Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am having a lot of fun learning to play "Brown Eyed Girl" on the guitar. My guitar instructor wishes it were another Beatles song, I think. But he is having fun teaching me the little "lick" at the beginning of the song. Fun but my fingers are sore. Oh, and I play it really, really, REALLY, slow.

Sha-la-la la-la la-la la-la la la te da

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The circuit training class that I take at the club is held in this room that is always really chilly when we first start but very comfortable by the time the class is well under way. Today, however, it was warm in there when we first got in and then it just got warmer and warmer and very uncomfortable.

About half-way through the class I said to the instructor "Chris, it is HOT in here!" and he looked at me and said "Do you want me to leave?". I was so uncomfortable that I could not even laugh at his joke. I am sure he thinks I am a grouch.

So, my theory is that the club has turned the tempereatures up to save money. We'll see how it is next time I take the class.

Speaking of businesses saving money, Big Software Company has canceled their annual company picnic. And not just for this year but forever and ever and ever. Bummer.
Ok, things are coming along nicely and I haven't started to freak out yet about the trip. I get so stressed out when traveling, especially when flying. Ok, ~breathe~.

Stephen is working all kinds of insane hours this week to get something completed before we go away. He has not been home for dinner yet this week and will not be home tonight and probably tomorrow night. On the plus side, he is taking Friday off work.

Jax has to build a capsule for the school's egg drop which happens next week while we are not here. His teacher told him "just" to turn it in on Friday. He keeps forgetting to ask her if the egg needs to be in it then. And if so, will it turn rotten by next Thursday when they do the drop? Well, we won't be here so I won't have to worry about the stench from a rotten egg, right?

Yesterday when I was volunteering in the kindergarten class, the janitor came around with a huge can of some disinfectant and was spraying all of the door handles. Trying to kill off all of the germs and potential-swine flu virus, I guess. Too bad he did not spray each keyboard and mouse at the computer stations. OMG, the kindergarteners sit at the computer sucking their fingers or wiping their noses with their hands and then touching the mouse and keyboard. ~gag~ When I leave I immediately go and wash my hands or wipe them with wipes in my car. So gross!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu?

I am trying to decide if I should be concerned about the Swine Flu. Some news reports have said that it is not as serious as initially thought while others make it sound as though if I don't have my stash of Tamiflu, I am as good as dead. And we are heading off on holidays in a few days. Granted, it is not to Mexico but it is on a plane for 5 hours, breathing in recirculated air. And at this point I should mention that I have gone to Bartells already to buy some of those face masks (but they were sold out!).

I am a "worst-case scenario" person so it would be quite easy for me to freak out about it but I have decided to remain calm and do something constructive. Like PACK for my trip and also top up our emergency supplies. I need to buy more water and I think we'll be set for 3 Days 3 Ways.

And I promise not to freak out when Jax tells me in the morning that his throat hurts (he was grumbling about it before bed). And I promise not to get worried when my stuffy nose gets a little worse (still allergy season, right?). And I am ignoring Dex's cough (wasn't that antibiotic supposed to clear it all up?).

So there, I am not worrying. But, know that tomorrow I will hit another Bartells (and RiteAid) in search of face masks. Or, I wonder if those disposable respirator masks at Home Depot would be better?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My mom asked again today if we were packed for our vacation. I told her that I do not enough clothes that would let me pack away some a week in advance! Sheesh!

Tonight Cars asked me what I looked like when I was his age so I hauled out this Rubbermaid tub that I have to find a picture of me when I was his age. We had fun going through the pictures. I wish I has a scanner!

While talking to my mom tonight, I found out that my nephew is in Mexico on holidays. My mom is convinced that he is going to come back with the Swine Flu. She said " it is targeting young men" (nephew is 23) as though the flu is a serial killer!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Aargh! My tomato plants did not survive the frost! They looked ok on Friday morning but today when I went out there they are crumpled and brown. Boo! One of the four might be ok but I'll only know in a couple of days, I think.

I bought some Uncle Ian's Mole Repellent to try to get rid of those damn pests! Jax and I spent 40 minutes going around the yard finding holes and sprinkling it in. Hopefully it works. The guy at Home Depot said the only really effective way to get rid of them was traps that kill them. But then I would have to dispose of the bodies. No thank you! A landscaper suggested the product that I bought (well, he said "dried blood" which is what this product is).

Today is Stephen's birthday. He took Jax and Dex to hockey while I took Cars to t-ball this morning. Then we bought donuts in lieu of cake. We had to eat dinner early because Dex had a 7pm baseball game but I think Stephen enjoyed his day.

Today also would have been my dad's 78th birthday. Wow, that sounds so old! It is hard to beleive he had been gone almost 10 years. I guess this is the last "mile-stone anniversary" for a few years. Sometimes I am just amazed at how fast these past 10 years have flown. I also did not realize how much I would still miss him all these years later. I especially miss talking to him about politics (both Canadian and American). But I think of him daily if for no other reason that the password on the main computer in our house is the userid he used on his computer and in playing "Zelda".

Stephen doesn't say much about my dad anymore so I did get a choked up not long ago when he told me that he missed him. And tonight he had the kids say a prayer for my dad. :')
We had an All-hands Cosmo Friday tonight. That just meant that all of the moms, kids and dads met at Ash's house. It was nice to have a Cosmo Friday after such a long time. We played Rockband 2 and I lost my voice singing "Last Train to Clarksville". It was a fun night be we did not get home until 11:30 so the kids are going to be a mess tomorrow.

My mother called me today and asked me if I were packed yet for our trip. Um, it is still over a week away! She could not believe that I had not yet started packing. Then she reminded me to take sweatshirts for everyone. I laughed and laughed because I recently re-read one of my very first blahg entries where I mentioned that she called to remind me to take a sweater to Florida when we were planning our trip there five years ago. Gotta love her, right?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last week, at a jewellery party (yes, I went to another Cookie Lee party), one of the women I know from my MOPS group told me that I always looked so put together. I was gobsmacked (isn't that a great word?!) because I feel as though I am always sort of a mess. I thanked her but explained that all I ever wear are jeans and t-shirts (long sleeves or 3/4 length or short sleeves but they are all t-shirts). She said that everyone tells her to invest in a good, expensive pair of jeans. I said no, my favourite jeans were "two-fifty". Clearly she misunderstood because she made a comment about how she could never spend more than $100 on a pair of jeans. No, I said, I meant two dollars and fifty cents! I bought them at Sears. They were marked down to $24.99 then were on sale for 90% off the lowest price. I probably love them more for the price than for how they actually look on me!

So, I wear inexpensive clothes. There is nothing fancy in my closet. Well, that is not true. I do have my fancy outfit that I wore to Ramona's wedding. And my wedding dress (my mom brought it down last year she was here) but even that was not expen$ive...I bought it on clearance from a wedding shop! Now, I have been buying more expen$ive shoes the past couple of years because my feet are old and get sore when I wear cheap shoes (but I still look for sales and check out the clearance rack!).

There are several reasons why I do not spend a lot of money on clothes. The first, of course, is that I do not have a lot of money. And as a stay-at-home mom, I don't feel that I could justify spending a ton of money on clothes that would only be worn around the house, to Co$tco or to the bus stop.

Another reason is that there are some perfectly nice clothes out there that are reasonably priced. If that woman thinks that I am put together wearing my $2.49 jeans from Sears and my t-shirts from Costco, how can I justify buying more expensive clothes?

And of course the biggest reason is that one day I am going to lose some weight and it would be a complete waste of money to have to get rid of my expen$ive wardrobe, right?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My SIL called tonight to say that my other niece is coming to visit with them next month. I am happy that their whole family will be here.

Stephen's birthday is this weekend and I haven't bought him anything yet! He wants Rock Band 2 and a sauté pan. ~eyeroll~

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?

Another glorious, sunny and warm day here. After I spent the morning with Cars' class (Reading Naturally then monitoring the computers during Reading Literacy times), I went to Fred Meyer and bought some veggies for the garden. I planted broccoli, walla walla onions, peas, egg plant and artichoke. I also planted seeds to grow carrots, cucumber, zucchini and green onion. I hope my garden grows this year!

Stephen is skeptical about the artichoke but even if it does not bear fruit, it does become a lovely looking plant (my neighbour always has them growing in her garden).

I am still waiting on a bid from a garden service to find out how much it would be to clear out all of our garden beds. Two quotes so far have come in within 10% of each other. One bid was very detailed and said it would be about 18 hours worth of work! I believe it. The beds are such a mess. The front are not so bad but the back are just overgrown with weeds and grass. Just a month of neglect (well, more than a month, I guess. I stopped weeding the gardens in August and our growing season really lasts until November and I haven't done too much weeding yet this year).

Both guys told me to rip out the bamboo. Interestingly enough, they both told me that I should sell it. One guy said I should just put an ad on craigslist and the other suggested that I could sell it to a local bamboo grower. I haven't decided which route to go yet.

Anyway, it will be nice to get the garden beds looking all neat again and for my veggie garden to grow. The raspberry patch has started to green up and I am looking forward to eating some good food right out of my backyard (if I can get over the fact that it is growing in steer manure).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Random Photos

Some random photos...

When did this chocolate bar become an "Energy Bar"?

11 year old boy making a wish

One reason why the kids did not sleep at the sleepover

Deer in my yard

Tomatoes are in

My first income check in 10 years. Please feel free to click on my sidebar ad to help me earn more money. It only took me 8 months to earn this much! ;)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tonight is Jax's birthday party (a sleepover). The kids are watching "Spiderman 2". I think this will be the last party that is so big (well, 8 kids including my 3). We have a personality conflict with a couple of the kids, I think so while they all get along great with Jax on a one-on-one basis, as a group it just isn't working out. The group basically divided in two and they've been apart most of the evening. Jax doesn't seem to notice (or mind) so I guess that's ok.

Dex is conflicted still about whether to have a sleepover party or an ice skating party. I am leaning towards the skating party then he can invite his friend, C, for a sleepover that night. Dex has been distraught trying to figure out what is best for him and he was even in tears about it last week. Oh geez...

Friday, April 17, 2009

I am testing mobile blogging using my iPhone. Stephen said I was no allowed to take my laptop on vacation with me. I hope this works.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oh, nuts!

When I went to the school to pick up Dex and Cars for their allergist appointment, imagine my surprise to find them both already in the office. Turns out that Cars was hit in the mouth with a frisbee at recess and Dex had taken him to the office to be checked out. What a great big brother he is!

Anyway, I signed them out of school and off we headed to the allergist. I asked when I arrived how long the "two kid max" limit on appointments had been in place and the receptionist said always but that I could discuss it with the allergist. So, I did.

I asked her about it at the end of the appointment and she said was wondering why I did not have all three with me this time. She said that some children were just so out of control that she cannot (and will not) deal with more than two at a time. Then she told me that I was welcome to bring all three of mine in anytime and just to tell them when I made the appointment that she has ok'd it. Ah, my kids are well-behaved! (I rock as a mom! ;)

So, the appointment was interesting. Because Dex had been diagnosed with reactive airway by the pediatrician, the allergist now treats him as though he has asthma and he had to do some puffer test. And she prescribed Flovent to him to take everyday for the next two weeks. Also, I need to start him back on Flonase as well.

Then onto Cars. We discussed different nuts that he can eat (pistachios which he loves and almonds which he doesn't) then I asked her about macadamia nuts and she suggested that we test him for those and for cashews. She said she was certain he would be fine with cashews since he can eat pistachios (they are "related"). Two minutes into the test he had a small but very distinct wheal under the macadamia nut! Noooo!

That was disappointing but we can deal with it. It is not as though we ate macadamia nuts regularly (or at all!). Just no macadamia nuts in Hawaii for him.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just re-read my post from yesterday and when I wrote "I hope the kids in his class appreciate it.", I meant appreciate the sense of humour, not in the "they are ingrates" way.

Anyway, Jax took in the cheese sticks and he said everyone thought it was funny. When they sang Happy Birthday to him he conducted them with one of the cheese sticks. He thinks he is such a card.

Jax enjoyed his very yummy dinner and cake. He got some nice loot too and is so happy. It was a successful birthday for him!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My mood is better now. Well, it was HORRIBLE this morning but 80 minutes of OnDemand exercise helped. My mood was so bad that I did not want to go to the gym and expose anyone else to it! But, as I said, exercise helped a lot. And I really limited my carbs and sugar (good-bye chocolate) which helped, I think.

I made a Co$tco run today. One of the things I wanted to get were cheese sticks for Jax to take to school tomorrow for his birthday treat. Most kids bring in cupcakes or cookies or donuts. He wants to bring in cheese. I hope the kids in his class appreciate it. He talks all.the.time about cheese (because he thinks it is funny) which is why he wanted to bring it in.

Yeah, so Jax will be 11 tomorrow. I thought that 10 was big (and I guess it is!) but 11 seems soooo much older. I let him stay home by himself from time-to-time (like if I have to run to the store or drop Dex off at baseball practice). He walks to the library himself and he wants to go to Safeway by himself but I am not ready for that yet. He read his first "Adult Fiction" book last week (Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton).

He has even chosen a "grown up" meal for his birthday. No Red Robin for him. He wants steak, roasted potatoes and mushrooms for dinner! Geez, even my birthday dinner was not that nice.

So, tomorrow Jax will be 11. Wow!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The last few days I feel as though there is a big black cloud hanging over my head. Well, figuratively as there has quite literally been one - all this stupid rain! I have been self-medicating with chocolate.

It might just be PMS but I am feeling very down. I am not evening feeling the slightest bit up when I think about our trip to Hawaii. I must snap out of it. And I also must get rid of all of the chocolate in our house. It seems to be the answer to the doom and gloom that I am feeling but my jeans are complaining as they are stretched to their very limits now.

My face is totally broken out too (hello again, chocolate?) so that is not helping my mood at all.

Woe is me!

Seriously, I think I probably just need more exercise. I think I'll skip that dance class tomorrow and stick to the regular circuit training. I don't want to spend money to feel like a clod with my two left feet trying to Zumba.

I am also feeling a little stressed because Jax has an allergist appointment (along with Dex) later in the week BUT it is also WASL (Standardized testing) time and don't ya know that the appointment interferes with the testing. After a flurry of emails to the teachers (Dex is ok because they just test in the morning) we've now received special permission from the principal for Jax to start the WASL testing at 8:30AM in the library rather than 10:40AM in his classroom so he can make that appointment. Oh, and here is the thing...the test is scheduled from 10:40 to 12:15 BUT if kids are not done, they are welcome to keep writing it for the rest of the day! Also, the principal is concerned that Jax would feel rushed and not complete it in order to be done by 2pm when I would need to take him out for the appointment and being rushed might negatively affect his score (and her job rating no doubt).

Then, I found out there is no testing the following week on the date of Cars' allergist appointment (remember how mad I was three months ago when I made the appointments and they would not allow me to bring all three kids in on the same day?) so I will call the allergist's office to see if I can switch Jax and Cars' appointments.

Just one more thing bringing me down. Quick, where's the chocolate?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dex and Cars had baseball/t-ball games today. I am chilled to the bone and I cannot get warmed! Brrr!

My brother, sister-in-law and one of my nieces from Minnesota are coming to visit us next month. I am very excited! This is to make up for the weekend that my SIL could not come back in March when my mom was here. My other niece has a job interview coming up and if she gets the job she will have to work that weekend but if not, perhaps she will come too.

Now, I need to convince Jean-Paul, Marilyn and Lola to come down that weekend too so we can all hang out together on Saturday night. It would be great fun!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Book Club

I am off to book club shortly with a plate of chalk cookies (chocolate chip meringues - Stephen says they taste like chalk but everyone seems to like them). I think I read up to page 30 of the book. It was just so difficult to read. Book club will just be 6 members tonight (or maybe just 5).

Let's see, one cannot come because she is in Utah picking out dresses with her sister who is getting married (these two are Spy's SIL's), another is on spring break and going away, I think. A third is not coming because her dh had surgery. A fourth is not coming because she is coming down with a cold and Ash is not coming because her dh has to work late BUT really she does not want to go.

So, that leaves 6 of 11. And, one of those 6 might not be there because I know she is on spring break for work but her kids had spring break last week (she works for a different school district than the one her kids go to). And another of the 6 always shows up about 9 or so and rarely finishes (or reads!) the book. I guess I am one to talk since I barely started this one.

And I wonder if I did this because it was the woman who made the comment about cancer, attitude and my dad last month. She has been a thorn in the side for a few members and I had started to write about it quite a few times here but then thought better of it (who knows who reads here, right Spy? ;) Spy knows what she is like but she is much more tolerant of her than some of the rest of us.

Oh and there goes the timer so time to get my chalk cookies out of the oven.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dex has an ear infection in both ears. OMG! I am so sick of this poor child being sick. The doctor gave him a strong antibiotic to hopefully kill off every bit of infection in his body and start to get him well again. Oh, he also got a huge scrape on his arm at the park before we went to the doctor so she said that the antibiotic will keep that from getting infected too!

Stephen went back to work today but he still is not 100%.

Tomorrow night is book club and I am on page 23 of a 400-page book. I hate it and just cannot get into it. I will go for the food though. :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I haven't much to say these days. We've had beautiful weather these past couple of days. Stephen has been home sick for two days now and I hope he is feeling better tomorrow. I tried a new class on Monday and I realize that I am really, really uncoordinated and cannot dance.

My neighbour gave me some plant (I forget the name) that deer HATE so I planted it right next to the hostas and I hope it works! They've eaten the crocus, the tulips and the hyacinth so far. And I have deer prints through the garden where they trample it to get to what they want! It is so frustrating.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Jax has made his list for his birthday. The item he wants most - a computer for his room. Um, no. Next...item is a digital camera to make "Legomation" movies. He uses my old camera so I really do not think we need to spend the money on another one.

His next item is a flat screen tv. ~eye roll~

What is on his list that we might do is money to join the "builder's club" at an online site he likes to visit. It is called Roblox - a virtual world where you build Lego-like worlds. We might get him a six-month subscription.

He also wants the Jurassic Park movies on DVD. I just ordered them from

Jax also wants Lego too but I am wondering if he is getting too old for that. Or, since that is what he wants and not what I want to buy him, am I trying to force him to "grow up"? Hmmm...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I went for a pedicure today with some women from my MOPS group. Afterwards, we went to Starbucks for tea/coffee. It was a lot of fun! We called it "Flip-Flop into Spring". Stephen took the boys to the first session of summer hockey. Later, we went through our taxes and filed them. I get so stressed out about doing taxes in case we do it wrong.

It was a lovely day weather-wise and the boys played outside a lot of the afternoon. It was not until later that I thought I probably should have put some sunscreen on them. I don't think they got burned and they all wore baseball caps to shade their eyes from the strange-looking yellow ball in the sky.

Tomorrow is Passion Sunday but Stephen thinks the boys need to go to hockey again rather than church and religion class. He just told me he is going to ask them what they want to do in the morning. Of course they are going to pick hockey! Aaargh! This is really not fair. I can only hope that he was joking.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Blah Blah Blah

I took my engagement ring to the jewelers to be repaired. The prongs are worn down and are in danger of breaking off and I don't want to lose my diamond. I always wear my rings (wedding band, anniversary band and engagement ring) so my finger feels weird without the engagement ring. I have a huge callus built up on the underside of my finger from where the skin rubs against the rings and a permanent indentation in my fingers from the rings. I think if I ever stopped wearing these rings it would take ages for my finger to go back to "normal".

Stephen took the day off and went out to breakfast with the boys while I slept it. I am going to have a difficult time getting up next week when we return to our normal schedule because I have slept in nearly every day. I haven't slept in too late but at least an hour or more than usual.

After they came home from breakfast, Stephen went out again on an insane quest for a Lego that Jax wanted for his birthday. Fred Meyer has the Star Wars and Indiana Jones Lego on sale (must be clearing it out) so Stephen went to three FM's to find the one that Jax wanted. I really don't think we need more Lego in the house and have been trying to steer the kids towards other birthday ideas but with no luck.

I received two birthday presents in the mail today so I was happy to extend my birthday "season". :) Ramona sent me a box of goodies which included 4 full-sized Mars bars (yum!), some Swiss Chalet dipping sauce packets and some other fun things. My friend, DeniSe, sent me some cool books, including Book Lust which is a book I have looked at many times but have not purchased. The author, Nancy Pearl, is a librarian at Seattle Public Library and a regular guest on a local NPR radio program. I am excited to go through it!

And now I am off to eat a Mars bar and watch the kids play video games while Stephen frets over our taxes.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Well, Cars' cough is getting better but Dex's is worse. So bad that I felt that I had to take Dex to the doctor today (last night he also had a fever and was very lethargic). I was worried that he had pneumonia again. But, it is just a virus. His fever is now gone but the cough remains.

He was well enough for me to take the kids swimming today so at least this school break has not been all spent hanging around the house. I also took the kids for haircuts. Cars' is really short because he wanted it spiky. Jax's is thinned out a lot and looks much better (still crazy though). Dex wants to grow his so he just got a trim to neaten it up.

Tomorrow if everyone is healthy enough they will go to an ice skating b-day party. Oh, please let them all be healthy!