Friday, May 30, 2008

More misc...

Today, Dex took in star sunglasses to give out as his birthday treat. I decided with Jax's birthday that there would be no more food for birthday treats from us. Anyway, Dex picked those out at the party store the other day. He said all of the kids but one liked them. I guess she was huffy that there was no cupcakes!

Today was the school BBQ during lunch so Jax bought lunch but I had to sit with him while he ate it. I had arrived 30 minutes earlier to sit with Dex who told me he wanted to be alone. So much for my kind-hearted kid that I blahged about yesterday!

Cars has two more weeks of school left and no more lunch bunch! Aargh! I am going to miss that extra 45 minutes 2-3x/week!

Last weekend we planted a vegetable garden and I am impatiently waiting for it to grow. We planted carrots, pumpkins and spinach. I am thinking of buying a couple of tomato plants also to see if I can make a go with them. I think I have mentioned before that I have a gazillion raspberry bushes and I am excited about them! I found a small strawberry patch too - I hope some ripen before the slugs get to them.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today, I went on a field trip with the 4th graders from our school to Tillicum Village at Blake Island. We took a boat trip to the island and had a salmon bake and a Native American Dance show. It was fun but a long day - an hour bus ride to the Pier downtown then a 45 minute boat ride to the island. We barely had any time to explore before it was time to eat and then back to the boat immediately after the show. I am glad that I went though because if not, I am not sure that Jax would have eaten anything. Since I was there, he did eat the salmon, corn and carrots. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the dance show and the lore of the Pacific Northwest First Nations people.

This is only the second field trip I have ever been on for the school. I have gone on pumpkin patch field trips for all of the kids while they were in preschool but the only other school trip I have been on was a walking trip to the fire station when Jax was in kindergarten. Usually, I have no one to watch Cars (or Dex and Cars before Dex went to school full-time). But, because of Jax's issues this year, I had Stephen book today off work back around Christmas-time.

I used to feel incredibly guilty that I never went on field trips but today completely changed my attitude. I had a group of 3 boys, including Jax, and the other two were a little out-of-control. They ran off here and there, kept wrestling each other, pawing each other and one even bit the other! They were acting not as I expected 4 graders to act. Anyway, I don't think I could handle having to chaperone another field trip if the kids acted that way. I was thisclose to asking the teacher to separate those two. Since I barely spend any time in Jax's class, I did not know that these two are always acting like that and that they are not allowed to sit near each other anymore. I guess the teacher thought she would reward them and let them be in the same group. Either that or she was punishing me! So, I definitely will think twice about volunteering for field trip chaperoning duties.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Well, my inlaws left this morning. Overall it was a good visit though just a little long. A lot of standing and sitting around due to the car situation and the rain during the week last week. Not much computer time for me either which is why my blahg entries have been short and sporadic.

It was great having them here for Dex's 1st Communion and they watched the kids for us when we went looking for and eventually purchased a new car. Now we have to deal with getting rid of the jalopy which is, at this very moment, broken down in a parking lot at Microsoft. *sigh*

So we bought a new car and Stephen wanted a navigation package which is actually really good because he has virtually no sense of direction. He gets lost all.the.time and often calls me from the car and tells me the cross streets and I tell him how to get to a highway or landmark he will recognize. The navigation system has a button that tells you exactly where you are and if you program in destinations (like home), you just hit the button and it will tell you exactly how to get home and will recalibrate if you get lost. It is exactly what he needed. And the car is more than we needed too but he wanted it so now we will only pay for two of the kids to go to college. Hopefully one of them will get a full scholarship. ;)

And of course two days after he bought the car, which takes premium gas, the Shell station around the corner started charging $4.19 for regular gas! *ugh*

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spent a good chunk of yesterday weeding again. There were a lot of flowers and plants that I had that turned out to be weeds. Most of the garden beds out the back were way overgrown so I pulled out a lot of plants too. I will trim the rhodies back quite a bit after they have finished flowering.

I had no problem being out there with Stephen and my inlaws. I hate gardening by myself because of the spiders and bugs but when others are around, I am much braver. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

We had a pleasant surprise today - the SUN! So, I spent a good chunk of the day weeding the yard. We have eleventy billion dandelions. Well, eleventy billion minus 300. Yes, I weeded 300 dandelions out of the yard and garden. Yes, 300! It was hot and I could not believe how many there were. Fortunately, Stephen bought a Weed Hound so it was quick. Actually, if we did not have that tool, I probably would not have been able to weed more than 50 dandelions. This tool is great! The hardest part was going back around to pick up all of the dandelions that I had pulled out.

I also weeded the raised garden bed that we have. We had tons of weeds and one carrot growing. I am going to plant some tomato plants and try to grow some pumpkins from seeds. Wish me luck!

Oh, and we saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" yesterday. I loved it. It was exciting, fun, scary, preposterous and thoroughly entertaining. Harrison Ford didn't look *too* old and Shia LaBeouf was great in it. There were some lines from other Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies which was fun too. Cars gave it 51 thumbs up. I give it two. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tonight was a "Mom's Night Out" for my mom's club and we went rollerskating. There were only 5 Moms who showed up. The roller rink we went to had "Adult Skate" starting at 8:30pm. I was wondering how many people might be there and I was expecting maybe 30 people. I mean, how many adults are going to go rollerskating on a Thursday night? Well, let me tell you, apparently there are a lot! I am sure there were over 200 people there and it was crowded on the rink!

It took me no time to get used to skating again even though I have not had rollerskates on my feet in over 20 years (I hadn't skated regularly since I was 15, I think, but Ramona and I went rollerskating when we were 21 and that was the first time I was ever called "ma'am").

There were a couple of songs where a big group of people got in the middle of the rink and did some dance steps. I laughed at that but then realized it was not a lot different than what we used to do. Also, it was nice to see that a lot of the same skating moves were still around after all these years. Another thing that surprised me was that I was not the oldest person there (well, some looked older than me).

Tonight brought back a lot of really fond memories of rollerskating at Centennial Arena. Ramona and I would head out and meet our friends there and skate the night away. I always had a 10pm curfew but skating ended at 10pm so we could not stay until the end. I never dared to be late home or else my mom would ground me (and she would ground Ramona too!) and we would not be allowed to go the next time. We would leave at the latest possible moment and rollerskate home. It was about a 15 minute skate home at full speed. We would even bumper hitch (well, car handle hitch) at times and let cars tow us home. (OMG, I would die if my kids ever did something that stupid!).

So, I did have fun tonight. The blisters on my feet are proof!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dex's First Communion was nice. He looked so handsome in his suit (although he looks uncomfortable in these photos).

Dex's appointment at the neurologist was ok. I told him my take on Zyrtec and he said what we have is an "association", not proof that it caused it ('tho *I* know better ;) Anyway, I need to contact him again if Dex gets ticks again without being on Zyrtec and also if he gets them again if we give him Zyrtec again.

Stephen has the week off and my inlaws are still here so I am not spending much time on the computer. And it is killing me! :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tomorrow is Dex's First Communion. We had the practice today at church then it was off to his baseball game. He is excited and nervous about tomorrow. I need to make sure I pack some things to keep Cars occupied. He has not sat through Mass in a while since he has been in Sunday School classes which recently ended (ok and I admit that I did not take my kids to church last Sunday!).

My allergies have been really bad these past couple of days. I have two whole botles of Zyrtec that I keep thinking about using but what if I am affected like Dex (is that crazy to think that? Jax wasn't affected the same way but I took him off it). Anyway, good ol' Claritin RediTabs work great for me (although they do not seem to last the full 24 hours).

I treated myself to a pedicure today. Just a cheapy one at the local walk-in pedicure/manicure place. It was over in 30 minutes. A little disappointing since I was really looking forward to a longer break from the family. My FIL talks a lot and honestly it is driving me a little batty. I am not used to constantly have to carry on a conversation I am looking forward to the drive into Seattle on Monday for Dex's neurologist appointment. I get to drive by myself and he will read or play or something. I will just listen to the hum of my tires on the road.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I think I picked 100 dandelions out of our front yard today. Stephen wants me to call TruLawn/Chemlawn and I may have to concede. We also have huge patches of clover, broad leaf grass and some prickly weeds here and there too.

Cars was a little pip today - he was climbing up the side of the bunkbed today (rather than use the ladder) when he should have been sleeping. I told him to get into bed and he said "BUT I NEED TO GET MY EXERCISE" (yes, he yelled it in full caps!). Earlier in the day Dex was lining up the Jenga blocks to in a domino fashion and just as he put the last block down, Cars tipped them all over. I told him to go to his room while Dex whined and he looked at my MIL and said "That was AWESOME!". He did not even care that he got a time out for that. He did, however, help me pick up the weeds that I pulled and I think he enjoyed doing it.

I think I found out where the yellow jackets are nesting (did I mention we had a problem?). Trying to decide if it is DIY project or if we need to hire professionals.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My inlaws arrived today for a 12 day visit. They are here for Dex's First Communion which is this weekend.

We have been making due with just one car ok for now. Thank goodness for the commuter bus provided for free by Big Software Company for its employees. They recently started stopping (ha - funny) at the plaza near to us rather than a couple of miles up the road so Stephen can walk to catch the bus in the morning. Today, we picked him up at work as we were at the club (swimming lessons were canceled but we went swimming anyway). Traffic was horrendous coming home thanks in part to Cirque du Soleil. Stephen had to rush out to the airport shortly after dropping us off.

Anyway, gas is up to $3.93/gallon now. Should hit $4 by next week, I imagine. And I still cannot convince Stephen to consider a hybrid car.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I should have spent today getting ready for my inlaws' visit - cleaning and tidying and reorganizing rooms, etc. Instead, I spent over an hour in a fabric store that is going out of business, touching and fondling fabric. I want to sew new curtains for my kitchen. The curtains currently hanging are ok (you can see them in on the left side of this photo.), but they are not really my colours. Anyway, I found one fabric that I liked in the store, bought 2 yards of it, brought it home and I just don't think it will do. Now I have $8 worth of fabric to add to my stash.

There was one fabric that was gorgeous. It was yellow and cream with huge blue flowers on it. It would be perfect and look really smart with some tailored curtains or an upholstered valance. It was a rayon and cotton mix and it was regularly priced at $99.99/yard! I thought at first it was a typo but then it was in with all of the really expensive fabrics (ranging from $49.99/yard and up). The fabrics were 50% off so it would still have been $50/yard. Wow. The store is closing on Sunday and I asked if their would be further markdowns between now and then. Apparently not. I guess they will probably send the fabric to one of their other locations.

Anyway, after the fabric store, I managed to further avoid getting the house ready for visitors by spending 30 minutes in Trader Joe's. I had to pick up some Trader Joe's brand Sunbutter and cheap marinara sauce. I also looked at all of their wines, the cookies that we cannot buy due to peanuts/tree nuts and the chunks of yummy cheeses. I wish they would open one up closer to my house.

Next, I went to Michaels and bought a tie-dye kit as Summer o'Fun 2008 is soon approaching and that is always our first project. Just 5 weeks of school left.

I finally arrived home to check email and move my cars in "Parking Wars" on Facebook (before Stacy or Robin gave me another ticket) then I had to pick Cars up from school. Today is early release so Jax and Dex got out a short while later. I did get a few things done (5 loads of laundry folded and put away, beds stripped and remade, cleaned out Jax's closet to make room for inlaws as they are staying in his room, cleaned out pantry, and played a game of Tetris (I beat my high score again!). Oh, I also had a 20 minute power nap.

So tomorrow I will be very busy finishing up - dusting, vacuuming, cleaning toilets and mirrors, cleaning the kitchen. I will have to get it done after MOPS and Cars' swimming lessons though. I work well under pressure though so it should not be a problem.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The meeting went as expected. They gave us some grief about how a health plan is "the same" or better than a 504 Plan. I told them if it is the same then why not the 504 Plan. In the end, he has been approved and his 504 plan says "See Health Plan". Good enough for now. Of course the 504 Coordinator did not show up and though I had asked to review Jax's plan and add a few things, no one knew anything about it since I had discussed it with the 504 Coordinator. Anyway, as the end of the year is coming up and they are scrambling to get things done, we won't have the official documentation done for 2-3 weeks.

Stephen cannot make a decision about what car to buy which is why we are not rushing out to get one right away. Our plan was to wait until the end of the summer and buy the 2008's that dealerships were trying to get rid of as the 2009's come in. No such luck now. I just feel sick that we spent all that money getting the car up and running and in two weeks it died again (something else major, of course).

~serenity now~

Well, just so my post doesn't turn into a total bitchfest, here are pictures of our recent projects (Click for bigger).

Jax's Science Project (Stephen helped measure and with the "lean" chart and I trimmed the papers to be placed on the board but Jax did the rest).

Dex's "Community Project". He chose to build a Subway sandwich shop. I had the perfect plastic and box arrive in the mail last week.

End-of-Year Gift for Preschool Teacher. (I also made the same thing for Dex's 2nd grade teacher)
Little Mica fingerprints on Fimo clay, strung together. This necklace has two fingerprints from each child. I am looking for a "fingerprint" or "touch" poem to go with it.

Mother's Day gift from Dex. This was a 3-day Art Start project and Dex made me promise not to look at his at all until Mother's Day.

Sachet from Cars to me for Mother's Day

Glass bead from Jax to me for Mother's Day. I strung it on a leather necklace that I had. I think it is so pretty (ignore the thyroidectomy scar!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

R.I.P. Saab

Lots of bus riding and chauffeuring this week.

In-laws arrive on Thursday night.

Buying a new car next week.

Perfect timing.

P.S. Wish us luck at Cars' 504 eligibility meeting tomorrow morning.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Peter asked me to write about my book club discussion on "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris and "Letter from a Christian Citizen" by Douglas Wilson. I had mentioned that we had one agnostic in our group but she said she is probably closer to an atheist than agnostic. She let us know before the discussion began that she loved and respected us all and hoped she would not offend. She did not. Overall the discussion was pretty tame. Spy says I had a heated discussion with Ash but she and I took it more as a passionate discussion (regarding survival of a species vs survival of the fittest). In any event, Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" was an interesting read. However, I found him to be a little hostile, angry and condescending. Not exactly something that will make me want to "listen" to him in a scientific way. He also talked a lot about Islamic Extremists a lot in a book written to a "Christian Nation".

Douglas Wilson is an Christian and a Calvinist. As a Calvinist, his beliefs are much different than mine. He freely admits that he is a Creationist which I know many Christians, including myself, struggle with the believe of creationism or evolution or intelligent design.

So, no profound discussion. No one's opinions were changed. I enjoyed reading the books to have an opportunity to challenge and reinforce my thoughts and beliefs. What I love about faith is that we can doubt and we do not have to have all of the answers. I think that belief in God is not a black or white, all or none proposition. I don't think that we have to "prove" there is a God nor do atheists have to "disprove" it.

And, onto to Mother's Day. Stephen made me a most excellent meal (rib eye steak, baked potato, grilled red peppers and sugar snap peas), I ate a lot of chocolate and I got to play Tetris for DS (kids and Stephen bought me Tetris and BrainAge2 - as well as a DS that needs to go back - *I* do not need one when there are three others in the house). Jax made me some jewellery, Dex made me a glazed ceramic heart and Cars made me a little sachet. Homemade gifts are the best!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Between Jax and Dex there are three big projects due this week. Jax has a science fair project to do (we opted not to be in the science fair this year but then found out that all 4th graders needed to do a science project). Dex has to do a biography project (research the person whom he would like to study, write biography, create a costume for that person and present it at "Wax Museum Night") and a community project (create a shoe-box sized business/store front, decorating the outside in a way that will help others identify it as well as to add trees, bushes, etc on the outside). On top of this they have their regular homework.

Jax has done his experiment and now it is just designing and putting together the display board. Dex is studying Tony Hawk so at least the costume part will be very easy. He chose a "Subway" sandwich shop for his community project so it should be simple enough to do but just time-consuming.

So, I get to spend my mother's day helping out with projects. At least it is quality time with the kids, right?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Stephen called his brother today to wish him a happy birthday but the birthday was yesterday. Somewhere over the past few years his birthday has been moved on our calendar from the 8th to the 9th and this is apparently my fault.

Funny, I have 2 times as many siblings as he does and I don't even have to rely on a calendar to know their birth dates. I even know all of their wedding anniversary dates and all of their children's birthdates by heart.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Off to book club shortly. I am so lame. We had two books to read this month and each were only about 100 pages and I have not finished the second book. The first was "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris and the second is "Letter from a Christian Citizen" by Douglas Wilson (it is a rebuttal to the first book). Anyway, this should stem some interesting conversation with our book club which is 70% Catholic, 10% Former-Mormon, 10% Former Southern Baptist but now attending an Evangelical church and 10% Agnostic (I think agnostic and not atheist - guess we'll find out tonight).

Oh, and I did not bake or make anything to take so I am off to Safeway to see if I can find anything wheat-free to bring.

And tomorrow I was planning to send a small gift to school for the teachers but I am so disorganized. I hope I remember!

I hate MAY!!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I bought new dishes for my kitchen this week. I was sick of the ones we had and since some were chipped, we had broken a few, and the set had been discontinued so I decided to buy replacements.

I debated for a long time about what to get. I thought a nice set of white dishes would be good because they would go with anything and would not really go out of style. But, what if the style were discontinued? And white can be awfully boring...

So I decided to go with Fiestaware. I already had a Fiestaware platter (it is a "seconds" that I bought at some store in Minneapolis) and a disk pitcher in cobalt blue. Oh, and three retired lilac tea cups that I bought on a whim off ebay in 1999). Anyway, the nice thing about Fiestaware is that it has been the exact same style and shape for seventy-something years (well, except for the decade or so that they did not actually make in the 70's-mid '80s). The colours change here and there but you can always match the style. Once I made my decision about the type of dishes, I needed to chose colours!

Of course, I was going to get more cobalt. And I do so love red (scarlet). And the peacock was a beautiful colour so I had to get that. And to round it off, I chose yellow (sunflower). So I bought two sets of each of those four colours. And thanks to Macy's sale (B1G1 Free and the 20% off friends discount that day), I did not have to spend a fortune. And I can add to the set as I need to (replacement pieces or full sets). And, they coordinate nicely with the Corelle that I bought last summer for the kids to use.

For those of you wondering why I sound so giddy over dishes... this seems silly perhaps but since I had ppd, I have had a really hard time making decisions. I agonized for MONTHS over a new duvet cover because I was afraid of making a bad decision. It takes weeks to find the right paint colour for my walls. I cannot decide what plants to buy for my planters. I am just so afraid of making the *wrong* decision that usually just I don't make any decisions at all. So to have made up my mind to buy these dishes in a quick time frame is huge for me. Ok, I did debate for months *if* I should buy new, but deciding to buy these particular dishes in these particular colours without playing it out a million different ways is a huge deal for me.

Just a little pat on the back I needed to give myself.

Here are the bowls, next to the Corelle (with the lilac cups peaking out in the background).

Monday, May 05, 2008

I received a belated birthday gift in the mail today from my bff, Ramona. It was a pretty heavy package so I had absolutely no clue what it was before I opened it.

It was...

Three years of Pezblahg published in a book format! OMG - what a great present! I had tried to upload my blahg to in the past but I am running an "old" version of blogger so I could not upload unless I upgraded but I was not sure what that would do to my blahg template and links so I have not done it.

In the past, I had also copied/pasted parts of my blahg to MSWord documents but it was a PITA that took forever. But as it turns out, I did not have to do this as my BFF did it for me, had it printed and bound and mailed to me. Ramona, you rock!

Anyway, I spent some time reading through my old posts from 2004 - back when I was still dealing with ppd. Some of it was a little hard to read because those feelings came back so strongly. But I also know that I no longer have those feelings so that is great. Normal Pez rather than Crazy Pez now.

Here is an entry that I had forgotten all about. Click on it for a larger view.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

So, remember Stephen's crappy birthday list? Well, I guess I should have realized that the reason he did not want anything is that he had designs on getting himself a Nintendo DS. He picked one up today at Costco. It came with The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. At least he picked out a cobalt blue DS to match my bottle collection. ;)

Jax has a science project due on the 13th of this month. He declined to do the optional science fair project only to find out that a science project is mandatory for 4th graders this year. Anyway, he has done his experiment already but needs to write it all up and work on his display board. He tested to see how many Lego bricks he could stack before they toppled over. He predicted that the 2x4 bricks would stack higher than the 2x2 or the 1x1's. As it turned out, the 2x2's could be stacked the highest before they fell. Stephen thinks it was a good experiment (he is the scientist in the house).

While they were working on that, Dex and I worked on his First Holy Communion banner. I bought some dark blue felt for the background and cut out our last name in orange letters (his favourite colour). He cut out a host and chalice and made little light rays coming out of it. He chose bright green for a cross but at least he made the candle out of a normal colour (white with an yellow flame - I cut out a tiny cross for the candle). I will hot glue them onto the banner tomorrow or Tuesday as the banner is due on Wednesday, along with a note stating that he is prepared to receive his First Holy Communion. We have not yet done the chapters that he missed when he was sick last week so I'd better hope to it.

My high school had a reunion last week and I have been enjoying looking at the photos from high school friends and teacher on Facebook. In Canada, they don't usually have the traditional 10th, 25th, etc reunions and often it is just a gathering of people who used to go to the school. I would definitely have gone if I were still living in Toronto. I graduated from Grade 12 26 years ago next month. That sounds so long ago but it doesn't at all feel that long ago.

Anyway, I have had several people from high school whom I had really only had acquaintances with contact me on Facebook (I am up to 65! ;) It has been fun finding out what everyone has been up to these past 2+ decades!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Peanut allergy treatment on the horizon?
Expert: Immune therapy for growing condition may be available in 5 years
The teacher finally got back to me after I sent two emails asking for an update. She said she spoke to the kids who said they were sorry and did understand how "important" Jax's allergy is (important? hmmm). She said she reported it to the principal and vice-principal and they will all work together to ensure Jax feels safe at school.

Anyway, I am fine with this for now as long as those kids do not bother him again. I think last year had this happened, Jax could have just shrugged it off (but it is still just as serious). However, with his anxiety this year, he cannot let it go. And these things are not funny and need to be dealt with swiftly.

No Cosmo Friday today as Dex has been sick. He barfed all night long Wednesday. Technically, it was all morning on Thursday as it started at 2am and ended at 8am. He said whining yesterday "I threw up 39 times!". Unfortunately for me, the first three times were on my down duvet. It is now at the dry cleaners and I hope it comes back smelling a little prettier. Anyway, Dex's stomach still hurts but he was able to eat today. Dex will also miss a sleepover b-day party tomorrow night. Poor kid.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Still waiting to hear back from the school. :\

And bro2 sent me this article:
Bullies use peanut butter to threaten kids with allergies from Tuesday's Globe and Mail.