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!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is Good News???

Yesterday when I came home there was a message on my answering machine. It was from my financial advisor who usually never returns my calls. Since I hadn't been trying to call him, I was surprised to hear his voice on the answering machine.

He told me that he had "good news." The money that I had deposited to my son's college account never went through. There was a mixup with the advisor's name on the account. He's going to send me some paperwork in the mail for me to sign to get it fixed. He went on to say that the money I deposited (in June) has been sitting in the account as cash (instead of invested in the various stocks or whatever else do with those kind of accounts). Since the stock market has gone down 20% recently, that meant it was good news for me that the money was still cash because it didn't lose 20% like the rest of my son's college savings account.

Somehow his message of "good news" didn't leave me feeling very good.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Would you like ants with that?

Today my 4 year old wanted to know if people live at the bottom of the world in the arctic. The conversation went something like this:

4 year old: Mom, do people live at the bottom of the world in the arctic?

Me: Honey, the bottom of the world is called Antarctica. The top of the world is the Arctic.

4 year old: Nooooo. I'm talking about the bottom of the world with the ice.

Me: The bottom is Antarctica. The top is called the Arctic.

4 year old: (clearly getting frustrated now) Noooooo. Mom, I mean the plain one!

Me: The plain one? (I'm trying to think if there are any plains in the Arctic or Antarctica.)

4 year old: Yes, the plain one. Do people live in the plain one?

Me: Uhhhhhh (completely confused)

4 year old: (almost ready to throw a tantrum because I'm not able to answer his question about people living on the "plain one.") You know the one without the ants. Do people live on the plain Arctic?

Me: Ohhhh! You mean the Arctic is plain because "ant" is part of Antarctica?

4 year old: Duhhh (ok, he didn't actually say that, but the look he gave me said it loud and clear!)

Me: I think Santa Claus lives in the Arctic.

4 year old: OK (finally satisfied with an answer).

Some how Santa seemed like a perfectly logical answer to that logical conversation.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Did He Just Call Me Old?????

Do you remember the first time someone called you "Ma'am" as opposed to "Miss"? Ok, so this may not apply directly to my male readers, but you know what I mean.

Today I went for an interview. I applied for a part time job writing consumer reviews for a new website. The interviewer looked to be in his mid to late 20's. He asked about my writing experience and Internet experience. I told him about my blog and about the online communities and message boards that I participate in. Then he said something to the effect of, "we don't find the older generation using the Internet as much for browsing as we do the younger generation." I have only been referred to as the "older generation" by my little sister who is 10 year younger than me. She's really more like a niece than a sister to me.

Well interviewer, I'm a 30 something stay at home mom who uses the Internet all the time! My computer almost never turns off during the day. I search for all kinds of things. I meet new people all the time. I visit new blogs every day! And I'm not the only one!

Moms are also a large consumer group. We make decisions about our families clothes, food, vacations, entertainment, education, house repairs and services! My husband doesn't actually buy much of anything on his own. He asks me to do it!

Let me get off my soap box now.

In other news, I convinced my 6 year old to let the ants in his ant farm go. (If you missed the entry about the ants, you can read about them here.) So I no longer purposely keep insects in my house. But I did tell him that we could look for new ants next week or possibly even order new ants in the mail. The company makes the ant farm also has a mail order business for ants. I certainly hope this business isn't run out of someone's house. Could you imagine having to keep that many ants in your house on a regular basis? And then prepare them for shipping? So don't laugh if soon I'm tell you that I actually ordered ants to come to my house through the mail.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thanks Uncle!

I got an unexpected phone call today from my uncle. I haven't talked to him in over 2 years since I moved to Washington from New Jersey. He's always been the uncle that I was closest too and it was great to hear from him.

He called because he ran into an old friend of mine (and yes, I did just call her old! :P ) at a bar in Kearny, NJ (that's pronounced CAR knee). He said talking to her made him think of me and he just had to call and see how I was doing. His calling really made my night!

I've made a lot of good friends here in Washington, but I don't have much of a past with any of them. The longest I've known any of them is 2.5 years! But most of my friends I met only a year ago. So we share a lot of common complaints about bills, traffic, kids and husbands. We share laughter in the good times and drinks in the bad times.

But there's no one here in Washington like my uncle who'll say, "remember that time when you were 5 and you refused to go to school because you wanted to the spend the entire day with me?" There's no one here who'll say, "your cousin is turning into you. She's so stubborn these days!" There's no one here who will say, "How ya doin?" and mean it. There are lots of people here who will say, "How ya doin?" just to mock my "accent." (I don't really have an accent. I don't know why people don't pronounce the "w" in Dawn or the "w" in talk like I do :P )

So it was good to hear from my uncle. It was good know that I can be the missing link for people meeting thousands of miles away. It's good to keep in touch with your past. Uncle, thanks for calling!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It Always Happens

On Sunday my husband washed both cars.
On Monday it rained.
Tuesday evening I watered the lawn.
Tuesday night it rained.

On Saturday I signed the kids up for swimming lessons. The swimming lessons are Monday thru Thursday for 2 weeks from 4:20-4:50.
On Monday I found out that my 6 year old's soccer team is starting lessons this week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30.

And so it goes...

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Today we went to the beach on Whidbey Island. My husband and I came home exhausted. The kids came home with more energy than ever.

I fell asleep on the couch after dinner. Then my 4 year old came over and gave me "Teddy," his teddy bear that he sleeps with every night. My husband asked my 4 year old why he gave "Teddy" to mommy.

Daddy: Why did you give Teddy to mommy?

4 year old: Because mommy is sick and Teddy will make her feel better.

Daddy: Mommy is sick????

4 year old: Yes, mommy is sick. She has the hiccups.

Yes, it is true. I did have the hiccups for about 10 minutes when we were walking on the beach earlier today. That was so sweet of him!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What is it Rated?

I took my 6 year old to Michael's craft store today. He likes doing arts and crafts (my 4 year old only recently stopped saying "arts and craps").

I had no idea what to buy. So many of the kids crafts are geared for girls. My boys have no interest in making a tiara or magic wand. Now if that magic wand became a sword, we might have something.

The main problem is that I want something that my kids can do themselves. I don't like those projects that say for kids age 3-5 and then when I open the box, my child can't do it. A tantrum follows and I spend hours trying to glue eyes the size of fleas onto a peanut shell but they inevitably stick to my thumb instead and I can't get it off without ripping my skin.

So here's what I think the craft kit makers should do. They should implement a new rating system, similar to the movie rating system. So each kit will have to be rated by an independent authority of some sort. (And no, I'm not volunteering for this job. I have had enough of flea eyeballs and yarn hair!) So printed on the outside of each box should have an accurate age level that can complete the project.

It should also state the length of time it will take a child to complete the task. For instance, I would be willing to spend more money on a kit that keeps my kids busy for 2 hours instead of a kit that only lasts 15 minutes and ends with crying because tab A is three times larger than slot B which its supposed to easily slide into.

Wouldn't it be great to see craft kits on the shelves that said, "Rated G for kids ages 3-5, 45 minutes of activity guaranteed"?! And next to it would be a huge pile (because no one would buy it) of boxes labeled, "Rated PhD for IQ's 150 and up. Requires a microscope and patience of a saint to complete within one lifetime."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Please DoNot Spit on Walls, or on your Brother

My husband took a picture of this sign last week during his trip to India. This sign was posted on a shrine. Oh, and I like how they made "donot" one word.

Sometimes, I think I need one of these signs in my house, although I would delete the words, "on walls" so that the sign simply says, "Please donot spit."

Last week my kids asked me to buy them slurpees, so being a nice mom, I did. We went home. I started to put away the groceries and check my email when I hear some fighting going on in the family room, in the carpeted family room. I went into the family room to discover that my kids had decided the slurpees were great for spitting at each other. Sorry 7/11 but it will be a very long time before I ever buy slurpees again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

So Simple

I tried to get my son excited about the Olympics. Since he's currently taking swimming lessons, I pointed out the swimmers and told him that these are the fastest swimmers in the world. He wasn't impressed. He told me that he can swim fast too. So I went on to tell him that they practiced for several years (he only started taking swimming lessons within the last year). And that they practice for several hours every day (his lessons are only 30 minutes at a time). He still wasn't impressed. After watching the first race, he began to show some interest.

Today when his class was over, he sat with me on the bench beside the pool to watch his younger brother's swimming lesson. Then he turned to me and said, "Mom, wouldn't it be a good idea to have the Olympics here next time?"

Me: Here? as in this pool?

6 year old son: Yeah, in this pool.

Me: Do you think it's big enough?

6 year old son: Sure! It's the same size as the one on TV.

Me: But do you think the building is big enough? Where would they put all the people who come to watch?

6 year old son: (thinks for a moment and then responds) They could all bring their own chairs!

If only everything in life were that simple ;)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sports Overload

I love football! I'm a big Eagles fan. Although I will also cheer for the Giants and now even the Seahawks. I was told that if you're a Seahawks fan, then you're not actually from Seattle. I think this is true. When you ask a native Seattlite who their favorite football team is, they will almost definitely say either the Cougs or the Huskies.

So this weekend started NFL's preseason (I'm not even going to comment on Farve). I have been looking forward to watching football ever since the season ended! But why do they have to overlap with the Olympics??? What were they thinking?!

I'm convinced this was a plan by the cable company. They are upset that I still haven't upgraded to all of those fancy options. So I can't Tivo the game while I watch the Olympics or vice versa. The problem is that I just don't have that much time to watch TV (I'm busy blogging, you know ;) ).

In reality the kids monopolize the TV in our house. When the kids aren't watching TV I might be able to watch what I wanted if I wasn't busy keeping the kids out of trouble. So I'm either busy doing something with the kids or I'm begging them to watch TV so I can have a glass of wine get something done around the house.

Now everyone who doesn't have kids says, "can't you just watch TV once the kids are in bed?" The answer is sure! Great idea! Except that I have to clean up all the messes that the kids made during the day, call back and email everyone that I didn't have time to talk or send an email to during the day and then come up with some kind of plans for the next day so the kids will be occupied, stimulated and grow into wonderful young men, or so they at least stop burping in restaurants.

In other news, my husband did return from India yesterday. He brought lots of presents and pictures. He is now sleeping on the couch with a tummy ache. Hopefully things will be back to normal by next weekend :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Answers to all of Life's Little Questions

I haven't had much time to write lately. The kids are keeping me busy and I haven't even really had much time to sleep either!

Yesterday my 4 year old wanted to know why they call it an "exit" if there are no eggs in it? I thought about it for a while and gave him the best answer I could come up with, "I don't know."

After swimming lessons yesterday my 6 year old told me that a bigger kid helped him to turn on the hand dryer so he could dry off his hair (at 6 years old the boys have to use the men's locker room, so I can't go in there to help him). Then he asked me if there was a dryer in the women's locker room. I said, "Yes, the boys locker room and the girls locker room are set up the same way." So he asked me, "So are there 3 places to stand and pee on the one side too?" I couldn't help but laugh. When I was finally able to speak again, I told him that the girls locker room did have "pottys."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hide and Seek

I was tempted to write an entry for "Day 3" but I started to feel like I was making tick marks on a prison wall. Not that I've ever been in prison or anything, but you know, like you see in the movies, ok, so maybe that was in the really old movies... Ahem... anyway, back to today's hide and Seek.

This afternoon I heard the garage door open. I assumed one of the kids went to play in the cul de sac in front of our house. So about a minute later, I got up and checked the front window, but I couldn't see anyone. So I went through the house. I found my older son, but I couldn't find my 4 year old. I asked my older son where his brother was. "I don't know" was the reply.

Now I started to get worried. I had gone through the house and couldn't find him. I had looked outside and he wasn't there. So I went in the front and started calling his name. Still no response. Finally my older son started to help me look. It had only been about 4 minutes but it feels more like 4 hours! Where could he have gone so fast?!?!

As I start to panic and I'm almost ready to call 911, I run through the garage calling his name and I hear a feint, "I'm here." But I still couldn't see him. Where was the voice coming from?! So I asked, "where are you?"
His reply, "I'm in the car."
I open the door and there he is in the front passenger seat.
"What were you doing in there?"
"I wanted to take a nap in there."
Of course, as if I'm the crazy one for not knowing something as obvious as that. Why didn't I think to look in the car first?!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 2

Day 2 isn't actually over. In fact it's not even noon yet. But it's midnight in India, so that should count!

This morning my good friend called and invited my kids to her house to play with her kids so that I could have a little time to myself. I can't thank her enough! By 9am this morning, I was already ready to kill my kids (ok, not really, but you know what I mean).

So I dropped off my kids and then went for a walk up the "big hill" near my house. It's not far of a walk, but it's a very steep hill. While I was walking, a man had the nerve to run past me! Can you believe that?! I'm almost out of breath just walking and he has to go and show off as he runs past me. Then as I got to the top of the hill, I saw him again. He had slowed down and even had to stop and take a break. Ha! That will show him! Ok, so maybe he still make it to the top faster, at least I got some exercise and a break from the kids. Now I need to come up with something to keep them occupied for the afternoon and evening :S Somehow I don't think they will agree that doing laundry and painting my toe nails is a good use of time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 1

Today was the first full day of my husband's trip aka my first full day home alone with the kids. I didn't have any plans. I knew I didn't want to stay home. The kids just end up getting into trouble when we stay home.

Last year, I took the kids to a chocolate factory about 30 minutes away. They give tours (with samples) in the summer. My kids have been asking to go back ever since, so today we went back. We had an early lunch and got in the car. About 10 minutes into the car ride, I got off the highway and had to separate the kids (good thing we have minivan with 2 backseats!). This was not a good start to the trip. We were a little late for the tour, but the tour guide was also a little late, so it worked out. The tour was interesting, and we bought some souvenirs in the gift shop. Sorry, but their gone already.

Then we stopped by Krispy Kreme. There was one in the same town as the chocolate factory, but there's not one close to our house. Donuts are my absolute favorite treat! So this was more for me than for kids :)

By the time we came home, I was exhausted! Earlier I had planned to go to the concert in the park after dinner, but I didn't have enough energy left. The kids completely wore me out today. So we made pizza for dinner then we walked down to the video store to return a game. It was still light when we got back. The kids wanted to play outside, so we did some hopscotch. Then we called my husband in India. His trip was good and he was still jet lagged. Hopefully we'll be able to talk to him again tomorrow. I'm not sure what the schedule will be when he has to go to the office on Monday.

Now I'm ready for bed. I have no idea what I'm going to do for the next 8 days. Any volunteers to babysit? Bueller?

He Took My Stuff!

Yesterday I took my husband to the airport for his 9 day trip to India. My 4 year old cried all the way home. It took almost an hour to get home.

Last night my husband asked me where the camera was. I hadn't thought about it before, but he wanted to take the camera on his trip. I'm used to having the camera around and taking pictures of the kids. Now I'm wishing we had 2 cameras. I didn't want to give up the camera, but I guess since he only gets to go to India (with a layover in Germany) once every 80 years or so, it seemed right to let him take the camera. Besides, I still haven't gone through all 200 pictures I took on your trip to VA. Most of those were taken on the fishing boat because that was the only time that I didn't have make sure the kids weren't getting lost.

My husband also took the last working umbrella with him. Apparently its monsoon season in India now. I thought that was fine (and I wondered why we only have one umbrella!). It hasn't rained here in a few weeks. The grass is dried out and dying. So last night it started raining right before swimming lessons and didn't stop until after came home from having dinner at our neighbor's house.

Yesterday was also the last day for swimming lessons. Both of my kids have moved up to Level 2. Yay! We'll start those (hopefully tantrum free) on Monday.