Monday, March 31, 2008

Today is my Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes! I had a great day and celebrated in style! Stephen made me a steak dinner, Caesar salad (from scratch!), and Mrs. Field's Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake. Yum!

It was crazy weather-wise though. Sunny but not warm until 4pm then it started to rain, sleet, snow and we had a spectacular thunder and lightning storm! What a day!

After dinner, Stephen re-strung my guitar and played a Beatles song for me. He bought me a Beatles song book for the guitar but it is pretty advanced. I really need "Guitar for Dummies". I must get going on those lessons.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Almost Birthday to Me!

What a birthday weekend this has been and it only gets better because tomorrow is my actual birthday! :)

Friday night was Cosmo Friday with just Spy and me and the kids. She gave me a beautiful ornament of a real maple leaf dipped in copper. It is gorgeous and I need to find the best place to display or hang it.

Then of course yesterday was my shopping day and Ash treated me to dinner for my birthday. The snow kind of put a damper on the day because I was stuck for 30 minutes until Stephen and the boys rescued me.

Today, the kids played in the snow. It warmed up quite a bit so the snow melted fast but it was perfect packing snow. Here are a couple of photos:

You can see the bamboo behind Jax is completely matted down from the snow but it bounced back up as soon as the snow melted off it. Also, on the edge of the deck railing, you can see how deep the snow was. The kids made snow forts and had a wicked snowball fight.

Later, I went to dinner with Terry and she treated! She also bought me a pretty pot of yellow tulips which I will plant in the garden after they finish blooming (and after the snow melts!).

When I came home, I found presents on the fireplace for me to open tomorrow.

(Don't tell anyone but I am certain the bag on the right has a set of guitar strings because I have already broken a string on my guitar because I am a dolt and don't know which way to turn the keys when tuning it.

Guitar with broken E string. :(

Tomorrow, Stephen is making me flank steak with a homemade raspberry chocolate cheesecake. Yum!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ok, I am home after my me time ordeal. I spent a few hours at the mall but did not get as much as I had intended. Ash met me there and took me to dinner at P.F.Chang's (yum!). By the time we left it was SNOWING! And my car was covered in snow. It was a crazy drive home and I got stuck in the snow at the bottom of the hill so Stephen and the kids had to trek out to rescue me. We got the car onto our street and I parked it on the road so we can hopefully get it out in the morning.

Here is a webcam photo of the snow in our city tonight:

You can see cars pulled off to the side because they either could not make it up or down the hill.

Snow (with accumulation) in Seattle at the end of March. It is crazy! It is still snowing like mad out there. I think there is about 3 inches of heavy packing snow so far.

Oh, I just spoke to Ash and she had to ditch her car and walk part way home too.
It snowed all day yesterday until about 5pm when the sun came out to shine for a few minutes. It is not supposed to snow in Seattle. And especially not at the end of March. And apparently it snowed again overnight as there was slush on the grill and deck this morning.

Today is *my* day. I read in bed for an hour after breakfast. Then I had a nice long shower and gave myself a facial (Almay 15 minute facial). I am just resting with my feet up for a few minutes before I get ready to go out to the mall. I am still looking for some new black shoes. I have a gift certificate for a free chocolate from Godiva as well as a $10 off certificate at Victoria's Secret. I need a new sports bra and I want a pair of casual black pants and a couple of tops. Oh, and Lancome has a gift with purchase deal at Nordstroms so I am going to buy some make-up to get my free gift!

I am excited about going and my ME time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It was snowing today! That is completely insane. The snow did not stick but c'mon, it is the end of March. It has been about 10F cooler than normal and it is clear at night so there is frost in the mornings. I need warm weather! Need it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Celebrity Apprentice

Have you been watching? I have been enjoying this season and especially the acrimony between that witch who was on the first season (I chose not to name her because I think she does not need anymore attention that she gets and I think she is a dangerous person) and Piers Morgan (who is outrageous himself but truly not evil like the other one). Anyway, the evil person was voted off a few episodes ago which one may have thought would take away much of the entertainment value. But it has still been a very good show. Now they are down to two - Piers Morgan and Trace Adkins.

On "The Celebrity Apprentice", the celebrities are playiing for charity and Trace Adkins' charity is The Food Allergy and Anaphylactic Network (aka FAAN - see link in my left side bar). Trace's dd has a severe allergy to peanuts.

The finale to The Celebrity Apprentice will be on Thursday night. During the show, Trace will be performing “You're Gonna Miss This”. Immediately following the show, and for two weeks following, you can download the song from iTunes and all net proceeds will go directly to FAAN. Please consider downloading this song to support this worthy cause.

I believe Stephen will actually allow an Apple Application on his precious Microsoft-only box to download this song. :)

For more info, you can go here. And don't forget to watch The Celebrity Apprentice on Thursday night a cheer for Trace! (and see how ridiculous the Backstreet Boys look with their rider requests.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I bought these shoes for $17 at Fred Meyer today. I had been looking for black mules and while these are dressier (and higher) than what I want, I could not pass up them up for that price. In the meantime, I am still looking for a low black mule like my trusty ol' Clarks but I *must* buy them on sale and I haven't seen ones that I like on sale.

I also had to buy Cars some jeans today. He suddenly outgrew all of his size 4 jeans (and put holes in the right knee of two of the pairs). We went to Fred Meyer to pick some out. He is on the skinny side so the loose fit, which many jeans seem to be, were falling off him, even after I adjusted the waist. Plus he was picky! So we only ended up with one pair. I will check out Sears on the weekend to find some slim-fit jeans.

My brother found out that he does indeed have shingles in his eye (and ear!). Poor guy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stephen bought Rock Band for xbox on Friday night so we have been playing. Unfortunately, Cars cannot play that well and he gets frustrated and whiny because he wants to play xbox but just not Rock Band. So today while we were playing, he snuck off and ate almost his whole Easter Bunny. I think it is funny because neither Jax nor Dex would have done such a thing - eaten candy without asking permission. Cars came back downstairs with chocolate smeared acorss his face. I found it quite amusing until he later turned miserable from the sugar crash.

Shortly thereafter, I tried to convince him to lie down with me in his bed for a nap. He got up and I fell asleep and had a 3 1/2 hour nap. Wow. I would still be sleeping but Stephen made a phone call to his family and that woke me up (LOUD TALKING).

I spoke to my mom earlier today and she is very upset about my youngest brother who has shingles. I was thinking "What's the big deal?" (I had them on my torso when I was a teenager). It turns out that my brother has them on his face, one of his eyes was swollen shut and now he has a secondary infection. So I called him and it is quite serious. He has had to go to the hospital everyday since Friday for IV antibiotics to treat the secondary infection he now has. Tomorrow he has to see an opthamologist to ensure it has not gotten in his eye and the doctors at the hospital even spoke to him about a possible brain infection if it is indeed in his eyes. Cripes!

Friday, March 21, 2008

I was able to get Dex on video shaking his head. It lasts about four seconds which is actually a pretty long time. He was even shaking his head while lying down in bed last night just before he fell asleep. :\

I bought myself some flowers today in an attempt to cheer myself up. I still feel like there is a black cloud hanging over me. PMS, I guess. Once I fall off the roof I will be fine. In the meantime, I will stare at my flowers while I eat the kids' easter bunnies (just kidding - I had to order the bunnies from Vermont Nut Free Chocolate so I will raid the Hershey Kisses). :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Geez, was I ever in a grumpy mood yesterday or what? I must be pms-ing because I have little patience for anyone or anything.

Dex's tics have increased to a level not seen before. His head shaking is so violent that he is giving himself headaches. He has verbal tics now too so I guess I just cannot deny that they are tics. I have made another appointment with the neurologist for him but we cannot get in until mid-May. I am sure by then the tics will be gone (just like last time) so I am trying to capture the tics on video but Dex keeps seeing me trying to sneak around with the camera and he is very self-conscious and that seems to stop the tics.

According to the DSM-IV (thanks for the link, Spy), Dex meets 3 of the 4 diagnostic criteria for Tourette's. The only one that he seems not to have is to having a tic-free period of more than 3 months. I believe he had been tic-free since last Fall. I need to ask Stephen what his opinion is of that. Definitely the head-shaking disappeared last summer before his appointment with the neurologist and only made a comeback less than a week ago.

Ok, off to "spy" on Dex with the camera.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today I followed a van along a two lane road for about 5 miles (with a double yellow line so no passing allowed!) and the van would "speed up" to 35 (the speed limit 'though many people usually drive 40) then slow back down to 29 or 30 then speed up, then slow down, etc. It was driving me crazy! I was thisclose to calling the police to report a drunk driver but it turned out that it was just an old lady driver. A very old lady. Even when we both turned onto a larger road, where the speed limit was 40, she was still only driving 30! Aargh! Fortunately, it had two lanes in each direction so I was able to pass her (while still driving under the speed limit) and told her to eat my dust! Ok, I am going to admit that I am intolerant of old drivers. Seriously, they scare me and drive me crazy! Old lady drivers usually go about 5 miles under the speed limit and weave all over the road. Old men are aggressive drivers, run through amber lights, never let you in and don't use their signals.

My mother is the worst kind of old driver. (Actually, she was a bad young driver too!) She sits way too close to the steering wheel and she drives under the speed limit. She brakes too soon and ends up stopping for red lights about 5 car lengths from the intersection (too far back to trip any static loop to change the lights). It is maddening!

And when you hear of people accidentally mistaking the gas pedal for the brake and end up ploughing through a plate glass window of the nearby Subway, pharmacy or paint store, you can be sure that they are at least 80 years old. It is tragic and sad. Why are these people still driving?

Someone, please take my license away from me if I become an old lady driver. For safety's sake!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I watched "Across the Universe" on Saturday night and I loved it! It is so beautifully done. One of songs in the movie that was so well done is "Let It Be". You can see the scene here on YouTube.

I was a huge Beatles fan as a teenager. They were long broken up but there was always that hope that they might get back together. I would play my Beatles records over and over on my very "mod" hi-fi (white plastic with a bright pink Plexiglas cover) stereo. I can remember listening to a special on the radio one night explaining how Paul was dead and all of the clues on all of their albums telling us it was so. I played my record backwards to hear "Paul is dead" and saw that indeed, Paul was wearing no shoes on the cover of the "Abbey Road" album or the Beatles standing in front of "Paul's" grave on "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". A grave decorated with flowers in the shape of a bass guitar. Oh, these clues had us almost convinced that the real Paul McCartney was dead and that it was an impostor in jail in Tokyo after being busted for marijuana possession.

Anyway, I bet after the last couple of years, Paul McCartney does indeed wish it were an impostor who was living his life. At least his nightmare appears to be over. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

I went to the school this afternoon to have a conference with Jax's teacher. His report card was so-so. It ran the gamut between "approaching standard", "at standard" and "exceeds standard". For the most part though, I know that he can do better and he is just not motivated in class. Several other parents have commented to me recently that their children are not either and while I am loathe to blame the teacher, she sure is serious and Jax (and others) find the class boring. One of the comments on his report card was that he needs to find "appropriate time to share his sense of humor with others". I asked her for specifics and she said that really she thinks he is just trying to lighten the mood in the classroom. Well, all work and no play...

So, I asked her to work on motivating him in the classroom and we will do the same at home. And he needs to read more AR books (I swear this is the bane of our existence in this house, especially non-fiction AR books - on the library's website, you cannot get a separate list for fiction and non-fiction).

We also briefly discussed Jax's issues with peanuts (his compulsive thoughts) and I explained how we have him in counseling and to remind her that if he is being inattentive, it is probably him obsessing about peanuts. I am still wary of getting an official OCD diagnosis on his 504 Plan for now.

Anyway, let's hope we see some improvements in the future.

Oh, and Dex asked why I did not have a conference with his teacher. Spring conferences are "optional" and I had to word things just so to not insult Jax nor Dex. Dex is doing well but he needs to "use his time more wisely when he finishes his work". He said he wanders around the classroom looking for stuff to do when he is done and cannot just read a book because it always takes him too long to pick one out. We've decided that he will chose chapter books to keep in his desk to read and to keep him busy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dex went to a birthday party today. It was for a kid who was in his class last year and who lives up the street close to our old house. I dropped Dex off at the birthday boy's home and then the parents were going to drive all of the kids to a movie theatre but then we would have to pick our kids up because there would not be enough drivers for the way home.

Well, apparently there were not enough drivers for the way there! Dex told me after I picked him up that one boy was going to have to sit on the floor of the van on the way there but then they found a seat for him. Huh? I asked him to explain how they "found a seat for him".

Dex: "The kids across the back row just scooted over so he could sit there."
Pez: "So there were enough seats for everyone?" (still confused)
Dex: "Not really. He was going to sit on the floor so they made room for him in the back row so there were four kids sitting there."
Jax: "WHAT?! THAT IS ILLEGAL!" (gotta love my rule-follower)
Dex: "Birthday boy's dad said it was ok."
Pez: Silently thankful that Dex is under 8 and is still required by law to be in his booster seat so his seat was "reserved".

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wah! Cars did not win the "Lottery" for the Continuous Learning class or either of the two full-day kindergarten classes! There will be 2 half-day classes and apparently there are another 10 kids that they don't even have room for who will need to be busses to another school (the next closest one has too many kids registered too so this will be interesting).

I am really bummed out! I was counting on him going to school full-time next year. I had tons'o'things planned. Alas...

I guess it could be worse. He may have been one of the 10 who need to be bussed. Also, he is 4th on the waitlist for full-day. So there is still a chance. And if not, I will save myself $260/month (full-day tuition).
Jax's knee was fine today so my mommy guilt is gone - whew!

Book club tonight was a lot of fun. Best moment of the night when one of our former members who came (even though she had not read the book) said to Laurie "Ugh, did you taste these brownies?" and Laurie replied "Yes, I brought them".

I was pleasantly surprised at how many people enjoyed the book. I know that one person did not and Ash did not come since she has the flu and she did not finish the book because she did not enjoy it. Our regular non-reader had not read it but said she was interested in doing so.

I just remembered that Cars needs to take snack to preschool tomorrow morning! Ooops! Looks like I will be stopping at Safeway on the way to school.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This afternoon, while we were at the park for Dex's baseball practice, Jax fell off the playground equipment and hurt his knee. He came hobbling over and told me what happened in a very whiny voice. I made a comment to him that he was whining because he was tired and maybe needed a nap (he has not been sleeping well). He snarked back at me "Maybe *you* need a nap!". I told him to get away from me and sit by himself on the bench. When it was time to go, he limped over to the car and I rolled my eyes at his big over-acting.

At home, I asked to see his knee and it is swollen and red. Oops! I gave him some ice (well, the boo-boo bunny) and some ibuprofen. He was still limping when we went to bed but the swelling was gone down. I feel like a complete heel! To overcompensate for my mean mom-ness, I let the kids have orange pop with their dinner. I suck.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last month, Book Club was moved to my house from Ash's because her family had the flu. This month, she was to have it for me but now she has the flu so Book Club is here again on Thursday night. The second of our new members quit. I don't think she liked our book picks plus I think she perhaps underestimated the time it took to read a book each month (or at least, to read a book that she did not like each month). So we are back down to 10. I think we will keep it at 10 for now.

Since Book Club is here, I had to make a quick Costco run to buy some things for it (wine, artichoke dip, veggies). And I need to have Stephen remove all of the Lego from the dining room table again. Although, I gather he has completed building all of the Star Wars Lego and most of the Harry Potter Lego. We need more shelves for the wall downstairs.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bro#1 sent me this photo recently after seeing the picture that I posted two weeks ago of the boys on Rachel. The first one was taken when Bro#1 and family visited us in summer 2001.

Look how teeny tiny Dex and Jax are!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Nothing much going on. I had my eye appointment on Friday and was able to put the contacts in my eyes no problem! Yeah for me! I have my trial lenses for a week and then if I like them I will order contacts (I will do it!). I also ordered a pair of glasses. They were not the inexpen$ive ones. Stephen did not like them so I went with a different pair.

Jax and I walked to the school this afternoon to meet Stephen, Cars and Dex (who were there for Dex's baseball practice). It took us just over 30 minutes and walking along the main street was quite harrowing(we did that to avoid the big hill). Even though there is a big shoulder on the side of the road, it is amazing how many cars drive on the shoulder! It will be good when the city finally builds a sidewalk along that stretch of road.

I had my hair cut yesterday and it feels good to have it in a short bob again. It was getting too long. Since I have stopped colouring it, it gets so dry when I grow it long (well I suppose the flat iron doesn't help either). Cars, Dex and Jax also had their hair cut although you cannot tell with Jax (she just thinned it really). He sure has a mop of hair. Dex decided he wanted short hair again so he could spike it with orange gel on "Crazy Hair Day" which is two weeks.

Stephen's car is on its last leg, I think. The heater is not working, the windshield leaks, the "CHECK ENGINE" light is always on, the radio display does not work (this actually broke years ago), the radio antenna is stuck up (it is supposed to go down when you turn off the car), the doors do not lock automatically (or unlock automatically if you lock them manually), the windshield wipers work most of the time, etc. So, we've been talking a little bit about what kind of car to replace it with. The kids want him to get a "punch buggy". I want something fuel-efficient since he only just uses it to drive to/from work but he wants something "comfortable" which means big. Hopefully the car will last through the summer but if the air conditioning is not working, I imagine we will get one sooner. It has been nice that this lemon has lasted longer than we had imagined it would. BTW, never, ever, ever buy a Saab. They suck!

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I signed Cars up for kindergarten today. I cannot believe it! I am excited and sad at the same time (more excited though!). Our school has a "continuous learning" class where the kids are the same class from K-2. There are approximately 8 kids in each grade in the classroom. Since Cars will be a "young" kindergartener, I think this class would be a great fit for him. However, a billion people apply to get in the class and it is a "lottery". Hopefully Cars will be chosen. If not, I have asked that he be considered for the lottery for the full-day slots. We should find out on Friday of next week.

Another milestone is that tomorrow I am going to go to the eye doctor to get contact lenses! Longtime readers of this blahg will know that I tried them four years ago to no avail. It was impossible to try to stick a foreign object in my eyes every morning while trying to get a kindergartener, a preschooler and a baby ready for the day (it would take me at least 10 minutes per eye). This time I am determined to "make it work" as Tim Gunn would say (btw, did you watch last night's finale? I fell asleep and while I know that Fierce Christian won, I missed all of the important parts like the judging!).

I also have an astigmatism (sounds icky!) in my right eye (only needs correcting "one way" whatever that means) so the contacts might be tricky and perhaps may not work for me so I am also ordering new glasses. My last ones were from Costco and while they were super cheap, I am not sure they fit me well enough so I am going to order them from the doctor's office. I did manage to find a very inexpen$ive frame that I like but even so, the gla$$e$ are pricy.

One positive thing in all this is that I do not yet need bifocals! In fact, the doctor was amazed at how good my near vision was (and I thanked her like it was something I actually could control or had been working on - doh!). One less aging thing I need to fret about right now.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I stayed up late last night to watch "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" so I could watch Dolly Parton sing "I Will Always Love You". When I was a teenager, I used to have the LP soundtrack for that movie and I would listen to that song over and over again. Then just over a decade later, Whitney Houston released that song and while it was a nice version (albeit so overplayed!), it just did not have the same emotion as Dolly Parton singing it. I believe she wrote it just for the movie. If you haven't hear it before, take the 2:45 and listen. So pretty! (Oh, and I guess I could have just looked up that clip on YouTube rather than stay up late to watch it in the movie. But if I had, I would have missed this gem (the Aggie Song).

Monday, March 03, 2008

I screwed up yet another dinner. I give up. I cannot cook. I can't!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I received my birthday present 4 weeks early!

I am looking forward to learning to play. How long do you think it will be before I can play this?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Grass season started up again so the kids have been back on Zyrtec for about two weeks and Dex has started having "tics" again. Hmmm...I am certain there is a correlation. Stephen has noticed too so we have decided to stop Zyrtec and switch to Clairitin to see if it makes a difference. He has bad seasonal allergies and gets sinus infections so there is no way that he can't be on any allergy medication.