Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All of the running around we are doing these days is starting to wear on us all. Cars falls asleep in the car almost every time we drive for more than 15 minutes. Jax is grumpy and Dex's tics are a little worse than usually. Today, while Cars had a playdate, I lay down for a moment to watch tv in my room and fell asleep! I was so horrified when I woke up because I would die if someone napped while my 6 yr old was at their house!

Stephen is sick (but of course says he *must* go to work). It is so infuriating!

The kids have no school on Friday and I bet that will be the day when Stephen crashes and will decide to stay home because he will then really be too sick to go to work.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I have tried writing this blahg post three times in the past two days but I keep getting choked up and also I cannot seem to get the exact sentiment in words that I am trying to express.

So, I will just say that I love my mom and I am worried about her. She is lonely and I wish I could do something to help her with that. But I cannot. So I will just work on being kinder and more patient with her.

That is all.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tonight we went to Spy's house for some RockBand. As always, we had a Fab time (The Beatles RockBand tonight!). I don't think I will live down the name Dr. Pepper though (I wore a Sgt.Pepper-esque vest and Stephen called me Dr. Pepper and the name stuck all night).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We are getting into the routine of taking the bus to school. Our bus stop has so many more kids it seems. Last year there were 7 if everyone was there. This year, there are 8 which is just one more but there are five families rather than just three and another mom is always there with two kids who are not school-age yet so it seems crowded! lol

I am learning to play "Oh Pretty Woman" on the guitar and I am enjoying it. I have switched from the acoustic to electric because it is easier to learn bar chords with the electric guitar. I hope to switch back soon.

Hockey starts this weekend for Jax and Cars. Dex is not playing (loooong weepy story). Jax has two practices and one game each week. Cars has one practice and then alternates practice/game every other week. Cars is also playing soccer and taking swim lessons so we will be pretty busy until the end of October. Religion classes start up next month too so I expect a few meltdowns very soon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cars joined the Running Club at school and it meets Tuesday after school for 40 minutes. I picked him up today and it was almost 90 degrees and his face was so red from the heat. We rushed home, I gathered the other two boys and Cars changed into his soccer gear and we rushed out to his soccer game. My older two behaved badly at the game and it put Stephen in a foul mood (well, that plus the sitting in the hot sun). What a day.

My kids just cannot seem to get along these days! They are fighting and bickering and I guess it is normal but I hate it because it always ends with Jackson being mouthy to me, Dex getting all weepy and Cars whining. I try to ignore it or make them work things out but I just cannot listen to it anymore! Aargh!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Today was Cars' first soccer game. I was delighted to see how the boys all played together as a team! And to see Cars using some of the skills he has learned in the past month was awesome! They just played 3 on 3 but it was perfect.

Cars also did well considering he went directly from an hour of hockey to an hour of soccer. He was pooped at the end.

Jax also had a hockey evaluation again today I hope we find out team assignments and practice/game schedules soon.

After the day o'sports, we went out to buy a new bed to replace this Heavenly Bed. The replacement bed was only good for Stephen for a month or two and he has been complaining about it ever since. Finally, he says he has had enough so off we went. Ok, who knew that some mattresses were like $3000! And those are not the Temper-pedic or Sleep Number beds! We did not buy a $3000 mattress but I wonder who would spend that kind of money on a bed that was not even all that comfortable (IMO). Anyway, our new bed should arrive on the 29th. I am going to try to sell this one on Craigslist since it is only 8 months old and in great condition. Personally, I would not buy a used bed but I know that it is reasonable to think that others might.

Once that new bed arrives, I hope Stephen's complaints about his back stop!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finally! The bus driver was trained to use an epi pen this afternoon so my kids can start taking the bus to/from school starting on Monday. It only took three weeks, seven emails to the nurse (the final one being a little pissy).

I have been taking Sudafed and last night I woke up at 2:19AM. I finally fell back asleep about 4:30AM unti 6:15AM when my alarm went off. I guess that is not too bad because two nights before, I woke up at 2:52AM but did not get back to sleep at all! I am now on antibiotics so I've stopped taking the Sudafed and I hope the ear pain I am have been experiencing goes away soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So, I did take the kids out to dinner last night after Cars' swim lessons. We just ate at the Bistro at the club. I forgot how expen$ive it was! The kids' meals were $7.50 each and my salad was $13.50 (but oh so good)! The Bistro overlooks the indoor tennis courts (we don't have a tenni$ membership) so the boys really enjoyed that watching people play and a kid taking lessons. We bought two tennis rackets on the weekend and the boys have been taking turns playing with them on the tennis courts at the park when I pick them up after school. We really need to buy a third racket because there is a sharing problem.

For dinner tonight, we just had pasta with sauce (jarred sauce from Trader Joe's) and I made some cheesy garlic toast but that is not really cooking but heating and assembling. I did skip out on clean up though as I went to Cars' curriculum night at school.

Curriculum night was good. I really like Cars' teachers a lot and I think this will be a great year for him. His teachers had already assumed that I would teach Art Start for them (I used to teach Art Start together with one of them when our now 4th graders were in K and 2nd grades together). I also signed up to help with reading one day/week.

I hope that all of the teachers get their schedules together so I can get an idea of what my week will look like and I can plan my own schedule - volunteering, working out, grocery shopping. Oh, and cooking.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I suck at cooking. I think we've discussed this before. But I am trying to do better. I am!

In fact, two nights in a row I have made yummy dinners (well, one was with some small help from Trader Joe's Orange Chicken) and Stephen did not come home "on time" for dinner. This totally pissed me off. When I make an effort to make dinner, I expect him to be home.

Today, I marinated the pork chops more than 10 minutes in advance (they marinated for 5 whole hours in a home-made sauce!!). I bought huge amounts of broccoli and even splurged on a clearance package of Pillsbury Grands (it was 1/2 price because it was near the expiration date). I normally have a really hard time coordinating all parts of the meal to be ready all on time but tonight I was HOT and the pork chops were grilled (and not to the texture of shoe leather), the Grands were golden brown just as the broccoli was perfectly steamed! I was just taking the Grands out of the oven when the telephone rang. It was the exact moment that I was expecting Stephen to walk through the door.

Anyway, the kids and I enjoyed a lovely hot meal. The pork chops were good and all three children ate it without complaints (a miracle really!).

Tomorrow night I am taking the kids to dinner at the club after Cars' swimming lessons. Stephen can fend for himself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just found out that since Cars will probably be playing on a regular hockey team (rather than playing in the Beginners' program) we need to buy him hockey equipment too.

Another trip to Vancouver?

Or maybe we can find used stuff since there is no one to pass the equipment down to!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yesterday it was about a billion degrees and we went to a corn maze. The walk through it is about a mile if you follow the directions and answer the questions correctly. We did not. We sweated our way through the hot, dusty maze and two bottles of water and a lot of grumpiness later (Stephen) we arrived at the end. The kids had a great time and I am sure that had it been 10 or 20 degrees cooler, it would have been a much lovelier time.

Boys with Cars' friend, K

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blah Blah Blah

The second week of school is coming to an end and I still haven't met with Jax's teacher but I guess we have a meeting after school tomorrow with the nurse to finally review his 504 Plan so the teacher knows what is in it. Of course we had already arranged for a friend to come over to play with Jax so they will just all have to hang out at the playground together until the meeting is over. It should not take long - about 10 minutes I hope. The nurse still has not had an opportunity to train the bus driver. I hope it isn't another week before they get to take the bus!

Tonight was book club (we read "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett - I must update my sidebar). I had a lot of fun. What a great group of friends!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Remember pinching girl? Well, she had graduated to punching girl.

I know she has been a problem bothering Cars at recess (they are not in the same class this year) since school started because Cars has told me she is bugging him(teasing him, hitting him, kicking him, etc) and I have encouraged him to ignore her or to tell a recess teacher. He is really hung up on the tattling thing though so it was not until she punched him today "...and it really HURT" that he told a recess teacher.

I decided to email his teachers so they were aware of what was going on. It turns out that the girl had been marched into his class by her teacher to apologize to Cars after recess. Oh why didn't he tell me that?! Anyway, the teachers did not know of the history so they said they would keep an eye on things and I should keep encouraging Cars to tell a recess teacher as well as his teacher(s).

The mother of one of Cars' friends told me at soccer on Friday that this girl was bugging Cars all.the.time according to her son who plays with Cars at recess. Cars really is intimidated by this girl. When we found out what class he was in, he scanned the list for her name and told me that he was glad she was not in his class.

I feel a little badly for his girl. She glares at everyone and I have rarely seen her smile. Sometimes I think she just needs a hug. But, I just wish she'd leave my son alone.

Monday, September 07, 2009

We decided that we needed to go to Vancouver this weekend so we packed up and left Saturday morning. We got a late start because we were out on Friday night and I had not packed beforehand. It was a pretty good drive up (we did not have any owls drive into the car) but the border wait was over an hour.

Since we were running late, we checked into our hotel in Richmond then drove out to Surrey to The Hockey Shop to outfit Jax for hockey as he can no longer rent equipment from the beginner program. We were there close to two hours but we got everything we needed and had someone help ensure that his skates fit properly. It was good in that they did not steer us towards the most expensive equipment in the store and everything that we bought was on sale anyway then we got an additional 10-20% off. With the exception of the skates, the prices were the same or better than Canadian Tire, a place where everyone bought their hockey gear when we were growing up.

Afterwards, we went to Jean-Paul and Marilyn's for dinner. Lola is so funny. She barely spoke for the first hour we were there. Then she would say things to the boys like "Pick me up" as she lay on the floor. Or she'd tell them to shout out the front window with her. She is virtually potty trained. Oh how I wish my boys were trained at age 2!!

As I mentioned, we stayed in Richmond near the airport. We normally stay in downtown Vancouver but the Sheraton was booked and the pool at the Westin Bayshore was under construction so we chose a different place. Stephen was not impressed.

I think I have mentioned before that he is a hotel snob and very spoilt. My oldest brother worked for Sheraton/Westin/Starwood for close to 30 years so since I met Stephen, we were used to staying at a fancy hotel at a very nicely discounted rate (including FREE when we went to Montreal, Chicago, Florida). However, my brother no longer works for them so we are playing regular rates for these places now. And for the price of the Westin Bayshore with no pool, we could get a one bedroom suite at the Radisson that had a working pool (or so we thought) and breakfast for four in the restaurant. Stephen agreed so I booked it.

When we checked it, there was a sign that the water heater in the pool/fitness area was being replaced so no hot water. I thought "how cold can the pool be"? Um, pretty damn cold. The boys did swim in it but not for long.

Traffic around that area was HORRIBLE and there were huge signs in the parking lot warning one not to leave any personal items in ones car. So we lugged up all of the hockey equipment to our hotel room. The room had a king bed in the bedroom and a queen-sized pull-out couch so I suggested that the three boys sleep together in the bed. Stephen hurt his back sleeping on the pull-out couch so all around it was a bad choice. I believe next time we'll be back at the Westin. Mr. Hotel Snob will insist.

(On a positive note, we did get a breakfast buffet included in the price. And, the hotel was close to Costco where we stocked up on peanut-free Chewy bars and fun-sized chocolate bars. The drive home was quick and the border wait was only 15 minutes).

Here is a photo of Jax in his gear. He's ready to play (and let's hope he continues to like playing!):

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Friday was my 16th wedding anniversary. Stephen and I hired the babysitter and we went out for dinner. This was after I had run around trying to track down the pizza and cheesy bread sticks that I had ordered for the kids for dinner. I submitted the order online at 5pm requesting that the pizza to arrive at 7pm. They are usually a few minutes early but not that day. We waited and waited and waited and I finally called at 7:20pm they said that they did not know what happened to my order then told me it was just coming out of the oven but could not be delivered for 30 minutes because they were so busy! Huh? But, why was it just coming out of the oven at 7:25 when I had ordered it to be delivered by 7pm? Ok, never mind, I told them. I would come by to pick it up.

Three minutes later I walked in the door and after 8 minutes of waiting and them searching, they told me that the pizza had already been delivered. Huh? But, I CALLED and we agreed that I would pick it up. Stephen was still at home and had tried calling me to tell me it had been delivered but for some reason my cellphone did not work in PapaJohn's. Papajohn's said that this order was going to be free (I'll still watch my cc statement to make sure) and I also have a credit for two pizzas of my choice. We'll be ordering two extra-large with all the toppings sometime in the near future.

Anyway, after I went home and reapplied deodorant (it is stressful tracking down pizza!), we went to dinner at this new restaurant that had opened where that other restaurant used to be (they closed at the beginning of May). The new one is an Italian restaurant and this is the third restaurant of this particular chain. The place was packed and there appeared to be a lot of people waiting for tables. Our reservation was at 7:45 and we arrived 5 minutes early and were told it would be about 10 minutes until our table would be ready. No worries. Stephen went to the bar to get us drinks. Ten minutes later when our table was ready, he was just getting back. Apparently the restaurant was out of draft beer. Ok, they had opened 3 days before so perhaps something was up so we shrugged it off.

We were seated and drank our drinks (cosmo for me, bottled beer for Stephen) and we waited and waited and waited and waited for a waiter/waitress to come by. Finally after 15 minutes, I stopped the hostess who was walking by and said "Excuse me, we have been been seated for quite some time and no one has come by" and she apologized and a few minutes later our waitress come over. She told us that she did not know we were in her section (perhaps plausible except that our table was next to the one she was serving before she came by). We wanted wine with our dinner so Stephen asked for their house red wine but they were out of wine. OUT OF WINE! Every kind of wine. At first Stephen could not believe what she said as he had asked for the house red and thought she meant they were out of that. No, they were out of ALL WINE. On a Friday night! So, I ordered their "specialty" cocktail which was a strawberry limoncello martini and Stephen had nothing else to drink.

We then ordered an appetizer (calamari). They were out of calamari! Ok, perhaps they misjudged how much calamari they would sell their first week. We just went ahead and ordered dinner. The waitress came by four times to apologize because my drink was taking so long and then she said that the manager was giving it to me for free due to the wait. The number of apologies for the drink was out of proportion for the wait for the drink, IMO. Maybe it was to make up for the wait we had for her to come over after we were seated?

Dinner was really, really good though so that made the excruciatingly long wait tolerable. I know they were going through some first week opening pains and I definitely will go back but not for a while when they have everything ironed out.

And when they have more wine.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

School started this week so I have been busy. Busy making lunches, filling out forms (3 times each!), playing phone tag with the school nurse and buying last minute school supplies (and I still need to get Cars a clipboard and Dex a thesaurus that were not on the original class supply lists).

Cars is in 1st grade and two teachers - a job-share class. One of the teachers was the same teacher that Jax has in Grade 1 as well. She got married and had a baby and now she just works 3 days/week. The teacher she job shares with is the mom with whom I shared Art Start duties with in Dex's 2nd grade class. I really like her a lot and I know parents who had kids in their class last year and said that the job share worked really well so I was happy to guide Cars' kindergarten teacher to placing him in this class.

Dex is in 4th grade. He did not get No Joy teacher no Mean teacher. Crafty-teacher moved down to teach 3rd grade so he got the one that Spy said was a yeller. I don't mind. I think she has got to be better than the other two. As I mentioned earlier, Spy's son is in Dex's class and they are both very excited to finally be in the same class together since they were in 3 yr old preschool.

Jax is in 6th grade and his teacher is a man and fairly young. Jax says he seems nice. The first day when I picked him up I could tell that there was something wrong. He was withdrawn and sullen and when we got home, he went to his room for a while. I has asked him what was wrong and he said nothing. Finally he confessed to me that he felt like he had no friends and that this year was going to be horrible, "just like 4th grade!". My heart broke. He does have a couple of friends in his grade but they are not that close and neither of them are in his class this year. He is very close to Ash's son and two other boys who do not go to our school so that does not help at school. Jax is friendly and nice but very reserved.

I told him that he had to put himself out there and we came up with a couple of strategies to help make friends. First was to recognize that just because the two friends are not in his class this year does not mean that they are not friends. So, he has made an effort to talk to one of the kids in particular and hang out with him at recess (even if it means just watching that kid play soccer since Jax does not like to play it). The other is for him to take a look around and find someone he'd like to become friends with and start making an effort to talk to that kid.

I hope these things work. I don't want him to re-live 4th grade. He was friend-less due to his anxiety over his peanut allergy as he chose to keep a distance from kids and partly because he is a reserved kid who waits for others to approach him.

Any other tips or hints or suggestions would be most welcomed!