Thursday, August 30, 2007

Summer o'Fun Day 2007 Day 48

Dex and Jax met their teachers today. Dex got one of the two 2nd grade teachers that I wanted for him. Yeah! Jax's teacher seems very nice. I have heard a lot of good things about her and only one person who knew of her did not like her (funny enough, it was the same person who told me that she did not like the teacher whom Dex had last year, who turned out to be the perfect 1st grade teacher for him! So I need to take the comment about Jax's teacher with a grain of salt). Anyway, in Jax's class, I was happy to see a little sign that said "Peanut Allergy Present - please be considerate". It was better than nothing.

All of my friends with 4th graders managed to avoid the one mean teacher, except for L's dd. However, L's dd is a very good student and a great kid so I am sure she will do fine in that class.

Now that the boys are older, I have arranged with two other moms for our kids to walk to school together. Jan's kids live in the cul-de-sac behind us so they will meet my kids at the corner and they will walk around to the water tower to meet A's kids (and possibly's I.'s son. Then they will all finish walking to school together. I will walk with them the first few days (or at least part of the way) to ensure that they keep up the right pace to get to school on time. It will make it so much easier on all of us to have them walk. I have ordered a new rain coat for Jax (Dex will get Jax's old one). I need to get them some all-weather mocs and they will be all set for the rainy season!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is Summer over yet?

Well, I did not meet with Jax's teacher and the nurse yesterday. We are meeting on Friday (the day after the Meet'n'Greet which irritates me to no end but I am going to stay open-minded about it and trust that all will work out and that on the first day of school no one will bring peanut butter or peanuts. Of course the classroom will not be peanut-free but hopefully at the Meet'n'Greet, the other kids and parents will realize that Jax is in the classroom and not send in those items. ~hoping~

I know who Jax's teacher's name but I don't know her. She taught 2nd grade last year and apparently had a kid with food allergies in her class last year (don't know if it were a peanut allergy or not). At least I know she is trained to use Epi Pens.

Dex was upset that he did not find out early who his teacher is. Poor middle child. ;)

The book I am reading for book club is very interesting (The Book of Joby). It is very long though - 638 pages! The woman who picked it knows the author and he might come to our meeting in September. That would be cool...well, as long as everyone loves it and doesn't trash the book! Anyway, I am enjoying the book. Read the publisher description here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Summer o'Fun Day 45

Well, the last week of summer. Nanny came this morning while I ran out and bought some back-to-school clothes for the boys. Well, mostly for Jax. Dex is between sizes so I need to take him out with me to buy him some pants. Cars has enough clothes already with some hand-me-downs and some long-sleeved t's I bought on clearance at Old Navy back in the spring. All of the boys need shoes but we'll probably do that on Friday or Saturday.

Tomorrow I am hoping to meet with the school nurse and Jax's new teacher to hand over the Epi Pen and discuss the health plan/504 plan. The nurse told me that she will not be at our school this year but will be there tomorrow to hand over stuff to the new school nurse. Jax is praying that he does not get one particular teacher who seems like a real bitch (my words, not his). If he gets her we will just have to deal with it but I hope that I worded his placement form in such a way that he will get one of the other teachers. They also have to add another 4th grade teacher and I have heard it maybe that a teacher from another grade moved up. We'll see...

Ash is taking her kids to the river tomorrow to swim and float with tubes. I have qualms about my kids swimming in the river - probably because I worry about the current and I am not a strong swimmer. Anyway, we'll bow out tomorrow but it will be HOT on Wednesday so we'll head to the beach that day. Cars received a "Pirates of the Caribbean" sprinkler for his birthday so the kids can splash in that. Whoo-hoo.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We were in Target a few weeks ago looking to buy a high-back booster seat for Carson because I did not want to lug his huge car seat with us when we went to Toronto. Anyway, Stephen and I were discussing the Graco Turbo Booster (we have one that used to be a high back but we threw out the high back a couple of years ago and now we use it as a regular ol' booster). A woman walked up to me and interrupted us to tell us that we should unequivocally consider another brand because Graco booster seats suck. You see, she dropped hers and it broke and Graco refused to replace it for her. She apparently believes that dropping a car seat is not the same as a collision so it should not have broken. It took everything I could muster NOT to roll my eyes at her.

Anyway, I was just thinking of this little interchange today as I buckled Carson into his Graco Turbo Booster (high back) and I had a little chuckle.

As I was writing this, I started to wonder how many cars seats/booster seats I have purchased over the years. Let's see...hmmm....I think 8. I bought an infant car seat that both Jax and Dex used. A convertible car seat that they both used. A convertible car seat/booster seat for Jax which totally sucked because the strap adjustments were BEHIND the seat. That one did not last long. Then we bought a high back booster that converts to low back (and up to 100 pounds). We are still using that one - it is the spare booster in Stephen's car.

When Cars was born, I borrowed an infant carrier car seat because I did not want to spend another $100+ on a seat that he would use for five months, max (my kids always outgrew their infant car seats early because they were so long/tall). I borrowed it from a friend who is about the most safety-conscious person I know so I had no worries about it having been in an accident (she later used it for her baby who was born a year after Cars).

I then purchased a convertible car seat for him and now he is in a high back booster (that will convert to backless). Somewhere along the line we also purchased two more backless boosters. So that makes a grand total of 8 car seats/booster seats purchased. I think we are good to go until Cars will be tall enough (4'9") to be able to be buckled in without a booster. Right now, they are all still in boosters. Jax has another inch or so to go until he is 4'9". Our state's law is 8 years OR 4'9" AND 80 pounds.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yeah! A hot summer day! The kids and I ran a couple of errands then headed to the beach at the lake for the afternoon. It was crowded! Everyone was taking advantage of one of the last summer days.

Afterwards, we headed to Laurie's for Cosmo Friday. :)

This weekend the kids have birthday parties to attend and I think we'll go to the club too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer O'Fun 2007 Day ??

I took the kids to the locks today. It is a summer tradition to go there, eat a picnic lunch on the grass and then watch the boats going through the locks. Today, it was especially exciting because they moved a car ferry through the locks. It had to be pulled by a tug boat into the locks while another tug boat "pushed" from behind. The ferry was so big it seemed to barely fit! I know that I was much more excited about it than the boys were.

After a quick trip to check out the salmon, we then drove to Archie McPhee's so the boys could buy some fun stuff. A back scratcher, oversized feet, Star Wars bandaids, pirate figures, plastic bowling set, and a devil duck - all things we need in the house. ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summer O'Fun 2007 Day xx

Cars' b-day party at Build-A-Bear Workshop today was great. Cars had such a fun time.

The kids got to pick out their bears and they played games while they took turns stuffing them. Then the kids all made a wish on a heart for Cars and all of the hearts went into his bear. The kids picked the clothes and the BaB people helped the kids dress their bears.

When the kids were all done, they took a photo with all of the kids and their bears. Cars also received an extra little bear that each child can sign for him - a birthday keepsake. I was really impressed with it and Cars loved it! Ok, so I don't feel so bad about not having a grand b-day party at our house like I have always done for the older boys when they were Cars' age.

Oh, and Jax was fever-free when he woke up this morning. His fever/illness lasted exactly the same length of time that Cars' did - 2.5 days.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer O'Fun 2007 Day ?

Jax is still sick. I hope his fever breaks by tomorrow morning because Cars' b-day party is in the early afternoon and Stephen has a physical at the same time so he cannot change it at this late date or we'll be charged for a missed appointment.

Good news though is that the sun is supposed to come back. We've been home for 3 days and it has been pouring rain most of that time.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I am still trying to get used to being back on West Coast time.

Today was the golf tournament and Dex and Jax were signed up to play. However, Jax still has a fever and is achy and sore so only Dex participated. He did not do well at all but he had a really good time anyway.

Tomorrow I have to finish putting away all the vacation stuff we dragged home and get ready for Cars' b-day party on Wednesday. We are going to Build-a-Bear workshop then back here for cake. I promise to give him a good party next year. I swear!

edited to add Photos

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Overall, we tried to make our trip to Toronto a VACATION. For any of you who go "home" for a "visit", you will know there is a distinct difference between a trip and a vacation. We really made sure that we made it fun for the boys. It was also nice to go to Toronto as a tourist and do things that we might not do if we lived there.

Thursday - Travel (long detail below if you aren't bored yet*)
Friday - trip to the Dollar Store to buy toys for the boys. Dinner at The Keg with my mom and Stephen's parents. This is the same restaurant that Stephen and I went on our first day - nearly 21 years ago.
Saturday - My aunt's 70th birthday party at my mom's house. All three of her children came and it is the first time in over 5 years that her sons have seen each other because they have been fighting. I was happy for her, even if they boys did not talk to each other (when I say boys I mean men in their mid-40's).
Sunday - dinner at Stephen's parent's house with his uncle and aunt and one brother and his family. The other brother's family were away at a soccer tournament for their dd.
Monday - Visited the street named after my dad. Visited Ramona and Greg and saw their new house (it's wonderful!), stopped at the cemetery to see my dad's grave (Cars told my MIL "We went to visit Papa, who is dead and in the ground, to say hi. He did not say hi back to us because he is dead and in the ground".)
Tuesday - Niagara Falls. A nearly *4* hour road trip (it should not have taken more than 2). Apparently a billion people decided to go to Niagara Falls that day or cross the Rainbow Bridge into Niagara Falls, NY that day which backed up all traffic trying to get to the Falls. The kids had a great time on the "Journey Behind the Falls" and on the "Maid of the Mist" (click here for details on both).
Wednesday - I was sick part of this day. Mostly because I had eaten non-stop since arriving in Toronto. So Stephen took the boys downtown Toronto to see the CN Tower. Long lines meant they did not get to go up the skypod but they really enjoyed the glass floor on the observation deck. Wednesday evening I went to dinner with Ramona, Alicia and Sharon. I will write more about this another day, I think.
Thursday - Denine's break-down day. I am still not quite sure what happened but I know the trigger was the garbage situation in Toronto. It is so stressful trying to figure out just what garbage can do where. Anyway, I think mostly it had to do with my mom getting older and also feeling as though we were disappointing people again even though we spent a lot of money and time on our visit. Saying NO has always been hard for me and always comes with guilt about disappointing others or feeling selfish for not doing what they want. Sorry that you filled your fridge with food and we did not eat it all. Sorry that you wanted to cook us a turkey or prime rib dinner and we did not have time to be at two different houses for two different feasts the same night. Sorry that we did not get to see your new house/new car/new dog/new whatever whomever you are. Sorry I cannot have dinner/coffee/tea/lunch with you during our very limited time home. And it was not just about the people we were visiting either. Stephen and I were at odds about going to take the kids the next day for a "big" end to the vacation.
Friday - The Ex. I always had great memories of the big end to summer was a visit to the CNE/Ex. It was the first day so we were expecting it to be just packed but it seemed like there was no one there! No waiting for any of the rides on the midway so the kids went on the same rides 4, 5 and 6 times in a row if they loved it. We definitely got our money's worth for the all-you-can-ride passes. Of course the carnies short-changed us *4* times at the games and seemed genuinely "surprised" at their mistakes. Yeah, right).
Saturday - travel day home.

Whew! That was long. I was going to post a little bit everyday for the next few days but then I felt that I just needed to get it off my chest so I can move on. BTW, Cars' fever broke the morning we left so he was fine to travel. Now, tonight, it seems that Jax has what Cars had. His fever has not gone over 101.5 and I don't think it will go up as high as Cars' did. We'll see.

Anyway, if you haven't yet fallen asleep wading through this, you can keep reading about...

*Details from our day of travel to Toronto:
Flight to Toronto via Vancouver. We had a 2 hour layover (which really turned into 1 hour and 40 minutes after you take into account that the plane needed to taxi to the terminal and we needed to deplane). That ~should~ have been plenty of time to get through Canadian Immigration and Customs, pick up our luggage, put our luggage through to our next flight, get from the international terminal to the domestic terminal, buy some water for our next flight. It wasn't. It took just over an hour to go through Immigration/Customs (apparently a lot of international flights landed at the same time). We hired a red cap who helped us bi-pass two other lines (exit customs and the line to put luggage through to next flight). We somehow ended up at the wrong gate for our connecting flight and it was 20 minutes before it was to leave. I asked a very kind Air Canada gate agent (isn't that an oxymoron?!) and found out that we needed to be on the other side of the terminal. She said "YOU WILL NEED TO RUN!". I ran over to Stephen and the boys and said "WE NEED TO RUN!". The Air Canada agent then ran over to us and said "YOU HAVE NO TIME! I WILL HAVE TO DRIVE YOU!" and she made us hop into one of those carts.

Now, have you seen Austin Powers? You know where he is stuck in that cart trying to turn around? Back and forth and back and forth? Well, that was this woman trying to get the cart into position so she could drive forward. Then she had to maneuver through a doorway and was shouting at people to get out of the way. She then got us into a restricted area that leads to every gate (I have only ever seen this restricted areas at the Toronto and Vancouver airports) and sped along and got us to our gate in less than 5 minutes. ~whew~ I wish I had my wits about me to have asked for her name so I could write to Air Canada to let them know that she rocked!

And this was really the icing on the disaster that was the trip TO Toronto. From long lines and stress at security (unpacking very carefully packed backpacks for 5 people), printing off the wrong number of baggage tags, nearly having to throw out 2 bottles of duty-free booze (the red cap was able to stuff them in our bags for us). As I mentioned before, Stephen says we will only ever fly DIRECTLY to Toronto again. Seems like a good idea to me too.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

We are home.

More later.

But I will add that Stephen says it does not matter the cost, we are never, ever, ever, ever, ever taking a connecting flight to Toronto again. Too painful to rehash at the moment even though it happened at the beginning of our trip. Let's just say that you know when you see the airport personnel on those golf-card things, speeding through the airport with a family of tourists onboard? Well, we were that family. :\

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer o'Fun

We are on vacation. There has been some sunshine and warmth so it really does feel like summer. The kids are enjoying themselves so that is wonderful.

I am wearing my complaint-free world bracelet so that is all I can say at this point. ;)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Summer O'Fun 2007 Day 32

Cars still has a fever but it is not as high as yesterday. He sits on the couch under a blanket bossing us all around. It is quite comical but won't be in a couple of days when he is better and we stop doing his bidding.

Jax and Dex are dragging. I think the shitty summer weather is wearing us all down. Yesterday on tv, the news teaser was "October weather in August!". It is horrid. At golf on Monday, I was speaking to someone who moved here in September and she was wondering if summers were always like this. It completely sucks!

It reminds me of one summer in Toronto where it rained both Saturday and Sunday on 14 of the 16 weekends in the summer. And on those other two weekends, it rained one of the two days. At least there was sun and warmth during the week though. We don't even have that really.

So, here I am complaining while wearing my Complaint Free World bracelet that arrived in the mail (4 months after I ordered it! Oops! Complaining again! Time to change the bracelet to my other wrist.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Summer O'Fun 2007 Day 31

Not much fun around here again. Well, Stephen took Jax and Dex to buy some books for our trip. He also bought they both new golf bags for them.

Cars was very lethargic today and very hot so I finally took his temperature. The readings I got scared me - 104.9, 105.1, 106.9! I thought for sure my thermometer was broken but it took my temperature just fine. Cars would not take any Advil because he was sure it was going to make him barf, like it did the night before (he barfed up the o.j. right after I gave him Advil). I called the nurse line and they told me to get him to a doctor. I was able to get an appointment at the ped's office. His temperature had dropped a few degrees by the time we got there but the doctor told me that no air travel for him if he keeps spiking a fever. Also, we need to take him back if he is still spiking a fever on Thursday. So, I need to call the airline tomorrow to see what we can do about our flights. I will send Stephen, Dex and Jax and then Cars and I will go when he is better. But, that is only if his temperature does not break.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer O'Fun 2007 Day 30

Today was the last day of golf lessons for the boys. They will play in a tournament in a couple of weeks.

Jax says he does not like golf lessons. I think it is because he does not have a golf bag with the backpack-like straps. Seriously. Something as simple as that can make or break his good time. Dex likes it and is excited to play in the tournament.

We spent much of the day doing laundry and putting the camping gear away. Cars received some b-day presents and was happy to play with them. Late in the afternoon he became moody and he fell asleep just before dinner. He woke up around 8pm with a fever and he was hungry. He decided he was really just thirsty and wanted some orange juice so I gave it to him. Big mistake. He puked it up all over the carpet. Stephen steam cleaned it but I think we will still be able to see it when it dries. Yikes!

Here are some photos from the past week:

Sunday, August 05, 2007

We are back from our camping weekend. Lots to write about but I am tired so I'll do a quick recap and perhaps post in more detail later.

- cold and rain in the forecast does not mean it will rain or be cold
- Stephen is proud of our new tent and loved the tent-envy
- Do not stay on the beach until high tide and then try to drive out in the soft sand. You will get stuck. And when your friends stop to help you they will get stuck too. And the other friends who do not get stuck because their SUV can fly over sand dunes will rescue your dh left behind
- driving on the beach during high tide causes marital strife (proven true for four out of five couples)
- I am Killjoy for all of the children who want to walk into the woods with burning sticks
- my children were ridiculed by others because "you always listen to your parents!"
- Do not spend the 3-hour drive home from camping daydreaming about a hot shower because when you get home your hot water tank will not be working

And finally...

- do not blink or your baby will turn *4* years old while you are camping

Happy birthday, Baby Cars!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I am still in shock about the 35W bridge. I cannot imagine all those poor people who were on the bridge when it fell. One good thing of all of this, a former co-worker with whom I had lost touch email me (she lives in Florida) then we spoke briefly on the telephone. Last time she called me out of the blue was when she saw me on Oprah. Anyway, we both had tried to reach our former manager but we no longer have email address for him (our company - a financial planning division of a credit card company - changed their name a couple of years ago so all of the email addresses changed and apparently they did not transition over so did not become

Anyway, I will just keep my fingers crosses that he and the others we used to work with are ok. I am sure they are. Though it was at 6:05pm, that is actually the equivalent of 7:05pm else where. Minnesota is in the Central time zone but businesses still keep Eastern Time hours. So many people started work at 7 or 7:30am and were out by 3:30 or 4pm. We at least that was the case in the companies I worked for at the time.

For some summer fun, I took the kids to the beach for a couple of hours. Then I spent the rest of the day preparing for camping. This is just our second camping trip ever. It is a whole lot of work for such a short time.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Well, I cannot call today a Summer o'Fun day because of what has happened in Minneapolis. Friggin 35W bridge collapsed! The bridge that carries the interstate highway over the Mississippi River collapsed! Nevermind my bridge thing. I used to live right beside this bridge.

See that building in the background? That is where we lived! Funny enough, I never, ever had a problem with that bridge. I think probably my fear of bridges came along the same time my ppd did.

This is just insane! How does this happen?