Friday, May 30, 2008

Cotton Candy Anyone?

Here is a picture that my FIL took of my 6 year old. The 4 year old didn't want any cotton candy. He said it was too "hairy." I ended up eating most of his. Good thing FIL didn't take a picture of me afterwards!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go Mariners!

Tonight we went to the Mariners Game. They beat the Red Sox, so it was a good game. Well, a good game if you're a Mariners fan. (Technically I'm a Yankees fan, but I'm slowing converting to a Mariners fan.)

The people sitting in front of us were Red Sox fans :( Actually, there were quite a few Red Sox fans at the game. There was even a few times when it seemed like the crowd was singing "let's go Red Sox!" I was surprised because I've never heard a crowd cheering so loudly for the away team before... even at a Yankees and Mets game!

My kids had a great time. I got lots of comments from people around us saying how cute they are and how well behaved they were. At one point, the 6 year old shouted, "I hope Ichiro scores a point!" The girl behind us started laughing and making fun of him. But when she saw him so sad, she apologized, smiled and said, "I hope he scores a point too!" It was cute and made him feel better. It's a good thing we didn't make fun of her earlier. When a player named "Cairo" was up, she said, "Oh Look! His name is Cairo, just like the country!"

Somewhere around the 7th inning the kids were sitting under the seats. They were reading books in their tent. They weren't bothering anyone and I didn't think much about it. Then my 4 year old spilled his drink and the floor was wet. So I made the kids sit back in the seats. The drink made the floor in front of him wet, but that was the only thing that was wet. I didn't think much about it.

About an hour later, the game was over, the Mariners won and we picked up our stuff and left. As we were walking out, the girl sitting in front of us said that her bag was wet from the drink my son spilled. I guess after an hour, it dripped down to the floor of the seats in front of us. I felt a little bad, but because of the way she was yelling at me, I just smiled and kept walking. Then she shouted, "watch your d@mn kids!" Ok, this made me a little angry. I gave her a dirty look but didn't say anything. Then my husband comes over and says loud enough for her to hear, "She's just mad because she's a Red Sox fan." Next thing I know, her father comes over and starts yelling at me. I can't remember everything he said, but something about how I need to watch my kids and what I did to his daughter was "inexcusable." Umm... She approached me and started yelling and I didn't say anything! So I said that if she's your daughter, "it seems like you need to watch your kid." He threatened to call security, which I thought was a good idea. My husband didn't like this guy yelling at me and he started calling for security. Security never came and the father and daughter left.

So the Mariner's won, my kids had a great time, my in-laws had a great time and my husband and I almost got attacked by some Red Sox fans. Here's a picture of my kids cheering for Ichiro! How can anyone be mad those cute faces????

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Like Apples and Tomatoes

I'm sure you looked at this picture and thought it might be oranges, but the box states that they are tomatoes. Those are some of the biggest tomatoes I've ever seen!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not Much Time to Write

My in-laws arrived from Japan this morning. They bring great gifts and spoil everyone!

So not much time to write (but who is really surfing the net on Memorial Day weekend anyway??). Here's something my 4 year old asked me the other day when we went to the store to buy eggs, "Do eggs give you eczema?" It was hard not to laugh. He was soooo serious! What a cute little Frankenstein I have! ;)

Friday, May 23, 2008

3 times and I'm done!

My 4 year old is feeling much better today. Here he is smiling on the couch.

And here is a picture of the Frankenstein scar behind his ear.

He saw this picture on my computer screen and asked me what it was. When I told him it was the boo boo behind his ear, he started to cry. It's a good thing he can't see behind his ear! It does look much better today. The bruising and swelling have gone down a lot and he hasn't complained about it hurting at all. So now that he is feeling better, I got an email from my kindergartner's teacher. He got hit in the head with the swing at recess. They put some ice on it and he's ok. You know these things always happen in threes. Don't worry, we took care of #3 this afternoon.

My kindergartner tried to lock me out of the house. He pushed against the door to the garage. I pushed back and it hit him on the forehead. More ice and again he's fine. But that was #3. So that's it for me. Now it must be someone else's turn!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Little Stressed???

Last night was a lot of fun. Yes, that is sarcasm you hear. After my kids took about 40 minutes to eat a simple dinner, I started their bath. My 6 year got undressed and went right in the tub. The 4 year old put his foot in the water and then changed his mind. He said it was too hot. So he sat on the edge of the tub and fell backwards. He landed on his ear on the footstool in the bathroom. He was crying. a. lot.

I knew immediately that this was no ordinary fall. The blood gushing on the bathroom rug helped me figure that out, and the screams and cries too. I tried to get a look at his ear, but there was too much blood. I told my older son to hurry and get washed. I called my neighbor. She couldn't hear my talking, but she could hear the screaming and knew something was wrong. She's a great neighbor! She took my 6 year old and I rushed the 4 year old to the ER. (This is the same neighbor who has been known to call me around 8 or 9 at night and tell me to meet her at the end of the driveway with my wine glass. After that, I told my husband that we are never going to move.)

At the ER they "glued" my son's ear back on. It wasn't completely off. The front was still attached. Today you can't tell anything was wrong if you saw him from the front, but a look from the back and he might be mistaken for Frankenstein. It's a good thing he can't see it himself. His older brother is very freaked out about it. The older brother said, "I thought they were going to fix his ear at the hospital? Why does it still look like that?"

Of course this drama is not helping to reduce my stress and ease my migraines. I've had a headache since about dinner time last night. Did I mention that my in-laws are coming from Japan this weekend? And Sunday is my husband's 40th birthday? Yeah, I might have a few things that I need to get done this week.

Today I did manage to get some more cleaning done. I cleaned out the fridge. I took everything off the shelves and cleaned them in the sink. I was a little afraid to take out the shelves. They're glass and what if I break one? The only thing worse than dirty shelves in the fridge when your in-laws come is having broken shelves in the fridge :S Yeah, that might be as embarrassing as not watching your son so that he falls and almost slices his ear off!

You know what's nice about having other mom friends? They can all relate to how it feels when your kid gets hurt. Everyone has sympathetic story about what happened when her kids got hurt and ended up at the E.R. Feel free to share yours here! And one day I'll have to tell you about a crazy mom who let her 2 year old his break his leg. Yup, that would be me. But not the same son, the older brother. I think one ER story per day meets the quota, so that will have to wait.

So please, no one make a mess in my house until after the in-laws leave. And no one else get hurt. And no more headaches. And no more bills. And no more rain. And I could go on and on... Where is that magic wand when you need one????

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It Finally Came Down!

I have good news. I know you have all been up at night wondering when it will finally come down and last night it did. It came down and I threw it in the trash. I'm very relieved that it came down before my in-laws arrive in 3 days. I might be a little embarrassed to still have Easter decorations up. Yes, I'm talking about the Easter balloon that my kids removed the string from and then sent it up to the skylight on top of the staircase. It's the end of May (I know I just heard a few people say, "wait! It's only the middle of May!" But check your calendar, May 21st counts as the end of the May!) So you can all sleep better tonight knowing that the balloon is finally down. It could be worse. My neighbor said her son had (notice the past tense there) a nerf gun that shoots suction cup darts. One dart stuck to her skylight and it never came down. Wouldn't it be fun to get her son a new nerf suction cup dart gun for his birthday? ;) You think that might be a little funny? mean? cruel? Guess what my son got for his birthday last month... A nerf suction cup dart gun. He's not allowed to play with it inside the house. I prefer suction cup darts to be stuck in the gutter thankyouverymuch.

On another note, this weekend my kids opened a new box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Did you know that Cinnamon Toast Crunch has put speed racer cars inside specially marked boxes? No? My kids saw the box and since it shows 4 different cars, they weren't satisfied with finding one car. There must be 3 more cars in the box!

I came downstairs to find the kitchen table covered in sugar. My 6 year old was quick to tell me that his brother got the only car that was in the cereal box. He was sure the second, third and fourth cars were still in the box, because that's what the picture showed. He wanted me to search for it. The sugar covered table gave me a hint that he had already searched. My husband sat down and poured himself a bowl of cereal.

I questioned my son: "Did you already get the car out of the cereal box?"

My son: "Yes, but only one and the box says there are 4 in the box."

Me: "No, the box says there is one of these 4 cars inside."

Son: "ohhhhh."

Me: "Did you dump out all of the cereal to find the car?"

Son: "yeahhhhh."

Me: "Then did you put it all back in the box?"

Son: "Yeahhhhh."

At this point my husband looks up and says, "is that what I'm eating?!" Cereal that's been dumped on the table and searched, the breakfast of champions!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


A friend forwarded this email to me and I thought it was funny. Enjoy!


Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks. Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes. There is no fast food. Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook,do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money. In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time--no emailing. Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, dentist appointment and a haircut appointment. He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care. He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times. The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties. They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting. They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if...he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice. If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right To be called Mother!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Pediatrician is MIA

Ah, it's Monday again! The day when my husband goes back to work and my son goes to school and it's just me and the 4 year old home alone. The day when I get my house back in order. I have time to clean and organize or I could end up spending all morning at the pediatrician's office and never actually see a doctor!

My 4 year old got a rash this weekend. Mostly some small red bumps on his forehead and the back of his neck. At first, I only noticed that it was red and I assumed he had a little sunburn. Then I saw the bumps and the more I looked at it, the more my imagination got carried away! Maybe he had measles or chicken pox. Maybe he had bird flu or mad cow. Maybe this was a whole new kind of rash (Yeah, I don't think bird flu or mad cow comes with spots either, but you know, moms just worry anyway).

This morning I called and made an appointment with the pediatrician for 10:20. About 5 minutes later the receptionist calls back and says that doctor is sick today and reschedules me to see someone else at 10:45. No problem. We get there around 10:40. Lots of people come in after us and they get called back. The same people then walk back through the waiting room and leave. We're still waiting. We waited 45 minutes in the waiting room! You think they could have at least been polite and snuck those other people out the back instead of parading them right in front of us! I swear, I heard one mom telling her child to stop taunting us, "Ha Ha! We've already seen the doctor and you're still waiting."

Finally my son gets called back. And I find out that my appointment is with the nurse practitioner. I'm not against NP's, but I haven't been impressed with this particular NP in the past. Don't worry, today was no different.

She thinks the rash may be an allergic reaction to the sunscreen. Or maybe its eczema. Or maybe it's both. At least she could confirm that it's not measles or chicken pox, although she didn't say anything about bird flu or mad cow...

I put some hydrocortisone cream on the bumps and an eczema cream everywhere else. Hopefully it will go away before my in-laws arrive on Saturday!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Miracle Recovery

In case you are wondering, we finally did make it to the zoo on Friday. Here is a pic of my son at the lion's cage. The lion is sleeping right in front of the window. You know what they say, "Let sleeping lions lie!"

Yesterday my older son had a T-ball game. As I mentioned before T-ball is very fair sport. This time my son and another child on his team were racing for a ball that was hit into the outfield. The other child got the ball and my son got a bloody elbow. Luckily it was the last inning of the game. He was crying and saying how he needed to go home right away and put ice on it. He needed a bandaid and an ambulance etc... Kids can be so dramatic!

It was bleeding. I cleaned it off and we got a bandaid, but he still wanted the ice, and he insisted it was broken. So I said that we were going home and he could put some ice on it. As soon I pulled into the driveway, my son announced that his elbow was now heeled. He was in a hurry to go play with the boy next door. It's funny how easily kids can get "hurt" and just how easily they are "healed."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Counting Down

The countdown has begun. Only 8 days left till my in-laws arrive. They live in Japan, so they don't visit too often. The last time we saw them was 2 years ago. So that means that I only have 7 days left to procrastinate! I have lots of cleaning and organizing that needs to be done and their visit is the perfect excuse.

I was supposed to take my son to the zoo this morning with a friend of mine, but her daughter got sick overnight. I found out when I called this morning to see if she was ready to go. So I could be using this time to fold the laundry, do the dishes and clean the floor. Yesterday my kids were playing with their remote control cars in the dirt. Then they decided to clean them in the garage. Do you know what happens when you mix dirt and water... Yup, mud ends up on my floor! It's by the garage door and since I didn't go out the garage door after dinner, I didn't notice till this morning. The kids don't see anything wrong with leaving mud on the floor. But they were quick to point out that I had missed one piece of grass when I mowed the lawn. They pointed at it and started yelling and repeating, "Oopsie! You missed one, mom!" That didn't make me want to put my kids in a box and send to some far away place... instead I went inside and a rum and coke for dinner. It had just been that kind of day week.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Earthquake Drill?!

Today I volunteered at my son's kindergarten class. Aside from sorting papers and sharpening pencils, I got to help with the Earthquake drill. I don't think I was really much help because I did not grow up in an Earthquake area. I grew up in Pennsylvania. We practiced fire drills and eating tastykakes! (OMG I miss those!)

The teacher was very prepared. You Stop, Duck and Cover for the Earthquake drill, and I assume for an earthquake too. Then you line up and go outside to the edge of the playground where the electrical wires go overhead. Yes, that looks like the safest place to wait while they search the school for injured people.

I have never experienced an earthquake. I moved here 2 years ago. Somethings out here are just different. Like the surplus of terriyaki restaurants. I don't understand this terriyaki obsession in the Seattle area. I think terriyaki restaurants outnumber Starbucks here 3 to 1 and everyone knows how many Starbucks overwhelm the Seattle streets!

I have a friend who I used to work with. She moved here about 5 years ago from Texas, another place that is not known for earthquakes. Like me, she never had to practice earthquake drills. A few years ago, there was a small earthquake here while she was at work (this was before I moved here). Everyone in the company stopped, ducked and went for cover under their desks. Everyone except my friend. It took a minute to understand what was going on. She thought it was funny that suddenly her chair was rolling all over the place! By the time someone yelled at her to stop laughing and rolling around on her chair and to get under her desk, the shaking had stopped. The moral of the story is that earthquake drills aren't just for kids! Don't forget us new-Washingtonians! We need drills too!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Say What???

My 4 year was watching Dora the Explorer today. She taught him how to say "Blue" in Spanish, "azul." I found him shouting, "Ash-hull" at the TV which sounds a little too close to something a 4 year old should not be saying. I hope he doesn't decide to repeat that in public :S

Thanks Dora!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Making Meatballs

Do you remember the Swedish chef on the Muppets? He was always making meatballs and singing about making meatballs. Well today I made 5 pounds of meatballs, and I'm a vegetarian! I made them for my husband and kids. They are meatatarians.

I wasn't always a vegetarian. I grew up in an Italian household. I had my share of spaghetti with meatballs, homemade lasagna, sausage and onions, tortellini etc. If there was a pasta covered in sauce, I ate it! My mom did all of the cooking and teaching us kids how to cook wasn't a priority for her. She figured when we were ready to learn we would ask her and learn.

So when I moved it and started living on my own, I was ready to learn how to cook. I asked my mom how to make meatballs. I couldn't really ask for a copy of her recipe since she never writes any of her recipes down. So this how the conversation goes.

Me: Mom, What's the recipe for your meatballs.

Mom: There is no recipe. I just use whatever I have.

Me: Well, what do you usually have when you make meatballs.

Mom: Some ground meat and spices.

Me: (with pen and paper handy staring into my spice cabinet) Like salt and pepper?

Mom: Yeah, a little and some garlic and onion powder and parsley.

Me: anything else?

Mom: Some eggs too.

Me: Eggs?

Mom: and some breadcrumbs.(now she's on a roll)

Me: Ok, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, eggs and breadcrumbs....

Mom: and sometimes milk.

Me: Sometimes?

Mom: yeah...

Me: Ok, how much meat and how many eggs?

Mom: A package of meat and about 2 eggs

Me: What size package?

Mom: The one that's in the store.

Me: Ohhhhh... (still not sure how much meat or anything else to use).

Mom: Then roll it into balls and bake it till its done.

Me: What temperature and for how long? (my pen is still ready to go, but the paper remains empty...)

Mom: About 350 or 400, my oven never works right, ya know. And take it out when its done.

Me: Ok, I'll try it. (This really means I'll wait till next time I visit then I'll ask her to make meatballs and get better notes ;) )

That was about 12 years ago. Now I can make meatballs (with compliments from my husband and kids) and I still don't have a recipe written down. In fact, I think writing this conversation for my blog is as close to an actual recipe for my mom's meatballs as I've ever seen!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm Cheerios, What are you?

I'm Cheerios.

Like other Cheerios eaters, you want to be a responsible adult.But you can't help but still be a kid at heart!You try to make good decisions. You're a clean cut, conscientious person.You're the type of person who would never skip breakfast.Part of you thinks that breakfast is too important to miss...But a bigger part of you knows it's too fun to miss!
What are you?

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

And the Winner Is...

I'm still learning how to set up my blog. I hope you like the new look in here. I can't say how long it's going to stay, but I'll give it a test drive for a while. ;)

Today my kids had a contest to see who could get the dirtiest. We had T-ball practice on a "field" that was covered in dirt. Not just dirt, but a dry powdery dirt that surrounded each player with a cloud of dust every time he took a step. It was like Pigpen on Charlie Brown, but not just one pigpen, a whole T-ball team of pigpens! The kids decided it was more fun to play with the dirt than with the ball. They used their hats as buckets for collecting the dirt.

My 4 year old is too young to join the team. He brought 2 of his hot wheels cars to play with in the dirt. He likes to use the cars to make tracks in the dirt. That means he crawls around the "field" to make sure he gets his pants as dirty as possible. After the practice, I wiped off their hands and put them in the car. The younger one spilled his water bottle in his lap and he is wet, but clean, for a few minutes until we get home. Then he changed his pants and both kids went outside.

Our neighbor, who is also 4, was outside and they decided to use the sidewalk chalk on the road. (We live in a cul de sac and they think the circle in front is their private property. The other neighbors must love us!) So now all 3 kids' hands are covered with chalk. Somehow they get the idea to lay down on the street and trace their bodies (like a crime scene) with the chalk. They color in the drawings so that the drawings are completely filled with chalk and then.... They decide to lay back down in the drawings! Now chalk is in their hair, and completely covering their backs. But that is enough to win the most dirty contest. They have to lay down on their bellies too and move their arms and legs like they are making chalk angels. And the Winner is my older son for the dirtiest only because the younger had to get changed between the dirt and the chalk. At least chalk doesn't stain!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Don't Believe Everything You See In the News

Lately there have been several news stories about saving money. With the cost of gas and groceries rising, the housing market going down, saving money is becoming important to a lot of people. I'm a couponer. I don't just use coupons when I do my weekly grocery shopping. Couponing is a hobby for me. I enjoy reading the sales and matching up the coupons with the sale items, rebates and catalina promotions. I go to at least once a day. I do have times when I give up and I don't coupon for a while. I know lots of people think I'm crazy when I buy 40 packages of cat food treats when I don't even have a cat!

When I read the recent news stories about how to save money, they say to buy in bulk and buy generic. Generic? Really??? They suggest washing and re-using plastic sandiwch bags. I have to smile as I sit here wondering how I'm going to fit all 12 bags of Ghiradelli chocolates into my cabinet. I also have to find a hiding place for 6 packages of Nabisco cookies I got this week and don't forget the Pepperidge Farm Milanos! I got the plastic bags free (with slight overage) last week so no need to ration them in my house. My cabinets are overflowing as a result of my coupon hobby and none of it is generic! I'm not against buying generic, but there aren't many coupons or rebates or catalinas for generic items.

Today I went to Safeway and I got 12 Hallmark cards, 2 12-packs of Dasani water, 2 12-packs of coke, broccoli, 4 bags of Ghiradelli chocolates, 4 packages of Silk soymilk and 2 Power bars. My total after coupons was $5.50 and I got $5 off my next order. Afterwards I noticed that I was overcharged on my broccoli! It rang up $3.99/lb instead of $0.99/lb! Since I only bought enough for tonight's dinner, the difference is only $1.48. I will also send in my receipt and the UPC's from the Ghiradellis so that I can get a free movie ticket (up to $12). That was a good shopping trip.

I know my family cannot eat just those items. I went to Albertsons today and used my raincheck for ground beef and my $10 off your next order coupon and I got 10 pounds of beef, 1 steak and 2 ham steaks. I paid $6.68 there. I got free Nabisco and Pepperidge Farm cookies at Walgreens too. No, I didn't spend hours driving all over the place. These stores are less than a half mile apart! I don't wait to buy things when my family needs them, I buy them when the sale is right.

Couponing is really a hobby for me. Not everyone has the time for this and not everyone enjoys it. I enjoy finding the deals and making them work. I like having lots of items in my cupboards to choose from and not have to "save" money by buying generic. I never shop at Costco! I have no idea where all these news people come up with their "money saving" information, but if you ask me, they should find a new source!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sinus infection?

I don't feel much like writing tonight. I have a headache and I think this lady may have given me her sinus infection. Make sure you wash your hands and use purell after visiting her site ;)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The moral of the story is...

I wanted to get my son excited about playing T-ball. I reserved a book at the library called, "The Big Tee Ball Game." I read it to him this week. It's about a T-ball team that is playing an undefeated T-ball opponent in the "The Big Game." One child wants to win so badly that she puts some gum on the tee so that when the other team hits the ball, the ball doesn't move off the tee. In the end, she confesses and the other team still wins. But everyone is happy that she told the truth and winning is not the most important thing. So after finishing the book, I asked my son what he learned from this book. His answer was that she have used glue instead of gum. Another proud parent moment :S

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cannon Ball!

This title has to be read with the enthusiasm of a 12 year running down the diving board and then jumping with his knees held tightly to his chest! Then imagine my kids doing the same thing off the edge of the hot tub while my husband and I duck for cover.

This weekend we went in the hot tub one night after dinner. I don't talk about the hot tub much because we don’t' use it much. It came with the house. I thought I would love it. I thought I would use it every day. Then I realized that I either have to go in really late after the kids go to bed and hope neither wakes up while I'm in the hot tub, or I have to take the kids in the hot tub with me. I think I've stayed up really late only twice in the 2 years we've lived here. The rest of the time the kids go in too. This only happens about once every 6 weeks because that's how long it takes to forget how much fun it is to go in the hot with 2 little kids.

Did you ever consider wearing goggles while "relaxing" in the hot tub? My kids have learned how to do cannon balls into the hot tub. It's very relaxing when you're constantly wiping water out of our eyes and trying to use your hand to protect your face from the cannon balls. And the kids like to play with the jets. So they go on and off while you're trying to use them. That's a lot of fun! Our hot tub also has a flat jet on the sides that shoots water out in a straight line like a small waterfall. The strength of the waterfall is adjustable. So the kids can try to crank it up so the 2 waterfalls will touch in the middle of the hot tub.

Eventually, they stop doing cannon balls, and stop playing with the controls. Now they are bored. There aren't many games to play while "relaxing" in the hot tub. So the kids start pretending to be different kinds of water animals. They like to be an octopus or a crab. Their favorite is being a clam because clams live in the sand and spit water up at people on the beach. I didn't realize this at first. I thought having the kids pretend to be a clam would mean they might sit still and be quiet for a few minutes. Instead they started spitting... Yes, the hot tub is very relaxing, so relaxing that one night was enough to last me for at least 6 weeks!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How to get House Projects Done

This weekend was pretty good. We got a lot of things done around the house. We put up the Boys Day decoration. Actually my husband put it up. It's a very elaborate doll with a sword and mask and a fancy paper thing. I'm not allowed to touch it. He even wears white gloves when he puts it out and when he puts it away each year. For those who don't know, Boys day is May 5th and it's a big deal in Japan. My kids are excited although I have nothing special planned... yet!

This year I reminded my husband that Boys Day was getting close and he should set up the decoration. I did this for two reasons. First, I do think its good for the kids to experience their Japanese roots and of course, the more holidays, the better, right? But also I knew that the only place to put this elaborate and fragile decoration was on top of the entertainment center. But there was no room on top of the entertainment center because my husband already has an elaborate set up there. We have a cable modem, a cable phone, a router and I'm not sure what all the other electronic looking devices are, but they take up the whole entertainment center! It could be worse, we used to have a whole computer up there for a while. But I made him move it last year for the Christmas decorations. My mistake was that I thought when he said he was going to move the computer that would mean moving all of those computer accessories too. But I was wrong. And since I have no idea about how these things work and all the wires involved, I did my best to strategically arrange pictures and things in front. But it still looked like pictures in front of computer clutter. So when I reminded my husband about Boys Day and he couldn't think of another place to put the decoration, he finally moved the computer clutter! It only took me about 2 years and now its finally gone! The clutter didn't move far. It's on the bookshelf next to the entertainment center, but at least its not the first thing you see when you walk in the room. And the decoration does look very nice. Feel free to stop by and see it sometime :P

This weekend, we also got a new swingset. Well, new to us at least. Our neighbors had moved and left it at the house and we ran over and stole it. The new neighbor kids are in high school and college so they have no use for it and they offered it to us. Today we took it apart and carried it into our yard. Then we disagreed about where to put it and now its still in pieces along the fence. Hopefully by next weekend it will be reassembled. My husband decided he didn't want it on the UFO landing pad. Did you know we have a UFO landing pad in our backyard? The people who lived here before us had an above ground pool. It killed the grass and we planted new grass there. The new grass is a lovely green, one shade darker than the rest of the yard and it makes a nice circle, like a UFO landing pad. So now the aliens know where to go whenever they get lost. Oh, so my husband wanted to make sure the UFO landing pad was kept in tact, or I think he may have something about it not being completely level. So he wants to move the swingset to the bottom of the cliff. Yes, we are lucky enough to have both a cliff and a UFO landing pad in our backyard! I call it the cliff but really its a very steep slope covered with ivy. The bottom is a little swampy towards the middle. But there is a good amount of level space there for a swingset. The other nice thing about the bottom of the cliff is that I can see it easily from my kitchen window and I won't need to install one of those huge convex mirrors so that I can watch the kids playing on the UFO landing pad more on the side of the house.

Since I had to agree with my dear husband that it would be a great idea to put the swingset there, that would mean that he would finally have to put steps down the cliff slope so that the kids can get down there easily without having to trip over the ivy. And he agreed! Only 3 years on this task. But it's not really over. We have 4 steps in now and pieces of a swingset lined up along the fence right. Hopefully this will get done soon, because I still need to find a way for him to stain the deck. His excuse for not doing it so far is that it can't rain for at least 3 days after he does it... have I mentioned before that we live in the Seattle area??? I suppose we could move to LA and that might help with the rain problem.

Friday, May 2, 2008

No TV Week

My son's school had a "No TV Week." All the kids were supposed to go one week without watching TV, using the computer or playing video games. The parents had to sign a paper stating that their kids went the whole week without these things. The reward was some ice cream. This meant the parents couldn't do any of those things either, at least not while the kids were around. Let me just say that I freely admit that I am addicted to the Internet. I feel completely lost whenever my computer isn't working. How will I know the weather, or what's on sale at the stores, or look up a recipe for brownies, or chat with my friends?! So not using the computer for a week would be a big problem for me. I can normally do without the tv and the phone, but please don't take away my computer. That's the main reason I married my husband. I needed someone who would always make my computer addiction a priority. Yes, that is sarcasm you hear. Actually I think his influence is partly what caused my addiction. That reminds me, he signed up for the "quit smoking" program through his company's health plan. He gets to try the nicotine patch, gum and whatever new things are out now. I wonder if there is a patch or gum to help with my computer addiction and if the insurance would cover it??

So usually a week of no TV is not a problem, but why didn't do the school do this during the writer's strike when there was nothing worth watching anyway??? How many reality shows can one watch? Ok, well that "Keeping up with Kardashians" (sp?) can be pretty funny and Mike Row is kinda cute but it didn't keep me entertained for long. The school has their "No TV Week" the week that all shows come back with all new episodes!!! What were they thinking?! So we didn't participate in the "No TV Week." Sometimes I actually wish my kids would watch more TV. There have been days (especially when they are home all day in the summer) when I'm practically begging them to sit for just 10 minutes so I can get something done. I think their attention spans are less than 2 minutes! It never works.

For those who have been asking about my couponing or bargain grocery shopping or whatever you want to call it, here is what I did today. Today I got some shopping done. At Albertsons I got 2 bags of Tostitos, 2 jars of salsa, 1 gallon of milk, 1 pound of baby carrots, 2 tomatoes, 10 bottles of Tobasco sauce and paid $9.18. I was disappointed because I thought that I had enough to be at $10 and then would have used my coupon for $10 off your next order. Turns out the tomatoes weighed less than I thought. So I paid $9.18 and will send in for the $8 Tostitos rebate and use the $10 off next time :)

I also went to Safeway and got 4 boxes of Quaker strawberry bars, 3.5 pounds of apples, 2 boxes of capri sun, 1 Ben & Jerry's mini cup, 5 power bars and 4 avocados. I paid $5.10 and still have 2 coupons for $5 off to use in addition to the $10 off that I couldn't use because my total was less than $10 again....

The last stop was Rite Aid. I picked up my prescription (I have sinus issues :( ) and got the $20 giftcard for transferring it to Rite Aid. My insurance covered the prescription, so $0 out of pocket for that. I bought the new kids Listerine mouthwash that is free after the rite aid rebate this week and used the $1 coupon from the paper, so I made $1 (minus tax) by buying it. Of course I used my giftcard, so nothing out of pocket. There was also a display with a "try me free" manufacturer's rebate, so I can mail in my receipt and get another $2.99. Now I just hope that my kids actually like this mouthwash!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!

Happy First day of May aka May Day! Today my kindergartner made a paper flower wreath at school. He was so proud of it. We hung it on the door at home. He went outside to play and picked a flower for me because it is May Day. He picked the only tulip in the yard that had bloomed. How sweet! I know he meant well, but shouldn't someone have known better than to teach kindergartners about giving flowers for any reason?! Well, at least May Day still makes a good enough reason to celebrate. So I baked brownies today. And I don't mean with the help of Betty Crocker. I made these from scratch! I even had to go to the store and buy cocoa powder for these! I didn't have the right size pan and I forgot to flour the pan before pouring the batter in, but you can't really go wrong when you mix chocolate, sugar, butter and eggs and then put chocolate icing on top. They are delicious! A few are still left on the counter, so feel free to help yourself ;)

This morning I volunteered at my son's school. I have no idea why anyone would want to become a kindergarten teacher. 19 kids age 5-6 all day long?! That is crazy! I can barely handle my own two kids. His teacher is wonderful. I get to sit in the back for a few hours and cut things out, fill up folders and count papers. When I came home, I did some chores and painted my toenails. I am ready for sandal season to begin. The calendar may say its May, but it still feels like March around here :(