Monday, April 30, 2007

Remember those shoes that I bought for Stephen for his birthday? The weirdest thing happened when I returned them. I had purchased them at Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer has a rewards program and every four months they mail you some coupons worth some dollars off based on how much you have spent there. They also have some really good coupons like $5 off kitchen gadgets or 50% off one clothing or shoe item.

So, I had the 50% off coupon which I used when I purchased Stephen's shoes. So, the shoes were regularly $70 but I got them for $35. When I returned them, I expected to get my $35 (plus tax) returned to me, right? No! The lady explained that they could not give me another 50% off coupon (I figured so much) so the $35 that I had saved when I used the coupon would have to go on a Fred Meyer gift card and I could get the rest back in cash. HUH? I dont' get it. So I buy a pair of shoes for $35 and they give me $70 back when I return them? That makes no sense whatsoever?! I mean what is to stop me from going back with my NEXT 50% off coupon and buying a winter coat for $200, getting it for $100, then returning it for $200? So they are out $100!

I need to call Fred Meyer and see if this is really right. But I think I will wait until after I spend my $35 gift card.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Our dinner party last night was fabulous! A great time had by all! Stephen made a wonderful dinner (grilled lamb, tzatziki sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and grill asparagus). Appetizers were baked brie (one with phyllo and one without to accommodate a wheat allergy) served with my favourite crackers (Mary's Gone Crackers Black Pepper). Dessert were those fabulous wheat-free brownies (my sole contribution to the dinner) with a raspberry coulis and a small scoop of ice cream.

I had banished my children to the upstairs to watch a movie until bedtime and they a great job of staying upstairs and going straight to bed after they came down to say good night.

I was striving to make the table look "perfect" for dinner and I realized that I needed some flowers to go with the glassybaby votives in the middle of the table. I thought "I'll just cut a couple of tulips from the garden". Easier said than done. My brilliant idea of trying to climb the retaining wall using a plastic patio chair and nearly stabbing myself in the heart with the kitchen shears when I fell (not once but TWICE) was somewhat successful in that I was able to cut three white tulips (the rest were too far gone). However, getting those three tulips came at the cost of a 30 minute time-out from dinner prep whilst I bandaged my lacerations and abrasions then Stephen plucked 25+ splinters out of my hand which I received in my unsuccessful attempt to break my fall (I grabbed the very old and rotting wooden posts on the retaining wall). If only I had the camera running - I am certain it would be worthy of the $10,000 Grand Prize (if even for stupidity).

Anyway, after a good cry, I went to Safeway to buy myself MORE tulips. The table looked great and I had a good story to share with my guests (while Stephen just shook his head).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Tomorrow, I will be making wheat-free brownies for a dinner party. Of course I had none of the strange ingredients and had to buy them at Whole Foods (or "Whole Paycheck" as Margi referred to them - and she is not wrong!).

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The reason I asked about the colour of Dex's hair is that we had to apply for passports for the kids because we are considering a trip to Toronto this summer.

We went to the courthouse to apply and the person who was notorizing it told us that the passports would take 8-10 weeks!! They would arrive back past the date in which we had planned to leave. And the kids' birth certificates are attached to the application so we don't have those now either (ok, I do have an additional copy for each of them just-in-case).

Anyway, we had to use the "Expedited Service" the applications for a cost of $60 each. (on top of the regular passport fees!). And even then it is possible that the passports may take up to 4 weeks. YIKE$!

Bottom line, we might not be going to Toronto when I wanted to since Stephen refuses to by tickets unless the passports are in hand. That definitely will put a crimp in my Summer'O'Fun plans. :\
Guess who lost their two front teeth?



And a quick question - what colour is Dex's hair? Please post your opinion in comments section. I've asked ten different people and 5 answered one way while 5 answered another. I told them no "-ish" allowed. Think of what you would write on a passport application.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When Stephen was in university (well, I should clarify and say was an undergrad since his university career spanned over 10 years!), he said it was his goal to wear running shoes or "runners" to work every.single.day. This was in the mid to late '80s so at my part-time job in a bank, I wore wool skirts, silk blouses and blazers with ridiculously large shoulder pads. I always wore Hanes Silky Sheer in "Barely There" or "Barely Black" nylons and on my feet - 3-inch high, blakc, patent leather pumps. The thought that someone might wear runners to work seemed unlikely and so preposterous to me! I mean unless one was a gym teacher, who wore runners to work?!

Stephen's summer jobs were never what I considered conventional. He stripped phone wire for Bell Canada for a few weeks one summer (until Bell workers went on strike). He was then a quality control agent for an auto parts distributor, testing brake and signal lights. He worked in the campus bar at university. One summer, he worked for the Lottery Corporation where he drove around sticking 6/49 lotto stickers on the windows of every corner milk mart/variety store/drug store in the east end of Toronto.

And guess what? He wore runners for all of those jobs (though perhaps he might have worn construction boots for the Bell job...I cannot recall). He was happy. He was fulfilling his goal.

Graduate school brought new job opportunities. He taught a walking class at a university in Indiana (wearing runners, of course!). He was also a researcher where he sat at his desk, quite comfortable in his runners.

When he moved to Minnesota for his PhD, he worked in a research lab and his PhD is in Human Factors. The research lab was part of the school of Kinesiology (Gym, basically - ok, not really so no nasty comments, please!). Upon graduating, he continued to do research for the U. Again, no need for dress shoes or clothes. In all, seven more years of living his career goal.

Next came the move out here to the west coast where everyone is casual. He loved the idea of working for a Big Company where he could wear his runners. No way he could wear them to the companies where I worked over the years (bank, large insurance company, big blue computer company, financial advisor company).

All through the years, I have been trying to get him away from the runners. I tried to convince him to look at something other than runners in stores. Nope. He has never been interested. Non-runners were not part of the goal.

For his birthday, I decided to surprise him and buy some "dressy" runners with hopes that he would be something he would like. Ok, so they aren't really runners, but they kind-of sort-of look like them. They are leather and suede and would really, really good on him. No luck. He at least gave me the courtesy of trying them on but I know he was just humouring me. Back in the box they went.

So, really! Why have I been trying to get him to sway from his goal of wearing runners to work every.single.day? I am not sure. Perhaps at the beginning I was jealous that I was cramming my feet into pumps while he got to wear his Nikes. Even when my jobs became more casual (never so much that I could wear runners!), I was still trying to get him to try other shoes. And now as a SAHM, where I get to wear runners to work every.single.day (or I could if I chose to do so), I still want him out of those runners and into something "dressier".

I won't try it again. Really, I am proud of him for achieving his goal. He is proud that he has not had to sway from it. I'll let him wear his runners in peace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stephen's birthday is tomorrow so I spent today running around picking up things. He wants Nachos for dinner. From the local brew pub. I guess I can go in and order them to-go, right? I hope so.

My mother is feeling better and so her trip is on. She is going to shuffle her visit a bit. She'll stay with Jean-Paul and Marilyn (and baby-to-be) first then come here.

Ok, I am trying to blog and watch "Heroes" which I had dvr'd last night. I just found out that (whisper) OMG PETER DIED! So I have to go and pay better attention to the show!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

At our last book club, P. brought a birthday cake for me that said "You Rock" because I often joke that I (Friggin') Rock! It was a sweet gesture and I had a little piece of the cake. Well, apparently I thoroughly and completely offended P (according to D) because I did not take the cake home that night. Huh?! I did not realize that I was supposed to. I mean we were at book club and everyone just takes home what ever is left over from what they brought (is that sentence even the slightest bit grammatically correct?). So, it never OCCURRED to me to take the cake home.

Geez, I guess I friggin' suck!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dex had a baseball game today and we had to be there 30 minutes early. A few minutes after we arrived, another mom arrived with her son, who is on Dex's team. Then she looked around and said "Where is Tate?!". She started looking around frantically and said again "Where is Tate?!. I knew that look and that fear. I asked her quickly how old Tate was and what he was wearing. Tate is four and was wearing a jean jacket with a hood attached. I took off running, calling for Tate and scanning the crowds. The ball fields were jammed! Four teams (kids, coaches, parents and siblings!) arriving for two baseball games, plus two flag football games just ending and a soccer game. Cars and vans and trucks were driving around the parking lots and driveways. It was madness!

In a couple of minutes I found Tate walking behind the second ball diamond. I said "Are you Tate?" He looked at me warily and nodded. I told him that his mom was looking for him and that he should run back to the other diamond where his brother's team was. We ran back together but when I saw his mom, and she ran towards us, I stopped running. Then I burst into tears.

The same thing happened to me three years ago. We were at Jackson's t-ball game. Cars was a baby and in a stroller. Jax's team was playing t-ball on the soccer field and Dex was playing at the playground directly behind the field. Stephen and I were scanning the playground equipment what we thought was regularly when suddenly Dex was gone. Vanished! Stephen and I realized at the exact same moment and there was this crippling fear and we both stood there, paralyzed. We did not know what to do next. As with today, there were several games going on. Dozens of people wandering around. Everything was happening in slow motion. What do we do. I said "My son is missing!". It came out as a whisper. OMG, it was real. He was missing. I took a big gulp and said louder "MY SON IS MISSING!" Stephen was over at the playground, peering under the stairs and up the slide, as if he would find Dex hiding in plain sight. "MY SON IS MISSING!" A couple of moms came over and asked me what he was wearing and what he looked like. I felt sick to my stomach and felt as though I was going to faint.

Stephen had taken off running. Across the soccer fields (why do they play baseball on soccer fields?!) over to the school portables. He emerged between the portables with Dex in his arms. Dex had run clear across to the school portables and was playing between them. I never felt so relieved in my whole life. I cried - sobbed - with relief.

So, today when that mom was missing her son, Tate, I knew how she felt. That fear and disbelief. Thinking that any moment you will spot him and so forcing yourself to slow down and look harder and closer at all the groups of people. Wanting so badly to think that you were just scanning too quickly, that he is "right there" but you missed him the first, second, seventh time because you were looking too quickly, too frantically. But also knowing that he is just.not.there.

Because it has happened to me, I had made a decision. A decision that I would never just stand there when a mom was missing her child. Never. I have helped a couple of moms in the past but mostly the child was just right there (hiding under the stairs of the climber in the park or behind a bush). Sometimes I cannot do more than that because my kids are with me. Today, it was fortunate that Stephen was there and he had Cars and Jax (Dex was practicing on the field) so I could help that mom find Tate.

She grabbed Tate and hugged him hard. Then she took him to the car where I know she had a good cry. She came back when the game started and told me that she had made a decision. A decision that she would not just sit there when a mom said her child was missing. She told me that I was the only mom who helped her look (I hadn't noticed). That actually surprised and dismayed me. Really.

Anwyay, Tate was found. Dex's team played well and the sun peeked out for about 20 minutes. A happy ending.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A semi-warm day today. Spring?

I taught Art Start in Dex's class today. We studied Johannes Vermeer's "Milkmaid", concentrating on the light and shadows. Then the kids drew still life photos of some flowers in cobalt blue bottles with pears (I took the bottles in from my blue bottle collection). They worked with pastels which were actually very chalky. Anyway, it was fun and some of the kids really understood the light/shadow thing and it was exciting to see their results. I had to take Cars with me today which sucked because he was in the way a bit.

I freaked out a little when I went into the class to gather last month's project and it was GONE! The teacher gave it away to be showcased at the school district's resource center but I need it for the Art Auction night on May 10th! She promised it would be back by then. The kids studied Matisse's "Les Bêtes de la mer" and they cut paper sea creatures and glued them on the pages. They turned out really cute so I decided that those art pieces would be featured at the Art Auction. Anyway, I hope they are back on time! Please-please-please!

Tonight the PTSA was sponsoring a talk on "Stranger Danger". I had planned to but things got hairy after dinner. There have been a few attempted abductions around here lately and people are getting skittish - calling the police anytime a teal or white van drives by.

From sheriff's office:

"Citizens are asked to call 9-1-1 if they see a truly suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood. However absent some sort of suspicious activity, please don’t call 9-1-1 if only a white or teal van is seen, as this ties up call receivers and prevents other callers from reporting incidents."

Notes have been sent home from school so now my kids freak out when they see a white or teal van. The most recent letter from home mentioned a red van. Soon it will say beige, silver and grey and that will cover just about every van around here!

Anyway, I am sorry that I missed the talk at the school tonight. In the meanwhile, we'll just re-watch "The Safe Side" dvd and try to condition my kids to be cautious but not frightened of every van driving around.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More blather

Nothing new really. I took the kids swimming this afternoon (early dismissal) and then we went directly to Jax's baseball game. As much as I complain about baseball, I am enjoying watching the games at this level because the games are quicker than the coach-pitch and t-ball levels. Between the two kids we have 2 practices and three games each week and it is a lot, especially when Jax has to be at his games 1 hour early and Dex needs to be there 30 mins early. I wish it would warm up so I don't keep freezing my ass off every other day at the games/practices!

Tomorrow is our first MOPS meeting in over a month (last one was canceled due to snow then none over Easter/Spring break weeks. Our creative activity is YOGA! Ha - no craft to prepare. :) I still need to sort through 1000 silver beads though and start 55 bracelets for the May 3rd meeting (45 for the moms and 10 for the volunteers for babysitting).

Maybe I can get a couple bracelets started now...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Just Blathering

Our neighbourhood is finally getting the locked mailboxes this week. Only a year later than promised.

Jax started taking the WASL this week. Every morning for the next three weeks he will be writing this test. I know that a lot of people are not happy with this test and now the teachers are teaching to the test. Beth is very interested in this issue.

Terry is going to quit the club we go to and start going to Gold's Gym. I am so bummed. No work out partner! I hope this is not the end of my work outs. I really need some sort of accountability (i.e. meeting up with Terry) to get going. I did take my first Step class tonight and enjoyed it although I am a complete and utter klutz. Half the time I was facing the wrong way! Anyway, I will try it again next Monday and decide if I will keep going.

We filed our taxes today. Why on earth do we wait 'til the last minute every year? The minute the taxes were filed, Stephen ordered a new computer (from Dell of all places - friggin' Dell!).

My mom is starting to feel better (finally!). I hope she continues to improve because she leaves in just three weeks on her west coast tour (Edmonton, Seattle, Vancouver). I am looking forward to seeing her (I think the pneumonia took the Killjoy out of her).

In-laws are on their way to Houston tomorrow to visit MIL's sister who is gravely ill. Last week they actually thought that this trip might end up being a funeral trip but Stephen's aunt is hanging in there. She has lived in the States for over 50 years but wants to be buried back in Toronto with her parents. I am not sure why but I find that surprising. But if I think about it, I guess if I were to die I would want to be buried there too.

Cars needs a haircut soooo badly. As swimming lessons his hair is in his eyes all the time. Speaking of swimming, he no longer cries (as long as I buy him candy or chips afterwards). He actually caught some rings for the first time ever last week and today, he was strongly encouraged by the Swim N a z i to jump into the pool on his own (normally he insists that I walk him to the diving board and then he jumps almost into the arms of the swim teachers). I am really proud of him. And of the Swim N a z i for getting him to swim. She is firm with the kids, does not kiss the butts of the parents and she gets results!

I finally bought all (well almost all) of the supplies for MOPS crafts for the year. I am waaaay under budget this year because of the snow storms which canceled three meetings. And a fourth meeting (this week) we changed to a yoga demonstration. It is good that I am under budget because Hospitality is over budget (and still needs more money). I have some great ideas for next year and one craft already done (it was from a canceled snow day). Plus someone is co-chairing with me so it will be much easier next year.

Ok, end of the blather for today.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jax turned 9 yesterday. Wow - 9 is huge!!

To celebrate his birthday, he had a sleepover birthday party on Friday night. I really did not want him to have a sleepover but after looking at our calendar for the next month, we could not find a day that would accommodate a chunk of time for a party at some other place or even to a movie (baseball is killing me!). So, we decided on a sleepover on Friday night (both older boys skipped their practices for it).

Anyway, I had planned an Easter Egg hunt in the dark but it was POURING rain and several of the kids did not bring coats or pjs (just planned to sleep in their clothes) so that was out. Our house is plenty big for 5 people but not for 10 so it was certainly a tight when the boys wanted to run around. Anyway, we had pizza for dinner, cake and ice cream then Jax opened presents. We played 2 games of bingo until everyone won (this was painful because when we were playing 4 corner bingo, the second last ball was B4 which two of the boys needed in order to win).

After bingo, it was jammie time and they watched a dvd, then a couple of episodes of Spongebob and then it was lights out. I gave each of them a flashlight and a glow stick. Of course there were tears (tears!) because someone did not get the colour they wanted (mental note to only buy the SAME colour glow sticks if we ever do this again). The boys talked well past 11:30 (I slept on the couch in the living room) and the first awoke at 5:15! They were all awake by 6am! Stephen had to leave at 8:30 to take Dex to his baseball game. All of the kids were picked up by 9:30 which some parents actually grumbled to me was too early! Huh? My kids never sleep past 7am so I did not think it was too early at all, especially since we had a day of baseball to deal with.

Jax had such a great time. I am so happy that he was happy. Since yesterday was his actual birthday, after his game (3-6pm) we went to dinner at Red Robin and came home for more cake and presents from the family. I went to bed when they did (8:45 - they stayed up to watch "Survivor" which they could not watch on Thursday because of, you guessed it, baseball).

Here is a picture of the birthday boy in his uniform (and with his long, frizzy hair).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Stuff

Book Club last night was interesting. We were to discuss "Suite Française" by Irene Nemirovsky. I was looking forward to the discussion because I found it so interesting and the letters in Appendix 2 were fascinating. Well it turns out that several people did not even read the book! So the hostess gave a brief recap, we spoke for maybe 20 minutes about the book then talk turned to other things.

We had some good laughs but the dynamics of the group have definitely changed. There are a couple of people who do not like each other. As well as a couple of people that some find odd so you can definitely feel the tension at times. Two people were away this week too so we'll see how things are next month. Could also be that J was just serving drinks with liquor (Cosmos and some coffee-type martini) rather than wine which tends to mellow people out a little (geez, we sound like a bunch of lushes!).

Today, I was supposed to teach Art Start in Dex's class but Cars was up a lot in the night with croup (again!) and he has a cold. I feel horrible at having to cancel. We've rescheduled to next week.

Now I'm off to pick up balloons for Jax's b-day party. More on that tomorrow.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

IMDB Challenge

This is fun! I got it from Miss Arrogant's blog:

1. Think of 10 shows you currently watch or have liked over the years.
2. Find those shows at Internet Movie Database.
3. Copy down 3 Plot Keywords (they are mini descriptors of the show).
4. Make a list on your blog minus the actual show name.
5. Have visitors guess which shows they represent. No cheating!

Here are mine:

1) Mad Cow Disease/Courtroom/Social Commentary
2) Suburbia/Suicide/Plumber
3) Doctor/Hospital/Seattle
4) Roommate/Monkey/Insecurity
5) High School/Basement/Wisconsin
6) Advertising/Murder/Apartment
7) Memory Loss/Villain/Cheerleader
8) Detective/Jury/Social Commentary
9) Montage/Hit in Crotch/Slapstick
10) Awkward/Workplace/Pretzel

Let me know if you do it too so I can try to guess yours!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cosmo Wednesday

Guys are out for their wings night so Laurie, Ash and I decided to meet at my house at 5pm for dinner. Kids had McDs, we had salad with turkey breast and a Cosmo. It was fun. I really miss Cosmo Fridays.

Busy time this week which is completely stressing me out. Tomorrow I have a doctor's appt which I totally spaced on the time and my appt is shortly after the kids get out of school and no way for me to get there on time. Then we have to be back here for Jax's baseball game. What am I going to do? Aargh!

Tomorrow night is book club. I finally finished the book which I really did enjoy. Then Friday I have to teach Art in Dex's class and it is Jax's sleepover b-day party! Yikes!! I am running out of time!

Cars and I did manage to get some b-day party supplies for Jax today though. Stephen and I still cannot agree on a present. Jax might end up with nothing!

Monday, April 09, 2007

My mom spent most of her Easter in the ER. She had had a bad cold all week and when I called her in the morning to wish her a happy Easter, she was sobbing and saying she did not know what was wrong. I immediately called my aunt who told me that she was just about to go over to pick my mom up to take her to the ER. Turns out she has pneumonia (which took hours to confirm because she had to wait forever to get x-rays taken). Apparently when I called she was having a bad reaction to the Dimetapp with codeine she had been prescribed the day before. The doctor assigned to her case at the ER had been my dad's PCP for years before my dad got sick. The same doctor who kept telling my dad for years that he only had reflux /heartburn and told him to take more maalox. Turned out to be stage IV esophageal cancer. :\ He came in and told my mother that just the night before he was talking about my dad to someone. Anyway, I hope this pneumonia diagnosis is correct.

My Easter was much less interesting. It was a good day all-around. We got up early and went to the 7:30am Mass (Stephen even went with us - another Easter miracle!) and when we arrived home the boys hunted for eggs. The past few days have been mostly dry so our backyard bog is almost dried up which meant the kids could play out there. Stephen cooked dinner (turkey) and made the best gravy ever using some tips from the cooking lesson he took. I went to be at 7pm with a migraine. :( I was asleep by 7:30 but awoke at 11:30 and did not get back to sleep until sometime after 3:30. Aargh! I did get to read a huge chunk of my book ("Suite Française") for book club so I am no longer worried about finishing it on time.

Today, I am exhausted from the weird sleep so after swimming lessons I think Cars and I are going to come back here, curl up on the couch and I will read and he can watch a movie.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I am a procrastinator. I do leave things for the last minute and am I prone to put off things indefinitely that do not need to be done by a certain time. This explains the three 18" stacks of paper on top of my filing cabinet in our closet. All paid bills, medical records, receipts, warranty information, credit card offers, credit card cheques, etc. that needed to either be shredded or filed in the cabinet instead just sat there, getting higher and higher each month.

Today, I tackled the piles.

For 4 and a half hours, I sorted by bill type and receipt type. I put the "to be shredded" stuff in one pile and I shredded it all (I almost wore out the poor motor of our shredder - which had not seen any action in over two years - and I had to clear paper jams about 10 times!). Then I filed it all. I did not spend the time to put everything in date order but just jammed the items in the corresponding hanging file.

What I have not yet filed are the receipts from the insurance company that we get for every doctor's visit/service we receive. That pile is about 8" high itself. Stephen says I should just toss it all (well, I would shred it but I think it would kill the shredder). Going through all that information too was kind of a throw back. Cars' birth (yes, I was *that* far behind on my filing!!), Cars' emergency room visit for bronchitis when he was just 3 months old, Dex's speech evaluations and speech therapy sessions, tons'o'allergists visits for Jax (including the notes I took at one when the doctor said he will *not* outgrow his allergy), Stephen's sinus surgery, my breast biopsy and subsequent f/u mammograms). How can I throw all that out?! Do I throw it out? Do I keep it? What do I do with it?!

And I vow to file my bills/receipts at least once a month. I wish I could say I would do it weekly (or better yet - daily!) but I know better than to set myself up to fail. :)

Friday, April 06, 2007

One

Taken from Margi's blog:
You.
Can.
Only.
Type.
ONE.
Word.

(Not as easy as you might think.)

1. Where is your cell phone? bench
2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend/S.O.? man
3. Your hair? grey
4. Your mother? worrier
5. Your father? missed
6. Your favorite item? chocolate
7. Your dream last night? yes
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream car? fast
10. The room you are in? kitchen
11. Your ex? none
12. Your fear? spiders
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? comfortable
14. Who did you hang out with last night? family
15. What you're not? slim
16. The last thing you did? drink
17. What are you wearing? capris
18. Your favorite book? entertaining
19. The last thing you ate? kisses
20. Your life? fine
21. Your mood? neutral
22. Your friends? far
23. What are you thinking about right now? sleep
24. Your car? van
25. What are you doing at the moment? typing
26. Your summer? fun
27. Your relationship status? married
28. What is on your tv? fights
29. When is the last time you laughed? hours
30. Last time you cried? afternoon
31. School? Toronto

Copy.
Paste.
Answer.
Questions.
In.
ONE.
Word
Last day of spring break today. Stephen took the day off and we planned to do something fun for the kids. We decided early this morning to go to the zoo since it was going to be a glorious day. Apparently every other person in the Puget Sound area had the same idea. We arrived at the zoo about 10:45 - much later than I had anticipated but we had to stop at Safeway to buy some sun screen (as I mentioned - a GLORIOUS day!).

The first zoo parking lot is jammed packed and a huge line of people at the zoo entrance. The next parking lot is the same, as is that zoo entrance. The next lot was full too but finally at the 4th lot we found the very last spot. We got out and in line behind 75 other people. Stephen and I looked at each other and said "Forget this" and we turned around and went back to the car. We decided to try the Aquarium so we drove downtown Seattle. We spent 30 minutes looking for a parking spot. We tried the metered parking all along the waterfront but found nothing. We went in two parking ramps and drove around and around. They were both full. Forget it! We drove back to the Eastside and had lunch in Bellevue. Then we went mini-putt golfing and took the kids swimming at the club. Not exactly the day we had planned but it was good just the same.

We came home, ordered pizza and then Stephen mowed the lawn (heh).

Now for the shameful part of the day. I did not go to church. I did not take the kids to church. Good Friday and I skipped it! I feel so guilty! :(

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Y'know that bridge. The one that I don't like. Well, here are some of the reasons why not!
520 Bridge collapse 1 and 520 Bridge collapse 2

*gulp*

Ok, so we've done nothing exciting over this spring break. The kids have been skateboarding at the park a couple of days. They went to a b-day party yesterday and today Jax and Dex went on a playdate. As I mentioned, Cars still had swimming lessons and preschool this week.

Our lawn still is not mowed and I am terribly embarrassed about it. I am thinking of buying an electric mower so I can do it myself. I just don't know how to use the gas one (how to mix the oil and gas together and how to start it). Stephen is ADAMANT that he will not teach me how to do it. I am pissed off. Perhaps I will dig around the garage to find the user's manual.

I spent 2 hours today shredding stuff. Mostly old receipts but also some documents and those d*mn checks that the credit card companies send.

Jax has decided that he wants a Gameboy DS for his b-day and Stephen is considering getting him one. Um...no. He has a Gameboy Advanced already (rarely uses it) and I just don't think we need another game system in the house at the moment. I want to get him a new skateboard since his is a crappy one (was really a scooter but we did not install the handle on it). He *loves* it though because it has Star Wars on it but he really cannot make turns on it. Jax also wants an electric guitar and again, Stephen thinks it is a grand idea. *sigh*

Can you tell that this has been a contentious week at the Pez household?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

:'(

One of my worst nightmares:

Allergic 13-year-old dies after eating burrito

These deaths always frighten me. Teens don't like to seem different and take risks that they should not. So many anaphylactic reactions and deaths happen to teens because they take these risks. I can't say that I hope that Jax and Cars will know better because this girl knew better too. I just hope it never happens.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It is day 2 of spring break. We really did not do much yesterday. Or today. Cars still has swimming lessons and he still has school this week because his school follows the vacation schedule of another school district. I watched Ash's kids this morning while she went to physical therapy then the hairdresser came over and cut hair for me, Jax, Dex and Ash when she arrived after her therapy.

We have a b-day party to go to tomorrow so this afternoon we'll go out and get a gift. Cars wants to buy the boy a Star Wars transformer. He is just turning three so I think that just might now be the right gift. We'll see...

Ramona posted some photos on her blog from her visit here so go take a look.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spoiled Rotten

edited to add photos...

Well, I was utterly and completely spoiled rotten on my birthday. Stephen sent Ramona and I off for a pedicure in the late afternoon. My feet have never felt so soft or looked so pretty. Embarrassingly enough, the pedicurist broke two files while grinding down my rough heels! LOL

I bought myself a couple of "seconds" at Glassybaby as well as some of their "china babies" which were made in China and not the same quality that their hand-blown ones here are. The kids gave some to their Sunday school teachers today since it was the last day of class for the year. Ramona bought 13 china babies to give as gifts! I hope they survive the flight home in her luggage!

Here are my votives (three are glassybaby "seconds" and three are "china babies"):



Aren't they gorgeous? I want more (real ones, not seconds or the ones made in China)

My kids and Stephen all gave me a Pez dispenser (Nemo, Buzz Lightyear, Mike & Sully from Monsters, Inc.). My friend DeniSe knit me a beautiful afghan that is very cozy and goes nicely in my living room (it is red/gold/beige). Ramona gave me a very pretty cobalt blue vase.



Ramona left today. I took her to the airport and was able to chat with her right up until she went through the xray/metal detector. One of the TSA agents came up to me and asked me why I was "skulking around". I thought I was in trouble until I realized that she was flirting with me! LOL

Anyway, all-in-all I had a wonderful birthday weekend. I am so grateful for having such wonderful people in my life. From Stephen to my kids and my friends (especially Ramona!)! I am blessed.

Finally, here is a photo of Ramona and I taken on Friday night: