch and enjoying our time together, la-dee-da. Dex gets his shoes and coat on and then I sent him out to the car for his backpack (I had packed it earlier in the car because we left at 7am this morning to have the car serviced and I was't sure how long it would take but they were out of the part so we were out and home by 10 after a stop at Fred Meyer - whew!).

Ok so we are standing around waiting for the bus and I see that my neighbour's car is gone so I figured that she was running an errand and would just drive her dd to school. Wait. Wait. Wait. Now it is three minutes past bus pick up time (he is very prompt) and I see a van drive by, stop, turn around and it pulls up next to me. "Hi!" perky lady says as I recognize her as the mom one of Dex's schoolmates. "I'm B's mom and I guess you forgot that it is Wednesday!". Oops, the bus went by nearly 50 minutes ago. I thanked her and rushed the kids into the car and to the school. Now I am all screwed up and I have to pick the kids up in one hour.

Ugh, I hate Wednesdays.