Monday, July 31, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 31

Cars had an accident - just moments ago in the corner of the family room. Well, it is not a setback, right?

The older boys are going to golf this morning (Ash is taking them) and I am taking Cars to the U of WA to participate in a research study about how children learn new tasks.

I contacted GlaxoSmithKline, makes of Aquafresh to find out if it really does have peanut oil in it. This is the letter they sent back to me:

Dear Mrs. Pez,

Thank you for inquiring about the presence of peanuts in Aquafresh toothpaste.

Your health and safety is of utmost importance, and we would like to assure you that no Aquafresh toothpaste products contain flavors with peanut oil, peanuts, or peanut

Here is some background information on this issue:

We were recently contacted by several consumers requesting information about the
possibility of trace amounts of peanut oil in our Aquafresh toothpaste products. It was our belief that trace amounts of peanut oil could be present in certain flavor blends purchased by Aquafresh from external flavor suppliers. Consequently, we responded to those consumers that there was a possibility that trace amounts of peanut oil may be present in some Aquafresh products.

Subsequently, we have contacted our flavor suppliers to confirm this information. We are pleased to learn that all of the flavor blends currently used to manufacture Aquafresh toothpaste contain no peanuts, no peanut oil and no peanut derivatives.

Until we were able to validate our flavor blend information, we chose to err on the side of caution and told consumers that the products may contain trace amounts of peanut oil. In light of how serious some allergies can be, we felt that was the right thing to do. As an additional assurance, we are arranging to have independent tests of our toothpaste conducted.

We appreciate your taking the time to contact us, and we apologize if this has caused you any confusion or concern. If you have additional questions, you may contact us by phone toll-free at 800-897-5623 weekdays between 9am-4:30pm.


GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

So, for those of you who were planning to stop using Aquafresh, be assured that it you now do not have to. ;) And my ever frugal dh is happy not to have to throw out the 3 tubes we have left from a Costco mega-pack!.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

We've turned the corner

I am whispering this because I do not want to jinx it...Potty training is happening fast and furious here. Cars has been diaper-free since Tuesday (pull-ups at night only) and he has had one accident since Thursday night (a bm - gross!) yesterday. I am so proud of him. He is a champ!

I will not complain but I need to comment that last week it was 100 and this week it is 60. WTF? How about a nice reasonable 75 degrees?

Oh, and I spoke to my sister on Friday night. I called my mom at my Aunt's house and my mom handed my sister the phone. I think for fear of embarrassing herself in front of my aunt and my cousin's family, my sister took the phone and spoke to me like it was just last week when we last spoke. Too strange.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Today was my sister's 46th birthday. She is visiting Killjoy in Toronto at the moment. Of course Killjoy reminded my eleventy billion times and "suggested" that I call to wish sis a happy birthday. I had mailed her a card to my mom's house so I figured that was good enough (more effort than she has put into my birthday in the past 27 years). Anyway, the guilt was too much so I called but of course sis was not available to come to the phone. Boy, rejected yet again. I am pissed off at Killjoy for the guilt and I am more pissed off at myself for succumbing to it.

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 29

The boys have been angels today. We went to the beach and they were super-duper listeners. They played nicely together, they have been very respectful towards me today. Guess this will keep up while yesterday is still fresh in their minds.

I just found out that Aquafresh for kids has peanut oil in it but since it is NOT a food product, they do not have to put it on the label. That is shocking! This is a short news item about it if you are interested.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 28

No fun here today. Laundry and tidying up for me. The kids played nicely, watched a movie. Stephen worked late so I decided to take them the McD's for dinner then I was going to run through Michael's because I needed to pick up some memory wire for a bracelet I am designing. Anyway, Jax and Dex started fighting in the back seat. I told them to stop. A few moments later they were at it again. So, I went directly to Michael's, then stopped at McD's and bought only Cars and I dinner. We drove home and Jax and Dex made themselves ham sandwiches while Cars and I ate our McD's. A lesson learned from Mean Mom, I hope.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 27

We went to the zoo today. The weather had cooled down considerably so it made for a perfect day to meander around the zoo.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 26

Golf for the kids today. Hot but a little breeze which is a nice change from the weekend. Today is was 94* in our area.

The weekend was unbearable. Friday and Saturday it was over 100* in our area. Fortunately, on Friday night, clouds rolled in. It did not rain or cool off but it made Saturday at the Big Software Company's annual picnic better than sweltering since the sun did not come out from behind clouds until after 2pm. It was pretty humid too, which is unusual for here during the summer.

Sunday we went shopping for school supplies. I spent a bloody fortune. One item on Jax's list was "accordian file binder type". No one knows exactly what this means. The guy at Staples told me it meant a binder with an accordian file attached to it ($14.99). Ash took it to mean jsut a regular accordian file that closes ($5). I will have to ask Laurie, when she returns from vacation, what she thinks it means. Or just wait a month until the Teacher Meet and Greet and find out exactly what it is. I still need to buy 4 reams of paper, 2 boxes of kleenex and new lunch boxes for the kids.

I have been feeling so out of sorts lately. Feeling old. And feeling like my body is falling apart (the arch on my right foot has fallen!). I was watching some 80's videos (mentioned in an earlier post) and it made me feel so nostaglic and a little sad. I feel like those pathetic people who reminish and miss the "old days". Maybe I am going through a mid-life crisis? Whatever it is, it is pathetic. But, I guess I am not the only one. I received this email from a friend today:

Sometimes I want to go back to the "chicken-deli days" where all we had to
do was ensure we had money for pizza/sub after drinking and watch Jackie
eat hers without chewing. waking up the next morning and
smelling onions from my coat closest then remembering......"Oh ya!, we
had subs lastnight!"* lol

* She would often find a half of a sub in her coat pocket

Anyway, I guess this will pass. Just don't want to be the kind of person who sits around talking about "Glory Days".

Man, growing old is a bitch.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 25

It is very, very hot today. The kids stayed inside all morning with Nanny while I went to IKEA to buy some stuff for MOPS crafts. Now the kids want to go to Target to buy Pirates of the Caribbean action figures with the money they have been saving. I will probably take them because it is cooler than staying at home.

Last night I had a nice long telephone conversation with my best friend, Ramona. It has been a long time since we have chatted like that. It was fun! We both agreed that being 41 is old and we needed to see each other again. Hopefully, this autumn or winter.

Ah, winter...with frost and cold. What I would give for that today...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 24

Cars is wearing underwear. He is not potty trained but we are working on it. Only four accidents yesterday. And two loads of laundry.

Today we are going to the beach. It is going to be HOT. Then the next three days are going to be scorchers! And of course this weekend is the Big Software Company's Annula Summer Picnic. Usually it is held the last weekend in July but they moved it this year up one weekend because historically temperatures are 10 degrees cooler that weekend. Well, not this year! It is to be in the 90's here. And again, that is very HOT for this area.

This week has been odd for me. I have been off a day all week. On Tuesday, I thought it was still Monday so I forgot we had milk delivered and I left the milk in the milk box until 5pm (it is delivered about 8am!). Good thing it was cool on Tuesday and the milk was still cool when I took it out. Then last night I completely forgot it was Wednesday (although Stephen worked late, as he does every Wednesday) and I forgot to watch
Project Runway!! Eeep! And I forgot to DVR it. I will have to catch it later this week.

Ok, off to pack for the beach.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 22

Today, we went to a park in Redmond that has farm animals (pigs, goats, horses, rabbits and chickens). I thought it would be fun for the kids to have a scavenger hunt so I made copies of Katie's list from her 50 days of Summer (week 2) but then left the 10 copies of the list at home in my rush to get out the door. Doh!

The kids entertained themselves by digging in mole holes, collecting sticks and counting the piles of horse droppings as we walked along the trail. Ah, to be a kid again. ;)

Stephen has been watching and re-watching RUSH in Concert: 30th Anniversary World Tour. The songs bring back so many memories from high school. And then this week my brother sent me a link to a huge list of 80's Videos. Some great memories there too.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 21

Wow - looks like we are just about the only place in the USA which was not sweltering today. In fact, I don't think it even hit 70*F today. That's ok though because the kids went to golf lessons so they were comfortable.

This weekend, we went to Nosy Neighbour's new house. It is really lovely home. However, the drive there SUCKED. According to Mapquest, it should have taken 1 hour and 6 minutes. It was *2* hours and 10 minutes. All due to traffic! And it seems that the traffic delays are permanent. Driving through Tacoma, I-5 has *permanent* signs that state "SLOW TRAFFIC NEXT X MILES". We drove maybe 20 miles hour for about 30 minutes. Then as we approached the Tacoma Narrows Bridge we were in stop-and-go traffic for 40 minutes. And OMG, when I realized that we had to cross the bridge (how the h*ll did I not realize it?). Mercifully, Nosy Neighbour's house is just off the first exit so our drive finally ended. And thankfully, the drive home was not nearly as bad. We stopped about half-way home and played a round of mini-putt at a family fun center.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 19

Not much fun the last couple of days. The weather has changed and I have had migraines two days running. Today I think I will need a nap to get rid of it because I have book club tonight.

I did take the kids to the school to ride their bikes. Dex is a whiz on his and I am so proud of him. Not quite as stable as Jax at his age but still great. Cars sat on his new bike for a moment but he hates, hates, hates to wear his helmet so he doesn't stay on it for long. I won't even let him sit on it without the helmet.

Ok, off to pop some Excedrin, pop a movie in for the kids and hop into bed for a nap.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 17 - Best Day Yet!

Today, we went to a beach in Seattle during low tide. It was the lowest tide of the season and right in the middle of the day (11:30-3:30), the temperature was cool (about 68*F and a little overcast) so it made for a perfect day of exploring the Tidepools.

The Seattle Aquarium provided some Beach Naturalists to answer questions and help people find the sea creatures. They were very helpful and the kids loved learning about the sea life.

We saw clams, heart cockles, blue mussels, barnacles and other rock dwelling creatures, periwinkles, dungeness crabs, hermid crabs, shore crabs, purple sea stars, mottle stars, sunflower stars, red sea cucumbers, tidepool sculpin, anemones, and lots of different types of seaweed. I think the highlight for me though was a Moonsnail that was laying an egg collar. The Naturalists had never even seen on before that was not at the aquarium (they had seen the snails and the egg collars but not one that was in the process of making one during low tide). It was very cool. I did not take a picture but you can see one here (page down a bit).

Here are some pictures from today (click for larger if you wish):

Purple Sea Star and Anemone

Dungeness Crab

Purple Sea Star

Jax Finds Red Sea Cucumbers

Kids in Tidepool

Sand Castle

Then this evening, Stephen took the kids swimming at the club while I worked out. A fun-filled, action-packed day.

How will we top this?!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 16

Today it is overcast and threatening rain so I did not take the kids to golf. I hate golfing when it is wet so I won't do that to them. Fortunately, we pay as we go so we aren't out any money. I think Ash is disappointed with me though because she wanted her kids to go but Gav won't go if Jax doesn't and so she is stuck with her kids today and tons o'clean-up after their weekend camping trip.

We took the training wheels off Dex's bike yesterday. My God, you would think we were torturing him the way he wailed about it! Stephen then took him to the school so he could ride on the soccer field (dirt) and he did fine. He came home all proud of himself and got to sit in the celebration chair at dinner time.

We are having NO luck in the potty-training department. I think I will just need to bite the bullet and put regular underwear on Cars. Time to pull out the carpet cleaner!

Now I will try to figure out what we will do today. I'll check out Katie's 50 Days of Summer for inspiration (we did all-day Movie Day on Friday, which was SoF Day 15).

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 14

Today we went to a park for Stitch N'Bitch. The park happened to have a beach volleyball court (well, just a sand volleyball court I guess since it was not actually on a beach) and the kids had a blast digging in the sand and trying to play volleyball with a big 18" diameter ball that we brought. It was pretty cold today too but they had fun.

I got lost in my pattern and may have screwed it up. Aargh!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 13

Happy 5th of July!

Our Annual 4th of July BBQ was a smashing success, in spite of the downpour from 9pm-10pm. I had some games and crafts for the kids (BINGO was a huge hit). Way too much food and of course, some illegal fireworks. Our city banned fireworks this year but Stephen was determined to light some off anyway. He and Gar (Ash's dh) spent way too much $$ of fireworks and they lit off many while it was still light. We took a break during the rain (the kids watched a movie and the adults played poker). When the rain stopped, back out they went. I did not watch much of them because I was very concerned about getting caught and the fine. Anyway, at about 10:45, some friends popped by to pick up their son who had stayed when they left after dinner to go to another party. When they showed up, we all started gabbing then a police car drove by while Stephen and Gar were trying to decide what to blow up next. OMG! I hustled all of the kids into the house and put an end to the fireworks. Stephen called me a killjoy (I guess I *AM* my mother).

So, no more fireworks. It is not worth the stress to me.

Today, Summer O'Fun day 13, we just hung out, cleaned up and then I took the kids to the club to go swimming. It turned very chilly and will stay this way for the next day or so.

And here is a picture of the Jax, Dex and Cars on Summer O'Fun 2006 Day 12, the 4th of July: