Saturday, December 30, 2006

Blah blah blah...

Yesterday, was Ash's 40th birthday. Her dh arranged for Nanny to babysit the kids (they all came here) and four couples went out to dinner. It was a fun time. I passed the 40th Birthday Tiara onto Ash to wear. It was a lot of fun and I think she had a great birthday celebration.

We still have snow on the grass. This must be some kind of record - 4 days after the snowfall! It is like now ice but still hanging around. Weird weather.

The right button on my laptop's touchpad stopped working just before Christmas. I finally ran diagnostics on it today then contacted Dell. Turns out the whole "palm rest" needs replacing. Then I happened to mention that I also had another error message when running I need a new hard drive! Good quality product I have here. :\

Tomorrow night we are going to Ash's for New Year's Eve celebration. No doubt fireworks will go off at midnight. I think we were very lucky on the 4th of July not to be cited for fireworks so I wonder if we might just pushing our luck now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I am have a good start on my goal to get rid of some of the stuff in my house! Today, I gave away some baby stuff to my SIL while she and my brother came by for a short overnight visit. Whoo-hooo!

Today was a very cold winter day (for here). We had snow again yesterday (what is up with this winter?!) and it became all crunchy today. The sky was so blue so we decided to go tubing in the mountains. However, when we arrived there were about 400 people in line in front of us to pay for the session so we turned around and stopped in this little area down the street and just went tobogganing. It was such a blast! Jax is such a kamikaze!

Edited to add some photos from yesterday (click for larger if you like):

Dex sliding down a mini-hill sans sled

Cars kicking back enjoying the snow

Jax racing down the hill

Stephen making a snowball (Look at that blue sky! 
A rarity for me to see in the winter!)

Enjoying hot chocolate after sledding

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas rocked! The kids were delighted with their Christmas gifts, especially Jax We told the kids it was our "tradition" not to build Lego on Christmas day so they have been working them this morning. Stephen is building Cars' Lego.

We had two families come over for dinner and everyone had a grand time. I was only really stressed when I realized that dinner was going to be about 30 minutes later than I had planned because our friend's son, who has Asperger's Syndrome, started saying he was ready to go home before dinner and I really thought they would pack up and go then (they would have in the past) but they were able to encourage him to find something to do and he was fine.

Stephen spoiled me rotten of course. He totally surprised me and bought me a gorgeous purse and matching wristlet/wallet. I am so impressed! This is the man who in the past has surprised me a 19" monitor for the computer for Christmas (that one went back).

T and I braved the mall today. She bought a ton of stuff but I just bought a bunch of candles on clearance at Pottery Barn to replace all of the candles we burned during the power outage.

Ash's 40th birthday is this week. I am not sure what to get her. I did buy her some hand and foot cream from Arbonne (I signed up to be a consultant but that is really just to get the discount on the products - I love their face creams!). Not sure what else to get her.

JP and Marilyn are arriving tomorrow for an overnight stay. Gotta get the guest room cleaned out because it became our dumping ground for all the stuff we needed to move out of the way to set up two tables for Christmas dinner. We were going to take the kids tubing at the pass but the weather will be bad tomorrow and we do not have chains to be driving around in that snow. Perhaps we will go Thursday.

Oh and for Christmas, Dex made me a painted ceramic plaque at school. It is of the family and I love it. I opened it up and told him how great it was, that he got everyone's eye colour correct and I loved the detail. He said it was not that accurate and he was sorry because "I didn't paint you with the grey in your hair". LOL

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. Here is one of my favourite quotes from a Christmas show:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the lord shone round about them, and they were afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'".

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

P.S. Peace on Earth

Friday, December 22, 2006


In my quest to get my house in shape for Christmas, I have decided that I have too much stuff. Way too much. All of my cupboards and closets are busting at the seams. I could not find a place to put away some votive candle holders that I took out during the storm (I cannot for the life of me remember where I found them but there is definitely NO place to put them back). I have two wicker baskets of stuff sitting in my bedroom with things I need to hang on to until a later date (most of it is MOPS crafts crap and the other is an Art Start project that I sometime need to deal with for an end-of-year gift for the teacher).

We do not park out cars in the garage so that is filled up with stuff. Granted, right now some of it are the Christmas boxes down from the loft in the garage but the other things like skateboards, helmets, traffic cones, bikes, an easel, ladders (3!), garbage pails, recycle bins, lawn mower, gas trimmer, paint cans, ETC have taken over. Never mind the shelves with SpongeBob Squarepants shaved ice makers, pasta drying racks, party supplies, and so on. Seriously, too much stuff!

And now Christmas is in a few short days so we will be adding MORE stuff to the mix!

So, my NEW YEAR'S resolution is go to through each and every room, closet, cupboard, shelf in the house and garage and get rid of at least 25% of everything. At least 25%! That would include my size 10 purple wool skirt that I purchased in 1989 (which btw, is probably considered a size 6 these days), two bridesmaid dresses (both of which are from weddings in 1992 and which are identical except one is red the other is royal blue), the Spongebob shaved ice maker, a dozen sippy cups, a breast pump (!), Jesse Ventura Governor of Minnesota doll (don't ask!), mason jars, a hot diggity dogger (a Christmas gift from the IL's the first year we were married).

So much stuff that will be gone from my house. Gone! And there will be room to move around and put things away without jamming things into cupboards. I must do this as I fear I will turn into a compulsive hoarder.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dear Santa

Jax's Christmas list to Santa included:

1) Jango Fett Slave I lego set
2) "Superball Shoes"
3) Yu-Gi-Oh cards

#1 is taken care of and my brother got him #3. Now, about #2...I explained to him today one could not really bounce as high as the kids in the Superball Shoes commercial without help. He immediately wanted to email Santa and this is what he wrote:

Dear Santa Claus,

When I asked you for SuperBall Shoes ( Bouncy shoes with balls in them,) I thought you could bounce really high in them like in the commercial. Then I discovered that on the commercial, they probably were bouncing on a trampoline. I just wanted you to know I don’t want them any more.

Instead, I would like a Pirates of the Caribbean Electronic Black Pearl Ship Playset.

I hope what my friends say about you not existing doesn’t offend you. I know you exist though. (*Sigh*,) to bad they don’t know about you.

I’ve been trying to be the best I can around these times in December.


Jax Ourlastname

OMG, I had tears in my eyes after I read it. This certainly is the last year that he will believe in Santa so spending that outrageou$ amount on that one gift might be worth it after all (ok, I am trying to justify it here).

And for the record, he is not getting a Pirates of the Caribbean Electronic Black Pearl Ship Playset.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh Sh*t

Oh Sh*t #1:

Our very full upright freezer that survived the 55 hour power outage (due to being jammed packed and the fact that we only opened the door two times), did not survive Jax's leaving the door ajar last night when he helped himself to a frozen Go-gurt. We tossed out half of the freezer. Again, thanks to the two frozen turkeys, we did not lose the expensive meat but all of the processed foods (why did they defrost so quickly?!) and all leftovers. I will be cooking up ground sausage and bacon later today.

Oh Sh*t #2:

I bought the WRONG friggin' Lego off ebay! It is the wrong one! Aargh! We just realized last night. Stephen said to me last night that Jax is going to be so happy because the Lego has "rare figures" and he keeps talking about it. I thought that the figures were not so rare because we already had one of each (Boba Fett and Han Solo in Cabonite). Then we both realized that we bought a Boba Fett and not a Jango Fett Lego (ok, tell me that you understand the difference here). And WTH would Lego have a billion different versions of "Slave I"?

I figured that we could just buy something else off the list to Santa but that would not do for Stephen. So this morning we started checking ebay again and there was no way we were going to be able to outbid these people AND get the Lego here by Christmas. Much to Stephen's chagrin, I searched FROOGLE ("Why don't you use BigSoftwareCompany LIVE?") and found the one we need at an exorbitant price but we could buy it right away and have it sent Expre$$ $hipping to have it here by Christmas. I feel just sick about the cost of it. Stephen says we learned our lesson today - If you throw enough money at it, you can save Christmas. :\

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The clock is ticking and Christmas is coming! I feel as though I still have so much to do although in reality, much of it is already done. That storm and subsequent power outage has thrown everyone off and into Christmas panic mode.

Tomorrow, Stephen is taking the day to finish up his shopping. He has taken upon himself to do the stocking stuffers for the boys each year. He will also finish buying the gifts for the kids from the grandparents.

I haven't worked out in ages. The club does not have power completely restored to all of their facilities and apparently there are long waits to use the one cardio room that is open (with a 20 minute work-out limit). Hopefully by Thursday or Friday I will be able to get back to it. I am feeling like goo.

Monday, December 18, 2006

For the first time since Wednesday night, I slept in a warm bed last night and it was wonderful!

I have to make one last trip to the post office today to mail my nieces' gifts to them. The package should arrive by Wednesday or Thursday as I will send it priority. We need to get out in shifts today to finish Christmas shopping too. And find a store with milk to get us through the day (the milk man should be delivering tomorrow morning). The city to the south of us was still mainly without power yesterday so I will not be heading that way to do shopping. So that leaves the shopping areas in the city to the north/west will be just packed. What's the Christmas season without some hustle and bustle and crowds?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Big Blow Out

Whew! The windstorm brought damaging winds that completely devastated our power lines. Trees were down EVERYWHERE and we were without power at our house from 8pm Thursday to 11am Sunday.

After I picked the kids up from school on Thursday, I filled the car with gas and bought some extra D batteries. I also bought a few snacks for the kids. We were fine with food. I thought about buying some Duraflame logs but we have not used out fireplace since 1999 so I decided against it.

We had driving rain and the wind started to pick up. Our book club decided to still go out for our Christmas dinner celebration even though the winds were high. The big storm wasn't due to hit until after 10pm so we figured we would be home safely by then.

While I was gone, the power went off at our house so Stephen let the kids sleep in the living room. About 10:30pm, the gate and one section of our fence blew down and hit the side window to the living room but fortunately did not break the window (you can see where the screen was damaged by the fence in the picture):

Of course there was no school (or work) on Friday morning because more than a million homes were without power. We decided to take a look around and this is what we saw:

This tree was well over 100 feet tall and very thick. My friend lives directly to the right of the house where the tree stood. She did not allow her kids to sleep in their bedroom that night because she was worried about this tree. It fell the other way though. These people decided to sleep in their downstairs (on the other side of the house) that night. The tree fell at 1:30am, crushing their bed and crashing straight through to the garage.

This house is across the street from the park which backs onto the school yard. It was hit by 4 trees. You can see the blue tarp on the roof. Their car was also crushed and had just been towed down the street so that crews could get to the power lines and trees. The log in the lower right of the picture was a utility pole that had toppled but was already chopped up into three sections.

This is just one of many streets where the power lines were down and laying across the roads. This street runs perpendicular to the park. A person I know told me that earlier in the morning you could not even look down the street because of all of the trees.

By Saturday morning it was 57 degrees in the house. I took the kids to Safeway in the early afternoon (they had generators to power their cash registers but no lights in the store and they were not selling meat, dairy or frozen foods).

The rest of the day we just hung out, cooked meals on the grill and the power outage was seeming a little "old". Ash and Gar packed it in and decided to drive to visit his sister in Portland. They left us some duraflame logs and the propane tank to their grill since ours was running low. By early evening, the house was 51 degrees. We started burning the duraflame logs, hoping that we would not have a chimney fire because we do not use our fireplace at all. At 6:30pm, our neighbour across the street told us to come over because he bought a generator and had light and heat (space heaters). We went over and watched a dvd. We got home, bundled up and slept in front of the fireplace (which really did not give up much heat).

This morning it was 47 degrees in the house. On the way to church, I noticed that the Shell station had power (and 20 cars in line for gas). Some of the traffic lights were running on the main street. No power in church though. The power came back on about an hour after I arrived home from church.

Now, this week I will be finishing up my Christmas shopping and also re-stocking our emergency supplies. And calling a chimney guy to check out our fireplace and chimney to ensure it really is safe to burn logs. BTW, the wind-up radio I bought after 9/11 worked really well but I am going to buy one that lasts more than 15 minutes on a charge. I already had this one on my Christmas list, which I am sure now Stephen will consider buying me (before the power outage, he told me we did not need another one). :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Yet Another Winter Storm

A huge windstorm is on its way. The schools have canceled all after-school activities which includes Dex's 1st Grade Holiday Performance tonight. Gav's school has been without power since lunchtime. Tree branches are down all over the place. We are supposed to have our book club's Christmas celebration at a restaurant tonight but now some people are worried about driving along the parkway with all the tall trees dropping branches (or falling down).

Anyway, we'll see how the weather changes in the next four hours before I decide if I will venture out. And I suppose I should go and pick up some extra batteries after I get Jax and Dex from school.

Did you know

...that it is next to impossible to find a Harry Potter toy in stores when the movie is not in the theatres or newly available on dvd?

...that when you pick a tag off the Giving Tree you should consider that kind of thing?

...that dragging three children to 5 stores looking for out-of-date, impossible to find toys makes for three very grumpy children?

...that the duplicate Harry Potter toys that ones child received at a birthday three years before can come in very handy if you keep forgetting to sell them at your garage sale or putting them in the Goodwill box?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

We had our meeting with the school this morning. They did not say that Jax was not eligible for a 504. They said that the health plan provides the same protections as a 504 so a 504 was not needed. "The school district views the health plan and a 504 plan as the same thing" was repeated over and over again. The problem is that they are not the same thing and they do not provide the same protections.

In any event, rather than go ahead with the 504 evaluation, they have insisted that we now speak to someone from the school district's Special Services area. If they were so sure that Jax was not eligible, they would go ahead with the evaluation and deem him ineligible. Now it is apparent that they just do not want a 504 plan for him for other reasons. I think that their push to keep from evaluating Jax proves that he is indeed eligible.

This stress has given me yet another migraine. I will wait until the kids are home from school before I take some meds (Replax - similar to Imitrex) and then have a quick nap before dinner.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I spent much of today writing Christmas cards after promising myself that I was going to make Stephen do his share of them this year. I have left him about a dozen (his aunts and some high school friends). Hell, I will probably end up doing them tomorrow while he is at work so they will get done and mailed "on time". To be fair, he has decided to put together a dvd with photos from the past year and he has spent the last three nights working on it (you know you have to get those picture fades and transitions just right to go along with the music - or so he claims).

I had planned to go out Christmas shopping today but it was a torrential downpour most of the day and I really did not want to drag Cars around in that. So now I am down to one day to get the last few items that need to be mailed to Canada. Yikes!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We finished putting the tinsel on the Christmas tree tonight so I was able to take a picture (click each photo for larger images).

First, here are the boys decorating the tree:

Here it is with the lights on and after we put the tinsel on. Dex had a heyday with it (notice the globs here and there):

And here is the Pez Cabinet after I moved it to the other side of the living room:

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I almost lost my purse tonight. I left it in the bathroom in a store. Thank God it was still there. I was mostly concerned about losing my Green Card (I have to carry it with me at all times) but I also had money in my purse (I usually carry less than $20 and just use my debit card). I am so lucky.

Yesterday when Jax unpacked his backpack, there was a letter from the principal addressed to the parents of the students in Jax's class. The letter states that one of the students has a "severe nut allergy that can be life threatening if he/she is exposed to any form of nut products".

WTF?! He is allergic to PEANUTS, not "nuts" and any form of "nut products" will not do it, only PEANUTS will. I cannot believe this shit - she has just made things worse! There goes all credibility because now the letter is just plain inaccurate and therefore looks stupid.

The timing is suspect of course too. I have been pushing for this damn letter since August and now suddenly, on the Friday before Tuesday's meeting she sends this letter. The main point of contention over this whole ordeal has been that his health plan states that a letter will go home stating that he has a life-threatening peanut allergy and no such letter had been sent (until this piece of crap that came home yesterday). Aargh!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cosmo Moms

Last month I read this article about Cosmopolitan Moms who get together Friday afternoons for a drink after a hard week of taking care of the kids. ;) Ash, Laurie and I decided that we just needed to do this too so last Friday we met at Laurie's after school and had a glass of wine and some munchies and chatted while the kids watched a movie. We had so much fun that we decided to do it again today but this time we actually did drink Cosmopolitans. Yum! It was so fun and we have decided that it will be our Friday drink of choice.

Last book club, Laurie showed us so photos of her old boyfriends so Ash and I did the same today. It was a hoot. I found out that Ash had been engaged to a different guy before too! Oh my, the things you learn while sipping Cosmos. ;)

I finally have a handle on my Christmas shopping (thanks to online shopping). I still have a few gifts to buy and mail to Canada but these should fit in envelopes so no huge rush to get them in the mail by today (which I thought was the deadline but it is actually on the 13th).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This and That

Killjoy is just that.

It's a girl! (my brother and sister-in-law's baby-to-be).

Christmas is coming way too fast.

Now, I am off to bed with a wicked migraine. I hope the boys do not kill each other before Stephen gets home from work in an hour.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


After careful consideration, I created a great list of things for Jax, Dex and Cars for Christmas for his aunts/uncles to buy for them. There were things like board games, books, cd's etc - all reasonably priced. Stephen decided today that he is going to buy an xbox 360 so he emailed his brothers and asked if they would like to buy things like xbox 360 controllers and games for the boys and they said YES. It irritates me because now Christmas is going to be about a friggin video game system. I am MAD.

I don't care that he is buying an xbox 360. He says that is what he wants for Christmas (and he can get it with a small discount from work) but I don't want my children's christmas to be an xbox 360 christmas. It would be different if they were older and other toys did not interest them. I had some cool ideas like Stare! Junior, some Star Wars chapter books, blocks for Cars, Make Your Own Rootbeer for Dex, etc. All fun, non-tv screen/computer screen activities. I limit them playing time so what fun is it for them to get a xbox controller for Christmas when they are only allowed to play for 2x/week for an hour?

Anyway, I need to cool down, review my Christmas master list. Looks like the budget has been blown.

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

After looking at the rainy forecast for the next week, we decided to go ahead and get our tree yesterday. It is definitely no fun looking for a tree in the pissing rain.

We decided on an 8' tree this year so I had to put it against the wall where the PEZ cabinet stands. Which meant emptying the 300+ PEZ, moving the cabinet to a temporary location on the other side of the living room, and setting up the 300+ PEZ again. As you can imagine, this took quite a bit of time. I actually was not so smart when moving them and placed them all in two wicker laundry baskets so I had to re-sort them all again before putting them back. Next time, I will sort they by shelf.

Anyway, the tree looks great up against the that wall although my red tree topper blends into the red wall. I have been on the look-out for the perfect lighted star for the top of the tree. I haven't found it yet.

I put the lights up last night and today after school, the kids will put the ornaments up. I love the mish-mash look that the tree has after the kids have put like 5 purple glass balls side-by-side. I'll post a picture of the tree once the decorations and gobs of tinsel are up.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


We have started getting ready for Christmas. Stephen hung the outdoor lights today with help from Jax and Dex. I rearranged some furniture in the living room to make room for the tree that we will probably get next weekend. We should probably have gone today since it is not raining. We usually just get our tree from Home Depot.

Today the PTSA sponsored a "Christmas Shoppe" at the school where kids can go into the gym without their parents and buy gifts for them and have them wrapped. It is run by volunteers and proceeds go to the PTSA. Items ranged in price from 50 cents to $20.00. Jax decided that he did not want to do it but Dex did so we headed over after lunch. He had a budget of $5 for a gift for Stephen. There was nothing left besides some $3.50 candles and a $15 fake diamond necklace. He was crushed that he did not get a gift for his dad. I will have to take him out shopping next week to buy Stephen something.

There were also some teachers and parents in the library selling their tupperware, necklaces, knitted scarves and make-up stuff. Dex's teacher from last year has taken this year off work to help grow her Arbonne skin care business. She convinced me to take home samples and use it on my skin for a couple of days. She would not tell me the prices of the items until after I try them so no doubt they are expen$ive. But I am sure my skin will look great for the next three days.

One of Jax's teachers from last year and Dex's teacher from THIS year were selling scarves that they had knitted. Lots of pretty ones but overpriced IMO. Maybe I think that because I can knit and kept thinking that I could make those scarves for a lot less than they were charging.

Anyway, Jax's old teacher commented to me that she heard that Jax was having a great year at school this year. It seemed to me that she was very surprised by this. She is the one with whom he seemed to have a personality conflict with last year. He only ever got in trouble on the days that she was working and he used to come home a write little notes like "Mrs. XX is the worst teacher in the world!". She was also the one who told me that he did not speak to her in a respectful manner. He told me it was because she was mean and didn't like him. I used to scoff at that idea but later in the year I was not so sure. He definitely was not one of her favourites. At the end of the year he didn't want to give her a teacher's gift and very grudgingly signed his name to the card. I gushed to her that Jax was doing fantastic this year, and thanks for noticing. heh

Ok, time to get back to preparing for Christmas!

Friday, December 01, 2006

December already!

Yesterday, Cars and I went out and purchased a couple of Christmas presents so I can check a couple of things off my list. I stopped at an art supply store and picked up two "how to draw cartoons" books for Jax and Dex. Cars, who is usually so oblivious to what I am buying unless it is Pirate Booty or "Cars Yogurt" (soy yogurt), was very interested in what I was buying and who it was for. I told him it was going to be for his brothers but it was a surprise so don't tell them. The minute Jax got in the car after school, Cars blurts out "Mommy bought you a present of some kind of book and crayons but it is a surprise!". So, no more Christmas shopping with Cars.

And that Lego that Jax wanted for Christmas that is no longer available? Stephen insisted that we buy it off ebay anyway because this is probably the last year he will believe in Santa Claus so Stephen wants to make it special for Jax. I was able to find it for a somewhat more reasonable price (reasonable being subjective) and it arrived yesterday. It will be fun for Jax when he opens it on Christmas morning so that justifies the exorbitant price, right?

I finished my swap ornaments and have placed them in mailing envelopes but I cannot for the life of me find the stash of Christmas cards. I hate that! I was up in the garage rafters yesterday, teetering on the 8' ladder while peeking in all of the Christmas decorations/wrap boxes but still they eluded me. Looks like I will be heading out today to buy more because these are supposed to be mailed by today.

My parents were married 50 years ago today. I wish my dad were still here to celebrate it with my mom.