Friday, October 30, 2009

Shell out, shell out, the witches are out!

I haven't really much to say but I am ramping up for NaBloPoMo which means I have to ensure that I blahg everyday again.

Cars stayed home from school again because he still had a fever. He was very sad to miss his Halloween party but he held up pretty well (unlike Dex last year who sobbed and sobbed when we had to leave his early for an appointment with his neurologist). Anyway, his fever was very low this evening so I think we'll be back on our regular schedule tomorrow. And he will be able to go out Trick'r'Treating. :)

And speaking of Trick'r'Treating...I was remembering that we used to call it "shelling out". And we'd say "Shell out, shell out, the witches are out!". No one here calls it shelling out and I have caught myself a couple of times before I said it. I wonder if it is a Canadian thing? Or a Toronto-area thing?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cars stayed home sick today. Well, I should say he did not go to school. He did not stay home because I had a million and one errands to run so I gave him some Advil and off we went. The errands could not be put off because they were all for Halloween parties at the school tomorrow. Jax told me last night that he signed up to bring in 30 Krispy Kreme donut$. And I also had to get a bunch of things for Dex's class party tomorrow. Plus some last minute touches for Jax's costume. Cars did not seem to mind since I bought him lunch while we were out and I let him look at toys in Target.

I am also sick. A sore throat, laryngitis and I feel flushed (but I keep taking my temperature and no fever). Oh, I have a cough too. I spoke to my mom on the phone today and she told me she thinks I have H1N1 and I need to go to a doctor. Nice that she can diagnose me over the phone, 4000km away and oh yeah, she is not a doctor.

One nice thing about Cars being sick (actually, a few) was that I had to cancel volunteering in the classroom and Cars did not go to hockey so our lives were a little less harried today. *contented sigh*

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I bought the kids slurpees after swimming lessons as a treat. They all drank about 1/2 of them before we got home. Carson then managed to knock the lid off his and spill RED CHERRY SLURPEE on the CARPET! I got most of it out with club soda but I am afraid the carpet will be permanently stained. Aaargh!

Also maddening today is that I had a handyman here and he was very, very chatty. He was a very nice man and he did a good job but but it seriously took him 30 minutes to write up the invoice and leave (he was off the clock at that point). We were almost late for swimming lessons and I know he was late for his next appointment.

And I did not get to my circuit training class today and I am about to fall off the roof. What a day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I took Dex to an ENT today to discuss his on-going sinus issues. An x-ray was taken and overall his sinuses look clear although there is one small blockage and his adenoids are enlarged. The doctor suggested that Dex could benefit from the surgery but he also said that treating his sinus stuff conservatively as we are doing (flonase, claritin) was fine too. So no surgery - whew!

After school, I took Jax and Dex for flu shots (Cars had his in September). While we were waiting to be seen, they asked if I wanted them to have H1N1 as well. I had no idea that they even had the H1N1 vaccine available so it took me by surprise. I said yes. Then while she was getting the vaccines ready, I asked if Cars could also get it since he was there too (I only had appts for the older two boys). She said "Yes!" so he got the shot too and boy was he upset. Dex and Cars are both complaining that the H1N1 really, really hurts but Jax hasn't said much. I gave Dex and Cars Tylenol when we got home but they are still holding their arms and whimpering. :\

Monday, October 26, 2009

We gutted out and carved pumpkins this evening. It is early (Halloween is not for another 5 days) but we are just too busy every other evening this week so it was now or never.

Stephen normally carves all of them (well, the fancy ones, I always make a regular ol' jack-o-lantern) but this year, Jax and Dex did a great deal of theirs. Cars scooped out a bit of the guts of his and then got bored so he drew pictures while we kept working.

Here are the pumpkins:
This is Cars' scary clown. It actually freaks me out a little

Jax's headless guy

Dex's Mummy

And my Jack-o-Lantern

Hopefully the pumpkins will not rot or be eaten by bugs (or rodents!) before Saturday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jax's friend called on Saturday morning to see if he wanted to go for a bike ride. I could see the wheels turning in Jax's head: "Do I give him another chance?" and "I love going for bike rides". So, in the end he went and all went well. It was helpful that it was just the two of them. I think most of the problems happen when others are there. Anyway, Jax and I did some roll-playing about what he will say if his friend bullies or tried to pull that crap again. I hope he remembers to use it when it happens again. Actually, I hope it never happens again.

*heavy sigh*

Friday, October 23, 2009

I still have congestion in my ears and it is driving me batty. The pain gets really bad then it almost goes away then comes back. Right now there is not much pain but a lot of pressure. Too late to take Sinutab unless I want to stay up all night.

Jax has been very quiet lately. He wanted to go for a bike ride after school today so I suggested that he call his friend to meet him. He said that he did not want to and off he went. After he came back, I asked him why he did want to call his friend because normally he would jump at the chance and it was like I opened a faucet and Jax just started blurting out all of these things.

Jax told me that he did not think that his friend was a very good friend and he is not sure that he wants to be around him anymore. He says his friend is bossy and calls Jax a wimp if he does not want to do something. Jax also explained that his friend never wants to do what other people suggest and if they are playing a game and the friend gets bored, the friend will then ruin it for everyone else (clear the board if a boardgame or throw the cards if it is a card game or turn off the video game). His friend also said that he thought tennis was stupid and if he is around when my kids are playing, he will purposefully try to stop the game by riding his bike or scooter across the court. The last time we were all together, his friend asked if in hockey could you "do this" and he pushed Dex's head so hard that Dex started to cry (I wish I had known that had happened but Dex did not say anything to me!).

I am feeling so torn for a number of reasons. Jax is again feeling as though he is friendless, especially since he has decided that he does not want to be friends with this boy at the moment. Jax has always thought this was his best friend and now he is feeling so torn. He cried after he gushed everything out. We then talked about what great qualities that he has and how he can work on being a better friend to others and how best to approach people. He said he liked one kid in his class but he hangs out with "bad" kids so Jax doesn't want people to think he is like those kids so he keeps away. One of the kids in that group worries me (the girl I mentioned last spring who said she was a lesbian but there was also a rumour that she was pregnant - in GRADE 5!!) so I must admit I am not going to encourage any friendships with that group.

And once again I feel as though I have failed my son because I have not been able to teach him how to put himself out there. I know a lot of it is Jax's personality but surely I could do something more to help him, right? I mean I arrange for playdates and he's now in hockey but there must be something else I can do.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Woe is me. I have sinus congestion which is once again causing me ear pain and now a headache. I am afraid to take another Sinutab at this point in the evening in case I don't sleep. *pout*

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I watched Hoarders on A&E and it scared me! I have mentioned before that I have hoarding tendencies. I am not sure if I ever posted a photo of my laundry/mud/storage room. It is a mess! And after watching two episodes of "Hoarders" OnDemand I decided that something MUST be done before my whole house gets condemned (ok, big jump perhaps but it ~could~ happen!).

I spent two hours going through things in the storage room and throwing out empty shoe boxes (I had four just in case the kids ever needed them for a craft project at school), old paperwork (I had planned to shred it but never got around to it so just dumped it as is and hope that no one goes through it to steal my identity), sorting craft stuff (still could not throw any of it out but I was able to pull out some acrylic yarn to donate to my friend who is making knitted/crocheted stuffed creatures), and all of the extra school supplies that I bought. OMG - if I had all of the extra school supplies in one place, I would not have had to buy crayons, markers, pens or sharpies for the boys this year! Anyway, do you see how I rationalize things, just like a hoarder?!

So, two hours in that room and it looks a ~little~ neater but I hardly put a dent in it. I have two bags of clothes for Goodwill that have been sitting on the table for nearly two weeks and a big box of sandals and flipflops that need to be stored in the garage.

After two hours, I was ready to continue but started running into paperwork that needed to be filed and photos that needed to be stored and then I started to feel overwhelmed so I quit. And I felt that I was acting just like those hoarders! It was painful to make a decision about what to do with these things.

Maybe I need the help of a professional organizer?

Or maybe I just need to go back to Crazy Doctor?

edited to add photos that I took last winter (this is very embarrassing!):

Friday, October 16, 2009

TGIF! Seriously, this has been a busy week. I spent a lot of time at school volunteering (Mon = hearing and vision screening and prep work for Art Start, Tuesday = Art Start in 4th Grade class and taking down/putting up work for teacher, Thursday = in Cars' class and then picture day - even if it were for just 20 mins!!). And today I helped Ash prep her house for putting it on the market (taping and painting, dismantling and packing/wrapping).

Cars had soccer practice this evening and it started to piss rain about 1/2 way through. It was just miserable! While I do enjoy watching soccer, I am totally a fair-weather fan and I hate them playing in the rain. Even a little drizzle makes it uncomfortable. Maybe indoor arena soccer is the way to go. Spy says she loves it because it is a much faster game but I know I would love it because it is inside. Seriously, they never cancel soccer here except for thunder/lightning! Just three more games (and two practices).

I keep thinking that I want to get a job of some sort but after a week like this, I wonder how I could possibly work and do all of these other things (hockey/soccer/swim lessons for the kids). We'd never, ever be home!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The furnace is fixed but it is limping along. We need a new furnace so we are starting to get bid$. Yikes! We have flirted with the idea. Of installing air conditioning along with the new furnace. Just flirting though. Seems really decadent.

Tomorrw is picture day at school. I hope the boys smile nicely. Jax has started making this goofy grin when posing for photos. Let's hope he doesn't do it tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I volunteered at the school today for Vision Screening. It was fun to see the kids try to make an E with their fingers and then twist their hands around to follow E along the lines. Especially the little kids! Dex was the only one of my three who came to my station to be tested (20/20) but I asked the mom who tested Cars and I knew his eyesight was worse (20/30). I was surprised at the number of kids who had glasses but forgot them at home today. And I was even more surprised at the number of kids who had really bad eyesight! Like 20/50, 20/70 and there was one 6th grade girl who could not even read the 20/100 line at all! Anyway, good thing for the screening and hopefully these kids will get corrective lenses.

Our furnace stopped working sometime today and it is cool in the house. I called the repair guy and they suggested I try a few things like change batteries in the thermostat(check!), check circuit breaker (had already done that) but it still will not come on. The guy is super busy and cannot come out until possibly Wednesday. I wonder how cold the house will get between now and then. I could try to call someone else but I really like this guy. When we moved into our old house 10 years ago this past July, and I tried to turn the furnace on in September, something went POP and the furnace was broken and he was the only one who would come out that day. He is just a one-man show and I've called him every two years to service our furnace. At this new house, our furnace is very old (25 yrs) but he said it was in fairly good condition because it is inside rather than outside (most houses here have their furnaces in the garage).

Three years ago, he was voted best heating and cooling guy on the Eastside and it really did wonders for his business but wait times for service has of course increased. Which is why he cannot get here until Wednesday, I guess. Far cry from the same-day service I had 10 years ago. But he's worth the wait (as long as it doesn't get too much colder in the house!).

We'll see what happens when he comes out. In the meantime, it is fleece jackets and warm socks for us!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I haven't really been sleeping as well as I had hoped on the new bed. The bed is super comfortable and I love it but I keep waking up at night. Several times! I was wondering if it were just age (old people have trouble sleeping, right?) but then I realized that our bed was squeaking really, really loud whenever I rolled over!

Stephen finally figured out that the bed was a little off kilter so he took the mattress off and squared up the connections and now the bed is quiet! Ah, let's hope I sleep through the night tonight.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Book List

After posting about Book Club, I realized that I have not been very good about keeping the "Reading" section on my sidebar up-to-date. I think the books showing there at the moment was our April Book Club selection!

So, here is a list of the books I have read so far this year.

  1. "Dreams of My Father"Barack Obama
  2. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", J.K. Rowling
  3. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", J.K. Rowling
  4. "My Sister’s Keeper", Jodi Picoult
  5. "Fifth Business", Robertson Davies
  6. "The Reader", Bernhard Schlink
  7. "The People’s Act of Love", James Meek
  8. "The Middle Place", Kerry Corrigan
  9. "Atonement", Ian McEwan
  10. "The Witches of Eastwick", John Updike
  11. "Tourist Season", Carl Hiaasen
  12. "Sudden Death", Allison Brennan
  13. "The Help", Kathryn Stockett
  14. "The Name of the Wind", Patrick Rothfuss
  15. "Outliers: The Story of Success", Malcolm Gladwell
  16. "Something Missing", Matthew Dicks
  17. "The Magician's Nephew", C.S. Lewis

A sad list for sure. I have read 4 of the books in previous years (two of them last year!) but three of those books are quite long. I have on my TO DO list this year to read at least one Shakespeare play. I don't know if that will happen.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Book Club

Last night, book club ended so early. I felt a little bad for the hostess but it was nice to be home before 11pm.

We have 11 members of our book club at the moment and two of them drive me crazy (well, three but the third is another story). One virtually never reads the book. Seriously, in the five years (we are about to start our 6th year), she has fully read about 10 of the books. It is a bit of a joke but it drives me crazy sometimes.

The other member never, ever, ever BUYS the book. Ever. She has a "thing" about buying books so every.single.month she will send a note out about a week before book club asking if anyone is finished with their copy of the book because she would like to borrow it to read it. EVERY MONTH! I have borrowed books from people if I cannot get it from the library and it does not look like a book that I would mind keeping. Everyone does it occasionally. But every month is ridiculous!

Ok, and the third member who bugs me just is a strong personality with a lot of quirks who says things that insults people often. Like "ANYONE who votes for Obama is CRAZY!" <- ok, not verbatim but close. She goes on and on about "those people" with tattoos not noticing that at least two of our members have tattoos. etc... She is obsessive about her books too. Spy borrowed this month's book form her and when Spy gave it back to her last night, this woman actually used a kleenex and wiped down the whole book! I laughed and said "I cannot believe you are doing that!" and she said "Well, it is dirty!".

I cannot believe that our book club has been together for so long. We have not had a huge change in membership either. One person moved away and we added two new members. The Republican obsessive-book wiper quit but then came back. I think over all we have a great group of women and I really enjoy our book club each month.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

So a couple of weeks ago I made baked ziti for dinner and the kids raved over it. I used to make it years ago and the kids would not touch it until I called it "pizza casserole". I can't remember why I stopped making it (oh, I think it was because I stopped eating pasta for a while). Anyway, I had been making it weekly and the kids eat it without complaints until tonight when I made it with fresh basil instead of dried. Jax turned his nose up at it and instead, he ate a cheese stick and a babybel. *sigh* I think I am going to give him cucumber in his lunch tomorrow as payback (he doesn't like it but he'd eat it if there we no other veggie).

Yes, I can be mean.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Yeah! Tights are back (video here). Seriously, I don't like bare legs. Mostly because I don't think my legs are very attractive but I have always loved the look of black tights with a short skirt. And not that a 44 year old woman should be wearing a short skirt, but the OPTION of doing so is back now that tights are back. :)

And really I don't remember the last time I wore a skirt anyway.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Today, after hockey practice and before Religion classes, we went to BrickCon at the Seattle Center. It is a Lego Hobby Convention for adults but it was open to the public (and kids!) on Saturday and Sunday. There was so much Lego there (on display and for sale)! It was amazing to see the elaborate Lego designs. The boys loved it and we look forward to next year's exhibition!

Here are a few of my favourite exhibits:

Lego Stephen Hawking

Lego Mosaic Link

Lego Totem Pole

Lego Children...oh wait. Just my kids. :)

Lego Ski Hill

They had some Legomation videos from youtube playing as well. The kids kept hoping that one of theirs would be shown. Here is the latest one.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The new bed arrived on Tuesday and it is ridiculously high - 32" off the ground! But, it is very comfortable and Stephen says his back and shoulder have stopped hurting already. I will admit that it is nice to sleep on such a firm ("ultra firm") bed again. My bedsheets do not fit the mattress so I need to buy some extra deep queen fitted sheets. And I think I will buy a new king comforter, flat sheet and blanket.

I sold the Heavenly Bed to someone from book club. There were actually 5 people interested in buying it! I was worried we would end up being stuck with it.

I think I am coming down with something. I have a bit of a stuffy nose but I have also had an afternoon nap nearly every day since Wednesday. I am soooo tired. Oh wait, could it be related to the new bed? Maybe it is not that good after all?!