Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am enjoying Ramona's visit so much! Yesterday I had the day off (Stephen took a vacation day and did my job for the day) and Ramona and I spend the day shopping. I totally splurged and bought four pairs of shoes (Macy's had a rockin' sale). Ramona bought a ton of things and we are wondering how she will get it all home! LOL

Then we had a special Birthday edition of Cosmo Friday with Ramona, Ash, Glo and myself. We had appetizers and a drink there then went to a local restaurant where Terry met us and we ate and drank a little more. It was great fun!

Today (my actual b-day), Ramona and I are heading to Glassybaby because they are having a moving sale. She loved her votives and wants to buy more because she is going to a wedding next month and wants to give them as a gift too.

And on a scary note:

Two 12-year-old girls contaminate their teacher's coffee cup: Lip gloss was intended to elicit allergic reaction

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ramona arrived yesterday! It is so great to see her! We just hung out most of the day. Today we have planned to run to a few stores. I have one sick child who has a very sore throat but that should not impede our plans. He can just come with us. I might stop at one of the Minute Clinics to have him tested for strep. Oh great, now all of my children want to stay home "to play". Aargh!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Complaint Free World

I saw this mentioned today on Oprah -> A Complaint Free World.

I love the idea of it, but what on earth could I talk about on my blahg?!?!?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Do People Really Believe These Types of Email?

A gem I received today that made it past the yahoo spam filter...

Dear Friend,

My name is Mrs.Rosemary C King I am a dying woman who has decided to
donate what I have to charity through you.You may be wondering why I
chose you. But someone has to be chosen. I am 59 years old and was
diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago,after the death of my husband who had
left me everything he worked for.I have been touched by the Lord to
donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to charity through
you for the good work of humanity,rather than allow my relatives to use
my husband's hard earned funds inappropriately.

I have asked the Lord to forgive me all my sins and I believe he
has,because He is merciful. I will be going in for an operation,and I pray
that I survive the operation.I have decided to WILL/Donate the sum of
$15.5 (Fifteen Million, five hundred thousand Dollars)to charity through
you for the good work of the Lord, and to help the motherless,less
privileged and also for the assistance of the widows.At the moment I cannot
take any telephone calls, due to the fact that my relatives are around
me and I have been restricted by my doctor from taking telephone calls
because I deserve all the rest I can get.

Presently,I have informed my consultant about my decision in WILLING
this fund to charity through you. I wish you all the best and may the
good Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and always
extend the good work to others.If you are interested in carrying out
this task,i will inform my consultant, so that he can arrange the release
of the funds to you. I know i have never met you but my mind tells me
to do this,and I hope you act sincerely.I decided that 35% of this money
should be taken by you from the total sum upon the sucess release of
this fund, because I am now too weak and frigile to do things myself
because of my cancer.

NB:I sincerely know that a lot has been written about some SCAM coming
out of the world,but I assure you that this will never in any way
associated with that as you will be given the right to verify this directly
with the the finance company where the fund was deposited.

I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the
task is accomplished,as I don't want anything that will Jeopardize my
last wish, due to the fact that I do not want relatives or family
members standing in the way of my last wish.

Your sincerely,
Rosemary C. King


How convenient that she "cannot take any telephone calls, due to the fact that my relatives are around". What a joke!

And last week I apparently won a million pounds from Coca-Cola in the UK. I am so lucky! ;)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dex's baseball game was canceled due to rain 11am. At 11:15 the skies cleared and now the sun is shining brightly. Oh well...

Stephen still has the flu but he left this morning on his trip. I called him patient zero and asked him how many people he might expect to infect along the way. I am sure tomorrow he will be feeling better but today? He really should not be traveling.

I did not make it to church this morning because I had to run to Safeway to get him some medication to take with him since the Theraflu he had been drinking comes in 8oz bottles only and it would not be allowed on the airplane. I wonder when companies will start coming out with smaller bottles to carry on because of the airline restrictions? I would love Benadryl to come in smaller bottles because lugging around 4oz bottles in case of emergencies is not very convenient.

Anyway, I did take the kids to their religion class after Mass though. My friend Jane gave me the name of a pediatric optometrist where I could take Dex for testing. I wonder if I should go that route vs a pediatric ophthalmologist. Jane said that ophthalmologist she went to did not detect her son's lack of 3D vision. I dunno...I guess I could do both, right?

Friday, March 23, 2007

The auction last night was a lot of fun. Of course I did not win the boys' class projects at the live auction. The starting bids were $100. Dex's class project (the one with the hands on the wooden game bench) went for $450. Jax's class project went for $650! Here is a picture of that one. It really is lovely.

I came home to find Stephen in bed with a bucket. He has the flu. Ugh. And he is to go on a business trip tomorrow. He has to fly to Detroit and then an hours drive. Not fun if you've got the flu.

Baseball season starts today. Jax's game should be on since the rain has now stopped. Dex has his first game tomorrow.


I am feeling better today. My back does not hurt as much and I am much better spirits. I think those back pills make me feel depressed!

It is pouring rain today. Cars and I went to Costco where I splurged and bought my self a 14-piece cosmetic brush kit for $21.97. It has a foundation brush which I wanted plus all of my brushes are probably 15-20 years old. A Estee Lauder foundation brush is $35 so I figure that I got a good deal.

I also had to find snacks for Jax's baseball game tomorrow as it is our turn to bring the snacks. Costco is really not the place to look for food when you are trying to avoid buying large quantities of snacks that are peanut-free and milk-free. I did pick up juice and some bubble gum for the players. I will have to go shopping at Safeway tomorrow for the rest.

Speaking of baseball, I imagine Declan's practice will be canceled since it is pouring rain. Jax's practice is on artificial turf so it will not be. I will be at the school auction tonight so Stephen will have to handle all three boys in the pouring rain.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I woke up in a blah mood today. It is grey and overcast. I have a chronic back/neck ache and I had to take a muscle relaxant last night but it did do anything but make me super tired and sleep though my alarm clock.

I am feeling a little stressed with all the busy-ness that is upcoming. Baseball is stressing me out already and the season hasn't started yet (starts Saturday).

Ok, off to get the boys from school.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nothing new really. Just busy with day-to-day stuff.

Yesterday we had snow, hail, rain, sun, thunder and then of course more rain. The sliding doors on my car were frozen shut this morning. I hate this time of the year when it is 45 degrees one day,65 the next, then back to 45.

I bought a pair of jeans and a jean jacket at Value Village because I wanted to BeDazzle them for the auction on Friday night. I BeDazzled the pocket flaps on the jacket and it looks nice. Tomorrow evening a group of us are having a BeDazzler party at Ash's to prepare for the party. I'll BeDazzle my jeans then.

I bought some glassybaby votives that arrived smashed in a million little pieces. Fortunately, the UPS guy had not yet driven away so I ran the box out to him and refused it. The company apologized profusely and said that they rarely arrive broken and promptly sent me out replacements. They arrived a couple of days later and they are gorgeous! (Ramona don't read this whisper: they are a wedding gift for Ramona - only 16 months late!).

And speaking of Ramona, she will be arriving in a week's time! I am so looking forward to seeing her.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Notes to self:

1) Install filtering software on computer children use (in full sight of me) in case I leave the room for a few minutes.
2) Change computer password.
3) Do not let friend's child "google" anything ever again on our computer. Ever.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Another cry-free swimming lesson for Cars although it was questionable whether he would make it or not. The promise of Cheetos kept the tears at bay.

I had a conference with Dex's teacher today (report cards came home on Friday). She had originally sent a note last week saying no conference was needed but I wanted to ask her about his effort (major problem at home and in past years at school) and his reading. The the report card came home and he was not at standard with writing either. Shouldn't it be automatic conferences if kids are not at standard mid-year?!

Anyway, we started chatting then she said that she thought that Dex needed his eyes checked. Would she have told me this if I had not requested the conference?! I mean if she thought there was a problem, why did she not email me or mention it to me when I was in the class teaching Art Start? Hmmm...

So, we need to work on his handwriting too which I guess is not up to snuff. It seems hard for him too because he is a lefty and his hand covers what he has already written. His left hand is always filthy from being dragged across the pencil scratchings on the page. Stephen has really, really bad handwriting so perhaps Dex inherited the "chicken scratch" gene?

On a positive note, the teacher said Dex often thinks of things that other kids do not. She loves that he insists that he must "exercise" his brain everyday. He is very compassionate and wrote a story called "The Hard Thing" about how he had to approach some of his friends in class to ask them to stop teasing a girl in their class. He was worried they would not be friends with him anymore.

Jax's report card was good. He is a delight to have in class. Stephen said the teacher just wrote that because she is afraid of me and wanted to ensure I did not request a conference.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cosmo Friday was good. It was a gorgeous day so we invited a couple other moms and their kids so there were 5 moms and 11 kids. The kids played outside a lot of the time on their scooters and ball hockey in the driveway.

Yesterday we invited Ash and her family over for dinner. Stephen made a corned beef dinner with boiled potatoes and cabbage. I never thought I would say this but the corned beef was very yummy. It was a standard dish in our house growing up and I hated-hated-hated it. Probably because my mother would boil all of the flavour out of it.

Today we are just having a lazy day. I might run to Value Village to find a pair of jeans to Bedazzle for the school auction on Friday night (the theme is "Denim and Diamonds" or rhinestones in my case!).

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy Friday!

Here is a photo of the auction project that we worked on for Dex's class project. The school auction fundraiser is next Friday night.

The handprints go all around the toy box/bench.

Cosmo Friday is ON today because none of Dex's coaches can make it to tonight's practice. Whoo-hoo!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

There is a very good article in Child Magazine this month called Allergy Nation. The article does a great job of explaining what parents of child with food allergies deal with as well as how the children themselves cope. Also, it mentions how parents of non-allergic children often don't get it or feel bullied into not feeding their children the particular allergen.

The article also addresses the fact that some parents have filed civil rights complaints with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) which is where the 504 plans come into play. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Two nut-allergic children in the Union County, NC, public schools were found by the DOE to have been harassed in separate incidents at Antioch Elementary School and Sun Valley Middle School. Among the shocking findings investigators documented: a parent of a nonallergic child announced at a PTO meeting that he'd continue sending his child to the elementary school with peanut butter sandwiches and tell his child to "smear" the peanut butter along the hallway walls.

Can you imagine?! Telling your child to intentionally harm another child?! It is outrageous but sadly what happens and what we might have to deal with. Recently, I saw a photo of a milk-allergic boy covered with hives after having a straw full of milk spit at him at school by another kid. (if you are interested - click here and then go to slide #7 (takes a minute to load)). The accompanying transcript can be found here (scroll down to pg 28-29).

Again, I know the 504 plan will not keep Jax (and eventually Cars) 100% safe but it ensures that we are doing all we can to keep him safe and live a relatively normal life. And it makes the schools responsible for providing a safe learning environment for them.

One sad note in the article cites a study that found children with peanut allergies have a lower quality of life that children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. How sad is that? :(

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cars made it through his swimming lesson without crying. He was on the verge several times but he pulled through and was able to buy some candy afterwards. He is very proud of himself. I wonder if this "incentive" (thanks Kimmer :) will work everytime.

Tomorrow's MOPS craft are thread eggs. Super easy. Super cheap! And very cute! I need to make more tonight as samples.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I took Dex to the allergist today. He has a sinus infection and he needed prescriptions renewed since allergy season is starting. I booked the visit at the Seattle office since I could not get an appointment at the regular office until the end of April (I called two weeks ago!). And it only took me 31 minutes to get there! It was incredible. No traffic and I think I only had to stop at 2 red lights the whole way. When I took Cars to the same office in January, it took 70 minutes! Anyway, since we were early they took us early (that office is so NOT busy) and we were out just a few minutes after the regularly scheduled appointment time! Now, if I knew it would always only take me 30 minutes to get to Seattle, I would never go back to the regular office again!

Ramona arrives in two weeks for my birthday week. Yes, I have decided it will be a week of celebration. Stephen told me I was spending waaaay too much time thinking about my birthday but I told him that when else is my bff going to be in town with me on my actual birthday to celebrate? Probably never again in my life! So, I have to make the most of it. I keep reminding him that he is responsible for the kids *all* day on the day that Ramona and I are going shopping and other fun stuff (still in the planning stages).

Monday, March 12, 2007

I don't wanna go to thwimmin' leth-thonth!

Day 1 of swimming lessons and the crying has started again. He was wailing, "I don't wanna go to swimming lessons!" over and over again as I drove there. He cried when I put in the pool until she told him "NO CRYING IN MY POOL". Then the crying turned to a whimper. He did blow bubbles when she asked him to but he would not put his face in the water (she will push them in if they do not). She has a very hard approach but she is effective. She rightly says that this is a life skill they need to learn and she will not pamper them.

Anyway, I told Cars I would buy him candy (nice bribe) after every swimming lesson that he does not cry. So, he did not get candy today but he said he will try not to cry on Wednesday because he really wants some Sweetarts!

Jax and Dex have their after school Legomation class. If I could be sure that Dex would not forget, I could stay home and have a nap. But, since he forgot last week and I intercepted him on his way to the park, I need to go to the school to ensure he gets to the class on time.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Plastic Info

For Kimmer:

Here are a few articles to start with:

Personally, I know that we cannot get rid of plastics entirely in our kitchen, but doing a few little things (getting rid of the plastic plates and cups) is a good start. I am using more plastic containers to send food in with the kids rather than plastic ziploc bags and plastic wrap. Not ideal but, like you said, using glass is not practical for lunch.

Hope that helps!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I have been doing a little research about plastic cups and bowls and storage containers, and how plastic can leech into food. So, I have decided to get rid of the plastic cups, bowls and plates in our kitchen. I only use them for the boys but started to think that since they are all old enough, we'll now graduate from plastic to something else. Today, I went to the Corning Ware outlet and bought some Corelle plates (2 sizes) and bowls for the boys. I also bought some juice glasses (which, btw, are extremely hard to find). Tonight, I ordered some anodized aluminum cups from

My next goal is to slowly replace our Gladware and Ziploc plastic containers with Pyrex (or similar) glass containers. Of course I will need to keep some of the plastic but I will not store food in the freezer or fridge in it. To change over, it will be expen$ive so I will do it slowly - instead of buying new plastic when I need it, I'll buy glass, stainless or ceramic.

Now, I know not all plastic is bad for you. Numbers 5,4 and 2 are supposed to be ok. Of course Stephen loves taking his lunch in the #7 collapsible Rubbermaid containers that we have and I cannot convince him to give them up. Hmmm, maybe they will accidentally be washed on the lower rack in the dishwasher and the lid will shrink and not fit? ;)

Plastic is such a big part of our everyday life. Plastic on food, plastic seals on bottles, the damn impossible-to-open hard plastic clamshelss around everything from inkjet cartidges to batteries and small electronics. Those things clamshells are so hard to open that someone has even invented a tool to use on them! Even though consumers complain about them, retails love those clamshells because they help deter theft. No kidding!

The biggest problem with plastic is that most of it is made from oil. Oil that we we just cannot afford to be using and wasting by making into things like plastic clamshells and plastic grocery bags. So, by cutting out some plastics, I am helping conserve oil, right?

BTW, I am not saying that plastic is bad but I just do not think that my kids need to be eating it.

And I also do not want them to be eating high fructose corn syrup. We are working on that too...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Off to book club shortly. I am currently making an Artichoke Dip. This is not the same one that I had been making for Cosmo Friday but this one looks really good too. I found the recipe at IOW for those of you who know what that is. I was at Costco the other day and noticed a big block of the Dubliner cheese mentioned in the recipe so I bought it. That cheese is soooo good! I bet this dip will rock too!

I went to the doctor today for my annual exam. We have decided that I need to have surgery to fix the incisional endometriosis and have tentatively scheduled it for June or July. Because the pain seems to be worst during ovulation, he wants to do the surgery mid-cycle to take a look at my ovaries too. Of course with my worst-case scenario, in my mind I am already imagining that the laproscopy will result in a full hysterectomy or something. :\

Time to fix my make-up before book club since my eyes watered so badly while I was grating the onions for the dip. I look like Marilyn Manson!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I finally was able to get a hold of the swim teacher so I've added six more entries to my March calendar (swimming lessons 2x/week for Cars). The calendar is even more colourful now.

It rained most of the day and was muchcooler than yesterday but the skies are blue now. I hope it is nice tomorrow. Several of my trees have blossomed overnight! The grass needs mowing although the backyard bog will not allow for it for at least another month when it dries up some more.

I just baked some Butter Tarts because I have a hankering for something sweet but I am not eating chocolate. They are still cooling but I tried a couple while they were warm. Not as good as the ones I remember from the bakeries back home but still very good. Mmmmm. I just used a store-bought pie crust so perhaps that is the problem. I have never made pastry from scratch - it scares me!

Stephen is at the cooking class that I purchased for him for Christmas (a one-on-one session with a professional chef). I hope he has a good time.

I finished our book club selection for this month - "Ender's Game". I was a little disappointed with the end but I wonder if it is just because I was rushing through it to make sure I finished. Several people in book club have hated this book so far and one has already stated that she will not read it so discussion tomorrow night should be interesting.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ok, after swearing to myself I would not do it again, I signed up to do creative activities/crafts for my mom's club for next year. Why oh why? Because I felt guilty because no one else had stepped forward. I did say that I would not do it alone next year then someone else in the steering committee meeting said she would do it with me but she did not want to do it alone either so at least there is someone else to do half of it. Another person offered to do prep work so it will be much easier next year. And I have several ideas for crafts for next year so it will be a breeze, right?

Today was a gloriously warm day. It was 70F! After school, the kids played at the park for 1.5 hours. Hard to believe that we had SNOW only 5 days ago.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Marching Onward

I spent this morning updating my March calendar with all the baseball practices and games so I thought I make take Katie's idea and post our March calendar here:

Blue highlighted days = no school (although note that March 2nd day off was canceled to make up the snow days this year)
Green = Jax activities (mostly baseball this month)
Orange = Dex activities (mostly baseball this month)
Yellow = Cars
Pink = Moi (although not all of my stuff is highlighted)

Also on the calendar are birthdays (including mine!), scheduled meals to deliver, doctor appointment, out-of-the-ordinary picking up/dropping off kids, BFF arrival date(3/28!), School Science Fair, sticky note of questions about swimming lessons, etc...

Not on calendar: RE classes (every Sunday after Mass), book club (second Thursday of every month), my regularly scheduled work outs (Mon/Sat), anything of Stephen's (he does not use this calendar).

I guess it is not that bad. Just the end of every week with baseball practices then baseball games AND practices towards the end of the month. Jax and Dex's practices are on the same day (diff times) until the end of the month then they are are the same time but different fields about 1 mile apart.

Thank God Cars isn't playing baseball yet!

edited to add that I use a calendar by MoreTimeMoms. It is called the Family Organizer. I have purchased this organizer for the past 4 years and I love it! Big squares to write a lot of activities. They are a Canadian company but ship to the States too.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Stephen broke my grandmother's sugar bowl today. I was so upset. He did not do it on purpose but he was not nearly as gentle as he should have been with something that is 80 years old OR that is breakable. He's glued it together but you can still see the crack. I want to cry again just thinking about it!

Anyway, after that I just left the house and went to Costco myself. Not a good time to go (Saturday around lunchtime when everyone is there to fill up on the free food samples). But I was able to look at what I wanted and not be rushed.

I skipped working out today and had a nap this afternoon instead. Not quite an even trade.

Now I am off to bed to try to get a handle on this book club book (Ender's Game).

Friday, March 02, 2007


I am so glad that this week has come to an end.

We had snow yesterday so the boy's school start time was delayed a couple of hours. Cars' preschool was canceled. The nearly 3 hours I spent preparing the craft for my mom's class was all for naught because MOPS was canceled (not sure if we will be able to do this craft at some other time or not...).

Yesterday, I woke up with a migraine and had to take some meds which of course helped but not without the side effects (tightness in throat and chest) and then later I had a migraine "hangover".

I was on hold with the mail-order prescription company for over 30 minutes because they said they could not put prescription labels on the individual epi pens, only the boxes. They can do it and they have done it in the past but you have to ask them to put in a "manual" renew rather than an "automatic" one but I have to explain this to them every.single.time.

Anyway, today will be better...

I have to drop off a package at the school with an emergency kit for Jax for emergency preparedness. The kit consists of an epi pen, Benadryl and some peanut-free nutrition bars. Then off to the mall to pick up my new wallet (the one that Stephen bought me for Christmas is defective so I had to order a new one. The style of the one I had has been discontinued (problems with the beads falling off perhaps?!) so I had to order a different one. Then perhaps to Victoria Secret to use the gift card I received for Christmas (plus I have a coupon).

Then, I will take Cars to the Lego store to look around. Then back here to pick up the kids and go to Laurie's for our LAST Cosmo Friday. Yes, LAST! Boo-hoo! Dex's baseball practices start next week and they are on Fridays at 4:30pm (Laurie's son is on the same team)! So Cosmo Fridays will be on hiatus until mid-June when baseball ends. Wah!

And tomorrow is Saturday. No lunches to pack. No rushing kids out the door. No homework to do (although we do need to start on science fair projects). I can sleep in until 7:30!