Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween, Chocolate and Cosmos

The kids had a great time trick'r'treating. We went up the hill to our old neighbourhood. The first house we went to was our old house. Stephen was skived out but it was fine. She had her house all decked out and it looked great.

We went with Spy's kids (and her dh) then Ash's family joined us. The kids had so much fun! It pissed rain all day then about 4:30 it stopped and there were actually some blue patches of sky before the sun set. It was mild so no big coats for the kids.

Afterwards, Ash's family came back for a bit (Spy's son has a very early morning hockey game so they had to head home). We had an impromptu Cosmo Friday. Not official since Spy wasn't there (and dh and Ash's dh were there). It was the first Cosmo Friday since the first Friday in September.

After Ash's family left, we sorted through the candy and took away all the peanut stuff. Stephen will take it to work on Monday. Anyway, my kids did not even care that much about me replacing what I took away. They were just so excited to go out. Halloween really is a fun holiday.

Here are some pictures:

Two pumpkins that Cars designed. I had him design the big one on a piece of paper first. The second he drew right on his pumpkin patch pumpkin.

Jax and Dex's pumpkins. Degutted, designed and carved by them. A little rough but I am proud they did it all by themselves!

The kids in their costumes. Jax's evil jester mask totally freaked me out. I cannot look at it! Cars is a Clone Trooper and Dex is a Swamp Monster.

Ok, so this pumpkin looked like Sarah Palin to us. Square winking eye. Looks like long hair on the side. We asked the lady whose house it was at and she was seriously offended because she is an Obama supporter.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A little cheese to go with this whine...

Jax is home sick today for the second day in a row. Yesterday is was an inconvenience though I did leave him at home alone for an hour and a half while I went to get some blood work done (I have a nice 3" bruise on the inside of my elbow to prove it!) and to buy some groceries. Today it is a hassle that he is home (nice mom, eh?). He is sicker today. He has a higher fever, body aches and sore throat - yesterday it was just fever and body aches. I was supposed to help run Cars' class party this morning (Halloween as the kids have no school tomorrow). I just ended up dropping off the donuts and leaving.

I am also supposed to run a craft for Dex's class party later this afternoon but I will just have to drop off all of the supplies. I was going to need to leave early anyway because Dex has an appointment with the neurologist to discuss meds. :'(

Jax's class has planned their own party with no parent involvement. We did drop off what he needed to provide - Cheez Its, two boxes and ballots for voting for best costume and best dancer as well as a prize for best costume (a wig and fake nose/glasses <- his idea).

We de-gutted three pumpkins last night then ran out of time to carve the faces because I had to run to Krispy Kreme to get the donuts. The kids are upset because we won't have any fancy pumpkins this year because the Master Carver has been in Los Angeles all week and does not return home until tonight. I told them Jack'o'Lanterns only this year. Not that it matters if we even have them because I don't imagine there will be any trick'r'treaters around here.

My cable box died on Wednesday night so I had them replace it yesterday. The cable guy tracked MUD across the carpet. He is the only cable guy who has ever come into the house without putting on those little blue bootie things. Aargh! So, we lost all of our recorded shows.

Then my internet connection was out until about an hour ago. *pout*

This has been a long friggin' week.

On the plus side:

  1. The kids have the day off tomorrow are we are going to a party if everyone is healthy.
  2. A 504 Review meeting for Jax on Monday after school. I am glad that is was scheduled quickly.
  3. I've lost 7 pounds. I need to mention that now before I get into the Halloween candy.
  4. I bought myself some cashmere socks at Costco last week and they are wonderful.
  5. Spy rocks as she will watch Cars after school today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cars took a photo of me the other while I was plucking away at "Molly Malone". Notice my very fancy music stand.

I am so excited because now I know all of the notes to also play "Amazing Grace" and "Yesterday". I'll be touring before I know it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Today, I went for a physical therapy appointment to finally treat Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that I was diagnosed with in January '04! The vascular surgeon told me to get PT and I never went. I had no time! For my "vacation year" this year I am finally making the time for me. And also I have noticed it is getting worse and I have a really hard time lifting any kind of hand weights in the circuit training class because my arms go almost immediately numb when I lift them over my head.

Yeah me for taking care of myself!

Jax's teacher emailed me today because the kid who sits next to him (they share a 2-person desk) had a pb sandwich for lunch. WTF is going on?! It is almost like some sort of conspiracy. Anyway, Jax was very agitated so the teacher asked the other kid to move but told me she could not do that again. She then suggested that she look for a single-person desk to have brought into her room for Jax. She was able to locate one and it is all set up for him for tomorrow (though he probably won't go to school because he has picked up some sort of virus and has a fever and body aches).

I also sent an email to the principal asking for the 504 coordinator info (the dipstick from last year has left the school). We need to get in his plan accommodations for shared desks, pb used in lesson plans and now I am looking ahead at next year when he will be in a portable with no running water. How will he wash his hands?!

Monday, October 27, 2008

We had another peanut issue at school on Friday but I am too weary to write about it. Jax handled it superbly however, the only casualty is his attitude towards his teacher. I explained to him that while her judgement may have been poor, this is nothing like the case with the music teacher. He is not convinced. I fear this will completely affect his school work. He is having a fantastic year so far. He's won an academic award (they are given out pretty freely, IMO, but it was nice that he was recognized), he is doing well on all of his tests and assignments. He genuinely has been interested in school which is refreshing after last year. I hope he can shake off these feelings towards her.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I took the kids to the skateboard park today then we walked around the city center commons. It was a glorious day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


We are watching The Last Starfighter tonight. Jax asked me if it were made in Canada. I said it was not and why did he ask.

Jax: Because his mom said "Sorry"
Me: "Sorry"? What's wrong with that?
Jax: Because here we say "Saw-ry"
Dex: Yeah, only people from Canada say it "Sore-ry"
Me: The word is Sore-ry, not Saw-ry so make sure you pronounce it correctly!
Jax: ~eye roll~
Dex: ~eye roll~

I have had a conversation about Sore-ry/Sawry before with Spy. And in the "How I Met Your Mother", the "classic" video of Robin singing "Let's Go to the Mall", she really emphasizes "Sorry" (her character is from Canada). See video here. ("Sorry is about 23 seconds in).

By the way, I looked it up the the mom in "The Last Starfighter" is not from Canada but from Pennsylvania.

So, do you pronounce SORRY, like SORE-RY or SAW-RY?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This week I have received four Christmas catalogues in the mail. Ugh! I don't want to think about it yet!

My kids have been talking about Christmas already too. They have mentioned starting lists. It is going to be an interesting year because this is the first year that I am certain that Jax does not believe in Santa Claus.

How do I know this? Well, a few weeks ago at school, the new counselor came in to the class to talk to the kids about kindness and compassion. She asked for an example and one boy raised his hand and said something along the lines that kindness is still pretending to believe in Santa Claus so you don't ruin it for younger kids. Oops! I know that Jax was not the only one in the class who still thought there might be a Santa Claus (I heard this story from Spy, btw, whose dd told her about it. Jax has said NOTHING!).

Anyway, Jax has not yet said anything about asking Santa for such-and-such a gift. Dex and Cars have both said something about it. I wish Jax would say something to me. I'll have to bring it up to him the next time we are alone. I have always said in our house that if you believe in Santa, he'll bring you a gift. I wonder if that is why Jax is not saying anything.

I also hope that he does not say anything to Dex or Cars. I can totally remember trying to show off my knowledge and how grown-up I was by telling my youngest brother, Wally, that there was no such thing as Santa Claus the year that I found out (I was 9). My brother was devastated and devised a plan to find out if it were true. Wally refused to tell my mom and dad what he wanted for Christmas and said he was only going to tell Santa when we went to visit him at the mall. Fortunately, one of my older brothers, JP, managed to find out what it was that Wally wanted so JP told my mom who was able to get the gift. Wally was so delighted on Christmas morning to know that there was indeed a Santa (at least for that year).

I can totally see Jax doing what I did. And I would be so disappointed if he did.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I am so tired of election ads on television! Not necessarily the ads for President (but I am weary of seeing those too), but the WA State ads for Governor are making me sick. The Republican candidate's ads are slimy and the Democratic ones are ludicrous. I cannot wait until the election is over.

That said, I will say that I have a sign in my front window for my choice for President. I wish I could vote!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I read Doonesbury today. The character (sorry, don't know his name because I do not read that strip daily) refers to bloggers as "narcissists".

Is that what bloggers are?

Is that what I am?!

I am editing this to add that I don't actually expect an answer, especially a "no you're not" one. Those were rhetorical questions. I know why I started this blog (help overcome ppd and not wear out my welcome at the SAHP forum I used to go to) but I have to admit that I am overly concerned with how many readers I have on a daily basis and I look to see how they arrived at my blog using sitemeter.

I don't think I am a narcissist but I know I want people to like me (Sally Field syndrome?). I am a people pleaser and that totally bugs the shit out of me. I often do (or don't do) things because I worry so much about what others will think or because I know so-and-so will or won't like it.

Now I have to worry about people thinking I am narcissistic for having a blog. Why do I even care?! If they don't like, they don't have to read it, right? I like having one. I like writing about my life. I like having my say!

And now I hope that did not come across too vain.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today was my day to be Dex's advocate.

First, I helped plan the Halloween party for his class. I chose activities that I thought Dex would really like. And I did push for things to be completely peanut-free (there are two PA kids in his class). This helps Dex too because he does not being around peanuts because of Jax's allergy. He's so kind-hearted.

After school, I visited with Dex's teacher today to discuss his reading. Of course today he passed an AR test and moved up a level in SRA because he finished two SRA tests this week! So, I think the reading thing is really a non-issue. He is feeling better knowing that he has moved up an SRA level and has passed his AR test.

Also, I spoke to the neurologist's office today. The doctor wants to see Dex again to talk about medication to control the tics. Yikes! Of course the appointment date they gave me was December 29th! I told the nurse (I think she was a nurse and not just a receptionist because there is another person in the office to handle appointments) that my concern with that was by the time we get in, the tics will be gone and there is no way I will accept any meds for him without the doctor witnessing the tics. She said she'd talk to the doctor. She called back a while later and said the doctor did want to see him sooner so they were able to schedule an appointment in two weeks' time! I am still very unsure about medication for his head-shaking tics (they are very severe though) so I need to know more about the medication, how it works and how long he'd have to be on it.

The one sad thing for Dex is that the appointment time conflicts with his class Halloween party. That totally sucks but it is what needs to be done.

I told Dex that I was taking him back to the neurologist. He really wants help with his tics. He gets frequent headaches from them and he himself has noticed that the head shake is starting to be a head and shoulder shake. :(

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Misc Stuff

Cars' last day of soccer is tomorrow. Hopefully we can go back to Cosmo Fridays after that. Oh, wait, it will probably have to wait another couple of weeks as Spy cannot make it on the 24th then it is Halloween. I can't remember the last time we had Cosmo Friday. It was at Spy's house but I don't recall if it were before or after the school year started.

I had my guitar lesson today. I am still on Lesson 3. I am having a hard time progressing past the notes on 3 strings. Hopefully I will get better as I am getting frustrated. I guess it is a good thing that I can read music else I would be struggling with that too. I just cannot get my fingers to do what I want them to do.

Dex is down on himself about school because he cannot seem to pass any AR tests. Actually, he has passed one. He is ploughing through books but apparently not retaining any information. The teacher is not concerned as he is doing well on SRA (anyone else remember doing SRA in Grade 3? You know, the little books with the coloured levels - brown, lime, aqua, etc). He just needs to stop being so hard on himself, I think.

I finally bit the bullet and called the neurologist today. I just left a message since it went right to voicemail but no one has called me back yet. His head-shaking tic has lasted almost seven weeks now and it does not appear to be abating. :(

I went to Sears today to buy new winter coats for the kids. I ended up ordering Lands' End coats for Jax and Dex (shipping is free if you order at Sears). The coats will be here soon and I hope they like the coats because it is starting to get cold! I am also concerned about the sizes. According to their size chart, Jax and Dex should be wearing the same size!

I pulled out two size 5/6 coats from the closet for Cars to chose from. He says he is sure it is going to be very cold tomorrow because he wants to wear the coat he chose. Nevermind that today he insisted that he would not be chilly with an unzipped hooded sweatshirt. He also asked me to find him some mitts. This time of year is so funny because it can be very chilly in the morning but then warm up (today it was about 60F). People are all over the map with what they are wearing too - shorts, t-shirts and others in parkas with fur collars - all on the same day!

Anyway, Cars' coat is ready for him to wear tomorrow if he wishes. I forgot to dig out the mitts so he'll have to settle with his pockets.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A few photos from our weekend away.

Cars was very perturbed that Lola would not look into the camera so he thought he'd help

Someone was very tired while we waited in the long line to cross the border back into the USA. He slept for about 40 minutes like this. Heehee!

Guy selling ice cream and water while we wait our more than hour and a half to cross.

I realized I had forgotten to take a picture of the mirror before this point so I took one as we were approaching the US border in stop and go traffic. I guess I could have gotten out for a better shot.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It was expen$ive to fix the side mirror but I took the opportunity to get an oil change, replace the burned out fog lights and for them to fix the light over the license plate. There are still scratch marks in the paint on the side of the car and the plastic along the window is dinged up but not worth fixing, IMO. If it were Stephen's new car, we definitely would have gone through insurance to have the car brought back to like-new condition.

I was trying to figure out what kind of owl hit us. I am still not quite sure but apparently owls being hit by cars on a highway is much more common that one might imagine. Whoo knew?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Here is a quick run-down of our trip to Vancouver:

1) While driving along I-5, not far from the border, an owl smashed into the side of our car and broke the side mirror. It scared the crap out of all of us and Cars is still traumatized
2) My sister's boyfriend got sick so they did not make the long drive from Edmonton to Alberta
3) Stephen and I were watching election coverage on CNN. Dex later told us that he used to like Obama but doesn't want him to win because the tv said he used to be a terrorist. Yikes! I see how an 8 yr old might draw that conclusing based on what he saw but it makes me sick that adults believe it!
4) I had a Thanksgiving turkey dinner at White Spot. The dressing ROCKED.
5) Lola is so funny! Dex and Cars were falling all over each other trying to make her laugh.
6) My mom and I get along a lot better when we are not sleeping under the same roof.

That's it. I need to call a dealership tomorrow to see about getting a new side mirror.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blogger ate my post. It was witty and smart and it is all gone.

Acutally, it was probably a bit dull anyway so Blogger did me a favour by "editing" it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian readers (both of you!).

Happy weekend to the rest of you! I hope you three enjoy your weekend. ;)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Book Club is tonight. The book is called "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Unfortunately, I was only able to get through June before the book had to go back to the library. The book club also marks the "official" return of a former member whom we voted back in. I organized the anonymous poll on I would be interested to know who voted Yes and who voted No. And one person abstained from voting. I know who it was. She felt that she could not vote one way or the other because she did not want to hurt anyone's feelings.

December will be the start of our 5th year of book club. I really love going and for the most part, have always finished the books. It is unfortunate that I had to return this one on Tuesday else I would have completed it. I will probably borrow someone's copy and finish it at another time. Anyway, we have one member who almost NEVER reads the book. Sometimes she has not even picked it up. And mostly she has read just a few chapters of it. Another member has missed about half the meetings since she started (she was not an original member). That bugs me! And often her reasons are things like "we have birthdays next week and I have to prepare" as if the three hours at book club will this week be the make or break it for her party prep. Now, if it were a one time thing, sure I could see that. But it is often.

Back to this current book - it is about eating only locally-grown (as in what this family grows) foods for one year. They can buy or trade with local farmers and friends but that is it. It is an interesting concept. So no strawberries in October. Of course it totally made me think twice about what I was going to take tonight. Lately, I had been taking veggie trays. But looking through Safeway today, I noticed the red peppers that are on sale are from Mexico. And I am sure that celery is not "in season" in WA either. In the end, I made meringue cookies (hopefully the eggs are not from too far away) with organic chocolate chips (not local and hopefully "fair trade" chocolate. Plus they were on sale ;)

Ok, off to make dinner for my family then get ready for book club. Looking forward to the sparks flying (there will be no avoiding political talk with the impending election).

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It was down to 64 degrees in my house today so I went out to buy a new furnace filter and installed it. I waited until this evening to turn the furnace on. I have switched it the thermostat to the "ON" position but it has not kicked on yet. Hmmm...I hope it isn't broken.

Ok, I went and checked. The circuit breaker in the garage had flipped. It is working! Heat!

When I said I went to check, there was a lot that really happened.

I walked to the thermostat and turned the heat up to 73 degrees, waiting to hear the heat go on. It did not. I told Stephen that the heat did not go on said that I wondered if the furnace was working. I walked to the furnace/laundry/mud room and I took the front off the furnace to check to see if the pilot light was lit (no it was not). I read the directions quickly - it says pilot light will light when there is a call for heat. I told Stephen's my concern that the furnace did not turn on. He gave me an exasperated sigh and got up to come check it out.

We both went to look at the furnace and noticed an electrical switch on the side of the furnace. Stephen flipped it on and off a couple of times. Nothing happened. Then he went to the garage to get his flashlight, came back in and peered in the furnace. He read the same directions and said "Maybe it is not cold enough". I said I had the heat turned on to 73 degrees. I then decided I will call the furnace guy tomorrow if the heat does not come on by the morning. Stephen said the furnace cannot be broken because it was fine last year and we don't need a new one because our house inspector said our (23 yr old!) furnace seemed to be in fine shape.

Stephen walked back out to the garage to return the flashlight and I ask him to check the circuit breaker. He said he is sure it is not the circuit breaker but I ask him to double check. He ~rolled~ his eyes at me and walked over to the circuit breaker and yanked open the front panel. He noticed that one breaker is flipped and then he reads the panel. It says FURNACE.

I must also say that I made Stephen admit that I was right and that getting all pissy about checking the circuit breakers was not necessary. He claimed that he was not pissy because I was right but that I did not check the circuit breaker myself because I am afraid there might be spiders out there. This is partially true. But, I am more afraid of being electrocuted by a loose wire on the electrical panel. Of course, there isn't one but in my worst-case-scenario mind, you never know...

So when I say "Ok, I went and checked. The circuit breaker in the garage had flipped. It is working! Heat!" there really was a lot more to it, wasn't there?

And, now the house is heating up nicely. :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

I took Cars for his 5 year wellness check appointment today (the one I forgot to schedule in August!). He is at the 90th percentile for height and 50th for weight. Right on the path he has been on pretty much since birth. The doctor asked about his speech as she mentioned that he was not sounding his R's correctly. We've decided to wait to see if he gets them. The S's and Th's will have to wait until he is 8 before we do something about it.

During the appointment, Cars was asked to copy some shapes and then write his name and draw a self-portrait. The doctor said he did a good job then she pulled out Jax and Dex's same eval they had at his age and let me tell you - Cars' did rock! He was spot on with the shapes and his self-portrait had so much detail!

Now, the differences could be attributed to the fact that he is actually 5 yrs and 2 months old (vs the other two who saw the doctor within a couple of weeks of their 5th birthdays). Also, Cars is already in kindergarten and I that could be it too. Or he could be just that much more brilliant than his brothers.

Quick, what was that number for the Quest program contact again? ;)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ok, so you've seen pictures of Jax and his hair. You know that hair. That coarse, thick, wavy, way-too-long hair. He loves it! Loves it! He thinks it looks great!

Jax uses a 2-in-1 shampoo AND an additional conditioner yet his hair still looks like he stuck his finger in the socket most days. I have used the hair dryer to blow it dry and "style" it some days and it does look a little better (far less coarse, and there is even some SHINE to his locks) but he hates the dryer and complains so much that it is not something I can do everyday (or even more than one or twice a month). I am hoping that puberty is kind to him and his hair either straightens out or gets curlier. It has got to get better, right?

Here is a photo of him on the first day of school and he thought his hair rocked.

Look at that hair! I often joke with him about buzzing all of his hair off while he sleeps and that day was no exception. All the way to school and while we were standing outside of his class I told him that he was going to wake up in the morning looking like Charlie Brown.

Then, this kid came up and got in line.

OMG! Here I was, teasing Jax about his crazy hair but at least he BRUSHES it! Anyway, Jax told me I could never, ever complain about his hair again because at least it did not look like that kid's! And I did not complain. For about a week.

Anyway, this coming Tuesday is Picture Day at school so in an attempt to have his hair look a little tamer for the pictures, I took the kids to SuperCuts for haircuts. Or "trims" because they all refused to go for "haircuts". The stylist told me that if she cuts it any shorter (without going short) it was just going to POUF out so she recommended "taming" it with some hair wax. We've tried hair gel and tons of leave-in conditioner in the past but not wax so I said "sure". She she cut his hair and applied wax and it looked almost good so I said "We'll take some!".

She walked over to the shelves of hair product and pulled down the jar. It was called "ShortSEXYhair". OMG! What kind of product is that to use on a 10 year old boy?!

I bought it and he grinned all the way home. It just totally reinforced the his idea that his hair looks GOOD!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Twenty-two years ago today Stephen and I had our first date. We went to dinner at The Keg then went to see a movie at the Cineplex.

Wow! That was more than half my life ago.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

How sad is this? I made dinner for the second time this week (rather than just "assembling" dinner) and Stephen is making a big deal about it. It is actually a little embarrassing how rarely I make a "real" dinner. I made souvlaki on Monday(with homemade tzatziki!) and tonight it was chicken with broccoli pasta (broccoli, garlic, butter, onions, pasta and parmesan cheese).

I rarely make nice dinners for a number of reasons. First, the kids won't eat them. Cars and Dex were fake gagging when they tasted the pork souvlaki the other night. For tonight's dinner, I kept some broccoli and some pasta out of the sauce because I knew they would complain. Dex actually ate some of the pasta with the sauce so I do appreciate that. Then they complained that I did not keep enough broccoli out of the garlic sauce (yes, my kids all love broccoli!). I cannot win.

Secondly, with Jax's appointment on Tuesdays, there is just no time to make dinner. So Jax and I get dinner together and then take the long drive to his appointment. Stephen takes Cars and Dex out to dinner those nights. They definitely win as Jax and I are limited to either eating something really quick or something that is portable.

Wednesday nights, Stephen works late and is not home for dinner. So, I am not going to waste my time making something special that all of the kids will not eat. So Wednesday nights we usually have tacos, pasta and (frozen) meatballs (no tomato or marinara sauce because the kids won't eat it), or Kraft Dinner. All meals that are pretty much just heating and assembling.

Friday is always pizza night.

And Stephen always cooks on Saturday and Sunday nights because he likes to do it and he is a much better at cooking than me (or is it I?).

Anyway, after not really cooking all summer long, and with the kids at school all day, one of my goals is now to have yummier dinners on Mondays and Thursdays. I may even try for Wednesdays if I make them kid-friendly. Let's see how I do.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Today was probably the last nice warm day that we will have for a while. I picked the kids up from school and they played at the park for an hour before we headed to swimming lessons.

While we were at the park, I noticed an eagle circling overhead. Then there were five eagles circling around and around. As Spy and I watched them, more and more eagles joined them until there were *25* eagles circling in the sky. It was an amazing sight! Then they all flew off together. Wow!

Cars and I swam while Jax and Dex were in the other pool for their lesson. And I took the circuit training class earlier in the day so I am completely exhausted. I hope I do not fall asleep during Project Runway.