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."