Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stephen went away for three days to a retreat/team building thing for work. When he arrived home Tuesday night, he was sick. He was in bed when we arrived home from Jax's appointment and it is now 3:30pm Thursday and he is still there. He has a fever, head ache, back ache, sore throat, nasal congestion and today we added dizziness to that litany of symptoms.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am a horrible nurse. I hate it when people are sick because I feel so useless when I cannot make them better. I have been giving him Theraflu every 4 hours and fresh glasses of water every few hours. I have heated up chicken soup for him and kept the kids away so he can sleep (and so they will not get sick too). I do not have a lot of patience though and when he tried to get up out of bed on Wednesday afternoon, I told him that he was useless to me if he remained sick so he must stay in bed and get better. He said "Thanks for the sympathy".

I did feel a little guilty and I apologized to him. I fluffed his pillows and made some oooh and aaah sympathy sounds. When this morning came around and he was still sick I made sure I did not give the impression that I was sick of him being sick.

Then, at lunch time we had this exchange:

Me: Here is your soup. Do you want some crackers?
Him: No thanks, this is good.
Me: Ok, let me know if you want anything else.
Him: Thanks for taking care of me.
Me: No problem. I know you would do the same for me.
Him: Sure, if you were sick on a weekend.

Aaargh! Isn't that the truth! When I am sick, I would not be afforded the luxury of lying in bed until it is over. Ok, so if I were as sick as he is, I would probably not make dinner and would order in a pizza or have Stephen bring something home. He would probably make lunches for the kids and get Jax and Dex to the bus, but I would still have to drive Cars to/from preschool or swimming lessons, or soccer or whatever. After school, I would still have to ensure that they got their homework done and if I had to be lying down in bed, they would be in the room a gazillion times asking me a million questions!

Oh, and now he is using the intercom on our telephone to page me. Off to check what the patient needs.

Serenity now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I spent a fortune at Costco today and I did not even buy anything! Well, of course I bought some things but when I look at it, how the hell did I spend $193.45 on a few items!

Ok, looking at my bill, I do see that I spent $32.99 on Zyrtec. It went OTC this month so I can no longer order it via mail-order prescription service. Jax and Dex take a tablet everyday. So it works out to about 44 cents per tablet (vs 66 cents per tablet if I bought it at Fred Meyer). But, since we had a no co-pay on Zyrtec when it was a prescription medication, $32.99 every 5 weeks is going to bug me!

I also had to buy a new pair of winter ski gloves since Dex lost one earlier this week at school - $11.99.

And I did splurge and buy a 2 pound brick of Dubliner cheddar. Oh, and I did buy a new swimsuit since I don't want to ruin my tankini in the hot tub (yes, I am too much of a prude to go in au naturel). Oh, and that 50 yard roll of grosgrain ribbon! So pretty and what a bargain!

Pork chops, deli roast beef, frozen corn, celery, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red peppers, bacon, napkins, Bounce dryer sheets and Eggos round up the list. Nearly $200 and I totally did not even look at the middle section of Costco (books, clothing, furniture). Perhaps next time I should take a calculator with me and keep a running total. No more surprises at the register!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

So at Jax's appointment tonight, we talked a lot about how he will not eat at other people's homes. He just kept saying he was uncomfortable and eventually admitted to being afraid that the food might have peanuts in it. The psychologist was great and talked about what being brave meant (doing something even though you are scared) and we have a plan for Jax to be brave and to try to eat some food this weekend when we go to a Super Bowl party.

We also talked about buying lunch at school and Jax said that he would like to buy lunch again but he was too afraid. (I send a tetra pack of organic chocolate milk with him).

And this is how he described why he did not want to buy milk:

"I think that they might have somehow made peanuts into a liquid and then injected it into the milk but it is so small it is invisible so I cannot see it then if I drink it I will have an allergic reaction".


The psychologist explained to him that no, there were rules about what is in milk (ingredients: milk) and they would never put peanuts in it. So, we've come up with a plan. For every 5 days that he buys milk, he "earns" a day which is also equivalent to him not asking more than 5 "worry thought" questions. After so many days he will earn (yet another) Lego. He is very motivated because he really, really, really wants that Lego (Indiana Jones Lego). He has done so well with recognizing and not asking those worry thought questions. I hope the milk-buying works for him too. And, that he will be brave enough eat at the Super Bowl party.
I am very close to changing my blog template to something new. I cannot add new photos to the sidebars without screwing up the format. I have no idea why it will no longer work for me so I may just change to one of the plain blogger templates. It is a little scary though because I love the style of this blog and none of their templates have two side bars. I suppose if I became more proficient at html I could design my own template but time and honestly, no real desire. So, don't be shocked if you see a change in the coming weeks.

Make it work!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Stop the snow, stop the snow, stop the snow

Snow day today. We just hung out until mid-afternoon when the roads were clearer. I took Jax to a friend's house and then we went to the drugstore after I gassed up the car. More snow is in the forecast for tonight/tomorrow morning so we might be looking at another snow day tomorrow or at the very least, a snow delay.

I still cannot believe how much snow we've had this winter. I know I keep saying that but it is really surprising.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

We went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks today. There really was not another kids' movie playing other than Veggies Tales pirate movie. I was expecting Alvin and the Chipmunks to suck but it was actually funny. The tween girls behind us loved it too - I don't think I have heard kids laugh so hard. Jax, Dex and Cars really liked it and Cars kept saying afterwards "I can't believe how FUNNY that movie was!". So cute!

Jax said that he had a stomach ache and did not want any popcorn but I know it was really because he is very uncomfortable eating outside of the house. I mean what kid turns down popcorn and skittles?! He has lost a lot of weight and Dex is now less than 5 pounds lighter than him now. :\

It isn't easy being green

Pretty green, eh? And by pretty I mean very, not beautiful.

And this is what is left of the snow fort taken 11 days after it was created.

Pretty amazing to have snow around for so long. And more snow is in the forecast for the next several days. Even if it does not actually snow, the temperature is still cold enough that those chunks of (now) ice will be here until at least the middle of next week!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I feel like I have deja vu. I taught the same art lesson today to Dex's class as I did almost exactly two years ago to Jax's class. The difference is that Dex's class were CRAZY and the kids wiping the charcoal all over their hands and then wiping it on their desks. Another mom and I were teaching and I could not believe how out-of-control they were. The class also has 6 more kids than Jax's class (that's one more table group!) and a lot more boys in the class so that could be it. At least Dex drew a portrait of me and not an action shot of me parachuting between two mountains as Jax did back then.

Also, I do not have PMS as I have already fallen off the roof and I am in such a crabby mood. At least Ding Dong girl was pleasant to me when I saw her at the park after school (I am driving the kids to/from school for most of this week as the bus driver is out and transportation cannot guarantee that the substitute drivers have had epi pen training). And, I made an appointment with the gynecologist to discuss incisional endometriosis again. I keep putting off the inevitable, I guess.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

For My Dorky Brothers

If you click on the links below they get more inhabitants in their fake cities (I don't get SIMS sh*t). But anyway if you are so inclined, please click.

Thanks! <--This is Fiona and Tara's Dad <--This is Lola's Dad

Dorky brother #3 (or #1 I guess) is stuck in Facebook and cannot get out.
I've started a few new blahg posts in the past few days but in the end none of them seemed...interesting. So I did not post them.

Nothing is going on short of the day-to-day stuff. It has been cold and we still have a snow fort (not much of it left but there nonetheless) on our front lawn. This is the longest I have ever seen snow stick around here in the 9 winters we've lived here. Seriously. Three days was the longest before.

One nice thing about the cold weather is that the sun has been shining brightly for a few days in a row. A rare treat in the winter here. It has also given me an idea about just how hot this house will get in the summer time with the afternoon sun burning down on us. I will need to buy some blinds or shades for the kitchen window.

Also, having clear skies during a full moon in the winter is cool. The moon was low in the sky last night and I could see it shining through the trees as we drove up to Jax's appt. On the way home, with far fewer cars on the road, I could see a billion stars too. So pretty!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Almost done. Stephen just has a one foot strip of the second coat to finish. "Botanical" (aka Lego Green and the darkest colour), "Elm Valley" (bright green) and the ceiling is "Verndale". Garish!

I'll post another photo once the paint is dry and the furniture is back in place.

And since I am posting photos, here are a couple from the snow earlier in the week.

Boys walking to the bus stop


Front yard

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Since we moved in, we have been promising Jax that we would paint his room which was a bright yellow (ceiling too!). Well, this weekend Stephen decided was the weekend. Earlier in the week, I went to the local paint store and picked a great green colour (Jax's colour of choice). Jax hated it and insisted that he be the one to pick the paint and of course Stephen AGREED! Yikes!

So off we went to Ace Hardware and Jackson took a green Lego brick with him to "match" colours. O.M.G.! Stephen said that was ok and I am of course freaking out because 1) Jax's room does not get a lot of sun and it is dark anyway 2) One must walk past Jax's bedroom to use the main bathroom in our house so every guest we have will walk up the stairs and past the Lego Green room to the bathroom and 3) It is Lego Green!

In the end we compromised and said we would paint 2 walls Lego Green and the other two walls a lighter green (but still bright). It is still pretty brash because any sage green-type colour really clashed with the Lego Green. I gave Stephen instructions to purchase a whitish colour for the ceiling and the kids and I left Ace to go to the Lego(!) store.

Well, Ace Hardware Guy and Stephen, both clearly interior designers, decided that the contrast between Lego Green, bright green with a white ceiling would be too much (never mind that the baseboards, closet doors and blinds are white) so they decided that the ceiling should be painted the same bright green as the walls. BRIGHT GREEN! OMG. Fortunately, we arrived home just as the primer had dried and Stephen was just about to pour the bright green into the paint tray. I ran back out to Ace and bought a much lighter green (on the same paint chip strip) for the ceiling. It will still be a very GREEN room but much less so than if the ceiling were painted BRIGHT GREEN! Jax had better love it. And if it looks cruddy, then his door will be permanently closed whenever we are expecting company.

Friday, January 18, 2008


What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)

North Central

What people call the "Minnesota accent." Sounds almost Canadian. You may have even been asked if you were from Canada before.

Personality Test Results

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

This has been a busy week, especially with the snow and all. It has still not all melted and we have a huge snow fort in our front yard. The kids have had a blast playing in the snow so I won't complain about it.

Tomorrow's Cosmo Friday is at my house. I will have to put away all of the Lego tomorrow because Jax freaks out when it gets broken (which of course it is designed to do and go back together). Honestly, it gets broken usually when some of the other kids who come over have a Lego-throwing fight. They throw the ships (usually the lego is built into ships) at each other or across the room. So, we are not going to let that happen anymore so I just have to put it away high up in the closet and ask them not to take it out. I will have to figure out something to keep them occupied for the 2 hours that they are here. I may have to resort to xbox and Guitar Hero. We'll see...

The new hot tub cover arrived today (and the hauled away the old one). It looks good. I chose a brown colour that is almost the same colour of the deck. I hope that wasn't a mistake in case in the dark someone thinks it is part of the deck and walks on it. The old cover was grey. Icky grey. The cover arrived without the solar blanket so the delivery guy said he will be back up this way next week and will bring it up then. I will have Stephen follow up with that.

We are still awaiting the new timer for the hot tub. The gas/electric bill arrived yesterday but I am afraid to open it so I will let Stephen do it this weekend. I am beginning to wonder if there is also something wrong with the furnace because sometimes I hear it trying to light and it does not. Hmmm...$$$$ Speaking of furnaces, I drove by our old house on Monday on the way home from correcting spelling in Dex's class and there was a heating and cooling truck in the driveway. Yikes! I have convinced myself that she is having air conditioning installed rather than imagining that there is something wrong with the furnace (which was old but in working condition when we sold the house). Oh God! Am I going to fret everytime I hear about something wrong with that house?! Perhaps we should have moved further away!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dex and Jax had their first private swim lessons at the club (well, semi-private since they are taking them at the same time). The swim instructor is young and kind and encouraging unlike the lessons that Cars goes to (not young, kind of a hardass but she gets results!). I scheduled them just for two weeks to see how it would go and I think it will work out so I will schedule out another couple of weeks. My kids are never going to be Olympic swimmers but I just need them to swim and not sink in the water.

Cars and I watched from the sidelines and it was HOT in there. It did not help that I was wearing winter boots and an acrylic (eek!) sweater which of course made me sweat like a pig. It was the first acrylic sweater that I purchased in 22 years. I bought it in Toronto last summer and I love the style of it (long tunic-length cabled hoodie in charcoal grey). The problem of course is that it is acrylic which means it does not "breathe" so I only wear it on the coldest days now. And today was cold but not in the pool area. The temperature of the teaching pool is warmer than the recreation and lap pools and I am certain that the instructors have also cranked up the heat in that pool area. It must have been over 80 in there! Sweat, sweat, sweat.

Now, if I were ambitious, I would knit myself that same sweater in wool or a wool blend and I would be so much more comfortable. Ok, who is kidding who, I will not knit myself a sweater. A scarf perhaps, but not a sweater. But considering that I have not picked up any knitting needles in well over a year, I don't imagine I would even be able to knit myself that!

Monday, January 14, 2008

We've got snow again! Not sure if there will be school tomorrow or not. Stephen's car is stuck in the driveway and no doubt my van will not be able to get out tomorrow either (icy snow). And our babysitter stopped by an hour ago because her car was stuck in the snow on the hill and her cell phone was dead so she needed to warm up and call her parents for help. As long as our power doesn't go out that will be ok. Ash's power went out an hour ago. I told her to come here if it gets too cold in their house and if our power goes out, we'll all head to Laurie's since her dh bought a generator after last year's storm.

I took Cars to soccer today and he had a blast! Afterwards he said "Mom, I LOVE soccer!". He is so funny.

Ok, off to check to see if the school district has yet called for a snow delay tomorrow.

Monday, Monday

Well, today is off to a great start. The bus is supposed to come at 7:51am but it always arrives at 7:58am. Today, I purposefully left the house at 7:51 rather than the regular 7:45 but of course today was the day the that bus was "early" (still not 7:51). The bus drives up the road, stops at the corner of our cul de sac and the kids get on. then the bus drives up the street (hill) about 1 bus length, then backs up into our cul de sac before driving back down the street from which it came. So, my kids ran and were able to catch the bus as she was backing into our cul de sac. Then the bus was about to drive off when another little kid came running down the hill for it. So, we were not the only ones who had gotten used to the 7:58 pick-up time!

I am taking Cars to "L'il Kickers" today which is indoor soccer for l'il kids. I told him last week that I was signing him up for it and he had a complete and utter FIT. "I HATE SOCCER!" (He has never played) and "YOU CAN'T MAKE ME GO" (wanna bet?). I made the mistake of telling him on the way to school last Wednesday and he was miserable at school for the first part of the morning but apparently cheered up. Then when I picked him up he announced that I was the meanest mom and he was not going to soccer. So, I have not mentioned it again and it will be a nice surprise for him when I take him directly from preschool today. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stephen and I went to his work holiday party (MLK day perhaps? ;) on Saturday night. It was held downtown Seattle a conference center. They had rooms set up with pool tables, a casino area (black jack, craps, roulette, texas hold'em), a room with "dueling pianos", a dj and dance floor and some museum exhibits. We just wandered around most of the night, talking to people Stephen knew.

He had just told me about the party the previous Monday. I was irritated because he said he did not want to go. We rarely go out alone, especially to somewhere where we need to get dressed up. So, I told him that we were going and he had to arrange for the babysitter. Once he had one arranged, I went out shopping for a dress to wear.

Anyway, he did get a babysitter and I bought a dress and off we went. Here is a picture of us.

edited to add that I just found my dress at and it is more than double what I paid for it! I bought it at Macy's in Bellevue Square! Yikes! I think I got a bargain on that dress.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The kids got home about 10 minutes later than usual because the school went into lock-down just before 3pm because there was a bobcat on the school grounds. Animal Control showed up but it ran into the woods beside the school (the same woods a bear ran into a couple of years ago).

But they are now home safely and we are off to Ash's house for Cosmo Friday! :)
Tonight's book club was spent mostly talking about all of the issues we have with our children. Problems range from OCD, food allergies, speech issues, ADD and ADHD to anxiety and sensory issues. All nine of us present had at least one child with a "problem" that needs to be addressed. Hmmm...perhaps problem is the wrong word. Maybe "issue" is better? Anyway, it was eye-opening.

I really did not want to talk about Jax's issues but someone asked me in front of everyone else "Speaking of OCD, how is Jax doing with his counseling?". *sigh*

Then I arrived home to an email from Dex's Religion teacher that on Sunday, as part of a community service project, their class would be making peanut butter and jam sandwiches to take to the food bank. First off - ick! Who wants a sandwich made by 7 year old hands? I hope they use gloves. And secondly, a group of 7 year olds and jars of peanut butter just does not sit well with me so I sent a note saying the Dex needed to be excused from class due to life threatening food allergies in the family and I copied the Children's ministry leader.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Stephen worked late tonight and Ash's dh is away so we arranged to meet at McD's for dinner. This is one of the very few places where Jax feels safe eating. The kids, while all getting really big, can still play in the playground after they eat. Anyway, as I picked the kids up at the bus, I explained to them all that we were going to McD's and they had to be on their best behaviour all afternoon. Oh, let me interject that Wednesdays are "Early Dismissal" so the kids get out 1.5 hours early. It makes for a very looooong afternoon on Wednesdays.

Anyway, right after homework was done Jax was miserable to his brothers. He would not let them play with his new lego (to be fair, he did just get it yesterday but he was pretty snotty to them about it). Then at one point he shoved Dex. Uh-oh. I had him go into the kitchen and pack himself a sandwich to take to McD's rather than getting a Big Kid Happy Meal. I think he thought that I would not follow through with this but when it was time to leave, I reminded him to get his sandwich out of the fridge.

Also throughout the afternoon Dex had been making this "OOP-OOP" noise. It was driving me crazy as he "OOP-OOP'd", through the house. I asked him to stop once. He did for a few minutes. Then he started again. I sent him to his room for a time out. He "OOP-OOP'd" again just after the time out was over. OMG! The "OOP-OOP" was like a thousand daggers digging into my brain. Seriously, I just about lost it. I gave him one more warning and just as we were about to walk out the door to get in the car he "OOP-OOP'd" again. Uh-oh. I told the kids to get in the car and I raced up the stairs and made him a sandwich too.

We filed into McD's, Jax and Dex with long faces and Cars excited because he is getting some french fries. Ash and her kids were already there, just waiting for their food. Ash looked over at us and tried to hide her laughter. I just shrugged then I noticed that her dd was holding a sandwich. Apparently her dd had a bad afternoon too. LOL Great minds think alike...

Now, just so you don't think I am a completely mean mom, I did buy Jax and Dex a chocolate milk each and I gave them 10 french fries. I even let Dex get some ketchup. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Jax had his third appointment with the psychologist today. It was a little eye-opening for me. Jax apparently writes down questions at school to ask me when he gets home. I always wondered why he was asking so many darn questions when he arrived home from school. These are questions like "My sleeve touched my desk and once a boy sat at my desk and he might have had peanuts for breakfast and since my sleeve touched it and then the sleeve accidentally touched my Lego, will I be ok?" and "My shoe touched something at school that might have been a peanut and then I wiped my shoes on the carpet at school under my desk is that ok?" He bombards me with questions like that when he gets home. And it continues until he goes to bed at night (but then the night questions start = "I am trying to sleep but then I sneezed and it got on my hand and I washed my hand but then forgot to put cream on it is that ok?"). It is very frustrating and I try to be patient and understanding because I know he cannot help these "worry thoughts" as the psychologist calls them.

Anyway, besides that writing down of the questions, Jax also said that he did not want to eat outside of the house because he worries that if, on the way home in the car, he has an allergic reaction we are in traffic and cannot pull over to administer the epi pen. I had no idea that was why he was not eating when we were out. At least now I can help reassure him. And also I will insist that he wear his new ebelt when we go out so he will feel reassured and not worry that his epi pen is all the way in the front seat in my purse.

One thing that made me smile today though was that Jax asked if Autism were contagious because someone with Autism was talking to him today and "he spit when he was talking to me and some felt like it got on my lip and if it got on my lip and I accidentally swallowed that spit will I get Autism too?" Shows Jax's obsessive worrying and his innocence about what Autism really is.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Another weekend has passed by in the blink of an eye. I really did not do much other than de-Christmas the house, and clean some. I have put a tablecloth on my dining room table and I vow not to turn it into a dumping ground like it was in the old house (I have a room for that now! ;) The biggest thing I need to do is stop working (working - ha!) on my laptop at that table. That way no piles of paper will accumulate nearby.

It did snow for a short time today (there is still a bit in the backyard). Then the sun came out and we all walked to the store to buy a loaf of crusty bread for dinner.

Now I am sitting in the living room (see, not at the dining room table!) with a glass of red wine listening to Van Morrison. What a great way to end the weekend. Cheers!

Friday, January 04, 2008

I had planned to take the Christmas tree down tomorrow but after I arrived home from picking Cars up from preschool, the tree had toppled over into the living room. Fortunately it seems that only 1 ornament got smashed. Stephen hauled the tree out after dinner (it was tall and very heavy and I could not lift it). I have all of my ornaments piled on the dining room table right now and we'll get the boxes down tomorrow morning from the garage attic and put them all away.

No Cosmo Friday today due to some scheduling conflicts and miscommunication. So, we'll reconvene next Friday. Just as well because I usually eat way too much then come home and have one or two big slices of pizza.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I've got nothing to share today. Oh, here is a photo that I took today of my PEZ collection:

(please ignore the Lego blocks on the corner of the hearth - they are from the Lego Advent calendar and have not yet made it down to the playroom)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I am figuring out my new camera and here are a few photos I took yesterday.

Jax at the skateboard park

Dex at the skateboard park

Cars chosing to play Star Wars rather than skateboard at the skateboard park

A blue heron that I saw fly into my neighbour's tree. It sat there for hours. I wish I had been able to capture a photo of it flying.
Welcome 2008!