Friday, December 24, 2010

It is just before 11pm on Christmas eve. I am taking a break from wrapping. Merry Christmas to all of my blogsphere friends. I appreciate the few readers and even fewer commenters (commentors?) I have.

Peace on Earth.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Today is the first day of Christmas vacation, well, "Winter Break" for the kids. I spent the morning baking (and burning) sugar cookies. We'll ice them later. I was planning to make the dough for shortbread cookies next but I am procrastinating.

I am not really in the holiday mood at all. I have left things for what seems like the last minute and am feeling a little overwhelmed. I have a couple of people to buy for still and I have NO idea what to get for them. Aargh. I think I just need to put some Christmas music on and wrap the gifts and that will help.

I have also been eating like there is no tomorrow and have gained a few pounds but what is worse is that I am blubbery! I look (and feel) horrible. Need to fix that stat!

Ok, off to find the shortbread recipe. It is something like a pound of butter and five cups of sugar and five cups of flour. Very healthy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pez's Book List

I read a pathetic number of books this year. Ugh!

Pez's 2010 Book List

1. The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
2. The Associate, John Grisham
3. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro
4. The Murderer’s Daughters, Randy Susan Meyer
5. The Gatecrasher, Madeline Wickham
6. Blonde Roots, Bernadine Evaristo
7. Prior Bad Act, Tami Hoag
8. The White Queen, Phillipa Gregory
9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
10. Breakfast with Budda, Roland Merullo
11. Chasing Harry Winston, Lauren Weisberger
12. The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein
13. Jane Austen Ruined My Life, Beth Pattillo
14. Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Stout
15. See Jane Run, Joy Fielding
16. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
17. The Home for Broken Hearts, Rowan Coleman
18. Pirate Latitudes, Michael Crichton

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I am sitting in a cold arena while Jax is at a power skating class before his regular practice. Yippee for me - I get to spend 2+ hours here tonight. And I have both Dex and Cars with me while Stephen gets to go out for a fancy dinner tonight with his manager (his manager is taking all of his direct reports out). The kids and I had Subway.

I am slowly getting ready for Christmas. I have mailed most of my gifts out that need to be sent. Fortunately we will be going to B.C. after Christmas so I can take up my brother and my niece's gifts then (what's a few days late, right?). I have written about 2/3 of the Christmas cards that I had planned to send out but I am thinking of stopping the rest. I wrote them all for the family, extended family, close friends and I think I might just stop there. Sorry, Dear Reader, if you are one of the ones whom I do not send one out to.

Part of the Bah-humbug is that I bought some really pretty cards at Co$tco that say "Peace on Earth" (which is what virtually ever single card that I have sent out for the past 17 years say). They are the kind where you add a photo so I chose a good photo of the boys and printed off some copies to put in them. They are substantial and I thought they looked great. However, in my mom's and my in-laws, (and one of my aunts and one of Stephen's aunt's, etc), I put in a couple of extra photos that I thought they would like and the envelope seemed a little heavy so I had to have it weighed at the post office. They were over 2 ounces! First class postage (up to one ounce) to Canada is $0.75. These suckers cost me $2 and UP! The ones with one additional photo cost $1.00. The weight without an extra photos was exactly 1 ounce (not counting labels and stamps!). I am now concerned that the 40+ of those ones will come back to me stamped INSUFFICIENT POSTAGE. I did also have some pretty cards that were not quite as heavy so I ended up using those too and I am good with the postage on them.

We bought our Christmas tree at Co$tco too. We had such great luck with one last year so we thought we'd do it again. For $39.99 we got a 8'8" tree that is over 9' tall with the spire topper. The lights were tricky to get on because we had to use a 6' ladder and the ladder step stool. Then the kids and I put up all of the decorations and tinsel and it looks fantastic! However, we completely forgot to saw off a bit on the end and it is not sucking up any water! Dex was in charge of watering it the first couple of days and failed to tell us that it needed virtually no additional water. I am now afraid to turn the lights on and I hope it lasts until Christmas!

I haven't done any Christmas baking either. Jax has asked for sugar cookies and of course Stephen will make Nanaimo bars and caramel corn. Stephen and Jax also gobbled up the Christmas cake from my mom so I had her send me the recipe and I might make more. I also want to make shortbread cookies (although my sugar cookies have nearly as much butter and sugar that they are almost like shortbread).

Anyway, tomorrow I am teaching Art in Dex's class (we'll make 3D Snowflakes. I made them in Jax's class last year and it was...interesting. Some of the kids were really into it and some HATED it. We'll see how this class does. These kids are also a year younger so not yet smug tweens.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Dex told me yesterday that he was "all better" and didn't need to go to counseling anymore. I told him to talk to his therapist about it so he did bring it up at his appointment last night. It was decided that for the next few weeks he will go every other week and then in mid-January we'll decide if he needs to keep going. He is doing really, really well. He hasn't fallen apart in many, many weeks. Stephen is a bit concerned about how baseball season will be. We've even thought about not registering him this year and finding another sport that might suit him better. The problem is that he really likes baseball even though he, quite frankly, sucks at it.

Actually, he doesn't suck. He did last year because he was so anxious and worried about striking out that he would strike out (would strike out staring at the ball, not even swinging). And again iin the field. You could see the terror in his eyes when the ball came to him - he was so scared that he would drop the ball that he would. It was so heartbreaking and so painful to watch. Anyway, registration ends this weekend so we'll have to make a decision by Sunday night.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I must stay away from Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - OMG they are so good but a billion calories. I have had three of them in less than two weeks. Well, four if you count the one that I tried to make at home (was not good).

I heard that Weight Watchers was kicking off a new program right after Thanksgiving. I should probably look into it. Actually, I just need to get back to the gym. I haven't been since the end of September. My shoulders are so bad that it was nearly impossible for me to do the circuit training class. I am now taking anti-inflammatory medication and going to PT to try to fix my shoulder problems (there are two - thoracic outlet syndrome and tendinitis / bursitis). I am so old! Wah!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I am watching "The Oprah Show". It is the final "Favorite Things" episode. I thought I would be envious of all of the things that she is giving out but really I am just so excited for all of these people! How cool would that be to be there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I spent much of today thinking that it was tomorrow which has thrown me completely off.

I did have a big to-do list today which included running many errands. The first was to the car dealership to have a recall installed in my vehicle. The recall was actually just software but very important software called Smart Stop technology so my car will stop in the event of SUA when I frantically depress the brake. Ok, my car will NOT experience SUA as Toyota claims it is always driver error but just in case, I get this updated software to my car. Anyway, before I went I was told it would take 30 minutes to install. One hour and forty minutes later I was still waiting because they had problems with three different computers when trying to install it in my vehicle. This did not make me overly confident. Anyway, the forth time was the charm apparently and nearly two hours after I arrived, I drove away in my now safer car. I wanted to depress the gas and brake at the same time to ensure that the software worked but I was afraid so I didn't.

Anyway, so I had budgeted 45 minutes for the 30 minute install which took nearly 2 hours. So I had to scratch a few things off my list but I still wanted to go to Co$tco. I went to the one that I do not normally go to and it is all screwed up! The aisles are not the same as the aisles as *my* Co$tco. Although, it might be my Co$tco that is screwed up because this one I went to is virtually identically set up to the one we visit in Richmond, BC when we go to Vancouver... Anyway, I could not find the items I needed and I was in a time crunch so I left without frozen waffles and a massive jar of kalamata olives.

I rushed home, (oh but not before I dropped off our boogie boards to my friend who heads to Hawaii tomorrow - I would say I am jealous but that would be an understatement) threw a few things away then rushed off to a guitar lesson which ended just as the elementary school let out. My kids do not take the bus home on Wednesdays so I rushed to pick them up at the park then back home to put the rest of the groceries away, help with homework then off to Dex's guitar lesson (a double lesson at a non-regular time) then off to Subway for dinner (I rock as a mom) and then to Jax's hockey practice.

Big breath.

Now it is 10 pm, Jax is still up doing homework. Stephen is still at work and I do still have a few things from Co$tco which need to be put away. And today is still Wednesday, not Thursday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I spent the day at the school today, volunteering for the Vision and Hearing screening. It was so cute to see the little kindergartners come in and try to make an E with their fingers to point it the right way. Wow - is it really just two years since Cars was that little?? I guess there is a huge difference between 5 and 7 years of age.

One of the other volunteer moms mentioned that some 5th grade boy was staring at her face and she asked him why and he said "I am trying to figure out if you have had plastic surgery". When she told this story everyone was surprised but I was silently horrified. I had told Spy recently that I thought this mom had had Botox in her forehead and around her eyes and I was scared that perhaps Dex had overheard me and it was him who had said that to her. However, I realized that it had not been him and then I figured that I am not the only one who has noticed the changes in her and perhaps the mom of that other 5th grader had said something in front of him about it. The change in her look is pretty dramatic. Doesn't take perfect vision to notice.

Monday, November 15, 2010

On Friday, I went to Nordstrom's to check out their Women's and Children's sale. I found a couple of sweaters that I liked so I bought them. They were both less than $50 so I thought they were a great deal! I was so happy with them until I tried them on for Stephen.

I put the first one on - it was blue and was a little flowy. He told me that I looked "frumpy" in it. So I took it off and put it back in the bag to return. I tried on the second one which I thought looked so nice on me in the store. Stephen looked at me and said "Are you *trying* to look 65"? So, that went back in the bag too and I took them back to Nordstrom's tonight. At least returning them was easy enough. They ask "Is there anything wrong with them or did they just not work for you"? Glad I did not have to tell them I was returning them because my husband thinks I look frumpy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stephen has taken Cars to his hockey game this morning. I stayed home with Dex and Jax so that they could sleep in. Dex had a sleepover with Cam the other night and he has been moody and whiny since. Jax loves sleeping in whenever he can because he gets up every morning during the week at 6:15am.

It is strange to have Jax sleep in though because he was my one kid who fought sleep every night and woke up about 5:45 every.single.morning until he was about 7 years old (then he started getting up about 6:30 every.single.morning). One thing though, he will be up by 9 at the latest. I wonder if he will ever be the kind of teen who'd sleep until noon if we let him.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Wizard Friends

* * * Possible Spoiler Alert re: HP7 * * *

I just finished re-reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". I am very excited about the movie coming out on the 19th. I will take Jax with me. Dex will be going to see it in early December at a birthday party he has been invited to. Cars would prefer to see it on DVD so he can fast-forward past any scary parts. Stephen has no desire to see it at all.

I am not ashamed to admit that I cried while reading the book (both times). But(spoiler alert!) I did not cry at first when I read that Fred had died. I cried for Neville's bravery the most. I was so proud of him. Remember what a poor, fumbling boy he was at the beginning of this whole journey?

JK Rowling is a brilliant writer. I love that things introduced many books before re-enter in subsequent books and it is not as though it was contrived or added as an afterthought. Just brilliant story-telling. I love that the hero is flawed. I love that he acts completely like a teenager when he is one. Harry is not really wise beyond his years although he has been through a lot. I like him and I am happy to know him. In fact, I almost consider him a friend. Most of the characters actually. I like Hermione's brains and her determination. I like Ron's goofiness and that he is almost an accidental hero because he is Harry's bff. I love Mrs. Weasley ("Not my daughter, you BITCH!") and Bellatrix LeStrange's cruel streak. And I love how Dudley told Harry that he didn't think he was a waste of space (another tearful moment for me). And I love Snape. Oh, how I did hate him after he killed Dumbledore (anyone but Snape!) but it was all resolved in the end, my heart ached so much for him. However, despite it all, I do think it was a stretch that Harry named his son after Severus. Really?

Anyway, these, friends, will always stay with me. I have gotten to know them so very well over the past decade and will miss them. I am glad that I will be able to visit them whenever I like, though. Just by reaching out to my bookshelf.

As I put the dusk jacket back on my book and placed my book back on the bookshelf, I chuckled as I saw that my hardback copy of HP7 was nearly as thick as my collection of the first three in paperback. I am glad that they have split the 7th book into two movies. I just wish that I did not have to wait so long for the final installment.
I have done a good job of not volunteering in the past couple of weeks. While I have agreed to work all day next week at the Hearing/Vision clinic, I waited two days when the call came out for production (photocopying) work and by then the calendar was already filled. :) I am teaching Art Start next week in both Dex and Cars' classes but it is easy work and something that I really enjoy doing.

I was cleaning out my email inbox and deleted several notes in regards to the school's walk-a-thon that took place last month. It was a great success but I know that I do not want to be a part of it next year. Please help me remember that in May when they start recruiting.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Jax and Cars had their hockey pictures done yesterday. The package we chose included "trading cards" which list the player's stats (age, height, etc). I wasn't sure how tall the kids were so I measured them. Cars is 4'5". Wow! And Jax? He is 5'5"! I am 5'6". I realized on Halloween it seemed that I was looking UP to him when I was chewing him out for running ahead and leaving Dex behind but I thought it was just the hat he had on that made him appear taller. He has grown slightly over 2 inches since July! I just measured Dex and he is 4'11".

I found a website that shows the growth percentiles for children ( (FYI, it is a website for a growth hormone for kids). Anyway, it shows Dex and Jax to be in the 90-95th percentiles for their age and Cars is off the charts!

I was walking been some teenagers in Safeway the other day and these boys where HUGE! All three of them well over 6 feet tall. Made me wonder if that will be my kids too. Stephen is 6 feet but youngest brother is 6'4". I guess if the chart is any indication, they will be all be at least 6' tall.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Stephen bought Kinect for the boys today. It is way more fun than I thought it would be. The boys got sweating "running" around playing so I am happy to let them play more video games. :)

Friday, November 05, 2010

One year ago today, my friend Shelly passed away. She died suddenly and it was quite a shock to read about her death on her facebook page (her son had written it).

Anyway, to honour her and her love for The Beatles and Disneyland, a number of us got together and purchased a pave way stone at Disneyland and had it inscribed. Memorial stones are not allowed - you are only to commemorate your visit to Disneyland really so it took a while to convince Disney folks that Shelly's last name really was Love.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Our very crappy Bummer Summer seems to have suddenly decided to arrive today, only 4 and a half months late. It was 75 degrees and sunny today! We broken records for hottest November 3rd on record as well as hottest November day ever.

The afternoon was quite breezy but the incredible thing was that the breeze was warm, like a Chinook. The dry leaves on the ground were rolling like waves across the park today. Some of the trees were dropping leaves like rain in the wind too. It was a glorious day!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My mom is settled nicely into her apartment and so relived to no longer be a homeowner. She said everyone in her building is so nice. There is a walkway between her building and the next that leads to a beautiful park with many architectural features/sculptures. Now that the trees have lost their leaves, she has a beautiful view of Lake Ontario, too.

I am sorry that I did not get to see her apartment while I was there but we'll probably go for a visit next summer so I can see it then. She keeps saying that there is room for us to stay with her (um, no, you live in a 1 bedroom apartment!!) but it is nice of her to offer.

And in a weird twist, Stephen's cousin (whom he has not spoken to in about 20 years) lives directly across the hall from my mom.

Monday, November 01, 2010

November again

Three years ago this weekend, we moved into our new home. We are just 3/10 of a mile from our old house (straight down the street and turn left).

One thing that was a change for us at this house is that we are on a septic system. As a result, I stopped using a garborator (garbage disposal) because I read that it fills up the septic tank quickly.

So now it is time to get our septic tank pumped and wow, what an ordeal. So far I have dug a 3'x2'x2'deep hole in my garden. I managed to locate one lid (I vaguely remembered where the garden was dug up when we came for the inspection) but apparently there are two that need to be uncovered. I have no idea where any of the paperwork that we received when we bought the house is (I have searched in the past and haven't found it). Anyway, the septic guy is coming on Friday so if I manage to find it before then I hope to have it dug up and if not, I will be paying him $90/hour to do it. Aargh!

BTW, Stephen will have nothing to do with the digging and he is happy to pay the guy the money rather than dig out there. I am thinking if that's the case, I will take the $$ that I save by digging myself and treat myself to a new purse... Or, spend that money and install risers on the septic tank so we never have to dig again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Volunteers Anonymous

Last school year, Ash gave me this magnet and we laughed and joked about it. This year, I should have looked at it again. I have over committed myself and I am mad at myself! Aargh!

I am teaching Art in Dex and Cars' classes. I am also doing production work (photocopying/laminating) twice a month for the school (any teacher), I am co-room mom in Cars' class (think party planning), I have volunteered for the health room (applying bandaids and ice packs when kids get hurt during recess or at lunch), I did work on the walkathon which is over for the year, I have volunteered to help with the vision/hearing screening as well as provide food for luncheons for teachers at both the elementary school and junior high. On top of that, I have volunteered to sub in Dex's religion class because the teacher is in the hospital. WTF am I thinking? What about time for me to work out, clean my house, grocery shop?? Aargh!

Please, someone stop me before I volunteer again!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I went to Toronto for four days this past week. My mom sold her house and she is moving to an apartment. I went to help her pack, to go through three boxes of things that I still had there and also to say good-bye to the house and the street and the neighbourhood.

My mom had done much of the packing already. Her biggest chore was going through keepsakes that my dad had received during his 30+ year career as a politician. Tons of plaques and certificates and photos honouring him or commemorating some event. My mom found it hard to throw away photos of my dad, even if it were a photo of him standing beside a delegation of Greek officials in Scarborough's sister city in Greece. Or with some community leaders at an Art Night or at the opening of a new factory or warehouse or whatever. Apparently she has a whole Rubbermaid tote box filled with these types of photos in storage now that "you kids can deal with when I'm gone". She did take them all out of the frames and dropped the frames off at the Value Village near her home.

My mom told me that there were three boxes of things that I had to go through before she moved. When I got "home" though, there were actually 4 (five if you count a small box that had gift in it). The first box held my collection of music boxes. I had collected them as a teen and young adult. I am not even certain how many there were altogether - probably 20. I carefully unwrapped each one, wound it up and listened to them before I wrapped them back up and returned them to the box to be dropped off at Value Village. Some I had almost no memory of receiving or buying but others brought back the memories of the giver or the occasion in which they were received. Some of the music boxes were so pretty sounding (while others were not) and some looked lovely and some were down-right creepy (a stuffed clown with a music box in him - ~shudder~). I chose four small ones to keep. Well, two for me (they were the prettiest sounding) and two for my two nieces who live in the Toronto-area. I told my mom we'd drop the rest off at Value Village and she was horrified! "But they are your music boxes!" I know but I was not going to lug them home and Stephen did not want them in our house and besides, there is no place in my home to display them. "Fine", she said "I'll keep them!". What?? We actually argued over those music boxes. Boxes that were not hers, that she insisted I deal with yet when I did, she decided that she had better plans for them (to be kept in her storage unit until she dies and I have to deal with them yet again).


Another of the boxes held some gifts, a few of which were wedding gifts (oops!). Some crystal candle holders, a crystal vase, a crystal candy dish, a serving dish what was silver-plated, a thermos coffee server and a few other items including a gorgeous crystal basket that weighed a ton! I did not keep any of those things - again, I decided to take them to Value Village and my mother would not hear of it! In the end, she kept the coffee server and crystal basket, we gave the candy dish to one of her neighbours and Ramona took the rest to sell at a garage sale in the spring. For some reason, that was less offensive to my mom (selling them at the garage sale) than taking them to Value Village. In fact, my mom was so delighted that Ramona was going to take them that my mom quickly donated many other boxes of items to Ramona's garage sale that her car was packed to the gills when she left my mom's house!

The third box was labeled "Stephen's Life" and it was photos albums and high school yearbooks, awards, keepsakes, books and framed "art". My mom and I spent a couple of hours each peeling the old photos and news clippings out of the albums. I took pictures of Stephen from his yearbook (I wish my mom had a scanner) and we dropped off the empty albums and the rest of them items to Value Village.

There was a fourth box that held *my* grade 9 yearbook; that I brought home; two diaries and my high school diploma as well as some other books. I had a blast this week reading through the diaries. I am a tad bit embarrassed at how dramatic I was (always "so depressed" when boys did not call or like me or whatever). I am horrified at the lack of caring about school (I never did my homework or studied for tests - showed in my grades) because I was busting my hump working at BiWay (a discount store) umpteen hours each week. I would never let my kid work so many hours during the school year! I was making $2.40/hour (it paid more than McDonald's where Ramona and Leah Ann worked for $2.15/hour) and I worked from 5-11 2-3 evenings each week and all day on Saturdays (back then, there was no Sunday shopping). I did not have time for homework or studying! No wonder I did no do it.

Anyway, one of the funniest things in the diary was back in '81, my mom and my aunt went out bought themselves some jeans. My cousin was horrified that women "their age" would wear jeans. My mom was the age I am now! And I wear nothing BUT jeans. Funny how times (and ones perspective) change.

I am happy for my mom that she is moving but sad to say goodbye to that house. It was our home and only our home (my parents were the original owners and they moved there in November 1958). I hope that my mom will be happy in the apartment that she is moving into. It is only 5km from my her old house, a little closer to my aunt's house, close to a little plaza with a grocery store, banks, cafe, and some other little shops. Close to a bus line if she decides she does not want to drive. Right on Lake Ontario so she can stroll along the bluffs and (if she lived on a higher floor), could look out over the lake.

Not going "home" to see Mom will be strange. I mean Toronto, no, Scarborough, will always be "home" but the house was "home" too. All that familiarity and memories inside of things and people that made me who I am. I will miss that.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I hate this time of year with all of the gargantuan spiders around. The bigger ones that get fat and meaty disgust and scare me. If they are outside and I can avoid them, I am ok with them (like this one) but when they are inside the house I hate it! We've had several very large spiders in the house so far this fall. Usually Stephen is around to get them for me but the other day, Dex and I came home from his appointment and there was one, in the hallway, blocking my way into the family room from the laundry room. I didn't know what to do! If I left it for Stephen (who wouldn't be home for another 30 minutes, the spider might disappear...or worse!). And I didn't think I was brave enough to try to kill it myself (what if it turned on me or got away?!).

Dex is as afraid of spiders as I am so he just stood in the laundry room, staring at the beast and paralyzed with fear. I knew then I had to be brave. I leapt over the monstrosity and ran up the stairs to find the fly swatter. My hands were shaking and the adrenaline racing through my body. I crept back down the stairs and with a shriek, swatted the thing so hard that some of its legs fell off. But it was still moving. I shuddered and swatted again and again and again. Finally, it was dead. I used a half dozen Kleenexes to push it onto the end of the swatter and carried it to the toilet and flushed. Then I had to go back and pick up the legs with the Kleenex. ICK!

Gah, I hate those spiders. Really hate them. And if you doubt me about how big these things are, please check out this video. Be is scary!

Monday, October 04, 2010

The kids had been asking to get their Halloween costumes so we ventured out to a couple of costume and party stores and found what they wanted:

Dex as Demon of War:

Cars as General Grievous:

Jax as a Roman Soldier

Fortunately, no one wanted to be this one:

(nice to see that the woody is included)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I got Cars in to see a dermatologist about his nose. Well, it was actually a nurse practitioner in a dermatologist's office. Anyway, the mole turned out not to be a mole but some other kind of growth that was ok to leave but ok to take out too. Cars of course wanted to leave it and I wanted it gone so out it came. She cut a bit off with a sharp instrument then used a digger thing to get the rest out. He was yelling "OW OW OW!" then when it was over "Oh, that's wasn't so bad". He is so dramatic at times.

Now I have to call the other dermatologists back and cancel the appointments that I made for the end of November and for mid-December! Or maybe I will keep the one and take it for myself and ask about Botox. Just kidding! I am more interested in Restylane. ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grrr! Cars needs to see a dermatologist and I cannot get him in before December 16th! And that was the third dermatologist that I called. The first said mid-Dec to early Jan so I said no thanks, the second was not taking new patients. The third was the one that the pediatrician was going to first recommend but said that the wait time would be outrageous so she gave me the other two names.

I called the ped's office back and have two more names to call. The office agreed that 3 months was an awfully long time to wait (to look at a suspicious mole). I wonder if she called the doctors themselves if that would expediate things.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Last week was my 17th wedding anniversary. A far cry from last year's crazy anniversary, we went to dinner at a restaurant in downtown Vancouver with our kids. We were in Vancouver for the long weekend to get away, see my brother and buy some hockey equipment and peanut-free snacks for school. Our anniversary fell on a Saturday night which was kind of nice - just like our wedding day.

We went to The Keg reminiscent to our first date back in October 1986 when we also went to a Keg (in Toronto). The dinner was so yummy. Jax ordered off the regular menu (not a kid any longer, I guess) and he got a rack of ribs and ate them all! His dinner was pricier than mine!! Stephen and I imbibed in Keg-sized Caesars which was nice since it is nearly impossible to find a Caesar in any bar or restaurant in the States (at least near us here and definitely not in Minnesota when we lived there...except for at the Holiday Inn Metrodome because the bartender was from Canada).

So, happy anniversary to us.
September 4, 1993

September 4, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Remember Me?

So it has been a while since I last posted. It got a little crazy with the end of summer then the start of school then Labour Day and here we are.

The boys started school on September 1st. Jax started at Jr. High and so far so good. He was very disappointed that he did not get his first choice for electives (Media Production) either this term or next so I have a feeling this is sullying his view of school. However, he is happy that he has a friend in many of his classes. He has met some friends after school (he took the bus home but got off at the stop closest to the store). He won't let me walk him to the bus stop and he does his homework immediately after he gets home. I hope the year continues to go well (and that he gets Media Production next year!!).

Dex likes his teacher. He didn't get the same teacher that Jax has in 5th grade but maybe that is a good thing. He is doing fairly well with his anxiety and depression although his headaches have increased. Poor boy.

Cars loves 2nd grade so far. He has the same teacher that Dex had in 2nd grade. He likes the kids who sit near him and fortunately the kid who knocked his teeth out in May is not in his class. (Oh, just did a quick search and I don't think I posted about it - the afternoon before we were to go to Toronto for my mom's b-day, a kid in Cars' class threw the hanging gym rope (think big knot at the bottom) at Cars' face and knocked out one tooth and knocked two more loose so he had to have emergency extractions at the dentist! So he has been wandering around with his four top front teeth missing. We are lucky that none of his permanent teeth were knocked out/loose).

So, I am looking forward to a good school year for all of the kids. We have a new principal at the school and already there are some positive changes. Hurray!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 T-minus 5 days

School starts in 5 business days (one week). Wow, summer went by fast!

Today was the last warm summer day in the forecast before school so we went to the beach. We tried to go to that private beach that we all love but they were closed for an event (probably some dumb Big Software Company department event - the nerve!) so we headed up to another city beach that is nice but the parking sucks! And of course it was packed today but the kids still had a great time. Cars was supposed to pass a swim test before he was allowed to jump off the dock but he was so worried about the swim test that he gave up before he started (plus, he explained, he forgot his goggles). Anyway, about 30 minutes later he just started jumping off the dock and none of the lifeguards were concerned about his swimming because they let him keep jumping.

I ended up with an extra kid for part of the time we were there which was fine because he is a great kid and my kids get along really well with him. I drove him home and then we went home to shower. Afterwards, I took my kids to the skate park while I perused the Farmers' Market. I bought a dozen organic eggs because it seems that none of the Safeway ones are safe at the moment (included in the billion eggs recall). It was hot so after the kids skated for a while we all bought shaved ice and found some shade to sit in to eat it. It was close to 8pm and closing time so we left and went to Safeway to pick up something for dinner.

It was such a fun day. I hope the kids thought so too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 End of days

I have lost track of where we are. That happens when one does not blahg everyday.

Anyway, we went away on vacation last week and had a blast! We stayed in the beach house which was very much a beach house (read nothing fancy about it). It was very clean though and we could not beat the location.

We spent much of our time in the water. Southern California has experienced the coldest summer in like 100 years so the water was pretty chilly so we rented wetsuits so we could stay in the water for more than a few minutes at a time. The kids boogie boarded much of the time and played in the sand. We also hired two surfers and had two surfing lessons. What a load of fun that was! Hard for the adults but super easy for the kids. They put us to shame! I was able to get up twice - and once for more than a fraction of a second.

We also hit Legoland for 1 1/2 days. I am so glad we went this year and did not wait another year because Jax would have just been a little too old to go. It is definitely geared towards younger children but that's ok because they all cleared out around dinner time and so the lines were super short from then until closing.

We went with another family which, for the most part, worked out. The only things I think was a bit of a problem were meal times. We tend to eat more on a schedule and sit down as a family and they don't, or at least did not seem to do so while on vacation. We often would be eating dinner at 7:30 or 8pm (or later) which was a little bothersome to me. But overall it was a great experience and I would not hesitate to go away with them again (and hopefully they feel the same about us).

Now we are gearing up for school. Jax has his school "business day" tomorrow which includes many things (like school photos already!!). Then on Thursday there is a meet'n'greet for Dex and Cars' teachers. School starts on Wednesday of next week and I hate that it is before Labour Day. Also, even though it is a Wednesday, it is not an early dismissal day which I think will just screw everyone up! Oh well...

I took the kids shopping for shoes today and they are all 1-2 sizes larger than what they are currently wearing! Famous Footwear had a great sale on and I was able to get six pairs of name-brand shoes for them for under $200. Wow!

Now I need to run and fill in a billion forms for Jax for tomorrow. And write cheque after cheque. And so it starts...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 42

Today we have spent the day getting ready for our trip to California. I am very excited about it for a number of reasons.

First of all, I have never been to California before, so this will be exciting! We have rented a beach house with another family.

My kids are really excited to go. We are going to do some touristy things but hopefully we'll just hang out around the ocean, maybe do some boogie boarding and perhaps some surfing lessons.

I am also excited because we are flying and it is not a 5+ hour flight! Mostly we only ever fly to Toronto to visit family (so a long INTERNATIONAL flight). And then last year we took that wonderful vacation to Hawaii but it was a very long flight too. This one is about 2.5 hours so no packing extra meals in case the airplane food is not safe. This may seem like not a big deal but it is when I have to worry about 4 people (Stephen is on his own). And, we can pack FRUIT - which is a huge no-no when you travel internationally.

And two days ago was Summer o'Fun Day 40

We celebrated Cars' 7th birthday with a party at a trampoline place (Dex had his birthday there in June). Cars had so much fun running and bouncing and jumping and playing dodgeball. It was great! What wasn't so great was that it was warm (imagine, warm in August) so the icing melted (just like last year. The difference was this year I made a layer cake so when the icing melted in the car on the drive to the trampoline place, the top layer of the cake slid off the bottom and we had a cake disaster!

But the kids said it still tasted good and they had so much fun so I guess the Martha Stewart in me can let it go. Next year, no layer cakes! And definitely I will make room in the freezer to keep the cakes frozen until a couple of hours before we are ready to serve it.

And I will add that earlier in the day on Wednesday, I had the babysitter come and I went canoeing with a friend on the lake so I could gawk at all of the big homes. Ok, she owns a big home on the lake and had just moved there in May. It was a lot of fun (and a good workout!).

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 36

Happy 7th Birthday to my baby! Yes, Cars is 7 today and I cannot believe it. The past 7 years really have flown by. And his birth, or rather, my postpartum depression that resulted from his his birth that gave birth to this blahg.

We went to the beach today with some friends and then out to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant (thankfully I was able to talk him out of pizza for dinner). Then we came back home for cake (lazy daisy cake) and presents. He had a fabulous day and went to be a very happy boy.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 34

Not much going on. We've just been hanging out and the kids have had some friends over. Dex really, really, really wants to have his friend A over but he never returns Dex's call. I don't know if it the kid is avoiding him or if he is just not getting the message from his parents or what! Spy once told me that his mom is the worst communicator. In fact, for Dex's b-day, A's mom asked Spy to drive A there. Then I offered to drive Spy's son and said I would take A as well. A's older brother dropped him off at my house and I drove them all to the party place. After the party, no one came to pick up A. A had no idea if his mom or brother was coming and he called his mom's cell phone and home and no one answered so I just drove him home. I don't even know if anyone was home when I dropped him off.

Anyway, so Dex had another friend over. Yesterday, Jax had a friend over too. Cars' turn I guess but his b-day is on Thursday and we are going to the beach so he will see Spy's youngest and that will have to be his playdate for the week. I have so much to do tomorrow. I moved Dex's psych appt to tomorrow so we can go to the beach Thursday. Then that interfered with his guitar lesson so that had to move. I need to get some food in the house! And Stephen crammed my car full of stuff for Goodwill that I will have to go there first thing in the morning.

We went through a few things in the garage (to go to Goodwill). One was a rubbermaid tote of my old sweaters. And I mean OLD. One was knit for my by my boyfriend's mother in 1984. It was an icelandic knit so really a "classic" style and I could probably wear it now (if I lost some weight! heh). Another was the sweater that Stephen bought me for our first Christmas 1986!! It was a "shaker knit" in a marled black and turquoise. I loved that sweater! The others were 2 green angora sweaters, a fushia angora sweater, a black angora sweater with satin bows and beads appliqued on it. And one white and black wool knit wiht a houndstooth pattern. Every single one of those sweaters were at least 20 years old (most older!). They all also had shoulder pads in them!

Anyway, I had fun reminising about them as I pulled them out and put them in the Goodwill pile. I heard Dex sniffling and then I asked him what was wrong and he said he would tell me later. We went inside and he started to cry. He told me that he would never, ever, ever be able to do what I just did - get rid of the sweaters! My poor little hoarder! I asked him if he wanted the one with the bows (jokingly) and he did stop crying enough to give a little laugh and tell me is was ugly. But he was so upset thinking that he could never give something away. I am glad that his appointment is tomorrow so we can talk about it while it is still fresh.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 32

Ok, this really happened yesterday...

Stephen took the day off work and we rented a jet ski and spent half a day at the beach on Shooting Lake. Ok, it is not really called shooting lake but two weekends ago there was a huge shooting at the state park on the south end of the lake and two people were murdered and six others injured. No arrests. Nice...

Anyway, we went to a private beach to launch and spend the day because the boat launch is much less busy and since it was the first time ever we had towed a trailer and launced anything, we wanted to be able to take our time. Lots of people were very helpful too and that was nice.

The kids had a blast going out on the jet ski with Stephen. Of course he let them drive (doh!). I went out with Jax and then freaked out when I let him drive so after three minutes we were back at the beach so Stephen could take over.

Anyway, it was tons'o'fun. Cars kept saying over and over again that we MUST buy a jet ski. They are so pricy though. I think if we rented one once or twice a year we'd have loads of fun without breaking the bank.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 31

We tried our hand at Geocaching again today but the GPS on my iPhone is not great. It would tell us we were 30 feet from the cache and I would take a couple of steps then we'd be 75 feet away. Anyway, of the four that we tried to locate, we were only successful once. The kids are super excited about Geocaching so I may invest in a handheld GPS that is much more accurate.

Summer o'Fun Day 30

Stephen took the day off and we went for a walk along the lake trail. It used to be a railroad track and they turned it into a trail many years ago but I had never walked along it. Anyway, we walked and gawked at all of the multi-million dollar homes along the lake. Right where we decided to turn around for the return walk, we suddenly heard a loud noise then realized it was a helicopter. We turned and watched a helicopter land at a house about 100 feet from us. It landed on a special pad that was on wheels. The owner got out and then used a 4-wheel ATV to tow the helicopter into his garage. We had no idea what goes on just a couple of miles from our house.

Summer o'Fun Day 29

I got a call from one of my friends from back home. We had not been in touch for many years but her mom and my mom have been best friends for 52 years. Anyway, she was in town as her husband has been working here for 2.5 years (she chose to stay behind) but she's here for a month. We decided to meet at the locks. It was great seeing her and meeting her three children. I hope to see her again before she goes back to Canada. And hopefully she will be moving here in the next few months so we'd be able to see more of each other.

Summer o'Fun Day 28

Sad but I have no idea what we did this day... but I do know that at 5pm I met with Dex's psychologist who has diagnosed him with anxiety and depression. I feel so sad and guilty and so many more emotions. We had a good discussion and it seems that part of his sadness and depression might be grief from the change in his relationship with Jax. Jax is growing up and is less inclined to want to play with Dex. As well, this past year the kids have spent so much more time apart with Jax's hockey, Cars' hockey and Dex's baseball and guitar lessons. Anyway, keeping my fingers crossed that with counseling, Dex will get through this.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I spent this weekend cutting branches off trees and weeding. OMG, weeding! I filled up the yard waste container and a leaf bag that is about 3 1/2 feet high. Things around the front yard looks nicer but I definitely need to pull a few plants/shrubs and add some new ones.

We have a landscape service that comes to mow the lawn every week. It is owned by a neighbour from our previous house. They do pull some weeds in the garden but not always (it is just a mowing service we have so the weed pulling is bonus). I asked the owner to pull out a failed compost area in the back by the raspberries that the previous owners started and abandoned. And to put down more bark in the play area. So, he hired a couple of guys to come out to dig out the compost area. Then I saw a big black lab running around the yard. I was so mad because the black lab from across the street is always running around and crapping on my lawn (as well as everyone elses!). So there is that damn dog in my back yard and all I could think about was it pooping in the yard and the kids stepping in it. And I did not want the dog bugging the workers.

Anyway, I was on the telephone to a friend and I asked her to hang on for a min and I ran out the back and started shouting "(dog's name) GO HOME! GET OUT OF HERE! GO HOME DOG's NAME! GO!" and the guy digging out the compost area kept saying "It's ok! It's ok!" and I said "No, it is not!" then went back in the house to continue my conversation, ranting to my friend about that damn dog.

Much later in the day, after the workers left, I saw the black lab from across the street sniffing around my front yard. I was thinking "Gee, he looks bigger than he did earlier" and "I thought his collar was red" then "uh-oh!" The black lab in my yard earlier in the day was the dog of the owner of the landscaper. Then I realized that one of the guys who was doing the work must have been his oldest son. Gah! I was so embarrassed! I feel I need to apologize for my shouting performance.

And on top of all that, the damn black lab from across the street shat on my front lawn.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 23

Jax is going to hockey camp this week. It is just 3 hours each day but the worst possible hours - 12-3pm! Right in the middle of the day and it is ~40 mins each way so it makes it very hard to do any "fun" summer-like thing. Oh well. The three hours he is there has been a nice break from the bickering amongst the boys. Not that Jax is the instigator but he definitely does his fair share of it.

We are thinking about going away later in August so I have been researching vacation rental homes. It is totally the way to go because it is often cheaper than hotels plus with a family of 5, it is much easier to find a place to accommodate us Let's hope my research pans out and we find a place to vacation.

Friday, July 16, 2010

So, I copied my blog entry from June 19th into this program and apparently I write like Stephen King:

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 19

Not an exciting day today. I took the kids to the mall because I had to buy some new drinking glasses. I think we broke or cracked 5 glasses in the past week. One was spectacularly shattered when Dex dropped it (it was as spectacular as the shattering of the Corelle plate that Cars managed to drop a drinking glass on a couple of days ago). Anyway, after Crate and Barrel (cannot beat 95 cent juice glasses and $1.50 low ball glasses!), we hung out at the Lego store for a bit before we started a quest to find Ash's son a birthday present.

At the fifth store we stopped in (3rd since leaving the mall), we ran into a kid from Dex's class whom he had plans to have a play date with later in the day. The mom just offered to take Dex right then so I was light a kid for 5 hours today!

We still did not find the item that Jax was searching for but he had seen it online at K-Mart so he demanded that I drive to K-Mart to get it. The thing is, the nearest K-Mart is over 25 miles away so I told him no unless he'd like to pay me for my time and gas money. He was so irritated with me. All over a $16 toy.

After that exchange we drove home. I went out to do some yard work and saw a bunny sitting on my lawn eating away at the blades of grass. It did not even move when I started towards it. I finally threw a rock into the bushes behind it and it scampered off under the deck! Aargh! Our whole street is infested with rabbits. I have seen lots on our front lawn and down the street ducking into the bushes when I walk or drive by but I do not like them in my back yard. Where are the coyotes or owls when you need them?!

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 18

Today was the lowest tide of the season in the Puget Sound so we went to Carkeek Park beach and explored the tidal pools. My kids really love doing this every year. It was cool this year too because there were Beach Naturalists there and I learned a few things about the sea creatures that we see. Funny though because one told us to to touch the creatures very lightly and another told us NEVER to touch them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer seems like now that it is finally here it is just whizzing by!

Last week, Dex had his first appointment with his counselor. He seems to like her which is good. He did readily open up to her so hopefully he will be able to work though his issues/concerns quickly (my hopes!). He is still a wreck sometimes. He broke two glasses in the past three days and he has completely broken down and sobbed "I break EVERYTHING!". *sigh*

On Friday, it was our first day at the beach and we had a really good time. The bigger boys jumped off the diving board on the dock the whole time. Cars just played on the beach and in his floaty. I swam with him in the floaties out to the buoys and back. I am not a strong swimmer and I have absolutely no idea how deep that water is. I tried not to think about it too much. Next time we go I will bring his life vest so he can jump off the diving board too.

Ash is back from Florida so hopefully Spy, Ash and I will be able to get a Cosmo Friday in this summer. I cannot recall when we had one last. Before Ash moved, I think (before November). Or maybe it was last summer. The kids want to have their annual lemonade stand at the corner during a Cosmo Friday. We still have their money from the past two years and we'll have to ensure they go spend it on something fun.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 15

Yeah - we have sun and warmth! In fact, it was hot-hot-hot today - 92F at the local junior high school.

This morning I took the boys to the orthodontist. Jax is probably 18 months to 2 years away from braces as it Dex. Cars however will probably end up with a palate expander and partial braces next summer if all of his upper teeth have grown in. Poor little boy.

Later in the day we went to the local farmer's market. It was so hot that it was hard to even look around and sadly, a lot of the produce was all wilted (all of the lettuces). Anyway, I did buy some organic eggs and some orange-honey hazelnuts (a "safe" nut for us). Oh my those hazelnuts were good!

After dinner, the kids and I spent time outside. They filmed bits of a movie they are making and I watered the garden and cut branches off a couple of the trees that are close to the house. Earlier in the day, I had a crawlspace and attic specialist come out to seal up some holes because we heard some critters in the attic two mornings in a row. I would like to think they were squirrels but the guy said they were probably rats. Eek! He said that trimming the trees will help ensure that they are not jumping from the trees onto the roof. Anyway, we also put some rat bait traps out so hopefully no more scratchy-scratchy sounds in the attic.

Tomorrow will be another hot day. I am having my hair cut (and Dex will get one too) in the morning then we'll have to find something to do before Dex has his first appointment with his therapist. Wish us luck!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Summer o'Fun Day 13

Well, the sun still hasn't decided to show its pretty face in the past several days but there is hope that this week it will be sunny AND warm. We'll see...

Today we just recovered from the 4th of July. At the last minute we invited a few people over for dinner before we walked, in the rain, up to the city center to watch the fireworks(did I mention that it was raining?). It was a good show but there were so few people there because of the rain. At least, few people in the area we were sitting in which is normally PACKED (grassy area in the "lower commons"). Anyway, by the time we walked home it was after 11 and our friends stayed until nearly 12:30am so it was a very late night for everyone in the family.

As I mentioned, warm weather is in the forecast for the week so we might head to the beach for some sun. However, the lake will be freezing because it has barely been above 65 so far this summer. Brrrr!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 9

I took the kids to see "The Karate Kid" today. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The original Karate Kid is a classic so I was worried about a remake but it was different enough. Today was a cool, overcast day so it was perfect for going to the movies.

Afterwards, the kids had dentist appointments. Cars gagged and gagged whenever they tried to get him to bite down on the x-ray things so no x-rays for him this time. The dentist made sure to mention (again) that they all need to see an orthodontist. I told her that they went last summer and were going again next week for a follow up appointment.

Stephen is definitely sick with fever now and has the beginnng feelings of a sinus infection. He is going to see his doctor tomorrow afternoon to have her look at a rash on his arms and near his eye so he'll just ask her for antibiotics to stave off the sinus infection.

And just because it is funny and so true... watch this: Man Cold

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 8

Today, Spy took Cars and Dex to play at her house again with her boys. Jax had a friend come over and I contacted a psychologist for Dex's anxiety. I have an appointment with her on Wednesday and hopefully she will be right for Dex and can get him in to see her soon.

I also made the decision not to have a 4th of July party this year. Being sick for so long has zapped me of a lot of energy and now Stephen is feeling sick. Gah, what a summer!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer o'Fun 2010 Day 7

My "woe is me" attitude is gone because the antibiotics have for sure kicked in and I am doing much better. Still exhausted but I was able to get out and we met Spy and her kids at the ice rink. My boys had so much fun although we did learn that Jax has outgrown his skates so we'll be making a trip shortly to Vancouver for a new pair.

Hoping that by Monday we have warm weather back and the boys have a mom who is raring to go!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today is the 6th day of summer vacation (not including the weekends) and we have done virtually nothing. I have been sick since Saturday. On Tuesday I was feeling a little better so the kids and I tried our hand at Geocaching. The GPS on the iPhone app is not that accurate so we were only able to find 1 of the 3 geocaches that we searched for. However, it was fun and we are going to go do it again.

Yesterday I felt like a ton of bricks hit me and I spent much of the day in bed. I finally caved and call the doctor's office but they said there was no room at the inn but too a message with all of my symptoms (sore throat, sore face, sore ear, congestion, eyes hurt when I moved them, cough and on-and-off fever, body aches, the list goes on). A while later I got a call back saying that because of the eye pain I was having, I needed to be seen. I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and put on antibiotics. I barely made it home after I filled my Rx and Dex had his bass guitar lesson so I made him walk there (accompanied by Jax). It really isn't that far but the bass is heavy. He survived and at that point, I really did not think I could have driven anyway.

This morning I felt a teeny bit better but I am still a long way from feeling well. I had a little break down today because 6 days of illness and feeling as though the kids were mad at me for not having any "fun", as well as lack of empathy from Stephen got to me. He of course did not expect me to make dinners and take the kids out if I were sick but he has this way of acting as though everything is a checklist and chore and I just could not take it. :'(

On top of it, I fell off the roof almost a week early. I was recently reading about menopause and peri-menopause and I read that periods start getting closer together so falling off the roof today made me feel really, really OLD. No more babies (God forbid!! - but knowing that I am too old for it really makes one feel sorry for oneself if one has been sick for 6 days). And on top of that the cramps and that little endometriosis growth that I have that aches and aches when I have my period.

Woe is me. ~sniff~

Maybe I just need a big ol' hunk of chocolate to make me feel better? Instead, I will settle with two 1000mg horse tablets of amoxicillin and crawl into bed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer O'Fun 2010 Day 3

Today, I had the Maytag repairman come to replace the heat element in our dishwasher as it had been recalled. The repairman said that 1/1000 dishwashers had an element that was mean for stainless steel tubs and they would burn too hot and melt through the dishwasher. Just to be sure, they were checking and replacing the rings on 1.7 million dishwashers. Mine was one of the ones that had the problem ring and he showed me where it was becoming an issue! Eep! Anyway, he replaced the ring while telling me all about 9/11 and UFO conspiracy theories. :0

After he left, I noticed that the door on my dishwasher would not go all the way down! He broke it!! Or something. Anyway, I called back and they said he would call me but by 5pm there was no call so I called again and they scheduled ANOTHER service call for Saturday morning. I hope the door does not completely break by then! I took a photo - perhaps I should take some video too of how it will not open all of the way. It made loading the dishwasher this evening a bit of a challenge.

So, a fun morning for my kids as we waited around for the Maytag repairman. Also, I am sick, sick, sick so we did nothing today. I think I might now have a sinus infection. :( It is cold (60 degrees) for the first official day of summer and it is depressing. As of June 16th, we were already 1" over our average June rainfall.

So this June Gloom has us all in a funk. So today, I let the kids play video games, watch tv and they played in a big box that our new patio furniture came in.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer O'Fun 2010 Day 2

Yesterday was Day 1 and we celebrated Dex's birthday at a sports bouncy place. They have tons of trampolines and there is trampoline dodgeball and trampoline bounce into a foam pit. The boys were all sweaty and stinky when done but they had a heck of a lot of fun!

Today we had some friends come over and we made our annual summer tie-dye shirts. They are currently in the wash so we'll see how they look once they are finished being washed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I started going through the MOUNDS of paper that the kids brought home from school the last couple of days and found this poem by Carson:

Bad Cookies
By Carson

Ooh! Cookies!
I love cookies!
Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
Tongue is tickling
Oh no! I am allergic!
I eat gold fish
I learned a lesson
Don't eat cookies if you are allergic!

I think it is cute - a little funny but sad at the same time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today was the last day of school - hurray! Or oh no! I haven't any summer plans for us yet but we'll figure it out. We have had such rotten weather that it still feels like March! I sent the kids to school today wearing shorts but it was only 48 degrees as we walked to the bus stop. Brrr! It did warm up to the mid-50's by the time they got out at 11:30am and low 60's by dinner time. Still, let's see some sun and some temperatures in the 70's please!

I took the kids to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner to celebrate the end of the school year. One of the kids from Jax's grade (6th) works there (I guess his parents must own it or something). It made me feel really sad and I do not know why. He was doing a good job seating people and resetting the tables after they were cleared. He did not seem to mind it. Earlier today I saw another kid from Jax's class mowing the lawn at my old house and last Wednesday he helped mow ours (we hire his dad's lawn service to mow). I have such mixed emotions about 12 year olds working like that. I know they are helping their parents out and probably get paid some too but they are kids.

When I think back though, when I was 12 I had a paper route at the hospital, walking around from room to room to sell papers to convalescing people. I did it every Sunday with Ramona. It was kind of scary going in the rooms so Ramona did it mostly while I stayed out and got the papers ready for the next room. I think that is what helped prep her to be a nurse! And the awful hospital smell!** Of course we would blow all of our profits in the canteen on Mars bars and other junk. But it was nice having that little bit of money (a couple of dollars each week).

Maybe I baby my kids too much? Maybe they need more chores? A job? Hmmm...

** When I was in Toronto last month, one of my aunts was in the hospital and died. The moment I walked into the doors of the hospital (same one I sold newspapers in) that smell came back to me. Who can believe that 33 years later the place still smells the exact same?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It is amazing what a little sunshine after eons of rain will do the to soul. I feel so good and cheery and happy. :)

Tomorrow is Jax's 6th grade promotion. I am torn between feeling so happy for him and so sad because my baby is growing up. Mostly, I am happy and very, very proud of him. He is a great kid!

One of my friends is moving to the Netherlands for three years. I am so excited for her and a little sad for me because I will miss her. She and I work out together every Wednesday in the circuit training class and make fun of our instructor together. He is funny and takes the teasing well. Anyway, I'll miss her and look forward to their return in three years.

And on a final note, a Denine in Ottawa thinks my email is her email and registered for (the "welcome" note arrived in my inbox). I viewed her matches (had the pw reset sent to my email) and I think I need to tweak her profile. I am sure she can do better. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another week has gone by without a blog post from me. Am I ready to give this up? I don't think so. Just need to put visiting my blahg back into my daily routine. Sorry, faithful reader(s).

School is almost out for the year. Just 3 days left. Two and a half, actually, since the kids get out at 11:30 on Wednesday. Monday is the 6th Grade Promotion and I had (unwisely) signed up to do too many things. I am feeling a little resentful because now, instead of enjoying the activities, I am responsible for other people's good times. I am helping out with the luncheon for the 6th graders, which I honestly do not mind doing. I need to be at the school for 9am to help set up. I am also supplying a cake (not a problem). What I did not anticipate was when I volunteered to help with refreshments for after the ceremony, how much was was really involved and how stressed I am about it. Aargh! Also, as part of the team, I did not realize until this week that I am responsible for helping decorate the gymnasium after school today. Blech. I know that volunteering is very important but I have a history of volunteering to do too much all at the same time. I have also decided that when Dex is in 6th grade, I will not do anything but come to the party and enjoy.

Actually, I do not even know if Dex will go to 6th grade at our school or not. The district is moving away from Jr High (grades 7-9) towards middle schools (5-8) and I am not quite sure if Dex's grade will be the first to be in middle school in 6th grade.

Anyway...just looking forward to the end of this school year. We haven't any summer plans as yet. No golf lessons this year. The kids just are not that interested in it and now that Jax is older, his lessons would be on a different day than Dex and Cars. So we'll look into something else.

Oh, better run. Maytag repairman is due to arrive anytime and I forgot to empty my dishwasher (it has been recalled due to the heating element causing fires).

Friday, June 04, 2010

I finally watched the "American Idol" finale (a week late) and I could not believe Bret Michaels was able to come out on stage and sing just one month after being in critical condition with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a mini-stroke and being diagnosed with a hole in his heart. And earlier in the month he won "Celebrity Apprentice 3". The guy is a golden boy! I have watched him sing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" with Casey James four times and I get choked up every time!

I was never a big Poison fan although I always loved the song "Something to Believe In". And really, who did not make fun of Bret Michaels for "Rock of Love"? But there is something very likable about that guy, bandanna and cowboy hat and all! He just seems like a genuinely nice guy. And he has seemed to have pulled through his medical crises with grace and such a positive attitude.

Anyway, I am off to watch "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" again. Better grab a kleenex this time.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Baseball, you bet!

Baseball season is nearly over...thankfully! We have had a tough time of it this year with Dex. Besides his weepy ways, it has been unseasonably cold and wet so if we are not rained out, we've been freezing at the games. On top of that, Dex's bad baseball year is not making it enjoyable to watch. In fact, his whole team is not playing well. Tonight was the first night of playoffs against a team we were closely matched to and, because it was playoffs, there was no 5 run cap per inning. Dex's team lost 17-1 in the 4th inning (10 run mercy rule). It was painful! Thankfully, just two more games left.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Today was Dex's 10th birthday. Wow - where has the decade gone? I realize that I am no longer a mom of little kids. Even Cars will be 7 in a couple of months - that is not a little kid!

Anyway, Dex had a fun day today. It was pissing rain (as it has been every day since we returned last week from Toronto) so we just hung out at home and had a lazy day all together. Later, we went to Red Robin for dinner then back home for some cake with homemade chocolate icing. We'll do Dex's b-day party after school lets out (and after baseball season ends).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Miss me? It has been a while...

We just go back last night from a 10 day trip to Toronto for my mom's 75th birthday. The party was on the 22nd and all of my siblings and all of my nieces and nephews were there (as well as all of my immediate family). My mom had such a wonderful time and she was oh so happy to have us all there.

Here is a photo of my mom and her grandchildren:

We had also hired a professional photographer to take tons of photos and I cannot wait to see those pictures.

While we were in Toronto, we took the kids to the Hockey Hall of Fame, a MLB game (Jays v Twins), Stephen took the older two to shoot paint ball, we stayed in a hotel that had a waterslide by the pool. The kids went on a two hour hike with one of our neighbours and they loved seeing their cousins, especially the boys. The kids were sick of us pointing out the sights to them (that's the school I went to, that's the church we were married in, that's where dad played hockey, that's where my dad grew up, etc). We took them to the wood lot that is named in honour of my dad as well as showing them a boardroom in the hotel we were staying at named for my dad.

It was a good trip for the most part. Some small issues and a day I swore I'd never return to Toronto. But I got over it and I will go back one day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Teleflora = Hell-no-flora

I ordered flowers to be delivered to my mom and MIL for Mother's Day. When I placed my order, Saturday, May 8th was not a delivery option - probably because it was the busiest day of the year for florists, so I chose Friday, May 7th. I used because I found a coupon code for 15% off flower arrangements. Sweet!

Friday came and went and I did not receive a call from either my mom or MIL. I figured that perhaps the flowers were delivered late so they would call the next day. On Saturday, we had our usual busy running around with baseball games and then Stephen ran the kids out to get Mother's Day gifts for me. I went bathing suit shopping (OMG, I felt like Cathy, trying to stuff myself into bathing suit after bathing suit), so it was not until I got home at 5pm that I noticed an email from that was sent at 1:40pm (that is 4:40PM ET in Toronto) telling me that they are sorry but the flowers were not delivered "today". Um, today? They were to be delivered YESTERDAY!

I called them to complain and they offered me 20% off for not delivering the flowers on Saturday. I explained that they were to be delivered on FRIDAY so the upped the discount to 40% off and promised the flowers would be delivered on Monday.

Well, guess what happened on Monday? No flower deliver AND no email from telling me this.

I called them back to complain and they said "sorry" and now offered 50% off and delivery on Tuesday. I accepted the offer but was still mad and embarrassed because we had assured my mom and MIL that something would be delivered on Monday. I asked for assurances that I would be notified if the flowers could not be delivered on Tuesday and they promised me that I would get an email. In the meantime though, I used twitter to voice my frustration: Once again the flowers were not delivered - 3 days (not counting Sunday) & counting. I am telling everyone I know never to use #teleflora.

Lo and behold, within 10 minutes, Teleflora was following me on twitter.

@Teleflora tweeted to me to send the order numbers and they would help me. I sent a message telling them I was told that the flowers would be delivered on Tuesday according to their customer service. BTW, my tweets automatically update my facebook status so while I do not have a lot of twitter followers, I do have a lot of fb friends - who incidentally all had good things to say about so I will give them a try next time.

Tuesday came and went and guess what? No flowers delivered. No notification from I called to cancel the order. The customer service agent could not have cared less which irritated me to no end. Immediately thereafter, I sent @Teleflora another twitter message asking why did they bother asking for my order numbers if they were not going to do anything about it? Petty, perhaps, but I felt good sending that note. This was at 2pm PT (5pm ET - the timezone where the flowers were to be delivered). I also called AMEX to dispute the charges on my credit card.

Four hours later, my phone rang and it was Cassandra from Teleflora calling me to apologize for the whole mess. I told her I was mad and embarrassed that they flowers were not delivered but most angry because I was not notified any day other than Saturday that the flowers were not delivered, even though I was promised that I would be told on Tuesday. "Blah blah blah some complaint was left open so no automatic email could be generated" and we are so sorry. She said they would still like to send the flowers and upgrade the product and send chocolates and a letter of apology to the recipients, etc. I told her that I did not actually believe they would send anything and if I did so, how much would they charge me. She said it would be free of charge. Hmmm... I explained that I did not want any upgrades. I did not want any boxes of chocolates. I just wanted the flower arrangements that I ordered to be delivered to my mom and my MIL. Cassandra assured me that they would be delivered on Tuesday along with an apology from Teleflora to my mom and MIL for the delay in delivery.

So, here is it, Wednesday. No flowers yet but it is still morning here (and in Toronto - late morning there). We'll see what happens. If they do get delivered, I will be happy to tweet that Teleflora made things right. If not, I will tweet about Teleflora's broken promises and poor customer service probably many, many more times.

edited to say my mom called at 2:30PM ET to let me know her flowers arrived and they were lovely. Not long after there was a message from teleflora apologizing for my MIL's flowers not arriving yet but promising that they would be delivered. My MIL called later that evening to let us know that her flowers arrived. I am now in Toronto on vacation and I have seen both bouquets. They are nice arrangements. Will post photos later.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

May is the busiest month of the year and every May I tell myself "Next year I am not going to do blah or blah" in order to make the month less busy for myself. And every year I forget that I promised myself not to take on too much.

This year, we are going away again (however, unlike last year when we went to Maui, we are only going to Toronto). Also, we had to squeeze in that trip to Great Wolf Lodge. There is no school on Friday so we are having Jax's belated birthday party. And now I am starting to fret about Dex's birthday because it always get lost in this crazy month. Never mind that Mother's Day is this weekend and have I sent cards? Um, no.

And my mom's birthday (we are going to Toronto for her 75th birthday party). And baseball, baseball and more baseball. And friends' birthdays and parties and teacher appreciation and end-of-year wrapping up of things, etc.

Also added this year is the good-bye gift for the principal. She has been at the school 7 years and this year's 6th graders were her first kindergartners at the school. So, I had this bright idea that, at the 6th grade promotion meeting, instead of flowers, that the class presents her with a fingerprint bead necklace. So, I have had the lovely task of making 180 little balls of polymer clay, piercing them with very sharp wire, meeting with the 6th graders to have them press their fingerprints into the beads, baking the beads while keeping track of whose bead is whose, Modge-podging the beads and winding the little wires into loops. I have one more class to go tomorrow. And after all that, I have to somehow design a necklace with 90 beads (the rest will go to make necklaces for the 6th grade teachers).

I really love these necklaces because I think they are special for the teachers but they are indeed a lot of work. I have one mom helping me herd the 6th graders while we make the fingerprints but all of the work before and after I have not delegated (control freak).

And before we go away, I need to get Jax a new pair of shoes, he needs clothes and and and and ... it just won't stop raining and hailing and being cold and I wish we were going to Maui instead.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

We took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge on Sunday and came home yesterday. As if my kids are not going to be missing enough school this month! Anyway, we had a great time. It was nice to be the yesterday because it was not crowded at all. Guess that happens when most kids are in school!

I did get a scrape on my knee from the wave pool that is still weeping today. It smarts! And I was going to go for a pedicure before we went but my scraped toenails are glad that they just had my slap-dash polish application on them.

Cars was sleepwalking or something on Sunday night and at 12:30AM tried to get out of our hotel room! It was freaky because Stephen kept asking him what he was doing and why he was trying to open the door and Cars replied first that he was hungry. Then he said he had to go to the bathroom and thought that was the door. Then he said something about buying something. Stephen was freaked out because he could tell Cars was not really awake even though he was talking. I think this really is the first time that one of our kids had been sleep walking. Weird!

Stephen forgot his license (we realized when we got there and they asked to see his ID when we checked in) so I had to drive both ways. I was miffed because we had arranged in advance that I would drive there and Stephen played his gameboy. I had big plans to read the paper on the way home but instead I had to drive. It was just under 2 hours to get home. Man, I hate driving through Tacoma. What other city has a major interstate running through it and PERMANENT signs warning of slow traffic. It is maddening driving so sloooow through there. I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it! Aargh!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

How is it that Stephen and I can submit our passport applications the same day (our appointments were 45 minutes apart) yet his is processed and arrives 5 days before mine?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Well, it has been about four months so I think I can officially say that I am now at my pre-pregnancy weight. Only took 12 years. And of course my pre-pregnancy weight is still 15 more than my wedding weight. Which, by the way, was which was 5 pounds over my "normal" weight at the time - who on earth GAINS weight before their wedding?! Aren't a brides' nerves supposed to make them lose a little bit of weight?? Anyway, there is no way I'll ever see that engagement weight again or even wedding weight. I am content where I am but still wish I were thinner. Wishing is not what it takes to get there, however.

I am working on taking a bit better care of myself too. Like taking a daily multi-vitamin. And allergy medication. It is inevitable every year around this time I start to feel like crap and my eyes water and my nose runs and I do not do anything about it (like take Claritin or that even that evil Zyrtec). And my ears get clogged and hurt and I sneeze like crazy and my head is stuffy and then I think "I should take some allergy medication" and I never do. Then I get a headache and go to bed after popping a couple of Excedrin. So, along with the multi-vitamin that I have been taking I have been taking Claritin (well, actually the Co$tco generic of it since it is sooooo much cheaper).

Also, I have started taking fish oil. This is a huge step for me because I tend to think that "supplements" are a bunch of hooey but I have read for years about how fish oil helps the brain and and heart and perhaps prevent cancer. Not sure I believe the cancer bit but I decided I should take it for the brain and heart benefits. I have tried to get Dex to take some too but the capsules are 1/2" long and he baulked at the thought of trying to swallow it. Now I am on the hunt for smaller capsules for him. At least I say I am on the hunt but always manage to forget while I am out. Hmmm....perhaps I need to up my intake?

I have a few other things floating around my head about what I will do to take better care of myself but I realize that with me, it is best to do small changes at a time because otherwise I get overwhelmed, imagine that I will fail and so I stop doing the all of the good things for me. So for now, these small changes are enough to make me feel like I can be successful at taking care of me. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

MailOrder Pharmacy Bites

When I took the kids to the allergist a couple of weeks ago, the doctor faxed in the prescriptions for the epi pens to our mail-order prescription company. I hate that company (Med_co). They delayed Cars' epi pen because he moved from an epi pen jr to epi pen and they would not fill it until they confirmed his weight (he is nearly 60 pounds, the weight to switch). Anyway, I received this ominous voicemail from them that they were going to cancel the order until they could talk to the doctor. I called the allergist in a tizzy and they told me that the doctor has spoken to them three times and "has finally gotten the pharmacist to understand". The allergist's office hates them too.

Then I sent in the prescription for Dex's flovent and I received a call that they have delayed filling the prescription because it was not written for "the maximum supply allowed by your insurance company". So basically, because the doctor did not write it for a year's worth (so like 12 flovent disks), they won't fill it. The thing is, Dex does not need it every day and only when he has a cough that does not clear up. In the meantime, Med_co is calling the allergist to extend the prescription and will send us a year's worth at once and we will end up throwing it out when it expires.

This has happened often in the past with Albuterol for Jax when he was wheezy after a cold and only had to use an inhaler for a month. In the past when Zyrtec was Rx, they would send us literally LITRES of the stuff but my kids only needed to be on it during grass season.

And I am just waiting for my Rx for migraine meds to be denied because the prescription was written in February but I did not send it in until last week. They'll probably tell me that I don't need it.

I am not quite sure how Big Software Company thinks they are saving money by using this company to fill the prescriptions. Especially since Med_co appears to be making money hand over fist. Another thing, they stopped mailing the epi pens via FedEx in a cooler. Both Jax and Cars' arrived via regular mail. I guess that is helping them make more $$ too...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I cannot recall if I have written before about Dex and the lack of control he has over his emotions. I guess I should clarify because clearly he can control his emotions when he is very happy or very angry. But when he is sad or upset he is an emotional wreck! And he gets upset over some things that Or, I guess they do matter to him but they should not.

A few months ago, at bed time, he started sobbing because the year before, I had a garage sale and sold the Hot Wheels T-Wrecks and he missed it. Never mind that for well over a year before I sold it - no, MORE than a year - it sat in a box in his closet. Visible but not set up. He told me he did not want it anymore and I had his permission to sell it at the garage sale. I gave him the $$ I got for it. But a year later, it became an issue.

When he does something wrong and he gets scolded, he gets weepy. When he thinks about having too much homework, he gets weepy. When he forgets to do something, then remembers or is reminded, he gets weepy. You get the idea.

Lately, it has been especially weepy at baseball. If he strikes out, he gets weepy. If he misses a play, he gets weepy. If he gets thrown out at first (even if his hit is an RBI!), he gets weepy. It is ridiculous!

I know I sound like a mean mom and I am very empathic to him because I know it is hard for him to keep his emotions in check but my empathy only goes so far. I am at my wit's end! I had gotten to a point that if I say anything to him that he takes as the least bit critical, he weeps. So we cannot talk about his baseball games afterwards because me might remember that he struck out one of his times at bat. Or that he overthrew the ball. Never mind the great hits or great plays that he made.

On top of this, his tics are back with a vengence and he has multiple tics (head shaking, throat clearing and a cough - although the cough may also be a result of allergies, according to the allergist, and we are working on clearing that up right now).

So, we've decided that we need to do something about his lack of control over his emotions. I am going to call his pediatrician to talk about it and see if she thinks can help. I think I see counselling in Dex's future. He just needs to learn to control his emotions when he is upset. I know that part of this is anxiety and it kills me that he too is having anxiety issues like Jax had. But, with Jax, his not eating was really a huge issue that had to be dealt with right away. With Dex, I kept thinking he would outgrow it but he hasn't. He gets embarrassed a bit too but not enough to rein it in and keep his emotions in check. I hope things change soon.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today I took Cars to the eye doctor for a check-up. He went two years ago when he was complaining about not being able to read an EXIT sign at the end of the hall. Anyway, he was totally cracking me (and the eye doctor) up! He was a Chatty Cathy and spent a lot of time making faces in the mirror in the office. He was making jokes but kept fretting about when he would get the eye drops. Anyway, his appointment went fine but she said there is a chance that he would need glasses in the future (she said that about Jax too) and she wants to monitor the cup in his optical disk (same with Dex and my eye doctor does the same for me).

Dex's baseball game was cancelled due to rain (the field was too wet to play on) so we now have two games that need to be made up. I haven't told the coach yet that Dex will miss a few games when we go on vacation.

I cannot believe that it is the 21st of April already. Time is speeding up and I am losing track of it! We have so many things going on in the next few weeks. It will be summer before I know it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We had a nice quick visit with my mom. She headed back this afternoon. Marilyn is still stranded in Europe. She has a flight scheduled for the weekend but planes are not yet flying so who knows what will happen. This is crazy!

Here are a few photos from this past week:

Jax's 12th Birthday

Brotherly Love

Granny and her boys

Me and My Mom (she is not that much shorter than me, our driveway is slanted). Oh and yes, my hair is darker because I added low lights again last month.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jax turned 12 years old two days ago. I cannot believe that it has been 12 years yet at the same time I can barely remember life without him. He is 5'1" and weighs 98 pounds. I know this because on his birthday I had made an appointment for he and his brothers to see the allergist because she was booked the rest of the month! Anyway, it was just an allergy check-in and update prescription appointment. Next year we'll consider giving him a skin test for peanuts to see how things look. Anyway, even the allergist got a little verklempt when she realized that she had been seeing him for over 10 years. Jax was a little uncomfortable seeing both his mom and his allergist with tears glistening in their eyes.

My mom is arriving this afternoon for what was to be a 5 day visit but it has been shortened to two. She was in Vancouver helping my brother watch his daughter while my SIL was away in Europe for work and was due to come home today. However, the volcano eruption in Iceland has halted flights in Europe so she cannot get home until possibly Sunday. So my mom is coming today until Sunday then will go back to Vancouver to help my brother out (he leaves for work before the nanny gets there). Hopefully my SIL will not have to stay in Europe too much longer. She is fortunate that it seems a friend of hers has an apartment where she can stay and if it is for an extended time, she can take the train to Switzerland and stay with her sister.

In the meantime, the kids will enjoy their quick visit with their Granny.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I have been such a lame blogger lately. I haven't updated my PEZSHESEZ blog in 2 or 3 weeks. I feel so meh about it too. Hopefully I will snap out of it soon. I will blame the unseasonably cold weather we've had. Brrr!!!

Art Gallery Night is tomorrow and I am excited about the work that both Dex and Cars' classes made. I will post some photos of the work. Another parent did the art in Jax's class so I don't know what it will be but I will post photos of that work too.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to me. I turned 45 years old today. Last night, Spy and Ash took me to dinner at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Bellevue and the waitress carded me! Hee! Stephen said to me that it was nice that the restaurant hired handicapped people. And Jax told me that the waitress must not have been very smart. Nice. ;)

The kids are on spring break so we just hung out today, played a board game (Rumoli), we started working on a puzzle and we played Rock Band: The Beatles. Stephen baked me a cake and I received some very nice gifts from my family (including a pair of blue topaz earrings).

I cannot believe I am 45. It sounds so old and so close to 50! I feel 25 most days. Aging is so strange.