Saturday, January 31, 2009


My boys have been wrestling each other a lot lately and it is driving me crazy. I don't mind if they want to wrestle each other but someone is always getting hurt and crying or whining and I just cannot stand it! I keep telling them they are welcome to wrestle downstairs with the door shut or out in the garage but no one is allowed to complain about getting hurt. Of course they all agree until ... someone gets hurt. So tonight I said NO MORE WRESTLING and they stopped wrestling. Until bedtime.

Every Friday and Saturday night we let them have "Crazy Sleep Night" (CSN) which means they can sleep in any bed (except mine) or any of their bedrooms or on the floor in those bedrooms. When they were all smaller, the three of them could fit easily into a full sized bed and even into a twin bed and it was cute and cozy. Now that they are bigger, only two can fit in the full bed and just one to a twin bed so mostly they sleep on the floor in sleeping bags on CSN.

So, at bedtime tonight, they chose to sleep in Jax's bedroom on the floor for CSN. It was quiet for a few minutes then I heard Jax yell and Dex whine so I snuck upstairs and found them all wrestling on the floor. I put an end to CSN for tonight and maybe forever! I am just so sick of it! Stephen says I am a hard ass but really he is not home for a lot of the wrestling and whining (usually happens after school before dinner) and the thing is, Jax weighs almost twice what Cars weighs so while Cars can be the aggressor, one big push from Jax is enough to make Cars fly (and yes, usually he is the one who gets hurt the most while Jax is the whiniest about it).

I also hate it because the whining and crying when someone gets hurt brings me back to my childhood. My siblings and I used to fight. A lot. We'd punch and scratch and throw things at each other. More than one door in our house was broken when someone was being chased and tried to slam a door behind them while the chaser would shove a broom handle in the gap to stop the door from closing. We'd fight and bully and scream (while my mom and dad were at work mostly). It never stopped until we were all adults!

Getting back to my kids, for the most part they do not physically fight. I will not tolerate it. Cars is one who will hit when frustrated but Jax and Dex do not (so Cars is the one who spends the most time in his room). This wrestling is not fighting but just play and I know that but the outcome (whining and someone being hurt) totally brings back those feelings of being teased, bullied and hit in my home when I was a child and I do not want to feel that way. Ever.

Now, I must say that I have a great family and I love my brothers and sister. I do not love parts of my childhood and really, the fighting was not constant (I have some friends whose homes were battlegrounds!) and when we did have fights they would be over pretty quickly with no lasting hard feelings (mostly). I just do not want that for my children.

I hope that by taking away CSN tonight and maybe turning it into something they have to earn rather than something they expect, I can get them to curb the wrestling. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Every Friday we have pizza for dinner and usually from Papa John's. I usually order it before we head out to Cosmo Fridays or just before our guests arrive here. They have a "plan ahead" feature which is great so I can order the pizza online and request a certain delivery time. It has worked out really great for us (now that I know they might be a few minutes early so I order it to be delivered at 6:30 and it arrives usually at 6:15, right when we arrive home from CF and as Stephen gets home from work).

Anyway, today the I had to drive the kids to/from school because there was a substitute bus driver (no guarantees that they have been trained to use an Epi Pen). I had a couple of minutes before I had to run out so I quickly ordered the pizza (pizza and wings special combo!) then rushed out to get the boys. I arrived home about 25 minutes later to a Papa John's delivery car (truck actually) in my driveway and the pizza guy looking irritated on my front step while he is talking on the phone. Oh shit! I completely forgot to chose PLAN AHEAD order so my dinner was here three hours early!

I apologized profusely to the guy and told him what had happened, hoping that he'd then say "OK, we'll bring you back a fresh order at 6:30!" when of course he grumbled "There are re-heating instructions on the box" as he shoved the boxes at me and walked away.

Fortunately, I had room in my fridge for the boxes. And the pizza and wings did reheat nicely when following the directions on the box but I'll be sure to click on PLAN AHEAD next time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We received notices in the mail this week that all three boys are due for re-check appointments with their allergist in April. You have to book way in advance so I called on Monday and left a message. No one called me back that day or the next so I called again on Wednesday and actually spoke to someone LIVE the first time I called (a rare event at this very busy office).

Anyway, I said I needed to set up appointments for all three kids and guess what? I cannot make their appointments all on the same day due to "new office policies". How stupid is that?! So, Jax and Dex have appointments one day (and I will either have to take Cars out of school early to go with them OR find someone to pick him up from school for me) and Cars has another appointment the next week. The day Cars has the appointment, they had openings at 10:00, 10:30 or 11:00 but I was not allowed to book Jax, Dex and Cars in those three slots! It makes no sense whatsoever!

I will be sure to tell the allergist about this (often the doctors do not even know what is going on in the clinics). I am also so irritated about this that I am considering taking the kids to another practice. Although this one is so convenient because they have quite a few offices around and the kids can see the doctor at either the Seattle or Redmond offices, depending on which day of the week works best for us so in reality I will have to think long and hard about doing it. But I'll think about it! You mark my words!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stephen's new passport arrived today. The turn around was pretty quick - about 10 days. We had to FedEx it to Canada and it was sent back via courier.

We've been looking into vacation ideas for spring break. We'd like to go somewhere warm but we are limited because at this time, we do not want to go outside of the USA due to food allergy issues. You may have read about a family whose son died of an allergic reaction to peanuts on the first day of their vacation to Mexico (you can read the dad's story here). So, at this point we'd like to avoid any language barrier issues.

We'd love to go to Hawaii. My dream vacation. We'll see...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I went to bed early last night with a migraine. I have had so many lately. I am not sure why. Sometimes in the summer I can pinpoint the weather as the trigger. Or if I am traveling then stress does it. But I really don't know why I've had them lately. It is so frustrating.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So, I made the drive to Vancouver and back and I survived! :) Now I know I can do it again if I ever need to. The scariest part of the drive was taking that big bridge over to New Westminster.

I spent the afternoon with L'R and her kids at the mall. We had a very nice visit. It was so nice to see her again. I hadn't seen her in about a year and a half - not too long after D was born. We walked around a bit, bought a couple of things then sat on a bench and had a nice chat. The mall was very crowded. Apparently Canada is not having a recession judging by the number of people in the mall. Also, this particular mall was MASSIVE and the people who worked for the mall (not the stores but the mall) wander around on roller blades! Funny!

I spend the night at my brother's house. OMG Lola is too freaking cute! I love, love, love that age (she is almost 21 months). She is a very happy little girl! I usually buy her little girlie outfits when I go visit but after she tossed the clothes when she opened the bag, I think it is time to switch to toys! LOL

Stephen survived a very busy weekend without me. All three boys started "Beginner Hockey" yesterday then they had swimming lessons in the afternoon (well, the older two while Stephen took Cars swimming in another pool). Today, they had to go to religion class (I figured it was too much to ask to have Stephen actually take them to Mass) then a birthday party.

When I left BC today it was cold but the sun was shining brightly and the skies were blue. Shortly after crossing back into the States, the skies turned grey and there was SNOW!! Yikes! There are still a few flakes coming down now. There is snow on the grass and trees but not on the roads. I hope we don't wake up to even more snow in the morning.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm going on an adventure tomorrow. I am excited and nervous. I am driving to Canada by myself. I am going to meet at friend for some shopping in the afternoon then heading to my brother's house for the evening and I'll drive home on Sunday.

I have mentioned before that I have a phobia of driving over bridges but my counselor said she thought I actually had a driving phobia. It is really a phobia of being stranded by a broken down car. Fortunately, I will be taking the new car with the GPS so 1) no getting lost and 2) hopefully no mechanical problems (not that mine has any but newer=more reliable, right?).

Ok, off to pack. I am excited about seeing everyone, especially Lola!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This and That

  1. I called the police on some guys who were smoking pot at the park yesterday. They later walked down to the school yard so I reported it to the school today. However, they left before the cops arrived (as did I). Pot smokers on the school grounds are not a priority on our city.

  2. Big Software Company layoffs did not affect us at this point. Whew!

  3. My boys are starting a beginning hockey class this Saturday. I had to take them for equipment rental today (what an ordeal!). Stephen bought the things that cannot be rented (jerseys, jocks, socks and sticks). They are all set to go!

  4. I took Jax to the eye doctor today. He does not have retinoblastoma (ok, long story that did not post about but basically in a photo that I took, Jax's eye reflected back with white pupil). Another Worst Case Scenario dispelled. Whew!

  5. Our replacement bed came last night and it is much firmer than the other. I am sure this is how the other should have been. The delivery guys even noted that the other bed was collapsed on one side. Stephen did sleep better but said he is still going to withhold judgement for a week. Hopefully his back pain will go and he will stop being so grumpy.

  6. I finally found a Tinkerbell PEZ dispenser to complete the Disney Fairies PEZ set for my collection.

  7. My guitar instructor lent me some Beatles DVDs today and taught me the chords to "Hey Jude". Chords! Squee!! :) He is very happy that I am a Beatles' fan.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ugh, I haven't worked out since last week and I feel like a slug! Monday was MLK day so no school so no working out. Today, they delivered our replacement bed during my circuit training class time. Then the kids got out early today so there was no time to go afterwards. Tomorrow I have MOPS, then guitar lessons then Jax has an eye appointment. Friday morning I am teaching art in Dex's class. I wonder if I can squeeze a workout in the afternoon?!

Tomorrow for MOPS, it is my table's turn to bring in items for a local shelter. I totally forgot until this afternoon that I needed a laundry basket and a set of spatulas so after the kids' playdates today, we headed to Target then to Fred Meyer for dinner (the kids love the mac'n'cheese from the deli). I was SHOCKED at how dead both Target and FM were. We were at the stores between 5:30 and 6:15 - normally very busy times as people stop there on their way home from work. I was most shocked at FM's. Was it the day or are people really not shopping?! It felt surreal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not sure if it were the excitement from today (Hello, President Obama!) or from inhaling the fumes while photocopying for one and a half hours for Jax's teacher (I am sure I went through 4 reams of paper!) but I have a wicked migraine. I am "resting" and Stephen has taken the kids out to dinner. Usually if I have a migraine I can nap or sleep but not this time. I ran out of my prescription stuff and when I was at the doctor a couple of months ago I forgot to get a renewed prescription (I asked about it at the beginning of the appointment but we got sidetracked on my bursitis or heel spur).

As I said, I am too wound up to sleep. The sound from the tv hurts my head. Reading takes too much concentration. I can do ok lying here in the dark with my monitor turned down low but I cannot do much more than read the forums (and post to my blahg) because I cannot concentrate with this pain. Woe is me.

Ok, off to read about some more crazies who think that Obama is the Anti-Christ. Yes, I did swear off that forum but lack of entertainment drew me back in.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Today it was warm again (not AS warm) but it did get to the mid-50's. In the morning we went to the skatepark and met some friends there. Afterwards, the one of the kids came back to our house for a playdate.

My boys also worked on creating their own superhero costumes using a cardboard box, duct tape and elastic bands. Jax created a superhero named "The Vulture" back when he was taking the cartooning class and so today he made The Vulture's costume. I am not sure why he thought Vulture was a good name for a superhero... Anyway, it is amazing how long a cardboard box can keep kids occupied.

I am going to watch some of the inaugruation tomorrow morning. I've arranged with Jax's teacher to move my volunteering to later in the day. I am excited for a new administration. Yes we can!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On Saturday night, we went to E & T's house to watch some University of Minnesota Hockey. They have DirectTV and are able to watch Minnesota hockey every week. We are a little jealous. Way back when E and Stephen were both still PhD students at the UofM, each year we'd get season tickets for the games (actually, I think we split season tickets the first year with E & T because we could not afford them on our own). Anyway, it was always great fun going to Mariucci Arena to watch the Gophers play and watching them last night in E&T's family room, 1600 miles away, was still a lot of fun! BTW, the Gophers beat the St. Cloud State Huskies 8-6. We definitely were not ripped off any goals that game.

Today we had a super sunny and WARM day! It got up to 65 degrees at my house. I loved it! I turned off the heat and opened the front and back doors and let the fresh air in. It was nice.

The kids have tomorrow off school for MLK day. We haven't any plans though I understand there is more sunshine in the forecast so maybe we can do something outside! Hurray!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rumours abound that Big Software Company is going to announce layoffs next week when they release their earnings. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we are good here.

Our electric/gas bill came today and OMG. It is $100 than last January's bill AND we used less gas. I think I need to get a job!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Well, I managed to yet again mangle another dinner. Here it is, 6:30 and dinner is still cooking (we normally eat at 6pm). Let's see...the London Broil is what is holding us up. The recipe I followed said 10 mins per side on the grill. Did that and the internal temperature was only 113F (Mooo!). The roasted carrots are now cold and the peas are mushy. The Lazy Daisy cake I made is lopsided (guess I did not mix the ingredients enough?).

So, I am having a glass of wine on a Thursday night while I wait for the meat to cook. Of course the rest of the family is taking advantage of this time by playing xBox and no doubt there will be tears when bath and bedtime come immediately after dinner.

I should have let my vacation day extend beyond 3pm.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tomorrow I have NOTHING on my schedule. No Mom's club, no guitar lesson (it was moved to Tuesday of this week). No volunteering at the school. Nothing!

I think I will take a vacation day and catch up on a couple of TV shows (Weeds Season 1 and Intervention, start reading my next book club book (it finally arrived today - Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama) and maybe take a trip over to Starbucks and treat myself to a cranberry-orange scone and a grande Earl Grey tea with 1 tea bag.

Of course what I should be doing is planning meals for the next few days and getting some groceries, cleaning the house, changing sheets, vacuuming, tidying up the laundry/mud/junk room and of course there is the ever present laundry to tackle.

But no, I am taking a vacation day. At least between the hours of 8am and 3pm. If only it were paid vacation time then I would go shopping for new shoes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I ordered some things from Crate & Barrel and for some reason they were shipped separately via UPS (well, it looks like one of the items is even on back order). Anyway, two items were shipped the same day. One arrived yesterday and it looks the the other will arrive today. However, if you look at the UPS tracking, it seems they may have both been on the same truck that arrived at the UPS sorting center in Redmond yet one was delayed a day due to "Adverse Weather Conditions". Huh?! It was barely raining yesterday. The roads from here to UPS are clear. The centre is about 6 miles from my house. No flooding on the roads between here and there. I find it so bizarre especially since both packages arrived at UPS (one minute apart) on January 11th.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My $21 hamburger

I went to Fatburger last month and had one of their Fatburger (on Tuesday evenings, their Fatburger are only $2.49 (a $1.20 savings!) and a big blob of grease and ketchup dripped off the bun and onto the front of my relatively new top. Of course, this was just before Jax's appointment and I did not notice that it happened until after we met with Jax's counselor and it was right in the middle of my shirt. Doh!

When I got home, the shirt went right into the wash after I sprayed it with Zout. But the grease stain was still there! I washed it again after scrubbing it with a Tide To Go pen but it did not wash out. Then I tried Spray'n'Wash and the stain STILL did not come out. Then for good measure I washed it again with no stain remover but of course the stain is still there.

I am so upset! It is (was) a great top from Lands' End (mine was green though). I loved it because the sleeves were long. And I don't just mean long-sleeved but they were LONG and fell about 1.5" below my wrist bone (I have long arms so sleeves are always too short). I loved that top! Especially since Lands' End sizes are slightly larger than other manufacturers so I fit nicely into a "M".

So that really juicy and tasty $2.49 burger ruined my $18.50 top. Next time, I'll wear a not-so-new shirt. Or a bib.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We went skating again today but this time we rented hockey skates for Jax and Dex (they normally give out skates that have a TOE PICK!). Jax did well with the change but Dex had to re-learn to skate and he was frustrated.

We left the arena just before 4pm and I have been chilled to the bone since! I hope I am not coming down with anything.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The kids' swimming lessons moved to Saturday so Stephen took them to the pool while I worked out in the fitness centre. I really did not have time for a full workout but I did get some cardio and ab work in which is better than nothing.

We then went to Old Navy because all of the boys were in need of some jeans. Cars busted out the knees on two pairs over the past couple of weeks. Then we went to Sports Authority and Stephen just *had to buy street hockey sticks for the boys. We took his car today so the boys had to carry the sticks across their laps on the way home because they would not fit in the (tiny) trunk.

I have a renewed my pledge to practice the guitar everyday. I let it slide during the last few weeks before Christmas and I was kicking myself because I would go to my lesson and basically I was paying them to practice. I am also determined to start learning chords soon too so I want to zip through "Guitar Method Book 1.

Ok, off to practice.

Friday, January 09, 2009

It seems I made a subconscious New Year's resolution to eat as much food as humanly possible. I cannot stop eating! But I keep telling myself I am just eating vegetables but then I dip them in some very fattening french onion dip. OMG, it is soooo good.

Anyway, time to get back to eating more healthy fair and stop buying Hershey's Kisses that are on sale half-price because they are wrapped in Christmas foil.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I took Jax, Dex and Cars to the Lego Store so they could spend some of their Christmas money. Now that the new shelves are up downstairs, we need to fill them up, right? Anyway, Jax and Dex both bought the same one. Dex wanted a new pirate Lego which they did not have in stock. What is nice about the Lego store is if they do not have it in stock, you can order it and they will ship it to you for free. So Dex has to wait about a week for his.

My kids love Lego so much and while I do bitch and moan about all of the Lego in the house, I am happy that they are so happy playing with and collecting it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Do my glasses hide my crow's feet?

I volunteered in Cars' classroom today. I arrived as the kids were coming in from morning recess. One very observant boy said "Hi Cars' Mom! Where are your glasses?" I said "I am wearing my contact lenses today". "Oh", he replied and looked at me thoughtfully. Then he added "You look almost OLD!".

Gotta love 5 year old honesty, right?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Whew! The kids went back to school today! It poured rain through the night so most of the snow was gone by morning. Regardless of what Jax says, I think all three of them were happy to go back too.

I was very happy to be able to go to the club to work out. It was hard and I am going to be sore tomorrow but I loved it. I think I love the really long, hot showers afterwards as much as the work out. No way I'd ever have such long showers at home. :)

Book Club is at my house later this week so I have quite a job of getting the Christmas stuff put away. The tree has been stripped (Stephen had chopped it up and put in the yard waste bin) but now I need to get all of the ornaments wrapped and back into boxes. The decorations and ornaments always seem so tired and sad after Christmas.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

OMG, it is snowing again! I tried to get my car out of the garage but it got stuck on the driveway then slid and I almost hit Stephen's car! I was able to manoeuvre the car back down the driveway and into the garage. Unless it starts raining tonight, I am not going anywhere tomorrow (I so totally need to work out, not just for my physical well-being but for my mental health!).

And if tomorrow is another snow day my kids will be going to school into July!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

So we never did buy a new bed back in November when we went looking at Co$tco Home because they ALL had pillow tops and Stephen says never again! I had completely tuned out his complaints about how uncomfortable our bed is for quite a few weeks now but yesterday I lay on his side of the bed and the friggin bed is broken! Seriously, there is no support near the edge about in the middle of of the bed on his side. No wonder he hates the so-called "Heavenly" bed.

I called today and they will ship us a new mattress as soon as I mail the "DO NOT REMOVE BY PENALTY OF LAW" tag to them.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcome 2009!

Happy New Year!

We welcomed the new year in with too much fun at Ash's house. The highlight (?) of the party may have been the towel that caught fire in the bathroom from a candle. Cars walked up to Ash and very calmly said "Excuse me, Ash. There is kind of like a fire in the bathroom". Wow! Lucky that he happened by at that moment because it could have been so much worse! The only casualty was the towel.

My cold is worse so we did not do much today. The boys did not mind because we are letting them play a lot of video games. They really do not get a chance to play often during the week (maybe 3 hours per week) so they are totally eating this up. Stephen was not feeling well today but his was from a little bit too much celebrating the New Year but nothing that some ibuprofen did not help.

We were going to take the kids tubing at Snoqualmie Pass tomorrow but the pass is closed due to avalanche maintenance and tons more snow falling so it looks like we'll have to try another day. More snow is expected to fall here too but I hope it is just rain. We'll have to find something else to do - perhaps a movie? Dex wants to see Tale of Despereaux".

What I am most excited about for tomorrow is garbage pickup! How pathetic is that, eh? But we have not had our garbage picked up since December 11th! Both the garbage bin and the recycle bin are completely jammed-packed (96 gallon bins that have been sitting at the end of the driveway for three weeks!). Plus we also have all of this to go out too:

The recycling of course is the worst with Christmas presents arriving in boxes, being packaged in boxes and all of the Christmas wrapping! I am worried that they won't take it all and we'll be left to deal with a wet soggy mess of cardboard boxes at the side of the road. And, with snow in the forecast for overnight, I will be so disappointed if the trucks do not come tomorrow. How sad is it that I am looking forward to Garbage Day?!

Update Friday morning: It did snow overnight but the garbage truck still came by (I heard it at 6:30am!). Hurray! Let's hope the recycling truck comes too.