Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Today is the last day of the year. I don't have any major plans. We'll go over to a our neighbor's house after dinner. They have kids the same age as ours so the kids can play and the grown-ups can drink play.

New Year's day was never anything special, until I got married. My husband is from Japan. In Japan New Year's a major holiday. And not just for drinking! Companies close down for up to 2 weeks. People travel to visit their relatives. Families gather and spend a few days together. Yes, you read that right, a few days. They prepare special New Year's dishes the day before so that they don't have to do much cooking during those days of celebration.

Since we're not in Japan, my husband's company doesn't close down for a few weeks. And it's not possible for us to spend every New Year's with his family. But we can still enjoy those traditional New Year's dishes. So today my husband is cooking. He will be cooking most of the day. And tomorrow we will be eating. We will be eating most of the day.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Go Eagles!

The Philadelphia Eagles made it to the playoffs!

GO EAGLES!

Oh, and for you Broncos fans... so sorry :P

11 Days

That's how long it takes the town I live in to plow the road in front of my house. It started snowing 11 days ago and today was the first and only day that a snow plow came by. Now if only the garbage truck would return.

What Kind of Game is That?

This afternoon, my husband and I were working on a jigsaw puzzle. The kids were in the same playing Wii Play. I heard the kids talking about how they were going to be on the same team. Then I heard my six year old say, "I'm just going to stay here and wait for him to blow me." The 5 year old responded, "I'm gonna blow him first."

I looked at my husband and said, "What kind of game did you get them?"

The kids left out the word, "up." They are playing a game with tanks. The tanks blow each other up. I just hope they don't talk about this game to their grandparents or at school. I can imagine getting a call from the principal. "Mrs. Cookie, your son has been brought to my office because he was bragging on the playground about how he blew everyone."

"So sorry, Mr. Principal."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Do

I finally got out of the house today. The roads in my neighborhood were awful. The car skidded all the way down the hill. But once we got out, the rest of the roads weren't too bad.

Where did I go after being stuck at home for a week? I went to the library. The kids were happy to get some new books. In fact they didn't want to stop reading one book when it was bed time. Or maybe they just didn't want to go to bed...

I also went to get my hair cut. I got about 4 inches cut off, so it's pretty noticeable. When I came home, my husband looked at it and said, "do you like it?" That's not exactly the reaction I had expected. When a woman does something different when her hair, she expects her significant other to say something like, "Wow! How can you continue to look even more beautiful all the time?" Ok, maybe that's stretching things a little. But still, my husband's comment didn't exactly make me feel good. But I guess after being married for 12 years, my husband has learned to make sure that I am happy with the change before he comments, like a wise old bird.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cabin Fever

I haven't left my house since Saturday. Tomorrow it will be exactly one week. They said it would rain today and all of the snow would melt. It didn't rain. It snowed. They say tomorrow will be in the 40's. I'm not holding my breath. I'm going to start making tick marks on the wall. How many more days till spring anyway????

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hazardous Shopping

I don't usually wait until the Saturday before Christmas to do my Christmas shopping. And no, I don't wait until the 24th either. It's usually all done at least the week before Christmas. Of course having all my relatives living far away is a help. I need to have their packages sent out at least the week before Christmas, so that becomes my deadline.

This year I went shopping on the Saturday before Christmas. I had planned to go out earlier in the week but with all this snow and the kids not having school all week, it never happened.

Saturday I made my lists and headed out. I got about 2 miles from the mall when I saw a huge backup on the highway. Yes, that was the line of cars waiting to enter the mall parking lot. But I was alone with no kids screaming in the car, so I didn't mind the wait.

After about 30 minutes, I finally entered the mall parking lot. I figured that I would at least try to find a parking spot before I ventured across the street to park. If I parked across the street, I wasn't prepared to walk through snow or ice. After waiting a few minutes, some people entered their car in front of me. I put on my turn signal and waited for them to pull out. Then another car pulled into the same aisle of the parking lot facing me. He also turned on his turn signal. The car pulled out. I started to pull in when the other car snuck in first! I was mad! WTH?! I beeped my horn for a few seconds (that's the New Jersey in me) and backed away. The guy got out of his car and yelled, "I don't f*ing care!" At this point, I knew I was dealing with a psycho. I started to drive away. But with a full parking lot, I didn't go very fast.

He then started shouting, "You don't know who I am, do you?"

"Uhh the crazy guy who stole my parking space? " I thought.

"You're a nobody!" He continued to shout.

Luckily by now I had managed to drive far enough away that I could no longer make out his ramblings. I'm sure the other shoppers on the sidewalk enjoyed his monologue. What a way to make the season merry and bright.



BTW today is day 7 of being snowed in my house while we enjoy some "special" family time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Where Do Igloos Grow?

Tell me where you think this picture was taken. Does it look like the North Pole? Alaska? Alberta?


Do you recognize this boy?


How about this one?

Yup, those are my kids and that's an igloo in my front yard. We've been snowed in for toooo long. Tomorrow I might try walking to the liquor store.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Snow

On Wednesday the kids didn't have any school because it was supposed to snow. It finally did snow on Wednesday night. So there was no school on Thursday because of actual snow. The roads were still icy and snow covered so there was no school on Friday either. So the kids missed the last week of school before Christmas vacation. In other words, I missed my last chance to go shopping or get anything done without the kids before Christmas.

The kids still had fun. Here are some pictures of them sledding in our neighborhood :)





Now it's snowing again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Snow Day?

Today was a snow day for my kids. Usually that means no school because of snow. Today there wasn't any snow. And there wasn't any school. The weather guessers forecasters predicted that we might get 1-6 inches (Hey! Shut up. I heard that snickering!). Yup, just the possibility of a little bit of snow shut everything down.

Around 4pm we finally got a little sleet. for about 10 minutes. Then we got a few flurries. It's now 5:30 and the total accumulation isn't even one inch!

If they are going to keep canceling school like this at the mere mention of snow, then I'm going to need to stock up at the liquor store! I can't take any more days being trapped inside with 2 kids!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Case of the Missing Finger

This weekend my 4 year old put on his gloves and there was empty space where a finger should be. He was very surprised. He looked at me and shouted, "Mom! Look! There's one extra one!" He took off his glove and immediately started counting his fingers. Then he counted the number of fingers on the glove (how analytical of him). His happy face turned sad when he realized his mistake. What a cutie!

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Snow

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. When I was first married, we lived in New Jersey. So I'm used to snow in the winter. When I moved to Seattle almost 3 years ago, the people told me that it doesn't snow here. I'm not sure if they are all liars or in denial. It has snowed every year so far. It hasn't been a lot of snow. But everything shuts down when it snows. They don't' plow the secondary roads. No one owns a snow shovel. They just wait for it to melt! Yes, that i their snow emergency plan, to wait for it to melt.

Saturday night we went into downtown Seattle and took a bus tour of the best Christmas lights in Seattle. It was festive and nice to be able to sit back and relax with the kids and look outside. Then it started snowing! It was like a movie scene. Then Santa got on our bus and lead the bus riders in singing a few Christmas carols. It was perfect! The kids' favorite part was when some people threw snowball at our bus! All in good fun of course.

Yesterday morning the kids got to play in the snow. Here are some pictures :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What Would You Do?

Today my husband picked up our mail from our mailbox at the bottom of our street. It's a mailbox like you might see at an apartment complex. Each resident has their own box with a key. Today there was something in our mailbox by mistake. It was addressed to a house on our street with one digit different than ours. Normally I would just walk over and give it to the person. But this was different. This was a Playboy magazine.

My husband asked me why we received it in the mail. As if it were my fault. (Yeah right!) I looked at the address and discovered the mistake right away. But I wasn't going to ring their doorbell! I thought about throwing it in the trash. And I didn't want to leave it on my kitchen counter waiting for the next time that I go to the mailbox.

I decided to make a special trip to the mail box and drop it in the "outgoing mail" slot. As I stepped out my front door with the magazine in my hands, I sawmy 6 year old neighbor. I tried to hide the magazine in my coat. How embarrassing! Then I saw my neighbor across the street. It was the wife of the man whose magazine I was hiding under my coat! I waved and couldn't help but giggle and made my way to the mailbox with only having to pass one more elderly neighbor out walking her dog. That seemed like the longest one block walk of my entire life!

I'm so glad that magazine is gone. What would you do?

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Baby is Sick Again

This time is the big baby, my husband. He's been home sick for the last 2 days. He's moping around the house and coughing up all kinds of stuff. I'm not a very good nurse. I give him some medicine and that's about it. I've never been much of a nurturing type.

What this means is that I have managed to survive the week without any help (until today when he started feeling a little better). So I haven't had much time to blog. I feel like a single parent with 3 kids!

I have 6 packages of Christmas presents ready to mail tomorrow and I think everything is ready for my son's birthday party on Sunday. So I'll be feeling a lot less stressed on Sunday night when everything is done!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,



I've been a very good girl this year. I have bought cooked junk healthy dinners for my family almost every day. I have done most of my chores. I have been a mean nice mom to my kids. I dragged 2 ungrateful kids drove them to various activities including swimming lessons, T-ball, Chess Club, Cub Scouts, Summer Concerts, Birthday Parties, and Soccer. I read in the parent manual, that trips to Chuck E. Cheese were optional and worth extra points. I did survive one trip to Chuck E. Cheese this year. I also took my 2 kids angels on a trip across the country to Detroit and Virginia for 10 days. alone. I didn't see this in the manual, but I believe that should be worth even more points.



I would like to redeem my points this year for the following:



1. A personal assistant (preferably a cutie)



2. A vacation (I mean a real vacation without kids and somewhere that has a bar in a pool and serves drinks with cute umbrellas.)



3. A nanny (and not one of those who will flirt with my husband)



4. A new car (ideally a car where the kids can ride as far away from me as possible)



5. A new bank account (mine is missing a few zeros at the end)



6. A maid (again, not someone too good looking who will flirt with my husband)



7. A vacation (the stress gets to me sometimes and causes me to lose my memory)



8. A new computer (while typing this, I am realizing how slow my computer is!)



9. A masseuse (another cutie would be nice)

10. That smell in the bathroom to go away (this may be solved by getting a toilet that is so big the kids can't miss it!)

11. World Peace and an end to Global Warming

12. 3 more wishes

13. A partridge in a pear tree

Where Does the Time Go?

Thanks for everyone's well wishes. My son did have strept throat. He's on antibiotics now and feeling much better. It's amazing how fast kids can get sick!

Last night we hired a babysitter. My husband and I went to his office's Christmas party. I'm not sure why they decided to have it on a Sunday. My guess is that someone forgot to make a reservation? Or maybe they are trying to cut costs?

It was a nice party. The sushi bar there was a big hit! I spent most of the time chatting with another mom of 2 boys. Her kids were a little older than mine but we still had a lot in common. Both of our husbands are from other countries and we share similar experiences dealing with it. So it was nice to chat with her.

I can't believe it's Monday already! I feel like I lost all of last week! With everyone being sick and so much to do the time just flies by!

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Baby is Sick

Yup, my baby is sick... again. This time it's the 6 year old. He went to school today. He played outside and rode his bike after school. He went to a friend's birthday party. He came home and decorated the Christmas tree. Then he sat down to watch TV and started complaining at bedtime because he wanted to stay up later.

We went through the normal bedtime routine. He went to the bathroom and brushed his teeth. I read him a story and tucked him in. Then I gave him a goodnight kiss. When I kissed his forehead, I could tell immediately that he was burning up! I took his temperature and it was 103.4! And he never said anything about not feeling well!

I gave him some Motrin and he's asleep now. I'll take him to the pediatrician in the morning. I just can't believe that his fever was so high and I had no idea!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Make Your Own Bingo

My son is having his 5th birthday party soon. I need to come up with some games that can played indoors for 10 kids ages 4-7. Pokemon is the party theme. I thought it would be fun to have a Pokemon Bingo game for the kids to play. I found this great website. I printed out 10 different Pokemon bingo cards. They look great!

I've had a hard time finding Pokemon party items in stores. I did order a pinata, cups, plates etc. online already. I think I'm almost ready. And thanks to that great website for letting me print my own Pokemon bingo game. The website has lots of other ideas, including Christmas bingo too. So go and check it out!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grey's Anatomy Anyone?

We went to a friend's house after dinner on Thanksgiving. We ate, drank, played guitar hero and drank some more. It was a lot of fun.

Later in the week, I mentioned to my husband that I missed my favorite show, "Grey's Anatomy." I didn't get to watch the episode that aired on Thanksgiving night (not that I would have chosen to watch TV instead of going to our friend's house). I know this show is getting a little cheesy and a little unbelievable lately, but I'm still addicted.

Last night my husband downloaded the entire season of "Grey's Anatomy" for me. How sweet!

Now if I could just find a few hours to sit and watch TV.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Do You Have a Roof?

When walking to the bus stop, I said to my 4 year old, "It looks like it's going to rain."

"Do you have a roof?" was his reply.

I was totally stumped. "huh?" was the best I could come up with.

"I mean do you have a hood?" He was talking about my jacket.

A hood for your jacket is kinda like having a portable roof. I guess it's all in how you look at things.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Not a Holiday Until Somebody Gets Sick!

I had barely put away Thanksgiving dishes. I still have some leftover stuffing and cranberry sauce in the fridge. My 4 year gets a fever of 102.7! Yikes! I give him some Motrin and ask what hurts. He points to his throat and tells me, "my neck hurts."

Poor baby. My heart breaks to see him to sick. But being that it's the Saturday after Thanksgiving, no doctor's offices are open. His fever goes down and he sleeps through the night.

Sunday morning his fever is 99.5. I think he's getting better. He's up and playing like normal. I take his temperature after lunch. It's back up to 99.7. So he's not really getting better. He's also started to say that his neck hurts again.

I take him to the clinic that's open on Sundays. Yup, he has strept throat. He's now on antibiotics for 10 days. And all I can do is wait for my 6 year to get sick. It just wouldn't' be an official holiday if no one got sick :(

The Perfect Man

I stopped by the library today and checked out the shelf of "New Fiction." I saw a book called "The Perfect Man." It looked interesting so I picked it up to read what it was about. It said, "The Perfect Man, a novel." I think that says it all.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do You Have a Belly Button?

Today at dinner the topic of conversation turned to belly buttons. I'm not sure how this topic got started. My kids love it when I say "belly button" in Japanese (hey so) and chase after them until I grab them and tickle their tummies or belly buttons. I think my 6 year old pulled up his shirt for some reason and exposed his belly button. My husband asked him to sit right and eat dinner. I said that I couldn't play the belly button game during dinner (I know, I'm such a mean mom).

My husband asks my 6 year old if he know what kinds of animals have belly buttons. My 6 year old doesn't know. My husband explains that "warm blooded" animals have belly buttons. My 6 year old isn't sure what "warm blooded" means. So I try to help. "Animals that are born from their moms have belly buttons. Animals that are born from eggs do not have belly buttons," I say.

My 6 year old seems to understand. He says, "so snakes don't have belly buttons."

"Would the dog have a belly button?" I ask.

My 6 year looks at the dog (we're dog sitting until Monday) and thinks. He finally replies, "Yes."

My 4 year old has been sitting at the table and now wants to join this conversation. "Mom doesn't have a belly button," he says.

"Why not? She has a mother," my husband replies.

"Because she's a grown up," is the 4 year old's reply.

I don't know how to reason with his logic. Apparently all grown ups don't have belly buttons. They must fall off somehow when we turn 18! Who knew?!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Time Is It?

When I came home from my class tonight, my 6 year old was anxious to tell me what he learned while I was gone.

"Mom, guess what I did," he said.

First I took a quick look around. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, I asked, "what did you do?"

"I changed the clock," he replied.

"Which clock?" I asked.

"The one in the kitchen."

"Does daddy know?" I asked. My husband was supposed to be watching them while I was gone.

"No. I think this will be my trick for April Fool's day."

"But it's Thanksgiving, not April Fool's Day." I pointed out.

"That's OK. Daddy doesn't know that."

And he was probably right.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dog Worries

I started dog-sitting today. This dog is my absolute favorite dog to watch. She is great with kids and so well trained. She doesn't bark and doesn't pull on the leash. My kids were very excited when the dog and her owner rang our doorbell today.

The dog was very happy to see us. She ran around and around and squealed with delight. It must be great to be a dog. Never have to worry about letting your emotions get the best of you. Never having to worry about what other people will think. Never having to worry about jeans making your butt look big (they always do. That's how jeans are made). Never having to worry much about anything.

What do dogs have to worry about? Hmm... "If I pee on this carpet, I might have to stay outside in the rain"? "If I help myself to the leftover sandwich on the counter I might get hit with the newspaper."

It must be nice to be a dog... except for that sleeping on the floor part. Oh! and that peeing outside on the grass part. Um... And eating off the floor and letting little kids run after you doesn't sound so good either.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How Many Things Can You Handle?

Lately, I feel like I'm on a new game show called, "How Many Things Can You Handle?" The players on this game show are moms and the object of the game show is to see how many things that mom can handle at one time.

Last week my husband was sick. We also had a tree take down part of our fence. I hired someone to remove the tree. My husband was better and he fixed the fence. I'm glad he was able to do it this weekend because last month, I agreed to dog-sit over Thanksgiving. It's much easier to dog-sit when you don't have a big hole in your fence.

Then I got sick. When I get a cold, I get a bloody nose and terrible headaches. It's a lot of fun. I stayed in the house recovering while my husband was outside with the fence and the kids. My 4 year old jumped from the swing set and landed on his face. He came in the house covered with blood and mud. I called the dentist who said to wait till Monday to bring him in (He's fine. No damage to the permanent tooth.).

My 6 year old has half days this week. Who's idea was idea was it to give the elementary school half days right before Thanksgiving?! Don't they know that we are busy preparing for Thanksgiving and we don't have time for half days?!

This morning I woke up ready to take my 6 year old to the bus stop and my 4 year old to the dentist. Then I realized that my 4 year old has wet his bed. He doesn't do this often. In fact, he wasn't sure what happened. But he was sure that it wasn't his fault. He told me that all of his clothes were wet. And he was a little annoyed at me for making them wet. I had to explain to him that he peed in his bed. His older brother had fun repeating that for everyone today.

I didn't have time to get any errands done while my 6 year old was in school. So after lunch I took both kids to the bank and then to the dollar store (I also need to plan a birthday party) and then to the library and to the jewelry store. At the dollar store I asked the kids more than once to not touch anything. Finally I took my 6 year old and made him stand right in front of me. He wasn't happy about this. Then he started to say that he wasn't touching anything bad. He put his index finger on my arm and said, "see it's OK to touch you." I tried to ignore this. Then he put his finger on the checkout counter, "I can touch here." And then on the lotto machine... I thought I was going to scream. I took the kids in the kids and slapped their hands (The 4 year old was copying the 6 year old). I told them that I still needed to go to the library but they weren't allowed to pick anything out. Who's crazy idea was it to give these kids half days?! Really! I would like to have a word with that person.

So after that I needed to add a trip to the liquor store on my list of errands. And that concludes another fun round of "How Many Things Can You Handle?"

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm Sick

My husband gave me his cold. Now I'm sick. He took off from work earlier this week because of his cold. I don't get sick days :(

The tree people came and removed the tree that broke my fence. Hopefully my husband will be able to fix the fence this weekend. We're supposed to dog-sit starting on Wednesday. It will be much easier if the fence is fixed before the dog arrives! And hopefully I'll finally get to take a sick day this weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Official!

Today I went jogging in the rain. So that makes me an "official" Seattleite! (Doesn't that sound a little too much like satellite? But that's what people in Seattle call themselves.)

A while ago, I read an article about the healthiest cities in the U.S. Seattle ranked somewhere near the top. Seattle is known to have a big "Organic" trend (they even have organic pet food stores now!). And I think the number of teriyaki joints outnumber the burger joints around here. You can find coffee on every corner, but might have to drive 30 minutes for the nearest Donut shop.

But it's not just the food people eat. Seattleites are also known for their exercise. The area around Seattle is full of hiking and bike trails. Many people even ride their bike to work. Most streets have designated bike lanes. And the buses even have bike racks in the front. So bikers can take their bike with them when they ride the bus. (The first time I saw this, I laughed. In NYC there aren't many bike riders and I have never seen a bike rack on a bus!). Yes Seattle is also know for its rainy season, but that doesn't stop people. They continue to have baseball games, outdoor recess, ride bikes and go camping in the rain.

I once thought that I would never adjust to doing things outside in the rain. On the east coast when it rains, we go inside or use umbrellas. I once went Christmas shopping with my sister in NYC. It was raining. We went from Macy's to Rockefeller Center in the rain. Our paper shopping bags were wet and ripping and we had to dodge all of the umbrellas on the sidewalk. It was typical New York and I loved it! I've been told that only tourists use umbrellas in Seattle. Well this morning I went for a walk and a job in the rain without my umbrella. I feel like I passed some sort of initiation ritual and I'm officially a Seattleite now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Follow the Leader

I went to my dance class tonight. I've been taking belly dancing for a while now. The class I currently take is for tribal belly dancing. It has a very natural earthy feel to it. Nothing is choreographed. We dance in a troop and follow the leader from cues she gives. Dancing together has a great sense of unity or sisterhood. It had to describe in words.

The troop takes turns being the lead dancer. When my my turn came up, I started one move and then felt my coin belt was coming loose. I could feel it getting ready to fall to my ankles. So I did a move that would cause all of the dancers to face the back wall and hopefully give me a few seconds to tighten my belt.

My plan didn't work. All the dancers saw my quick reach for my belt. And they did want any troop of tribal belly dancers would do... They followed! So everyone started to move their hands on the waist until they realized that I wasn't actually starting a new dance move, I was trying to keep my belt on! The teacher had to stop the music so we could all laugh. Later that night when it was my turn to be the lead again, my teacher motioned for me to start the "tighten your belt" move. Guess no one is going to forget that dance move for a while!

Monday, November 17, 2008

He Called You a What???

My first grade son came home from school today and the following conversation took place.

First grade son: Mom, another boy in my class was calling me names today.

Me: What did he call you?

First grade son: He called me an agent. But not the kind of agent who spies and spies and stuff. The other kind of agent.

Me: (totally confused) What other kind of agent?

First grade son: You know, the kind of agent from Ay-ge-na.

Me: Oh.... You mean he called you an Asian from Asia?

First grade son: (almost in tears) yeah.

Me: (thinking this is not a good time to point out that my son actually is Asian) Well, that boy doesn't really know what he's talking about. He doesn't even know the difference between Asian and an Agent.

First grade son: (not looking convinced) I told the teacher.

Me: What did the teacher say?

First grade son: That if he does it again he'll get a yellow face. (They get a green smiley face if they stay out of trouble all day, a yellow face for misbehaving and red is even worse.)

Me: Ok, you let me know if he does it again. But try not to listen to what that boy says.

My son is half Japanese and half white. And he has dual citizenship. So he is Asian! It breaks my heart to see my kids so upset and hurt by other kids' teasing. But sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tag! You're It!

I don't usually like doing these things, but tonight I was a little grateful to find that Michelle at Honest and Truly had tagged me, otherwise I have no idea what I would write about. I try not to complain too much on my blog and well.... My weekend hasn't exactly been fun. I'm still waiting for someone to remove that tree that ruined my yard last weekend. I had to go to a birthday for a 7 year old. My husband was sick this weekend and he has unrealistic expectations. I think he should know by now that if you tell the kids to find something to do and leave you alone, they will take that to mean, "Go ahead and break everything you can find, just don't block the TV."

So here is the Tag:

The rules? Answer the following questions in one word and then pass it on to seven others.

Where is your cell phone? Purse
Where is your significant other? Sofa
Your hair color? Blond
Your mother? Betty
Your father? Jerry
Your favorite thing? Donut
Your dream last night? None
Your dream/goal? everything
The room you’re in? Office
Your hobby? Couponing
Your fear? beingtaggedagain
Where do you want to be in 6 years? vacation
Where were you last night? bowling
What you’re not? Tall
One of your wish-list items? vacation
Where you grew up? Philly
Last thing you did? shower
What are you wearing? Pajamas
Your TV? on
Your pet? none
Your computer? working
Your mood? normal
Missing someone? No
Your car? Old
Something you’re not wearing? skis
Favorite store? Macy's
Your summer? Over
Love someone? Yes
Your favorite color? Green
When is the last time you laughed? Today
Last time you cried? yes

And for my tags:
Chantal
Cathy
GirlyTwins
Elizabeth
FireHunt

I know you're supposed to have 7, but I don't always follow the rules :P

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Perfect Match

It's Wednesday, so that meant today was Chess Club day at my son's school. After helping my son, I went over to see how my neighbor's son was doing. My son taught my neighbor's son "everything he knows" about chess. So my neighbor's son doesn't really know how to play chess.

My neighbor's son was very excited to see me come over and told me that he won the first game.

"That's great," I said.

Then the little girl he was playing against told me how the boy didn't actually win. "He just captured my king. But you really need to capture the queen to win."

So it appears those two chess players were a perfect match.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Landscaping


This is what I woke up to find this morning. A tree fee in the greenbelt behind my yard. The tree was close to my fence. The tree feel from the roots. The root system went up creating a crater in my back yard and pushing the fence up out of the ground. 3 panels need to be fixed. I know it could be worse, but what a pain! Anyone know any good tree removal companies???

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Erika

A friend from high school contacted me today. We keep in touch through email, but I haven't spoken to her in years. It was a strange familiarity to hear her voice again. She told me that another friend from high school had died this week. Her name was Erika.

Erika and I went to the Catholic high school in my town for our freshman and sophomore years. We didn't have any classes together and never really knew each other. We both happened to transfer to the same public high school for our junior year. We were put in the same orientation and almost immediately became friends.

I hadn't talked to Erika in at least 10 years. The friend I spoke with today told me that Erika never married. She lived in Arizona and she was happy.

It is strange to think that someone my age could just die. Erika was alone in her apartment the night she died. She called 911 and was found dead when the paramedics arrived. They are doing an autopsy but it appears to be a natural death. When did we become so old?

I know it is selfish of me to think this way, but how could this happen to my friend? my age? my classmate?

Even though I hadn't spoken to Erika in many years, I feel like I just lost of piece of my past. She is the only person who knew about trips to the post office and singing Springsteen in the snow, oh and the Mann Music Center.

I will miss you, Erika.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Club Chess

My son's school had their first Chess Club meeting today. My son got a Chess set last year for Christmas and has played a little. At 6 years old, he knows how to set up the board and how to move all the pieces. He just needs to work on strategy.

I learned how to play Chess when I was about 5 years old. My father was an avid Chess player and he would play with me. Of course being so young and knowing how to play chess got some attention from my dad's chess playing friends. I loved it! Then when I turned about 8 and could still play Chess, it wasn't quite as exciting. No one cared anymore. My father stopped playing as often and so I stopped playing as well.

So it's been a few years (ok, maybe a few decades!) since I was really into playing Chess. And this past year I have taught my son the rules. I also taught him that the game is called "Chess" and not "chest" as he had been saying. We play every once in a while. I beat him every time and he enjoys it. One time his friend asked me to play. I was able to beat the much wiser 7 year old friend too.

My son and his friend loved going to the Chess club today. They played for 45 minutes straight and no one wanted to leave when it was time to go. When I got home, I searched online to see how my son could play on the computer. I thought I would give it a try first. The level options were, "easy," "normal," "difficult," and "crazy." I thought, "I'm not a bad Chess player. Let me try, 'normal.'" I lost 3 games in a row. In less than 10 seconds per game. So I switched to "easy." I lost again, but it took at least a few minutes this time! I guess after not playing for so many years and my toughest challenge being a 7 year old, I really lost any skill I may have once had! I need some practice! But please don't tell my son. In his mind, I'm still the best Chess player he knows!

Halloween Pictures

Here is a picture of my kids in their Halloween costumes.



And here is a picture of all the candy they got!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My First Time

This year was my first time voting. Unless of course you count voting in school elections. I know most of you don't believe that I'm 22 year old so I really have no excuse for not voting before, other than I'm lazy.

In the past I worked and couldn't or wouldn't take off work to vote. Then I had kids and my husband worked and I wasn't going to take my babies to wait in line in the cold. It never seemed worth it to me. I also didn't follow politics very well and considered my uneducated vote fairly worthless.

Then I moved to Washington. When I got my new WA driver's license (And I didn't even have to take a test!) they asked me if I wanted to register to vote. "Sure." Then the man asked if I wanted to vote by mail. I had never heard of this option before. He told me that lots of people in Washington register for the absentee ballot so they can vote by mail. So I signed up.

About 2 weeks ago my ballot arrived in the mail. Then a booklet came in the mail with a brief biography and a statement by each candidate. Last Thursday I sat down at the kitchen table with my pen, ballot and booklet. I read through each candidate and made straight lines on the ballot. I went to the grocery store and dropped my ballot off at the collection box in the front. Voila! I voted! No waiting in line! No standing in the cold! No punching holes halfway through!

I admit that it did take about an hour to sit down and decide. But that's it. I heard that Starbucks was giving out free coffee, Krispy Kreme had free donuts (and I LOVE Krispy Kreme donuts) and Ben and Jerry's had free ice cream for people who stopped by with the "I voted" sticker. I didn't go to any of those places. Have I mentioned that I'm lazy??? Now if only all of those places would make an exception for us Absentee voters and start sending their freebies in the mail... Things would be perfect!

And in case you are wondering who I voted for, I voted for Obama. I had to. When you move to Washington, it's a requirement that you become a Democrat!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Falsies

1. When you purchase false orange eyelashes to wear for Halloween, don't believe the box that says, "self adhesive." These eyelashes do require additional eyelash glue that costs more than the fake eyelashes.

2. You will discover #1 only after trying for 15 minutes unsuccessfully to put the eyelashes on. You might press too hard on your eyelid and start seeing spots.

3. The spots will go away.

4. Your neighbor does not have eyelash glue that you can borrow.

5. The store will be sold out of the overpriced eyelash glue.

6. Once you finally get a tube of eyelash glue, you won't have time left to try again to put the eyelashes on. You will be late for the Halloween Party at your son's school that you offered to help with.

7. You will lose one of the eyelashes before you get home from the store that has one bottle of eyelash glue left.

8. Eyelash glue says it is clear, but it comes out white and makes a nice paste on your eye lids when dry.

9. Don't try to apply eyelash glue on in the car while driving 2 kids from one Halloween party to the next.

10. Thinking about eyelashes falling off, missing eyelashes and eyelash glue will cause you to forget your camera in your son's classroom.

11. Your husband won't notice all the trouble you went through for the festive Halloween eyelashes.

12. False eyelashes come off very very easily.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's for Dinner

I woke up with a headache this morning.


My husband took my son fishing.


My husband is cooking this for dinner.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lost Dogs

This morning I went for a walk up the big hill. Close to the top, I saw 2 dogs running down the hill. Another woman was walking behind the dogs but they didn't seem with her. One dog ran up to me and sniffed my hand. I reached down to pet the dog and checked, but their was no collar. Then the woman walking gave me a dirty look as if to say, "you really should control your dogs and keep them on a leash." I replied back with my own dirty look, the one that says, "these are not my dogs thankyouverymuch."

One dog turned around and started running up the hill. The other took off running down the hill. I followed the dog up the hill and saw it stop in front of a house. So I rang the doorbell. It was only about 8:20am so I was a little nervous, but I didn't want to just the dogs keep running around all morning.

A lady answered the door and as soon as she saw the dog, she asked, "did someone leave the gate open?" Turns out the gate was open. I told her that the other dog was running down the big hill on the main road. I started to return to my usual walking route and the dog was coming back. What a relief! So both dogs were eventually returned the owner. And if the lady who was walking down the hill is reading this, I just wanted to point out that I am not the owner!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What a Day!

Today has been a busy day. This morning I worked in the library at my son's school for an hour. Then I worked in my son's classroom for 2 hours. I went straight from there (with a quick stop at a grocery store) to meet my husband for lunch at a bagel deli we have both been anxious to try. Then I picked up my 4 year from preschool and stopped by another grocery store on the way home. When I got home, I had things to put away, phone calls to return, and I could feel a headache coming on. I had only 20 minutes before it was time to go down to the bus stop and pick up my 6 year old.

We walked home from the bus stop, chatted with the neighbors and immediately did the first grade homework. The boy next door played with my kids for about 45 minutes before it was time to get ready for the 400 meter "Pumpkin" race. There were about 80 first grade boys in the race this year. My son came in 6th place! I am very proud of him. But they only get prizes (the prize is a pumpkin) for 1st-5th place. 6th place gets a ribbon just like all of the other participants. I'm even more proud that he didn't cry or throw a fuss because he didn't get to take home a pumpkin. He was so happy to go and run in the race. His cub scout friends were there, boys from his school, boys from his soccer team, and boys from his old T-ball team. It was like a huge reunion of first grade boys! One of his friends (in his class and on his soccer team) came in second place. Another soccer teammate came in 3rd place and one more soccer teammate came in 10th place. That certainly makes for one fast soccer team! Of course, that doesn't say anything about their aim ;)

You would think the race would be the end of my day, but no. We had to stop by one more grocery store and then go to the end of the season soccer party for dinner. It was at a pizza restaurant. I made word searches for the kids to do. I found this great website that let's you type in words and decide how big to make the puzzle. So I put in the names of all of the players, the coach, other soccer related and team related words. It was a big hit at the party.

I just finished putting the kids to bed and now I'm exhausted! Luckily tomorrow isn't going to be quite as busy. I plan to go for a walk and jog in the morning after my 6 year old gets on the bus. Then just some cleaning and errands, maybe even shop for curtains! Pick up my preschooler at 1:30 and my 6 year old at 3:15. At 4:30 we have a cub scouts field trip to the library and at 7:00 is my dance class. So sometime in the afternoon I'll have to make something for dinner.

Monday, October 27, 2008

To What?

I had to run some errands this morning and as usual I had to take my 4 year old with me. The radio was on in the car and there was a commercial encouraging people to get their flu shots. The announcer was saying, "To flu or not to flu." My 4 year thought it was funny and tried to repeat the commercial, "Tofu or not tofu." He does like tofu!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who Are You Voting For?

My 6 year old asked me, "Mom, who are you going to vote for?" I told him the truth, "I'm not sure yet." My 6 year old said, "I want the Seahawks to win."

I explained that everyone is voting for the president, not for the Seahawks. So my 4 year joined in the conversation, "I'm voting for George Washington."

George Washington versus the Seahawks would make for an interesting election!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh Crud!

As we approached the house from walking home from the bus stop today, I pressed the button on the remote garage door opener. Nothing happened. The battery is dead. My 6 year old says, "Oh Crud!" This is not something I normally say, so I was a little surprised to hear it. Before I could ask where he learned that from, my 4 year decides to copy him. But since my 4 year old is not familiar with this expression, he says, "Oh Credit Card!" I couldn't help but laugh.

Directions From a 4 Year Old

This morning I took my 4 year old son to the library. I asked him if he remembered the way to get there. His directions were simple. "Take the interstate to the exit. Turn at the traffic light and then turn again at the sign." In reality there were a few exits to choose from, a few more traffic lights, a few more turns and a few more signs. If only everything were as simple as a 4 year old sees them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bad Words

This morning my 6 year old came up to me and smugly announced, "Mommy, I know the 'F' word."

Me: Oh really? What is the "F" word?

6 year old son: Fart.

Me: Yes, that isn't very nice to say.

6 year old son: I also know the "C" word.

Me: (My heart is racing now. I wasn't expecting a list of bad words! Especially the "C" word. Yikes!) What is the "C" word (asked very hesitantly)?

6 year old son: Crap.

Me: (Whew) Right. That isn't a nice word to say either.

6 year old son: I also know the "I" word.

Me: (Hoping this is the last round for my son's new little "game" of "see how much we can scare mommy" and totally confused as to what the "I" word could be.") Ok. What is the "I" word?

6 year old son: Idiot.

Me: Yes, that isn't a nice word to say. I hope you don't use any of those words.

6 year old son: No, mom. I don't say those words, but I heard other kids.

Me: Good. (Whew! So glad he didn't answer with other bad words!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

We Have Certain Rules

Today my first grader invited 2 of his friends over to our house after school. They are both kids in our neighborhood and they are all in the same class. I had some wooden Halloween masks that I bought a while ago and thought it would make a good project to keep the kids busy.

They were excited to see the project and couldn't' wait for me to clear off the table and get the paints ready. They grew louder and louder each second until finally all 4 (2 friends and my 2 kids) were screaming so loud that I couldn't hear myself when I calmly asked them to settle down. So I did what any calm parent would do. I stamped my foot so that I was louder than their screaming. When that got their attention. I explained that we are not allowed to scream in our house and that if they wanted to do the project, they would have to stop yelling.

All 4 kids made a "sorry" face and I was able to get everything set up. A few minutes later when everyone was very into the painting, one of neighbor kids looks at me and the conversation went like this:

6 year old neighbor kid: I don't like your rules.

Me: What do you mean? (I had already forgotten about the screaming a few minutes ago.)

6 year old neighbor kid: When I go to my other friend's house, we're allowed to scream. I think I should be allowed to scream here too.

Me: Well, I'm sorry you don't like it, but we are not allowed to scream in this house.

6 year old neighbor kid: I think you should change that rule.

Me: I'm sorry. I guess that means that you don't want to come and play here again?

6 year old neighbor kid: Uh... I do.

Me: Ok, so there will be no screaming.

I was shocked! I may sound old when I say this, but I'm going to say it anyway. When I was a kid, I would never have dreamed of speaking to an adult like that! I'm still shocked. Just shocked. Oh, and I'm also very glad it wasn't my kid who said it! (whew!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Little Reward

Yesterday I volunteered to help at my son's school as I do every Tuesday. I spent the first hour in the library putting contact paper on some new paperback books to make them ready for circulation.

At 9:30 I go to my son's first grade classroom. The teacher has a pile of things that need to be cut, glued, stamped, photocopied, laminated, sorted etc... I sit quietly at the back table and go right to work. It's not exciting, but it feels good to be able to help. The teacher always appreciates it. After about 30 minutes 2 firefighters walk into the classroom. The teacher had scheduled them to do a presentation about emergencies. Yes, they totally fit the hot fireman stereotype. They were in great shape and looking good. So finally a nice "reward" for my volunteering. I can sit int he back and cut, paste, and sort papers while I watch the cuties give their presentation.

You won't believe what happens next. The teacher comes over and asks if I would mind going to the workroom by the office so that I could use the paper cutter there?! And leave the firefighters behind??? Of course I did as she requested. She acted like the papers were so important but I know the truth. She wanted those firefighters all to herself! ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Another Day

Did you ever have one of those days when you have nothing to write? It's a little depressing as you review your day in your head and think, "There is nothing interesting enough to write on my blog." Well, that is me today.

Maybe I could write about taking my son to Japanese story time at the library. He had a great time. I didn't understand much the whole 45 minutes that we were there.

Maybe I could write about my trip to the grocery store. But I dropped my son off at the playroom and I went shopping alone for 45 minutes.

Maybe I could write about soccer practice. It was almost cancelled for rain but then went on as scheduled.

Maybe I could write about how I need to get the dishes done and pay the bills and organize my errands for tomorrow.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have better inspiration.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spelling Test

My first grader gets a homework assignment at the beginning of the week that is due the following Monday. Most of the time this turns out to be homework that I have to help him complete or at least get started. This week we procrastinated. So the homework is due tomorrow and tonight I get around to giving him the spelling test.

The teacher asked for the parents to give a spelling test using all of the "ap" words, meaning words that end in "ap." Ok, not a very difficult test since it's already given that all of the words will end the same.

My son takes out a pencil and his paper and gets ready. What's the first "ap" word that I can think of? How about "crap?" Oh, that's not a good word for a first grader's spelling test. How about "pap?" As in, "I don't like being reminded that it is time for a yearly pap."

After a few moments I was able to come up with a few more appropriate words. When I was all done with tap, cap, flap, nap, lap, gap, map, sap, zap, and wrap, my 6 year old says, "wait mom! You forgot 'crap!'" Another proud parent moment.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Things that Grow

Sorry I've been gone a few days. I wasn't feeling well this weekend and then had trouble getting everything back to "normal." Today I did some yard work. Here is a picture of the pumpkin growing in my garden!


I hope it turns orange in time for Halloween! I'm a little disappointed because the vine has taken over the entire garden and only produced one pumpkin. Well, there was another rotten pile of mush that looked it could have been a baby pumpkin last week, but today it was mush.

This next picture may be a little more difficult to figure out. You might think you are looking at a picture of Kennett Square (Elizabeth, that reference is for you ;) ). In case some of you don't know, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is the Mushroom Capital of the World, and No, I did not just make that up. Check it out here. They have a mushroom festival, a mushroom museum and lots of other mushroom attractions, I guess.

So while this may look like a picture taken at one of those risque mushroom social events, it was actually taken in my backyard. And I didn't plant mushrooms. They are taking over the grass. Or maybe just this old tree stump. But they are still threatening the grass around it. OK, so maybe I'm a little prejudiced against mushrooms. I don't like them in my yard!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Attention Kmart Shoppers

We interrupt this blog for a very important message. No, there is no Blue Light Special to tell you about. There is a Super Double Coupon Deal to let you know about! Sunday is the last day, but I think Kmart will be out of stock long before then.

Here are the rules: Kmart will double manufacturer's coupons up to $2. That means coupons that say save $2 will now be worth $4. You are allowed to use up to a total of 75 coupons and only 4 of each coupon.

www.hotcouponworld.com (my favorite message board BTW) has a thread about all the ways to use your coupons to get lots of free stuff. I went to one Kmart on Thursday afternoon and then to another on Thursday night. My total went from $126 to $26 in the afternoon and then from $70 something to $2.72 on Thursday night.

Your regularly scheduled Cookie Jar blog will return tomorrow at it's normal time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

He Said What?!?!?!

My 6 year old came from school as always ready to tattle on someone. This time he told me that an other boy on the bus had called his friend "the S word." I'm pretty sure that my 6 year old does not what most people refer to as the "S" word. So I asked my son, "what is the 'S' word?"

6 Year old son: (with a look that says I'm totally stupid) Mommmm, you know, the "S" word.

Me: No, I'm not sure what the "S" word is. Please tell me. What did the boy call your friend?

6 Year old son: Mom, it was the "S-L" word.

Me: Hm... I really don't know what the "S-L" word is. Can you whisper it to me.

6 Year old son: (Now clearly annoyed at my ignorance) Mom, you know, the "S-L" word. It's "stupid."

Me: Oh, that "S" word! (Whew!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Answering a Few Questions

Sometimes I get questions in the comments posted to my blog. I apologize that I'm just horrible about responding to these. When I read them, I answer the questions right away. You just can't hear me. Or at least I think you can't hear me. (Can you hear me now?)

I'll do my best to answer questions now.

Michelle said...
Awwww! So did he choose to announce or which job?

My son won the MVP fan award. I think he was the youngest winner so they let him be the commissioner. We sat in the commissioner's box and I think he had the best seats of any of the other winners because there were no other winners sitting around us. They did have the honorary announcer, she was 11. The honorary scorekeeper was 9 or 10. My son is only 6, so I guess they thought being a MVP fan was the easier job for him. They did announce his name and put a live shot of the 4 of us on the the big screen. He's a lucky kid.



Michelle said...
oooo I love it! Daddy can't get away with ANYthing. I do think (sometimes) that's a real benefit of having kids, don't you?

Yes! I totally agree! Having kids (old enough to talk) is like having a spy cam that moves around your house.


Michelle said...
That sounds really cool. And I feel like I've heard of it before for some reason. Stupid question though... how does one get something that large and messy home? :)

They don't have any glue at the "creation station." So we were able to take it home in pieces and then I used the hot glue when we got home. I've also used the hot glue for a few more repairs since then.


Michelle said...
Just saying, but if it were me, I'd have a VERRRY long letter to said alarm service composed and sent. And I might have to rate each individual service tech (seriously they came out to tell you they didn't have the programmer and had to reschedule?).

Seriously

Ok, so this is turning to an interview with Michelle!
Thanks for the comments and questions. They always make my day :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just a Quickie

It's been a busy weekend and it's past my bedtime. But I wanted to make a quick post so you guys don't forget about me!

Here's not the best picture (hub has been saying that we need a better camera for a while) of my kids at the Mariners game today. In case you missed my previous post, my son won 3rd tickets from the local radio station! The kids had a lot of fun. It was the last game of the season and the Mariners won!

In other news, I'm feeling like a bad daughter because my mom's birthday is tomorrow and I didn't' send her anything, not even a card :( I do plan to call though. And I'm planning to send a gift this week. My dad's birthday is 10 days after hers, so it would be nice to send something for both.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tattling

Tuesday night I attended the PTA meeting at my son's school. The meeting wasn't over until after bedtime. So my husband had to put the kids to bed without me.

The next day I asked my 6 year old how things went at night without me. He couldn't wait to tattle on Daddy.

6 year old: Daddy let us stay up late.

Me: Did he really?

6 year old: Yes! Our bedtime is 8:00 but Daddy let us stay up until 8:01!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

He Won!

I had a very exciting morning. I went for walk up "the big hill" to get some exercise. Then I came home and started to clean the hot tub. But then I realized that I didn't have the drainage hose, so I couldn't really clean it. So I started some laundry and then to clean the bathrooms.

I feel like I have to clean the bathrooms an awful lot lately. I have a 6 year old boy who likes to stand up while going to the bathroom, but his aim isn't really that good. He will try to clean or wipe up afterwards, but it's not really clean. So as I'm scrubbing the toilet and everything around it, I'm getting madder and madder at my son for making such a mess. I start wonder if I'm alone in this cleaning battle. There must be a way to get him to either stop making such a mess or get him to clean it himself.

Then the phone rings and I'm annoyed that I have to stop what I'm doing (because I was having so much fun and didn't want to stop), wash my hands and answer the phone.

I answer the phone and a woman asks to speak with me. I'm thinking, "Oh great, what is she trying to sell me now." Then she tells me that she is calling from the local radio station to tell me that my son has won a prize! I nominated him on Monday for the "Kid's Day at the Mariners" and he won! He will get 4 tickets for the Commissioner's Box for this Sunday's game plus a "Prize Pack" and he will have a job at the game. They had a list of a few jobs like honorary score keeper, announcer and things like that. They also said that his picture will go on the big screen during the game! I'm soooooo excited. I'm home alone right now and I have no one to tell. No one to share my excitement! How dare my husband be at work on a day like this! And this should be reason enough to cancel school, don't you think?

Well at least now I told you.

In case you're wondering, I had to submit an essay stating why the child I nominated should receive this "Kid's MVP" award. I enjoy writing and lately I've been wondering if there was a way to generate income by writing. So I though it might worth a shot. I wrote an essay about how my son is half Japanese and half American. He went to a Japanese preschool where 90% of the kids there were just like him, half Japanese and half American. He fit in well and made lots of friends.

Then he entered kindergarten at the local public school. He quickly discovered that being Japanese meant being different. He no longer wanted to take Japanese food for lunch or snack and would deny that he was Japanese. He was embarrassed by his Japanese name.

In May we took both kids to a Mariners game. They loved the food and the excitement that went with the game. Ichiro was playing that night and hit a home run. The crowd cheered for Ichiro. There were some signs in Japanese and some Japanese people cheering in Japanese for Ichiro. It made my son proud to be Japanese at that moment.

Monday, September 22, 2008

100th Post???

Yes, this is my 100th post.
All I can say is, "How did that happen???"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Creation Station

This weekend we went to a place called, "Creation Station." They have a room filled with buckets of stuff for kids to make things out of. You can see some of the buckets in the background of the picture below.

My 4 year made this bridge! He is very proud of his work. We brought it home and added a little glue. He's been driving his hot wheel cars across it all day. If you have kids and live in the Seattle area, I highly recommend that you try "Creation Station."

Those hand prints on the wall in the background are from birthday parties there. The birthday child gets to put his or her hand prints somewhere on the wall. I'm hoping that my 6 year old might be interested in having his next birthday party here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pop Quiz!

What does "Yburwii" translate to in English?

Any guesses?

I'll give you a hint. "Yburwii" is actually an English word, just written by my 4 year old.

Any guesses now?

One more hint. My 4 year old wrote "Yburwii" at the top of his list of books.

Did you guess that "Yburwii" is actually library???? Pronounced "Y-bur-wii." Yes, my 4 year old figured that the "wee" sound at the end of "library" should be spelled just like the Nintendo Wii that he likes to play. Another proud parent moment brought to by the letters "Y" and "Bur" and the game console "Wii."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On a Scale of One to Five

Towards the end of the July my house alarm started giving me an error message, "Sensor 8 Trouble." The alarm would make this announcement whenever we turned on the alarm and when we turned it off and at least 2 other random time during the day in case we missed it. The first time I received this error message, I called the alarm company and scheduled a service call. The next available service call was in August. The day before the service call appointment I had a migraine and the only doctor appointment I could get was at the same time as the service call. So I had to reschedule the alarm service. It got pushed back to the beginning of September. By then another sensor started having trouble and I had to put the alarm into "sleep mode" or I could enjoy getting each error message twice a day and not being able to actually turn the alarm on. I wish there was a "sleep mode" button on my kids!

The first week of September, the alarm technician arrived at my house as scheduled. He turned on the alarm and quickly announced that he doesn't have the programmer that he needs to program my alarm. You see, I have an older alarm. They no longer make this alarm. If I want to pay over $700 then I can upgrade to a more high tech alarm. But I'm in no hurry to pay over $700 to replace a system that still works usually. So I stay with my outdated alarm system.

The technician says he can return with the programmer on Monday, which was fine with me. I had been without a working alarm for over a month, what's a few more days, right?

On Monday the technician arrives and says that the person who has the programmer called in sick, so he still doesn't have it and he'll have to reschedule. I gave him my schedule for the week and let him know which days I could be home and he said he would call me back.

On Wednesday I got a phone call from the customer service department of the alarm company. I thought she was calling to reschedule, but she wasn't. She was calling for me to complete a survey about my most recent service call. I explained that the service wasn't complete and that I was still waiting for someone to call me back to reschedule. She said that she would look into it.

The next day someone called me and rescheduled the service call for Wednesday morning between 8:30 and 10:30. On Tuesday around 5pm, I got another call from the alarm company's customer service department asking me to do a survey about my most recent service call. With gritted teeth, I kindly explained that someone had already called me about this and that I was still waiting for the alarm to be fixed. I even told the person that I had an appointment for the next morning. She continued to ask me, "So on a scale of 1 to 5 how would you rate the knowledge of your technician?" So I thanked her for reminding me that I still don't have a working alarm and hung up.

The day of the service appointment finally arrived! I woke up excited and anxious! And then my phone rang at 7:30 am. It was the alarm company. I thought for sure they were calling to cancel on me again. I was sure that someone else had called in sick and that I was never going to have a working alarm system again! But no. Can you guess why the alarm company would call me at 7:30 in the morning? They wanted me to complete a survey about my most recent service call!

Customer service lady: On a scale of 1 to 5 how would you rate the professionalism of your technician?

Me: Umm... Where are you calling me from?

Customer Service lady: Kansas

Me: What time is it in Kansas?

Customer Service lady: 9:30

Me: Do you know where I live?

Customer Service lady: It says you live in Washington.

Me: Do you know what time it is in Washington right now?

Customer Service lady: Oh gosh! I'm so sorry. So on a scale of 1 to 5...

Me: Excuse me! It's 7:30 in the morning! And my alarm is still broken! The technician is supposed to be here in an hour! Can you call back later after the alarm is fixed?

Customer Service lady: Um... So on a scale of 1 to 5...

Me: Click

I don't usually hang up on people, but I still had to get the kids dressed and fed and out the door and I didn't have time to repeat myself to this lady who must have a had a bad phone connection because she didn't seem to understand anything I said.

I walked my son to the bus stop and as I'm walking back to my house a van with the alarm company's logo on the side passes me. So I speed up and get to the house as quickly as I can. The technician was 20 minutes early! Ok, so the entire alarm company is made of morning people. Still, it's not really a big deal. I'm home, he's there and yes! He has the programmer! (I almost did a happy dance right then!)

He comes inside the house and gets started. He needs to change a few batteries in some sensors. He asks if I have any 9-volt batteries. I check the battery drawer and I don't. So he says that he can replace them and will charge me $5 each battery. I need 4. I've had this alarm service for over 2 years. I've had a few technicians come to the house at various times and they have replaced batteries as needed. Not once has anyone charged me for batteries (I pay for a service contract). So I tell him that I'm not willing to pay for the batteries. I tell him that I can buy some later when I go out if I need to, but I will not pay $5 for a $1-2 battery! He looks a little surprised at my response. He doesn't know what to say or do. I go about doing the dishes and checking email and other things that keep me busy while he continues to work on the alarm.

He tests the alarm and then tells me that since I had to wait so long for service that he's not going to charge me for the batteries. Now I'm wondering if my contract changed? Is this a new thing that I'm going to be expected to pay for batteries in the future? Or did this technician just need $20 for lunch that day?

After the test of all of the sensors on the alarm, I sign off on it and he leaves. That night I go to turn on the alarm for the night and it doesn't work. I enter "# password" as I had done many moons ago, and I only get a busy signal. Since it has been a while since I last used the alarm, I check with my husband to make sure that I'm pressing the right combination. He agrees, the code is "#password." I still get a busy signal. I went to bed thrilled with my alarm system and the wonderful service I had received.

The next morning I called back to Customer Service. I was tempted to say, "So on a scale of 1 to 5 how do you rate a technician who takes 2 months to arrive, tries to charge you $20 for batteries, and leaves you with a broken alarm?" But I didn't. I simply explained that I was having trouble turning on my alarm again. This lady suggested that I try using "*" instead of "#." Why would I try that??? I have been using "#" for over 2 years? Why would it suddenly change???

I tried pressing "* password" and then the clouds parted, the sun shone and I heard angels singing "Hallelujah!" The alarm system finally worked! And since then no one has called me back to ask, "On a scale of 1 to 5..."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm back!

Did anyone miss me? My family and I went to Seaside, OR for 2 nights. We just got back last night.

I haven't been to the beach (the real ocean beach at least) since I moved from NJ. So it must have been at least 3 years now.

As a little girl, my family went to the beach every summer with my grandparents. I loved it! Then I entered the tween years and hated going to the beach with my family. Then when I was a teenager, I loved going to the beach again because I was old enough to do things without my family. As a parent, I now know how important it is to build memories with your kids before they become tweens. It won't be long before the kids decide they don't want to be around their parents.

We didn't go to the beach this summer for a few reasons. First, we really didn't have any extra money. I took the kids on a trip to Detroit to visit my sister and then to VA to visit my parents and other sister. Then my husband had a long business trip to India. So between the 2 trips, we didn't have that much vacation time left. And the other big factor was that both of those trips used a lot of our vacation money! There just wasn't much leftover to spend on a trip to the beach. My husband got a promotion at work and a bonus with it, so we used some of the money to squeeze in a trip to the beach at the very end of summer (Summer isn't officially over yet!). And I'm so glad we did.

The trip was a lot of fun. We played in the sand, walked in the water, went to the arcade, ate junk food, watched the sunset over the ocean, swam in the pool and went for lots of long walks. Most importantly, we spent time together as a family enjoying each other's company. There were no chores to do, no homework to get done, no phone calls to make. It was 3 days of time dedicated just to being together. Of course there were a few moments when the kids would fight or whine, but luckily none of those lasted too long.

It was a good trip, but it's still good to be home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Caught in the Act


I picked 2 tomatoes from my garden this morning. I kept one tomato. As you can see, someone else thought he just could just slide his way into my garden and help himself to my tomatoes.
Mr. Slug,
As a member of the neighbor hood crime watch, I have to ask you to leave. You have been warned in the past and you should know by now that you are not welcome in my garden or in any of the neighbors' gardens (except for the mean old lady down the street who won't give the kids their ball back when it goes over her fence). Since you have ignored all previous requests for you to leave the vegetable garden alone, I had no choice but to throw you (and the tomato) into the blackberry bushes. I hope you find a nice new home there. Please do not attempt to return to the vegetable garden or more severe action will be taken.
Sincerely,
Cookie, Neighborhood Crime Watch Member and Head Household Gardener

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can You Guess What This Is?

Can anyone guess what this is a picture of? I know it may appear like it's just a cereal box taped on top of a Barilla box, but it's more than that. I'll give you a hint, my 4 year old "made" this at preschool today.

Any guesses????
This is a piece of abstract from a brand new artist. It is made from 100% recycled materials. Yup, My 4 year old proudly announced that he made this new table centerpiece at school today! I know you are all jealous. I've already checked, but you can't buy this anywhere, not even online yet.

Help! I'm Blond!

My 6 year old son climbed into my bed just as my alarm clock was going off. He was crying and told me that he had a bad dream. So I snuggled with him for a few minutes to comfort him. He started playing with my hair and pulled it over his eyes. He leaned his face toward me and said, "Help! I'm blond!" I chuckled a little. My husband says I have blond hair but it's really a very dark blond. Then my son continued to say, "Help! I'm blond! I can't see!"

I figured out that he was confusing "blond" and "blind" (an easy mistake). So the difference between "blond" and "blind" was the first lesson of today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Guess Who

Tonight my 6 year old and 4 year were playing the game, "Guess Who." I'm sure those of you who have kids in elementary school have played this game. For those of you don't, it's not too difficult to understand. Each player has a board with about 30 people on it. Each person on the board is different from every other person in some way. Some are wearing a hat, others have glasses, some are bald, some have beards etc... The object of the game is to ask yes or no questions to figure out which person your opponent has selected before your opponent guesses which person you have selected.

Tonight, my 6 year old asked his 4 year old brother, "Is yours a girl?" The answer was "yes." So my 6 year old flipped down all of the boys on his board, leaving only the girls. Then my 6 year old asked, "Does yours have yellow hair?" Again, the reply was "yes." So the 6 year old flipped down any person left who didn't have yellow hair. After a few rounds of questions, the 6 year old only had one card left standing. So he figured out that his brother must have selected "Megan," a blond girl with no glasses and I think she was wearing a hat and earrings. The 6 year old asked the winning question, "Is your person Megan?" The reply was "Yes!" They both started cheering. Then my 4 year handed over his card that should have been "Megan," instead it was "Connor," a black bald man with a mustache (no earrings, no hat and not a girl with yellow hair!)! My husband and I couldn't stop laughing and the kids had no idea what was so funny!

Good Morning

This morning I didn't want to get out of bed. I was up a little late watching football. I love football! Although, I'm not happy that Denver won, I am happy to see Oakland lose!

When I finally dragged myself out of bed this morning, I got the kids their clothes and they started getting dressed. I'm just about to get myself dressed when I hear my 4 year old calling "mommmmm" from the bathroom. I'm sure you already know that when your kid is calling "mommmmm" from the bathroom, that it can't be good.

I went into the bathroom to find my 4 year standing there with his underwear dripping wet around his ankles. I asked what happened and pointed to the toilet. I'm fairly certain that the toilet did not pee on him so I ask again, "what happened?" This time he pointed to the toilet and said that his older brother had left the seat up. Something still doesn't make sense. Did you sit down without the seat and fall in? I'm still trying to figure out what happened, but I didn't want him to keep standing there with wet underwear around his ankles. So I cleaned him up and sent him to use another bathroom since he said that hadn't finished going yet. I wiped up the floor enough so that the kids could brush their teeth without stepping in anything. Then I got myself dressed and met them downstairs for breakfast.

I decided to try again to solve the mystery of the bathroom "accident." I asked my four year old, "what happened in the bathroom?"

Four year old: My brother left the seat up.

Me: Did you try to sit down and you got wet?

Four year old: no.

Me: Did you try to stand up like your brother?

Four year old: Yes.

Me: Ohhhhh. So you weren't big enough yet and you peed all over yourself?

Four year old: No, I stood up to go to the bathroom.

Me: (Knowing this conversation could go on for days, I try to end it fast) Honey, I don't think you are big enough to stand up yet. Make sure you sit down next time, OK?

Four year old: (clearly ignoring me) Uh-huh

So that went well... It's a good thing that I just cleaned the floor int he bathroom yesterday. I hadn't even put back the mats yet.

So that's how my day started. I got to scrub the bathroom floor less than 24 hours after I last scrubbed it. Good morning!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A House as Big as a Football Stadium

I love football, but my kids don't. They whine whenever I turn on the game. They complain until I finally give in and let them change the channel. So tonight I was trying to get them excited about football. I pointed to the TV and said, "look at all of those people in the stadium. Doesn't that look like fun? Just like the time we went to the Mariners game."

The kids were not impressed. I'm pretty sure I saw them roll their eyes. Then my 6 year old responded, "Mom, would you like to live at the stadium? Think of what a big house you would have if the football stadium was your house!" Then he added, "and think of all the company you would have every week!"

I just love his logic!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Beginning of a Soccer Mom


Today was my 6 year old's first soccer game. He had a lot of fun and his little brother was very jealous. The ref did have to tell the teams which goal was who's. And there were a few times when players took the ball from their own teammates. But I'm proud to say that my son did score a goal. So this is how being a soccer mom starts...






Thursday, September 4, 2008

Surely everyone can spare $50!

In my first grader's "take home" folder I found a pink of piece of paper. This paper was a letter from someone at the school district. The letter explained how the kids needed new textbooks for school. They haven't bought new textbooks in over 10 years! The cost for each student to have new textbooks would be $50. The letter said that surely each parent would be willing to pay $50 for their student to have the desperately needed new textbooks.



Ok, now this bothers me for 2 reasons. I'm not saying that the kids don't need new textbooks and I'm not even saying that I won't be willing to donate $50 for the cause. But my son is in first grade! What happened to all of those parents who had kids in school for the last 10 years and have since graduated? How come they weren't asked to pay $50?! Or at least spread it out and ask each parent to donate $5 per year over 10 years?



Secondly, my son is still learning how to read! He can't even read a textbook. If I buy him a textbook now, it will do him no good. He'll still be reading about Spot going to school! Or about how the alphabet climbed up the coconut tree. And if I give the money to buy him a textbook that he can't read now, in 10 years when he can use it, they'll tell me that the same textbook is too old and he needs $50 (maybe $100 by then) to buy a new one!



Ok, I'm done complaining. So does anyone want to lend me $50????

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to Class

Tonight I went to my dance class. The class is every Wednesday. This summer was busy so I only went once in July and once in August. Before that, I hadn't missed a single class since December!

To say that I was a little out of shape or forgot a few moves would be an understatement. And to make it all the more difficult, a new girl had joined our class tonight. Now, having a new girl in the class might not seem like it would make the class harder, but it does. My teacher likes to show off. She likes to show that her class can do lots of things. Her class has endurance. Her class knows dance moves backwards and forwards. So whenever there is someone observing or trying out a class, the class is always more difficult. We end up doing 150 sit-ups instead of 100. Or we do dance moves leading on the left side instead of the usual right side.

It's confusing and tiring when I had been going to class on a regular basis, but having been absent from class for so long, I felt so out of shape and so confused. I'm glad its over and looking forward to going back next week. I love a challenge!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yes, The Carpet Did Finally Stop Glowing

"Yes, the carpet finally stop glowing." This was my answer when I talked to friends this morning.

We had a BBQ party at our house last night. There were a lot of families with kids there, so I tried to have some activities to keep the kids busy. First they did a scavenger hunt. I took close-up pictures of different things in the yard and in the house. My husband printed them out and I hid the clues. The kids were divided into 2 teams and then had to look at the picture clues to figure out where to go next. The last clue told the kids to take one of the names that were written on separate pieces of paper and to find that person. I had written down the names of the dads at the party and had given those dads 2 pokemon cards. So when the kids found the right person, they got their prize of pokemon cards.

So the next activity planned for the kids was to trade pokemon cards. I'm not sure why, but my kids can spend hours trading pokemon cards.

When it started to get dark, I brought out some glow sticks. (I found a pack of 15 for $1 at Michael's!) These were another big hit. The kids connected them together, traded them for diffrerent colors, and ran around with the glow sticks for almost an hour. Then finally one child came to tell me that one glow stick had leaked on the carpet. When I went into the living room, I found that my carpet was glowing. The glowing carpet quickly became entertainment for the adults too. I tried to blot it with a wet towel. I tried a dry towel. I tried lots of things, but it kept on glowing. I thought about what Martha Stewart would do and gave up.

So when I spoke to my friends today, they all asked if the carpet ever stopped glowing. I replied, "yes, the carpet did finally stop glowing."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What's In My Closet?

Can you guess what was in my closet this morning? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't something that I put in the closet. And I don't think it was something that the kids put in the closet because they were pretty surprised this morning too. And I don't think my husband put it there either. I'm not talking about my bedroom closet. I'm talking about the closet downstairs between the laundry room and the garage. The closet that we keep suitcases and some other storage items. Any guesses????




Yup, this picture below is what I found this morning.

My husband used a ruler to slide the lizard out of the closet and then coaxed him into the plastic cup. The kids wanted to keep it as a pet. We did just have ants as pets not too long ago, so why not a lizard? I don't think so...

I never had a lizard in my house before. I don't think I've even seen a lizard in New Jersey (where I lived most recently). Can you imagine a lizard in New Jersey? He would probably turn around and tell me to mind my own business.

My husband said finding a lizard in the house is just living in the tropics. Now we can pretend we live in Florida or Hawaii. Somehow, it still doesn't feel like the tropics!