Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today was Dex's 9th birthday. My children are getting so old!

He had a great day. Stephen took all of the boys to hockey this morning then we went mini-putting in the afternoon. We bought him a Nintendo DSi and he is going to sell his DS to GameStop for store credit to buy more games.

He was so happy about his birthday. Tomorrow for a treat at school he is taking in cheese sticks (like Jax did). Dex also thinks that this is a very clever idea because he (too) is always saying that he loves cheese.

What a funny kid. I love him!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wow, have had such fabulous weather for over a week now! We deserve it after the crappy winter and spring (and even last summer!) that we've had.

Today, Dex and Cars had baseball games. There is just one more weekend left of baseball...I think. I wonder if Dex will have tournaments after next weekend. I hope not. We've scheduled his birthday party (sleepover - ugh) for two weeks from now so hopefully he will not have a game to interfere with it.

After baseball ends, we'll have a quiet couple of weeks before school ends then summer activities begin. I need to get them registered for golf and I am waiting to hear back from the swim instructor about lessons for the summer. Other than that, I have not registered them in any camps. I've already changed my guitar lesson to an evening timeslot for the summer and I am on the look out for a babysitter for a couple of hours on Wednesdays so I can still go to my circuit training class at least once each week.

I hope this great weather keeps up and that we have a fantastic summer!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Isn't it funny when your first child is in kindergarten and has to make an animal habitat you go all out and help them make something that clearly was not done by the child other than them saying "Ok" when you ask "Should we put this here?" Then your next child you are a little more hands off. By the time the third child comes along, you aren't really doing much at all.

Here is an example... Cars' Tiger Habitat

I hot glued the rocks in the box. And I made an example tiger body and he copied it. That is NOT the way I would have done the head but whatever - and what is with that SMILE on the tiger? If that had been Jax's project we (I) would have practiced drawing it over and over again until we (I) got it just right. Oh, who am I kidding? I would have run out and bought a plastic tiger to put in the habitat! And plastic trees and maybe used blue cellophane for the water. And the rocks would all match because we'd (I'd) have made them out of papier-mâché and have painted them all a nice sienna colour. Maybe I'd have let Jax put one dab of paint on the fake rocks. Maybe.

Anyway, I cannot decide if I am a better mother now or a worse one for not being as hands-on with this project as I would have been (and have been) with the other two kids.

So, this is the tiger habitat that Cars made for school.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jax had two inches of his hair cut tonight. Cars turned to me just as the stylist was finishing up and said "Jax has a boys' haircut now". I said what did you think he had before and Cars said matter of factly "Girl hair".

I'm glad Jax did not hear him at that! But it was true.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I think I have writer's block. All I can write about is my day-to-day happenings but I have a million little stories and thoughts in my head to share but they just won't come out. So, looks like you get another "Dear Diary, Today I ..." story.

Dex has a friend named J at school. He has been here a few times and he was at Dex's sleepover b-day party last year. Cars is smitten with this kid. He is a nice kid and he pays attention to Cars when he is over and that's why, I think. Anyway, J was one of two J's in Dex's class last year so Cars calls him by his full name which is pretty cute. Anyway, J's mom is a substitute teacher at the school and she subs often in the kindergarten class. The first time she subbed, I did not realize that it was she who was the teacher and Cars kept talking about Mrs. H this and Mrs. H that (I did not put it together that she was JH's mom). When I found out, I told Cars that she was JH's mom and his eyes widened and he was so excited that he had to tell Dex (who already knew).

So, today I was in the class and Mrs. H was helping out the teacher (Cars' teacher was doing individual testing with the kids). Cars was so sweet the way he looked at Mrs. H. Jax thinks Cars is weird for liking a teacher and Jax thinks she looks like a dark-haired Delores Umbridge. She kind of does but she also reminds me of Snow White. Anyway, Cars is very happy that Mrs. H will be in his class again tomorrow. I love it when kids think the sun rises and sets on their teachers. Now Cars also likes that jerk music teacher but I don't think that is cute.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Today, Jean-Paul, Marilyn and Lola left about noon today and then the rest of us headed to the locks in Ballard. I had never been on a weekend before and I was amazed at the amount of boat traffic. I think everyone found it interesting as only Jax, Dex, Cars and I had been to see locks operated before. There were virtually no fish in the salmon ladder of course. My kids and I will go back in July for sure to see the return of the sockeye salmon.

We later went to dinner at Maggiano's. I think I have enough leftover food in my fridge to last a week! They feed you soooo much.

Marc, Marlene, Melissa and Danielle head home tomorrow afternoon. I have really enjoyed their visit and when Jean-Paul et al were here.

I'll miss everyone when the last of them have gone.
I am enjoying our company's visit. Marc, Marlene, Marilyn, Jean-Paul, Stephen, Melissa and I went to a couple wineries today for tastings and a tour. It was a lot of fun. I had never been before and I found the tour very interesting.

Yesterday, we went downtown Seattle to Pike Place Market and walked along the water. We bought tons'o'seafood and had salmon for dinner last night and squid/scallops/mussels tonight (well, I did not eat any mussels - yuck!).

Dex was with Spy's family today and yesterday at Great Wolf Lodge celebrating Cam's 0th birthday, so I haven't been able to take any photos of all of the cousins. We'll do it tomorrow morning before JP and Marilyn head back to Vancouver. Lola is a riot! I love two year olds!

From left: Stephen, Me, Jean-Paul, Marilyn, Marlene and Marc. As you can see, the grey-haired gene runs in the family. I would like to call it premature grey hair but since really at this age it is just grey hair, right?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tomorrow is the last day of MOPS for me. Forever. Oh, I hope I don't cry. This is a milestone because it means that I no longer have a child considered a "preschooler" (kindergarten is still considered preschool for MOPS).

The MOPS weeks would roll around (we met every other Thursday), and I would think "OMG I AM TOO BUSY TO GO TO THIS FLUFF!" but then I would go and there would be a speaker who would seem to speak directly to me or the craft would be a lot of fun or I would have a really great conversation with one of the other moms at my table and I would think "Wow, I love this!".

I know I almost drove myself back to crazy when I was doing the crafts for MOPS because it really was a lot of work and I did most of it myself instead of asking for help, which was completely stupid. But, I did enjoy planning it and I think the crafts that I did were great (giving myself a fat head here). Anyway, I will miss the crafts a lot.

This year we had "Secret Prayers Sisters". We drew names and would pray for the person whom we chose. I think the person whom I chose knows it is me. Tomorrow is the Secret Sister reveal so I will ask her if she knew it was me. She made a comment once about my hand-writing (we write little cards back and forth) so that made me think that my crappy penmanship gave it away. We'll see...

And I wish that they had a life after MOPS group. I know MOPS is going to start one for Mothers of School-aged children but it is not up and running yet and definitely not in conjunction with our MOPS group. If I were the type, I would try to start one. I would be happy to be involved in getting it going but not in spearheading it. That is not my forté .

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Tuesday mornings, I go into Cars' class to do Reading Naturally with the few kids who are reading at 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade levels. I am to do it in the pod area of the kindergarten classes but the last few weeks, the tables are full with specialists teaching the kids, other parents doing reading Reading Naturally too or crafts. I had been doing it at the little "Listening Desk" but the other full-day K teacher tends to send a few of her kids out there to put their heads down fairly often so, as of today, I am no longer allowed to use that desk. So, now this volunteer time has been moved to Monday afternoons and hopefully I will be able to find a free area.

I am still doing the reading rotation groups on Tuesdays later in the morning. Basically I just watch the kids do Headsprout on the computers. They are fairly self-sufficient though and the biggest help I give them is to untangle their headphones.

I am looking forward to next year and I hope to be able to spend more time in the classrooms or just at the school volunteering. They are always short volunteers in the health room (tending to scraped knees and bumped heads during recess) and for lunch servers although I think I might pass on this. I want to spend more time in the classrooms than I have in the past.

I think I might take a break from Art Start too...or maybe not. I really do enjoy the art work that the kids produce. Maybe I will just the the Art Gallery night work?

And why am I fretting about this today? There is still another 4 weeks left of THIS school year!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cars is obsessed with how old people are. Everyday he has a report about who in his class is already 6 and who is still just 5. He was delighted to find out last week how old his teacher is (25). "Mom! Miss K is younga than you because you are FOADY-FOAH!".

This morning I reminded the boys that it was my mom's birthday and Cars exclaimed "That means that Gwanny is seventy-foah!". He could not wait to call her to tell her how old she became today.

Later in the day, after he reminded Granny of her age, he told me with a sad voice that he and his friend K, will always be the youngest in his class because "*sigh* My birthday is August the fifth and K's is August the last" (We and K's parents and are probably the only parents with boys born in the summer not to hold back our kids!).

He sounded so sad that I almost felt bad for not holding him back. Almost.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stephen keeps complaining that I don't take my "good" camera (digital SLR) with me when we go out (or on vacation). Mostly it is because I hate the camera bag that came free with the camera and I keep thinking "I have a perfectly good camera bag so I don't need to buy another". So, then I grab my small Canon Sureshot to take with me because it fits in my purse and is easy to carry.

So, we went away on vacation to Hawaii and Stephen was really irritated that I did not take the SLR. It worked out because my Sureshot got covered with sand and sun screen. But, it would have been nice to take the SLR. I have been looking at camera bags online but there are dozens and dozens out there and I have realized that it is not really something that I can buy online. I definitely will need to try it on, like a purse. And, I am figuring if I buy one, I will use it in lieu of a purse on the days I take it out so it has to be comfy, allow easy access to the camera, hold my wallet, keys, cellphone and allow epi pens to be clipped onto it.

Now, do I get a backpack or sling bag? A standard camera bag with bigger sections? And then once I decide on a bag, what colour do I chose?

Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Summer Plans

I watched "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" tonight. Cedric Diggory is sooo cute! Much cuter than Edward Cullen - must be the accent. ;) I cannot wait for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price" to come out. Just two more months! I'll take Jax and Dex to go see it when it comes out. Stephen will take Cars to another movie.

Before then, though, I am going to watch all of the other five movies again, back-to-back. Nice start to my summer.

Speaking of summer, Stephen is taking Jax and Dex to their first concert in July. They are going to see Green Day. Perhaps "inapprope" as Jax likes to say (short for inappropriate) because of what they will hear, see and no doubt, smell. But, I think they will love it. They love Green Day. I play it in the car but I totally have to work the mute button as we go.

We are going camping this summer too. The weekends were all booked so we are going during the week. We are going back to the place we went last summer so we should have nice weather.

I haven't signed the kids up for any summer activities. We'll probably do golf again and I need to sign them up for swimming lessons. Cars will play soccer in the fall and I think there is a end-of-summer soccer camp so I'll look into that.

Other than those things, I think we'll just hang out during the summer and go to a few places like we've done in the past. I want to go to some places I have never been as well as such as the Point Definace Zoo,
Leavenworth, Deception Pass and Seattle Art Museum. Plus all the regular stuff (beach, tide pools, parks, etc).

And today it was warm (almost HOT) so it was a nice promise of the summer to come.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I have book club tonight but it does not start until 9pm because the hostess had a school activity to go to. It is funny but 9pm seems so much later than 8pm. Normally, we stand around and eat and chat from 8-9 then discuss the book at 9 (then other things of course come up). So starting at 9 seems that we'll not start talking about the book until 10. Of course we could start earlier but it is unlikely.

This morning, Dex dropped one of our Corelle plates and it shattered into a million little pieces. They are break "resistant" so I kind of expected them to be unbreakable. This is the first one that has broken and I cannot believe how far the pieces flung. I swept the floor then mopped it and swept it again and I still keep finding little shards of white glass plate here and there. I hope no one gets any in their feet.

I am teaching Art Start tomorrow in Dex's class and we are studying the picture "She-ba" by Romare Bearden. Then the kids will make a multi-media collage. I made two today for examples and I had a lot of fun (I just used construction paper, newspaper, magazines, felt and markers). I hope the kids in the class enjoy it too.

I miss being so crafty. I really haven't taken the time to paint, draw, make jewellery or knit this past year. Gotta change that. Soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fretting about the next school year already...

Here is a link to our Hawaii pictures if anyone is interested: Aloha. Just a warning that there are about a billion photos.

Today, I asked Cars' teacher about class placement for next year (1st grade!) and I asked her to put him in a class that is a job share class. Now, I swore I would never, ever, ever do that to my children again after Jax's 2nd grade disaster but the 1st grade job-share teachers are both really good teachers and really nice people so I don't anticipate the same problem. I also specifically asked her NOT to put him in the class that Dex had because the teacher would not be good for him. She was perfect for Dex and exactly what he needed at the time but really not what Cars needs. He is more "advanced" than Dex was at this point in the school year so I think he needs teachers who will push him more.

So, I have these forms to fill in by Friday for class placement. Cars' teacher told me to absolutely NOT put any teachers' names on the form or the principal will literally rip it right up without looking at the rest of the form (questions like how does your child learn best and my child's strengths). Then she wrote on a sticky note the names of the teachers I wanted and pulled out a stack of cards she keeps in her desk with all of the kids' names and put it on Cars'). We'll have to wait until the end of August to find out.

Now, I need to work on Dex's teacher. I don't want him to have the same teacher that Jax had last year. No joy whatsoever in that class. Another teacher I have heard just sits and knits all day long (but this is who one of the teachers that I know at the school wants her dd to get so maybe that class is not so bad?). The third class is a job share (4days/1day) and the fourth teacher is mean. Just plain mean. Now, I know that Spy wants her son to get Mean Teacher next year because she is a tough teacher. But Spy is tough and can put her in her place (and has put her in her place when Mean Teacher was mean to Spy's dd). I would not be able to do that if any problems arose with Dex so she is best avoided altogether.

With Jax though, I am running blind because I know absolutely NOTHING about the 6th grade teachers. One thing I could do for Jax today though was send a note to the 504 plan coordinator at the school to find out if the 6th graders will indeed be in the portables next year and request an accommodation because there is no running water - how will Jax wash his hands before he eats without having to run all the way back to the school to use the restroom.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I picked up my guitar today for the first time in 11 days and I realized that I have UTTERLY and COMPLETELY forgotten how to play "Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison. Lots of practicing needed before my lesson on Thursday.

I went to Zumba class today because the cross training class was just packed and I hate when it is because they then split the class and half do cardio while the other half do floor exercises and then we spend way more time on cardio than usual. Anyway, the Zumba class is still hard because I cannot do the salsa step. As hard as I try, I just cannot do it and I feel like a fool tripping over two big left feet.

Jax and Dex have a lot of school work to catch up on from last week. Their teachers gave them work to do while we were there but Stephen did not want to force them to do it while we were away. So now, I am the one forcing them to do it after school, along with their regular homework. I have banned them from the computer until the work is done (well, except when they need it for homework). Oh, what a rough week this going to be.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Well, we are back and I would like to say back to the grind but not yet. I think we are still on Hawaii time so I hope we can get up for work/school tomorrow.

I really enjoyed our vacation. The condo that we rented was so close to the water and just perfect for us. I loved snorkling and watching my children have a fantastic time playing in the water and the sand, although I think it will take a few weeks to get all of the sand out of Jax's hair!!

I can see why people go back to Hawaii again and again and again. I would definitely love to go back again.

While we were away, we found out that we are runners up in a GeekDad Blog contest! We'll post more details when we get them. My kids are tickled pink!

All-in-all it was a fantastic week. Aloha!

Friday, May 08, 2009

It is our last night in Maui. We've has such a great vacation. My favourite things to do were snorkling at Kapalua and body boarding. I am already planning my next trip!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

OMG we are in paradise. Our condo is so close to the ocean . We went to Kapalua beach today. Gorgeous and the snorkeling was a lot of fun. Stupidly, we did not reapply sunscreen enough and everyone has a bit of a burn here or there (mostly on our feet and shins).

Looking forward to what tomorrow brings!

Friday, May 01, 2009

We are packed (except for my iPhone cable which I will pack in the morning). Stephen is being a hardass and saying only 2 suitcases allowed so we packed über-light on clothes. Now he is complaining that the suitcases are too heavy. I weighed them and they are both under 50 pounds(the max weight allowed per bag). One was very close to 50 so I took the water shoes and flip-flops out and crammed them into my carry-on bag. Now I am a little pissy because he thinks I have over-packed. Pul-ease! There is a washer/dryer in the condo we rented so we can (and will have to) wash our clothes to make it through the week so we have no way overpacked.

I do have four bottles of sunscreen in one of the bags so that probably accounts for almost 4 pounds (ok, maybe I am a little sunscreen-heavy). And my toiletries but I have mostly travel-sized items. The weight in the boys bags is just 4 days worth of clothes and the watershoes. That is 4 days worth of clothes for *3* people in one suitcase! Geez!

Then, he said "I guess we won't be able to buy anything to bring back". Yep, a new suitcase!